Fringe: Technology is a Bitch

Don't you hate it when you get a shapeshifter only to see it become obsolete the very next season by a newer, better model? Fringe explored that consumer annoyance in its own way tonight, giving us an up-close look at one of the new shapeshifters that makes the old ones look like your 8GB iPod. But "Novation" did more than just that. It answered several lingering questions about the differences between our old universes and the new universes, brought some guy named Peter back into the mix, and may have started an inter-universal war that will destroy everything as we know it. In other words, it was just another week for Fringe.

Peter's back and blah blah, we'll get to that later. First, I'd like to discuss the Shapeshifters, of which I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert on. So bear with me. "Novation" gave us the specs on a new breed of shapeshifter, the ones we've seen since the beginning of this season. They're the shiniest new model of the shapeshifters, able to retain the ability to turn into their previous forms (we saw a bit of that last episode, at least I think it was last episode, it's been so long), they can shift at greater speeds thanks to quad-core shifting processors, and they have super Wi-fi enabled typewriters. Finally! Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if you could push their belly button and ask for directions to the nearest dog groomer, like Siri. Finally, Peter believes that except for some hardware inside of them, they'd be virtually indistinguishable from whoever they bodyjacked. In other words, these shifters are badass and if for some reason someone sent a ton of them to our universe for some sort of war, we'd be pretty screwed. Foreshadowing alert!

What it also means is that Fringe is about to get some serious Battlestar Galactica stuff going on, with shifters able to slip into our midst with ease just like Cylons will in the future. Yes, this shifter might be the model worth standing in line for on release date. It's that good. And it's all fixed and healed thanks to Dr. Malcolm Truss, a former employee of Massive Dynamic that worked on cellular regeneration. He's kidnapped by one of these shapeshifters, Nadine, who old him she needs his help to get fixed because his research was used to help her regenerate skin as a cancer patient. She left out the bit about being a shapeshifter from another universe, though. Later, she's caught shapeshifting into Truss' wife so she played the "Be objective, you're a scientist!" card to get him to keep scientisting, and Truss whipped up a potion that fixed her. Oh Malcolm, you killed us all, you moron. Fringe's A-Team knocked down the door, but Nadine was able to escape thanks to ridonkulous parkour skills. At a bus station, she whipped out her Shifter Typewriter 4S and she did the tappy tappy thing on the keyboard to say she's got the formula. Remember this typewriter is Wi-fi so she doesn't have to be in the back room of an antiques store, and the response came back fast: UNDERSTOOD. BEGIN PREPARATIONS. WE'RE SENDING THE OTHERS.

Are they sending them all over so they can get the magical healing elixir? Are they sending them all over because it's time for war? Is there some sort of Groupon on inter-universe travel? I don't know. But if I had to guess, I'd say it's both A and B, and we're all going to die. Nice knowing you.

What I'm also not sure of is exactly who is the big boss of these shapeshifters. We're supposed to believe it's Walternate from these two universes, but is that for certain? Please discuss in the comments, because honestly, I don't remember if we found out. Even Walter early in the episode said it's reasonable to believe that there's a third universe out there, so why couldn't it be possible that these shapeshifters aren't from the Walternate universe? Perhaps they came here because they needed to get fixed up by our version of Dr. Truss, who is the only version of him left. I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm just throwin' stuff out there. And maybe these red and blue universes team up to fight the other universe! Okay, I'm really getting ridiculous.

Now we can talk about Peter. The best part about Peter coming back is that finally we have someone who knows everything we know, because unlike everyone else, he's the same guy we've hung out with the previous three seasons. It's like finding the only other person at a party who doesn't know anyone else there. Because as much as Walter, Olivia, Astrid, Broyles and others look like the ones we grew up knowing, they're not. Apparently some people are having a problem with this and can't emotionally connect with these new sets of Fringe characters. Technically, I can't blame them, but don't find it an issue. I see them as the essences of the characters we knew and a possibility of what they could be, and it also kicks in my paternal instinct to root for them to find their path and my internal philosopher to enjoy seeing how one small difference can have such a profound impact on their development. Sure, I miss the old Walter. But if I look really hard at the new Walter, I can see the old guy in there somewhere. That's something else to discuss: do you hate having to hang out with these new versions of characters we all loved?

