"The Day We Died" Review
As the final chapter of Season 3’s three-part finale, “The Day We Died” takes Fringe to an entirely new place. Set fifteen years into the future, this episode nicely sets up the rules of future-Fringe. From the opening sequence, we’re led to believe this is a whole new chapter for Fringe. And that setup leads to some interesting dynamics, both good and bad.
On a side note, displaying the Fringe intro in black was a nice touch. For those keeping track at home: Blue = Normal Universe; Red = Alternate Universe; Black = Future-Normal Universe; and you all know the 1985 one!
There are some interesting revelations about the events leading up to 2026. For one, the Alternate Universe is completely destroyed, Peter and Olivia are happily married (and contemplating kids), Walter has been imprisoned, Astrid’s been promoted to a Fringe agent, and Walternate is on this side, seeking vengeance for all he’s lost.
There are many nostalgic moments scattered throughout “The Day We Died,” such as Walter returning to his lab, and the reunion of certain cast members. It’s all done nicely, and the characters genuinely look and sound older - thanks to some interesting outfit and hair-style choices. Then again, Walter looked exactly the same... a new outfit might have helped. Although I did like the return of the beard from the pilot.
As the episode continues, things take a dark shift. The most daring scene of “The Day We Died” is Walternate’s cold, brutal murder of Olivia. That came out of nowhere, and it was hard to see coming. I must say, I was a bit surprised the killer wasn’t the man from the “LSD” episode - the one Olivia said would kill her. That would have fit perfectly, though I’m sure the writers have something else planned.
Olivia’s funeral played out appropriately sad, and I liked the omission of dialogue... the orchestrated music was very effective and added a serene and gloomy atmosphere.
Things heat up with the reveal of time travel through the worm hole. I love the reveal that Walter sent the machine back in order to save the world... in fact, he’s responsible for what we believed to be the “first people.” It was a nice plot point, though lending a bit from The 4400.
With Olivia dead, I had a feeling we wouldn’t be staying in the future very long. That’s a shame; I originally thought this would play out like last year’s finale; this time with Peter being stuck in the future... but then again, maybe he is.
The final reveal is a big WTF moment, with both universes coming together at Liberty Island, and Peter literally disappearing off the face of the Earth. The Observers watch, commenting that they knew everyone would forget Peter. Is there some time travel paradox that would make him disappear - or simply never exist? (That’s not rhetorical! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!)
Regardless of what that final scene meant or how it’ll exactly play out, “The Day We Died” is a really cool episode of Fringe that yet again pushes the show to new places. I’m already hungry for Season 4... till then, feel free to check out any of my previous Fringe reviews. As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you Fringe fans in September!