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Published on April 30th, 2011 | by Melody Simpson


‘Fringe’ Episode 3.21 Review: Sam’s Full Agenda Still Shrouded

After a spontaneous dry lightning storm on the highway causes a stream of car accidents, the Fringe division is on a mission to stop the disastrous events caused by the machine. If the season finale doesn’t show how the people in our universe are reacting to these strange (weather related) events, possibly the future will…

Visual learners will love Walter’s (John Noble) demonstration detailing the cause of the lightning storm. He explained the machine in our world and the machine in the alternate world as magnets and the pull between the two as the cause of the recent event. Meanwhile, Sam Weiss (guest star Kevin Corrigan) and Olivia (Anna Torv) uncover a drawing of her face in the box that is supposed to hold the crowbar (or the machine’s “emergency brake”). So Walter’s theory evolves into Olivia being able to turn the machine off through telekinesis and controlling the machine on the other side long enough for Peter (Joshua Jackson) to get into the machine.

fringe season 3 olivia

“You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you can embrace that, there’s no end to what you can do.” – Walter to Olivia

J.J. Abrams sure does have a thing for mysterious boxes…and the results are always mind blowing! Of course, the scroll in the box was not the only thing that left viewers scratching their heads. Clearly, it’s Olivia’s fate to be a part of all of this. But the world also needed Peter to complete the task at hand. It was perplexing to see Peter wake up from being unconscious, only to have temporary memory loss and believe that his life on the other universe was indeed his own current everyday life. The coin is also back. So once he came to and was ready to enter the machine…and once Olivia had practiced her telekinesis on the typewriter, he was ready to be a hero. Although no one could have prepared him or the viewers for what came next. In fact, it is still quite a tough puzzle as to what exactly we saw. The build up was fantastic!

“Don’t say I never took you anywhere.” – Peter to Olivia

The episode ends with Peter 15 years into the future, injured, and in front of a 9/11 memoriam with the end of the world all around him. Past interviews have revealed that a third universe is not in the show’s future, so the writers have left viewers with so much to think about! Perhaps this place that Peter has entered is our universe in the future or both of the universes merged into a completely new time line. Last night’s episode ran at such an exhilarating pace and had our jaws dropping a number of times…so there is definitely more to analyze and anticipate than there is to predict and anticipate.

The build up to the finale has been crafted exceptionally well. What’s so exciting about this show is every season finale opens a new Pandora’s box and every box is integrated so well into future episodes. So, whatever the writers have planned for season four…this episode has done a brilliant job in giving us clues to that puzzle. I cannot wait to see how they will blow our mind for the finale next week…if I can even pick up the pieces of brain matter from last’s night’s episode.

Now the showing of flashbacks right before Peter entered the machine definitely amped up the dramatics. Those flashbacks were definitely significant…but why? It’s unclear if he was simply gaining his memories back all at once or if his love for Olivia was helping him take each step, or if it’s foreshadowing to a crazy Peter, or none of the above. With two universes’ knowledge in his head plus what he has been pushed into most recently…it is a possibility that he could end up crazier than Walter once was. That wouldn’t be fun to see as that would put yet another strain on the relationship between Peter and Olivia among other things…and the ride is intense enough. So anyway…

Fringe continues to answer our questions all the while giving us two times more questions each and every week. It is funny that the episode is titled, “The Last Sam Weiss” but all we learned about Sam is that the knowledge that he knows was simply passed down in his family. His story cannot be that simple, can it? Well no, because it is unclear as to if Sam’s agenda lines up with the observers’ agenda and if that aligns with a world that allows for both universes to thrive. There is really so much to wrap our heads around and analyze just as there is so much to simply sit back and see where the brilliant writers take us for the finale. One thing is for sure, last night was another fantastic trip on the Fringe train!

Favorite Dramatic Moment: Peter and Olivia hold hands right before he enters the machine.

Favorite Comedic Moment: Astrid (Jasika Nicole) gets Walter to leave Peter’s bedside through Walter’s favorite pudding in the hospital cafeteria.

Watch the Season 3 finale of Fringe Friday at 9/8c on FOX.

*Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

About the Author

  • Ashley Ducky Manini

    i think the flashbacks were meant to concrete the idea that Peter was thinking about Olivia, Sam did say that “Depends on his state of mind, which, in turn, will depend on who he ends up with. Olivia from here or Olivia from over there. Whichever one he chooses, it’ll be her universe that survives”

    i think they used the flashbacks to really show us he was thinking of Olivia the whole time JMHO though

  • Melody Simpson

    Thanks for the comment! I could definitely see that as being the reason for the flashbacks!

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