But back to Peter. He's here, and he's remarkably together (and super confident!) for someone who should be banging his head off a wall of a universe where no one remembers him. But his return is a little underwhelming, and for some reason, I ain't complaining. We didn't learn much about where he's been, we didn't learn much about why he's here, and we get just a tad about why he left in the first place (Peter thinks he became a paradox when he should have died in both universes). We're not going to find this out right away, people. In fact, get ready to wait a long time to learn that and just enjoy it. No need to open your Christmas presents early.

It's clear Peter's return is not doing good things to Walter's head. It's so bad, that Walter's injecting all kinds of awesome stuff into himself to calm himself down because, well, he can. We know this Walter has lost two Peters, and the difference between this one and the one we know is pretty big. But there's a glimmer of hope at the end when Walter is able to look into Peter's eyes and see his son. Even though he claims Peter's return is his punishment, we get the sense that he may come around down the line.

There were also lots of lingering questions resolved. We found out that Nina practically (or literally?) adopted Olivia and her sister after Olivia's mom died. That's why they were so chummy a few episodes back. We also got intel on Walter's hatred of Nina; turns out he blames, or blamed, her for Peter's death as she told him not to cross the line. We also got confirmation that William Bell is dead (perhaps we already knew? Again, there's too much information in this show for a simpleton like me to keep track of).

[UPDATE] I forgot to add a bit about Olivia's deja vu, of which we've seen something similar before in the last episode. I think it's a "time slip," which was teased in the "next on Fringe." If you're unclear about those, you're not alone. I'm expecting next episode to be about that. [/UPDATE]

What made "Novation" such an enjoyable episode was that Fringe has been off for two weeks and it's been way too long. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. But seriously, what made it so entertaining was how evenly the episode was distributed: we got a few questions answered about the relationships between these "new" characters, we got the thrill of having Peter back, and some new awesome shifters with super Wi-fi typewriters just declared war on us. Solid, solid episode.


Notes From the Other Side:

– I know I shouldn't really like any scenes without any of the familiar Fringe characters in it so much, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Nadine-Truss storyline. Plus Arye Gross! Remember him? Soul Man?

– This universe doesn't know anything about the Observers. Finally! Someone on my level!

– Did Olivia ask Lincoln out? I know some people are thinking that, but I didn't see it that way. I think she noticed Lincoln was acting a little down and just wanted to help him out.

– Yo! Was Dr. Truss' dog Vincent from Lost?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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You're definitely spot on with your third-universe theories. Perhaps you're privy to some intel on the debacle because of your job, or perhaps you really underestimate your sci-fi intuition, but these Shapeshifters 3.0 have got to be from a third universe, or as I'd like to submit, 'Another There.' Okay, that probably won't become a thing--who comes up with this terminology anyway?--but I wouldnt be surprised if the mastermind behind this impending war was even more sinister than Walternate and ultimately results in a concerted effort on the part of the red and blue universes to defeat this alternate.

I'd also like to clarify: in Walter's monologue, he mentioned Nina being there that fateful night to warn him that he was crossing the line, but I don't think he said blamed her all those for what she said, but rather that she was there in the first place, contributing to the lake's ice's instability. Or maybe it was a mix of both. He hated her for the former and blamed her for the latter.

....I agree with your take on hanging out with these Peter-deprived characters; they're still Olivia, Walter, and Astrid at they're core, only less put together. Moreover, I think their current states reveal more about their characters and their relationships with each other. I have no problem connecting.

....Olivia totally asked Lee out. She's LONELY remember? And he's got that dapper, sensitive nerd thing going for him. Why wouldn't she be interested.
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I have to admit, getting Peter back was a breath of fresh air, as you said he is the only person on the show that knows everything we know! I don't mind the different version of these characters, it's interesting how a few turn of events can change someone's outlook and personality, I just hope that now with Peter back in the mix Walter and Olivia and everyone else will slowly start to evolve into something new! That is what is awesome about tv, watching characters slowly evolve (i.e. Breaking Bad &SOA).

Also, many have been frustrated by this season saying its going slow. You all are silly. Fringe is at its best when it is slowly peeling itself back like an onion layer by layer. There is NOTHING wrong in with getting a few questions answered, watching character relationships develop and leaving an overall big question (How/Why did Peter come back?) unanswered in the same episode. Indulge in the uncertainty and the fact that you are watching a show that Makes you think. As you said Tim, Don't open your Christmas presents early:P
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I love this show because at the beginning of the season, it always shows just how far these characters have to go to make things "right", and then at the end of the season we usually get a huge pay off because of that. Right now I'm thinking that we've got a hell of a long way to go to get all these characters back in synch.



