Fringe Season 4: 5 Questions About “Nothing As It Seems”

by  in Comic News, TV News Comment
Fringe Season 4: 5 Questions About “Nothing As It Seems”

In case last week’s episode of Fringe didn’t quite blow your mind enough, this week the Fox drama decided to go for the nostalgia vote by… retelling a story we’ve seen before, but making a point of showing that things can turn out differently this time around. Five questions about “Nothing As It Seems”? We’ve got ’em right here.

Is Lincoln Superpowered Now?
Okay, I know that Walter “cured” Lincoln with his apparently-disgusted green juice (It has to be said, I’m pretty sure I’ve had smoothies that were very, very similar at times, and mint never hides the aftertaste), but I can’t quite drop the idea that it would be very, very awesome if Lincoln was left somewhat changed by this experience, and not just on an intellectual or emotional level. Would a were-monster Lincoln be a stretch too far on a show that so far features a telekinetic who can cross dimensions and a man who apparently can’t be erased from time? Possibly – but I’ll take that risk, if given the chance.

Who Are The Children of The New Age?
Of all Olivia’s questions about the mysterious forces behind the transformations – I love that they’re working from some obscure Mayan prophecy in 2012, of all years – there was one that wasn’t raised: What if they’re not working with David Robert Jones? All we really know about them is that they’re obsessed with becoming the avatars of a new humanity (or, perhaps, New Gods) via genetic engineering, and that they’ve been successful with more than just the creation of a human/porcupine/with wings hybrid, judging from that end sequence… but, as Olivia did ask, why…?

(One of the things I loved about the episode’s “Deja Vu Gone Wrong” theme was the idea that all of this was going on in the old timeline, and it’s just that we never actually got far enough to find that out. It’s not a question, but I really appreciated the way that the episode played with memories of past episodes and our expectations.)

What’s With The Evolutionary Developments (No Pun Intended)?
Not just the Children of The New Age, but the Observers, too – We’ve been told that they are future humans, albeit an evolutionary jump or two away (Are the Children trying to turn themselves into Observers? Or are the Observers the end result of all their genetic tinkering? The latter, at least, feels particularly possible, and might explain why they’ve been so interested in previous Fringe Division cases). Is it just me, or does Fringe seem more interested in evolution these days than it used to be? Perhaps this will be the show’s new obsession, now that we seem to be moving out of the time travel era…

What Will Happen to Olivia’s Memory?
This is a small thing, admittedly, but it niggled me all through the episode: If Olivia’s alt-timeline memory is being replaced by her original-timeline memory (And, I wonder, will we actually get a scientific explanation for why that’s happening, or is it really just The Power of Love?), then what happens when we get to Peter’s disappearance at the end of Season 3? That Olivia can’t remember conversations with Lincoln interested me, because that happened “after” Peter’s disappearance and re-appearance, which means that she should, theoretically, remember it – unless Olivia will lose anything that happens between Peter’s disappearance and her own reappearance when her memories started to shift. Or is this just me over thinking things again?

What’s Going On With Walter?
Another possible over thinking, perhaps, but didn’t Walter seem overly… happy and trying to bond with Peter this week? It’s only a few weeks ago that he was accusing Peter of tampering with Olivia’s memory on purpose, and now he’s seeming weirdly pleased that Olivia is losing her alt-timeline memories, and giving Peter old birthday presents. Is this just an example of Walter randomness, writer randomness, or a sign that Walter, too, is slowly beginning to remember the way things used to be, even if he doesn’t consciously realize it…?