Release date: September 24th, 2012
Running time: tbc
Creators: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Cast: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Seth Gabel, Lance Reddick
There are times in our lives when we think to ourselves “Wouldn’t everyone be better off without me?” Rock bottom is what we tend to call it. I think about the people around me and the choices they might’ve made and lives they could’ve had if it wasn’t for me, and in those moments when I’m at my lowest I tend to think their lives would’ve been better. It’s not often I feel that way, but I’m sure it’s something many others have experienced too.
What we don’t expect though is for it to actually happen; to be erased without a trace and for everyone’s lives to be irrevocably changed. At the end of Fringe, Season 3, this was the possibly we were left with and Season 4 picks up with that premise – that Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) has been removed from the timeline of our universe by the Observers, now that both universes have been saved from destroying each other.
We see Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) teaming up to work with Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) in the first episode Neither Here Nor There. After the death of his partner and becoming aware of the Fringe division, both Olivia and Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) recognise he could be useful in their investigations. Walter however begins to think he might be losing his mind again when he sees and hears the voice of a young man he’s never met before. It’s Peter, but because he never existed as an adult (having died as a child), Walter nor Olivia who’s been dreaming of him, have any idea who he is.
There are quite some gripping episodes in Season 4 such as One Night in October where the parallel universe Fringe division and the prime universe’s counterparts work together to stop a killer who freezes his victims’ brains while experiencing their happier moments of their life. In an attempt to stop him, they enlist the help of the killer’s counterpart from our universe, who’s chosen a different life path but more or less had a similar childhood.
There’s also Alone in the World which sees a young boy being taken in by Walter as the Fringe team try to figure out if he’s responsible for a type of fungus that’s already killed two school bullies. Walter forms a bond with the boy who’s terrified of being alone and confides in him that he too is afraid of losing his mind. Evan Bird who plays the young boy Aaron really stands out in this episode, giving a performance that made me love Fringe just that little bit more.
It’s with Making Angels that the season really came to life for me. This is the episode where our Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) gets to meet her other self. The other Astrid takes an unauthorised leave of absence following her father’s death and travels here to find out if her counterpart had a similarly difficult relationship with her father. Sensing her visitor is on the autistic spectrum and not wanting to upset her further, our Astrid lies and says she was too was never close with her father. It’s a beautifully written and performed episode with Jasika Nicole being able to play both sides compellingly and with much sensitivity, allowing for Fringe to hit those emotional points and continue to surprise.
01 Neither Here Nor There
02 One Night in October
03 Alone in the World
04 Subject 9
06 And Those We’ve Left Behind
08 Back to Where You’ve Never Been
09 Enemy of My Enemy
10 Forced Perspective
11 Making Angels
12 Welcome to Westfield
13 A Better Human Being
14 The End of All Things
15 A Short Story About Love
16 Nothing As It Seems
17 Everything in Its Right Place
18 The Consultant
19 Letters of Transit
20 Worlds Apart
21 Brave New World: Part 1
21 Brave New World: Part 2
As Peter eventually materialises in our universe, what should be a happy reunion is instead met with suspicion. Olivia doesn’t know who he is and Walter wants nothing to do with him. This leaves Peter distraught and desperately wanting to find his way back home, to the Olivia that was his. When Olivia however stats to remember pieces of their life together, Walter concludes it’s Peter who’s influencing those memories and they begin working on a way to send him home before Olivia forgets who she is.
The other possibility though is that Peter might be home already. With some interesting revelations along the way, Fringe, Season 4 had enough mystery and action to keep me entertained and guessing until all the cards were on the table, and even then it still left questions unanswered, which isn’t always a bad thing for a continuing series like this one.
Although it took a couple of seasons to get into it, it’s become one of my favourite shows currently running. The show itself is built around the idea of possibilities – that what we know about the universe, the world and ourselves is so little compared to what we still don’t know – and that’s immeasurable. It’s those possibilities with the stories and characters that make Fringe exciting, emotional and inspiring as they continue to unfold.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
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