I'm hoping for some event that brings back a rush of memories like they did in LOST. Oh Joshua Jackson, how we missed you, you Canadian Dreamboat!
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Apparently they're gearing up for some awesomeness that we can't foresee as yet. We all have to know that all our favorite characters are one dimensional and superfluous at this point, and a bit boring. I have to trust they will make it right as they always have - perhaps Olivia's cab driver will save the day. Tim, your assessment of the situation is right on the money. How can they not follow Peter, he's they only "real" character in the show right now...
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Well, I'm starting to get a bit annoyed by that massive amnesia thing. But things seem to go forward as Peter showed how useful he can be. The paradox is that I wouldn't like that things got back to normal because that would have mean that all those s4 episodes are just useless. So I just want the story to go forward. And it looks like it will.

I'm not really a fan of the shapeshifters storyline because it doesn't seems fesh anymore. I mean, the typewriter, the mean shapeshifters : that's deja vu. Ok, they are supposed to be better because near to perfection (in the shapeshifter excellence-meter) but the old ones were cooler when they were eating thermometers.

The time slip though is intriguing.

Can't wait for next week to see where all of this is going.

Btw : the opening credits thing is intriguing. Nice catch. That definitely means something greater than we've seen so far is coming and that's just what I need !

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Yay, Peter's back!

I feel like I'm on the same level as the characters. We all don't know anything :P
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I buy super-confident Peter because of who he started out as, and who he became over the last three seasons.

Peter, when we first met him, was a super intelligent con-man who faked his way into a teaching position at MIT, I think, and into million dollar deals with Middle Eastern businessmen.

On top of that, he's spent three years facing and fighting the weirdest, most bad-ass craziness you can possibly imagine, all while learning that he comes from another Universe and finding the love of his life (and losing her, and winning her back).

At the very end of last season we saw him come into his own as a man who knew what he wanted, yet was willing to put his life on the line for the sake of the world (and his loved ones, of course).

I just don't see "becoming a deleted paradox that suddenly pops back into existence without anyone remembering him" fazing him much - give him a week, and he'll set things right. :D

Yay for BAMF!Peter! :D
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boring
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Glad to have my man Peter back!
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really liked the return of peter
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I didn' t feel "Olivia was asking Lincoln out" I felt it more like very a shy attempt to bond with Lincoln; make friends as somebody else mentioned. But I do think Olivia has a slight attraction for him... and by the way this version of Lincoln is soooo shy and reserved! Wouldn' t it be funny if this Lincoln were gay? Not the fact that he might be gay but that Olivia might feel a bit bummed about it when finding out and that maybe that would open the doors for the other Lincoln (earring Lincoln) to make his move LOL!



I do think that Peter is acting way too cool. I mean after finding out he's something of a paradox and that maybe he should have died: He didn't even look sad... he was supposed to be in love with Olivia right? Mmm now that I remember: he was sort of in love with both of them, right? So is this his "once bitten twice shy" reaction with Olivia? Something like: "Let's figure this out before handing out my heart again" ?
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Well Peter is basically amazing, so he can take anything in his stride, but I think he's generally just realising what has happened, and trying not to freak everyone out. P.S. Lincoln's 'earring' is the phone things they have on the other side.
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Yeah I know the "earring" is the equivalent of the "free hands blue tooth" thingy communicator LOL! It is just that I saw an interview with Seth Gabel where he refers to the 2 characters he plays as: "earring Lincoln" & "glasses Lincoln"
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Side-note: I want Charlie back! NOW!
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I think Olivia asking Lincoln for a drink is because of "Peter". You know she is lonely, she knows there is a void in her life..so maybe Peter's "appearance" just nudged her to act on fixing it.



The red universe's Lincoln got a thing for both Olivias... I love him but i hate that!...



This Episode was the best of this season...
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Nah, that's good - because Peter belongs to "our" Olivia, Fauxlivia is going to need someone to console her! ;)
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The best episode of the season so far.. Point !
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Is it possible that the new shapeshifter are some how connected with the ZFT and Jones?
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Cylons are from the past, not the future, you should know that you dumb editor. "with shifters able to slip into our midst with ease just like Cylons will in the future"
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That's what he wrote:

"with shifters able to slip into our midst with ease just like Cylons will in the future"

Just like Cylons will (slip) in the future (from the past).

