TV Series Review: FRINGE – Season 4 (2011)
The best Sci-Fi show in television currently continues with another great Season. FRINGESeason 4 is not as perfect as the previous, but still awesome in comparison to some of the other shows out there.
Season 4 follows directly follows the events of Season 3’s cliffhanger, however the world is not that which we saw for the last 3 years. At the end of Season 3, Petermerged both the alternate realities, creating a bridge between them, using the Machine that used him as a power source.
However, having completed his ‘destiny’ the Observers wipe Peter from existence, thereby making it so that he has never existed or participated in the events of FRINGE for the last 3 years. So Season 4 begins with a new timeline, in which Peter never existed in the first place, and everything we’ve seen happen since the beginning of FRINGE… might not have happened exactly that way.
Imagine how our lives would be changed, if 1 significant person from our lives, ‘never had existed’. Imagine how many interactions had created realizations, advise, inspirations, from that 1 person that has shaped our current lives, all of which would have never have happened, making us different people entirely. This is Season 4 of FRINGE, somewhat.
The Observers are involved heavily this Season, in more ways than one. In this new timeline, apparently Peter died in both realities at the age of 10. So without Peter’s involvement in Fringe Division, the history of the FRINGE Universe takes a different path. Oliviareleased Walter on her own. Without Peter’s good influence Walter becomes a shut in, never leaving the lab. And other unforeseen consequences that crop up throughout the Season.
The entire Season I was waiting for this “Peter wipe” to undo itself. I was thinking there would be a moment, where the Observer’s actions would ‘reset’ and everyone would remember Peter again. But I realized that it’s not just their memories affected, Peter’s absence has caused this timeline to change completely, forever.
This is genius by the Writers, as any inconsistencies from the built up tension, loose ends and questions from the past 3 Seasons can easily explained as being part of the former timeline. Things didn’t happen in this timeline the same was as we’ve been watching for the past 3 Seasons, so what we know of the specific chain of events from prior Seasons… becomes partially invalid. Giving the Writers more room to create stories towards the end of the Series… which are free of any inconsistencies from established stories from the last 3 years!! Genius!! Keep in mind these are the same guys who created an alternate Timeline for the STAR TREKreboot, to prevent anally hardcore comparisons to the original.
Moving on: Peter’s importance is still significant, as somehow he is ‘bleeding’ through into the world. His eventual arrival makes him realize that this is not his timeline, and that he must return to the original, however, the Observer’s influence puts a lot of things into doubt. The future of Peter & Olivia are finally revealed, and the plans which were averted last Season, the destruction of both Universes, is still very much on… despite the circumstances changing.
Season 4 is a great Season as it deals with a lot of loose ends, and ties in some very cool concepts together. At the same time though, it’s a little disconnected to be watching a show, where minor changes have occurred and it feels different, given the change in timeline in story. The character’s chemistries are off, considering Peter’s non-existencecauses everyone to treat him like a stranger. It’s a little jarring, however, the signature drama, suspense, twists and turns are all still the same, which is a saving grace.
FRINGE will be ending after 1 more season, and here’s hoping that they wrap it up conclusively with no unexplained events or questions, although this ‘Peter Wipe’ might have opened a door for them to dismiss any loose ends as being of a different timeline. However, that feels like a cop-out. Unlike other shows, we can’t assume or judge FRINGE in its entirety until it’s ran its course.