Welcome back to the latest edition of TV Fanatic's Fringe Round Table!
Our Fringe critic, Carissa Pavlica, and fellow panelists Sean McKenna and Nick McHatton discuss this week's episode, "The Last Sam Weiss," in a Q&A below. Drop your own answers in the comments!
Did the reality of Sam Weiss live up to what you have been expecting?
Carissa: After hearing the producers talk about him, I was surprised he was just a normal guy. I loved the direction he took in this episode and how he made me laugh. That bit with the museum card had me in stitches. So he has vast generational knowledge only...I hope there is enough there to make him a more prevalent character going forward. Best Sam episode yet.
Sean: Sam had always been portrayed as some mystical and all knowing person, something similar to The Observers. The fact that he turned out to be a man with just vast generational knowledge keeps his character and the show grounded. I’m pleased with how his character has turned out.
Nick: Well, the chalkboard told me not to trust him so I trusted the chalkboard! The chalkboard is a liar. Honestly, I was expecting more from him because of it.
What was your favorite scene of "The Last Sam Weiss?"
Carissa: Narrowing this episode down to one favorite is nearly impossible. I love Sean's choices. Great stuff. But, I'll go with Walter sharing with Olivia what he has learned about living with his damaged brain. That was so emotional, and really the first time Walter acknowledged that the damage done may have actually served him well. If it keeps him from becoming Walternate, it was the best thing that ever happened to him!
Sean: Peter walking out onto the balcony as the camera panned back to reveal the rapid lighting strikes. Not only was it visually cool, but it also illustrated just how dangerous and imminent the culminating confrontation with the two universes is headed towards. Oh, and Sam Weiss, patron member since ‘82, was a great moment as well.
Nick: The last few minutes of the episode were my absolute favorite. Peter entering the machine and the journey he's taken with Olivia to get there. And then the flash forward, I never saw it coming, and I absolutely loved it. I was on the edge of my seat and my heart was racing. I couldn't get enough of it. It's been a very long time since an episode of television has gotten me that engaged.Do you believe we will actually have replacement WTC buildings by the year 2021?
Carissa: I really don't, and it upsets me. I do love that these two episodes are taking place around the death of Bin Laden. Great timing. More so, I love the constant reminder that Fringe lays in our laps. If you watch, you aren't allowed to forget what a huge sacrifice was made on that day. Other shows (with the exception of Rescue Me) seem to steer clear of the memory.
Sean: That’s an interesting question, especially with the current news about Bin Laden. It’s hard to say but there was something pretty remarkable viewing another one standing in its place, along with the tablet dedicated to the memory of those lost on 9/11 exactly twenty years later. It really is something to never forget.
Nick: I would like to have something there by 2021. It's hard to imagine twenty years after the fact not having anything the replacements up. Especially with Bin Laden killed this week.
Now that Olivia has "mastered" her telekinesis, do you think it will be used more often in future storylines?
Carissa: While I don't want to see her turn into Samantha Stevens from Bewitched or something, I think it could be used here and there to add a little humor to the more dire moments. Unless it really zaps her energy. I guess when you can pick up a spoon from across the room without your energy being zapped, walking over would be the better choice.
Sean: Perhaps it will pop up here and there in season 4, but I could almost see that a future storyline takes those powers away from her as well.
Nick: Maybe, although I don't feel like it's something the show necessarily needs.
It's one episode away. Your guess at the finale - what will happen, how do we move into season four (squeeee!)?
Carissa: I just don't know at this point. If I'm going to guess, I think Nick's scenario comes pretty close, but in a way to ensure the other universe remains in tact. Perhaps Peter's view of the future enables him to come up with a way to save both, and allow for interaction between the two that will facilitate restoring both worlds to health. I wonder if Peter will come back from the future with knowledge of Henry. There is no way he could destroy the other universe knowing his son is there. Now, there is also a part of me that wouldn't be at all upset if the show lived forever in the future. If Desperate Housewives can go five, why can't Fringe go 10?
Sean: There’s so many directions and possibilities that the show could take. I’m certain Fauxlivia will find a way to help the other universe. Will the entire show time jump to the future? I could almost see Peter attempting to find a way to course correct the events of the past and maintain both universes. Hopefully, Walternate meets his end, as he doesn’t seem to be looking for any sort of redemption or hope. As for season 4, I’m sure the repercussions of the finale will be key for what happens next. I’m just excited to see what actually takes place, especially with all the characters’ new haircuts.
Nick: This question has been sitting blank for a while now as I try to put together something better than "hnghh" for an answer. The best guess I can come up with is as Peter went forward in time he took out the alternate universe. By doing so, he sparked Walternate's need for revenge causing something dire to happen in the future. This will propel us into season four with Peter back in the present working with everyone else to try to make sure the future he saw doesn't happen.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.