OR

With the same ease as Cylons will (slip) in the future (from the past).

Cylons slip in the future (from the past), shifters slip in our mist.



Everyone else understood.



But since you resort to insults that definitely means that YOU are the one who is right.
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Of course, adherents to the original version know that Cylons have been at war with the colonies for over a thousand years, that the Galactica reached the 13th colony in 1980... and that Cylons aren't slipping into our midst because they are shiny, awkward, and have one red eye that bounces back and forth for no reason.



Eric has a point, and it's valid, if rudely presented. Cylons slip into our midst in the past. It's TERMINATORS that slip into our midst in the future... and in the past (crud. this is harder than I thought). No wait. It's definitely REPLICANTS that slip into our midst in the future.
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I also think this was the best episode so far. I am glad to see that the show does not jump to integrating Peter back. Fringe is indeed a delicious meal that we have to enjoy bite after bite :) I agree that if Peter is back, it is because another paradox exists and that the two worlds are imbalanced, I cannot wait to find out what will happen next! And good point for the Observers, I am sure they will appear soon and Peter's knowledge will help him getting Walter's trust after all. Finally, I think it would be great if Olivia and Lincoln would date. It will only force Olivia to question her unexplainable attraction to Peter.
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Ok...so Peter said he needed Walter to help him figure out why he is back. This is a good point. He was erased from existence so how come the sudden reappearance? I believe that the Observers overlooked something when they took Peter away. His absence created an unforeseen variable which did not exist before in either the intended timeline or the actual one but is now present in the current timeline. Peter is back because an imbalance still exists. There is another paradox just like him.
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At first I couldnt understand Walters 'unscientific' reaction to Peter's presence then in the last scene and the scene with Nina I began to see it was joy...and fear and love(from previous seasons, I dont think anyone can doubt the love Walter has for his son). Walter destroyed 2 universe for his son,imagine what he'll do if he embraces the new Peter and tries to 'help' him! Oh boy :)
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I thought this episode was the best of the season. Good to have Peter back, and glad he used that shapershifter knowledge he gained from hunting down and killing the old models. Even though that didn't happen. But hey, it's good to have an almost-invincible bad guy around that you love to hate, and the team is back together!
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I'm coming into this too late to provide anything productive to the discussion, so I'll just say this. Loved this episode, can't wait for more. Don't mind hanging out with these new characters, looking forward to their development. As far as keeping things straight, we'll get all the info eventually, so not keeping every detail intact just adds to the ability of this show to be able to surprise us. I'm okay with that. Good acting all around, love the Observer mentions, and heck if I know about the dog. Oh, and Olivia should love Peter (my romantic side coming out there).
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I swear I almost started to hate MLB ... however, in my opinion this is the same universe from which Peter disappeared, and not a new third world. Peter is the anomaly that the observers had to fix, and now we are simply seeing a world where Peter didn't existed. But since Peter is back (and was not supposed to happen) this world (the world were Peter never existed) is collapsing or even better is integreting with the world were Peter existed. This can be explaind with the ''vision''that had Olivia in the end of the episode.



Who are the new shapeshifters 2.0 with the new WiFi typewriter? and who the hell knows ... Now I don't remember if they even explained who they were and who sent the model 1.0 are we sure that was Walternate?
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yes, Walternate was responsible for the original shapeshifters.

William Bell was forced to design them.

Remember how Newton was assisting Alt-livia in her infiltration?
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I believe her name is Faux-livia!
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Tnx I remember now.... By the way where is Newton? i dont't think he's death.
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boring
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Fringe got a reboot with season 4. The chemistry between the main actors, which made the first three seasons so watchable, is gone and I don't have a clue, how the writers will fix it. The unscientific technobabble is the lamest part of Fringe, especially since the former story arc is destroyed as well. I'll keep watching anyway.
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So true. Torv doesn't have any range she is just painfully boring, the interaction of the other characters made it watchable.
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Anna Torv has NO range? We can't possibly be watching the same show, clearly you've never seen her Alternate Olivia impression..



Why do people always have such bad judgement....
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I think Uma meant "In her new role". Actually The new Olivia has no range and, yes, kinda boring, this season.



About Anna Torv's range:

And what about her William Bell impression?
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Really?! alternate Olivia? I think Anna Torv's personality is naturally reserved. Alternate Olivia is a slightly less bland Olivia with red hair.
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we know from many other stories, lost in particular, that finding out or getting an explanation for something even something important isn't just going to happen. so good advice. no need to get all over something that may not happen...
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It only happened with Lost.

