Fringe: Across the Universes

Fringe totally went there. By "there," I don't mean "over there," into the alternate universe, even though they did that, and it was really cool. I mean "there," into the cheese shop. Despite the number of mind-blowingly awesome events that transpired during last night's Season 2 finale, my jaw dropped only when I heard Olivia (Anna Torv) say to Peter (Joshua Jackson), "You have to come back because you belong with me." That hookup was so cheesy—and so atypical of Fringe! Then again, they were mackin' in the alternate universe. Maybe all bets are off "over there."

I've warmed to the idea of the Olivia-Peter pairing, mostly because the show didn't travel the cliche URST route this season. That's why this moment made me so mad—it was a big fat cliche! But you know what? It had to happen, and I've accepted it. I guess it was kind of cool that Olivia grew a pair and expressed her emotions. Maybe it was her newly-dyed hair that gave her the courage. Or maybe it was the fact that she was in an alternate universe. Anyway, without this love story, there would be no reason for Peter to return to the alternate universe. Peter and Olivia do actually belong together, even if their on-screen chemistry isn't setting anything on fire. They're pawns in a dangerous game between universes, and they're much more powerful together than apart. And now Peter has to travel back to his "home" to save her, to lead the Fringe Division into battle against the forces on the other side—and presumably to become the focal character of Season 3, much like Olivia was the focus of Season 1 and Walter (John Noble) of Season 2.

Actually, Peter has been the focus of Fringe ever since the "Peter" episode—and, if you've noticed, the Fringe Division hasn't been solving as many one-off cases since that episode aired. In "Brown Betty," Walter tripped out on drugs and told a story; in "Northwest Passage," Peter solved a case independently of the team; and in both parts of "Over There," everyone was busy traveling between the two universes. So does that mean Fringe is abandoning the "procedural" format that it began with? It's risky, but it could work. Fringe has used the single-episode cases of its first two seasons to build a complex mythology, and now that mythology is looking strong enough to stand on its own in Season 3, especially with the introduction of several "new" characters.

Walternate and Alt-livia have been set up as major forces of evil in Season 3, since Walternate is holding Olivia captive and Alt-livia has infiltrated our universe. Yet Walternate is also turning into a sympathetic character: He's pissed that Walter took his son away and he alluded to the devastating damage that Walter and William's experiments caused to his universe. If Season 3 teaches us more about the effects of inter-universe travel, reveals ass-kicking Alt-livia's motives, and shows us more of Alt-Broyles (Lance Reddick) in his tight black T-shirts, we might just have more than enough reasons to side with the alternates. Plus, the alternates have Alt-Charlie, and the world needs more Kirk Acevedo.

It's just a shame that William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) had to be all benevolent and martyr-like and sacrifice himself to guarantee the team's safe return to their universe. He was all grandfatherly and nice! And he had that awesome gun! And he shared such an adorable, bickering-based friendship with Walter! But when Leonard Nimoy wants to retire, it's wise not to stop him. So long, Spock.

What did you think of the Season 2 finale? And what do you think will happen in Season 3?


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>@ RedLocque

You forgot. The first actual universe-crossing was at Harvard when Walter & Bell sent a car through and back. It was after this that Walter made the viewing window in the lab, and watched Walternate trying to find a cure for Peter's illness. Then Walter saw something that Walternate missed, and made the cure himself, but too late to save his Peter. THEN, Walter made the doorway, went through, and kidnapped alt-Peter, to use the cure on him. Walter was going to return cured alt-Peter to the other side, bu his wife wouldn't let him.
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>@ RedLocque

You forgot. The first actual universe-crossing was at Harvard when Walter & Bell sent a car through and back. It was after this that Walter made the viewing window in the lab, and watched Walternate trying to find a cure for Peter's illness. Then Walter saw something that Walternate missed, and made the cure himself, but too late to save his Peter. THEN, Walter made the doorway, went through, and kidnapped alt-Peter, to use the cure on him. Walter was going to return cured alt-Peter to the other side, bu his wife wouldn't let him.
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>@ RedLocque

You forgot. The first actual universe-crossing was at Harvard when Walter & Bell sent a car through and back. It was after this that Walter made the viewing window in the lab, and watched Walternate trying to find a cure for Peter's illness. Then Walter saw something that Walternate missed, and made the cure himself, but too late to save his Peter. THEN, Walter made the doorway, went through, and kidnapped alt-Peter, to use the cure on him. Walter was going to return cured alt-Peter to the other side, bu his wife wouldn't let him.
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>@ RedLocque

