Fringe Episode 4.08 Review - Picking Up Momentum Now ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Episode 4.08 Review - Picking Up Momentum Now

      Email Post       1/14/2012 04:46:00 PM      

By now, you know how fond I am of The X-Files. Episode 4x08 "Back to Where You've Never Been" has elevated Fringe to cult status, in my eyes, pulling even farther away from mainstream television and the uninitiated viewer. Not only has it bridged the two universes in one strong episode, it delivered a TRUST NO ONE warning. The Wizard of Oz parallels did not escape me either. Confirming for me that Peter was Dorothy on the yellow brick road.

The dream sequence, this time, is filled with symbolism. CHOICES. It was a little difficult to figure out what Walter said at first, but I do know both Walter and Olivia said that Peter wanted waffles. This I liken to wanting to go home to his family. He is OK with pancakes, on the other hand. Could that also mean he was willing to settle for what he has here in the current timeline. The waffle iron was broken. It was referred as the machine. Do you think the actual MACHINE needed fixing too?

The first seven episodes was designed to entice new viewers, without having to catch up on past seasons. That's the reason for the reiteration of details. This episode is a departure point for the rest of the season. Definitely feeling a forward momentum here. None of the echoes from the past are stale when they are brought in along with the threat to the alternate universe. It's good to have Secretary Bishop on same side for a change.

And Peter... He has earned my respect for the first time, without saying a word. He has validated my unfailing faith in alt-Olivia. "Peter said at the end of the day, you're a good person. You'd do the right thing."

The brief reappearance of September brings up many questions. He was definitely pulled from time to deliver Olivia the message. From what timeline did he come? Could it be the future? Observers have the ability to be at any point in time. Why would he appear now? This signifies a critical point of change. Did he do anything to save her himself? Who shot him? His dying breath warning that Olivia has to die in all possible futures, reminded me of the end of 3x19 Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, when Olivia knew Man X would kill her. This just rang a bell in my head. It was Olivia's death in the future that triggered Peter's decision to bridge the universe, in the first place. Well, so much for guessing what comes next.

On a scale of "You've lost me." and "I see where this is going.", I am at "This has always been and still is a good mystery."


T mags said...

Ok. One question. Does she have to die die, or Buffy die? This is Fringe afterall. It's like Dark Shadows, (the original) just because you die doesn't mean your dead.


Xindilini said...

Hello T-Mag,
I don't know. But it seems unusual that September said, "You have to die." instead of just "You die."
It could be fake death or cheated death. I hope this is explained as well.

Julie said...

I love this show!!! The more questions I have the more in love I'm with it!!! It's so exciting!!! I can't wait to see what's next!!

Zepp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zepp said...

I liked your reflections, Xindilini. The observer September is an "entity" means fatalistic and melodramatic. Among other phrases "fatal" that it is the end of the 3rd season: "Peter never existed ..." And Peter, for his part, refused to be something that "never existed", and now he not only "exists" as is "alive and well," as he is the principal figure in the worlds of Fringe. Now, at the end of this episode, September appears to Olivia, almost dead, and says, "You have to die, Olivia…," and disappears. This suggests that Olivia is well and live long. The Observer September, is truly the greatest unknown of Fringe, in fact, I think, he is one of the personalities, the most important of Fringe, I venture to say that it is a “cause” Fringe, even what he says often happens to the contrary. Of course, I'm saying is one too many, no doubt. But one thing can notice that when the September speech, or utters a sentence, things get, somehow, to change the universes of Fringe. Or am I wrong?

Xindilini said...

Hi Zepp,
What September says does seem to happen, perhaps because he has witnessed it. Yet unexpected events do occur as well.
There is logic in what you are saying.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

(typos repaired)

"Olivia will die regardless of any timeline."

Of course! Everyone I know is MORTAL. Therefore everyone I know will die, regardless of the timeline they occupy. You can’t get around that. Now if anyone I knew were IMMORTAL – me telling them that they will die, regardless of the timeline they follow – would equate to me telling them that they are NOT IMMORTAL anymore. Perhaps that is what The Observer was telling Olivia – she is not immortal (anymore).

I suspect that Olivia and Peter both are immortals (or were). Proof? How about Sam Weiss’s museum scroll hidden in the “Key”. The one with their images written on it. Immortals? A circular document that is continuous when you bring the opposing edges together, and a product of The First People.

I think the injury to The Observer is from the same forces that were hunting the Observers in “Fracture”. The Colonel that was arranging the human bombs is still at-large. Peter never hunted him down using his Baghdad connections. The Observers are being targeted, and it is likely this action is associated with DR Jones and the current shapeshifter conspiracy.

Xindilini said...

Hey DocH,
How are you doing?

I am impressed how thorough you are. I don't have it in me to pick at the series to pieces.

So is that IMMORTALITY for Peter and Olivia, eternal life or one that repeats itself? I never thought about this before.

I've been toying with the idea that Sam has been meeting his younger selves. Throughout the passing of The First People book. They are all named Sam Weiss because they are all him.

By the way, I lost the close caption feed since analog broadcast went digital. Apparently VCRs are antiquated. That's why I haven't been over at Fringepedia lately.

Shawn Mahone said...

The observer said in Firefly that he can see all paths but does not know which one will play out or how it will affect the people around the events taking place. So where he could not foresee that Roscoes sons death would be the particular consequence of Peter being saved...he cannot tell what Peter's existence will do on Olivia's existence so to speak.

Thus Peter becomes a wild card in this whole process. If Peter can stop the observers then that takes out a certain element in all of this. I mean is Olivia's death in all timelines predicated on Peter returning home? If so does Peter have to stay in this timeline to avoid the death of the woman he does love in his own time? Does he have to sacrifice his happiness for the greater good?

Olivia's life being threatened could be the deciding factor that stops Peter trying to go home.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the biggest reveals in this episode was the comment by Peter that Olivia has the latent ability to pass between universes because of her Cortexiphan history. It sort of winged her, but was just a grazing shot that ricocheted away.

The whole Cortexiphan subplot has taken a back seat this season. All of the data we know from the previous timeline has not been experienced yet by the the key players in this timeline. Astrid has a vague idea. Olivia only just a bit more. Cameron blasted the big blue energy ball into Reiden Lake and we got Peter to finally show his face. Now Nina and her sneaky injections - she is the one that has a Cortexi-clue. She has Walter's test data archived at MassDyn, and probably Bell's too.

The show may veer around some over the years, but like The X-Files, will always return to the underlying main theme. In our case - Olive, Pete, Observers, First People and Cortexi-skills. Anyone, or thing, else is just a protagonist/antagonist.

The IMMORTALITY of Pete/Olive is probably not the "Eternal Life" concept of immortality, since we know they both have versions of themselves that have died in other universes and/or timelines... BUT - in the infinite number of universes in the multiverse, maybe there is JUST ONE Olive (of the infinite number of Olive's) and JUST ONE Pete (of the infinite number of Pete's) that are truly Eternal Immortals. I think this Pete is the Immortal version of all Pete's. Since this timeline's Olivia just got the bad news from The Observer she is not immortal - that leaves red haired Bolivia as the next best guess as the Immortal Olivia. In fact, Agent Lee already started the schoolyard rumors that, at the end of the day Peter thinks she is a good egg.

bitchstolemyremote said...

Thought this was a great return to form. Although this season has felt a little rudderless, the fact that this episode was meant to be the fall finale would have been SO much more effective!

Clearly there's still a lot of potential in these storylines, so let's hope that FOX does the right thing and let's the series play out for as long as it needs.

Check out our recap here:

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