Fringe Season 4: 5 Questions About "Subject 9"

Friday's Fringe brought the moment we've all been waiting for since the start of the season - but even that only meant that we were more confused about what's actually going on. A little delayed because of New York Comic-Con, here're five questions about "Subject 9."

Was Peter Lost In Time?

Walter hypothesized that the electromagnetic distortions were the result of distortions in time, so does this mean that Peter was never actually removed from the timestream as much as just dislocated from it, and however long it's been since the end of season three just bouncing around time? I'm sure we'll learn more about this in the next episode, but the tie-in digital comic suggests that there's definitely been some level of time travel involved in Peter's disappearance...

What Happened To The Other Cortexephan Children?

Hidden inside "Subject 9"'s swerve about what, exactly, was haunting Olivia (Well, a double swerve: I can't have been the only person to have thought it was Peter first off, and then thought that that was an intentional misdirect when they started talking about Cortexephan, right?) was a sneaky retcon about what, exactly, Fringe Division has been up to over the last few years. This is the first time that Olivia and Walter have investigated anything to do with Cortexephan in this timeline? Then that must mean that earlier episodes surrounding the trials didn't happen - which also raises the question "Where are the other Cortexephan test subjects?" After all, I can't believe that the fact that we were told exactly how many there are was anything other than a clue about things to come.

How Did The War With The Other Earth Happen In This Timeline?

Again with the retcons, we were told this week that Olivia had never experienced any Cortexephan-related side-effects since the trials... So does that mean that she's never used it to cross over into the other earth, or just that she doesn't consider that a side-effect? If it's the former, then how, exactly, did everything that has happened in the series post-season one actually happen? Although that would explain why everyone still seems to think that William Bell is dead in this timeline...

(Bonus question: Where is William Bell?)

What Is The Relationship Between Nina and Olivia?

Wait wait wait: Nina Sharpe is talking as if she's known Olivia since she was a child. What's that all about? With Olivia seeming to be an orphan in this new timeline - Or am I just reading too much into the hints that we've been given about Olivia's past being more troubled this time around? - did Nina raise her? And does that have anything to do with her ability to simply leave the Cortexephan trials?

What Is The Relationship Between Nina and Walter?

Much more vicious than in the old timeline, there seems to be real venom between Walter and Nina in the world Fringe now exists in... But why? Does it have something to do with the still-mysterious fate of William Bell - Walter definitely seems to think that Nina has ulterior motives in working with Bell's creations, and her comment about not caring what the technology is used for, only about owning the patents, definitely suggests something shady is going on - or, perhaps, is it something to do with Nina's relationship with Olivia?

The reboot of the timeline this season has done a lot to re-energize the series - especially with the reveal that, even now that Peter is back, no-one can remember him - but it's also created all manner of confusion over what still "counts" from earlier episodes, and what doesn't. Hopefully, we'll start getting some answers to that with the next episode, but somehow, I'm expecting even more questions before that happens...

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