Two words for season four: Lincoln Lee.
Warning: I can’t talk about this season without talking spoilers. So don’t read this unless you’ve already seen Fringe season 4. Seriously.
Season 4, how I love you. And yet I also hate you. I don’t hate you as much as season 3, which I guess doesn’t actually exist anymore thanks to you, but did you have to go and erase seasons 1 and 2 too? White Tulip, one of my absolute faves, means basically nothing anymore? But oh, thank you for more Lincoln Lee, and specifically Blueverse Lincoln.
At the end of season 3, Peter disappears and no one remembers him. We find out that he’s been “erased from the timeline,” as the Observers put it (which turned out to be total bull – dying early does not constitute being completely erased from time, but I digress). So season 4 starts with the Fringe team, without Peter. Everything feels off. Walter is even a little more nutty without Peter there, and Olivia actually seems a bit more confident but also a little empty, and Astrid is basically the same but the role she plays is a little different. Things carry on with glimmers of Peter trying to get back, or at least that’s the way it seems (later we find out it’s really love conquering all). Meanwhile, they work on a shapeshifter case that kills Blueverse Lincoln Lee (who apparently they had not met in this timeline)’s partner, and he ends up coming in to work with the Fringe division. Before Peter appears, Olivia says “no way” to Astrid about dating Lincoln , but then she seems to be reconsidering, even after the mysterious Peter that no one remembers returns…
And somehow, I, who have been Team Peter and Olivia since Season 1, suddenly found myself seriously shipping Lincoln and Olivia. He was so shy and cute and sweet around her I JUST COULDN’T HELP IT. Seth Gabel, the writers, the directors, the producers, THEY DID IT TO ME. (Sidenote: I specifically wanted this version of Lincoln to end up with this version of Olivia. I still wanted Peter to be able to go back to “his Olivia.”)
Needless to say, I was frustrated when September told Peter that he was in the right universe/timeline/whatever-the-crap-this-amber-colored-title-sequence-place-is, that he had no where to go back to. “A Short Story About Love” was obviously supposed to make me feel happy but instead it made me feel like this:
But we’ll get back to this whole Lincoln subplot thing. I want to address other issues I have with this season. Like, the fact that for everyone who isn’t Peter, and sort of Olivia, it erases everything we’ve seen about them before on the show. And then for Olivia, that she forgets about this whole other life where she got away from her crazy and abusive stepfather and was raised by a nice Nina. And then poor Walter, he doesn’t have the same benefits of knowing this Peter and knowing that God’s forgiven him.
And then the crazy weird inconsistencies this created when we decide to re-do cases from season 1, where somehow magically, the same guy wearing the same shirt with the same people on the same flight of the same plane has almost the same thing happen to him four years later than originally when Peter was around. What? I try to justify it happening later due to a change of plans with David Robert Jones and William Bell due to Peter’s premature death, but that still doesn’t justify SAME CLOTHES SAME PEOPLE SAME FLIGHT SAME PLANE other than the obvious reason: budget.
But let’s talk about something positive this whole catawampus storyline shift did, and that is the return of David Robert Jones.
DRJ is a great villain, and I felt his first story arc in Fringe was a little unsatisfactory, so I was happy to see more of him. So yay for more DRJ! But I am still a little unsatisfied with the conclusion of his overall story, especially since we never get the answers to his connection with ZFT (does it still exist is this timeline, or did Peter somehow change that too? Or does this come up in season 5?). However, having his second demise somewhat reflect his first was great. And I don’t really understand how the shapeshifters were going to play a role in Jones’ and Bell’s new world.
Speaking of that, what is up with totally whacked-out crazy William Bell?!
I hope there will be more answers about Bell in season 5. I really liked the old Bell better though…
Now, back to another positive thing about this season with the new timeline: Walternate and Fauxlivia are much nicer! Guys, in season 3 I hated Fauxlivia with a passion. I hated her at least as much as I hated Walternate. I don’t think Fauxlivia was inherently more evil in season 3, but she quickly chose to take that turn, I think largely because of Walternate and Newton’s influence. (Sidenote: I found Newton’s end in season 3 also unsatisfactory. Basically, I don’t like the way Fringe ends the storylines of their villains. Except Harris.)
