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Fringe Season 4: 5 Questions About “Wallflower”

What is causing people to die in mysterious (of course) and pale-skinned (less obvious) ways? This week’s Fringe may have answered that question, but it raised many more, not least about what’s going on with Olivia. Why, here are five questions about “Wallflower” right now!

Is Fringe The Most Pessimistic Optimistic Show on Television?
So that makes two episodes in a row where people have discovered the ability to use super-science in the name of love, only for that love to go ultimately unrequited and tragic in the end. Fringe really, really is amazingly depressing at times this year, and if your heart didn’t break just a little when Eugene died in the elevator at the end of Friday’s episode, I’m fully of the opinion that you’re a little dead inside. And yet, there’s something amazingly romantic at the heart (no pun intended, etc.) of the show this year – Love may not have conquered all, but its pursuit has pushed people to doing things that they may not have thought themselves capable of, whether it was creating a way (admittedly, somewhat gruesome) of trying to be seen or completing your wife’s life’s work and turning back time, literally. Add to that Lincoln’s smittenness with Olivia and Peter being willing to bend reality to find a way back to his Olivia, and there’s something rather wonderful about this season… Not to mention something more than a little foreboding. Because, as the last two episodes have proven, these things rarely end well.

Why Can’t Lincoln Sleep?
Okay, I know that we’re supposed to think that it’s just that he’s freaked out by everything he’s seen, but I’m not sure if that’s really the case, especially after the revelation about Olivia’s “migranes” at the end of the episode. If nothing else, as my wife pointed out, he’s looking and acting remarkably well for someone who hasn’t slept for weeks at this point. But I want his explanation to be true, because I really like Lincoln as the everyman character, who’s really good at his job but nonetheless completely and utterly out of his depth when it comes to processing the weirdness that is Fringe Science. Here’s another question, while I’m at it: What was with the new glasses that Peter gave him at the end? Were they the glasses of the Lincoln in the original timeline/reality, or am I missing something else…? And talking of Peter…

Is Peter Right About His Timeline Displacement?
Am I the only one who’s thrown by the speed at which Peter has become convinced that he’s definitely on a parallel Earth, and is working towards “escaping” – Or, for that matter, the insanity of his plan to escape, if it involves rebuilding a device that almost destroyed reality the last time it was used (And Broyles is letting him do this? Either Broyles has no idea what Peter is up to, or he’s up to something himself; maybe it’s just as simple as “At least this way, I’ll know what he’s doing”)? There wasn’t a lot of time spent on Peter this episode, which left no time for anyone to really discuss whether or not his theory is right… Me, I’m not necessarily buying the idea that Peter’s original reality/timeline/whatever is still out there, waiting for him to return to… But then, I am very cynical when it comes to this kind of thing.

What’s Going On With Olivia?
Okay, so we know what the migranes are all about – Or, at least, why she’s having them – but this episode offered all manner of new and unanswered questions about Olivia: Is she emotionally stunted? Does she have the abilities of the original Olivia, even in some latent state? What kind of oddness was in her life prior to joining Fringe Division (I can’t have been the only one who thought that her reaction to Lincoln asking if she’d gotten used to Fringe oddness was an unspoken “No, my life’s been like this for awhile,” surely)? And will she ever realize her blind spot when it comes to Nina Sharpe? Which reminds me…

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Just How Evil is Nina?
I admit it; before that final scene, I was convinced that Nina was no good and up to something, but after we’d seen that spectacular homage to the opening of The Prisoner, it seems she is up to even more than I’d suspected. I’m assuming that she’s been secretly ensuring that Olivia has been cortexephaned ever since she was a child, now, but why? Ever since this version of Nina has shown up, she’s seemed particularly off and insincere, and here’s my theory that is likely to turn out to be completely and utterly wrong: This is the Nina from “Over There,” acting as an undercover agent for Walternate. And, if I had to guess, this one may have more to do with William Bell’s missing-presumed-dead status than the original Nina ever did. No wonder Walter doesn’t like her; he may not necessarily know why, but he can recognize trouble when he’s sees it. If only Olivia had the same ability.

Also: No new episodes until January? After that ending? Oh, Fox, you are very, very cruel indeed.


  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to see if Nina still has a cyborg arm, but I can’t quite catch a decent view in any of the previous episodes. That would be the only physical evidence that we can use to tell one from the other. Anyone?

  • Energon

    So far they have not shown Nina’s cyborg arm, but in this altered reality she might never have been given a cyborg arm.

  • Twincast

    Yeah, Peter obviously wants to believe the world he knows is still out there, but there’s too much that points straight against it, most importantly everything the Observers have said.

  • Matt Ankerich

    I think Peter gave Lincoln the glasses to help him out with Olivia. The thick frame glasses hid his eyes, the new glasses open him up.

  • To9ll

    What I don’t quite accept is that Lincoln is SO special that he is the first guy that Olivia really wanted to try a relationship with. I mean, he hasn’t really done anything to be that extraordinary. I also find it strange that if Peter his her soul mate ‘destined’ to be together that she wouldnt be even a little attracted to him. She’s unnecessarily hostile to him and in unevenly so. She seemed to warm to him but judging by next episode’s promo she’s back to being a little hostile.  

  • Jomarkz

    We do have to remember that since the Peter-operated “Time-Machine” back-dated the story and altered the whole timeline back to whenever, we don’t know how far back it re-inserted the adult Peter into the current timeline.  Wouldn’t you want to leave this timeline too? What is curious are remarkably different and contrasting personalities of the main characters (as contrasted with the love-starved guest stars of Raymond and Eugene (U-Gene) without Peter in their lives and the lives of other people in the world: Walter is a tempermental grumpy and cynical old man, Astrid is little less compassionate, maybe more edgy and snappy, Olivia has no bearing and is crying-out for help, and Broyles is simply bossy and unhappy, and Nina… well, here is a two-faced back-stabbing hypocrit if I ever saw one, and Walter might as well said it to her face.  No one is really sleeping, and everyone is miserable.  And what is different?  Peter.  He is the difference, and the viewers won’t be able to wait for Peter to get back to his timeline either!