Fringe: The Day We Died Review -

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  • 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
  • Network: Fox
  • Series: Fringe

Fringe: The Day We Died Review

The Third Season Finale!

By Kurt Anthony Krug     May 09, 2011

Fringe review
© Fox/Robert Trate


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.


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ponyboy76 5/9/2011 7:38:21 AM

Another great season finale ending another awesome season. I was worried after watching but it seems that Peter will be back next season. I'm glad it didn't turn out to be some 3rd reality, because that would have just complicated things. I was shocked when Walternate shot Olivia. All the crazy scientific fringe stuff she's gone thorugh and ends up simply shot in the head.

isgrimner 5/9/2011 8:08:43 AM

Most entertaining show on TV right now for me.  Its also good to know that there are still mysteries to go over that can't be explained by two alternate realities.  We still don't know much about the Watchers, and who exactly created the machine parts.  Yes future Walter sends them back in time somehow but they had to be created somewhere and somewhen.

Bryzarro 5/9/2011 8:24:32 AM

 Not a bad episode for a "Season" finale.  Would have been pissed if it was the series finale.  But I was puzzled with a few of the revelations.

1) Did Peter from the past just merge with the future Peter?  He was confused at first but then remembered everything.

2) I hope Peter isn't written out of next season for too long.

3) Is the machine really just a time machine?

Bryzarro 5/9/2011 8:25:24 AM

 And yeah I forgot!!  Shot Olivia right in the head. Just crazy.

spiderhero 5/9/2011 10:20:01 AM

EVen though I knew that future wouldn't come to pass, I still got emotional during the episode. My wife did to. She said it was crazy & sad. I agree. Fantastic episode with a great cliffhanger to boot. So glad there will be a season 4.


acidsquall73 5/9/2011 11:19:41 AM

Great episode. I read the producers and writers were going to kill a beloved character off in the season finale. I would have to say there was some cool wordplay going on. Olivia got shot in the head. Bang. Dead. Peter just ceased to exist, thanks to the Watchers. That's not killing off, just removing a variable. Meaning totally can bring back in. And John Noble has already said all the principle characters will be back next season.

Somehow, though, I don't think the Walters are going to play well together. I mean, can't forget kidnapping and stuff. And it'll be REALLY interesting when our Olivia finds out about Peter's child. That's one massively twisted love triangle right there. 

Bryzarro - I only assumed he remembered everything because like you said, he just leaped into his future self and compounded the previous memories of the last 15 years. 


mike10 5/9/2011 12:09:01 PM


But id Peter ceased to exist than so would his child, especially if no one remembers Peter as the Watchers said.

 On a side note, are these watchers related to Marvel's watchers?

acidsquall73 5/9/2011 1:41:31 PM

mike10 - You my friend have figured out the true paradox of the situation. OR, they could really go Fringe-happy and make his child a "miracle birth".lol  I think they'll throw in a gimmick where they're going to realize that Peter's involvement in everything that went on this season was paramount to the end game. And the Walters and their genius minds will figure that out once certain pieces won't fit together correctly, and Peter will be brought back either via a Watcher interaction or another quantum Fringe event. Can't forget about Sam Weiss, either. He may be the one that knows Peter existed and he'd be the one to figure out how to get him back. That's what great about the show. They throw some imagination onto the board and it explodes into a book's worth of story.

DaForce1 5/9/2011 2:10:21 PM

 Peter said the machine staging area was a bridge between the two worlds. Maybe that's an area, or nexus, where only you and your alternate version can exist. Because all we saw in the room were both universe's versions of the people present. That could be why Peter disappeared.

I know the watchers said Peter doesn't exist, but they have been wrong before.  

wessmith1966 5/9/2011 7:16:35 PM

I didn't get into Fringe the first season. I watched it, but just wasn't impressed. Sometime midway through the second season I really got into the show and now it's a favorite. I'm glad Fox is bringing it back next season.

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