So far, "The Day We Died" has definitely been the most confusing finale yet, and I still don't fully understand it. I had initially come to the conclusion that at the end of the previous episode, "The Last Sam Weiss" (3.21), Peter was not confused because he jumped to the future; he was just disoriented because of the injury that he sustained. However, Ella asks him, "Do you remember what you were saying in the field about the machine and being from the past?" With that being said, I have no idea what to think, because near the end of the episode, we learn that Walter is the one who pulled Peter's consciousness from 2011 to the future, but Peter seems to suddenly come into the Peter that he would have been in that future, in 2026. Did the 2011 Peter simply watch all of this just as we did? When did Walter send the machine back, and why? Who createdthe machine? I wonder if in 2026, this side has very advanced healing, too, because Peter was cut up, and in very little time, we see him completely healed. My guess would be that, based on the conversation that Peter has with Olivia about wanting a child, the Other Side was destroyed before Peter discovered that he had a son, which is really sad. Doesn't he ever wonder, at least, or does he simply prefer not to think about it?
Walternate obviously told the End-of-Dayers what exactly they were doing. He even says to Moreau, "Soon, this world will join mine," so why are they willing to destroy their own world? Did they cross over with him when the Redverse was destroyed? If so, then who are they? Why haven't we seen them before? We learn from this episode that Astrid (whose line, "How come no one respects my desk?" I absolutely love), unless she was adopted, is not Broyles' daughter, because she mentions her father, who is obviously not Broyles. Speaking of Broyles, in 2026, he is a senator, and I would really like to know what happened to his eye. I read that the writers know what happened to it, but they did not say whether or not we are ever going to find out what happened to it, but I have a feeling that we will, because I think that this finale is going to end up being far more pivotal than it seems it will be at this point. This episode, in a sense, really reminds me of the pilot episode, because in the pilot episode, Olivia, under very different conditions, mind you, approaches Broyles about obtaining Walter's help, and Broyles is very reluctant; the whole idea, in general, of Walter being incarcerated and freeing him to obtain his help is reflective of the pilot episode.
I love how Peter says to Walter in the future that "no matter who's at fault, you'remy dad," and I love that scene, because while I do think that what Walter and Elizabeth did in 1985 was terrible (even though it is definitely not that simple), the issue of where Peter belongs comes down to where he wants to be, and I think that that is pretty obvious. I love the conversation between Peter and Walternate; it's something that I would consider epic, and I think that it really speaks for Walternate's character, because while Peter wants to negotiate with Walternate and make peace with him, Walternate kills Olivia instead. Walternate was not really sitting in that house; he was using some sort of technology to make himself appear to be there, and that was pretty impressive technology if you ask me. Ella, clearly upset with Walter for doing what he did in 1985, says, "There aren't any happy endings nowadays, are there?" I love this line and really feel that it's worth mentioning, because it's definitely an intentional reference to "Brown Betty" (2.19), in which Ella changes Walter's ending to his story by making it happy. It is definitely interesting that we see a future Ella in this episode, and I definitely get the impression that, for whatever reason, in this future, Rachel is not alive.
In 2026, