Sometimes answers lead to more questions.
Fringe returns for it’s 4th season premiere with a vengeance and full of mystery. Picking up a short time after we left off last season, we find that the two Fringe divisions have come to an uneasy truce with each other, sharing intelligence to help keep the peace and find a way to return both worlds to normal. The real question though, as it was at season finale, is what happened to Peter Bishop and will anyone remember him.
As it turns out, no, none remembers him as he never existed, but traces of him still exist everywhere. Whether it’s Olivia’s sense of emptiness or the more direct Walter’s glimpses of a man he doesn’t recognize out of the corner of his eye, Peter’s essence is still strong on our world and it seems he’s aching to return. Even though we won’t see Peter for a while, there’s plenty of very heavy foreshadowing on his eventual return from glimpses of him in the office, to less than obvious dialog by Walter.
With Peter’s non-existence, we find a few changes to our side of the mirror, the biggest of which is that Astrid is Olivia’s defacto partner now, instead of Peter. Though Astrid’s role is merely to act as the eyes and ears of the completely recluse Walter though a special headset he’s devised. Without Peter to anchor him, Walter never breaks out of his paranoia and fear that condemned him to St. Claire’s all those years ago, and is now afraid to even leave his lab, sleeping in his office. It’s nice though to see Astrid out in the field instead of getting cooped up in the lab, though even in the field, she has to deal with Walter’s quirkier requests during examinations.
Meanwhile, we finally see what our agent Lee has been up to. In turns out he’s a general FBI agent who gets thrown into the world of Fringe after the death of his partner. Determined with the same type of zeal as Olivia, he was able to track down their office at Harvard and nearly gets thrown into prison to learn the truth. It seems that as an outsider, he will serve as the moral compass to the group. Without Peter, the Fringe division seems much more of a cold and unforgiving place with little concern towards anything outside of national security and the secrecy of the group. From the onset, Agent Lee may have to fill the missing conscience of Fringe that we lost with Peter’s erasure.
The episode also introduces us to a new foe, the human hybrid shape shifters. It’s still unknown if they are creations of Walternate, but they are for sure not technology of our world, which adds to the already shaky relationship between the two Fringe departments. Knowing what we’ve seen from their world last season, it’s interesting to see that there is a certain level of animosity and contempt of our side still, though all we see of their side is the rogue dark version of B-livia. We already know that Franklin and Lee from the other side have questions and concerns about their leader and his favorite agent.
It’s a great start to the season that brings us right back to where we left off, and I can’t wait to see more.
- At the way station they built around the bridge room, it seems you can look up and see both sides of the universe’s skies, much to the amazement of our Agent Lee.
- The Observer defies orders and doesn’t erase the traces of Peter from Walter.
- “I don’t think there’s anything sadder than when two people were meant to be together, and something intervenes.”
- The opening sequence is now an amber color, with a new slew of sciences.
- The FX team of Fringe continues their excellent ability to totally gross out viewers.
- Walter has clear handle of Astrid’s name now, though he has problems with his FBI babysitter Tim, calling him Tommy.
- The “leaf” on the bridge security console stands for “A” which has to mean something.
- Our Olivia is so sad it’s kind of heartbreaking.
- B-livia obviously knows that we have brought in our Agent Lee to the fold.