Monday, March 28, 2011

TV Line: Fringe Countdown: What Happens at 6:02 AM?!

March 28, 2011 08:11 AM PDT Matt Webb Mitovich With Fringe freshly renewed for a fourth season yet serving up repeats for the next two Fridays, Fox is whetting fans’ appetites with a 15-second promo teasing what’s to come. Apparent to the naked eye upon casual viewing is a flurry of familiar images — Walternate, Peter and Olivia, The Machine, the book The First People — while a clock tick-tocks in the background. It all closes with the question, “Where Will You Be When It Happens?” But when is “it” happening? Well, if you freeze-frame during that closing title card, you can catch a glimpse of “6:02 AM.” To me, that seems kind of early in the morning to be destroying or saving a universe, but I have to assume the producers did their research.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

EW Ken Tucker: 'Fringe' recap: Baby, baby, sweet baby

by Ken Tucker

This week’s Fringe should have come with an advisory: DO NOT WATCH IF YOU ARE PREGNANT. The harrowing pregnancy of the alternative-universe-Olivia was the coursing vein running through the episode titled “Bloodline.”
Early on, it was disclosed that Altivia was a likely carrier of “viral propagated eclampsia,” a condition, we were told, that usually resulted in the death at birth of either the mother or the child. (The other Olivia’s sister had died in childbirth from “VPE.”) Eclampsia is an acute complication of pregnancy; a propagated viral form of it is, thank goodness, something that exists in the minds of Fringe writers who know how to unnerve viewers effectively.

The kidnapping of Altivia, the needle injection that would speed up gestation of the fetus, the race to find her by Lincoln Lee, Charlie Francis, and our favorite cab driver, Henry (Andre Royo) — all of this made for a swift, tense episode. Once Altivia’s tracking device was removed, Lee suspected an “inside job,” a phrase that would be repeated later in the hour by Walternate, in an attempt to throw Lincoln off the trail of clues.

Fringe used this alt-universe episode to establish a strong new bond between Lincoln and Charlie. They’ve mutually acknowledged that Lincoln “has a thing for Liv” (he would later declare his love for her when he thought she was dying). And after Walternate told Lincoln that the baby is his grandchild, as well as a few mind-blowers about the “other” Olivia, they agreed they need to wonder “what else we don’t know.” It’s a good set-up, to have these two agents working together (with the alternate-Agent Farnsworth, unwittingly/wittingly/instinctively sussing out information they need). Once Altivia had been diagnosed with VPE, she was scheduled for “the procedure,” which I assumed was an abortion to save her life. Thus Walternate’s staged kidnapping (for that’s what it turned out to be) prevented yet another prime-time abortion, with all the controversy that can attend such an operation on network television, but with Fringe, this wasn’t a cop-out — it was a way to heighten the stakes for everyone involved, not only Altivia and her son (for that’s what it turned out the baby was).

“Bloodline” was a beautifully modulated hour, written by Alison Schapker and Monica Owusu-Breen, that took care to establish the anxiety felt by Altivia and her mother, Marilyn (Amy Madigan) about the pregnancy, freighted as it also is by the fact that the father is not the Alt-Olivia’s boyfriend Frank, but Peter Bishop. Marilyn’s barely-held-in-check disapproval, balanced by worry over her daughter’s health, was enacted well by Madigan.

So let’s tote up some of what we know. Walternate had forbidden any experimentation on children, which we’ve interpreted in previous episodes as a humanitarian impulse. Brandonate reminded us that “Peter is uniquely suited to power the machine”… but is that still true, if he has a son whose bloodline is potent enough to make the same connection to the machine? And why would Brandonate have phrased it this way, if the plan was already in motion to get the baby birthed and confirm its DNA potential? He and Walternate must have had a theory that Peter is not unique in this sense, that his heir could “power the machine,” no?

Indeed, we can still interpret Walternate as a not-evil man — after all, as alternate-O said, she and the baby’s lives were both saved because “the virus didn’t replicate as fast as the pregnancy.” But the elaborate kidnapping to gain the baby’s blood sample was necessary… why, exactly? To distance Walternate from whatever happens next in the assembling of the great machine?

