After having my hopes raised for an epic episode by last week's instalment I wasn't disappointed when watching 'The Last Sam Weiss'. Well maybe I was disappointed a little bit, I had hoped the episode would reveal a lot more about the mysterious Mr Weiss given that it was named after him but the brief explanation we got of his ancestry and their connection to the First People book didn't feel that satisfying. Even so the rest of the episode delivered and there was plenty of exciting action involving the increasing frequency of fringe events around the machine and a confused Peter waking up and going to New York in search of his father.
He wasn't the only one who travelled to the Big Apple as Walter twigged with the help of Astrid that that's where Walternate had built his machine. So the machine gets transported to New York and Olivia sets about finding a "crowbar" to open it with the help of Sam Weiss. This interesting little journey felt a bit rushed but it looks like there's plenty more screen time for Weiss in store in future episodes so hopefully there'll be a fuller explanation later on. It did yield some funny lines from Weiss including "Sam Weiss, patron member since '82" after Olivia flashed her badge when trying to get into the museum where the crowbar was kept and "I work in a bowling Alley" after he bowled a lump of stone down a corridor knocking over a large vase in such a way that it stopped a security door from closing. The episode's spine-tingling moment comes when Olivia opens the box that contains the crowbar and discovers a picture of herself drawn by the first people.
Elements from past episodes such as Olivia's ability to turn things off with her mind and the quantumly entangled typewriter come into play at this point giving the story the feel that it had been more or less planned since the early days of the series. There's also the sense that the characters have come to terms with all the bad stuff that's happened to them because of Walter as it was clearly their destiny to be where they are now.
We only get a brief glimpse of the alternate universe in this episode after Olivia successfully turns off the machine with her mind alerting Walternate's top lab boy Brandon that something odd is going on. It will be interesting to see how this plays out on the other side but that looks likes it will have to wait until next episode. After turning it off Peter manages to get inside and whatever was supposed to happen happens, except it cuts to the ending before we get to see what that is.
The ending is something special, it's the kind of ending that 'Lost' would have ended the series on with Peter waking up ten years into the future at the site of the rebuilt twin towers. Apart from the fact he seemed a bit confused and that the Fringe Division exists in this version of the future there's few clues as to what happened after he stepped into the machine. Next week promises to be better yet and season four even more confusing if the concept of time travel is involved. The idea of time travel in Fringe has already featured it in the episode 'White Tulip' and been hinted at with the Observers and the First People and their prophecies so it would make sense that it makes it into the story arc somewhere along the line and could really take the show in some interesting new directions if done well.