Fringe: The Day We Died Review (Mania.com)
By:Kurt Anthony Krug
Review Date: Monday, May 09, 2011
Peter (Joshua Jackson) wakes up in a dystopian future circa 2026, where it’s revealed that the parallel universe – alias Over There – has been destroyed because of the Doomsday Machine, which he operated. The prime universe is having problems with “soft spots” where dimensional apertures are opening up in the fabric of reality, threatening to tear it asunder.
In this future, Olivia (Anna Torv) is head of Fringe Division and married to Peter. Astrid (Jasika Nicole) is a field agent, as is Olivia’s niece Ella (guest star Emily Mead). A one-eyed Broyles (Lance Reddick) is now a senator, and Walter (John Noble) is in solitary confinement as he was the one who caused this (inadvertently, granted) crisis when he crossed over to get Peter so many years ago.
A terrorist group called the End of Days is plotting to breach reality at the soft spots. It turns out that Walternate (also Noble) is behind this organization. Noble does such a great job, playing both ends of the spectrum as an eccentric scientist and as a cold-blooded, calculating, ruthless SOB. Walternate promises his son pain and guns Olivia down in cold blood. It’s also revealed that Walter sends pieces of the Doomsday Machine back in time, which explains why it’s in the past. So one mystery of the overall Fringe mythology is solved regarding the “First People” (a simplistic explanation, true).
Peter manages to reverse everything by turning back time, making a different decision that does NOT result in the destruction of Over There. He teleports Walternate and Fauxlivia (also Torv) to the prime reality, where they confront their counterparts for the first time. The purpose of this is so they can work together to fix the soft spots in both realities.
The look of fear and shock on Walter’s face is a stark contrast to the sheer contempt twisting Walternate’s unsmiling visage. As much as Olivia despises her doppelganger, she realizes she must put aside her enmity for the greater good of both universes. Torv and Noble did so well in their role(s) this season that they deserve Emmy nominations at the very least. Suddenly – in a WTF moment – Peter disappears and the Observer called September (Michael Cerveris) states that Peter served his purpose and no longer exists.
The creators really turn things on its ear with this one, once again changing the status quo. Not as action-packed as last season’s finale, but solid all the way through. This will definitely keep us wondering what will happen until the fall when Fringe returns for a well-deserved 4th season.
Mania Grade: A-
TV Series: Fringe
Episode: The Day We Died (Season Finale)
Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown
Written By: Jeff Pinker (teleplay/story), J.H. Wyman (teleplay/story), Akiva Goldsmith (story)
Directed By: Joe Chappelle