Want another reason to stay tuned in to your favorite show–on NBC at least? Chevy Chase;s contract has been renewed for another season of Community! Check here for more sweet deets!
As Fringe was on the bubble for most of Season Three, the excitement of a new season was wrought with the tension of “Where Is Peter?” which swept the planet (of Fringe fans). From fan-made videos to the season four promo banners, fans eagerly waited for the return of Fringe–which was apparent in the first episode, which had almost 3.5 million viewers, a season high. With less than five episodes left in the season, being a Fringe fan’s are on the edge of their seats–not only during the episodes, but all day, everyday. As Fringe hasn’t been renewed, fans and producers are unsure where the episodes will go. Orci and Kurtzman have stated that if this is the last season, they are ready to give Fringe a proper ending–unlike Firefly, and hopefully different than Lost!
The simple facts are that FOX isn’t making any money with Fringe anymore–which is typically what happens when you send amazing shows to the kill spot, FOX–but they’re hesitating on canceling for many reasons. The main one being J.J. Abrams’ involvement with the show. Abrams’ credibility and popularity in film and television right now reaches all audiences, and includes two new tv shows this year: Person of Interest on CBS, and Alcatraz on FOX. Alcatraz has been touted as a revamped, less-intriguing Fringe. Both Alcatraz and Fringe have yet to be renewed–or cancelled–but it would be in FOX’s best interest to keep at least one of Abrams’ shows. Plus, if Fringe is renewed, Abrams says that he will direct an episode, which will be the first Fringe episode directed by Abrams.
Fringe season four started out quite slow, which was disappointing for many fans, but fit with the “Fringe” way of doing things. Instead of coming out and stating all the differences, both the subtle and stated changes were–and still are–being addressed. We see what everyone’s lives are like without Peter–Walter is out of the mental institution, but lives in his lab–and is afraid to leave. The Olivia we’ve come to love has regressed back to pre-Peter Olivia–an impersonal yet competent FBI agent. Even though Peter’s been erased from everyone’s memories, his actions have stayed the same–the two universes are still connected in one room, and Fauxlivia is still hated by Walter and Olivia for her deception.
It is clear that Peter is the staple holding everything together. When Walter begins hallucinating, seeing a man talking to him in his lab, he fears that he will be sent back to St. Claires. But Olivia’s been seeing the man in her dreams, so he’s not going crazy. An Observer is supposed to completely erase Peter from this timeline, but he does not. This is the reason everyone’s memories of Peter are returning. Peter eventually appears from the bottom of Reiden Lake, where he drowned as a boy, as the Observer did not save him.
Peter is ecstatic, as he’s returned home–however, no one remembers him. The next few episodes detail the pain Peter feels and his desperation to return to his home. Walter and Olivia are noticeably freaked out, as this man claims to know their secrets and details of their lives, yet they know nothing about him. Besides other things, Peter’s extensive knowledge on classified information (i.e. Walternate, the other universe, Observers, and shapeshifters) gets him into trouble with the FBI before everyone learns to trust him.
Readers–and Peter–are unsure if he is really in an alternate timeline, or he has simply been erased from our timeline. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Olivia’s memories have inexplicably begun to fade away–and are slowly being replaced by Peter’s Olivia’s memories. Peter, unwilling to fall in love with the “wrong” Olivia again–and hurt his Olivia’s feelings–continually pushes this Olivia away. However, Peter is given the chance to go inside an Observer’s mind during episode 14 “The End of All Things,” (as amazing as it sounds!) and all the last questions are answered. He is in the right timeline, and this Olivia is his Olivia. Peter also learns about his son Henry, who was erased from time along with him.
Emily enjoys all mediums of speculative fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi–especially reading, writing, and watching them. A Fringe fanatic, she is convinced that one day she will meet her parallel self, aptly nicknamed Femily (Fake Emily), and save both worlds from their inevitable destruction.