I fear that it is going to happen with Fringe also. The viewers will be dropped like garbage or we'll get some stupid explanation like:

"the Fringe division never existed, there is no two-universes, everything was imagine by Walter from his psychiatric ward."



Carter had the decency to make a movie after the X-files series to tie the looses end for the fans.

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Everything in Lost definitely happened other than the side-flashes in Season Six! This is not the same thing in any way.
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I've heard that [spoilers]







David Robert Jones will be back[/Spoilers] He could be behind this.
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Now, there's one small flaw in the old "suspension of disbelief" system. Having someone's genetic code does NOT mean that you can create someone who looks just like them! Don't believe me? Did you have the same genetic code when you were 2, when you were 12, and when you were 21? Yes? Did you look the same each time?



Peter should have picked up on the fact that a shapeshifter should have no scars, and always have an appendix, instead of saying they were completely indistinguishable. Solution? Start tattooing people with some kind of invisible ink... DNA will duplicate the person, but not the tattoo, and if it's invisible, the shapeshifter won't be able to duplicate it easily...
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The tatoo is a good idea but what happens if the shapeshifters manage to get a tatoo on one of them ? Or worse, if they manage to replace the guy who tatoo people ? It's too much of risk to have to add something to not-shapeshifters. It would be safer to find something that differentiate shapeshifters from humans on anatomical level. Something impossible to forge. Easier said than done of course.
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I just thought of an easier way to screen for them... MRI security checkpoints. Normal people, no problem. Shapeshifter, a piece of metal in their neck rips out.
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Tattoos??? Like on the back of the neck?? Haven't we seen this somewhere before? ;)
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"we are sending the others" will take much less time than tatooing 7 billion people...

They'r F-ed anyway.
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You don't HAVE to tattoo 7 billion people... just the ones with access to important stuff. You know, the way the Air Force does background checks on the people who work in the missile silos, but not everyone else. Or the way the FBI investigates people who have access to government secrets, but not people who have access to Secret antiperspirant. See how that's different?
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Yes. You have a point. But you didn't specify tattooing "key people" hence my misunderstanding.
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The tattoo is a really good idea, is there some sort of x-ray that can scan for the disks? This may have been covered in the past, but it might work. Or put some sort of chip like an identifier in peoples wrists that also couldn't be duplicated by the shifters, however once they (the shifters) knew about it they could remove it and put it in themselves but it would make it harder for them to copy someone cause they would have to put in the new chip each time they copy someone and again when they want to switch back and forth.
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I was thinking some more along the lines of something that could scan for their specific energy signature.
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Peter warned that the broadcasting would stop as soon as the "puppetmaster" behind the shapeshifters figured out that the Fringies knew about the beaconing.
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Olivia was able to resist Walternate's brainwash because she kept Peter deep in her memory. When she returned to her universe she reproached Peter for being so easily deceived by B-Olivia (while she held desperately to her memory of him) and pushed him away for a while.

In episode 1 of this season, Olivia metions her kidnapping to B-Olivia.

If Peter did not "exist" , How was Olivia able to come back?

