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Fringe Episode 4.01: Neither Here Nor There

by on October 5, 2011

To be honest with you, I have lost my ador for Fringe. Last season was filled with such missed opportunities and disappointing answers that I’ve really lost that tingle of anticipation that I feel for most really good geeky television shows.

The sad truth is that there currently is nothing to replace it on American television. For the last 20 years or so, there was always 1 television show where I could not wait for the season premiere, and I salivated for every episode: X-Files, Deep Space Nine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Alias, Angel, Lost, Doctor Who, and Fringe. And I just don’t feel that way about Fringe anymore.

However, it’s still a good show, and in the absence of anything else (as I pray to the altar of JJ Abrams that Alcatraz is AWESOME), I’m sticking with it.

Sorry for starting about 10 days late, the DCnU and Doctor Who had me occupied.

Fringe – Season 4, Episode 1: Neither Here Nor There

Okay, Fringe Season 3 ended with the following:

  • The Alt-Verse starting “The Machine” that would cause the Main-Verse to be destroyed.
  • Faux-livia had a child who was fathered by Peter Bishop
  • The alternate universes Colonel Broyles killed to bring Faux-livia back from the Main-Verse
  • Peter averts an apocalyptic future where both universes are destroyed by using the machine to create a bridge between both worlds.
  • After convincing the Fringe divisions from both universes that they must work together to repair the damage, Peter Bishop is erased from history


  • Agents Lincoln Lee and Roberto Danzig are chasing a suspect; Lincoln captures the man they were chasing, but Danzig follows another, but is killed and his skin turns translucent.
  • At the crime scene, Olivia interrogates Lincoln, but takes Roberto’s body back to Harvard; Lincoln tracks Olivia’s license plate and enters the lab and includes himself in the investigation.
  • Lincoln, Olivia, and Astrid visit a crime scene where another victim is found, a commuter; after investigating, Olivia informs Lincoln that these aren’t the first two victims.
  • The Observer (who saved Walter and Peter) is charged with completely erasing Peter’s from time, but is unable to go through with it.
  • The killer is searching for people to steal specific particles from their blood.
  • Olivia and team realize the killer is striking at people who are train commuters, and go with a team to capture the killer;
  • The killer attacks the team coming to attack him; Olivia attacks one, but Lincoln realizes there’s a second, and he puts the second one down. A woman who resembling one of the victims watches them.
  • The technology is from the alternate universe, similar to the shapeshifters sent by Walternate.

Questions and Answers

  1. Was Robert Danzig (Lincoln’s partner) targeted by the new shapeshifters, or was it simply convenience? He didn’t seem to be stalking Danzig, but yet needed him.
  2. The Observers state that “They can never know the boy lived to be a man.” This implies that Peter did exist, but just simply did not make it to adult hood.
  3. Did our Walter kidnap Peter to save his life? Or, did Walter do something else?
  4. Are these real shapeshifters? Are they commissioned by Walter? Or are they sent by someone else?
  5. Does Faux-livia have the child from Peter? Did she still become pregnant?

Changes Since Peter’s Sacrifice

  • Olivia and Lincoln, do not know each other anymore, even though they met last season.
  • Olivia used to be able to show her badge, and say she was from Fringe Division, apparently they are more black ops than before.
  • Walter now lives in the lab instead of their rental house.


Olivia: There is no one else. There is just me

Walter: The thing about playing Devil’s Advocate, my Dear, is that your client is the Devil himself.

Walter: If you really want a story, you should look under the dome. I’m growing an ear.

Walter: Rigidity indicates premature rigor mortis. I need to check her anus. Have that large lady there help you lift her.
Astrid: I’m going to — I’m going to need to check her anus.
CSI Tech: (slowly. nodding) Okay.

Shop Owner: Mind my asking what you need all this stuff for?
The Observer: I need to erase someone from time.

Walter: Engagement ring. I don’t think there’s anything sadder than when two people are meant to be together and something intervenes.

Walter: Question, dear. That man?
Astrid: Agent Lee.
Walter: I believe it was your idea, Agent Lee, to test each of the victims for iron-related diseases, that they may share that in common. Very clever. Wrong, but clever.

Walter: People die. It happens. Sometimes they even die twice.

Walter: Agent Lee. Did you happen to bring any candy? Gumdrops perhaps?


First off, very happy that Lincoln is now going to be a part of Fringe division. I like Alt-Lincoln better, but still, glad he’s a full member of the cast.

How can Olivia, just blankly deal with Lincoln as if she’s never seen him before, when she certainly has seen the Lincoln from the other dimension. (Spoiler, she talks to him in the next episode!) Seemed pretty weak to me, sorry.

Secondly, I love that Astrid is getting some field work. I’m sooo hoping that Astrid becomes more active this season, and not just Walter’s assistant. She needs a story arc.

Heh, after experiencing the DCnU reboot, I am very used to looking for changes in the timeline. It was very deja-vu, and good thing my skills have recently been honed in this manner.

The scene where Lincoln walks into the lab, and Walter reanimates the bird was classic Fringe, and I enjoyed it very much.

Walter being slightly more unhinged is a nice touch, and entering the sensory deprivation chamber was funny. Was half expecting Walter to be naked.

The episode felt like a reboot, a reintroduction of characters who are now going to make up the Fringe division, Olivia, Lincoln, Walter, Astrid, and Broyles, and introducing the new threat from the new shapeshifters. The Observer changing his mind about fully erasing Peter from the past is the most interesting thing in this episode.

Olivia is much more haunted in this new universe, and they do a great job at telling us how the lack of Peter has affected her.

Walter is less affected than I thought. Maybe the loss of the guilt over taking Peter from the other side outweighs the influence that Peter had on his life, constantly. Yes, there’s less warmth, less kindly old Uncle Walter, rather than cranky next door crazy neighbor Walter. But still, loveable cardigan wearing Walter.


Adding Lincoln is a nice touch, whether he will develop a crush on Olivia as his alternate universe one does, remains to be seen.


A good way to start off the season. Sets the table for the next few episodes. Letting us know we are in for more standard Fringe-science stories rather that mutli-dimensional war. A touch of intrigue, suspicion, and espionage all thrown together should make it fun enough. Quite enjoyable, but nowhere near the “Oh wow, that’s sooo cool” of previous seasons.

Here’s hoping the show can return to that ‘next level’ for me, but I don’t have high hopes.

B (Solid, well done, but not remarkable)


From → Fringe

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