I’m still so flushed with relief that Fringe has been renewed for a fourth season that I’m going to let you sort things out as far as the future is concerned (on our side, did Peter come down with sudden, inexplicable urge to go out and buy some cigars to pass around to his dad and the gang?). As far as this week’s episode is concerned, I was shaken and moved, as well as amused (Astrid’s reaction to Sec. Walter Bishop being grandfather to Agent Dunham’s baby: “Oh. I see.”). Have at it below, please.

Fringe benefits:

• The Observer, with his “It is happening” communication to his fellow Hairless Wonders, was busy standing still, witnessing history.

• The birth date of Altivia’s son on the blood-sample card is “14/02/11″; assuming over there they print dates in the European manner, flipping the month/day as we do it, that would make this… Valentine’s Day?

• In the alt-universe, Francis Ford Coppola directed Taxi Driver.

• Also, “Opus the Peahen,” as drawn by “our” Berkeley Breathed and as opposed to Opus the penguin, is read by a chuckling Henry in his cab.

• Over there, a new season of The West Wing has started! I wonder how the ratings for Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip are these days…

• Charlie had a date with Mona, that cute “bug girl.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

E! Kristen: Fox Gives Fringe a Fourth Season!

Fox Gives Fringe a Fourth Season!
Today 7:02 PM PDT by Jenna Mullins
Congrats, Fringe fans! Fox has confirmed what executive producer Joel Wyman tweeted today, and that is Fringe was picked up for a fourth season:

"Fringe was picked up!!!! Thanks Fringedom!"
No, no, Mr. Wyman. Thank you for giving us such an excellent show that we now get to enjoy for another season.
Fringe had been teetering on the bubble awaiting pickup news for the past couple weeks, and there were even cancellation rumors running around the Internet earlier this week. Again, Joel took to his twitter to immediately debunk the nonsense, saying, "I just hopped on and saw all this. Fringe is not canceled. Some people love bad news SO much they make it up."

What do you say, fans? How will you celebrate this renewal news?

TV Line: Fringe Battles Nikita: Only One Can Make the 'Renew Our Show!' Finals

Lets give FOX Executives yet another reason to renew Fringe, the best show on TV right now!!!!!!!
by Michael Slezak
One features brainy characters whose doppelgängers live in an alternate universe. The other features sexy sleuths leading double lives. But both Fox’s Fringe and the CW’s Nikita have one important thing in common: They’re in the semifinals of’s first annual ’Renew Our Show!’ Bracket Tournament, and only one will survive into Monday’s final showdown.
To make the final four, Fringe had to erase Outsourced and V, while Nikita assassinated The Event then pulled off a close upset over No. 3 seed One Tree Hill in the opening two rounds of our single-elimination competition for 16 on-the-bubble series hoping to score slots on the 2011-2012 primetime calendar.

Monday at 1 p.m. ET, you’ll be able to vote for the ultimate “Renew Our Show!” Champion — where the winner of this battle will be up against the winner of Chuck Vs. Parenthood. Click here to see the entire bracket (then click again on the image for a zoomed-in view). And if you’re losing sleep about the status of anything currently on your DVR “series-recording” lineup, don’t miss our regularly updated Renewal Scorecard feature.

But now, you’ve got a tough choice to make — either Fringe or Nikita. Polls will be open for 48 hours, and once you’re done, feel free to hit the comments to justify your vote, and head to Facebook and Twitter to whip your fellow fanboys and fangirls into a frenzy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TV Line: Fringe Exclusive: Boardwalk Empire Standout Emily Meade Joins the Team

Michael Ausiello
Editor in Chief The Fringe division appears to be fortifying its ranks as it races to avert a possible apocalypse.
The Fox thriller has tapped actress Emily Meade — best known for her memorable (albeit brief) stint as Michael Pitt’s prostitute-girlfriend on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire — to play a new FBI agent.

Her character — described as a wide-eyed and eager rookie who’s ready to face all of the challenges in front of her — turns up in the ominously titled May 6 season finale, “The Day We Died.”

Of course, the question remains: WHICH Fringe team is the new recruit working for, the one Over Here or the one Over There? Post your theories below!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ask Austello: Last two episode titles of Season 3

So does that mean that theres only one Sam Weiss at a time? Or is he the last of the First people before they go extinct? Or is it something else? And that Finale title scares me.