Also, What happened to Walternate's grandson?
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We can't assume that anything that we've already seen has happened without Peter being there, so Walternate's grandson almost certainly doesn't exist, and Olivia obviously found some other way to distinguish herself (perhaps using Peter as well, as Faux-livia would probably feel whole, as opposed to our Olivia having 'something missing' all her life).
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I'm definitely more a fan of the character interactions, so I really enjoyed the scenes between Peter and Walter and Olivia and Lincoln. Peter has spent a long time dealing with all the craziness around him and the fact that Walter kidnapped him from his "true" parents, so seeing him trying to reach out to Walter, who has been so fractured by the absence of his son in this universe was heart-wrenching. But seeing Olivia, who in this reality, had no one to break her out of her shell, starting to warm up to Lincoln -whose other version has the big time hots for Faux-Livia- instead of Peter, is seriously gonna create some great drama for the rest of the season.
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I think this is my favourite episode so far, mostly because we have a plot forming! And I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in having an interest in Nadine. I think she was my favourite part of the episode, and I'm curious to see what she's going to do, and if her daughter is just another fake persona of her.
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PETER'S BACK!!! It is so refreshing to have someone up to speed with mostly everything the audience knows. I understand there are some who love seeing all the nuanced discrepancies and changes of this new universe from the Blue/Red. But, I'm beginning to tire of these alternate versions of the characters we journeyed three amazing seasons with. Walter is a shell of his former self, full of guilt, self-pity and remorse, with only occasional glimpses of the man he was with Peter. Olivia is even more emotionless and detached (possibly because she killed her stepfather), and I'm missing the once uptight Olivia who was gradually softened by Peter's affections. I've got a feeling because of Peter's reappearance (and the more frequently occurring time-slips), the clock on this Yellow/Orange/Amber universe has begun to countdown. I predict we will see a new color (or old color) in the intro very shortly.
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Something that would be interesting is if this current universe becomes the future universe that Peter experienced. If you haven't read my comments below concerning the color of the universe and the intro. I think we are already seeing an old color re-appearing
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I hadn't read your comments, but rest assured, I have now. What's more, I was so impressed by this astute observation, I rewatched the intros of every episode in this season (I have them all downloaded on my computer). I easily detected a significant change from episode 4, compared to 5 (especially in the darker contrast of the Fringe letters), but it was more difficult to ascertain if this was a gradual process, slowly darkening ever so subtly since the first episode of this season. I'll definitely be closely scrutinizing the next intro.
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there is only one reason for the deja vu ... they must have changed something in the matrix!
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I don't like these versions of the Walter, Nina and Astrid, Olivia is equally boring in both timelines. I like Lincoln and think they should use him more.
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Remember The Observers were astounded that Peter's existence was bleeding through to this reality, even though that was supposed to be "impossible". I'm sure that's a clue of some sort.
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I'm really interested in the "time-slip"... what on Earth could that possibly be? I have to admit my first thought was Blue Olivia and Orange Olivia are syncing up(?)... maybe they're connecting and the Blue universe and the Orange one are merging or joining together and they will eventually become on universe where things like the WiFi typewriter still exist from the Orange but the characters go back to their normal Blue universe selves. I'm rambling. That makes no sense at all. When it comes to Fringe there are so many possibilities I don't ever know where to begin. My mind turns to jelly trying to figure out whats going on!
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is there anyway to watch this online with subtitle? cause my dvr went hell on me :(
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There is but it's probably illegal in the country you live in.
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Definitely a great episode. So far, I am loving this season. While things are very different (Nina adopting Olivia, Walter blaming Nina for thie "incident"), the changeup is necessary and understandeable given the situation. I felt so bad for Peter and Walter. Having your son right in front of you, but having every reason to believe he's a fraud sounds, and by the expressions on Walter's face, looks heartbreaking. Also, the new shifters changes the game completely (I love it, even though Peter is right that humans are in more danger now than ever). Olivia's little time-warp took me completely by surprise! This is what I love about this show: little tidbits here and there of things to come, yet not showing us the whole picture right away, especially the part about sending the other shifters (WOW!). I, for one, am in no rush to find out what most of what happened in this episode means. Fringe handles the waiting game extremely well to me. Man, I love this show!
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It was a great Fringe episode, but I have to admit I do very much miss the seasons 1-3 timeline, with THOSE characters and THOSE relationships: the ones we originally fell in love with. That's not to say season 4 hasn't been interesting- I'm definitely in it for the long haul!- but I just hope that when all is said and done, either these "realities" merge, or we go back to the original one. I'm even wondering if perhaps this world is a "third universe", and Peter will ask Olivia's help to cross over, to get back to his universe- the "blue" one. Wouldn't that be a parallel to season 3, huh? Well, one way or another, I have faith that at some point the characters are going to regain their memories- it's more a matter of how long we have to wait.



Oh, Peter. It's sad seeing him ache to be "home", to be with his little family unit, but everyone's so afraid of him! I miss Peter/Walter and Peter/Olivia stuff. Here's hoping next episode rectifies that.
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I do not think Olivia was asking Lincoln out so much as using dinner as an excuse to distract them both from their pensiveness. Obviously Lincoln is disturbed by the shifters (they caught the case because he is watching local law enforcement reports so closely) and the fact that this shifter got away is weighing heavily upon him. Olivia is disturbed by the Peter situation and is avoiding him, unsettled because Peter appeared to both she and Walter, and she has no reference for why he appeared to her. Dinner was her way of letting them both off the hook for brief respite.



