Fringe Season 4: 5 Questions About “Enemy of My Enemy”

It’s possible that, by this point, you’re wondering just who we’re supposed to be rooting for in Fox’s Fringe, and last night’s episode “Enemy of My Enemy” might have just confused matters even more by bringing back a bad guy who really should’ve been dead. Five questions about the episode? That’s just for starters…

What Is David Robert Jones Up To?
So we know that Jones has the potential – or, at least the material – to “blow a hole in the universe” multiple times over, but why would he want to? Given that he can apparently travel between universes at will – and has the ability to deploy shapeshifters throughout at least two universes – why would he want to destroy one (or more)? And what does this have to do with whatever Nina is up to…? “Enemy of My Enemy” gave us lots of clues about what Jones’ agenda was, but nothing even approaching a real answer… Instead, all we got are far more questions (The one that feels like it’s either the key to the whole thing or a massive red herring: Jones has apparently discovered a way to duplicate William Bell’s ability to synthesize the material necessary to make his universe-shattering bomb – Is this an allusion to his working with forces within Massive Dynamic, or are we supposed to read more into Bell’s now-mysterious-again disappearance in this timeline?). Frustrating? Definitely… but kind of compelling, too.

What Is Happening With Olivia?
And while we’re talking about Nina… Whatever she’s up to in regards to Olivia seems to be part of Jones’ plan, if that final scene is anything to go by. Going by clues in previous episodes, Olivia is continuing her cortexephan trials without knowing it, and all under Nina’s manipulation, but to what end? Is Olivia’s latent ability to travel between universes unaided the key to Jones’ entire plan… and if so, does that explain why the Observer told her that she had to die last week? Is killing Olivia, and removing the one person who can naturally travel around the multiverse the only way to keep the multiverse from being destroyed?

Who Are The Good Guys?
If this episode is to be believed – and particularly Peter’s comments towards the end that Walternate wasn’t who he had thought he was – are we supposed to believe that, in this timeline, Walternate isn’t evil, and trying to cause a war between universes? I feel as if the scene where he and his wife were having dinner and we saw his distress at being unable to help Peter return home was definitely there to make us believe that, but does that even make sense…? I mean, unless I’m entirely mistaken, wasn’t this Walternate still responsible for a previous incarnation of shapeshifters and being behind some variation on events that we’ve seen in the last three seasons? Is it just that Peter’s reappearance and Jones’ plan, whatever it is, has pushed a new, less insane, aspect of Walternate’s personality to the fore, or should we be expecting him to turn around and pull some kind of unexpected Lex Luthor-esque double-cross at the end of the season when it seems least likely? I’m not sure I can really buy the idea of a “good” Walternate just yet, sadly. Which reminds me…

Why Is Broyles Working With Jones?
Again, this could be (a) a sign of the alternate timeline, (b) sloppy writing or ( c ) foreshadowing, but the AlternaBroyles was, last season, a truly decent man who sacrificed his life to prevent war between the universes and help Olivia escape, which makes the idea that he’s working with Jones somewhat difficult to swallow unless he knows something about Jones’ motivation that we don’t just yet. Throughout the episode I waited for a reveal that this AlternaBroyles was actually a shapeshifter – it would make sense, after all – but I’m not sure that that’s the case; he seemed too torn over his loyalties for that in many scenes. So… what’s going on here? Walternate is suddenly a good guy and AlternaBroyles is suddenly a villain? This doesn’t seem off to anyone else yet?

Can Peter Go Home Again?
The scene between Walternate and Elizabeth – And, considering it doesn’t really play into any of the questions, I want to just sneak this in here: Orla Brady has been amazing in these episodes, and the scene where she forgave Walter was just amazing – hinted towards something that I’ve been wondering ever since Peter decided that he was in a parallel universe, and not just an altered timeline… What if Peter can’t get home? What if he’s wrong, and it’s not another Earth, but this Earth really is his, in an altered timeline? Walternate’s anguish over not understanding how the machine could send Peter home may be entirely worthwhile, if it turns out that there’s no “home” for him to go back to. And if there isn’t… What will happen to Peter then…?

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Comments

  • Coryjameson

    Fringe was over after the Execs at Fox decided that there weren’t enough standalone air-head episodes in season 3 and ruined the main story trajectory in the second half of season 3. 