Question: Two weeks in a row with Fringe scoop. Keep the streak alive! —Jeff

Ausiello: OK, we’re now three-for-three, because I happen to have found out the titles of this season’s last two episodes, and at least one of them sounds VERY ominous. (And you know when I do “very” in all caps like that, I mean business.) Let’s start with the penultimate episode (3.21), which is called “The Last Sam Weiss.” I previously reported that Kevin Corrigan would be back as Olivia’s bowling alley counselor/confidant, but what’s intrigued me now is that “last” bit. Before you hit the comments with your theories, grab a seat, take a hit of oxygen, and behold the title of the season finale: “The Day We Died.” Go ahead. Take a moment to process that. [Beat] Moment’s up. It sure sounds to me like we’ll be down one universe if when Fringe returns in the fall, right?

Sci-Fi Showdown: 'Fringe' Battles 'V' in the 'Renew Our Show!' Quarterfinal

I agreee with this, while I enjoy V, Fringe is by far and beyond the better show. This is yet another way to help Fringe!

Sci-Fi Showdown: 'Fringe' Battles 'V' in the 'Renew Our Show!' Quarterfinal
by Michael Slezak
Steel yourselves, sci-fi fans! The final quarterfinal matchup of’s first annual ”Renew Our Show!” Bracket Tournament involves Fox’s Fringe and ABC’s V, a pair of out-of-this-world thrillers with enthusiastic cult followings.
To warm up for the big showdown, Fringe and V respectively bumped off Outsourced and Off the Map in Round One of our single-elimination competition for 16 on-the-bubble series hoping to score slots on the 2011-2012 primetime calendar.

Every afternoon at 1 p.m. ET for the rest of the week, you’ll be able to vote in polls to help narrow down the “Renew Our Show!” field — until there’s only one champ standing. Click here to see the entire bracket (then click again on the image for a zoomed-in view). And if you’re losing sleep about the status of anything currently on your DVR “series-recording” lineup, don’t miss our regularly updated Renewal Scorecard feature.

But before that happens, you’ve got to do your sci-fi civic duty and choose between Fringe and V. Polls will be open for 48 hours, and once you’re done, feel free to hit the comments to justify your vote, and head to Facebook and Twitter to whip your fellow fanboys and fangirls into a frenzy.

Fringe Season Finale Casting Call: Moreau

March 22nd, 2011 8:22 AM
by TV Fanatic Staff Show
Fringe has sent out a casting call related to its season finale.

The Fox drama is seeking a "well-known male Japanese actor in his late 40s to late 50s who speaks English" to come on board as a mysterious character named "Moreau." What role will this individual play? Will the episode actually serve as the - gulp! - series finale?

Monday, March 21, 2011

FRINGE not canceled

Looks like a pretty great sign! But I wouldn't stop the save FRINGE campains just yet.

Clarita: I read somewhere that Fringe isn't getting renewed! I know you'll give me a straight answer!
We'll do you one better and let show runner Joel Wyman take this one. Joel tweeted just today that even though there are rumors running rampant on the internet that Fringe is a goner, it's not true at all. "I just hopped on and saw all this. Fringe is not canceled. Some people love bad news so much they make it up!" And Fringe fans better bookmark his Twitter page, because he then tweeted: "We will come here first with the news of a pickup."

Friday, March 18, 2011

FRINGE - Preview #2 from "Stowaway" airing 3/18!

FRINGE - Preview #1 from "Stowaway" airing 3/18!

Fringe - Aftermath: "Os"

Blastr: Confident Fringe producers casting new character for season 4

Sounds like its almost a sure thing?!?!?!?!?!?!

Fringe fans may be holding their breath right now waiting to see whether the series has a future, but it seems there may be a chance we'll see a season four after all—despite Fox moving the series to the Friday night death slot a few months back against The CW's Supernatural.

It turns out the producers are so confident the struggling show will survive that they're already making plans to introduce a new character meant to recur NEXT year. So start crossing those fingers!

According to E Online's Watch with Kristin, Fringe is planning to introduce a female character—a brand-new, green, FBI agent.

