For weeks, many ‘Fringe’ fans have been eager to find out which way the writers where going to take the show. Will Peter go back home, return to his Olivia and Walter, and continue working on fringe cases or will Peter stay in this new timeline and become entangled in their issues? Tonight we finally get some answers and a few surprises along the way.
Since this is a recap, there are spoilers!!
It is time for breakfast in the Bishop home. The morning light gives the serene scene a warm glow. A shirtless Walter cooks chocolate chip banana pancakes. A beaming Olivia enters and remarks about the change in menu. Walter had promised waffles, but the waffle iron is broken. Peter is calm and happy; pancakes are just fine. Walter promises to get the waffle iron, “the infernal machine,” working again. Walter drops the waffle iron, and the sound of it hitting the floor wakes Peter up.
“Walter,” Peter says, realizing his father, any version of his father, is the only person who can help him get home.
Peter goes to Walter. Peter has kept his promise of staying away as long as he could, but Peter wants to get home. Full of fear and apprehension, Walter backs away from Peter. Peter calmly pleads his case. The machine that got Peter there is the key to getting him home, and he needs Walter to reconfigure the machine’s matrix. The machine can destroy universes, and Peter thinks he might wield that power too, but he is determined to go home. Peter is desperate; Walter should understand Peter’s urge to be reunited with the people he loves.
Walter sits and contemplates his answer. After a long pause, Walter recounts the events surrounding the suicide of Peter’s mom. Walter had become obsessed with saving the other Peter, and he left her alone in her grief. She didn’t leave a note, but Walter didn’t need a note to understand her reasons. Walter’s words come slowly, and the pain of his grief is evident on each line of his face. He turns to Peter, “My actions caused the death of my wife, unspeakable damage to two universes. I lost my career and my sanity. All because I tried to help another Peter.” Walter gets up and walks past Peter. “I may be the only man that can help you, but I’m also the only man that can’t help you.” Walter leaves.
Undeterred, Peter goes to Olivia, who is home from work because of migraines. If she could convince Broyles to let Peter use the Bridge, then Peter could ask Walternate for help. Although he has been helpful, Peter is still an unknown, so Broyles will deny the request. Walternate is not to be trusted because they think Walternate is responsible for the new shapeshifters, so Olivia is not easily convinced Peter should cross over. Olivia sees many obstacles to Peter’s plan. The other side does not know Peter exists, and there is a problem of getting Peter to the Department of Defense. How are they going to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat?
There is a knock at the door. Lincoln has come over to check on Olivia. Peter has an idea. Lincoln is the key. On the other side, Lincoln is in charge of the Fringe division, so Lincoln can pose as Alt-Lincoln to gain access to the DOD. Olivia agrees. All they need now is a way to cross over. Olivia has been curious about visiting the other side and has discovered the equipment Walter used to cross over is in storage at Massive Dynamic. Olivia can request the equipment. Peter is curious. Why doesn’t Olivia just cross over when she wants to? Olivia gives him an odd look. Do what?
This Olivia does not have all of her Cortexiphan abilities. This is a very interesting development, and I wonder what events caused this Olivia and this Alt-Olivia to meet and interact.
Lincoln likes Olivia’s plan of going to the other side secretly to do recon and find out more about the new shapeshifters. Peter interjects. His mission is to go home. This is not his fight. He must get back to his people. Olivia is wounded by Peter’s lack of willingness to help them, but halfheartedly agrees to make Peter’s goal a priority.
There is a flash. We are on the other side now. A young boy goes to the restroom and hears a scuffle in a stall. The boy tells his mother, who has a police officer investigate. The officer stumbles on a shapeshifter killing someone. Panicked, the shapeshifter flees. The officer chases the shapeshifter out of the bus station. The shapeshifter scales a bus, but in the confusion, another bus hits him and kills the shapeshifter.
At the DOD, Dr. Fayette reports to Walternate about the technology of the device implanted in the new shapeshifters. Fayette has discovered a signal, but he needs more time to locate the source. Walternate informs Fayette that he will take over the project. Fayette tries to object, but Walternate sternly reminds his subordinate that he is also a scientist and perfectly capable of handling the task.
The Fringe division arrives at the bus station. Since I have learned more about this Peter-less timeline, I am going to call the Olivia from the other side Alt-Olivia because she did not trick and seduce Peter, which is what Fauxlivia did.
So, Alt-Lincoln and Alt-Olivia arrive at the bus station. They begin to investigate the scene, but they are stopped by the arrival of the military. Walternate has the military take over the investigation. Alt-Lincoln and Alt-Olivia are confused; Alt-Olivia immediately starts to question Walternate’s motives.
