Fringe Season 4

Jay H

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Can you spot the Observer? :)

Just happen to catch this online with Joshua Jackson having car trouble with his old Karmann Ghia..
Jay
 

Joseph DeMartino

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Adam:
I'm not sure how I feel about tonight's episode. On one hand, it felt like a rather perfunctory way to close the door on four seasons of mythology.
Two points:
They had to compress some storylines once it started to look likely that there wasn't going to be a season 5 and they would have to offer some kind of conclusion by the end of S4. They were faced with trying to wrap the show up successfully by replacing one scene in the planned season finale, and that doesn't leave a lot of room to deal with other things.
Now that they have 13 more episodes to work with, I would not be at all surprised to see a return of the Red Universe.
RE: Finding the dopplegangers of the Cortexiphan Kids In "our" universe. (Which isn't quite.) I'm not sure anyone there has a comprehensive list of them. Olivia tracked them down in the "original" universe, but she's living in the "no-Peter" version now. She has her memories of the original, but not files. Even if she had them - how easy would it be to track dozens or hundreds of people, most of whom would have no criminal records, across the world? You can use cell phones and credit card statements - but only after getting court orders. That takes time. And what is your probably cause? We think this person is the counterpart of a dangerous person in an alternate universe? You'd have to come up with a lot of stories for a lot people, and get Federal agents to commit perjury in signing the affadavits. I think this is the kind of thing the audience can work out for itself. You can't cross every "T" and dot every "I" in 40-odd minutes of story time, or spell out every plot point. I don't consider it a flaw, really.
Regards,
Joe
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Josh Dial said:
Right. I just didn't know what non-clumsy term to use, other than "doppelgangers of the cortexiphan trials subjects" :)

Though you might be right that they would just be going about their usual business. If anything it would have been sound to put a few agents out there looking for each one.
I was actually a little surprised that David Robert Jones wasn't keeping tabs on them, although understandable given his limited resources as an interdimensional terrorist.
MattH. said:
All I know is I had a few tears trickle from my eyes during the last few minutes. It was like saying goodbye to old friends.
Absolutely! One of the best casts on television, and they acted the heck out of this episode. John Noble playing Walternate commiserating with Walter is a scene that they should study in acting classes. Just a piece of absolute brilliance, and a great payoff for years of buildup. My ambivalence certainly had nothing to do with the performances, nor the writing within the episode.
Joseph DeMartino said:
They had to compress some storylines once it started to look likely that there wasn't going to be a season 5 and they would have to offer some kind of conclusion by the end of S4. They were faced with trying to wrap the show up successfully by replacing one scene in the planned season finale, and that doesn't leave a lot of room to deal with other things.
Now that they have 13 more episodes to work with, I would not be at all surprised to see a return of the Red Universe.
I hope you're right; not that I think they need to dwell on the other side as the focus of another season, but I feel like I've gotten to know them almost as well as "our" characters, especially since the timeline change meant that most of "our" characters aren't completely the characters we'd spent the previous three seasons getting to know.
Having watched the better part of four seasons in such a short span of time, it's pretty remarkable how consistent the shows been and how few goofs there are in a very intricate mythology. The first three seasons are just about perfect as an emotional story, with real (and believable) evolution and change over the course of it. And like all the best shows IMO, the evolution was toward their better natures. Taken on its own terms, the fourth season is very solid quality television as well. It has some of my very favorite moments of the whole show in it, particularly that wonderful episode where alt-Astrid, unable to process the death of her father with whom her Asperger's always created a barrier, went AWOL and sought out "our" Astrid for solace. What I hold against it is the jettisoning of the Walter/Peter relationship I'd invested so much time in. This is a Walter that stole a Peter from the other side, but it's not the Walter that stole "our" Peter. The original timeline provided a texture to the relationship and an emotional arc that was less abstracted than the current dynamic. Now, we either jettison an entire season of development with the new timeline or we're stuck with our original three years gone forever.
But given everything they've been up against, an the constraints of doing really ambitious television on a shrinking budget, "Fringe" has gotten it remarkably right.
RE: Finding the dopplegangers of the Cortexiphan Kids In "our" universe. (Which isn't quite.) I'm not sure anyone there has a comprehensive list of them. Olivia tracked them down in the "original" universe, but she's living in the "no-Peter" version now. She has her memories of the original, but not files. Even if she had them - how easy would it be to track dozens or hundreds of people, most of whom would have no criminal records, across the world? You can use cell phones and credit card statements - but only after getting court orders. That takes time. And what is your probably cause? We think this person is the counterpart of a dangerous person in an alternate universe? You'd have to come up with a lot of stories for a lot people, and get Federal agents to commit perjury in signing the affadavits. I think this is the kind of thing the audience can work out for itself. You can't cross every "T" and dot every "I" in 40-odd minutes of story time, or spell out every plot point. I don't consider it a flaw, really.
You'd be absolutely right if you we're talking about "our" universe, but their universe has national ID cards that need to be swiped for use with all public services (and probably many private services). In the face of the deterioration caused by Walter's breach, their United States is much more militarized, posse comitatus has obviously been revoked, and the police state is much closer to being realized. That being said, I agree with Josh's larger point, that the timeframe was too tight.
Your other point about knowing who was involved is an excellent one, that pretty well punctures my disbelieve. The Olivia of the Peter-less timeline didn't repress her memories of Jacksonville, and her eidetic memory would have remembered all of them--at least all of the ones from the Jacksonville site. But that Olivia got superceded by "our" Olivia, who did repress those memories. She remembered Nick Lane because he was a fringe case, but probably wouldn't remember many more.
 