Season four—and gods willing, there will be a season four—might bring us a new lady castmember. Producers are casting for a green FBI agent named Emily to come aboard for the finale and possibly recur next year. Let's see, Rachel Nichols is already locked up by Criminal Minds, and Emily Rose is on Haven, so ... paging Maggie Grace!

While we're not so sure about Maggie Grace (Lost), at least it's a sign that the producers are really hopeful for a renewal.

Still, we're sure Joshua Jackson, who plays Peter Bishop on the show, will still want everyone to keep on campaigning for the series until it's a done deal.

What do you think? Do you believe Fringe will make it for a fourth season? Do you like the idea of introducing a new FBI agent to the mix?

Monday, March 14, 2011


Man these guys are awesome! I just wanted to let everyone know about their awesome recaps. They take a song and make a Fringe episode recap and then speed it up to sound like the chipmunks singing it! Very well done!

Friday, March 11, 2011

E! Kristen: Fringe and Ferris Bueller Collide!

Thu., Mar. 10, 2011 5:10 PM PST by Jennifer Arrow

Welcome back, Fringe! Our fave freaky-deaky sci-fi series is back with an all-new episode this Friday, and to celebrate, we talked to guest star Alan Ruck about the floaty weird goings-on.

Floaty-what, you say? Oh, did we not mention that this episode features flying people? And who's Alan Ruck, you ask? He's Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, silly!

You love Cameron, we know you do, so read this now, willya?

WANT MORE? Follow @JenniferArrow on Twitter

Alan told us that producers had him in mind for this particular part: "I got the role in the nicest possible way. They called up and said, 'Do you want to do this?' That happens from time to time and it's wonderful." So who exactly is he playing? "He is no dummy, he's an aeronautical engineer, and he stumbled on to something and he is trying to figure out a way to use it. Ultimately he would like to use it for good, but in so doing he causes a lot of damage. So I guess you could say, he's obsessed. And this particular point in time where the episode of Fringe starts, time is fleeting and he's just…under the gun."

And how exactly does this aeronautical engineer come to the attention of Fringe Division? "Well, I don't want to give too much away," says Ruck, "But there are some people who are messing around with some chemical compounds that apparently make human beings lighter than air. I wind up doing some very bad things, sort of for the right reasons. Some things I am doing are less than legal and certainly less than ethical and maybe depending on your world view immoral."

That immoral behavior (and let's face it, he's got to be doing something horrible; this is Fringe) gets him up close and personal with our fave three investigators: Joshua Jackson's Peter Bishop, John Noble's Walter Bishop and, of course, Anna Torv's Olivia Dunham. Ruck says, "Yes, [I work] at a distance with Anna, she puts my brakes on at one point, and then I worked with Josh and John in another scene. I was very up-close with John, Josh was hanging back in that scene, but I had dialogue with John. They are great people. I met Josh over the years at different places at events and stuff, but I never met John or Anna before, and they're wonderful. I had a really good time performing with John; he is a great guy."

So will our new friend be back to cause more mischief on a future episode of Fringe? Ruck says, "I think not. I think...truly not. Technically yes [he could come back], but probably not."

'Fringe': Save this show! A guide (and a plea) for new fans.

Mar 11, 2011

10:07 AM ET
by Ken Tucker
The bonds of family, the ecstasy of romance, the exhilaration of intellectual inquiry, and a secret government agency working to protect you from all kinds of crazy, weird stuff. If I told you there was a TV series featuring all of that, plus great acting and superb action sequences, wouldn’t you want to watch that?

Sure you would. And people who are watching Fringe now know it’s doing something rare: It’s a TV show working on all levels, characters with which anyone can identify, imaginative scripts, crackling dialogue, and a positive message (boiled-down: All you need is love). It’s the kind of show that, every time you finish watching the latest installment, you want to see its next episode right now.

A new episode of Fringe, titled “Os,” airs tonight, and as I explain and exhort in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on sale today, you’re making a mistake if you miss it.