You forgot. The first actual universe-crossing was at Harvard when Walter & Bell sent a car through and back. It was after this that Walter made the viewing window in the lab, and watched Walternate trying to find a cure for Peter's illness. Then Walter saw something that Walternate missed, and made the cure himself, but too late to save his Peter. THEN, Walter made the doorway, went through, and kidnapped alt-Peter, to use the cure on him. Walter was going to return cured alt-Peter to the other side, bu his wife wouldn't let him.
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Awesome show, as always. Was it me or was the whole thing with William Bell sacrificing himself at the end a bit reminiscent of Spock's sacrificing himself at the end of Star Trek II? Live long and prosper William Bell.
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How awesome was the fight between Olivia and Alt-livia? So cool!
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I saw the "twist" coming, but come on, that was just too obvious. I knew it was going to piss me off royally, but seeing Olive stuck in the padded cell watching Walternate through the door and her expressions and pleas for freedom were just the thing I needed to scream at the TV and wish that Season 3 would start next week so I wouldn't have to wait. I am interested in how the Alt-livia is going to fare in our universe. We've seen infiltrators with Charlie already. How long can that last? I am rooting for Peter and Olivia as a couple, and agree that Walternate has the perfect lure, or bargaining chip. Bring on Alt-Charlie, Walternate, and Alt-Broyles... and lets not forget Alt Astrid. She was only in for a few minutes... but I wonder, is there now going to be an Alt-Nina Sharp? How would that play?
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I really liked the twist at the end, but it was kind of obvious. I honestly wanted to end the story line about the alternate universes though because it wasn't explained thoroughly. I think they should have ended it and start with a new main plot next season so that they can focus on making the show better. I bet next season, the show is going to be stuck to where it was and its not going to attract new people from watching because they won't know what's happening. I mean Fringe was barely renewed, I just hope it sticks around for a season 4. I also do not like the Olivia-Peter thing. They're like brothers and sisters.
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i just hope they get the original Olivia back in her universe
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I love that we'll get to know the Alternates more next season. As for the two teams/ two realities, I'm sorry but I'll have to rule for anyreality with Charlie in it! That's if they give us Alt-Charlie love next season, if not I'll just care about Peter and his struggle between the two realities, that'll be a treat!
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i just wish Alternate Olivia hadnt come back with them, that sort of screwed it up because i just really want Peter and Normal Olivia to get together
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I didn't pick up on the switch until they actually 'landed' back in our universe, when Altivia had this incredible - yet subtle - look of wonder on her face at the realization she was now in a completely new universe. A very nice touch on the part of Anna Torv.

The switch could prove interesting, though. If Peter starts acting like he wants to pick things up where they left off before travelling back, will Altivia - knowing that while she suspects there may be something more between Olivia and Peter that what appears on the surface, when she asked Olivia about it, she denied that she and Peter were involved - think that maybe Peter is trying to "test" her - that he's sensing something is "off" but isn't sure what, and if so, she'll have to try and guess what to do from what she found out when talking to Olivia - which doesn't include Olivia's declaration of love.

As for Peter's easy decision to return to our universe, I think there are a few factors in that. I think Peter probably realized looking at the blueprints (among other things) that Walternate is every bit as mad as Walter is - if not more so, what with grief and rage fuelling his madness - but between Walternate being a psychopath and not having had parts of his brain surgically removed, he's been much better at faking sanity - but Peter's pretty good at picking up on ulterior motives and people not always being what they seem (especially given his underhanded means of survival prior to working with Fringe Division.) I also get the feeling that Peter just didn't connect with Walternate and Other-Mom the way he had with Walter and the mother who raised him. They look and sound just like the parents he grew up with, but they aren't, and I think Peter realized he would never be able to truly feel at home with them or in the alternate universe. To top it off, Olivia tells him that Walternate is planning to destroy our universe. Peter may be furious with Walter right now, and he may be confused about a lot of other things, but I don't think Peter is the kind of person who - under any circumstances - could allow an entire universe be destroyed - by him or because of him - and in this case, it would be both. So Peter didn't really have much choice but to return

As for the machine itself, I think that part of what went into Walternate's thinking when he made the machine was that if Peter, and ONLY Peter could activate it, then there's no way that our universe could accidentally be destroyed by the machine while Peter is over here. It's the ultimate "fail-safe" to ensure that Peter is on the side of the universe intended to survive.

