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Fringe Season 4: 5 Questions About “Everything in Its Right Place”

This week’s Fringe took us back to the alternate universe for the first time in too long, and also reminded us about those pesky shapechangers that’ve been causing trouble since the start of the season. All that and a Radiohead reference in the title, too! What else could we want from “Everything In its Right Place”?

Where Is Lincoln’s “Right Place”?
Somehow, I doubt that I’m the only person who came away from this episode happy that Lincoln was “sticking around” in the alternate universe; whether it was the idea that the alternate Lincoln was somehow our Lincoln gone “right” (In a reversal of the other characters’ alternates, notably) or his attraction to an Olivia who is available and not slowly having her memories replaced, the alternate timeline seemed like a much better place for Lincoln than where he came from. But how much of that is coincidence/the writers’ desire for an emotionally satisfying episode, and how much comes from the fact that Lincoln “shouldn’t” be in our timeline as it reverts to the pre-Observer version, because he was killed in it…? (Despite my convinction otherwise, Lincoln didn’t die at the end of “Stowaway” in S3.)

How Important Is Lincoln?
Lincoln’s aberrant status is something that I keep coming back to. Did the alternate Lincoln die to make room for our Lincoln in that world? Is it somehow “destined” or cosmically important that there’s only one Lincoln between the two universes? (See above.) Does Lincoln’s sense of disconnect mean that he’s just, on some subconscious level, aware that he shouldn’t be around, or part of something more? Watching his reactions when the shapeshifter was talking about knowing that he didn’t belong and wasn’t one of the special people in life was truly painful – In an episode that completely centered around actor Seth Gabel, that was a particularly wonderful, affecting scene – in part because Lincoln really had no idea (and still may not) just how special he really is. And also…

Is Lincoln The First Observer Ancestor?
I’ve suggested before that maybe Lincoln would end up joining David Robert Jones, because he wouldn’t be able to deal with losing Olivia, and watching him empathize with the very reason that the shapeshifter chose to side with Jones tonight almost underscored that suspicion before Lincoln pulled himself together. But nonetheless, part of me is now thinking… What if Lincoln will fulfill Jones’ sales pitch by becoming part of the next evolution of humanity, but as a good thing, not a crazy evil shapeshifter? What if Lincoln will leave behind the life he’s clearly unhappy in to become a New God that will one day lead to the superhuman future Observers?

Remember The Idea That Olivia Has To Die?
What if it’s the alternate Olivia? Admittedly, this comes as much from my belief that (a) they won’t actually kill off our Olivia, and (b) Lincoln is, for some reason, destined for tragedy (not to mention losing his partners in various manners: His first to death by shapeshifter, his second to rewritten memories by timelines being reasserted), but… What if Olivia does die, it’s just that it’s a different Olivia? Is that completely crazy?

Who Is Real?
Talking of completely crazy… Colonel Broyles and Alternate Nina are clearly in cahoots with Jones, but I’m still unsure if that makes them bad guys, or shapeshifters who are pretending to be the alternate versions of said characters. That Nina was somehow able to control Massive Dynamic and store the shapeshifters would suggest that she’s the real deal, and you’d think that having a GPS tracker for the shapeshifters would lead to Broyles’ discovery sooner rather than later if he is one, but still: Nothing is ever as it seems on this show, and I’ll wait until we’ve been told who is “real” and who isn’t before choosing to go on my own guesswork here, thankyouverymuch.


  • Michael Sacal

    Dude, Lee never died in either reality.

    He made a single apperance in the Over Here world and that was it.

  • Mdswanson

    I like that Lincoln stayed with Alt-Olivia. I think she is “his” Olivia. 

    I think alt-Broyles is a shape changer. And thats what the map will show us.  We saw alt broyles die already. But does everyone know this?

    Meena is just the alt reality version of her character not a shape changer.

    I like that were headed back to the Machine again.

    I think Olivia must die means the altered time line olivia dying so the real olivia could replace her. If you think about killing someones memories is like that person as she existed dying.

  • Adam

    Alt-Broyles was already revealed to be a shape shifter earlier in the season.

  • Coryjameson

    I was so sure Lincoln and Alt-Lincoln would fall for each other.

  • sandwich eater

    First, I don’t think Alt-Astrid is evil.  I think she just came to Col. Broyles’s office to give him the sad news about Lincoln.  That’s why that scene is cut off abruptly to show Fauxlivia’s reaction to the news.