But if you’re not watching Fringe – and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a passionate please-save-Fringe plea to you and to the dear, intelligent, how-much-flattery-do-you-need folks at Fox — here’s what I suggest: Forget everything you’ve heard about Fringe. Banish the notion that you’ll be confused by the serialized nature of its storytelling, that it’s too deep into its mythology for you to catch up. It’s not.
Because like the best TV, Fringe works on a number of levels, and one level is, it’s highly entertaining, accessible stuff. All you really need to know about Anna Torv’s Olivia Dunham and Josh Jackson’s Peter Bishop is that they’re brave investigators for the FBI’s Fringe Division, seeking to solve the mysteries of our world, which may be in jeopardy from another, alternate version of our world. And, by the way, Peter and Olivia are in love in a manner that’s so glowing with passion yet so challenged by emotional roadblocks thrown in their way, they make Romeo and Juliet look like Phil and Claire Dunphy.

And all you really need to know about John Noble’s Walter Bishop is that he’s a brilliant scientist who’s also emotionally fragile, playfully eccentric, and a junk-food junkie (it’s unlikely any other genius has referred to Pop-Tarts as “delicious strawberry-flavored death”). Oh, and by the way, Noble deserves an Emmy for his extraordinarily delicate, wide-ranging performances.

At its big, red, throbbing heart, the show tells the story of a love so powerful, it crosses universes: When Peter was seven, he died. His brilliant-scientist father, Walter, having discovered that there was a parallel universe containing doubles of everyone here, transported himself to that Other Side and brought back that universe’s Peter, to love and to cherish. In doing so, he created not just a rift in the universes (which are now dangerously, explosively out of balance), but also a rift between father and son (when Peter discovered who he really was, and grappled with the idea that he belonged to another Walter, a “Walternate”).
This is the bare-bones version of Fringe, which is creatively capacious enough to also take in the dual nature that resides in every one of us; arcane conspiracy theories that end up as eerie realities; and the over-arching idea held by every regular reader of Entertainment Weekly that we can experience everything – politics, art, philosophy, and cures for loneliness — through the culture around us.

From The Twilight Zone to Battlestar Galactica, the sci-fi/fantasy genre has been downbeat, dystopian, pessimistic, and bleak. In that context, who can blame viewers leery of Fringe, after seeing all those Fox promos in which the heroes yelp variations on “Our whole universe may end!”? We get enough of that kind of message on other channels, like Fox News and MSNBC. Successful, hit TV shows, all hits of any pop-culture kind, have one thing in common: Reassurance. They make you feel that, when you get up off the sofa, you’ve not only been entertained and, at best, mentally stimulated, but you’ve also been assured that life goes on and the future is sustainable.

This positive, utopian, optimistic message is the one Fringe delivers; it’s just that it comes wrapped in a package that some people have too quickly pigeonholed as “dark,” “gritty,” “complicated,” and “it might make my head hurt.”

I’m not going to guilt-trip you and say that if you don’t watch Fringe, you’re helping to create an atmosphere in which daring new shows won’t make it onto future network schedules. Instead, I’ll be sad that you’re not sharing in what could be the best puzzle-pieced epic since Lost, and the best portrait of a fractious family since Frasier, or M*A*S*H. Because right now, Fringe is promising you nothing less than the world – two of ’em, in fact.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

TV GUIDE: Fringe's Seth Gabel Previews the Lincoln Lee We Haven't Met Yet

Yea! Two Lincolns!

Fringe's Seth Gabel Previews the Lincoln Lee We Haven't Met Yet
Mar 9, 2011 07:00 AM ET
by Damian Holbrook6 Comments..
Seth Gabel So far, we've only seen the "over there" version of Seth Gabel's Fringe Division badass, Lincoln Lee. But on next Friday's Fringe, he debuts as this universe's Lee and fans are in for a world of differences!

TV Guide Magazine: You realize fans love you, right? We want a Lincoln spin-off.
Gabel: Really? That would be amazing!

TV Guide Magazine: Well, he's so cool.
Gabel: I thought I would look like such a doofus holding a gun. It took me seeing that first "over there" episode to feel like, 'ok, I don't look like a fool." They tried really hard. We spent hours trying to figure out how to make me look like a scary intimidating person. [Laughs]

TV Guide Magazine: You're not an action guy?
Gabel: Not at all. I was so scared that I wouldn't pull it off. Once I saw myself being a scientist-slash-FBI hero, I felt more confident and relaxed.

