Season 4 Episode 8

Back to Where You've Never Been

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 13, 2012 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
451 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Fringe: Infinite Possibilities

    The delayed winter finale was worth the wait; Peter sniffed around the other universe in search of a way to get home.

  • Episode Summary

    While Olivia and Lincoln try to return Peter home, they try to cope with the looming threat of the transparent shapeshifters. Meanwhile, a traitor is revealed and an old enemy emerges from the shadows.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • I Dont know about you but after, Ill just say 10 weeks, Im a bit dissappointed.

      We want to know more about Peter. And all we get is nonsense about the shapeshifters. It started off okay. But then just got more and more confusing. So walernate may not be responsible for the shapeshifters. But then who else is there? Certainly not the watchers.

      All episodes while ending on a cliffhanger still can act as its own as an episode. I Felt this episode did not. IT felt like the 1st of a two part episode, which i doubt will happen.

      This episdode, while not bad was considerably slower than the rest this season, and I just about fell asleep during this episode.moreless
    • Positive restart, friendly parallel trippers, overwhelming comeback, intriguing cliffhanger (Spoilers)

      For the moment I still haven't completed my review of Wallflower, the last episode before the winter break. But it doesn't imply at all that I had lost faith in Fringe. There're just moments in life when you have to think instead of doing things. Was it a dream ? Maybe a nightmare ? The truth is that the boundaries between reality and fiction are thin at times. So I wasn't surprised by the beginning of this 8th episode because it just felt natural. Sexy Walter cooking breakfast. Peter and Olivia in love like if nothing happened. An oneiric life that acted as a wake up call and allowed him to find a new solution to his problem. I wanted to get back. He just wants to get back !

      It took me some weeks to watch Fringe again but as expected this first installment of a whole new journey didn't disappoint. First I have to admit that I never really felt sympathy for Lincoln considering the awkward way he was introduced in this season pilot. But thanks to this story he has finally reached a dimension that made me care for him. Of course his few encounters with his alternative self weren't as jaw dropping, and charming, as with the Olivias but I will never get tired of these parallel trips. He's also part of a hypertriangle involving Peter and Olivia so his empathic factor has definitely increased.

      But this episode best part was with no doubt the highly anticipated return of Walternate. I probably mentioned it in all my past reviews considering how much John Noble amazes me. How wise to keep such an asset to boost the season ! At first the quick and dirty portal they opened at the opera made me skeptical because it seemed way too easy. It also woke up the geek within and reminded me of Quake III Arena so I began to worry that Peter and Lincoln would turn into blood thirsty gladiators ! The writing of their attempt to reach the island was sloppy in my opinion because it was more reminiscent of professor Arturo in Sliders' pilot, when he faked to be a general, than the best of what Fringe has to offer. But it was a minor issue compared to what happened next. Indeed Peter meeting his alternate mother was already moving but I was overwhelmed when he met Walternate face to face. I knew something was going on and their scene was incredibly intense but I never excepted his assistant was a shapeshifter. Damn writing spoilers like if it was nothing is so new and painful, probably as much as Olivia's headache is starting to worry her.

      All in all focusing on the shapeshifters couldn't be more exciting and they definitely have the potential to turn se4son into an other s3ason. Yes, The Matrix is everywhere ! Even in this very review. More seriously I question the double cliffhanger because I think Broyles' call was enough, implying that he's working with the shapeshifters, but as I really care for Olivia I can't wait to watch the next episode. Don't worry Anna Torv, if they kill her there's still Bolivia ! And if they kill them all, well we will call Neo plus Spartacus plus Dexterminator to change their mind !

      Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.moreless
    • Way to much stuff

      When I saw the high ratings I thought this was going to be the greatest episode of the season. Not quite, instead of answers to move on one path they develop more questions than answers and another twist a Olivia has to die. When they use to do twist they were always things we knew in the back of our heads but wouldn't believe it possible. Until the writers got us and we will scream I knew it, I knew it good episode. Now their twists are like something we never expect and don't have any since, first everything was happening because Peter needed to die, now that he's here things are changing and people are suddenly coming up with ideas that were never possible until Peter arrived that was explained on episode 6. Now that's turning out to be a red herring and Olivia needs to die, I'm tired of this you need to die to save all universes it's getting really old. I was looking for more creativity than this type of overused card, we have so many things going on in one episode and it's not finishing story lines. Instead they seem to just toss them aside and hope we don't notice it, this is becoming a big problem. I gave it good because it kept me entertain, even though I was mostly still confused. Do they want us to focus on this world because Peter claims to be from another universe, or should we dwell in this world because Peter is confuse.moreless
    • Break on Through to the Other Side.

