Fringe Round Table: "The End of All Things"

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"The End of All Things" was bittersweet in that it was a fantastic episode... leading into four weeks of nothing.

To keep things afloat in the meantime, staff writers Nick McHatton, Sean McKenna, and Carissa Pavlica are joined by Fringe analyst Nick Shere to run down their thoughts on the latest episode. Won't you join them?


What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Nick: Hard to say since I liked so much, but probably the exchange Peter had with Observer. The look on his face when he saw Henry was wrenching.

Nick S: The observation deck, of course. Past Fringeception journeys have been mostly psychological, all about inner reality. This time we go the far other end -- so objective as to be outside space and time.

Sean:  I really enjoyed Peter entering the observers mind. Not only was that a callback to the earlier seasons (as was turning on the light), but we finally discovered what the Observers were. Oh, and gazing out into space and time is pretty cool.

Carissa: Olivia telling Peter she loved him. Never has she been so pure of heart and open with her feelings as she was in that moment. She was willing to do anything not to lose him. She has to be the right Olivia for him.

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The Observers are human. Possible future spawn of Peter and Olivia? If Olivia contributes cortexiphan to the mix, what does Peter bring?
Nick: ...the special sauce? Peacoats? Charm? Peter's role has always been the variable, and how things always change depending on what his value is. Is he present? Which universe is he in? How will his choices directly influence the world? That would certainly explain why September called Henry an anomaly.

Nick S: Maybe just good genetics. Judging by his father and grandfather, those Bishop/Bischoff genes are the good stuff. However, there have also been a number of events in Peter's life that could have changed him in ways that might conceivably be passed on to his offspring: crossing over and living in a universe other than his own for longer than anyone else, the cure for Peter's disease, being "weaponized" by The Machine -- not to mention being ripped out of existence and pulled back into it.

Sean: Hmm, I wonder... can they be the spawn of Peter and Olivia? I think Peter certainly brings his ability to rock a peacoat and his ability to survive pretty much everything.

Carissa: It does seem the world at large believes the Observers will be what becomes of the children of Peter and Olivia. I had no idea what Peter might bring to the equation, other than being hot and smart, until I read Nick S's answer. Smarty pants.

After this episode, have your views on where Peter is changed? Where do you stand now?
Nick: Not really, I'm still with him on going back to his timeline.

Nick S: No. As far as that question goes, this episode had all the hallmarks of being Not The Whole Story. Peter was seriously leaping to conclusions in his interpretation of the Observer's message.

Sean: I don't know. I'm sure Fringe will pull another twist out of the bag and throw us all for a loop. If anything I love that Peter remains determined even with all the obstacles placed in his path.

Carissa: I still truly believe he is in the right place. I was horribly wrong in my assessment of the Nina situation, so I may be wrong here. But they feel more right together than ever before. Peter has to be home.

What did you think of Blair Brown's first portrayal of a pair of Alts on screen?
Nick: She did great! The wonderful thing with how Nina is written and how she plays her is that the character is a chameleon and you never know what her plan is or which side she's on. So watching both Ninas and wondering if there is a good or bad one takes me back to Season 1.

Nick S: It was pretty great, but I'm holding out for a climactic arm wrestling contest.

Sean: Eh, it didn't do much for me. Mostly because Nina hasn't been a character I've really cared about and because I knew she was faking being Olivia's Nina. I never bought her act for a second.

Carissa: I thought she did great. The floppy, almost scuzzy alternate person she is in the other universe kind of grossed me out. She's the worse of the worst of the alts.

Crystal ball prediction time: what happens next?
Nick: I'm still sticking to my theory that the old timeline is bleeding through onto this one, but I am wondering if this really is Peter's timeline and a reintegration is happening or if this timeline is just a pitstop. What's driving me absolutely bonkers is that Peter was supposedly supposed to be cured in the altverse but September screwed that up. So wouldn't that just screw up everything else? Wouldn't everything that happen after that be an anomaly too? Or it because one Peter was always supposed to die that as long as Peter hooked up with the right Olivia everything is peachy? I need some Olivia drugs to cure this migraine coming on.

Nick S: We know that in the past, at least one villain (Raymond Gordon) believed that the Observers were plotting the end of our universe, and was actively trying to interfere with them. It was unclear whether or not Gordon was with ZFT, but he wasn't acting alone -- it may be that he was working with the earlier incarnation of Jones. So, what if the current incarnation of Jones is pursuing that same agenda now -- ultimately leading to a showdown between him and The Observers, with the Fringe team caught in the middle?

Sean: What happens next? Season renewal! Ok, well, I guess I have feeling that the Observers are going to play a pretty important role with Peter and the rest of the Fringe group trying to keep up... and probably someone will die.

Carissa: Peter puts together what happened. He replays his discussion with September and realizes he never mentioned time, only Olivia. He realizes he did mention that stepping into the machine changed everything and sets out to find what everything really means to his world now. Oh, and a five season renewal because some billionaire who loves the series leaves an endowment in trust only for the production of Fringe.

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 Season 4 Episode 14 Quotes

Olivia Dunham. I've waited so very long to meet you.

David Robert Jones

I don't know you that well, but I'd like to think you weren't ignoring her safety for personal reasons. And that you aren't ignoring me right now!