Fringe Episode 420
Written By: Graham Roland, Matt Pitts, and Nicole Phillips
Directed By: Chuck Beeson
Original Airdate: 27 April 2012
In This Episode...
All across the world, earthquakes are going off at the exact same moment. China, Australia, Nepal, Manhattan - all at the exact same time. A guy named Nick goes to find Lincoln in the other universe to report that he had a vision of the earthquake in New York, like he was in the middle of it, yet unaware of it, and he was seeing our New York.
Walter and Olivia figure out Jones is using former cortexiphan subjects on either side to tune in on the same frequencies. This causes the earthquakes which, Walter hypothesizes, will cause both universes to collapse on one another, creating another big bang, which in turn will create a third, unique universe. Nick is brought to our universe and hooked up with Olivia and some cortexiphan so that she can see his counterpart, find him, and stop him from setting off the next earthquake. This works, the team finds our Nick, and he doesn't take part in the earthquake. While the Boston quake doesn't go off, it also doesn't stop 26 other quakes around the globe, meaning that the subjects are not linked. There are only two options left: first would be to close the bridge between the universes, but in doing so they probably could not open it up again - and it might cause Peter to disappear again. Both sides are hesitant to put the other universe at risk of re-fracturing, so they opt to find Jones and stop it at its source.
Olivia interrogates our Nick, trying to use their childhood connection to reach him. Jones had told him that he - and the others - were soldiers in the new war. Every war has collateral damage (the earthquakes) but Jones was on their side. His cortexiphan superpower is that his emotions are contagious, and Jones taught him how to control it. When Olivia tells Nick that Jones was lying to him, he concedes and reveals Jones's location. Unfortunately, when Fringe division arrives, it was all a lie - Nick gave them the info for an abandoned warehouse to distract them, allowing him time to escape.
According to the timer the team confiscated from Nick when he was first brought in, the next earthquakes will begin in 47 minutes. Walter is surprised the universes have held on this long; the next one may be their last. Both Fringe teams decide mutually to shut the bridge. They say their goodbyes, Lincoln decides to stay with the other team, and Walter overloads the machine until it shuts down. The other Fringe team, the bridge, and that entire half of the warehouse blink out of existence. Peter is still with us, and we are back to the status quo.
Dig It or Bury It?
This was a somber, sweet episode. Genuine without being sappy. Interestingly, I think that if this had to be the series finale, I would have been okay with that. I'm glad it's not. It seems to me these earthquakes were just red herrings to get Walter to shut the bridge. Remember, Jones can move between universes without the bridge. And with two episodes left in this season, they can't be done with Jones.
In the Other Universe...
They no longer have rainbows. Fauxlivia says that when the world went to hell, the atmosphere changed, changing the way light refracted water. It has been over 20 years since their universe had a rainbow. She likes coming over to our universe after a rain so she can see a rainbow.
Even Walter was somber and withdrawn in this episode. No time for frivolity. He did demonstrate the destruction of our universes with a Don't Break the Ice game.
Spontaneous human combustion!