    Now, the only audience Fringe has left are fanatical Ron Paul supporters. I hear Fringe supporters had racist and fascist newsletters in the early-90′s

  • LightningBug

    hahahahahaha!
    I like your comment because Ron Paul is such a dingdong, but I have to disagree about Fringe being over. It may well be close to over in a literal sense (if Fox doesn’t pick it up again next fall which is plausible if not likely) but the story has picked up again. The beginning of this season was slow, and I think it was a mistake to take Peter off of the table for so long, and you are totally right to say that the standalone episodes grew tiresome. But the last few episodes have been building a lot of momentum. I for one am pretty interested to see where it goes! Fringe isn’t over. It’s back!

  • http://twitter.com/stojr Stephen O’Connor Jr.

    AlternateBroyles is a shapeshifter, they have established in the past that the shapeshifters are human or have human like qualities… they are not all mindless beings so it stands to reason he may be getting attached to these people and having conflict… but he isnt the real broyles.

  • John Smith

    Of course Alternate Broyles is a shapshifter, that was made clear. I think the stuff he was going to inject Lincoln with is the shapeshifter juice he needed to shapeshift into Lincoln.

    As for Peter getting “home”, quit already. Peter never went anywhere. The machine didn’t pop him out of his timeline. The Observers erased Peter from the timeline is all. He is home. He doesn’t know the Observers  had their hands in the mix, but we do. He will eventually give up. By the looks of things, Peter is already beginning to have an impact on Walter and Olivia. I can already see Walter moving into the house with Peter and Olivia slowly warming up to Peter, especially after he saved her life last night. Things are looking up, not that they were ever looking down, but you know what I mean.

  • http://twitter.com/kromattik Matt Ankerich

    My guess is DRJ is holding something over AlterBroyals. Maybe his kid. Remember, the previous incarnation of AlterBroyals still has his kid. 

  • http://twitter.com/Lizosarus Liz L.

    Fantastic questions! To
    begin with I think that the fact that Olivia and her abilities are still
    central to David Robert Jones’ plans only seals Peter’s Alternate Universe
    theory for me. It’s pretty safe to assume that if Olivia can cross to the
    Redverse she can Cross to Peter’s universe as well (and who knows maybe Jones
    and Nina are trying to recreate Bell’s business scheme go to a new
    world rape it’s wealth and leave it to die. Worked for the Conquistadors.) Or
    maybe it’s something much more nefarious?

    As for the Broyles is a
    shapeshifter dilemma, I think it’s pretty clear he isn’t. But at the same
    time even our Blue!Broyles actions are beginning to look…
    suspicious. Remember John, Olivia’s old flame who died asking Olivia why,
    why had Broyles chosen her of all people. Maybe John was on to something
    knowing how mysteriously close Broyles and Nina were in our Blue!Verse is it
    really such a huge stretch to wonder if maybe they both have ties to the ZFT in
    this and the Alt!Verse? I’m almost 100% convinced that we’ll see
    a resurgence of our old pals the ZFT in the rest of Season 4.

    While I’m thrilled that
    Fringe is finally giving us back our fascinating and
    compelling questions I worry that even with half a seas on left it night have
    been a little too late, and the answers are going to kill the show. Hardcore
    Fringies will love 5 or 6 episodes that reveal everything they’ve
    been wondering about for seasons now and more but if the show’s going
    to stay alive and attract new people that approach isn’t really going to work.
    I know trying to explain Peter’s parentage to my sister last night was a pain
    in the Alt!Tush so trying to laydown the entire mythology and history of all
    the multiverses and all its individual Alternates is almost impossible. I
    really want Fringe to not just survive this season but thrive for 1 or 2 more but
    it’s looking more and more like this is going to be our swansong.

  • Anonymous

    The prods have made it clear that this isn’t Peter’s real Olivia, and nor are the yellowblue folks his folks, so yes, there is a home to go to, and it’s not this place.  Part of the urgency of the rest of the winter episodes will be driven by his working to get home. 

    AlternaBroyles surely must have been readying SS poison, it wasn’t a multivitamin or antibiotic he was going to inject lee with. 

    And I agree, this Walternate is surely up to something… he did trigger the machine in an attempt to kill off the blueyellowverse (noted at the beginning of the season). 

  • mary

    FRINGE is awesome, it is more than a Tv show, writers and producers are doing excellent and cast is outstanding.

  • Lando Calrissian

    Loved yesterday’s episode. The tension in the first half was pretty sick – Jones killing everyone in ER, then crossing over, then Olivia nearly getting her face chopped off ‘Equilibrium’ style…great, great episode. Loved it.

