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July 29, 2014

'Fringe' Season 3, Episode 22 Recap (Season Finale)

by Mike Moody, posted May 7th 2011 8:05AM
fringe s03e22['Fringe' – 'The Day We Died']

Remember how Peter looked all dazed and confused after he woke up in the future in last week's episode? Well, that's exactly how I looked as this incredibly compelling, if somewhat maddening, 'Fringe' season finale came to a close.

A million questions flooded my mind as the minutes ticked on. Questions like, "Why doesn't Peter remember that he traveled through time?" and "How is it that the machine sent him 15 years into the future?"

I don't think we got one straight answer to any of those questions before the episode was over. 'The Day We Died,' with its sad, stunning ending and its fuzzy "First People" plot resolution, only brought up more questions that won't be answered until season four rolls around.

Befuddlement gave way to genuine suspense as the episode's "End of Days" plot ramped up, and Future Peter, Future Olivia and the Fringe Division called upon an incarcerated Future Walter to help them save the day.

The time jump business made everything feel more intense as the Future Fringies worked to seal the volatile vortexes blasted open by Walternate's universe-ripping terrorist pals. But watching this future plot unfold, and seeing how the characters grew and changed over 15 years, would have proved captivating even without all the mind-bending questions hanging in the air. Why? Because 'Fringe' has one of the best casts on network TV. These people are damn fine actors. There wasn't a false moment here as our players were tasked with portraying yet another new version of the original 'Fringe' ensemble.

In the year 2026, Peter and Olivia were married, but they didn't have children for fear that the world would end before their brood could grow up. Walter was the most hated man on the planet, and he was locked up for bringing about the worldwide catastrophes caused by his universe hopping. Free of having to look after Walter, Astrid rose to VIP agent status, and Broyles was a senator with a damaged eyeball. The years had not been kind to the team as the world around them was coming apart.

We learned that the Other Universe was destroyed after Peter joined with the machine. Its only survivor was Walternate, who claimed that he came Over Here on a "mission of mercy" seeking help for his dying world.

Consumed by rage and hate and a sense of betrayal, Walternate decided that he would make Peter experience his own pain by shooting Future Olivia in the head – a bleak and shocking image that'll stay seared in my brain for days to come.

Walternate continues to fascinate the hell out of me. He's not your average supervillian who hatches an evil plan for the sole purpose of doing evil things or to gain power and influence. In his mind, he's been fighting a war for survival against a callous and selfish madman who invaded his world and stole his son.

The scene with Holo-Walternate meeting Peter was one of the most chilling scenes of the hour. It wasn't hard to sympathize with Walternate here, as he said, "One man broke the universe, the other man did nothing," and he talked about how His World slowly ran out of air, water and light. But Walternate went from early Magneto crazy to 'Episode One' Darth Vader evil after murdering Olivia.

I liked seeing Olivia's niece Ella (played by game guest star Emily Meade) on her journey as a rookie FBI agent. Her scene with Walter in the lab ("I remember the cow.") was a nice treat.

This episode was full of wonderful little grace notes for Walter, from his joyous reunion with Olivia, who had learned to control her telekinetic powers, to Peter calling him "dad." I'm sure it was hard for 'Fringe' fans not to tear up here and there as an emotional Future Walter was brought back into the fold.

OK, let's try to make sense of the second mind-boggling ending in as many weeks ... Walter realized that he must have used the time vortex in Central Park to send the pieces of The Machine back in time some 200 million years, making he and Peter and crew the 'First People.' In order to stop the Other Universe from being destroyed, Walter also had to somehow send Future Peter's consciousness back in time so that he could use the machine to bring people from the two universes together instead of destroying the Other Universe. We have no idea how Walter did all this, as the show quickly cut back to 2011, moments after Peter connected with the machine.

Using the machine, Peter tore a hole in the universe, allowing the Alt Fringies to appear in our world and face their doppelgangers. Future Walter hoped that both factions could work together to solve their problems instead of trying to tear each other apart.

Peter was able to stop the destruction of the Other Universe and, in doing so, change the future so that doomsday never happened. But he seemingly sacrificed himself in the process, as he disappeared shortly after the two Walters and the two Olivias started staring each other down.

The Observers standing outside Liberty Island confirmed that no one remembered Peter -- he was erased from existence after fulfilling his purpose to unite the two universes.

