Every time I crank up the DVR to watch ‘Fringe’ I’m not quite sure what fantastic stories the writers have ready for me. As it is, tonight’s “World’s Apart” brings together Fringe divisions from both worlds as they realize David Robert Jones (DRJ) end game.

A nervous Walter addresses the two Fringe teams as he explain’s DRJ’s final plan; to destroy both worlds and establish his own in their place. Not only that but he wants a world where, according to Walter, “the laws of physics and nature are designed and controlled by him”. The remaining question is just how this brilliant psychopath will complete his vision.

Just before the break we get several people across both worlds, with synchronized watches, maps and specific coordinates, close their eyes as one only to start some serious seismic activities. Back to the meeting, Walter and Peter surmise DRJ’s plan to create a bubble area immune from the destruction of both worlds, a technique he tested in destroying two towns (one in each world) in “Welcome to Westfield”.  From there he’d re-populate the world with the new life he’s created. The how of things are made known when the simultaneous earthquakes are discovered; DRJ is trying to tune each world to the same frequency in order to foster their destruction.

Using Nick like Professor X and Cerebro

Back in Alt-Earth, Lincoln is approached by a former friend Nick Lane. He tells Agent Lee about his dreams regarding the earthquakes before they even occurred. Lee calls Olivia who recognizes Nick Lane as a former participant with her in the Cortexiphan trials. In fact, one of the other perpetrators—Sally Clark—was also with her in the trials. Based on this new knowledge, Olivia deduces DRJ using the Cortexiphan subjects to create the seismic events. They are drawing on their alternates frequencies to change the vibratory nature of the actual areas they are in. As Walter applauds DRJ’s intelligence, Peter asks if closing the bridge between world would prevent these psychic connections responsible for destabilizing the worlds; Walter says the idea is viable but if they stop the machine they may not get it running again and any potential healing of Alt-Earth would cease. Knowing this is a last resort, Olivia focuses everyone on finding DRJ. To do that, they bring in Nick Lane in order to see if he can connect with his alternate on Earth. They hook him up to Olivia who’s able to locate the Nick on her side and the fringe division gets to him prior to him enacting a quake but they’re unable to stop the rest of the quakes from happening.

With Nick in custody, Broyles informs the group he’s been called to DC for discussions on shutting down the machine. Olivia volunteers to question Nick about DRJ’s location but she’s unable to convince him to cooperate. Instead Nick relates to her about the war he’s fighting against Alt-Earth, using the earthquakes to cause massive damage. Olivia tells him that DRJ has been lying to him the entire time; there is no war, he’s using them to facilitate his end game. In the lab, Lincoln and Peter discuss the potential closing of the bridge when Peter notices the countdown clock on the watch turning on, counting down from six hours. Olivia shows it to Nick who tells her about himself; he’s a reverse empathy, able to project his emotions to others, a condition that caused his sister to kill herself years before. He believes he owes DRJ because he can now control his emotions. Olivia stresses the lies DRJ has told Nick and the former Cortexiphan subject reluctantly agrees. He leads them to a warehouse but it ends up being a lie and he escapes in the process.

Back in the machine room, Broyles tells the crew that it’s up to them to decide the outcome. There’s only 45 minutes left on the clock and Walternate asks if there’s any other option to which Walter replies no. The die has been cast; they have to close the bridge. They use Peter to charge the machine and as they wait for the surge to build and the machine to power down, Walter and Walternate discuss Peter and the man he’s turned out to be. When Walter dismisses himself, Walternate deduces his doppelganger’s fear. If the machine is shut down, who’s to say Peter won’t disappear? It’s one of the more touching scenes as the often cold and calculating Secretary of Defense comforts his alternate.

It’s not long before the machine shuts down and everyone is returning to their respective worlds when Lincoln tells Peter of his decision—he’s returning to Alt-Earth as it’s his home now. Everyone waits expectantly as Walter pushes the button to shut the machine down, causing those situated on the ‘other side’ to fade back into their world.

Saying goodbye to Alt-Earth

Wow. After last week’s off the cuff episode which was excellent in its own right, we were treated to one of the best and most impactful episodes in “Worlds Apart” ever to grace the ‘Fringe’ hour time slot. David Robert Jones and his mad plan have been discovered and foiled but not without collateral damage. We’ve been cut off from Alt-Earth, and they from us. Though Walter is assured Alt-Earth won’t get worse, I have to wonder what secondary plan DRJ may have ready in case the fringe group denied him as they’ve seemingly done by turning off the machine? There are only two episodes remaining before season four comes to an end and there’s still one mad-level genius on the loose along with his monstrous creations.  Despite the necessity of closing the bridge between worlds, our fringe division will no longer have the luxury of doubling their efforts to finding DRJ. Let’s hope that’s not a mistake we’ll be regretting when the final season begins next year.

If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Fringe: Letters In Transit’ recap to catch up.