Fringe: The Countdown to Doomsday

Fringe's third season finally returned to Sky1 this Wednesday with “The Firefly,” which focused on the "relationship" between Walter (John Noble) and August the Observer (Michael Cerveris), and revealed that Walter isn't as desperate to save Peter (Joshua Jackson) as he used to be. We also got an unexpectedly docile dose of Christopher Lloyd as Roscoe Joyce, former keyboardist and case-of-the-week catalyst. But mostly "The Firefly" seemed like a set-up for next week—especially once the following preview aired at the end of the episode:

Between what happened in "The Firefly" and what appears to be in store for next week, I found myself pondering lots of questions. Let's discuss them, shall we?

... What exactly are the Observers?
They’re obviously not human. But are they aliens? Animals? Vegetables? Minerals? Vampires? I'm betting on some sort of hybrid breed of shapeshifter.

... What do the Observers want?
“The Firefly” made it clear that these creepy hairless men are not entirely evil, even if they look the part—August did help that woman who was having an asthma attack. But as Walter, uh, observed, they've got their cold, emotionless eyes set on Peter. Now we just have to figure out why.

... What’s going to happen when the Doomsday device is activated?
From the looks of that preview, it’s not going to be pretty. If one or both universes is destroyed, do we get a third one to play with?

... Why doesn’t Walter feel the need to protect Peter anymore?
August was right when he told a fellow Observer that Walter has changed. The latter has become consumed with his own survival; he's trying to regain the knowledge he lost when William Bell removed parts of his brain, and he's retreating further into his already introverted self. I'd like to think that he's busy coming up with a business plan for Massive Dynamic, but there's definitely more to it than that.

... When are Peter and Olivia (Anna Torv) going to get back together?
They've been apart since Olivia returned from the Red Universe, and their interactions have been nothing but sad, sad, sad. Maybe I shouldn't care so much about their relationship, but whatever. They're cute together, and they work more efficiently when they're on the same wavelength.

... What’s going on in the alternate universe?
I miss Kirk Acevedo. And while I'm not a big fan of Walternate and Fauxlivia, their "evil" plans endanger the Blue Universe, so I'd like to know what they're up to. Plus, rumour has it that Andre Royo is returning as Olivia’s alternate-universe cabbie. More Bubbles, please!

... Where is Nina Sharp (Blair Brown)?
I get nervous when she disappears for episodes on end. What is she doing all day at the Massive Dynamic headquarters? I'm simply not convinced she's committed to the Blue Universe, even if she does possess that maternal instinct for Peter.

... Finally, did anyone catch “If I Only Had A Brain” playing in the background of the final scene?
Oh, the irony...

Post your own questions—and possible answers—in the comments.

Comments (4)
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Mar 25, 2011
Nice Twin Peaks reference with the 'Dr Jakobi' (as played by Russ Tamblyn) glasses.
Mar 24, 2011
What the hell is this? Had me thinking they switched the new episodes to Wednesdays for a second. Pointless article.
Mar 24, 2011
In the global Internet era, what's the point of reviewing old episodes? Most of your readers already watched episodes 11 to 17...
Mar 24, 2011
The Observer August was killed in season 2. September is our main Observer.

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