Fringe, S4 Ep8 – Back To Where You’ve Never Been

Fringe is finally back! Worst. Hiatus. Ever. But this episode almost completely makes up for it, for it is awesome. We open with a sleepy-looking Peter walking into his dining room in the morning. He looks up, shocked and pleased, to see Walter in the kitchen. Walter’s wearing an apron over… nothing. Hee. Okay, well, he’s wearing pants but no shirt. He informs his son that the waffle machine isn’t working, but that won’t be a problem because he made chocolate chip banana pancakes instead. Peter can’t help smiling adorably at that, but he also can’t help being surprised that Walter is even talking to him. Aww.

Pancakes and family

Morning at the Bishop household

But he goes along with it, as one does, and sits, ready to eat those awesome-looking pancakes. And then everything gets even better, because who should come up from behind him, put her hands on his shoulders, and then kiss him good morning but Olivia? She looks very happy, and she gives Walter a good morning kiss on the cheek. As Olivia comments about pancakes instead of waffles, Peter looks like this is all way too good to be true. Word, Peter. And spoiler: it is. Walter comes over carrying the broken waffle iron and says he’ll get the “infernal machine” working again. Peter’s face starts to fall as the obvious other meaning of that phrase hits him — and then Walter drops the waffle iron and Peter wakes up. He’s lying on the Machine blueprints, and he sits up and says, “Walter!” Sigh.

Harvard. Walter is doing some sort of experiment with a hairdryer and pinwheels. He chatters about it to the person who just entered the lab. He thinks it’s Astrid, and when a box of pastries is plonked down in front of him, he thanks ‘her’ for it. But when he turns, it’s Peter, of course. Peter speaks quickly and gently, asking him for help with the Machine. He says it can get him “back to where [he] belong[s]”, and I have to think that’s a direct tie-in with the episode title — he wants to go “back” there, but doesn’t know that there isn’t a there to return to, since this Amber verse is really the universe we know, just changed. Anyway, Walter’s not having any of it. He tells Peter the Machine is too dangerous — capable of destroying universes. Peter knows this, and says maybe he is, too (there’s no maybe about it, Peter! We saw that in last season’s “The Day We Died”). He adds that he’s been trying to respect Walter’s boundaries by staying away, but now he needs Walter’s help to get back home, back to his family. He says Walter of all people should understand his desperation to get back.

Walter and pinwheels

Sad story

Walter seems not unmoved. However, his next step is to tell a story that doesn’t sound very happy. If you didn’t guess exactly who the woman in the story was right away, I bet you still guessed it wasn’t a happy story. Walter goes on: “I knew almost immediately, even before I found the body. The car’s engine was still running.” As Peter swallows painfully, Walter continues that there was no note. A note wasn’t necessary, since they had just lost their only child. He says he should have grieved with her, but he left her to deal with it alone while he focused on trying to get to another universe “to save someone else’s child.” Then he turns to Peter and finishes that his actions caused his wife’s death, not to mention damaging two universes, as well as taking away his career and sanity. Peter looks even more crushed as Walter says this was all because he tried to help another Peter. He can’t do it again.

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