This is one of the most noticeable differences between Blue and Amber Universe Olivia - Blue Olivia would have kicked the door in on Peter and shaken the answers out of him without wasting a moment. Amber Olivia is hiding out from the Peter from another universe who looks at her with so much emotion and knowledge. I am not impressed with this cowardice.



On a side note, the final scenes with Peter and Walter were brilliantly shot. The camera angles and lighting expressed as much emotion and poignancy as the actors and the dialogue. This show continues to deliver captivating and compelling television on every level.
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I really like "Novation" poor Peter :(...but I was really disappointed when Olivia made an attempt to go on a date or what ever with Lincoln,the scene was very weak and felt awkward imo. Where was Astrid? and some of Nina's lines sounded stupid,I hope "TWLB" kicks ass next week.
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She wasn't trying to ask him out. She was trying to cheer him up. Did everyone forget that Lincoln's partner died from a shapeshifter case? Obviously the subject of shapeshifters is a very touchy one for him and he's upset that they failed to catch another one. Olivia was being nice; she wasn't asking him out.
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If I remember correctly back in season 2 Walternate came over to the blue universe with the help of Newton..a Version 1 shapeshifter to see Peter, which makes me wonder if the upgraded models are from the same red universe as Walternate and also whether Walternate knows anything, but then again why would he when both universes are meant to be working together now.. So I guess these could be from a new universe!



I'm also missing the old characters that I've been attached too in the blue universe, the "glich" that Oliva experienced near the end of the episode shows that something is afoot, and the fact Oliva saw Peter in her dreams means he was still a part of the current universe, maybe memories will come back.
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So a thought:



We seem to be describing universes based on the colors of the intro. So now we are in an amber'ish universe. Has anyone else noticed the growing black borders in the introduction? Perhaps this is indicative of the future universe and how it is encroaching on this current universe through the new Shapeshifters. Just a thought
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Wow, can't believe you caught that! Its just raised a whole load of new questions for me though!
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Have these dark borders you refer to been in the amber opening since the start of season 4 or just started with "Novation"? Because honestly, I don't see any difference between the intro in the season 4 episodes so far.
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Yes actually. Rewatch the opening for subject 9 and then rewatch the opening for Novation. The part where Fringe comes on the scene the dark edges have increased actually a lot from last episode. For subject 9 the darkest part is restrained only to the edges. In Novation it has expanded to at least the entirety of the left and right side.
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Yeah I saw the darker vinetting on the opener too, if they went to the trouble of changing the opener like this then I'm guessing something is changing in this universe too
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I'm personally thinking it's the Black universe. One could assume that whatever bad stuff was happening then could have traveled back. Peter went there which could have created a connection that the baddies followed back.
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Another thought as well specifically with Olivia's weird little time jump around thing.



Presuming the Black Universe is responsible for the shapeshifters, and are jumping back through time that might have activated Olivia's cortexifan abilities. So she might be sensitive to temporal/spatial manipulations. Meaning the worse it gets the more destabilized messed up she will get.
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Staff
Whoa! That's a cool catch. I'm gonna check that out next time I watch!
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Charliesmess, I believe it was mentioned in the last episode that she was part of the trials. Would have to re-watch it though. If it wasn't mentioned outright then it is implied by the fact that the fellow who was manifesting powers did remember her from the trials.
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Do we know if Olivia in this universe was exposed to cortexifan?
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It really pisses me off when Fringe goes anti-science on us. "Some things are not ours to tamper with"? Really? I guess Galileo was wrong then. Scratch that, I guess Darwin was wrong? Seriously, it drives me nuts to keep hearing this theme in this form well into the 21st century, and it ruins every episode of Fringe that uses it for me.
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I took it as William Bell, having seen the results of Dr Truss in the red universe, not wanting to develop shifters in the blue universe. But that is a lot to explain to Dr Truss and the obscure verdict is the necessary imputes for Truss to develop the serum.
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In science there are boundaries. It'll always be like this - as long as people are around there will be ethics and morals and I don't understand why you're complaining about it. There is absolutely nothing anti-scientific about saying that there are things we shouldn't tamper with. You do realize that ethics is an important aspect of modern day scientific research, right?

And just why exactly are you talking about Galileo and Darwin now? No one suggested they were wrong anywhere in the episode. It would have made more sense if you had talked about Mendel or, to be more recent, Evans, Capecci and Smithies.
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With all due respect, that's a load of bull. In Fringe we've had Walter praying for forgiveness despite having claimed to be an Atheist, and the notion that "some things belong to God" has been explicitly stated mutiple times. This is not about ethics, it's about religion, and it's annoying as hell. Which is why I chose to compare it with religious attacks on science rather than genetics, which is the current pet issue of bioethics.