On our side, Olivia drives Peter to the opera house where his Olivia crossed to the other side because the barrier between the two universes is weak there. Lincoln is at the opera house setting up the equipment. At the opera house, Olivia has another migraine, but will stay to make sure Lincoln and Peter return; if they do not, she has to tell Broyles. Olivia fixes Lincoln’s hair; their relationship seems to have gotten closer. Peter crosses over. Lincoln looks at Olivia before joining Peter. Peter has a device that can open and close the portal. Peter closes the portal, and he and Lincoln, looking like Alt-Lincoln, leave. Lincoln is momentarily stunned as he sees the Twin Towers.
At Fringe headquarters, a breach is detected. Alt-Broyles is livid; there has not been a breach since the truce. Alt-Lincoln and Alt-Olivia are ordered to investigate.
At the DOD, Walternate orders everyone out of the lab so he can examine the shapeshifter’s body alone. He has a guard outside so no one disturbs him. Walternate removes the data storage device from the shapeshifter.
Peter is Lincoln’s “prisoner.” Oh, I know what the plan is; it’s the old “we can fool the guard with a story about how dangerous and classified the prisoner is” ploy. And it seems to work. The guard buys Lincoln’s lie about why he does not have a Show Me (the ID everyone must carry on the other side), The guard needs a handprint, and for a moment, I think the plan might fail, but Lincoln’s print is the same as Alt-Lincoln’s. The guard does the right thing and reports Lincoln’s ID as lost. Lincoln and Peter wait for the ferry to take them to the DOD.
Alt-Lincoln and Alt-Olivia investigate the opera house. All signs of a breach have disappeared. Alt-Olivia shares her ideas about the body at the bus station. She thinks the dead person is a shapeshifter. Alt-Lincoln thinks Walternate will tell them the results of the autopsy, but Alt-Olivia has her doubts. Olivia told her that Walternate sent the shapeshifters to our side. Alt-Lincoln reminds her that she thinks Olivia is paranoid, but she does not dismiss Olivia’s claim. What if Walternate had them removed from the crime scene to cover up his involvement? Alt-Broyles orders them back to HQ. In the car, Alt-Lincoln cannot start the car. Why? His Show Me won’t work because it was reported lost. Alt-Lincoln calls the person who reported his Show Me lost.
I sense trouble.
Lincoln and Peter are waiting for the ferry. Lincoln asks Peter about where Walternate keeps his secure files. Peter figures out that Olivia has a side mission for Lincoln after all. Peter is upset. Lincoln snooping around the DOD could jeopardize his plan. Before Peter can persuade Lincoln not to follow Olivia’s plan, Fringe forces surround them. They are taken into custody.
Walternate is still in the lab. He gets a call from Alt-Broyles about Peter. Walternate instructs Alt-Broyles to not inform the other side.
In the vehicle transporting Peter and Lincoln, the driver, Agent Murphy, gets a call. Murphy turns and leaves the convoy. The other agent questions Murphy, so Murphy shoots him. Alt-Olivia and Alt-Lincoln pursue. Murphy stops in an alley and has Peter and Lincoln get out. Peter figures out the plan; Murphy is to make it look as though Peter and Lincoln were escaping. Murphy has his orders; he points his gun at Peter, but the other agent shoots at Murphy, giving Peter the opportunity to subdue Murphy. Lincoln gets involved in the fight. During the struggle, Lincoln shoots Murphy. Peter tells Lincoln that they are doing things his way now.
Peter gets the gun. Lincoln drives the vehicle away from the scene. Alt-Olivia finds the two shot agents; Alt-Lincoln goes after the vehicle. The Fringe division catches Lincoln. Alt-Lincoln and Alt-Olivia take Lincoln into custody. Lincoln claims not to know Peter’s whereabouts, and he tries to convince the Fringe agents that Murphy turned on his partner and tried to kill Peter and Lincoln. Alt-Olivia asks, “Who on our side would want you dead?” Lincoln thinks the person responsible is Walternate. Lincoln begs them to trace the call. Alt-Lincoln wants to know why Lincoln trusts them; Lincoln trusts Alt-Olivia because Peter told him that at the end, she was a good person. They decide to sort everything out at headquarters.
In this alternate universe, Peter’s mom Elizabeth did not commit suicide. Peter takes a chance and goes to her home to convince her to help him talk to Walternate. Before he can make a speech, Elizabeth looks deep in his eyes and realizes he is Peter. A good mother always knows. Peter tells her that he is not her Peter, but she is happy to know that in one of the universes, her son grew up and had a full life. Peter tells her that he thinks people working for Walternate are trying to have him killed, so he really needs her help to get to Walternate. Before they can leave, the military arrives because she triggered the alarm before she knew he was. She convinces Peter to give her the gun. She fiercely protects Peter by demanding the men take her and Peter to her husband.
Alt-Lincoln and Alt-Olivia hold Lincoln in a maintenance closet so they can investigate his claims without alerting others of Lincoln’s presence.
