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Fringe stops a "Brave New World"

Fringe poster

Written by : published Monday 14th May 2012

Time is running out for both universes featured in FOX's Fringe in the climatic "Brave New World." William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) intends to play god, creating his own reality, but to do so, he is going to destroy everyone else. Not only that, he is using Olivia (Anna Torv) to power the destruction, so as September (Michael Cerveris) told them months ago, Olivia must die. Which is why Walter (John Noble) shoots her right between the eyes, in front of his son, Peter (Joshua Jackson), who loves Olivia.

Could this have been a heart wrenching series finale for the strange sci-fi show that has surprised and delighted viewers for four years? No. No Fringe fan would have been satisfied with such a tragic end, Olivia dead, son hating father more than ever, and Walter sinking even deeper into a mire of guilt. We care too much about these characters, and what happens to them. It is beyond cruel to leave all three central people in a bad place.

And so, as Bell escapes, Walter finds a way to bring Olivia back. She learns she is pregnant. They all celebrate in the hospital, where Astrid (Jasika Nicole) is recovering nicely from her own wound. Happiness for all!

Or is it? What happens in "Brave New World" concludes many of this season's plots, including stopping David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) and saving the world. It's a nice, and understated, two part episode, lacking the big cliffhangers from years past. It's exciting enough, and features a wonderful guest spot by Rebecca Mader (Lost). Tt doesn't change too many rules, other than draining Olivia of the powers she once possessed.

But just a couple of weeks ago Fringe revealed its final mission, slated to play out next year, the last season there will be of the show. In the future, The Observers rule mankind harshly, and a couple of survivors, Simon (Henry Ian Cusick, Lost) and Etta (Georgina Haig, The Elephant Princess), who happens to be Peter and Olivia's daughter, pull Peter, Walter, and Astrid from amber to help save humanity. This is the final conflict, the last great challenge the Fringe team must face. This is what hangs over "Brave New World."

How did Peter, Astrid, Walter, and William Bell get frozen in amber in the first place? Where is Olivia? Why must they wait decades to stand up to their oppressors? Is this a future that can be stopped before it happens? And, in this episode, the future is shown with a blue theme song. Does that mean things will be restored to Peter's universe, where everyone remembers him, before going down this path? And if that is the case, how could William Bell still be alive? Will we even see the red universe and Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) again?

On top of all these questions, why isn't this future episode the season finale? Why tease fans with it, when it didn't really fit within this season's mythology, other than to build appetite for next year?

It's a strange game Fringe is playing. It pushes and pulls in unexpected directions, keeping people on the edge of their seats, always wondering what is going on. With only thirteen episodes left to tell the story, it's sure to be a wild ride. If the first four years are any indication, it will also be a highly satisfying one, full of things no one can predict except those who write the show. I can't wait!

Fringe will return to FOX for its final season next fall.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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