Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
After a few weeks’ vacation, Fox’s Fringe returned last night with what may be the opening of its final run of episodes ever. But did the somewhat revelatory “A Short Story About Love” manage to fulfill your need for new information, theories and answers about just what the hell is going on with Peter, Olivia and Walter, not to mention the state of all reality? Unsurprisingly, we had some questions…
What Does Olivia’s Memory Mean?
So now we know, fairly definitively, that Olivia is actually regaining her “real” memories, of the timeline she existed in before Peter was erased – And that revelation, that Peter isn’t trapped in an alternate world as he’d led everyone to think, but that he was actually in an altered-history-version of his own world, was both very welcome (Finally, answers!) and very sneaky (So, it is what we’d thought first time, before we’d gotten sidetracked by the alternate world idea!) – but we don’t, really, know why she’s regaining those memories… Is it just that, as she grew to know Peter again and fall in love with him, everything returned to “normal,” or something bigger than that? Is Peter’s presence in the timeline slowly changing everything back to the way it was? And if so…
Will The Observers Try To Erase Peter Again?
Just because erasing Peter didn’t take the first time, that’s not to say that the Observers won’t try again. After all, if they were willing to take out one of their own in order to protect their actions, what’s stopping them from trying to erase Peter again? And, of course, this time taking some kind of precaution. Which is to say…
Do We Now Know Why Olivia “Has To” Die?
With Olivia dead, Peter will have lost his strongest emotional tie to reality, meaning – if we’re to take our rogue Observer friend at his word, which isn’t necessarily the right thing to do, for all we know – that he might not be able to return from erasure a second time around. When Olivia was told that she had to die, was that an instruction – In order to save the world, Olivia has to die – or a warning – That the other Observers believe that the death of Olivia will save that particular timeline? Just because we have an understanding about what brought Peter back into a timeline that he really shouldn’t exist in doesn’t mean that all of Fringe‘s secrets have given themselves up just yet.
What Is Lincoln’s Role?
Lincoln, as we saw clearly tonight, is a spoiler in the Peter/Olivia romance, in that he’s in love with Olivia himself. Is this a clue about Lincoln’s ultimate loyalties?
After all, if Peter’s presence in the timeline is somehow reverting everything to the way things used to be before he was erased, then Lincoln will end up dead in the reverted timeline. How peacefully will he go into that dark night – especially if, with Peter gone for whatever reason, he’ll not only get to live but might be convinced that he’ll also have more of a chance with Olivia? (Despite my convictions otherwise, Lincoln didn’t die at the end of Season 3’s “Stowaway”.) Is Lincoln going to be convinced to betray the Fringe division by the Observers and/or David Robert Jones?
How Will Walter React To Discovering That His Reality Is False?
If we don’t get a scene next week in which Walter discovers what Peter learned this week – That he’s living not in a world that he should exist in, but a world that was artificially manipulated and therefore unnatural, and somewhat “false” – I’ll be very, very disappointed. Walter is the one character who, it seems, should be able to take this kind of information in somewhat sensibly – or, at least, without losing his mind (again). And who’s to say that he might not have some ideas how to detourn the process for his (and other people’s) benefit, if everything is reverting? There’s definitely a lot of meat in Walter’s reaction to this development… I can only hope that we don’t find that skipped over in favor of expediency.