      You know the Blue destroys the Red, the Red divides the Ambar and although Peter tried to run and tried to hide, much like the Doors song, he just breaks on through to the other side.

      After much deliberation, Peter is convinced the Doomsday machine will help him go back to his own domestic setting through the entry point in Orpheum Theater, established all the way back on season two. Problem is: Peter and Amber Lincoln arrive in the middle of a shapeshifter crisis, interrupting an all too familiar scene between Fauxlivia and Red Lincoln.

      In an adrenaline charged game of shifting alliances and reluctant trust, both Lincolns manage to find a middle ground based in their shared belief Olivia is a good person, However, is Peter and Walternate's shared belief than neither one belongs with the other, what reveals the Red Universe's Brandon was an infiltrator all along. Peter is, once again, the last hope to save two Universes he helds no alliance to. Always the same, yet ever so different.

      Unbeknown to the man Walternate knew exactly Peter would turn out to be, the Observer who made this all possible (September), dies in the Amber Univer after issue an omen: there's no future he can see in which either Olivia is still alive.

      R.I.P. September, I knew you would only follow August ...for you always do.moreless
    • Still fairly confused

      Another production by the mind of J.J. Abrams, and this was definitely his best episode of the season thus far; albeit still confusing. It's satisfying to know that Peter's own personal storyline is progressing slowly but surely, and it was nice to see a familiar face from the other seasons make an appearance, however I fear that the episode seems to be pushing the whole shape-shifter sub-storyline into the spotlight. I hope this doesn't become the new story, especially with so, so many sub-plots remaining unresolved.

      I just hope that by the end of the season, a lot of this confusion and disarray is cleared up in an intelligible finale, and not on a cliff-hanger. This episode was quoted as 'answering many questions', however I find myself with more. Overall though, a brilliant episode, here's to hoping these continue until the end of the season (and possibly, end of the show.)moreless
    Orla Brady

    Orla Brady

    Elizabeth Bishop

    Guest Star

    Daren A. Herbert

    Daren A. Herbert

    Sgt. Elias Kane

    Guest Star

    James Bamford

    James Bamford

    Agent Murphy

    Guest Star

    Michael Cerveris

    Michael Cerveris


    Recurring Role

    Jared Harris

    Jared Harris

    David Robert Jones

    Recurring Role

    Ryan McDonald

    Ryan McDonald

    Alt Brandon

    Recurring Role

    Featured Episode Clip

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (5)

      • Walter: The water was still running in the sink. She must have come to her decision while she was washing the dishes.
        Peter: What?
        Walter: I knew almost immediately. Even before I found the body. The car's engine was still running. There was no note. There didn't need to be. We had just lost our only child. I should have mourned with her, even then. But instead I let her grieve alone so that I could focus on finding a way to the alternate universe to save someone else's child. My actions caused the death of my wife. Unspeakable damage to two universes. I lost my career and my sanity. All because I tried to help another Peter. I may be the only man who could help you, but I'm also the only man who cannot help you.

      • Lincoln: Just out of curiosity, um, if this thing closes while I'm still crossing through, what happens?
        Peter: It'll cut you in half. I killed a guy like that once. Don't worry, he was a bad guy.

      • Agent Lee: You and your pal murdered two Fringe agents. Every cop in the city is going to be looking for him.
        Lincoln: Right. That's what happened. We came all this way to kill two Fringe agents. That's brilliant. No wonder you're a detective.

      • Elizabeth Bishop: That's what got me through it, you know. I told myself that if another universe exists, and there's got to be more, then somewhere you grow up and be happy and fall in love. Somewhere you would have a life, just... just not here.

      • Peter: I was wrong about you. You're not the man I thought you were.
        Secretary Bishop: You are exactly the man I thought you would be.

    • NOTES (2)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Peter: Hey, Scarecrow, come on. The flying monkeys are coming.
        Referencing primarily the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, based on the novels by L. Frank Baum. Margaret Hamilton plays the Wicked Witch of the West, the main villainess of the movie. and the flying monkeys are her personal servants. The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) is an animated scarecrow that purportedly has no brain, and joins Dorothy on his quest so that he can find one for himself.