At the DOD, Elizabeth tells Walternate that he is a version of their son. Walternate says that he has dreamt of this moment. He seems genuinely happy to see Peter, but, after Elizabeth leaves, Peter accuses Walternate of putting on an act. Walternate confesses that he has monitored intelligence feeds from our universe, so he has known about Peter for a while. As he talks, Walternate brings out a strange-looking device. Will he use it on Peter? Peter reveals that the other side thinks Walternate is responsible for the shapeshifters. Walternate asks if Peter is there to bring him to justice. No. Peter makes it clear that this is not his fight; he just wants Walternate’s help to go home.
Fayette enters. Walternate tells Fayette all of Peter’s accusations and asks Fayette if he is capable of such actions. Fayette, Walternate’s chief scientist and the one who knows Walternate’s operations very well, says no. The shapeshifter technology is not Walternate’s creation. Fayette starts to say something, but Walternate suddenly turns and uses the device on Fayette. The device delivers enough electricity to knock out Fayette. When he falls to the floor, we see Fayette’s skin become transparent for a moment. Walternate’s chief advisor was a shapeshifter.
Walternate says to Peter, “Not everything is as it seems.”
Like Peter, I am stunned. Walternate is not responsible for the shapeshifters. If not Walternate, then who?
In the lab, Walternate has “Fayette’s” body hooked up to machines. Walternate wants to know who is behind the shapeshifters. Walternate tells Peter that the threat from the shapeshifters is becoming more perilous; one tried to take over a State Department employee. Walternate is not sure of what to do; if the public becomes aware of shapeshifters, he thinks the public will panic, but Peter tells him to find and expose the shapeshifters. Walternate tells Peter his concerns because Peter is the only one he can trust. Peter has no allegiances to either side. Walternate needs Peter to deliver a message to the other side—he is not their enemy. Peter wants to refuse, but Walternate says that if Peter wants Walternate’s help, then Peter must help Walternate. Walternate knows that whoever is behind everything is a threat to both worlds. Peter stares at Walternate and realizes that he was wrong about him. Walternate tells Peter that Peter is the man he thought Peter would be.
At Fringe HQ, Alt-Astrid traced the call to Murphy to an industrial complex. Alt-Lincoln convinces Alt-Olivia to tell Alt-Broyles something. They report to their boss, and Alt-Broyles knows the truth. He gives them leeway to investigate their lead. The two leave. Alt-Broyles makes a call and tells the person on the other end that his agents are coming.
The person Alt-Broyles calls is Jones.
David Robert Jones is alive.
Jones is responsible for the shapeshifters. Jones is the one who called Murphy and tried to kill Peter. Jones’s face is damaged, so I wonder if this is the same Jones from the first season. If it is the same Jones, then the threat is real and dangerous. When Alt-Broyles informs Jones that his agents are on their way, Jones coolly says, “Excellent. We’ll be waiting for them.” In the background are many shapeshifters in vats, ready to be used.
Back on our side, Olivia waits in the opera house. The Observer appears. He says what she says as she says it. The Observer has been shot. The Observer tells her, “I came to tell you I have looked at all possible futures, and in every one the result is the same.” He takes a breath, “You have to die.”
Before Olivia can take him to a hospital, the Observer disappears.
This episode was originally meant to be the midseason finale, and it would have made a great finale. Finally, the writers make it known that Peter has to stay in this new timeline for a while. The fight may not be his, but his desire to go home forces Peter to become involved. This reminds me of how Peter behaved at the beginning of the first season. Olivia had to blackmail Peter to help her with Walter, and she had to keep finding ways for him to stay. Peter was very reluctant to become a member of the Fringe team, just as he is unwilling to become involved in the dilemma of two timelines he has no connection to.
The developments in this episode are astounding and jumpstart the story. Jones is a serious threat; he has wanted to be in control for years. And the possibilities of the damage he can cause are numerous. What impressed me the most is how the writers took our judgments and perceptions of Walternate and manipulated the situation. Even I forgot that we are not dealing with the same Walternate from last season. Olivia is not our Olivia, and Alt-Olivia is different too, so of course Walternate would not be a carbon copy of the man who held our Olivia prisoner. Taking what we thought we knew and twisting it produced many surprising moments, including Walternate attacking Fayette and the revelation of Jones.
That ending. What does the Observer mean by “You have to die?” Does he mean this Olivia or all of the Olivias? Will the other Observers target Olivia? Who shot the Observer? Was it one of the other Olivias trying to protect herself?
All I know is that I am glad my patience has paid off. ‘Fringe’ has its momentum back. Now the writers need to ride this momentum all the way to a thrilling resolution. I am positive there will be more shocking surprises as the season continues.
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Fringe: Wallflower’ Episode 107 recap.