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Fringe – It’s a brave new world after all

After a long week of waiting, the second half of the 'Fringe' finale aired! Did William Bell succeed in creating a new world? Or, was the Fringe team able to stop him?

- Season 4, Episode 22 - "Brave New World, Part 2"

After the first part of the Fringe finale, we were left with many questions. After a long week of waiting, we were rewarded with answers in “Brave New World, Part 2.”

Not that we needed confirmation, but Olivia did receive her new powers from the Cortexiphan doses that she secretly received. And, what amazing powers, as we only got a glimpse of what she was able to do in “Part 1.” It was incredible to see her intercept bullets that not even September could stop. But, not only did she grab them, she was able to shoot them from her hand and kill Jessica. Whoa!

Why did Bell want Olivia to be dosed with the Cortexiphan? She was his power source for creating his new world. I never questioned this while watching the episode either time I watched, but now it seems far-fetched.

Fringe has always been out there with the science, but this pushed the boundaries a little too far. If Olivia had to be there for Bell to create his new world, that would have been more believable. How was he able to draw her energy from so far away? It didn’t disrupt my enjoyment of the episode though, so maybe it isn’t worth more consideration. If you have an explanation that perhaps I missed, please share it in the comments.

The biggest question of the season has been about September’s comment that in all futures Olivia had to die. The answer: she got a bullet right to the head from Walter to prove it was true. Wow! That was an intense moment. Poor Peter! Walter smacking Peter like he did was almost as shocking.

As I guessed last week, Olivia was fine. The Cortexiphan-laced pig brain lemon cake experiment proved that she could regenerate. I never feared for her life, though it was difficult to ignore Peter’s despair or Walter’s frantic behavior to save her life.

Given this finale, I have mixed feelings about “Letters of Transit” now. I absolutely loved seeing 2036 and the future characters and it ranked up there as one of my favorite Fringe episodes. Though, I wonder if “Brave New World” would have been better without having seen the future.

When Astrid was shot, I knew she would survive. When Olivia was shot point blank in the forehead, I also knew that she would be fine. Why? Because we had already seen the future including that Astrid was ambered with Walter. Plus, Olivia and Peter had a daughter, Etta. Knowing their futures, even in a limited way, meant that those scenes weren’t as emotional as they could have been.

At the same time, “Letters of Transit” added to the finale as well. The bullet! Walter pushed the bullet out of Olivia’s head and that same bullet ended up on Etta’s necklace. What does that mean? It was presumed that Olivia was dead in 2036, but now her future is entirely unknown. September’s prophecy has been fulfilled and the bullet has been explained. It is a whole new world, at least, where Olivia’s future is concerned. Ultimately, I’m glad we saw the future, because that was an amazing hour of television.

Bell’s motivation for creating the new world was disturbing to hear. In this new timeline, Walter hated God because he lost his Peter. It was Walter that came up with this idea, but realized it was wrong and had Bell remove a portion of his brain. That happened in both timelines, but the motivation behind the brain removal was specific to events in each separate timeline.

Bell co-opted Walter’s premise to create this new perfect world. When he got cancer, he used Cortexiphan to slow down the illness and decided that he could be a god. And, that it was his destiny to create this new world. Was it the Cortexiphan that caused these grandiouse ideas? If so, what does that mean for Olivia? Could she be headed towards having psychological issues? Perhaps, her regeneration will prevent this from happening to her.

When Walter killed Olivia, he disconnected Bell’s power source. Going forward will Bell continue to act as a god to create his new world? Or, is that dream now dead, especially since the government has taken control of all his creations? The team will have to remember that he is still out there and can wreak havoc at his will.

The end of “Brave New World,” was the most final of any of the previous season finales. It easily could have served as a series finale, but thankfully we will get to visit this world for another thirteen episodes.

When Fringe returns for season five, it will be a treat to see how these events changed their world. Walter called Astrid, “Astrid.” How sweet! Broyles was promoted to General and has a huge new budget for a science division that Nina will oversee. And, lastly, Peter and Olivia are having a baby. Aww! Presumably, Etta will be entering the world.

The future is happening as we learned from the closing visit:

“We have to warn the others. They are coming.” — September
“Who is coming?” — Walter

Is this warning the beginning of the Observer takeover? We will have to wait until next fall to find out!

Photo Credit: FOX

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | Fringe | General | News | TV Shows |

3 Responses to “Fringe – It’s a brave new world after all”

May 13, 2012 at 5:37 AM

the observer takeover doesn’t start until 2015

May 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM

True. That doesn’t mean that September didn’t warn Walter earlier about what is coming. Also, we don’t know when that scene took place. It may have been present day, but it also could have been in the future. Given that Walter was whistling a lullaby, if it was in the future, I’d guess it was after Etta’s birth.

May 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I figured they would skip the whole Olivia being pregnant part and jump ahead. Maybe they do a 2 or 3 year jump to when the Observer takeover starts? When Astrid was shot I thought “WTF, they can’t kill her”, then I remembered “Letters of Transit” and relaxed a little. I thought it was a great season finale and I can’t wait for next season.

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