Published on May 12th, 2012 | by Melody Simpson6
‘Fringe’ Season 4 Episode 22 Review (Season Finale): Brave New World, Part 2
The Fringe Season 4 Finale delivered goods that we have been waiting for all season long. This series is known for it’s phenomenal finales, so fans were hoping for the treat of the season. As it turns out, the finale tied things up quite smoothly (while still leaving a few bumps) had this indeed been a series finale. More on that in a bit. The title, “Brave New World” could not have been more fitting and the writers have left us with plenty to ponder until the fifth and final season begins. The glyph this week was “purge” so we know that the observers are indeed coming. Had we not seen so much of the future and the observers’ role in said future, perhaps this finale would have been more mind blowing. Still, the writers did a good job doing what they did, unsure of the show’s fate.
Not letting us bite our nails much longer, we were quickly made aware of Astrid’s status after last week’s jaw dropping cliffhanger. Astrid is alive and well, as she should be. Season five would not be the same without her. One person we will do without next season is Jessica Holt. She may be gone but this is clearly not the end of Bell’s army. What a brilliant twist, finding out that Jessica worked for Bell the entire time. Did anyone have their suspicions? Sure fooled me. Jessica was brave enough to take the role that she did in Bell’s army but some soldiers fall and this was that time for her. Watching Olivia re-direct Jessica’s bullets right back into Jessica after the observer was shot was such an exhilarating moment. For every time that Olivia cannot control her powers, there is a time that she uses them at the moment she needs them the most. Great balance here. But are some of the things that she is able to do a result of her baby (like Piper on Charmed when she was pregnant), or is it all her and is she the sole energy source?
Bell attempting and failing to use Olivia, the energy source needed to collapse the universes could put her child in danger next season if there is a way to hurt the baby without doing too much damage to Olivia. Bell needs Olivia after all. But Olivia’s loved ones Bell would not hesitate to sacrifice in order to get her to work with him. Peter, Walter, and the rest of her circle had better keep their guards up. Especially since the Observer came to Walter, warning him that “they are coming.” What a fantastic cliffhanger this is. Finding out that Olivia is pregnant and finding out that “they” are coming were definitely series finale moments. Not to mention, Walter calling Astrid…Astrid. Olivia and Peter get their happy ending (thrilling as that may be, it did seem to come together too quickly) and we get a cliffhanger that we do not have to be completely committed to since we already know what the future holds. Of course, now with another season, the writes can prepare to throw us curve balls but had this been the series finale, we would know. Thankfully, this was not the series finale, but had it been, “Brave New World, Part 2″ would have, overall, been a satisfying one. Though underneath the cookie cutter, heartwarming surface, there are still many questions that went unanswered, so thankfully we do have another season to explore the world of Fringe.
Back to Bell… his disappearance was expected because that’s what villains do when they lose. They have to regroup and edit their master plan. Before he disappeared though, there were plenty of wild words that spewed from this mouth. Disappointed with Olivia and Peter showing up just as Bell was about to find what he thought was success and true happiness, he admitted that he could not be too surprised with the two cutting him short since humans persevere and survive. Darn right they too. What a powerful line. This was one of the most gut-wrenching moments for Bell but one of the most triumphant for the rest of the worlds. Humans will fight to the death for their lives, loved ones, nation, for their world. Bell knew that the world was not going to go out without a fight but just how dedicated the Fringe division was to the cause he greatly underestimated. Never underestimate what people will do to preserve their world. Some people on the Fringe division may not even recycle… but they are not going to let someone collapse their world to create a new one and decide for them. This brings me to a running question throughout the season, the series, “What really is right?” and do you have the right to make that decision for someone else?
What is so disturbing is knowing that Bell truly believes he is doing the right thing. To build that belief up and escape denial for as long as possible, he grounds his dream on Walter’s actions years ago. By doing so, he has chosen to forget that Walter is paying, in his own way, for that decision of creating his own fate every single day. But Bell will soon find this out. He will pay. There’s fate and then there’s the free will we have to get to that fate or veer off on our own path. Bell is doing more than veering off. As he said, “God made us in his image. If we are capable of being gods, then it is in our destiny to do so.” Bell is attempting to create a new fate for everyone. That kind of power is wildly dangerous. He clearly is one who picks and chooses verses from the bible and interprets them in his own way rather than gets to the bottom of an entire chapter or book’s worth of explanation behind a certain verse. But that’s what happens when your goal is to only see what you want to see so that you can do whatever it is that you want to do. What a fantastic troubling look inside Bell’s mind. The writers have so much they can do with Bell from hereon out and there is only one season left to play, so I am very much anticipating what is next for Bell!
Finally, it also must be pointed out how open and active Nina has become. She put the pieces together after the universes began colliding, yes, but she was putting the pieces together and trying to help rather than sit at her desk all day looking mysterious. More Nina in Season five, who’s with me? What a great finale. Certainly not the best finale Fringe has delivered, but good. Every character in some way has to be brave for what is ahead, both in their individual lives and on the job, saving the world. We have been left with so much to smile about and hope for as well as much to question, debate and discuss, especially about Bell and the observers. So be sure to hit the comments below to share your interpretations and theories!
*Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX