The first season of fringe came to a close on 12 May, 2009 with the episode There’s More Than One of Everything, which was written by Jeff Pinker and J.H. Wyman from a story by Akiva Goldsman and Bryan Burk.
Walter (John Noble) has disappeared with an Observer (Michael Cerveris), Nina (Blair Brown) was shot by Jones (Jared Harris) and Broyles (Lance Reddick) is working on getting Olivia (Anna Torv) into seeing the still unrevealed William Bell.
There’s a lot of exposition and reveals throughout this episode, delivering payoffs and setting up new mysteries. And Jones seems to be trying to open a portal between realities.
Olivia learns that William Bell isn’t in this world, but in the alternate reality.
Peter (Joshua Jackson) finds Walter at their old beach house, where Walter is sure there is something they need.
When they all reunite to track down Jones, and his creation of a hole to another universe, things really start to escalate as reveals play out, discoveries are made.
The episode ends with a cease and desist order to stop investigating William Bell, and Walter visits a grave that seems to be, impossibly, for Peter (but what with alternate realities it’s easier to figure out what Walter did and that Peter is from the other reality).
And Olivia goes to Massive Dynamic, and there is very much an implication that she moves between realities (perhaps a couple times) and meets William Bell, who is played by Leonard Nimoy(!!) in the Twin Towers.
What a way to end season one!
A New Day in the Old Town written by J.J. Abrams and Akiva Goldsman (who also directed) launched season two on 17 September, 2009. We see that the accident Olivia avoided in the previous episode actually happened, and a strange person, who may have been involved in the crash, is looking for the team. I say strange because he uses some weird tech to change his appearances, including brutally altering his face with his hands.
FBI agent, Jessup (Meghan Markle) is conducting the investigation, and everyone is stunned when Walter activates the car, and Olivia flies through the windshield, injured.
Through it all Walter is obsessed with making sure Peter’s birthday comes off without a hitch, but this stranger from the other side has orders to kill Olivia if she survives the crash. Can they stop the assassin before it can take out Olivia?
Why is the government so intent on shutting Broyles and the Fringe Division down? We do get a sly nod to the X-Files during the hearing about whether the unit stays open.
The episode is all about mythology building and setting up the mystery of season two. We know that the alternate reality exists, we know that there are assassins who can change their appearance, and we know that not everything is as it seems. And that last moment with Charlie (Kirk Acevedo)?!