Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fringe 4.14: "The End of All Things

“I suppose I have no reason to doubt myself.”

“The End of All Things,” Fringe’s winter finale before a bit of a post-sweeps hiatus, was rather underwhelming. It was all mythology and no creepy/gross case of the week. There was a lot of rather unnecessary personal drama between Olivia and Peter. I’m really just ready for everything to be right between them again. To say Peter is wishy-washy would be quite the understatement. He is rally the king of the wishy-washy. I guess what I’m really saying is that we need to know the truth of what is going on with the Amber Universe and how it relates to the Blue Universe as soon as possible. Otherwise, if I see no hope of things going back to normal, I’m going to lose interest. One thing that I did truly appreciate about this episode was that we got quite a lot of information about the Observers and September in particular. We know know what exactly the Observers are, and it’s definitely an explanation I wasn’t expecting.

The episode opens in the aftermath of Olivia’s kidnapping at the gas station. Peter and Lincoln are frantically combing Olivia’s apartment for clues. Lincoln, obviously worried about Olivia, is getting bitchy about Peter’s influence on her. Like Walter, incoln seems to believe that Peter somehow drove Olivia to start acting like Blue Olivia. In between fending off verbal barbs from Lincoln, Peter makes a small breakthrough. He finds a camera hidden in a smoke detector. It’s a camera that stores footage on what looks kind of like an SD card. The card can only hold 60 minutes of footage, though, so it records on a loop, with each hour erasing the last. Peter thinks that he and Walter can get some information from past hours off the card, though, so he’s going to work on that while Lincoln tries to interrogate Nina. The Cortexaphan disappeared on her watch, so they’re pretty convinced she’s involved, and they also know that it’s going to be almost impossible to get her to talk.

We then see Olivia and the other Nina (we’ll just call her Other Nina because we don’t know the universe affiliation of the two Ninas currently in play) talk in their holding cell. Other Nina explains that she was abducted several weeks ago by someone who looks just like her. The Nina Olivia spoke to recently was not her. David Robert Jones interrupts the conversation by entering the cell. He admits that he’s been dosing Olivia with Cortexaphan recently, which is why she’s been having migraines. He wants to activate her abilities, just like he did to Olivia in the Blue Universe way back when. He thinks he might be able to do this by torturing Nina. Since Nina raised Amber Olivia, it should provide the emotional spark needed. One thing I just can’t stand to watch on television is torture, so if it wasn’t for you (one, maybe two) readers of MTVP, I would have just checked out of the episode right here. But I kept watching to bring you this recap!

Before we go back to the hunt for Olivia, we get to see a rather mysterious meet-up of a bunch of Observers. They’re trying to find September, who has disappeared. They’re upset that he didn’t successfully erase all traces of Peter from the universe like he was instructed to, and they’re wondering if he’s responsible for Peter’s return. If they find him, they say that September is going to have to suffer consequences for what he has done.

At an FBI building, Broyles and Nina try to interrogate Nina, and it’s just as difficult as Peter said it would be. Lincoln has records showing Nina’s biometric ID accessed the storage facility where the Cortexaphan was stored twice in the past month. This contradicts Nina’s claim that she hasn’t been there for a year. Lincoln also has signed affidavits from security personnel swearing they saw Nina enter the storage facility. Nina’s not ready to confess, though. She speculates that a shapeshifter might be responsible, but Lincoln darkly tells her that if it had been a shape shifter, she’d be dead. Nina ends up lawyering up, so the interrogation is over before it can really begin.

At the lab, Walter, Peter, and Astrid are furiously working. Peter is using a special machine to try to look at echoes of past footage from the camera chip. Walter is Exeter extremely pissed at Peter , although I really can’t see how any of this is Peter’s fault. Walter thinks he could have keep Olivia safe if he could have kept her at the lab. Which I guess is the real explanation. Walter is mad at himself and wants to save himself and everyone he loves from the dangers of the outside world. Peter finally makes some progress with the machine and finds a face in the footage. Astrid is going to send it over to the FBI so the facial recognition specialists can work on it. Peter says that David Robert Brown is the only one who has tried to dose and activate Olivia before, so he suspects he’s at it again, but Peter doesn’t know why Jones wants to activate Olivia, in either the Amber universe or the Blue. September, looking quite worse for wear, appears out of nowhere and confirms that yes, Jones is responsible. September has been shot, and he’s quickly bleeding out. Before he passes out, September tells Peter that Olivia needs him.

