The beginning of the season was pretty hard on me. I’m always willing to go along for the crazy, unpredictable, and interesting ride this show takes us on but I hated that Walter wanted nothing to do with Peter. I understand why he felt like he had no right to be a part of Peter’s life, but he wasn’t only punishing himself and his son. He was also punishing us. I’ve loved the evolution of their relationship since the beginning of the series. Walter earned Peter’s forgiveness and respect and to have all that reset (in a way) was hard. But recently Walter’s been engaging more with his son and allowing himself to form a relationship. And in “Nothing As It Seems,” Walter admits his need and yearning for a family.
The most surprising part of the episode (at least in terms of the Walter/Peter relationship) was when Walter gave Peter an armful of birthday presents. Peter was confused at first since it’s not his birthday. But as Walter explains it, he started buying gifts for Peter as a way to deal with his grief after he lost him in this timeline. And he knows this Peter isn’t his Peter, but it’s as close as he’s going to get. So why not enjoy it? And when Peter hugged his father? I loved it. Walter’s surprise and discomfort, Peter’s moment of uncontrolled emotion – it was just so refreshingly nice to see. I hope Walter has finally given himself permission to love Peter.
The case of the week: I like it when we get a new twist on something we’ve seen on the show before. In this instance, we revisit the Vertus 718/designer virus case. Only this time the flight didn’t crash and they’re able to get much further in their investigation. Even though Olivia’s supposed to be sidelined because she hasn’t been cleared to work, she remembers some crucial information the team needs. I like that Olivia is just as stubborn in this timeline as in every other one. I like that Lincoln and Peter seem to be on a road towards friendship. I liked spending more time with Lincoln in this episode and I hope that continues. I like that Walter still can’t manage to call Astrid by her name. But most of all, I like that David Robert Jones is alive (and such a bad guy) in this timeline. With every passing week we seem to get a better idea of what he’s up to, although it always leads to more questions. I thought all would be right with the world once Peter and Olivia reunited, but as we saw in this episode that’s far from the case. Since she has memories from the other Olivia, she’s forgetting things that happened to her in this timeline. She can’t recall all her cases and the FBI sees that as a problem. It’s a good thing Broyles doesn’t because he helps get her back on active duty.
Fringe airs Fridays at 9/8c on Fox.