NB. Ben Matern and Dave Owen will be sharing reviewing duties on the fourth season of Fringe.
Easter is a time to celebrate restoration. Life where there was death, good where there is evil, love where there is hate. It seems fitting then that this week’s Fringe was entitled Everything in It’s Right Place and dealt with the equilibrium slowly being struck across both universes. I’ve explained my concerns (in a completely non spoilery way of course) with this current season to numerous people and several times in this very column. Let’s be brutally frank, the season hasn’t really worked. We’ve all wanted it to and to believe that the showrunners didn’t bite off more than they could chew with last season’s insane finale revelation. TV writers are not perfect despite what some of us would like to believe and without sounding too much like someone defending The Killing I want to say that I respect a show that is willing to try something and shake things up especially when the show is firing on all cylinders like it was in season three. It shows a determination not to get complacent, which is admirable.
This week’s episode was quite a meditative affair and it wasn’t hard to imagine an air of contemplation in the writer’s room as well. Something of a look back at what they’ve done and how it’s affected their worlds, their audience and the show. In this way I honestly found this episode to be something of a success. The character of Lincoln is, for me, a red universe character. This was where we first met him and it is there that I feel he sits most comfortably. His introduction into the orange verse this season always sat slightly askew for me and to have him feel this same sense of displacement certainly rang true. His journey to the other side and discovery that the bridge between worlds is not only beneficial in creating a sense of unity but is in a very real way healing the red universe. His sense of failure in the orange verse is somewhat calmed by this revelation and he is able to set about doing work that is respected and appreciated by the Fringe division as opposed to simply being set dressing in a world that already has its ‘lead characters’.
The eventual (SPOILER ALERT) death of ‘their’ agent Lee opened a gap. Their world needs an agent Lee and he needs an Olivia. This kind of restorative balance was beautifully achieved and worked well in what certainly seems like an attempt to smooth the edges in case this season is indeed the last. I’m still not comfortable if this should be the end but I am nearing comfort and I an genuinely interested to see what happens over the coming weeks.