Fringe Review: Worlds Apart ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Review: Worlds Apart

      Email Post       4/28/2012 05:27:00 AM      


“Every war has a cost.”

Now we know. No—that’s not right. Now we think we know Jones’s master plan, and we think we know his motives (basic megalomaniacal world destruction, with animal accompaniment). What matters more, however, is the damage he has caused. Not earthquake damage, although of course that is significant, but damage to the sense of community that has, for the past few episodes, been growing between the two worlds.


This season has not focused on Over There quite as much as I would have liked, but that made the Over There episodes all the more interesting for their rarity. Seeing that world felt like chancing upon an old friend in an unexpected place. That Over There made Lincoln “Clark Kent” Lee feel tethered made it all the more interesting of late, as Lincoln seemed to be thriving in his new environment. Hooray!

Alas, I hoorayed too soon. The loss of Over There, including our loss of Lincoln Lee, feels like finding out that an old and beloved (although seldom-seen) friend has died. I will miss Walternate, Fauxlivia, Other-Astrid, and—above all—Lincoln Lee. I will miss making jokes about coffee shortages. And I will miss they way the two universes played off of each other, with each character learning something about themselves and their potential from their doppelganger.

This season began with a profound sadness, which Olivia described as a “hole in her life.” There’s an Over-There-shaped hole in Over Here now, and vice versa. The destruction of the bridge, and the removal of our other set of heroes, almost could have been a season finale (although that would have been even more upsetting). It feels like Fringe is winding down, shucking off the extraneous bits to make the final showdown of this season more tense and taut. Nonetheless, I hope this severance is not permanent.

Maybe it is not. I might be remembering this wrong (if I am, please correct me in the comments), but wasn’t Alt-Broyles tasked to blow up the machine while working for Jones? Assuming that Jones intended him to succeed, wouldn’t that mean that Jones wanted the worlds split again? If so, didn’t the team just do his work for him? And wouldn’t that mean…something? (If Jones did not want Alt-Broyles to succeed, then Alt-Broyles is in prison for a greater purpose, which puts an interesting spin on things.)

Regardless, Jones’s plan is provocative in its simplicity. Destroy two universes in order to create a Big Bang presided over by him, on a tiny “island” with a bunch of creepy animals. Why would anyone want to do that? What would the results be like? Walter’s delightful slides made the world-smooshing seem like Big-Bang levels of chaos. Who can rule that or thrive in it? How much power does Jones even have?

He certainly has a near-messianic power over his followers. There have been intimations of his ability to inspire devotion, but Nick Lane’s unshakable faith shakes my own certainty in Jones’s villainy. The two worlds are not at war: that we know. But might there be another reason for Jones’s actions? Maybe he is lying to his followers to convince them, but wants to save the world. Although it does not, these days, seem to need saving. (I should stop trying to anticipate what happens next, shouldn’t I?)

The return of Nick Lane from Season One’s “Bad Dreams” was interesting and fascinating: Olivia remembers him now, even though he recognizes her only from childhood. He seems to have thoroughly bought Jones’s disinformation. His story about his sister Kendra was heart-breaking, especially since it was implicitly contrasted with Over-There Nick, who mentioned that Lincoln had dated Kendra. O-T Nick said her name with such ease that I assume Kendra is still alive; that would make sense, as her death was a result of Bell’s and Walter’s experiments and their effect on Nick’s latent reverse-empathy. Subtle heartbreak: Fringe does it so well.

Now that we know Fringe will have a 13-episode fifth season, I have more confidence in this season. Sure, it might end with a dud, and Jones’s plan is still weirdly sketchy. But 13 episodes and a solid end-date gives the writers a chance to go out with a bang, to tie up loss ends, and to make sure that everything winds up with rainbows, puppies, and red licorice growing from trees. Because that is how this will end. Right?

Just Go With It:

• Walternate: “If I have learned one thing, it’s that anything is possible.” There is something oddly solipsistic about being validated by one’s counterpart, isn’t there?

• Walter: “Oh, she’s pretty.” Interesting callback to last week’s episode.

• Walter: “Have you ever tried LSD?”

• Peter: “If the bridge does have to be closed, at least everything goes back to the way it’s supposed to be.”

• Great shot of Lincoln in a mirror when he was talking to Peter.

• While all the counterpart conversations were wonderful, Walter and Walternate in the bridge hallway was the best. Other-Astrid’s small wave is a close second, though.

• Did anyone else wonder if the Fringe teams would get re-ordered as the bridge was destroyed? Other-Astrid Over Here, for instance, and the Walters swapped?

• My DVR insists that this episode is called “World’s Apart.” As I cannot make heads or tails of that apostrophe, I have decided to remove it.


Four out of four rainbows


(Josie Kafka reviews episodes of Fringe, Awake, Vampire Diaries, and Game of Thrones for billiedoux.com.)

27 Comments:

shorrai said...

Always look forward to your review...well done!

belle98 said...

