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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fringe: Countdown to the Season Three Finale: "The Last Sam Weiss"

Fringe: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray]     This third season of FOX's Fringe has been a wild ride from start to (almost) finish. It started with Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) kidnapped on the other side and replaced by Fauxlivia (also Torv). Olivia's memory is altered to believe she is Fauxlivia, while Fauxlivia makes love to Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and, without him knowing, gives birth to his child. Meanwhile, Walter (John Noble) and Walternate (Noble) both work to save their universes, knowing that one or the other must perish. Peter is in the middle, raised by Walter, but son of Walternate. With the season finale, "The Day We Died," airing this Friday, I'd like to take a look back at the three most recent episodes and try to figure out what to expect.

"Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" / "6:02 AM EST" / "The Last Sam Weiss" / "The Day We Died"

     Lightning storms rage from Massachusetts to Liberty Island, literally. The occurrences are between those two places, or more accurately, between the physical locations of the machines in each universe. Astrid and Walter figure this out with an old fashioned, Ben Franklin-inspired, kite experiment. Fringe shows great creativity in regards to how Walter relates to, and figures out, strange things, but this is easily one of their most fun. Only Walter is crazy enough to fly a kite in a lightening storm!

     Sam finds Olivia, and together the two brave the crazy sky energy to locate a "crow bar" that will allow Peter into the machine so that he can control it, stopping the doomsday purpose it is currently being used for. He also reveals he is the latest in a long line of Sams that have been studying the machine for generations, and he is far from all knowing. What they discover is an ancient sketch of Olivia, indicating that she is the crow bar, and must use telekinesis to save the day.

     This is a nice tie back to the first season. The Fringe team has been so distracted with the other universe, it has been a long time since they dealt with Olivia's mental gifts. She is unable to use them at first, trying with the strange typewriter the shape shifters used to communicate with the other side. Yet, when the chips are on the table, she does manage. What does this mean for the future? Will Olivia's unique abilities make her some sort of super hero?

     It is interesting that sketches of both Peter and Olivia have now been found on old parchment, drawn long before their time. Reminiscent of Alias, where Sydney saw drawings of herself done centuries before her birth. Yet, Sydney's situation was a case of resemblance. Somehow, Peter and Olivia were predetermined to be needed in this situation. The machine only works for Peter. Which means the show will certainly be delving into time travel next. How else to explain their involvement in the distant past?

     Most confusing is, why does Peter, waking up from his injuries sustained in the previous episode, take a taxi to New York City and buy a coin, all the while looking for his father, Walternate? Is the machine calling to him? Does he have a mental connection? If so, why does it think he is already inside? When Olivia and Walter find Peter, his memory begins to clear. It is not explained whether his issues arose from a medical condition, or a signal of some sort. But the coin is never explained, only called "lucky." Surely there is a reason for it, as there is for almost everything on Fringe.

     And then Peter gets into the machine.

"Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" / "6:02 AM EST" / "The Last Sam Weiss" / "The Day We Died"

     However things play out, it is fairly certain Fringe will be delivering a heck of an exciting finale! Catch the episode "The Day We Died" tomorrow night (Friday) at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.

     To catch up on the Fringe you missed, buy DVDs or watch episodes instantly on

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Article first published as TV Review: Fringe: Countdown to the Season Three Finale on Blogcritics.

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