Thoughts on Fringe Season 3 Finale The Day We Died

by Amy Yen

What…just happened?

Fringe is a remarkable show in that it asks its cast to play multiple versions of themselves, and not just wearing wigs to varying degrees of success, but as fully fleshed-out characters. By the time we reached the end of season 3, I felt like I knew Fauxlivia & Walternate, & Alt-Charlie & Lincoln Lee, their motivations, their passions, their relationships with each other, just as well as I knew our Olivia, Walter & Peter. What’s more, I liked watching them just as much.

So as much as I enjoyed getting a little glimpse at yet another set of characters, the black-verse, otherwise known as blue-verse circa 15 years in the future, what was ultimately a little disappointing about “The Day We Died,” the Fringe season 3 finale, was that we spent so little time with the two sets of characters we actually already cared about.

It’s not to say that if we spent a season in the future, I wouldn’t care about those characters just as much, but I didn’t have time to. That’s why, besides the brutal way it happened, the death of Future-Olivia failed to either move me, or surprise me, considering we knew the death of a major character was happening this episode. It’s why, besides the lovely moment in the lab with Walter, reminiscing about Gene the cow, Future-Fringe Agent Ella Dunham failed to make an impression. It’s why Peter & Olivia being married didn’t mean nearly what it should have to me.

In a way, the future-verse was a little bit of a love song to the show we do love. Suddenly, we’re back in the pilot & Peter’s getting a bearded Walter from incarceration. They’re going back to the Harvard lab (“So much has happened here. So much is about to”). Peter gets Walter Twizzlers & calls him ‘dad.’

All of those moments are lovely, but they are still rendered pretty much meaningless unless we go back & spend more time in that world. Otherwise, the only thing that matters is Walter’s revelations about the wormholes in time & them being the “First People” who send the doomsday machine back to ancient times to be buried. All that really matters is the part of the episode I liked the least, because I don’t understand it.

Peter served his purpose. He never existed.

What? I can’t even count the ways that doesn’t make sense. If he never existed, Walter never would have gone ‘over there’ to save another him, therefore none of this would have ever happened. If he never existed, the two Walters, the two Olivias never would be where they are, or else they’d be there because of a completely different set of events. And how about like, if Peter never existed, then Fauxlivia never would have had her baby? What about that? And also, do the Observers mean he’s erased his existence with his actions? Or, do they mean he literally never existed, as in they fabricated him to move things to where they are now?

This is why the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that “The Last Sam Weiss” should have been the season finale. That episode ended on a huge twist, but not one that completely leaves the reality of everything that’s happened so far in jeopardy. Could they really be pulling a Lost season 5? Exploding a hydrogen bomb to make it so the plane never crashed?

In Pinker & Wyman we trust, right? Right?

More random thoughts on “The Day We Died”:

  • Black credits! Among the items listed: Thought extraction. Brain porting. Chaos structure. Wow, we’re intense in the future.
  • FutureAstrid’s hair is B-A. FuturePeter’s hair is a tragedy.
  • I would love to get the story behind “what happened in Detroit” & Senator Broyles’ eye…
  • In this world, everybody knows Walter Bishop’s name. It’s an interesting idea, people demanding someone to blame for the end of the world.
  • “Will Astrid be there?” Aw. Really wished we could have seen those two together, although it’s cool to see Fringe Agent Astrid in the field.
  • Bummed we didn’t see the alt-Fringe team at all this episode. I suppose the bit at the end of “Bloodline” with Lincoln & Charlie realizing the Secretary is hiding things from them is just set up for season 4, but it’s disappointing there wasn’t time to build that out this season. The red-verse better not get destroyed before we get some resolution on our alt-Fringe friends.
  • Also bummed we didn’t see Sam Weiss again. Hopefully he shows back up next year because otherwise, I feel like he was definitely hyped more than he paid off.
  • The light bombs set off by the End of Days group go red, red, red, green, opposite of those other lights we’ve seen before.
  • So, Pinkner & Wyman say that Josh Jackson is still under contract for season 4 & I doubt they’d write out one of our main three leads for long. I guess this is why I’m not sold on this twist…I just have no idea whatsoever where they’re going to go from here. Like, I can’t even guess.
  • “It can’t be worse than this.” Why did you say that? Of course it can be worse than that!

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