Fringe Season Finale Round Table: Now What?

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"Brave New World Part 2" would have worked very well as a series finale, but lucky fans around the world have 13 more episodes to discover just what the future of Fringe could look like.

But before we look forward, let's look back: Below, Round Table panelists Nick Shere, Sean McKenna, Nick McHatton and Carissa Pavlica discuss the finale and what might be coming. Gather around and jump in, TV Fanatics...


What was your biggest disappointment from the finale?

Nick S: "STASIS RUNES???" I mean, really, come on.

Sean: William Bell simply disappearing at the end. I know the world was saved but one ring of the bell and he gets to vanish as if it was no big deal? 

Nick M: I agree with Sean, they built up Bell to the point where something had to happen, and instead he just disappears.

Carissa: Bell just disappearing was very disappointing. I would have hoped for a bigger moment of truth between he and Walter, because Walter deserved it. It leaves the door open for Bell to return, but I'm not so sure that his role is that important to the end game for the fans.

Fringe Round Table Logo

Did Walter take the right action to stop the universes from collapsing?

Nick S: Yes. A huge part of Walter's story arc since Fringe Season 3 has been about learning when to sacrifice others for the greater good.

This is interesting, because American viewers are conditioned to expect the highest moral virtue to manifest as self-sacrifice, usually self-sacrifice motivated out of concern for loved ones. Walter's whole story is about moral problems that cannot be addressed in this way.

Sean: It was certainly a bold move and begged the question about sacrificing the life of one in order to save everyone else. I think he made the right choice, a tough choice, but the right choice because if he didn't make it, Bell would have won and it wouldn't have mattered if Olivia lived anyway.

Nick M: Absolutely, because he knew what would happen. Walter knew he could stop the collapse and save Olivia. He actually reverted back to mean Walter a little bit, and that's not something that happens if he doesn't know what he's doing.

Carissa: Yes, but I don't know that he would have made the same decision had he not been absolutely sure the amount of cortexiphan in her would regenerate her thanks to his lemon cake experiment. His confidence was riding high and the chance was small, in his mind, that permanent damage would be suffered.

Do you believe Walter's assessment that Olivia will be "normal" now?

Nick S: I'm guessing she'll be normal most of the time, but that as soon as we get used to thinking of her as Olivia 1.0, they'll sneak in a new power.

Sean: I agree with Nick. After all, she's always seemed "normal" and then when she really needed it, some power would pop up. This is Fringe after all.

Nick M: There's no such thing as normal in Fringe, so not at all.

Carissa: It's entirely possible that she will be normal and her baby will inherit everything else she had that wasn't. There's always a movie or two roaming around where the mother can utilize the baby's powers when needed. We already saw 2036, and while what we saw wasn't too out there, it was brief and Etta's full capabilities might have been hidden.

What's one thing you were hoping to see that you did not?

Nick S: There's a giant mad science monster ark. And yet, a marked lack of epic creature fights/chases/etc.

Sean:  I was kind of hoping to see more Observers or at least the lead in to that crazy 2036 episode. I know that technically the final moment might allude to their takeover, but I really enjoyed that episode and was hoping it would all tie in.

Nick M: I wanted to see something from the other side. Wasn't the "ark" on the other side?

Carissa: I can't put my finger on it, but I wanted to see something monumental. For the team to see what was on the arc, put their past cases and the creatures together to get the full scope of Bell's madness? It all just felt too easy with Bell escaping and the team not getting the big picture. Something tells me that whatever Bell was trying to do also helped anger the Observers in the future. I refuse to believe it's a "your earth wasn't green enough" lecture I'll be receiving after four years.

What are your predictions for the final 13 episodes?

Nick S: Well, they're going to need to connect up Evil Bell with the Observer occupation -- does Bell foresee the occupation, and is that why he tried to reboot the universe? Alternatively, do the Observers use Bell's actions to justify changing their non-involvement stance? Farther out...I hesitate to even guess.

Sean: Well, ultimately, I felt like this episode could have served as a great series finale, wrapping everything up and putting it in its place in a quiet but good way. As for the next 13? One final hurrah with a chance to simply go big because next season it all ends.

Nick M: It's kind of hard to say since this finale except for the final few seconds, was easily a series finale. I would love to go back to 2036 one more time, or the other side, but as far as predictions I can't say I have any - just hopes.

Carissa: Time jump. There's  no way to wrap things up satisfactorily without one. How much time I'll leave to the pros, but without skipping the small stuff, like pregnancy, birth, parenting, etc., we'll be wasting 13 episodes. I'll be happy with one "what was" episode showing how they got to the jump but now is not the time to sweat the small stuff. 

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 22 Quotes

At least now we know how you got shot. I've seen you shot before, like this. You came to me, at the opera house. You said in every version of the future, I would have to die.


The bible tells us God created his universe in seven days. It has taken me considerably longer.

William Bell