One of the best episodes ever.

I cried last night which I normally do not do during a Fringe episode but seeing and hearing the conversation between the two Walters was more than I could handle. And loosing Lincoln sent me into a crying fit.

Beautifully written episode and beautifully written review of this amazing episode.

scully8 said...

Wow . . . I hate that we loss the Altverse, although I'm not so sure we've seen the last of them. However, the one character I won't miss is Lincoln Lee. He never grew on me . . . he didn't really seem essential to the team. I wish him much happiness in the AltWorld and if we see him again, I won't be overjoyed, but I won't be made. :)

ToxicCrusader said...

Absolutely amazing episode - the favourite scene for me being the part at the end where everyone was saying their goodbyes to their alternate versions. Walter and Walternate looking at each other while the power surged through the machine sums up how amazing the scene was

And in response to the review - Jones wanted Alt-Broyles to place a device on the machine that would collapse both universes (according to Walter), which is the same end to which the Cortexiphan subjects were working towards. It's possible that this was his Plan B, and AltBroyles placing the device on the machine was his Plan A.

Unknown said...

Did anyone remember last week's episode?I think that why the other universe wasn't even mentioned once-because the bridge was severed in this ep! And the promo for next week mentions Bell, so it might mean the whole future stuffs that happened last week,will eventually come true-in season 5!!

Old Darth said...

Amazing journey that has made the closing of a door to a universe, once thought hostile, now a moment of sadness akin to seeing goodbye to family and friends.

Yeah, I definitely had something in my eyes for the last few minutes of this one.

Moasey said...

The scene between Walter and Walternate in the hallway was a special one indeed. Just gorgeous acting...and I loved how the visual effects team had Walternate's head flowing infront of Walter's body as he was sitting down beside him on the floor. It just added even more realness to to the already beautiful mement! I will miss Fauxlivia the most (followed closely by Alt-Astrid) if we have said goodbye for good to Over-There :(

Gran said...

I did not cry, but felt sad to see Lincoln, and alt Astrid, Walter and Olivia disappear. Great episode, and wonderful review.

hellrasinbrasin said...

I liked how the anger that Walternate had held towards Walter by the time of Worlds Apart had turned into sympathy.

Mosaic_Hyde said...

It was an "I'll miss you too, scarecrow" episode end to be sure.

mdtauk said...

Blue Titles next week I wonder...

TaoJones said...

I'm a big fan of the show and science fiction in general but come on! Jones wanted to collapse both universes to cause another big bang and create a new universe in which he would rule? Really? Even for science fiction that is way over the top! I guess Jones must be immortal if he can wait millions of years for the a new universe to create itself, atmospheres to form, teutonic stabilization, etc. and everything else that would have to occur before a planet could support life... It would have made more sense if he just came up with a plan that wiped out all human life and he could use the existing planets.

JonasSH said...

TaoJones, I kind of agree with you, and if that is the case, it seems completely off. However, I don't imagine a collapse of the universes would mean a new big bang like the one we're familiar with, at least not with all that "the eye of the storm" stuff going on. But I suppose it's just my way of making the show somewhat fringe-believable to me.

wetcat said...

I wanted to break into the war room brain-storming scene and make a suggestion, if I understood how the Cortexiphan kids and their doubles were connecting. If they were connecting to each other, across universes, which was causing the disturbance, wouldn't Nick Lane's relocation to our universe render CortexiNick's influence powerless? Why not move all of the red universe doubles to the blue? They wouldn't have any scary powers, they have show-me trackers, and you could avoid all of the explaining by kidnapping. Even if half were moved, I doubt the electromagnetic disturbance would have enough kick. Somebody please explain to me what was going on, if I'm totally off. Something tells me none of the logic holds water this time. I'm with Josie- I feel like I should care, but the big plot doesn't make sense.

The one thing I really liked, but no one has mentioned, is the contrast of rainbows and Noah's ark. In the Bible, after the flood and after the ark had safely come to rest on a mountain, the first rainbow was given as God's sign to Noah that he would never flood the whole world again. Does that mean that the red universe is at risk for a flood with the removal of the sign of promise?

Roberto Avanzi said...

@TaoJones, what do you mean by "teutonic stabilization"? That the germans stop to wage war? ;-)

Roberto (German)

Roberto Avanzi said...

@wetcat, no that would not work, because the alternates still vibrate at the frequency of their home universe also when they are in the other one. Remember when Olivia could "see" this thanks to her cortexiphan-enabled abilities, and realize Peter was from out there because of the glimmer?

crol said...

