Last night’s Fringe really should have been thrilling. The belovedly evil David Robert Jones returned to terrorize us for a new reason, giving Peter a reason to become actually engaged in this version of the universe where he previously had been avoiding strong connections. I can’t really blame him. He has a life and a strong relationship with people in both universes for the previous three seasons, so he’s not going to be very willing to simply abandon them and accept new relationships. And this is exactly the problem that we viewers face every week. We have established relationships with these characters, perhaps even more so considering the tumultuous relationship we have had with it being constantly at risk of being cancelled. It’s certainly no secret that we are seriously funding TV by the Numbers. This has resulted in a stronger relationship with the characters than most.
So when they informed me at the beginning of this season that we would have to reestablish that bond, I was certainly not pleased. It hardly seemed like a good idea when it was on such dangerous ground of being cancelled already. But they did it, and we can’t fix it, so moving on. Perhaps by starting over, they are thinking that they can milk the story line out of us a bit more. Of course, I thought the same thing about season three when we first learned about the other universe and spent so much time there, so maybe I’m just not good with change. Perhaps this really is a good idea, and I will love it retroactively, as I did with season three. Because I was not the least pleased with the first half of that season.
However, this entire season I have felt a distance with the characters, much like what is described in Ryan McGee’s recent review of this episode. Like Peter, I don’t want to create a lasting relationship with these versions of the characters I know and love in the hope that Peter will be able to get back home. We probably won’t, but it never hurts to hope. However, the end of the episode has indicated that maybe Peter will be warming up to these versions of his friends and family as they warm up to him. Perhaps Peter just needs to find a place in this version of events. Just you watch, he’s going to go through all the effort of trying to get home, and for the season finale he’s only succeed in getting himself even more stuck in this new version of the universes. Thus ending with him trying to assimilate himself into the new world. Until then, I’m going to look to Peter for guidance, since his feelings seem to mimic my own.