Fringe Sneak Peeks: Episode 4.15 'A Short Story About Love'
In case you need a bit of a refresher, we left off with the episode "The End of All Things", which was packed with revelations. We finally learned that the Observers are scientists from a possible future that is somehow dependent on Peter being with the right Olivia - that is, not the alternate Olivia. Peter learns that he had a son, who ceased to exist when he made his choice with The Machine. One thing I still find a little confusing is September's implication that his own future is dependent on a child of Peter and Olivia's, since they should never even have met without September's "error" and subsequent saving of Peter and Walter. I suppose Peter and Olivia could have met at some later point if Walter and Bell's forays into investigating the Other Side had progressed, but it isn't obvious to me how they would have met without interference.
I'm hoping that in the coming weeks we'll continue to learn more about the Observers, and why they've gone from scientists who simply observe important events to so blatantly interfering. You'd think that scientists from an apparently advanced future would know better than to disregard the "observer effect"! Another thing that came up when I was debating the episode with friends was: what even gives the Observers the right to change events? Since they obviously exist, who's to say that the way everything played out wasn't the way it was supposed to happen? If they come from a future that was brought about by Olivia and Peter somehow being together, then how do we know that they didn't bring it about by interfering in the first place? You have to love time-travel paradoxes!
Given the title of the episode, I'm assuming that Peter and Olivia's relationship will be the focus of the episode: I'm now convinced that this really is "our" universe, which makes Peter's behaviour all the more frustrating. That being said, I understand where he's coming from. Having already mistaken one Olivia for another, he's terrified of making the same mistake again and betraying the woman he loves. But now that Olivia remembers everything, she is his Olivia. Although I suppose the question still remains of whether this is, as Walter seems to think, simply an Olivia who is so tuned to Peter that she's becoming what he needs. There's also the question of what is it that makes us who we are: is it our memories? Or is there some intangible, undefinable thing - a soul, for lack of a better word - that makes us wholly unique and would distinguish between the same people in alternate universes?
This week's Fringe will be the first in a run of the last 8 episodes of the season, so make sure you don't miss them! I think we're in for quite the ride.