This week's Fringe took us back to the alternate universe for the first time in too long, and also reminded us about those pesky shapechangers that've been causing trouble since the start of the season. All that and a Radiohead reference in the title, too! What else could we want from "Everything In its Right Place"?
Where Is Lincoln's "Right Place"?
Somehow, I doubt that I'm the only person who came away from this episode happy that Lincoln was "sticking around" in the alternate universe; whether it was the idea that the alternate Lincoln was somehow our Lincoln gone "right" (In a reversal of the other characters' alternates, notably) or his attraction to an Olivia who is available and not slowly having her memories replaced, the alternate timeline seemed like a much better place for Lincoln than where he came from. But how much of that is coincidence/the writers' desire for an emotionally satisfying episode,
and how much comes from the fact that Lincoln "shouldn't" be in our timeline as it reverts to the pre-Observer version, because he was killed in it…? (Despite my convinction otherwise, Lincoln didn't die at the end of "Stowaway" in S3.)
How Important Is Lincoln?
Lincoln's aberrant status is something that I keep coming back to. Did the alternate Lincoln die to make room for our Lincoln in that world?
Is it somehow "destined" or cosmically important that there's only one Lincoln between the two universes? (See above.) Does Lincoln's sense of disconnect mean that he's just, on some subconscious level, aware that he shouldn't be around, or part of something more? Watching his reactions when the shapeshifter was talking about knowing that he didn't belong and wasn't one of the special people in life was truly painful - In an episode that completely centered around actor Seth Gabel, that was a particularly wonderful, affecting scene - in part because Lincoln really had no idea (and still may not) just how special he really is. And also…
Is Lincoln The First Observer Ancestor?
I've suggested before that maybe Lincoln would end up joining David Robert Jones, because he wouldn't be able to deal with losing Olivia, and watching him empathize with the very reason that the shapeshifter chose to side with Jones tonight almost underscored that suspicion before Lincoln pulled himself together. But nonetheless, part of me is now thinking… What if Lincoln will fulfill Jones' sales pitch by becoming part of the next evolution of humanity, but as a good thing, not a crazy evil shapeshifter? What if Lincoln will leave behind the life he's clearly unhappy in to become a New God that will one day lead to the superhuman future Observers?
Remember The Idea That Olivia Has To Die?
What if it's the alternate Olivia? Admittedly, this comes as much from my belief that (a) they won't actually kill off our Olivia, and (b) Lincoln is, for some reason, destined for tragedy (not to mention losing his partners in various manners: His first to death by shapeshifter, his second to rewritten memories by timelines being reasserted), but… What if Olivia does die, it's just that it's a different Olivia? Is that completely crazy?
Who Is Real?
Talking of completely crazy… Colonel Broyles and Alternate Nina are clearly in cahoots with Jones, but I'm still unsure if that makes them bad guys, or shapeshifters who are pretending to be the alternate versions of said characters. That Nina was somehow able to control Massive Dynamic and store the shapeshifters would suggest that she's the real deal, and you'd think that having a GPS tracker for the shapeshifters would lead to Broyles' discovery sooner rather than later if he is one, but still: Nothing is ever as it seems on this show, and I'll wait until we've been told who is "real" and who isn't before choosing to go on my own guesswork here, thankyouverymuch.