At the holding facility, Jones takes Other Nina into a room that adjoins Olivias. A window separates the two rooms. Nina is strapped to a metal rac. It made me think of those medieval torture stretching racks. He wants Olivia to turn on lights with her mind, a task she did complete as Blue Olivia. Amber Olivia, since she has Blue Olivia’s memories, tells Jones that she has already done this trick for him. This just agitates Jones further. He tries electrocuting Nina to give Olivia some motivation, but even though she was certain she could do it, Olivia can’t make any of the lights turn on. Jones gives Olivia one hour to rest before he wants to try it all again.

Walter needs to operate on September if September is going to have any chance of surviving and telling the Fringe crew where to find Olivia. After the surgery is over, Broyles and Lincoln join Walter, Peter, and Olivia at the lab. Broyles tells everyone about September’s visit to Olivia where he told her he had seen all possible futures, and in all of them, she had to die. This makes Peter and Lincoln both quite upset. Walter says September has going into septic shock and is dying. If they’re going to get any information out of him, it has to be soon. Astrid interrupts with news from HQ. The image from the security footage was of a man named Spivey who died several years ago. This leads everyone to wonder if David Robert Jones is bringing over other doppelgangers. Feeling the urgency of the situation, Peter wants to go into September’s mind before he dies and try to find out what September knows about Olivia’s location. Walter very reluctantly agrees to do the procedure.

At the holding facility, Olivia and Other Nina are talking post-torture session. Olivia wants Other Nina to help her remember Amber Olivia’s childhood. An emotional connection is needed for Olivia’s Cortexaphan abilities to work, and since she took on Blue Olivia’s memories, she doesn’t have that connection to Nina anymore. She wants Other Nina to tell her the story of when she and her sister Rachel first came to live with her. Even after Other Nina tells this story, it still doesn’t help. Olivia said that activating her powers only ever worked with Peter. Other Nina seems very surprised by this, then she starts clutching at her stomach and acting like she’s in pain. Olivia manages to call for medical attention. When Other Nina is wheeled out of the room, however, she jumps up and tells Jones that they need to get Peter if they’re going to activate Olivia.

Peter does indeed merge his consciousness with September’s (with some chemical help from Walter), and it’s quite trippy, as we expect from these sorts of sequences on “Fringe.” He’s in a metal, very “Star Trek” looking room, and he watches the universe begins. September enters and starts explaining things to Peter. He doesn’t say where Olivia is, because he has bigger fish to fry. He tells Peter about his interference in Walternate failing to find a cure for Peter’s medical condition, and he shows Peter an image of Henry. Apparently Henry is the reason September had to erase Peter. Henry was born to the wrong Olivia and never should have existed. Peter’s reaction to finding out he had a son was kind of sweet, but I don’t think he was nearly upset enough at finding out that Henry has been erased. The scene outside the metal room starts to get stormy, and everything starts shaking. September says “they’re coming” and that Peter needs to “go home.” Peter gets yanked out of September’s consciousness, and seconds later, September completely blinks out of existence.

Peter thinks “go home” might have been literal, and when he gets to his house, several of Jones’ minions are waiting for him. He’s abducted by the minions and dragged to the holding facility where Olivia is being kept. Peter is brought into the room that Other Nina once occupied, and a minion holds a knife to his throat. Olivia turns on all the lights on Jones’ board and then some. Electricity is arcing everywhere. She says that the woman in the next room is not Nina. She got the story about Olivia’s first day wrong. Nina never said Olivia could call her anything but Ms. Sharp until she graduated high school, but Other Nina said Olivia called her that on day one. Some of the minions get electrocuted, but David Robert Jones and Other Nina both escape.

Olivia gets into the next room and rescues Peter, but as they’re trying to make their way out of the holding facility Olivia starts having a seizure. Before he can help, though, Peter has to fight off a security guard who is armed with a gun. By the time the fight’s over, Olivia is shaky but stable, and they resume trying to escape. They come upon Other Nina and David Robert Jones going through a portal back to Red Universe, and Olivia tries to shoot Jones as he goes to the portal. Apparently being reconstructed on the atomic level makes him impervious to bullets, because he keeps walking through the portal, completely unscathed. Once they’re outside, Peter calls for medical assistance, then he starts becoming a wishy-washy ass. He basically says he made a mistake trying to start something with this Olivia. September made it clear that he needs to get back to “his” Olivia. He leaves Olivia to the medical crew, and he goes home alone.

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