I *really* enjoyed this episode. No, the ending wasn't nearly as shocking as Olivia in the WTC was at the end of last season, but I don't think there are too many things that *could* be that shocking. It's a pretty high bar, at any rate. But this episode was great. We got some answers and we got some good questions to gnaw on for the next 3 months :) I can't wait for September!
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I still haven't made up my mind about the episode. There were many great moments and it actually made sense for me that Peter would go back once he realized that his father had tricked him and that Olivia loved him. My problem is with the ending. You saw that one coming from miles away and my problem was that Walter and Peter should have seen it while they were in the opera. She just wasn't Olivia - which is good acting from Anna T but it just didn't make any sense that they wouldn't see it.
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the finale was pretty awesome. but i saw the whole "alternate olivia pretends to be out olivia and crosses over with them" thing coming as soon as she woke up william bell after the grenade. while the whole confession of love thing might have been cheesy, i think it's going to be a big help in figuring out that it's not our olivia, after all, when peter wants to be with her what do you think will happen? she'll say no because of her boyfriend and he'll notice it or something along those lines, it's still going to be a factor in discovering it's the alternate olivia
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I believe that Peter has the power that the other side needs (we all know that) but I think Olivia has the power that our side needs. I could see in another season or so that the two will have to go head to head. Maybe when in the hopefully far future when the series needs to end.
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Good!
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Yeah, it was awesome !!! There are many possible ways for alt-livia to be discovered, my personal favorite would be when she would ask for a massage from Peter but then ... he would keep it quiet and start searching for the cortexofan kids by himself. Plus the whole love thing adds a poetic touch !!!
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Predectible chiffhanger, but a nice one.



I expect like in season 2...3 or 4 episodes of Alt-livia and then Peter will found out. Like with Charlie.
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What was so hard to figure out about the kiss?? An absolute necessity for the writers!! How else is Peter to figure out that Alt-Livia is stepping out in her shoes?? Shouldn't take more than one kiss for Peter to see the switch. Now the "Walternative" has the needed pawn to lure Peter back. Nicely written. Can't wait for next season's Alt-Tech as well!!
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Ooh! and jamiep319, youre so right! i knew that was coming too. I want my poor olive to be back! I think that peter and the alternate ovila are gonna have sex.. Poor oliva..
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About what Volcanlord said... Walter did mention that oliva did not have her powers when he was freaking out about how he thought they were not able to cross.

By the way.. the finale was amazing!

I want to know what happens with olive!
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I totally agree with the article. On one hand I found the hook-up and the turning-Peter-back-to-this-side very quickly done, but then I started realising that I had really loved the episode until then and after that. Who really wants to see a twenty minute long debate about going back, just because were used to writers writing it that way? So yeay! I loved the episode.
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they could still do the "procedural" format as a way for 'this' Fringe team to realise that Alt-livia isn't the Olivia that they all know and love, as Peter said, "she's nothing like her"
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awsome episode can't wait for next season can it come fast please
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I thought it was great.
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i can see some Peter/alt-livia relationship (sex maybe?) going on throught the whole 3rd season and by the end "you belong with me" Oliv will be back to collect the pieces.... very J.J. Ambrams Alias style!
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Actually Vulcanlord they didn't, The crack in reality was already there. They opened it with the "Doorstop" and William Bell (whose cells were saturated with energy from all his years of Trans-Dimension travel) supplied the juice.
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Big loophole in this episode that kinda ticked me off. They needed the real olivia for her ability to make a crack in the two worlds yet the alternate olivia was there instead to infiltrate which wouldn't have made their travel possible. Whoops!
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They could do a Supernatural, in the procedural-serialized matter.
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It's being kicked around on the Fringe forum that Walter or Emmy (the niece) will be the ones to "discover" the Alt-livia (I'm growing partial to BOlivia-makes a weird sort of sense to me) Because Emmy having a child's mind, and Walter, a near child like mind at times. Season 3 is gonna be interesting. Yay for Fox for keeping this show for another year.
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Oh, my **** G-d! Cruel, I say; the folks responsible for one of the best investigative sci-fi series ever are decidedly cruel. you do not just have Olivia for all intents and purposes declare her love for Peter and then go and switch her for her alt. That\'s just not done. I\'m pissed off. Very. The episode was great, although I do believe Bell gets off just a tad easy. And what the hell did he mean when he said he crossed over and stayed to prevent a war. What, they were gonna pull a Warren Ellis moment and wage war between parallel Earths? How, and to what end? Wouldn\'t it have made more sense for Walternate to contact Walter and explain what his incursion into their universe had wrought so together they could find a solution? And, if Walter\'s trip into the other side was in fact responsible for all the laws of nature going haywire, how the deuce did they have the means to \"quarantine\" Boston? Was it not said in this season\'s last episode the city was quarantined by Fringe Division? Therefore implying Fringe had been around since before the Boston incident, which would mean Walter\'s little raid was in fact not responsible for the end of their world and suggesting Walternate may have had more to do with it than he advertises? Hmmm, I believe there is food for thought there. And lastly, I do sincerely hope They don\'t make us wait until the end of next season to get our Olivia together with Peter. Please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top.
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was anyone surprised by the olivia switch? i saw it coming the second she died her hair
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