Will the Fringe Divisions (and Therefore Both Universes) Unite Against a Common Enemy?
Jared Harris is one of my favorite television villains of all time. I love the writers/producers for concocting such an interesting, layered role for such a great actor. While it was satisfying when David Robert Jones was killed in season one I have missed his brand of villainy. Leave it up to Fringe to find a way to bring him back. Bravo, I say.
Once employed by Massive Dynamic, Jones became a weapons traffiker – of the genetic kind – and eventually landed himself in a German prison for possessing state secrets. Jones staged a Fringe event with the help of Mitchell Loeb so that someone from Fringe Division would seek out his knowledge. Olivia managed to get some time to question him but Jones demanded access to Joseph Smith (who had been shot by the FBI) before giving her the answer she needed. Bishop was able to communicate with Smith and they gave Jones what he needed before Jones gave Olivia the key to saving Loeb’s life. Shortly after that Jones teleported to Little Hill using a device Walter had built and Loeb had stolen. After trying to counter the effects of his travel, Jones turned himself into the FBI to gain access to Olivia. He tested her telekinetic ability then escaped. After assaulting Nina Sharp for the power cell in her arm, he planned to find William Bell in the alternate universe. Horribly disfigured at this point but determined to get to the other side, he was shot repeatedly by Olivia then killed when Peter turned the device off as Jones tried to cross over.
Now that we’re dealing with a new timeline – where a lot of things are not as they seem – Jones is back and responsible for the new breed of shapeshifters. What is Broyles role in all this? But more importantly what does this mean for the Universes and what can they do to stop Jones?
Since there’s so much bad blood between worlds I can’t see them uniting against a common enemy yet, especially when only Water and now Peter have their suspicions about the true creator of the shapeshifters. What I loved about “Back to Where You’ve Never Been” was seeing Peter fight to get back to his reality (even though it no longer exists). I was disappointed in Lincoln and Olivia when Peter discovered their ulterior motived for helping him. But I have to remind myself that they don’t know Peter the way we do and they’re doing the best they can in this reality.
We saw a very different Walternate than the one we were expecting. Not only did he use his knowledge and training as a scientist to design a weapon to use against the shapeshifters, but he confided in Peter after he learned Peter has no allegiances in this timeline. One of my favorite moments from the episode is their exchange after a tense build-up and Walter’s attack on Dr. Fayette:
Peter: Why are you telling me all this?
Walternate: Because you are the only person I can trust. You have no alliances to our side of theirs. I’m telling you this because I need you to deliver a message.
P: I appreciate what you’re up against but-
W: It’s not your fight?
P: Exactly. It’s not my fight. I came here because I needed your help to get home. The Walter on the other side refuses to help me. But you understand that machine. You share his mind. You’re the only person who can help me get back to where I belong.
W: And I will do everything in my power to help you get home. But you must go back to the other side and tell them that I am not their enemy. Whoever’s behind this is a threat to us all.
P: I was wrong about you. You’re not the man I thought you were.
W: You are exactly the man I thought you would be.
I loved that moment. It really resonated with me and made me realize we’re all making assumptions about these characters based on what we know about them from different timelines. We know some of the things that have happened to them, but not everything. They’ve all led different lives, lives we’re only just beginning to learn about. I won’t and can’t let go of what I already know, but I am looking forward to getting to know all these people in a new way. And as further proof that the more things change the more they stay the same, we encounter an Observer for the first time in a long time. He’s been shot but there’s something he has to tell Olivia. He’s seen all possible futures and she has to die. Wow. What a way to end an episode. I’m on the edge of my seat for the next one.
Fringe airs Fridays at 9/8c on Fox.
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