'Fringe' season finale blows minds: 'We're trying to plug a hole in the universe; what are YOU doing here?'

Well, there I was, watching the Fringe season finale, merrily taking notes about how much villain David Robert Jones, wrapped in his head bandages, looked and sounded like Claude Rains in the 1933 movie The Invisible Man, and getting goosebumps when, just before a commercial break, Nina Sharp said, “William Bell is not in this world.”

But then my mind was blown not once, but twice, and if you don’t want to know why, please stop reading now:

First, when Walter Bishop visited a grave whose headstone read: “Peter Bishop 1978-1985.” What did this mean, since we know Peter to be our grown-up Josh Jackson, not a dead seven year-old?

Then there was the final scene, the long-rumored reveal of Leonard Nimoy as William Bell, Walter Bishop’s former partner in science, co-author of the ZFT manifesto, and CEO of Massive Dynamic. Agent Olivia Dunham seemed to have stepped through one of the “soft spots” in the world discussed earlier in the episode, emerged from an elevator, and entered Bell’s office.

There, the camera panned across a table; a newspaper headline read “Obamas Set To Move Into New White House.” Sorry? New White House? Then she met Bell — a grimly smiling Nimoy. She asked where she was. He said, “It’s very complicated.” She looked out the window. The camera pulled back, to take us outside the office building she was in. We saw that she was standing inside one of the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

The title of the episode was “There’s More Than One of Everything.” That, combined with the revelation of what Nina called “another version of this planet,” helps explain why there could be two Peters, one dead, one alive. And why Nina herself could have spoken to Olivia to set up the William Bell meet ‘n’ greet, and just a few hours later be “out of the country.”

But the references to world events: Are we to think that there was, in this “other reality,” a terrorist attack that destroyed the White House (thus the “new” one the Obamas were moving into) but not the Twin Towers?

This was the season climax of what has proven to be a great new series: Fringe has vaulted to the upper reaches of current television. And clearly, this is going to require more than one blog post. So I’ll start by asking you: What did last night’s Fringe mean? Where in time is Dunham? Let’s get a discussion going, and regroup, shall we?


Comments (132 total) Add your comment
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  • Adam

    I DVRed it, and watched the ending like 5 times. I couldn’t believe it. lol
    So it seems it’s an alternate reality. 9/11 attacks hit the White House, and the Twin Towers stand tall.
    See…THIS is a Great Finale with a great twists. Not like the crap they pulled on House.


  • Antonio

    It was a mind-blowing final 5 minutes…In fact the whole episode was mind-blowing

  • John

    Incredible finale! So many crazy moments – Bell not in this world, sliced-in-half soccer player, Nina’s arm doubling as hidden storage, sliced/dead Jones, Walter and Peter at the beach house and of course the 2 big reveals.
    I had a small feeling the grave might say Peter due to Walter’s general gloom, the two talking about past childhood memories, and the reveal that there are 2 of everything – but it’s such a great, crazy twist I wasn’t even bothered by the fact that I saw it coming.
    Perhaps back in the 80s Walter went to the other universe to bring Peter #2 back to the real world?
    Olivia in the twin towers FLOORED me. So many possible implications. The penultimate episode’s overall theme of “the road not taken” resonated much more after the finale and I am so excited for it to play out next fall.
    All 3 leads plus Broyles, Nina, even Astrid(!) are all incredible. Easily my favorite new show of the season and the finale might have been the best ep of the season

  • JaySin420

    I don’t ever remember being as blown away as I was after watching a tv show!
    Peter stolen from an extremely similar alternate reality!
    Then Olivia ends up there in the twin towers! I sat with my mouth open for 5 minutes after it ended then watched it again.

  • Scott from Dallas

    Truly a wonderful episode. Movie worthy and memorable. Well written. Character development progresses well.
    I was picking up on the son being ‘taken’ from another dimension the whole episode when he said he lost something. Also when he told the story of the coin to him about him being sick…
    Bravo. Two long breaks in a row I’ve been left holding my breath.

  • psb1962


  • RYan

    The newspaper also said that Kennedy was still alive and the stock market was closed down.

  • Heather

    I literally got into this show a couple weeks ago, caught up quickly with the help of DVR and Hulu and then tonight’s episode blew my mind. It was a Lost style mind blow but bigger! I cannot wait for the next season!

  • Merc

    The whole episode was great, but I really loved the idea of Walter snatching a mirror Peter from another universe to replace his own lost son – a twisted, freakish act of love. It’s so unique, and creepy, and beautiful. It helps that I’ve totally bought in to their carefully-developed mending relationship over the season.

  • jeff

    Is that photo in the article really anna torv/olvia dunham? If so wow makeup is like lying for women. Also can’t fox supply a picture where she looks like her agent olvia?
    Great episode looking forward to next season.

  • myk

    I think the Peter from this world died in ’85 so Walter took the other Peter to raise as what he is right now, that also explains why he doesn’t remember the coin collection because that’s the dead Peter’s coin collection. Maybe in that dimension Peter is not a sickly kid therefore did not need to have a hobby.

  • Tim Eason

    Brilliant show. Fantastic episode! JJ is definitely into “what if?” type of plots – and those are so fun. I wonder how often we’ll get to see Leonard Nimoy in the next season? http://www.minireviews.net

  • Lisa C.

    FANTASTIC finale! Loved that the Peter we know is from an alternate reality. It probably says a lot about his strained relationship with Walter post-childhood. At some point, we have got to see the “alternate reality Walter” and I can’t wait. The episode was especially great becuase it really tied the entire season together and answered some questions while leaving the audience to count down the months to the season premiere. Excelent writing, excellent acting!

  • Mike

    Broke my heart when Walter was talking about Peter’s collecting coins, and this coin was his favorite, which Peter couldn’t remember. Because it wasn’t this Peter. Which is why Walter used it to mark the box that held the “plug” to the other dimension. Wow! Makes it almost understandable why a person as brilliant as Peter is supposed to be never achieved greatness—he doesn’t know who he is or where he’s supposed to be. Wow!

  • Jack

    I think a lot of Walter’s memories of Peter makes sense now…like in one episode where those guys steal the teleporter and Walter had those toys and Peter said those weren’t his toys. It was probably dead Peter’s toys and dead Peter loved coffee yogurt.

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