Ethics are important in science, but scientists tend to have the issue well under control. The fascination about "boundaries" in science comes from a very Victorian fear of reason and it's basically anti-intellectual crap, which is even more annoying because we live in a fantastic age of great technology that is then used directly to spout nonsense about how technology is evil. It drives me nuts.
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Mr. Vega - really??!! If all science is fair game, then maybe the Nazis weren't so bad after all? It's not that the show "goes anti-science on us" but rather reminds us that the means does not always justify the end. After all, if the price of science is the sacrifice of our humanity we are all lost.
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Dude, it`s just fiction, relax.
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Yeah, but bad fiction is annoying. If Fringe happened to be blatantly sexist I would be as bothered. It's more frustrating because it can be pretty good most times. They just get this really wrong.
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Enjoyed the episode. Not because it was off for the past two weeks (stupid baseball), its because it was one of the best episodes of the season so far. It looks like Fringes version of attack of the body snatchers part duh is part to take off. I mean look at the message:" Understood. Begin preparations. We're sending the others. That right there is some grade A alien invasion stuff. I believe that the shapeshifters are from another universe but I do think someone from Walternate's universe (not Walternate himself) is behind them. But am fine with their being someone from a third universe is behind this though. It'll make it more interesting. Hey Tim I noticed that you didn't mention Olivia's little time jump anomaly. The same thing happened that same episode Peter came back. Am guessing we will be seeing a few more of those.



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Most intrigued by Olivia's time relapse (or was it a deja-vu?) at the end of the ep... does this mean she is activating some latent powers to travel in time or in between universes? is this leading towards her remembering peter as he was? It seemed a bit rude of Lincoln not to accept her invitation.... Is it because he is the one believing Peter's story (and guessing the past he shares with Olivia?)? I am rather impressed with season 4 so far... like fringe is a new series but still with all the good stuff from before...
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I think it's interesting to see the Fringes in this universe but I really hope that it wont go on forever, I want them back soon!

I found it strange that Olivia wasn't more eager to speak with Peter, why was she just staring!? She dreamed of him and tried to find him and now...nothing!?

There's alot to say and think about regarding the new supershifters but right now all I can think about is: How do they change clothes so fast? I mean they are not like that T2 Terminator who turns silver and then make new clothes!? Silly I know.
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"I found it strange that Olivia wasn't more eager to speak with Peter, why was she just staring!? She dreamed of him and tried to find him and now...nothing!?"

She actually made reference to those dreams. She wondered was she was connected to him. To me, it seems that she was a bit fascinated as well.
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It would be easier to believe that a third universe is involved with these new shape shifters coming along. We've had this feeling that someone was plotting to destroy both universes long ago. However, i feel somehow, it's about to get more complicated than that. I feel like all it's possible, even aliens lol.



I'm not really loving this new universe honestly, Olivia has a more sadden and boring personality than ever. The confident, enjoyable Walter isn't anymore either, instead we get this guy who's nearly afraid of everything now. These new characters in comparison to the old ones are simply bad but i guess it had to be this way to show how much would change if peter wasn't around.
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Good i am not watching frigne :D
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I don't understand. I thought Peter "never existed" which means he didn't exist as a child and didn't drown. Otherwise they would have said "died in the lake".



Did the writers change their minds?
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Actually, they said "never existed" at the end of the last ep of the last season. But early on this season the same observers said that "he was dead as a child" or "they never saw him grow". The odd are either that the formulation of last season was a bit tricky to tease our interest or that the writers get the details of Peter's disappearance after shooting the last ep last year.
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I think they just meant "never existed" after he dies as a child; thus he wasn't a trigger for The Machine. Sloppy shorthand.
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My guess is that the shapeshifters are from a 3rd parallel universe. Why they are invading our universe is beyond me!

I enjoy the new characterization of everyone, although I was more emotionally invested with their previous versions.



Besides all you notes, I think there's something else to note about this episode:

What's up with Olivia's Dj Vu? No only in this episode, but also on the previous one... Isn't that intriguing?
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Staff
I just added an update with that. I think it was a time slip, which was teased in the "next on FRINGE" thing at the end.
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