  • Raveen Sharma

    Jones is a genetic expert, he may be able to cure Alt-Broyles’ son.

  • http://twitter.com/danaFringe danaFringe

    It was such an amazing episode, top notch television. I love that a show causes so much conversation, and with an amazing story line and acting to boot. Not to mention the special effects! It’s too bad that so many people are missing out, that sadly, they’d rather watch mindless  reality shows. But to each their own, but Fringe really does take the cake for being insanely fantastic!

  • Zytrec

    For the 4th question, I have to say, of course it seems off but ain’t the whole idea to have an altered timeline. “Not everything is as it seems” I think this quote is the driving idea of this season and honestly is the reason why people enjoy this show.

  • Cforshaw67220

    What Is David Robert Jones Up To?

    Well, his whole group were aware that a war was coming between the two universes, and they were preparing for that war. Chances are, he’s going to try and accelerate that war and wipe out the other universe. He also, given Peter wasn’t there to stop him, probably killed William Bell. 

    What Is Happening With Olivia?

    In series one he was training Olivia as one of his soldiers, from a distance, and given her talents she would have been more formidable than any other character we have yet met. Chances are he and Nina are just continuing that.
    Who Are The Good Guys?

    The show is more interesting without simplistic notions of “good” and “bad”, and one of the things that makes ‘Fringe’ unique is that the most obvious hero, Walter, is also the cause of the entire problem. Walternate was never a bad guy – he was pushed to extremes by the abduction of his child, and the massive devistation of his home as a consequence of it. Everyone but Walter seems to forget that the consequences of his actions have probably destroyed more lives than any terrorist organisation, and are far, far harder to predict.
    Why Is Broyles Working With Jones?

    Dead guys unite? Or he could actually be a shapeshifter?
    Can Peter Go Home Again?Peter is home. This isn’t two separate universes to the two universes seen in season one to three – the Observers were clear: he has been removed from the time-line. The drama here is that Peter hasn’t realised that it isn’t a problem with parallel worlds, but a problem with time-travel. Every difference is a consequence of Peter’s absence. The more important question is: what is so dangerous about Peter that he cannot even be allowed to exist, whilst Walter, who nearly destroyed two realities, is allowed?

  • Shadowpdf

    I still think we’re in a third and fourth universe.  That this Walternate isn’t the Walternate that Peter knew.  In effect we have two sets of universes and Peter has been shunted over to what amounts to the 3rd universe and this new Walternate is in the 4th Universe.  Of course, with the Observers making it as if Peter never existed, then it’s possible that these new conditions affected the characters in the ways that we see them now: Walter being even more paranoid and withdrawn; Walternate being less evil; one of the Broyles being in league with badguy Jones; Olivia having an interest in Lincoln.  But if that’s true then how can Peter go home?  Where would he go?  Besides, Peter himself is talking as if his “timeline” is a separate place.  If it is, then there just may be two sets of universes and he needs to get back to his set.

  • Kelly

    If Peter really is going to go somewhere else, where is he going to go? If there is somewhere else, what are they doing right now? Are we going to go back to season 3 if he does “get back?” Long term, the show is centered on Olivia, not Peter. Why would we cut away from the “real” her for an entire season just to watch Peter flip out? I think that if Peter happened upon the right answer right off the bat after being completely traumtized and alone in the universes, then he’s impressive and this will be a boring finale.

  • Kelly

    Was it just me, or did Jones look just as regretful as the rest of them when he heard the screaming? That was strange.

  • Squashua

    Walternate was NEVER “evil”. 

    He was driven crazy by revenge against the other universe for Walter creating the instabilities and seemingliy killing or kidnapping his own son.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I’ve been saying this to my wife the whole season and as we get more info each episode, it’s becoming more clear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karmen-Tatarynowicz/100003117749051 Karmen Tatarynowicz

    Now, that I know both worlds are not the ones we knew before, I don’t really care about the characters or the plot. What’s the point? Also, there’s too much Peter, too little Olivia.

  • Jorge A

    Shouldn’t there be a Billy Bell in this universe?

  • LightningBug

    That’s why I’m pretty sure that Peter is wrong about this being separate timeline with his own still existing somewhere out there. It seems to me that the original timeline was written over as the Observers originally seemed to suggest. Eventually peter will figure this out. Perhaps since Walter and Olivia were experiencing visions of Peter having never known him (at the beginning of the season), that might suggest that their memories of the original timeline, and therefore their relationship with Peter might eventually be restored. With that hope in mind you can remain invested in this version of the characters!