Having finished the last episode of Season 4 of Fringe, I realize that I have been watching the entire season out of momentum and habit rather than interest. I just have not cared about what has been happening for a while, and now I know why – the writers of the show told me not to care. For quite a good portion of Season 4, Peter kept telling Olivia and Walter that they were not his Olivia and Walter, and that he needed to get back to his own timeline. And all the while, we were shown stories involving this temporary Olivia and temporary Walter. But as Peter kept saying, these were not his, and thus not our, Olivia and Walter. They may have looked, acted, and quacked like Olivia and Walter, but they were not the genuine articles – so why should I care about what’s happening to them?
And then, in the latter half of the season, the writers whipped up some hocus-pocus to give this temporary Olivia all of the original Olivia’s memories, declaring, well, guess what!, we’ll go ahead and now stick with these folks as the real Olivia and Walter for the duration. Now care about them! We won’t be going back to the first timeline after all.
Well, that doesn’t work. These are still not the original Olivia and Walter. They are replacement characters. They are scabs. And I don’t care about them. I don’t care that David Robert Jones is trying to wreck this universe, too, because I’ve only been enduring this universe until we got taken back to the first one – which apparently isn’t going to happen now. What about the real Olivia’s sister? What about the real Olivia’s neice? What about the original William Bell? What about the cow, dammit ?!?
One thought on “The Fatal Flaw of Fringe”
This is similar to the problem I had with Mad Eye Moody. I spent the entire fourth Harry Potter book admiring his character, only to find out he was an impostor at the end. Then, when the real Mad Eye came along in the fifth book, I found myself not caring because all the attachment I’d grown was to the impostor’s acting. Writers need to think about this stuff carefully.