"The End of All Things" Review
The pacing is excellent here, with immediate tension as Peter searches for a missing Olivia. “The End of All Things” is reminiscent of the Season 1 episode, “Ability,” right down to David Robert Jones trying to activate Olivia’s abilities using a box of lightbulbs.
Blair Brown is especially strong in this episode, finally being provided with more substantial material. I loved her reminiscing with Olivia about being called Miss Sharp. The reveal that this Nina Sharp is the impostor took away from the scene a bit, but it was still a strong sequence, nonetheless.
If this episode only dealt with Olivia’s capture, it still would have been one of the better episodes this season. But we’re also provided with several revelations about the observers and their function in this jumbled timeline. Though the answers aren’t quite as enlightening as Fox assured us in its promos (see the video below), there are still some interesting reveals here.
As many of us suspected, the observers come from the future to watch humanity along its course. The reveal is reminiscent of The 4400, and it makes sense contextually. I like that Peter finally finds out about his son, Henry - a plot point easily overshadowed by the reset in “The Day We Died.”
Unfortunately, we don’t find out much more from the wounded September, who disappears abruptly. In typical Fringe style, our answers are met with even more questions.
The final act of “The End of All Things” is especially strong, as Olivia makes her escape with Peter. For better or worse, David Roberts Jones and the fake Nina Sharp escape (why didn’t Olivia shoot that machine instead of him?!) through a portal to the other side.
And then we’re left with Peter’s revelation that this isn’t his Olivia. His flip-flopping is an interesting character study, revealing of his confused state-of-mind with all the alternate timelines. Likewise, it reveals his fear of making another mistake that will hurt his Olivia, as he did in “Marionette.”
The best part, of course, is that Peter is now adamant about returning to his own timeline and bringing everything back to the way it was in Season 3. With a shifted focus for the conclusion of this season, it should be interesting to see where it all leads. And let’s not forget that David Robert Jones is still on the loose.
What did you think? As always, let me know your thoughts.