Fringe Episode 3.21
"The Last Sam Weiss"
Written By: Alison Schapker & Monica Owusu-Breen
Directed By: Tom Yatsko
Original Airdate: 29 April 2011
In This Episode...
There is a lot going on in this episode. First, the eastern seaboard is being struck with freak dry lightening storms - even indoors. Hundreds of people are being injured or killed by the lightening, and the authorities can do little to stop it. Then, Peter wakes from his coma as if waking from a good night's sleep. He doesn't know where he is but he knows where he is going: New York.
Olivia and Sam are working together to figure out the mystery of the machine. Sam thinks that the machine is malfunctioning - it thinks that Peter is already inside. They need to find a box and a key. In the box is a "crowbar" that should allow them to interrupt the force field around the machine long enough to get Peter inside. Since the machine is indestructible, Sam theorizes that Peter should be safe inside. Sam has the box; he retrieves the key from a Native American artifact in a museum. The "crowbar" is actually a scroll, and on it is a drawing of Olivia. Walter thinks that it means that Olivia has to use her telekinetic powers to manage the machine on the other side - but to do it from this universe. She practices on the typewriter that communicated with the other side - but it isn't going so well.
Walter has figured out that all the temporal Fringe events were centralized around two points: the first, their machine. The second, Liberty Island - which is where the machine in the other universe is kept. Walter hopes that if they move the machine to Liberty Island, it will buy them some time, so Astrid organizes an effort to do so. The hospital calls to report Peter missing, which panics Walter. But like a lost child who ends up eating an ice cream cone at a police station, the authorities call: they found Peter. He was trying to get into Liberty Island to see his father, the Secretary of Defense. He's a bit confused. Walter and Olivia arrive to collect him, and as Walter runs a few tests, Peter's confusion starts to clear up.
With Peter there, Olivia tries the telekinesis again. It works - the typewriter starts spitting out "Be a better man than your father" over and over. Now it is time to try it on the machine itself. That works, too. It shuts down long enough so that Peter can step inside. It is like a giant mecha-suit. He seizes, then relaxes, and suddenly he wakes up in a war zone. New York, 2026.
Dig It or Bury It?
I have a hard time believing that Peter's confusion is truly gone. Why would they make a point to have him believe he was in the red universe unless there was a reason? Are his circuits fried? Or was it just a way to kill some time while they build towards the season finale? It was a densely packed, super-sciency episode that seems like a good ramp-up towards the season finale.
Walter is so worried over his comatose son he can't even eat - until Astrid mentions that the cafeteria has tapioca pudding. Later, when the lightening reports start coming in, Astrid is desperate to get Walter back to the lab to help. She quotes Ben Franklin, which inspires Walter: "I'm off to get my kite!" Walter's mixed-up version of Astrid's name this week: Ostrich.
Next week's season finale puts Peter in the red universe, 15 years in the future. Walter faces off with Peter: "You destroyed my world. Now I will destroy you."