The season two finale of Fringe got underway on 13 May, 2010. It was written by J.H. Wyman, Jeff Pinkner, and Akiva Goldsman, who also served as the episode’s director. We know we’re on the other side from the beginning but the red-colored opening credits cements that idea.
Peter (Joshua Jackson) joins Walter-nate (John Noble) in the other universe, but when the Observer (Michael Ceveris) leaves some information for Olivia (Anna Torv) and Walter finally remembers part of what the Observer told him to, tension and trouble escalates.
It seems Walter-nate has a device he designed with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) that this universe’s Walter did not build. The information we glimpse seems to suggest that Peter’s DNA will run it, and it may cost him his life to do so.
Olivia, Walter and a pair of Jacksonville trial survivors cross over into the other universe, but find themselves running afoul of the Fringe Division on the other side, where the other Olivia is working with Charlie (Kirk Acevedo) and Nick (David Call).
Walter-nate, who is a man of some renown and power on this side, reveals to the Fringe Division that their work to stop incursions is only part of the job and that there is another universe out there.
When an attempt to meet up with Bell goes sideways, the Jacksonville survivors die, Walter is shot and stumbles to a hospital, and Olivia follows her counterpart home only to meet Bell there.
The episode closes with Walter-nate examining the fully constructed machine, and seemingly very aware that Peter will have to be sacrificed by its use to achieve whatever it is designed to do.
Over There: Part 2 shared the same writing and directing team, and debuted on 20 May, 2010.
Olivia and Bell work to beat Fringe Division and Walter-nate from capturing Walter in the hospital, and then strive to rescue Peter before he can be used for whatever nefarious purpose Walter-nate has planned.
But Peter is figuring some of that out on his own and is happy to be reunited with Olivia, even as Bell and Walter work on a way of stop-gapping the passage to their home universe so they can escape before Fringe Division can grab them.
It’s a fast-moving story, and hits a number of great beats, giving Peter and Olivia (?) a tender moment together even as Peter attempts to reconcile his feelings for both versions of his father and what they each have done, or plan to do.
We also learn that Walter asked Bell to remove parts of his brain to keep him from becoming something he feared (most likely our tyrannical and dangerous version of Walter-nate) and as the season closes we learn that everyone isn’t back safe. Olivia’s alternate has replaced her in our universe, and Walter-nate is keeping our Olivia trapped in a dark room.
What are Olivia and Walter-nate’s plans? Will Peter and Walter find a way to reconnect? Is Bell truly gone? and what new mysteries await in season three of Fringe?