February 25th, 2012
11:17 AM ET
The promos for Friday night's winter finale of "Fringe" made it clear that something big was coming, and they weren't kidding.
At the end of last week's episode, it looked like Nina Sharp had been kidnapped along with Olivia. Instead, the evil Nina who had been drugging Olivia all this time (drugging that seemed to make Olivia take on the personality of the Olivia Peter knew in the previous timeline – got that?) wanted to get information out of her.
As the team rushed to rescue Olivia, they didn't seem to get very far, until an Observer showed up at Walter's lab, dying. It was September, the one we've seen the most often on the show.
The only way to find out what exactly was going on here was for Peter to enter his subconscious. On a series filled with trippy imagery, this one ranked up there with one of the strangest sequences in its history.
September explained to Peter how he attempted to right the timeline, which Walter had damaged when he kidnapped Peter. Instead, things got worse and the war between the parallel worlds went on for decades.
We learned that Observers used to be humans from the distant future, and they discovered the ability to observe multiple time periods throughout history.
Peter also learned about the baby he and Fauxlivia had in the previous timeline, and that his son no longer existed once he went into the machine in last season's finale. September told Peter he must find a way to "go home," and warned, "They're coming." We still don't know who "they" are.
(By the way, Lincoln's line, "Does someone want to tell me what the hell just happened?" is pretty descriptive of this series.)
Peter wondered if "home" was not his timeline, but his actual home. Sure enough, he was captured at his house, and brought to Olivia – and when David almost killed Olivia, she used her power (the same one she used to travel between worlds) to save him.
Oh, and by the way, David's constant atomic experimentation seems to have made him impossible to kill. So, that might be a problem for the Fringe team.
The episode ended in a heartbreaking moment for all of those Peter-Olivia fans out there. This Olivia didn't really love Peter – that was the drugs – and he had to leave her and return home. One can only assume that he means his timeline, this time.
Phew. A lot of plot, a lot of revelations. Easily the best episode of this season. I can't say that the changed timeline has been my favorite season-long story arc, but I think I like where we're headed. You can't say that "Fringe" doesn't deliver on answers. Here's hoping the producers will have the time to tell the rest of the story they want to tell.
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