Blair Brown, Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv in FRINGE - Season 4 - "Brave New World - Part 2" - Season Finale | ©2012 Fox/Liane Hentscher

Blair Brown, Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv in FRINGE - Season 4 - "Brave New World - Part 2" - Season Finale | ©2012 Fox/Liane Hentscher

Cast: Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Anna Torv, Seth Gabel, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole
Writer: J.H. Wyman, Jeff Pinkner, Akiva Goldsman
Director: Joe Chappelle
Network: Fox, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: May 11, 2012

There are many puzzle pieces in play during the second half of the FRINGE Season 4 finale – “Brave New World – Part 2.” All the plot strands that have been set up during Season 4 get some kind of pay-off in an enjoyable if a little underwhelming wrap-up which would have probably worked better if it was aired in a solid two-hour block as opposed to aired during two separate weeks.

The big whammy is the return of William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) and what he’s been up to. His goal to collapse the two universes and create a new one was done, in part, because he was inspired by Walter (John Noble). Walter was the one who felt he could create a better world and play God, and when he realized he was wrong, he had that part of his brain extracted from him (something referenced in “Letters of Transit”) which is why Walter doesn’t remember what all this is about.

Meanwhile, Olivia (Anna Torv) realizes the reason why she’s been activated is that she’s the catalyst with enough energy to collapse the two universes. Combining forces with Peter (Joshua Jackson) who can see this new world, because he’s not of this one – the two of them manage to break into the third world that’s being created by Bell and try to stop him. As his plans are thwarted, Bell disappears with the ring of the Bell, signaling he’s not done yet with the series or messing with the Fringe division.

Meanwhile, the big surprise – SPOILERS BEWARE – is Walter shoots Olivia in the head. It’s the only way to stop the process, because she’s the energy source. Of course, Olivia isn’t dead, because there’s so much Cortexiphan in her system, it can regenerate tissue if the bullet could be removed (hence the lemon cake set-up last week).

Astrid also survives her fatal gunshot wound, Broyles (Lance Reddick) becomes General, the Fringe division becomes fully funded by the U.S. government and Nina (Blair Brown) goes to work for Fringe division.

Oh, and this one isn’t that much of a surprise – Olivia is pregnant.

The friendly Observer also makes an appearance and warns Walter that the others are coming – which again, seems like a callback to “Letters of Transit.”

It’s clear, the Observers taking over our world will be the anchor of Season 5. And with only 13 episodes, it will be sad to see the series rush through so many storylines to get to the finish line, but 13 is better than none.

While “Brave New World – Part 2” wasn’t as strong as previous season finales, it still serves as ample pay-off to burning questions we’ve been wondering all year. And in a weird way, it would have served as a perfectly acceptable series finale if that were the case.

FRINGE doesn’t do things the easy way – and you really have to pay attention to catch all the references and callbacks. It’s something that obviously frustrates short-term fans, but is a delight to those who are knee deep into the mythology.

That said, to get five years of such a wonderful show is a blessing, and like CHUCK, at least it gets to go out on its own terms, instead of being unceremoniously canceled before it’s time is up.

Related Link:TV Review – FRINGE – Season 4 – “Brave New World – Part 1”

Related Link:Interview with Leonard Nimoy on the Season 4 finale of FRINGE, STAR TREK 2 and Season 5

Related Link: Interview with FRINGE star Seth Gabel on the future of the series and the rest of Season 4

Related Link: FRINGE producers reveal the status of Season 5 at Wondercon 2012


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CLICK HERE to read about FRINGE – Season 4 plans

Related Link: AX’s review of the Fringe – Season 3 Finale – “The Day We Died”

CLICK HERE for AX’s exclusive interview with JASIKA NICOLE

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Article:TV Review – FRINGE – Season 4 – “Brave New World – Part 2 – Season Finale

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  2. This episode finally dealt with Olivia being abused by Bell and Walter, awesome acting by Anna Torv, as usual underrated by fans and critics.

    But it was the scene where Walter slaughtered Olivia like an animal, and with that he is a hero, where everyone talks about.

    Olivia did not even get 1 scene to confront Walter and Bell, she just had to be the lamb to be slaughtered.

    The way Olivia was killed by Walter and before Activated by Bell says everything of how they have treated Olivia Dunham since middle season 3.

    An Object: She has to be the girl Peter wants her to be, she has to give up her memories and her life even as Amber is changed for Blue thanks to Cortexaphan created by Bell and Walter,

    Since Firefly season 3 and this season since the return od Peter Olivia Dunham is not allowed to be herself, not allowed to think for herself, has no control over her life, she has to be what Peter and walter want her to be and what the writers want her to be,
    and with that Anna Torv is being sacrified for Josh Jackson and John Noble.
    Jackson can play a Pacey, so Olivia has to fit that part, all the work for Peters homecoming was done by Anna.

    In the beginning of this year we were told that the last part od this season would be about Olivia coming of age.
    Are they going to tell me that giving up your being and being Activated by Abuser Bell and being slaughtered like an animal by Abuser Walter is that?

    John Noble and Josh Jackson want to be the popular guys, so they both complain the moment they have to play Walter and Peter the way they do not like.

    Why was there never a storyline for Olivia dealing with Walter the abuser?
    Because John Noble does not want to play Walter that way.

    Josh Jackson complained in the media in the beginning of season 3, because, oh dear, there were a few episodes with Anna Torv central.
    So Jeff Pinkner moved Olivia to the sidelines as just the Girl, and everything went to Peter.

    The writers with how they have written Olivia are saying this:

    Women are there to be Used, Abused, Viloated and Raped.
    As IMO what Bell and Walter did to Olivia was rape.

  3. The 2-part season finale is AMAZING. I agree with you Mr. Carl Cortez that 13 episodes for Season 5 is short but it is better than nothing.


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