OD Review of Fringe 322 – The Day We Died ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

OD Review of Fringe 322 – The Day We Died

      Email Post       5/14/2011 03:28:00 PM      

AKA - The Day The Music Died

Excerpt from:
Bye, Bye Miss American Pie by Don McLean

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick!
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No Angel born in hell
Could break that Satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing,
"bye-bye, Miss American Pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Sometimes a story can only be fully appreciated when the very last few moments play out. A tell tale sign of a well constructed story. Such is the case with the Season 3 Finale of Fringe - The Day We Died(TDWD). The ramifications of those last few moments are so staggering that one could easily keep going past this episode and head all the way back to the pilot to re-examine everything we have witnessed to date.

This finale marks a watershed moment for the Fringe series. This is very similar to the Season 3 Finale of Lost where an anguished future Jack screams at Kate that, ‘We have to go back.’

So does Fringe.

Fringe has given us a view of not WHAT IF but of WHAT WILL BE unless the two universes overcome their past grievances and work together to save both realities. It is a bleak future with our world dying and the RedVerse already destroyed. There is little hope left aptly shown to us in a Brown Betty shout out where Olivia's niece, Ella, tells Walter the exact opposite that there are no happy endings anymore.

There is a lot to digest in this episode and it suffers on the emotional level due to the pacing issues that result. Hindsight is 20/20, in Fringe and in critiquing, but if the previous two episodes, which felt padded, had been combined into one and TDWD expanded to two episodes; then more viewer investment could have been built up and the downwards spiral shown in the future would have had more emotional impact. The paucity of emotional investment is the only deficiency of TDWD.

The Fringe writing team is to be commended for showing us the End Game up front. Lost took the opposite tack and gave us the characters journeys in drabs and dribs in Season 4 before revealing their End Game. Where Lost edged out Fringe, for me, in their respective Season 3 Finales; was the emotional impact of the closing moments. (Though the Fringe Season 3 Finale does engage more emotionally upon re-watch when you know what is coming).

Fringe Patterns:
  • The future is bleak indeed
  • Light Bomb set off on same Opera House that was the setting for the jump back for Peter, Walter, & Fauxlivia at the end of Season Two
  • Astrid is a full fledged Fringe agent. Yay!
  • Astrid, Peter, and Olivia sports new hairdos while Broyle loses an eye
  • Detroit Incident?
  • WormHole In Central Park!
  • Walternate is back to being very evil again
  • Olivia has Jedi’ed her Powers to a certain degree
  • Peter and Red Vines he quietly left behind
  • Peter telling Walter he was his father
  • Walter realizing the two worlds need each other to survive
  • The future is not kind to either Walter, both are broken men.
  • Peter's breakdown in the apartment after the funeral
  • Peter building the bridge between the worlds. And the consequences of doing so.
  • MObservers! - ie a gathering of Observers as they, ten in all - (significant because we know August is one of the missing and he is dead. Who is the twelfth. Hmmmm?) - congregate outside the Statue of Liberty
Next season will likely see more interaction between the two universes via the Bridge Room Peter created; knowing Walter, Astrid, et al plus Walternate are the First People, they should work together to deposit the Machine components back in time to be re-discovered, (or is that re-re-discovered?), via the Wormhole in Central Park. Olivia can still be the Lever but who will step up into the Machine now that Peter has been erased from existence?

The Observers are destined to be far more active next season. My money is on Peter hanging around with the Observers in the early going next season. As for Olivia, with her abilities, will a temporary need to gain Observer like perceptions to see multiple realities be something in the cards next season?

One of the characteristics I love about Fringe is how everything builds upon previously established canon. When an unexpected twist comes, the seeds for it can seen to have been planted before. The better concealed those seeds the better the twist. Fringe has many great attributes and the writing is at the top of the list.

This Season 3 setup for Season 4 is fantastic. I am willing to wager that those unimpressed and waffling on the Season 3 finale will be singing it's praises once the Season 4 storyline starts to play out.

PS - do not miss our FBI podcasts here. You can find them under the Fringe Podcasts tab. Our podcast for TDWD will be up early next week to be followed by a Season 3 Overall Review - plus Season 4 speccing in a week or two.

May the reality you inhabit be the one of your choosing.

Till next season!


Ron E. said...

My guess is they will need to go steal a Peter from a third universe to operate the machine. That's where Olivia's ability to cross universes safely will come in handy. The other possibility is the Observers bring Peter back through time but their scene at the end of this episode makes it seem like they are done with him.

Anonymous said...

With that 3rd universe it would be soooo stupid. It would be like with those two universes all over again. No... I think they`re gonna try something entirely new and I can`t wait to see it :-D


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