Where in the World is Peter Bishop?
I admit it; I am a bad, rude man.
A dedicated follower and advocate of Fringe since series premiere my attention waned towards the end of last season. Sure, I DVR’d episodes but never caught up to what was happening on the small screen. Well, not until this past week and after catching last year’s season finale and how everything came to a head, I believe the only two phrases suitable are OMG and WTF (frak, by the way. J)
The best installment of episodes since its inception, Season 3 equally split time between our world and the alternate world that introduced Walternate, Faux-livia as well as several other familiar faces—and some new ones as well. A twin in many ways to our own world the fabric separating the two are inextricably altered when “our” Walter crossed over. Though his original intent was benevolent—he didn’t want his other self to have to watch his son, Peter, die—the act became one where he willfully stole Walternate’s son and passed the alternate Peter off as his own. This incursion was the start of problems and was responsible for the profound changes in both Walters. The back story came to a head this season as the damage to the alternate world increased and Walternate furthered his plan to save his own world at the cost of ours.
Turns out things didn’t work out that way. By using the machine created by the First People, Peter travels nearly twenty years into the future where the alternate world has been destroyed and ours is not long for existence. With the help of Walter, “the most reviled man on the planet” for his part in the irrevocable damage he’s caused, Peter realizes several things: not only are they the ‘First People’ that send the machine back in time, but he can save both worlds. The caveat is that the two Walters must collaborate. Creating a nexus point between the worlds, Peter brings them together and starts to explain what needs to be done. He never finishes, instead vanishes mid-speech. There is no mention of his disappearance by the room’s occupants; instead the two Walters eye one another cautiously as Olivia takes charge (Faux-livia watching her counterpart with hostile curiosity), stressing the need for both men to work together for the sake of two worlds.
What about Peter? Cut to the last scene where our friendly neighborhood Observers do what they do best—observe. The two stand-bys of the series—bald old guy and bald younger guy—stand side by side. Bald old guy says to the Younger (though with the Observers, is age truly relevant?) that he was right. In response, the Young Observer states that Peter has “served his purpose”, and no longer exists. More to the point, since he has served his purpose, it’s as if he NEVER existed.
There hasn’t been a show’s ending that has truly surprised me as much as “The Day We Died”. Sure, Buffy died, Dean went to Hell, Castiel became God, etc. But these were all in the framework of story arc; no one just ceased to exist. More to the point, just how, after wiping out a character from two worlds, are they intent on bringing him back? Is there another Peter out there? A caveat to the machine’s operation (does the machine itself even exist now with Peter gone?!)? Will he piece himself back together a la Dr. Manhattan? So many questions and the answers will most likely be explored in bits as season four rolls around. One thing I do know though: I’ll no longer be skimping on my weekly dose of Fringe.
Season four of Fringe premieres Friday 9/23/2011 at 9:00 pm EST on FOX.
- I’m assuming that, with Peter’s existence nullified, there will be no baby or Olivia/Faux-livia/Peter love triangle. Then again, we know he’s coming back, so where does that leave him in the relationship category?
- Though Walternate has substantial reason to loathe his counterpart, the primary cause for his grief—our Walter taking his son—is no longer a factor. I think this will negate some of the bitter animosity Walternate rightly felt and ease the transition of both men working together.
- Speaking of the two worlds, just how will they solve the vortexes and what are the consequences to said solution (C’mon, we all know there will be consequences). Will the two worlds merge? Will we have doubles running around or will consciousnesses merge from those present in both worlds (far reaching, I know, but a man did just get wiped from EXISTENCE, so nothing is out of the question.)
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– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)
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