Fringe Round Table: "Nothing As It Seems"

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This week our erstwhile panel of Fringe writers and experts digs into "Nothing As It Seems."

Below, staff writers Sean McKenna, Nick McHatton, Carissa Pavlica and Fringephile Nick Shere give their $5 examination of last week's episode and look forward to what comes next. Enjoy, and add your own answers in the comments!


What was your favorite scene/quote?

Nick S: The incredibly awkward conversation between Lincoln and Peter in the car. It's not the best moment in the episode, but it demonstrates something I really admire about how Fringe handles storylines about alternate selves: It respects self-determination. On some shows (say, Doctor Who), a character like Lincoln might feel both obligated and entitled to step in and try to save "his" Olivia from herself.

Sean: The final one. Not only did I like that a story we had already seen before had been revisited, but it extended itself into some ominous boat where the giant porcupine creatures were locked up. And so the plot thickens...

Nick M: The hug between Peter and Walter.

Carissa: Have to agree with McHatton on this one... the hug between Peter and Walter said so much and yet so little. It was perfect.

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What did you make of Walter's opening of Peter's birthday gifts?

Nick S: It was incredibly cute. Also: HUMP magazine? Fantastic.

Sean: It was a good scene. There's something really good about seeing Walter happy rather than nervous or paranoid when it can come to the cases.

Nick M: Very in character for Walter. I liked that there was at least one present in there that Peter did get to enjoy.

Carissa: I’m hoping it’s his acceptance of Peter as his son. Lincoln knows Olivia is his Olivia, so everyone else is getting the idea that Peter is “home,” right?

What did you think of Peter and Lincoln's discussion about Olivia?

Nick S: Er, I guess I jumped the gun with the first question.

Sean: On the one hand I feel bad for Lincoln because there is that sentiment for Olivia. However, the two guys were able to actually have that discussion without fisticuffs and it is hard to break up a happy couple no matter how crazy the alternate reality or time line changes. Great convo between the two.

Nick M: Incredibly awkward, but I'm glad they got it over and done with. Once again though, Lincoln now feels like the odd man out. Where does his character go now? For most of the series we've built towards Peter and Olivia and their bond, how they work together to save the universes, and their future together.

Carissa: It was awkward but well done. I was happy that Peter took the leap after giving poor Lincoln advice on how to win her heart. I mean, OUCH. It just sucks all around.

The old case that was rewritten; did you like how that played out? Thoughts?

Nick S: I love how Fringe does foreshadowing and call-backs. It helps to stitch the show together and to give expanded meaning to early episodes that may feel like one-off narrative dead ends.

Sean:  I liked it because it essentially added layers to the original story while making it its own. It was cool going back to something from the show's beginning and giving us a chance to take it further in a different direction.

Nick M: This case wasn't that great the first time around, but I did like the ending and everyone worked together.

Carissa: I thought it was fun. I can distinctly remember the chick in the kitchen the first time, and thinking she was talking to her cat. Her cat turned out to be a big freak of nature. I love that stuff!

Open forum. GO!


Sean: Just a thought I had and I'm not sure if the show would ever do it but what if Fringe pulls another switch and it turns out Olivia really isn't Peter's Olivia? I know the Observers are kind of the Mr. Know It Alls of the universe, but they've been wrong before with Peter, right? I guess I love how this show makes you think and formulate all those wacky theories.

Nick M: Will the "old" personalities continue to play out with the rest of the team like Olivia? Or is she the exception?

Carissa: I would like the next 7 episodes to play straight this Friday night, so if Fox would be so kind as to accommodate, I’d appreciate it. This waiting a week in between is a raw deal!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the (), 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 16 Quotes

Why should I expect that because you and I are back together that everything is going to be fine and that the world is going to live up to my every expectation?


Forty percent of all the information you provided is not correct. Which as far as the tenth floor is concerned means you are not the agent they licensed.