Joe_H

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Part of me wonders if it's possible that David Robert Jones was telling the truth, but wasn't talking about the other universe and instead was talking about the Observers and somehow knows what is coming there.
Then again, part of me also wonders if the bridge being turned off is part of his plan to destroy the worlds, too.
 

NeilO

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Adam Lenhardt said:
Your point holds on the time factor, but the red universe counterparts weren't subjected to the cortexiphan trials and, if the alt-Nick Lane is any indication, would have little to no inclination that there was anything special about them at all. So most of them were probably sticking to their normal routine and going to work and then home.
In addition, all the red universe folk had those Show-Me Cards, so their movements could have been easily tracked.
 

NeilO

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Sean Bryan said:
Yeah, but they'd have to know WHO to track, which they don't
Olivia identified one other person she recognized from the footage right away. I think she could have identified more if they went that route.
Edit: Also, I thought Massive Dynamics had the records of all the subjects anyway. It could have been one quick call over and they'd have the list.
 

NeilO

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Alternate ending for Fringe.
I'd be surprised if this isn't already out there, but one of you probably have the ability to put this together.
David Robert Jones succeeds and creates his new universe.
We hear the Fringe music segue into another theme.
The camera goes to the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, and Pryce and we see David Robert Jones in his new universe identity of Lane Pryce sitting at a desk.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The downside to doing a future-set episode is that it takes some of the suspense out of the present. We just saw Astrid get shot, but she has to survive if she's going to be rescued from the amber. Which is perfectly all right with me, since she's one of my favorite characters. It was also nice being reminded that before she became Walter's assistant and babysitter, she was a fully trained FBI field agent. She can kick ass in a pinch.
On the flip side, seeing Bell in amber was like a delightful question mark. They did a stupendous job keeping his return under wraps. He's been so adamant about retiring from acting except for voice work that even after "Letters of Transit" I didn't think we'd see Bell again in the flesh. That being said, he's had a fruitful relationship with Bad Robot in recent years and he clearly relishes playing a character besides himself and Spock.
He's great at it too. Given how the original timeline's Bell went out, sacrificing himself to save Walter, Peter and (who he believed to be) Olivia, it's interesting to see the differences here. Presumably Walter took a different path after he was unable to save Peter, and that must have had ramifications on his partner. Perhaps he didn't spend all of those years on the other side, seeing the disastrous results of Walter's hubris like he did in the blue time line. That experience would be enough to cure anyone of their God Complex, but if this Bell didn't have that experience his God Complex would still probably be intact.
The previews for next week's finale looks like they'll be getting to the heart of the multiple timelines issue. Whether that's just deceptive Fox marketing or not, I'm not sure. And frankly, I'm happier not knowing.
 

