Fringe Season Finale Round Table: "The Day We Died"

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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 the season finale of Fringe, "The Day We Died," in a Q&A below.

It was a jaw dropper, for sure! We'd love to hear your own answers to the questions, so feel free to drop them in the comments.


What do you think of Olivia’s choice to not want to have a child with Peter?

Carissa: Given the obvious decision on Peter's part, gave up a lot to be with her. It's too bad he didn't know he had a child. He could have been a part of Henry's life and it might have goaded Olivia into changing her views on the issue. But, none of that will ever happen now. I'm so confused.

Sean: I don’t blame her choice either Nick, but Peter made a great point. There are still plenty of families surviving in that tumultuous time. As much as you want to protect a child from the horrors, you shouldn’t give up on the assumption that the world is going to end. It might not.

Nick: I can't really blame her since the world is ending.

Was Ella a good addition to the Fringe Team and the finale in general?

Carissa: At first I thought Ella was Olivia and Peter's daughter, forgetting that she had a niece. One thing that having the character on screen did make me notice was the absence of Olivia's sister at her funeral. The funeral that didn't really happen.

Sean: Ella who? For a moment I forgot all about her character, as the last time she even appeared was far earlier in the season. Overall it was an interesting idea, especially with showing how the universe problems impacted children in the future. Unfortunately, it felt flat to me, and more of a throw away character. Plus, most likely we won’t even see her adult self again.

Nick: It's a good idea on paper to get a glimpse to how Ella turns out, but actually watching it on screen is a different story. Unfortunately, she really didn't have much an impact on me nor the finale really. To me she just felt like the character thrown into the time jump in order to prove what we're witnessing is really the future.

Theories on how Joshua Jackson will return to Fringe?

Carissa: I'm guessing he's going to play a completely different character. A doppelganger. Doppelgangers are all the rage. Or, and I never even thought of this. Peter was born, to our Walter, and we've never met him. He'd be a completely different person, but still Peter. Just because Walternate's Peter never existed, doesn't mean our Peter never existed. He just didn't get the disease and die. Oooh! I like my answer.

Sean: I’m predicting one character will start hearing his voice or getting some sort of sixth sense vibe. Maybe the Observers made a mistake and they’ll have to bring him back. He can’t be gone forever, especially because he brings a great personality and charm to both his character and the show in general. It can’t be Fringe without Joshua Jackson.

Nick: I shouted so much profanity at my TV when Peter disappeared I would have made sailors jealous. Especially when no one in the room noticed he vanished. My guess is, since the observers said "he never existed" Peter is somewhere he can exist. Maybe with the machine and the first people? I honestly have no idea how they're going to bring him back.

Given the ending, do we know anything about our characters, or nothing at all?

Carissa: I have no idea. Peter drove so much of the storyline that if he didn't exist, then those stories will be completely changed. We can't even just take it back to the first episode, because Peter's existence influenced the lives of both Walters and Olivia since he was about 10 years old. That's a lot of time for characters to build based upon certain events. I think we will be looking at new personalities on old characters, which is basically like knowing nothing at all.

Sean: Well, after shouting out “What the Fringe!?” with Peter’s disappearance, it’s hard to say. Sure, there might be a few minor differences with his absence. In all honesty though, no real time elapsed between the last episode and the finale. We know how they might act if that particular future comes to fruition, but in present time it hasn’t. Ultimately none of those actions or decisions might ever take place. I’m sure it will all unfold itself next season, but it’s really too early to know the repercussions of Peter’s actions.

Nick: I still believe they're the characters we all know, but just like before when we were introduced to the alternate universe the characters are largely the same but with subtle differences. I'm guessing they largely behave the same and made the same mistakes just tweaked to do so without Peter.

The finale ended down in the ratings. Do you think the finale will help or hurt the season premieres ratings next year?

Carissa: Judging from the overall reaction in the comments, I wasn't the only one who was underwhelmed and disappointed in the finale. While that won't stop me from watching, it might stop others. I have to disagree with Sean. Since the series is, in effect, starting over, maybe it will bring new viewers to the table. You never know.

Sean: Oh, the ratings system. It’s so hard to tell, but most likely the next season will either garner similar ratings or drop lower. With it being season 4, it’s going to be hard to gain new viewers who haven’t watched from the beginning, so I don’t doubt if Fringe will find itself on the bubble again next year. However, I know I will certainly be tuning in to find out what happened when fall rolls around! Where have you gone, Peter Bishop?

Nick: Ratings are a fickle beast, so it's hard to crystal ball, and from what I've read online on Twitter and on TV Fanatic the finale was polarizing. Will people tune in during the Fall (assuming that's when Fox schedules it)? Absolutely, and ratings will probably be up a bit too since less people are out doing things. How it goes from there is anyone's guess with time slot competition, how the fans react, etc.

Do you think that Walternate will actually be willing to work with the other universe or will he still be intent on its destruction?

Carissa: Who knows? Since he son wasn't stolen, he might not have taken the intrusion to his universe as personally as he did up until now. We also don't know if a person actually crossed over and didn't leave, so might that have changed the effects of a short term crossover? Maybe only our side is affected now, and theirs is all peaches and cream. Right now, we know absolutely nothing.

Sean: Walternate is a crafty foe indeed. He may pretend to work with the other universe, but I think he still holds a lot of anger and resentment. He’s not going to go quietly either, so, his confrontational presence will still be a threat.

Nick: Walternate's a smart man, I'm sure he's willing to work and help out to save his universe. I don't think he'll actively try to help our side however (at least not in the beginning).

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.

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Fringe Quotes

I went beaver hunting in eastern Canada in the 70s. Of course, in those days, beaver hunting meant something else entirely.


Walter: How badly does it hurt?
Peter: There is no pain.

Fringe Music

  Song Artist
Song Poor Little Fool Ricky Nelson iTunes
Dear mr fantasy Dear Mr. Fantasy Traffic iTunes
Blue bayou Blue Bayou Roy Orbison iTunes