    Secondly, I think Olivia already has “died” in the sense that her memories, personality, and experiences have been overwritten. That’s what I think September meant; that she had to change so that she and Peter could be together and make that miracle baby that the future needs.  Poor Olivia is always having her mind messed with whether it’s holding her dead boyfriend’s consciousness or Walternate turning her into Fauxlivia.

    Also, it’s confusing that the show has both parallel universes and alternate timelines.  I always thought alternate timelines were parallel universes.

  • Slburn

    Alt-Broyles is definitely a shapeshifter.
    Also Lee did appear in the original timeline on our side, bu I don’t recall that he died.

  • sandwich eater

     I didn’t think he died either.  He was just a regular fed who got mixed up in a Fringe case. Perhaps the author was thinking of when Other side Lincoln was incinerated but survived.

  • Michael Sacal

    or he’s thinking of when Alt Broyles died.

  • Juan

    ^YES! This is the second article you’ve talked about him dying Graeme, but he never died in the original timeline! What are you talking about?

  • Michael Sacal

    Graeme is watching the Over There version of Fringe…

  • Mick

    Thank you guys for confirming this. I never remembered Lincoln dying in the prime universe either and was worried I had either missed an episode or a line of dialogue killing him off. 

  • Anonymous

    “Our” universe Lincoln Lee never died. You guys are right.

  • dmalted

    Lincoln’s driving reason for sticking around has been to get
    justice for his partner’s death.  Jones
    built the shapeshifters, which makes him responsible for that death.  Lincoln’s intentions have always been noble; I
    can’t see him suddenly joining up with the enemy, for any reason.


    As for his ultimate place in things, I’m not sure it’s all
    that important, any more than Astrid, Nina, Charlie or Broyles’ parts are.  Peter and Olivia are the only ones whose
    destinies really seem to matter.


    And, I thought I read somewhere that the mysterious assassin
    from the zeppelin (from last year’s LSD episode) would be a factor in the final
    episodes of this season. Olivia said she knew that he was going to kill her…

  • Lukecage

    Why does he keep going back to the, “Olivia has to die crap”.  It seems obvious that the observer was talking about the personality/persona from the altered time line.  With all Olivia’s memories being replaced it seems to me that this is the death the Observer was talking about.  She for all intents and purposes is dead.

  • Michael Sacal

    The idea that a man is going to kill Olivia predates the alternate timeline conundrum. it goes back to the episode that took place in her mind.

    One thing does not necessarily have anything to do with the other.

    In fact, one could argue that her having different memories is what is keeping her safe, and that the moment she completely reverts to her former self she’ll be in danger once again.

  • Ian

    One of the Olivia’s is SO royally scewed now that it is looking that Fauxlivia and Lincoln may hook-up.  Remember the primary rule between the universes is the flip-of-the-coin heads/tails effect, it stands to reason to me that both Olivia’s can’t be in happy relationships at the same time as the effect will not allow the same outcome in two different universes.

  • Twincast

     agreed on all accounts

  • Anonymous

    I doubt Alt-Lincoln died. More likely that he faked his death. After he got shot, his immediate thought was that this was an inside job. That there was a mole within Fringe division. I believe he’s going off the grid so as to investigate without any compromises.

  • Demoncat4

    doubtful Lincoln is actully an observer though maybe he is the one who helps johnes full fill his plan and lead to oliva having to die since he is suppose to not exist . and it took an alternate earth for Nina to fall even though the lady has been up to no good since day one.

  • Art

    With all of the geek brain power in here, I’m really surprised nobody picked up on the Batman/Mantis thing when Lincoln heads to the crime scene with Altlivia. It was a funny joke, but the kicker is that Peter’s first trip to Earth-2 had him staying in an apartment with alt-DC comics covers on the wall. One of those covers was Batman #75 “The Death of Batman” (rather than death of Superman). Altlivia and Dead-Lincoln had never heard of Batman. Perhaps we are not in the same reality we started with Over Here or Over There.

  • Art
  • _ _

    You know, if you can’t get BASIC INFORMATION right like whether or not Lincoln’s character died and if you make the SAME ERROR in a subsequent article, maybe you should let somebody who actually KNOWS THE SHOW write this column. If you aren’t familiar with the series on the most shallow of levels, why are you even DOING these web articles?

  • Shanij

    It’s a shame the series will likely end this season because Lincoln’s character is just starting to show a lot of depth in recent episodes.

