This week, on Fringe: Walter and Walternate finally talk, Lincoln didn’t like coffee that much anyways, and Fauxlivia misses rainbows
When Fringe introduced the Other Side, they broke new ground for genre fiction. Plenty of films and TV shows have toyed with the idea of alternate universes, but none have used the trope to do such in-depth character analysis or exploration of identity. Besides giving the cast fantastic opportunities to stretch themselves and demonstrate their range, the Other Side has given the series any number of intriguing storylines, not to mention doubling the character count without doubling the budget.
The fantastic news this past week that Fringe has been renewed for a fifth, and final, season, despite its terrible ratings, can’t help but affect one’s reading of the motivations for this decision. The only way for this show to have come back is with a significant reduction of cost and shooting episodes with doppelgangers can’t be cheap. We also lose Seth Gabel with Lincoln’s decision to stay on the Other Side, which will undoubtedly help keep costs down. Though the sudden loss of so many characters is jarring, it’s well handled and the series wisely devotes much of this episode to goodbyes.
It also gives certain characters the impetus to sit down and talk. Walter and Walternate have shared very little screen time and their scene is lovely. As with Olivia and Fauxlivia’s scenes, there’s an underlying acknowledgement of the impact these people have had on each other’s lives, the pain that they’ve caused, but also understanding and acceptance, if not quite forgiveness. Watching the actors play such intense and complicated scenes and emotions has been a treat and moments like these will certainly be missed.
Next week the two-part finale begins, with the return of Jones and theoretically the September-prophesied death of Olivia (though Anna Torv is undoubtedly not going anywhere). Between this and Walter’s ominous mention of William Bell’s involvement in Olivia’s fate, there should be plenty of story to make up for the loss of the Other Side. We’ll see what the writers and producers’ve cooked up – this has been a strong final string of episodes and, by all looks, it’s going to be one hell of a finale.
What did you think of this episode? Which Other Sider will you miss the most? How does Foeyles still have his job after working, however unwillingly, for Jones? Post your thoughts below!