Fringe "The End Of All Things" REVIEW

TV REVIEW Vive la revelation

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TV REVIEW Vive la revelation

Episode 4.14
"The End Of All Things"
David Fury
Jeff Hunt

THE ONE WHERE Olivia and Nina are interrogated by David Robert Jones, another Nina is interrogated by the Fringe team, and dying Observer September spills some beans (no interrogation required).

UNIVERSE Over here – orange credits.

VERDICT I’m struggling to remember a better run of episodes in any sci-fi show, ever. For my money, not since the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica has anything been as consistently brilliant as Fringe has since Christmas – and “The End Of All Things” is the best of the lot.

Fringe ’s creative team has always realised that leaving too many unanswered questions is unfair to the faithful (if Lost was good for one thing, it was teaching writers that lesson), and that means they’ve never been afraid to slip in great big revelations along the way. So now we know where (well, when) the Observers come from, and what they’re doing here – and all the info comes in a wonderful scene that, while exposition heavy, feels like pure unadulterated Fringe fan nirvana. That said, this being Fringe , September’s appearance does raise nearly as many questions as it answers. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

The stuff with Olivia as David Robert Jones’s prisoner is similarly strong. DRJ seems to have a similar fixation with Olivia as his counterpart in the original timeline (why the obsession with that box of lights?), while the way Olivia plays with Evil Nina (we’re assuming she’s a shapeshifter, but who knows?) makes for scintillating telly.

Then there’s Walter and Lincoln’s antagonism towards Peter for leading Olivia on, the heartbreak of Peter telling Olivia that he can’t be with her, Peter learning that he has (or had – this timeline stuff is complicated) a son, and his now-Observer-sanctioned quest to get home. It feels like that particular plotline is building up to one hell of a season finale – or indeed, if Fringe doesn't survive the wrath of the moneymen, the end of the show. TV doesn’t get much better than this…

SPECULATION Why does David Robert Jones need Olivia if he already has the technology to open portals to the other universe? How has he developed the ability to catch bullets? Which version of Nina Sharp has been pumping Olivia full of Cortexiphan? How have two Ninas avoided being in the same place at the same time? And will Peter’s hunt for his son be a key plotline over the rest of the season. Much mystery!

OBSERVING THE OBSERVER We’re not going to insult your intelligence by telling you where September and his colleagues appear when there’s so much more to talk about. Like the fact the Observers are the evolved human race from “one possible future”. That they’re scientists here to observe history. That where Olivia is being held is “not relevant”. That they appear to have some kind of spaceship that can show you the beginning of the world...

There’s also some pertinent questions. Like how can the other Observers have “lost” September when they can see all of time? And are they the “they” who are coming for September when Peter pays him a visit in his mind?

REFERENCE The team refers to the Observer as Mr X. Is this a sly nod to Mulder’s old informer in The X-Files ?

“I don’t understand how this table just knocked itself over.”
Lincoln: “A dying man suddenly vanishes in front of our eyes and the thing you’re wondering is what happened to the table?”

Richard Edwards

See all Fringe season four reviews

Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy.