Fringe Season 3, Episode 21: The Last Sam Weiss – Review

[[Fringe (TV Series)|Fringe]] has thoroughly found its niche with this amazing third season. This penultimate episode, The Last Sam Weiss, pairs Olivia up with new character Sam while Peter sleeps off his nasty bump to the head…

The Fringe team has been left reeling after Walternate switched on the doomsday device which threatens to destroy our universe in order to preserve his own. This brings about more weirdness, including random dry lightning storms and a totally welcome use of Riders On The Storm as a kid gets freaky raised hairs on his arm.

And though Walter wants to be at Peter’s bedside, the increase in fringe events means that he’s forced to leave. Astrid manages to convince Walter to go all Benjamin Franklin and the two go off to do arcane experiments in the middle of the storms. With a kite.

He manages to get struck by lightning twice, which inspires him to theorize that the machines are so destructive because they’re at different places on each world. So, he instructs Broyles to move their machine to the Statue of Liberty. 

Elsewhere, Olivia is learning that Sam Weiss is one of a string of ‘guardians’ with the same name, who’ve protected the knowledge of the machine over the years. What’s more, if we presumed any of this knowledge was part prophecy, we were wrong. Even Sam didn’t anticipate the other side activating their machine first. But they hunt down the ‘key’ which Sam is looking for, and it turns out to be…*drumroll please* a picture of Olivia.

From which we deduce that Olivia is also a part of the puzzle.

Walter determines that Olivia may be able to use her telekinesis to control the machine in the other universe. This sounds like a tall order! She settles down to practice this new skill, but with little effect.

Back at the hospital, Peter has woken up and gone walkabout. To New York City. But the blow to the head has messed up his memory, and he thinks he’s in his native world, where Walter Bishop is the Secretary of Defense. 

But the most thrilling aspect of the story comes when the whole team is reassembled in New York. They decide now is the time to operate the machine, so Olivia jailbreaks it while Peter steps inside. There’s a huge explosion, and when he opens his eyes, Peter Bishop is in the future. By the dedication plaque on the site of Ground Zero, we can see it’s sometime after 2021 and the memorial to the destruction of the Twin Towers has been completed. Except 2021 New York is in a state of post-apocalyptic terror, and the Fringe Division is a larger military force, as we can see from the insignia on one officer’s uniform.

What’s even more mysterious is that Peter is instantly recognized in the future as Agent Bishop. Which implies that he’s still alive in ten years time, has risen to a position of authority in this new Fringe Division and that there may another version of Peter alive in this world. And did anybody else think Joshua Jackson looked much older in those futuristic scenes?

This adds a bizarre new twist to Fringe – we’ve already got two universes in play, Earth 1 and Earth 2. Now Peter’s in the future. The big question we need to ask is – was the doomsday machine supposed to work this way? Was it supposed to shoot Peter ten years ahead and if so, is there a solution to the destruction of the two universes? We imagine that there must be a way to reverse the damage Walter started when he snatched this alternate Peter from the other world, and perhaps Peter in the future will be the key to saving both realities.

Regardless, we never expected such a mind-blowing cliffhanger on the penultimate episode of the season. The Fringe season finale is likely to pull out all the stops, which means more than ever Fringe Friday cannot blow around soon enough this week!

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