    His search for answers from Alt Lincoln was meant to make us start thinking. How could these two Lincolns be so different when their life choices were identical? The answer is most likely that our Lincoln–unbeknownst to him–was a participant in Cortexifan trials or some experimentation when he was young (but not too young judging by the prom coincidence between the two Lincolns). 

    He exhibits that internal, brooding, insecure vulnerability that our Olivia does. I think we are going to find out that he’s a lot more powerful than we and he thought (if the remaining episodes of the series make room for that discovery).


    PLEASE GET THE INFO RIGHT  or stop the articles…. you are the porrest excuse for a reviewer the new has seen….is anyone at CBR looking at this???? 


  • LightningBug

    Seriously, Mr. McMillan, please give us an episode and timestamp when Blueverse Lincoln Lee died. This is at least the third if not the fourth time that folks in your comments section have attempted to correct you on this error. Props to you for not obsessing over reader reaction to your columns, since you obviously have never ever read the comments. One more time so it sticks, Graeme: UNTIL THIS EPISODE, NEITHER LINCOLN LEE EVER DIED.

  • Ian

    It’s going to be a squeaker, but I really do think that Fringe will get either one more full or at least half a season.  In terms of the overall quality of the show I’m for giving it just 12 more eps next season to wrap all the storylines up.

    As to where the Lincoln’s diverged I thought it pretty clear that it was the difference in police partners for both of the Lincoln’s over the past six yrs.

  • Iceman91321

    Don’t forget the William Bell episodes.

  • sandwich eater

     Whoah, either this is a continuity error; or Batman is a minor DC character on the other side that the general public hasn’t really heard of.

  • Anonymous

    If that’s the case, that would be AWESOME!

  • Shadowpdf

     … Olivia Has to Die …. I was wrong about the show having four different timelines, but I think I’m right about Olivia.  Her dying has to do with her losing her memories of her life without Peter as the old memories (of her life WITH Peter) over-write them.  We see that her old (without-Peter) self is fading away — or dying — as the with-Peter self reasserts itself.  I think this is important so that Peter remains grounded and can “reattach” himself permanently to the timeline he was erased from.  I don’t think this has anything to do with faux-Livia.

    Unfortunately I think these long-term questions are moot — especially after this last episode.  Things moved too quickly; wrapped up to easily.  Especially for this show, which almost always leaves questions to be answered.  I think the producers are wrapping up the show in anticipation of cancellation.  Very sad thing.

  • Brad Eleven

    I can’t cite the episode refs, but I think both alt-Broyles and alt-Nina are I thought for sure they were going to pick off Broyles with the map they found, but then the news about alt-Lee arrived.

    I don’t think there’s any chance of Lee going shapeshifter, given the significant malice he’s been on the other end of, from shapeshifters and from the porcupine hybrids. I wouldn’t be surprised if that procedure is the gateway into the shapeshifter existence, e.g., “you didn’t take well to the process, but I have another way you can participate.”

    I super like your interpretation of the Watcher’s warning that Olivia must die.

  • Lyle

    It bugs me that this writer keeps saying that Lincoln died before when obviously he did not.
    The big question I have is about the abrupt stop with the Alt-Astrid confronting the Alt-Broyles. I definitely got the feeling that she was about to tell him that she knows he is working with the enemy. It seems like a foolish miscalculation on her part, since, if she came alone and told nobody else about her suspicion, then Broyles will probably kill her or find some other way to shut her up. I hope not, since I really like Alt-Astrid as much as real Aphid… I mean Astrid. 

  • LightningBug

    I really dug that show “The Mantis.”

  • Shanij

    We’re in the same ‘reality’ but not in the same timeline. If you change one thing (Peter being an adult) that changes other events in the timeline (i.e. the butterfly effect). Presumably that’s why Nina Sharp remembers raising Olivia–because in the altered Peter-died-in-youth timeline she did. Right? 

  • Shanij

    Not sure I understand. Because Alt Lincoln’s partner was Olivia he turned out more confident and extraverted? But our Lincoln is more guarded and introverted because of his partner who died? Doesn’t entirely make sense considering the bulk of MAJOR changes to one’s personality would occur during youth, no? I’m not saying for sure that the writers didn’t just gloss over this with the partners possibility. Or it is possible too that the writers were getting philosophical here (indicated by when Lincoln is giving a pep talk to the alpha shapeshifter about not waiting around for things to happen and taking control of your own life). Perhaps Lincoln did not take control of his own life and allowed insecurity to gradually chip away at him? Still, something doesn’t gel. And I”ve seen this Cortexifan theory elsewhere so my money’s on that or something equally ominous.