Season four of the sci-fi thriller Fringe starts with both Olivias (I will call them Olivia and Faux-livia for the sake of clarity) arguing about stealing the other’s identity before they started sharing the same universe. Oddly enough, neither of them mentioned Peter Bishop. As the argument comes to an end and the two Olivias walk away we can see a quick distortion in the background that resembles Peter. From there we witness a meeting between two “observers” in an empty diner. The Fringe Division’s “observer” tells us that after Peter’s disappearance, in the season three finale, neither universe has any recollection of him. Ever.
Then episode then goes to Agent Lincoln Lee and his partner Johnathan Danzig getting ready to get to work on time from Danzig’s home. We instantly get into a chase scene with the two agents and an unnamed suspect. Rooftops and abandoned buildings are a must for epic chase sequences. Of course the partners must split up at one point and Agent Lee apprehends the suspect but Agent Danzig is not to be found. Lee searches the building and finds a “man” kneeling over his partner. Lee pursues but the man jumps through a window, across an alleyway, and through another window. Skills! Lee goes back to check on his partner but it seems like he is already dead. Here’s a kicker though, his face was translucent with a strange color pattern emitting from it.
Lee is then introduced to Olivia and the Fringe Division as they ask him questions about his partner’s death. Two Observers are watching the interaction and one notes that Lee doesn’t remember Olivia anymore and the other reminds him that it is because the “timeline” had been changed. Lee asks questions about the division and why there are no records – all the normal questions they get asked. All in all, they fill him in about the Fringe Division and show him the other victims of the suspect’s crimes. From now on it seems that Lee is an honorary member of Fringe division. They now are on the hunt for the mysterious suspect.
While in the lab Walter is hiding in a panicked state from a “man in the mirror”. A Peter sighting perhaps? But the group assures Walter that it was nothing – relatively easy seeing as though Walter is borderline insane anyway. We get to see the makeshift lab of the suspect and it shows him working on equations while injecting himself with unknown substances from syringes. His face is disfigured and the color distorted like that of Agent Danzig. One of his fingernails grow rapidly and he peels it off – just as disgusting and gooey as you’d expect. It seems as though this is a huge breakthrough for him from his reaction.
The Observer is doing some shopping in a antique shop to find some parts he needs to “erase someone from history”. He eventually finds what he needs.
Two agents report that the suspect has been sighted at a train yard and they pursue him. One of the agents is dragged away under a train and the other goes to his partner’s aid. Shots ring out. Olivia and Lee arrive on the scene for back-up and they find that the first agent has been killed the same way as the other victims and his partner suffered a gunshot wound to the leg that needs immediate attention. Lee tells Olivia to go ahead and pursue the suspect as he tends to the wounded agent. Olivia catches the suspect inside the warehouse near the train yard and a fight breaks out. Olivia gets possession of her firearm and shoots the suspect several times. Outside the wounded agent tells Lee that there were multiple assailants. He then finds and kills the other man that has the same skin type as the other suspect. The bodies are taken away to be analyzed and we are taken to another location where another figure is shifting into the appearance of one of the other previous victims. So we can assume that this won’t be the end of the shapeshifter saga.
Olivia takes Lee through what seems to be a machine that instantly transports them to the alternate universe to meet Faux-livia and briefs her on the situation. While traveling Olivia tells him that she has always felt like “something was missing for as long as she can remember”. Walter is back at the lab preparing for bed while the Observer is outside with some mechanical device seemingly torn over whether to activate it or not. He ultimately decides not to and walks away. Walter clearly sees Peter on his television screen and alerts the guard outside his room as the episode comes to a close.
Questions about the season
Fringe fans should have come to the realization that the supernatural is commonplace. With accelerated aging, experimental drug testing and alternate universes/characters running rampant through the first three seasons almost nothing should come as a genuine shocker. Then, in the season three finale, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) goes all Houdini on us. He just disappeared. Neither universe seems to know what happened to him either. But in this season four teaser trailer we see Peter interacting with “Faux”-livia (Anna Torv).
Fringe has been doing a great job of being just as nonsensically accurate – I hope that made sense for you too? – as Lost was but without going so far away from reality that there is a inevitable failure when things need to be wrapped up (see Lost series finale for clues). I have faith that J.J. Abrams and crew will keep the show interesting by not putting one of its main characters in “limbo” for the majority of the season.