"Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds". It's the beginning of the end. The sci-fi apocalypse on Fringe has begun as the two universes bring out the big guns to see who stays and who goes.
Even though William Bell is out of Olivia's mind there isn't any down time for her and Peter as Walternate finally puts his plan in motion on the other side. With the blood, taken in an earlier episode, from Fauxlivia's baby boy alternate Brandon enables their 'universe-destroying' device to be activated without Peter being in the alternate universe. After activating the device Walternate starts his assault on the main universe by producing similar fringe events in the main universe that his universe have experienced since Peter's abduction. In an effort to stop the device before countless innocent lives are taken Olivia and Nina try to track down Sam Weiss; while Peter attempts to enter the device in hopes of turning it off.
Being the third last episode of the season, "6:02 AM EST", gears up for the impending season finale with lots of setup and no fooling around. Being that Fringe has been implying that the mystery device has the potential to bring the end of one of the two worlds I thought adding some apocalyptic traits before a fringe event happened was a nice touch. The show didn't actually go all four horsemen with fire and brimstone for their apocalypse warning signs but Fringe used some nice simple things like swarms of locusts, spooked cattle, and some blight decimating all organic life in certain areas. Mind you its still a sci-fi show so they did add their own unique spin and had some massive electrical vortexes (pun intent) for some destructive force.
An interesting part in the episode is that it doesn't take long for Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan) to figure out that Walternate, or someone else, has started the device on the other side. Almost like he was expecting it to happen Weiss seems to be fully aware of what's happening to the two universes, however having the device activate now appears to have started events much sooner than he may have envisioned them. "6:02 AM EST" is almost entirely about this powerful device and Sam Weiss' connect to it, while still leaving and bringing up many unanswered questions. Sam Weiss is probably one of my favourite of the smaller side characters because he never seems to relieve more than he wants to. That might piss off some who just want answers, but I personally love the mystery he brings to show. Bottom line is it's these little mysteries why people tune to this show like this. Going by the title for next week's episode being "The Last Sam Weiss" it might unfortunately be the final time we see Corrigan's mysterious Sam Weiss character. But if Weiss is one of those first people who knows what his fate could be?
Having an episode with all this impending doom "6:02 AM EST" adds some essential smaller moments, both serious and humorous, to help balance itself from the episode's global scale. John Noble starts the episode with some light humour when Olivia, sleeping over at Peter's, sees Walter naked in the hallway to the bathroom. Apparently Walter cooks breakfast in the nude on Tuesdays. Noble isn't all laughs though as he gets menacing when Walternate has zero remorse for the billions of people he is trying to kill in the other universe; including his own son. Rounding off Noble's episode highlights is a powerful scene in the hospital's chapel after Peter is hurt. Walter as scientist turns to religion for answers and signs of hope in his darkest hour. These small moments prove that a sci-fi show about the end of the world doesn't have to jam special effects into it to make it effective, but just having some great character moments help to make an audience care.
By the end of the episode "6:02 AM EST" leaves a lot to the imagination for any possible directions the season finale could go with only two episodes left. With the exception of maybe Walternate it doesn't seem to be good guys vs. bad guys anymore, but a whole lot of new grey areas since this season began. A merger of the two universes would be an exciting result, having both Olivias and Peter in the middle again. Or even better, have Walter and Walternate face-off for the first time. I can speculate all day but in the end no one but Fringe's show runners know how its all going to turn out.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.