Worlds - and Astrids - collided in last night's episode of Fox's Fringe, as the threat of something that had yet to be invented - but existed, nonetheless - took center stage and brought even more than five questions we had to ask about "Making Angels."
Was This Episode An Intentional Play on Last Week's?
Between the idea of an antagonist who can see the future and a larger question about whether or not said future is unavoidable - The third victim may not have had the car accident the way he was told, but he did have a car accident that left him a paraplegic - "Making Angels" felt very much like a counterpoint to last week's "Forced Perspective," or at least a differing take on the same ideas. In both episodes, however, the future seemed permanently unchangeable - at least in the bigger picture - which again seems to be contradicted by earlier episodes in the show itself, which suggests that both of these episodes are heading somewhere… but where?
What Is Happening At Raden Lake?
It's apparently not coincidence that Peter's appearance in this timeline/alternate Earth/whichever it is was at the same place as his death, considering that was also the same place that this week's oracle discovered the secret to future vision (Even if said secret was tech left behind by an Observer). But what are we to take from that, exactly? Was the tech lost when Peter died, decades earlier, and only discovered recently? Or has "September" (Are all Observers named after months?) been revisiting that spot periodically ever since, and lost it on one of those visits? Or - and this is what I suspect - was it lost when Peter returned… and was September responsible for that return in some way? Which leads me to…
What Is Happening With The Observers?
Apparently, September had kept Peter's return a secret from the other Observers - Quite how he managed to do so is a mystery, considering they can see all of time simultaneously, but that's where plot mechanics and show mythology may have to conflict occasionally - but why? He's also the Observer who warned Olivia that she needed to die, which makes him the Uatu of this particular series (For the uninitiated, that means a cosmic, all-seeing character who is sworn not to interfere but manages to end up doing so on a regular basis), and he seemingly ends up/will end up shot for his troubles. What does he know about Peter and Olivia's importance, and why is he keeping it from the other Observers? And are they the ones who'll try and kill him for rebelling?
What Happened To The Alternate Fringe Agents?
Seeing Fauxlivia's joy at teasing Walter (and Olivia, to a lesser extent) this episode got me wondering… Is she a bit of a sociopath, in her own way? She's definitely less kind than Olivia, or at least less willing to show that kindness without reason. Between this realization and watching the two Astrids interact - And that was a genuinely heartbreaking storyline, seeing the alternate Astrid not be able to come to terms with her father withholding love, and blaming herself for it; watching "our" Astrid lie to make her forgive herself was beautiful, and all the moreso when we saw her father and realized how untrue her story had been - I started wondering if the alternate Earth is one where all of the characters are "broken," somehow; all along, I've been thinking of that Earth as an alternate-but-all-from-one-point-in-time variant, but now I'm wondering if it's the "anti-Earth" variant, the one where something has "gone wrong" in everyone's lives, and they're all slightly worse-off as a result. Have we seen any more fortunate alternate character yet, really…?
What Happens To All The Evidence After The Case Is Over?
Okay, I admit this is a strange one, but go with me here: If the various math at the lake house is correct, it's the math that leads to being able to see the past, present and future simultaneously (That's assuming that the Observer Tech was somehow retro-engineered; otherwise, is that math just unfinished? That was never explained, and I wish it had been), which… Wouldn't someone (Namely, the authorities) want to use that technology again? I wonder if there's going to be a revelation at some point that all of the Crazy Mad Science that's been at the heart of countless episodes of Fringe hasn't just been getting stored away and forgotten about, but either further researched by the government or - more likely…? - given to Massive Dynamic and at the core of their own inventions. After all, how else can they come up with all of their creations…?