Fringe – S4 Ep20, Worlds Apart

First of all, say it with me: one more season! Thank you, FOX. I’ve come to the point, after your support for this show, that I must forgive you for Firefly. You seemed to have learned your lesson.

Anyway. After last week’s astonishing, mind-blowing episode, I wondered how this one would be as epic. I wasn’t really worried, mind you, I was just looking forward to it. And it exceeded my expectations, as this show pretty much always does.

As someone online remarked, the fact that he's doing an actual slideshow, with hand-drawn pictures, is somehow reminiscent of Giles' awesome overhead presentation in "Hush".

To start off the episode, Walter nervously enters the Bridge, a reassuring Peter by his side. He then gives a presentation to a room containing the Olivias, Lincoln, Broyles, and even Secretary Bishop concerning his theory about David Robert Jones’ real aim: he posits that Jones intends to collapse both worlds into each other, which would create a black hole and then a new Big Bang. He thinks Jones intends to survive the cataclysm and guide the formation of the new world. When pressed as to how he came to this conclusion, Walter admits he had a dream about it. People look embarrassed for Walter, but the Secretary tells them not to dismiss it. Walter’s definitely touched by his double’s acceptance. Peter has a point, though, when he wonders how Jones would plan to do this.

Meanwhile, as if in answer to that very question!1, we see several people in various cities around the worlds (both of them), from Sydney to Beijing, looking at very specific satellite photo maps and checking wrist timers to get to these specific points by a certain (synchronized) moment. I have to give myself a high five for recognizing one of the women from one of the early episodes dealing with Cortexiphan kids — and that’s even before we see that the guy in the New York spot is Nick Lane.  As the timers count down to zero, the people stand and close their eyes, veins on their faces start showing with the effort they’re expending, and suddenly the earth trembles and cracks around them.

In the conference room, Walter theorizes that Jones and the new species that he’s ‘created’ would probably intend to ride out the collapse of the universes in a safe zone similar to the one Jones tested out in Westfield. He would have something of a Noah’s Ark with him, ready to repopulate the new world. This is about when everyone in the conference room starts being called away by emergency reports of widespread earthquakes. They get confirmation that the earthquakes all happened at the same moment in the same twenty-seven locations in both universes. At first, the Fringe teams theorize that Jones used some kind of devices containing amphilicite.

Whatever the cause, Walter thinks Jones is trying to make the two universes vibrate at the same frequency. Normally, the two are a few degrees off, but some of the stuff from the earthquake sites from both universes is starting to have the same frequency. He says it’s this vibration that’s causing the quakes, and the more quakes there are, the weaker the boundary between the worlds will get.

I wonder if Nick realized he didn't actually know this Lincoln once they took him to the other side.

Then the Nick Lane of the Redverse comes into Fringe Division headquarters, where he chats up Lincoln. It turns out they used to live near each other when they were in school, so they know each other (although I’m not convinced our Lincoln actually does know Nick, but he certainly plays along). Nick says he had a vision of the Manhatan quake while it was happening, as if he was standing right in the middle of it. Yet this was when he still hadn’t even heard about them. He wants to know how that’s possible.

Just as Lincoln is hearing this, Olivia is recognizing Sally Clark on video footage from the Sydney quake on our side. The woman is standing right at the epicenter, not moving while everyone else runs around. Olivia tells the others in the lab that the woman was a Cortexikid. Lincoln calls just then to pass on the info about Nick. He adds that what Nick saw seems to have actually been the earthquake on the Blue side, because there were no Twin Towers in the city. Olivia recognizes them both as Cortexikids — it seems that what Jones is using to trigger these quakes is the children from the trials.

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