"The Last Sam Weiss" Review
There are a few reasons that “The Last Sam Weiss” works well. One, of course deals with the cliffhanger (more on that later), but the lead-in to the dramatic conclusion is equally effective. The episode picks up right where “6:02AM EST” left off. Peter is still in the ICU and every character is doing his or her job to stop the imminent apocalypse.
The scope of the destruction is handled nicely, as “The Last Sam Weiss” continues with the nature-gone-awry conceit from last week. The lightening storms were a nice inclusion, and that car blowing up was pretty awesome. The storms and thunder added but another layer of bleakness to the surrounding circumstances. Let’s be honest: it’s not looking good for this world.
I love how the characters are all in different places, interacting with other characters in order to prevent doomsday. It’s nice how every person has a particular mission to fulfill, which helped with the pacing. Walter teams up with Astrid and Broyles to move the machine to Liberty Island, while Olivia and Sam Weiss work on getting the machine to operate.
On a side note, I’m surprised we didn’t see any of the Alternate Universe this week. I thought at the very least, we’d get some resolution on Alternate Olivia’s imprisonment. I suppose that’ll have to wait... hopefully it’ll be addressed next week.
On a whole, Sam Weiss seemed a little underused here; I was certain he’d have a bigger role and would surely die for some noble cause (though I based that entirely off of this episode’s title). Still, Olivia’s role in the machine’s operation was an interesting addition, and it only cemented the profound bond between her and Peter.
Once Olivia and Peter reunited at the machine, things really picked up. Her goodbye to Peter nicely mirrored last week’s dramatic farewell; she even said she loved him... which he did not say back, by the way. The flashbacks to previous episodes as Peter entered the machine seemed a bit too much... though it did reinforce that this is a big moment for Fringe. Still, it felt unnecessary and a bit sentimental.
But then we get the big reveal. The machine transports Peter to the future - at least ten years - based on the September 11th monument (which also confirms that Peter’s in this universe). There’s clearly a war going on, and Peter is referred to as “Agent Bishop.” Things don’t look too good, but hey, at least the apocalypse didn’t come to fruition.
In regard to this new chapter, I have mixed feelings... That being said, I have greater trust in the writers to deliver some mind-bending stories with the concept. Let’s be grateful we have another episode because this could have worked as (a frustrating) season finale. Instead, we have one more episode to set the rules and show us what this time travel is all about.
I’m really looking forward to it.