Stan

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Dropped this off my viewing schedule sometime in season 2. No particular reason, just got busy and honestly forgot about it. For some reason, thought it wasn't even on the schedule any more, kind of like Chuck, just quietly contnued without a lot of chatter.
Hope it shows up in a full box set. Based on the opinions of this forum, you guys will decide if I buy it or not.
 

NeilO

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Great episode. It would have been a nice final episode to the series. I presume that the scene with September was the alternate made if they were renewed. Everything else seemed to be wrapped up.
I was slightly disappointed that William Bell's plan had nothing to do with the Observers. I guessed he belled himself over somewhere.
The glyph code was
PURGE
this week.
I guess the next season will have a number of episodes in the present time and then it will finish off in the future. But you never know ...
 

Adam Lenhardt

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They did a brilliant bait and switch with the regenerative lemon cake. I thought for sure it was setup for how they would save the (seemingly) dead Astrid. I put so many eggs in that basket that I was completely blindsided when it paid off with Walter bringing Olivia back to the world of the living.
NeilO said:
Great episode. It would have been a nice final episode to the series. I presume that the scene with September was the alternate made if they were renewed. Everything else seemed to be wrapped up.
The showrunners said they talked about shooting an alternate ending, but decided against it. My guess is that they simply would have left the last scene off the episode. Either way, episode 19 made me very happy we're getting another season.
I was slightly disappointed that William Bell's plan had nothing to do with the Observers. I guessed he belled himself over somewhere.
We don't know that for sure. He certainly took steps to neutralize our main Observer, which tells me he knows way more about them than anyone else--and put a lot of time into learning about them. It's also possible that it's the Observers he was referencing when he talked about not bringing allowing the human race to survive in his new universe; by destroying the two universes, he certainly would have prevented the future we saw in episode 19.
The thing I find fascinating is the difference one person can make. All of this resulted from an idea Walter had in his grief at losing his son a second time. In the original timeline, Bell was a good guy who sacrificed himself to save Walter, Peter and (who he thought was) Olivia. In the Peter-less amber timeline, he's a megalomaniac who nearly wiped out all living life in two universes. The difference between heroic martyr and terrible villain is one little boy.
The glyph code was
PURGE
this week.
I guess the next season will have a number of episodes in the present time and then it will finish off in the future. But you never know ...
If I had to guess, there will be a time jump to when the Observers arrive in force. I'd imagine we'll see what events transpire to bring everybody but Olivia into amber, and then I'd imagine we'll pick up at some point in the season with Walter, Astrid, Peter and Etta on that train.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Will_B

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That's fair enough - it is tough to keep talent on board for only half a season when they could surely get a full-season job elsewhere.
Very excited for the future-Fringe! Though I will miss Fauxlivia and the rest of the alternate universe.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Fox just released the Season Five poster to Entertainment Weekly:
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/image/id/874520/width/457/height/700
If we had any doubt as to where Season Five is headed, that should pretty much end it.
Will_B said:
That's fair enough - it is tough to keep talent on board for only half a season when they could surely get a full-season job elsewhere.
I'd be more worried if both showrunners were headed out the door. But J.H. Wyman's been with the show since season one, he's been co-showrunner with Pinkner since season two, and he's committed to staying with the show through to the last frame. This is definitely not a "Community" situation.
 

Mikah Cerucco

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Oh my. That felt like watching a trailer of some kick*** hollywood scifi movie. I want the final season on BluRay tomorrow so I don't have to wait week to week.
 

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