TV Guide Magazine: So who is this Lincoln?
Gabel: He's in the FBI, but has no idea about Fringe Division. He's more of a desk jockey [who] eventually comes to believe there is much more than reality suggests.

TV Guide Magazine: Is he anything like alt-Lincoln?
Gabel: In his nature, he's kind of the same person, but raised under different circumstances. What's so fun about the doppelgangers is that you get to address the question of nature-vs-nurture. Because our doppelgangers are born typically into the same situations, but what happens to them after that is just slightly different. There's a butterfly effect and you get to see who that person becomes a completely different person. In Lincoln's case, Peter was in the world over here and became what Lincoln would have become... So Lincoln has been off doing something else and accidentally bumps into these people, which raises the question about fate and destiny. Are there certain people you're karmically intertwined with?

TV Guide Magazine: "Over there," Lincoln is so obviously in love with Bolivia.
Gabel: Yeah. And that evolves as the season goes on as well.

TV Guide Magazine: Does this world's version fall for Olivia, too?
Gabel: There's something very interesting about Olivia that I can't discuss. She should recognize him [from] the other universe, but something happens and things are a little different in this episode. I actually team up more with Peter, which is cool because I've never really worked with Josh Jackson. We end up getting this partner-crush on each other because we like solving these scientific mysteries together and we really hit it off. I don't get to spend a lot of time with Olivia, but given more time. I wonder of those feelings can bleed across universes.

TV Guide Magazine: Will we see more of Lincoln over here?
Gabel: They certainly set it up. They create room for two Lincolns to exist, which I am thrilled about.

TV Guide Magazine: Which Lincoln are you most like?
Gabel: The over here Lincoln is more like me because I feel more like a nerd who is just realizing that there is more potential there. [Laughs]

TV Guide Magazine: Any advice from your wife Bryce Dallas Howard's father, Ron Howard?
Gabel: He gives me great advice all the time, but the whole family is just so authentic and good... The best advice has been seeing how you can be a good person, work hard, and be rewarded for your effort.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FRINGE Austello Spoilers

I'm curious how they are going to work in Henry with Olivia back on our side? I love Sam Weiss and I'm glad that we get more of him. It would be great if Season 4's theme is "The First People"

Question: Three weeks and no Fringe spoilers. I call that a massive failure on your part. You better make up for that with something big. —Duncan
Ausiello: No pressure though, right? Let’s see…. My gut is telling me that Episode 18, titled “Bloodline,” will be set Over There because it marks the return of both Andre Royo and Amy Madigan as Olivia’s alterna-sidekick and mother, respectively. Don’t keep me in suspense — how’d I do?!

Question: Seriously, where is the Fringe scoop lately? —Jeff
Ausiello: Ugh, not you too. Sorry, I’ve got nothing else… THIS JUST IN: Sources confirm to me exclusively that Kevin Corrigan is set to reprise his role as Olivia’s bowling alley counselor/confidante Sam Weiss in Episodes 20 and 21!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

EW: Jeff Jensen: 'Fringe': Cool new promo teases cameo by 'Lost' dude. PLUS: Is 'Fringe' preparing for the end? -- EXCLUSIVE

Mar 3, 2011 01:33 PM ET
by Jeff Jensen

It may be a down week for Fringe, but Fox is trying its best to make sure we don’t forget about its Friday night sci-fi saga. The network’s promo department — which has been turning out cool, clever work for the buzz-y, but ratings-challenged, cult fave all season long — has produced another must-see 90-second spot, this one an atmospheric summing up of the season’s War of the Parallel Worlds story that points to a cataclysmic climax. I’m convinced the commercial also contains a few Easter Eggs. At least one is easy to see: Hurley! Yep, Lost alum and Face of Weezer Jorge Garcia — who has been cast in a new J.J. Abrams-produced series called Alcatraz – will be making a cameo in next week’s episode, playing (SPOILER ALERT!) a Massive Dynamic employee. The spot also includes quotes from certain critics who’ve praised Fringe’s fine third season, as well as one nutty media person known for being a crazed fan of the Bad Robot brand of cryptotainment. Behold:

