Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
As much as I may want to, the traditional five questions from last night’s episode of Fringe, the season-finale “Brave New World (Part 2)” won’t just be “WHAT?” repeated five times. But: William Bell! Betrayals! Revelations! And so much more! Click through for the real five questions.
I’ll say it: I was doubtful that “Brave New World (Part 2)” would manage to offer up a convincing end to this season because there was too much to deal with in an hour, but that was a pretty great finale, all told. Sure, not every question was answered, and some thing just didn’t really make sense (Bell’s plan was pretty screwy, let’s face it), but by the end, I felt a great sense of closure and satisfaction. Good job, everyone involved. That said, I do have some questions…
Where Did Bell Go?
A great example of a question that the creators really wanted us to ask. When Bell rang his magic bell – Seriously, how lucky is he that his name wasn’t William Shits-On-The-Table, considering how literal he seems to be about his name at times? – and disappeared, was he slipping between worlds? Teleporting somewhere else? Or did this William Bell have the back-up plan of escaping into Olivia’s head as well, and if so, will we get to see Anna Torv’s spectacular Leonard Nimoy impression again?
Will Olivia and Peter’s Child Have Cortexephan Powers?
The news that Olivia is pregnant (Presumably, with Etta from “Letters of Transit”) was one of those things that was simultaneously a surprise and something that makes perfect sense. The question now is, given that she was conceived while Olivia was so activated that she was ridiculously superhuman (Seriously, catching bullets and then throwing them back at Jessica with such force? Holy Superman, everyone), should we assume that Baby Bishop is going to be a natural Cortexephan baby…?
(Also: With Peter being an Earth-2 human and Olivia being from Earth-1, will Etta be the first child born of two worlds? That, too, feels like it may offer some unexpected rewards.)
Will The Bridge Be Reactivated?
Maybe it’s just because I like Fauxlivia more than the real thing and want to see Lincoln again, but… Now that the danger of Bell’s plan is finished, will the two Fringe divisions try to activate the Bridge again? And if not, why not? Wasn’t it decided by both sides that the Bridge was a good thing not just in terms of co-operation but in terms of it healing Earth-2? The lack of characters from the other side was the one thing truly lacking from this episode for me; I get that there wasn’t any time to use them or see them, but after a season where the “other side” became so important (and so humanized), to see them entirely missing from the big finale genuinely felt like a failure.
What About The Next Breed of Humans?
Here’s something that I just didn’t understand entirely, if it’s not the writers changing their mind mid-stream. Bell told everyone that he wanted his new universe to be devoid of human life, but then Olivia and Peter showed up, right? But, if that’s the case, then why was he creating mutant humans in earlier episodes, and what was with all the talk about the next evolution of humanity? Were they back-up batteries in case Olivia didn’t work out, were they just cannon fodder to distract the two Fringe teams while Bell’s real plan got underway and they’d been told lies about their creation to get them on side? Or was this really, genuinely, just a case where the writers kinda sorta forgot about all of that because they had a better idea?
Are The Two Worlds Merging In Ways No-One Expected?
So, as a result of saving existence (again), the Fringe division of Earth-1 becomes more like the Fringe division of Earth-2, which was… interesting. Especially interesting, if you consider that all of the natural disasters visited on Earth-1 as part of Bell’s plan must have left their mark, which means that it’s possible that Earth-1 will now resemble Earth-2 in a lot of ways… There was mention of the two universes colliding a lot over the past few weeks, but this collision – That the two universes would begin to resemble each other in such obvious ways – was left in the background and unobserved for the most part. Nice, subtle work.
And now, they’re coming. The Observers, I presume, based upon “Letters of Transit”‘s flash-forward. With thirteen episodes left before the show finishes, Fringe has its work cut out to bring everything together. To be honest, I can’t wait to see how it tries to do that, and whether it succeeds.