Fringe is again taking another page out of the Wachowski's Matrix playbook as Peter goes further down the rabbit hole. Olivia is suspicious as Peter grows more distant but since the rest of the Fringe team doesn't notice yet they all still manage to track down another phase of the plan. This time with a familiar face from the past.
It only toke seven episodes but Fringe finally brought back one of their main cast members back into the fold as Blair Brown's Nina Sharp returns to the show. Just like Broyles, Nina's character is just like last season's future episode, as she is now wheel chair bound yet still in charge at Massive Dynamic. Nina's reintroduction comes into play as the Fringe team discovers the next two pieces of Walter's plan are buried in an old lab he shared with William Bell. The team asks upon Nina for a high tech solution for getting past concrete rubble and into the lab, without drawing any Observers' attention to them. Nina gives them tech that dissolves solid matter into gas, the same tech that the Observers had used to clear Central Park for their air purifier years before.
While Olivia, Astrid, and Walter are all busy trying to get into the old lab is when Peter goes off plan. I really liked the idea of the four remaining core using past fringe events on the Observers but Peter is trying to go solo and be part of the team ever since he implanted himself with their tech. From the very beginning of the episode we see another stage in Peter's transformation as he has oracle-like abilities. Peter's new found focus allows him to look into the not so distant future and see multiple timelines for Observers he targets. Doing so Peter can change already determined outcomes by altering certain minor aspects to steer an Observer in a different direction without him even knowing. Cool concept, and the way the show visualized this new ability worked perfectly, yet I'm a little worried where they are going to take it from here.
At the end of the episode Olivia confronts Peter and we see he has made an even bigger shift in his behaviour. Peter is cold, calculated, and oddly driven to go after Windmark as his next target. Before that dramatic personality shift Olivia witnessed Peter looks in control of his new abilities with his humanity still intact; even if his humanity stemmed from revenge. Seeing the conviction in Peter's eyes after looking at a 'Etta Resist' street art poster made his rash decision to implant himself justifiable, but I'm curious how that level of conviction will carry on with him loosing himself. The warning of what Peter will become from the previous episode just before he killed one of the Observers seems to be coming to pass quickly. With Peter losing his personality, his humanity, and now his hair, he is becoming the things he hates.
Being the halfway point of the season, final season at that, it not surprising that in this episode the produces throw a wrench into plot with this new Peter but some other stuff seems unnecessary. I can't see the show taking this new Peter story angle farther than a handful of episodes so adding in Walter's old fear doesn't make sense. The fear that Walter might, or is already, reverting back to his old-self since he has those previously removed pieces of his brain back inside his head. I get the reasoning behind Walter removing his brain in the first place, because he didn't like the man he had become, but in a post-Observer world how could a strong minded Walter be worse? I hope the only reason they brought this up is to give them a reason to change Peter back quicker as Walter said his son was all he needed to remain the man he wanted to be. In any case Fringe is down to only 8 episodes remaining so I'm trusting my confusion after this episode is because it was purposefully planned out and to be short-lived since the show's hourglass is almost up.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.