With no new Fringe to preview or ponder this, let’s process last week’s outing, “Subject 13,” which contained major revelations about Walter Bishop’s backstory and begged some big questions. How come Olivia and Peter can’t remember their childhood encounter in the tulip field after she went all Firestarter? And given how tight Olivia and Walter were during her days at The Bishop School For Gifted Youngsters (despite all that cruel, frightening, Paranormal Activity-esque testing), how come the Cortexiphan-enhanced world-hopper doesn’t have greater recall of her mad scientist father figure, who tried to make her troubled homelife a little better by bullying her abusive stepfather into good behavior? Here’s my current theory: Remember how William Bell extracted memories out of Walter’s head? I think Bell performed similar mnemonic lobotomies on Olivia and Peter, as well. The clue: That video footage of Walter trying to trigger Olivia’s latent abilities. Do you remember for whom Walter was making those videos? William Bell. We heard Bishop ask his former partner if he would review the tapes and look for things in Olivia he might missing. I think Bell did see something, something he could needed to utilize or exploit, be it for righteous or self-serving purposes, and doing so required mind-wiping Olivia and Peter.

I thought “Subject 13″ was extremely significant to the larger Fringe saga in another respect: It seemed engineered to help bring the series to an end should Fox ultimately decide to not renew the show. For me, the big picture Fringe story is about two things: 1. Walter and Peter repairing their fraught father-son relationship; and 2. Olivia and Peter making sense of their peculiar connections to multiple worlds of Fringe-y weirdness so they can move into the future as fully-realized individuals, and possibly together as a couple. I think Fringe can effectively accomplish both narrative missions in the remaining episodes of the season — especially in the wake of “Subject 13.”

Before last week’s episode, Walter possessed a moral ambiguity that was tough for Olivia and Peter (and us) to forgive. As recently as the Feb. 4 episode “Concentrate and Ask Again,” Peter was guilt-tripping Walter for the human wreckage caused by his Cortexiphan testing. But now we know that Peter and Olivia don’t know — or for some reason can’t recollect — the whole story of their shared past, as well as Walter’s motives and heart. We used to think Walter wanted to keep Peter for himself and his wife after saving the boy’s life in order to replace the son he lost. Now we know that Walter was desperately trying to return Peter to his home world and his true parents, and that Walter was trying to cultivate Olivia’s powers not to make her into some kind of super-soldier for a future war, but to re-open the portal between worlds and send Peter home. Yes, Walter and his wife deceived Peter about his origins, but we learned they did so in large part to help Alterna-Pete stay both sane and breathing. Given Peter’s dangerous angst over feeling so profoundly alienated from his fake family and fraudulent Green Lantern/Los Angeles Dodgers culture (do you think he was prepared to die if his plunge into “the world at the bottom of the lake” didn’t work?), Walter and his wife felt their only recourse was to basically browbeat him into believing a lie. And they paid a dear price for that.

I really enjoyed “Subject 13.” And it was a great showcase for John Noble, who deserves serious consideration from Emmy voters. I’m going out of my way to emphasize my love for the episode because I fear what I’m about to say may sound like a criticism. It’s not — it’s just an observation. As I saw it, “Subject 13″ effectively reduced the tricky, defining tensions of Fringe into one big horrible misunderstanding — one that has produced profound, destiny-shaping pain for many people that can’t be easily forgotten, but becomes easier to forgive once everyone knows what we know. Especially Peter and Walternate. If Peter knew that back in the day, Walter was doing all he could to give him back the life he was supposed to have — a life that he would have lost, anyway, if Walter hadn’t saved him — then I have to think Peter’s frosty regard for a man he refuses to call “Dad” would finally, permanently thaw. As for Walternate, we must now wonder if this “over there” Javert would reconsider prosecuting his miserable war against the “over here” world if he understood the mitigating circumstances of Walter’s motives. He won’t, of course — at least, not until his master plan has proceeded past the proverbial Point Of No Return.

Regardless, in the battle between endearingly misunderstood father figure Walter and toxically bitter wife-neglecting Walternate, “Subject 13″ made it easier for us to pick a side — and easier for Fringe to resolve its grand epic, if need be, with a concluding sweep of episodes in which secrets will be revealed and sins will be forgiven, culminating with a series finale that will give us what was inevitable from the beginning: A heroic, redemptive, sacrificial death for Walter Bishop.

But I hope I’m wrong.