Hi! my real first thought watching the episode was at the end, what if they had got the sides wrong, and the blueverse team ended up in the red universe and vice versa? lol
My other thought was that drj was maybe manipulated by the observers, who started the whole business by distracting walternate when he was making the cure for peter, therefore making peter -who is unique- travel to blueverse, and destabilisating the 2 universes. Being the "key", he -peter-was allowed to live, so he could create, with walter, the universe bridge, then gotten rid of as wanted the observers ( last episode season 3). Based on what I saw in the 19 episode, I think that what would have happened is not destruction of the universes but fusion of the two to create a third, which is the one we saw in 19, and the reason why the observers will hunt the fringe crew, so they will not be able to oppose the invasion of the observers. and I'm not talking resistance, but real manipulation of the universes, maybe even a return to pure blue...
ps does anybody know what septembre want to congratulate walter when he distracted him from finding peters' cure? Important or not? take care

jophan said...

Personally, I think Bell has been behind everything since the beginning. I look forward to seeing if I'm right (for once).

Zepp said...

I have read and reflect your thoughts on those described herein with respect to this 20th episode, “Words Apart” Josie, and I liked sincerely thank you for your post. Fringe I see is showing us only duplicate existential characters as if they had personalities of twins, but even with similar life experiences, are definitely different human beings, living places and situations that are not so well correlated. One point I see similarity in the factor emotion is intrinsic to each. The Walter and Walternate, Olivia and Fauxlivia, the alt-Astrid and Astrid, the alt-Broyles and Broyles, all of them, but Peter and Mr. Jones did not, has his alter ego in the corresponding universes. This people and their copies are different in the way they act or think, but definitely seem to me emotionally the same. Peter is what seems to be a type of person a "two" worlds, as a "universal being" similar, more or less as they are the Observers. Peter always seemed to be a kind of "key" to solving any problems that may occur in some universe of Fringe, and this comes from the time that Olivia went to Baghdad to pick it up and get to it Walter, who was admitted to the asylum. Now, in this episode, Peter was instrumental because he initiated the shutdown of the machine, to separate universes connection. When I think quickly in case of Fringe, I see that the initial action, the initiative part of Olivia, Walter in, see how to solve any problem and in general, as a means of resolution, or coming to a final action, Peter. But alongside Peter (the good), this is the “bad” Mr. Jones, or the dangerous villain of all universes. Peter, and Jones, form a dynamic duo antagonistic Fringe, which "walks" here and there, in fights against each other, in whatever place you are dimensional, I see. Until now, when Mr. Jones invests in a bad action, and Peter, one way or another evil that undoes the (great) villain. Right now, in this episode 420, Jones began a kind of "Big Bang" between universes, and Peter was there, and simply turned off the machine, and "adiĆ³s muchacho!" It is undoubtedly a kind of fight between the cat and mouse. And besides, this is a fight that does not have any idea who will win not, without the slightest idea who will win. What we know is that in the future, Peter will be immersed in a bubble of amber being saved by his daughter, Etta, but that's another story to be told better.

The reality - or unreality - is now another, because we will not have interactions between the teams Fringe of the universes connected. It is each in its proper place in the corner talking or your proper frequency. Are we going to miss the presence of Walternate and his commands? Or, you may not have the Walter and his lab, is not it? The deal is expected to see.

milostanfield said...

I sure hope Agent Tim's gonna be OK. Just sayin'.

milostanfield said...

I may be reading too much into a Peter look, but at the end, after the separation, when Walter says that he will miss them more than he realized, Peter smiles that little smile. Does he know something? That maybe the separation isn't permanent after all?

wileycoyote said...

I am bummed the other universe is gone (for now). I like the faux Olivia better than the original now. Glad the series was picked up for a finale so they can finish it up right.

Drew106 said...

Could Jones not be lying? The "other side" is not the alt-universe, but the Observer invasion?

~Drew

Tejas Green said...

I didn't follow why the Fringe team thought capturing the one guy would stop the earthquakes? He was one of what, 26 people? So why all the time spent on catching the one guy and not the rest? Maybe I just missed that part, as I was flipping back a bit to watch a ball game at the same time. What can I say, I multi-task!

Francisco Solares-Larrave said...

Roberto, I think TaoJones meant to say "tectonic" instead. I too found the phrase a bit... stilted.

On the subject at hand... while I watched the episode I couldn't help thinking "lame, lame, lame"... until the scenes when they start the closure of the bridge. Once again, I had to pinch myself to remember that Fauxlivia and Olivia are played by the same actress, because their interaction was so incredibly well done that anyone would have taken them for twins. There is, of course, John Noble's Walters sitting on the floor in the hallway, pondering where science has taken them... I had to change my mind about the episode. As it usually happens, "Fringe" takes you from A to anywhere but Z with a bang...

Boy, will I miss Faux...

AmbroseCadwell said...

I thought the conversation between the two Walters was especially well done in terms of technical skill. With just a couple of shots they completely threw the 'cloning-CGI-via-conspicuously-nobody-crossing-the-middle-of-the-screen' technique out the window. Which I like a lot.

Unknown said...

@wetcat. Ditto. That's what seemed the most logical to me. If they were pulling the universes together using the Cortex kids, why not release the tension by bringing them to the same universe so they were unable to pull the other universe into the "original."

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