What? Yeah, erased from existence. Forgotten. Gone. Where? "Somewhere," according to 'Fringe' co-executive producer Joel Wyman, who tweeted about the episode last night. "'Where is Peter Bishop?' IS the question. Season 4 WILL have answers," Wyman tweeted after the episode ended.

Next fall can't come soon enough. I wonder if they'll keep the cool black and silver opening credit sequence.

Follow @mikemoody on Twitter.

Watch the full episode here:


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~Elizabeth~

The final episode acted more like the show was canceled. I finished watching and said "Well its canceled." I was delighted to find out its not. Season 4 needs to get back to the grass roots of why we fell in love with the show. It took a weird turn. Reminds me of Lost. It gets going in a great direction then bam a sharp turn that changes the beloved course that we fell in love with. I want to know if Fringe changed writers. Im still a fan though. No matter what.

May 17 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

Your description of Walternate as "not your average supervillian who hatches an evil plan for the sole purpose of doing evil things or to gain power and influence...[but] fighting a war for survival" made him sound much like the X-Men's villain Magneto, who most of the time sees his vision as the better way for mutants to co-exist with humans.

May 09 2011 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
K.V.C

What a horrible, horrible episode. ERASING Peter would negate everything that has happened on this show.

There should be no problems between the Universes. No Peter means no Walter crossing between the universes and opening up the rifts in the alt-universe. Alt-Olivia cannot be pregnant. Olivia probably wouldn't have gone through the cortexiphan trials and wouldn't have any "powers" No Massive Dynamics, no bionic arm on Nina..and on and on. Walter would also never had brain surgery, so he should be just like Walternate.

Horrible, Horrible season finale.

May 08 2011 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anthony Wickizer

The machine is not what sent him through time. As soon as he got into the machine, future Walter pulled his consciousness into the future to see what making the wrong choice would result in.

May 08 2011 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat

Thanx for telling me Ella was Olivia's niece. I thought she was Peter & Fauxlivia's child. Made me even more confused! I want to know where that baby went as well as Lincoln Lee in both worlds.

May 07 2011 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ilovetvreviews

Hi guys, I just posted my review of this episode on http://ilovetvreviews.blogspot.com I would really appreciate any feedback as I am hoping to be a professional critic one day, and any tips or advice on my writing would be appreciated especially from the writers of this review. Thanks!

May 07 2011 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

I'm not totally sure how I feel about all of this...perhaps I won't really know until more unfolds next season. As you say, though, the acting made it all compelling. Unlike the other main stars, Joshua Jackson hasn't had the opportunity and challenge of playing two different versions of his character, but I thought he did a remarkable job making Peter more mature in the future. I hope his character will be back soon.

The future scenes reminded me a great deal of "All Good Things...", the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Think about an old, slightly mad Walter discovering time paradoxes, and then put in "Picard" for "Walter". I have to think that this was at least somewhat intentional.

May 07 2011 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
shadowracer

Now that's how you make thrilling television. The mind traveling through time thing was already done on lost, I guess its good that they only mentioned it in passing instead of going through the whole spiel.

I guess since this season explained last seasons finale, next season will explain this finale. I do wish they would explain the "mad scientists running around boston for some reason" stories, they seem to coincidental. And I would like a few more mad scientist episodes ala season 1.

May 07 2011 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
BruceM

Didn't like it. Was a lot like Lost. NO real answers, the whole thing was a big non sequiter. Good acting, for sure, but the whole episode was a double deus ex machina... no answers, no closure to any issues, and the whole "we are the first people" thing was incredibly stupid. I'm sure they thought it was clever, the fact that they just said it and skipped over any more details is telling. I was thrilled when the show was given a 4th season, but after the lame cartoon episode and now 2 episodes where nothing of substance really happend and nothing was answered (no new facts, just more questions... and dumb questions at that) I'm not sure how interested I am in watching the next season. I'll still tivo it and check it out I suppose (not like anything else is on friday nights)... but i'm not very excited about it.

May 07 2011 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
d2a3v8i3d4

I can't help but feel this episode was originally designed to be a series finale.It certainly could have been that if it had to be.that said it creates all sorts of things to deal with next season and I'm looking forward to watching every episode to find out the answers to these questions.And I have to say what so many have said,the acting by John Noble,Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson is as good as it gets,emmy winning level,outstanding and litterally soaks the emotion out of every scene and the viewer.I don't know of Fringe will survive beyond next season,I'd like to hope it will find enough audience for a couple more seasons,but I do know that whatever those three actors ever do I'll be watching.

May 07 2011 at 10:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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