So, this brings me back to Lincoln. After Redverse Lincoln dies, he decides to stay in the Redverse, presumably in part to see how things go with Fauxlivia. And while I wanted Redverse Lincoln and Redverse Olivia to hook up, and I wanted Blueverse Lincoln to feel wanted and needed… as a compromise… I think this might be OK with me.
Mostly, I want Lincoln to be happy. I’m just sad he isn’t a regular in season 5. *Cries*
You’re a good guy, Lincoln Lee. *Cries again*
Here’s Gene with a FBI hat to make me feel better:
I don’t know how to rate this season. Some of it I really liked, but some of it frustrated me. I gave season three, which I felt the same way about, 4.5 stars, but I still can’t decide if I like this season more or less than season 3. I do want to give kudos to a finale that really wrapped up the season nicely, and that even made me like Peter and Olivia being back together again (after basically hating them being together from “A Short Story About Love” up until “Brave New World Part 1,” minus “Letters of Transit,” in which we don’t actually see them together but we see their daughter). It’s either 4 stars or 4.5, but I don’t know which quite yet. So I’ll just leave us with this still from the season 4 gag reel:
Help me out with my rating! How do you feel season 4 compares to the others? Were you as frustrated by new timeline stuff as I was? Are you a Lincoln Lee fan?
Okay, enough of that. Nice review. You really went into the spoilers this time and you kind of have to when regarding this season. There was a lot of stuff I liked. I liked the inclusion of Lincoln and the return of David Robert Jones. I also liked seeing both Fringe teams work together. I did think an “EVIL!!” William Bell was weird, but I liked seeing Leonard Nimoy act villainous for once.
While the season did get somewhat confusing with all of the time-altering stuff, I liked it. It provided a nice mystery to it all. You really didn’t know what to expect. If I had to give a rating, it would be 4 out of 5 stars. I think Seasons 2 and 3 were the show’s high points for me.
And if you’re missing Seth Gabel that much, check out the show “Arrow” where he plays a crazed drug dealer.
It really did get confusing! It was like “what happened… what didn’t happen?”. I wanted this season to be my favorite so far because of LL, but with the time altering it was just hard for me to go there I think, but I found season 3 so frustrating, but of course it had a lot of good stuff too. I’m only two episodes into season 5 and I like the concept but I’m not sold yet but I guess I’ll wait and see.
I don’t know if I can handle good ol’ Lincoln Lee as a crazed drug dealer! Still, it might be interesting to watch! It’s good to know what that Seth Gabel has a good acting range.
I see where you’re coming from with the frustration with S4, but I at least found it a good kind of frustration in that it really made me think about what I was watching, and I liked the parallels with S1. It always amazes me how Fringe was able to reinvent itself every season (much like Lost did).
I too really love Lincoln Lee! And I definitely shipped Lincoln-Olivia and Peter-Olivia, which I justified since they were technically different Olivias. I thought Lincoln’s choice to stay in the redverse was bittersweet, but by that time, I really loved Fauxlivia too. (I actually quite liked her since Bloodline from S3, and perhaps a bit before.)
I hope you enjoy (or are enjoying) the final season!
I do love how the show reinvents itself each season too, I guess I just felt like I got bamboozled this time.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who wanted Lincoln-Olivia and Peter-Olivia to work out. Lincoln staying with the Redverse was definitely bittersweet. I will say Bloodline started softening me towards Fauxlivia, but this season made me feel a lot better about her.
I’ve only seen the first two episodes of season 5 and I’m just along for the ride because I have no real idea with where they are going with it, but it’s interesting.
ALL THE LOVE FOR LINCOLN LEE. <3 Give me him any day and I'll be happy. ;D
For me, season four was all about him. My feelings were invested in him. Out of everybody, I wanted him and Walter to live happily ever after. I used to like Peter/Olivia, but Lincoln, ahh, like you said, he's such a sweetie. He owns my heart. 😉 I stopped watching season 5 after finding out he wasn't gonna be a series regular. Like whyyyy? He was the reason I continued watching it (which is kind of horrible for me to say).
Yay for more Lincoln Lee love! They should do a Lincoln Lee spin-off show, ha ha! Seriously, I got really bored with Peter and Olivia during season 4 after loving them so much in the first three… I don’t know what it is! Season 5 is very different from the others, but I’m hoping it’ll resolve some things and put a proper end to the Fringe story, and hopefully remind me that I do actually like Peter and Olivia!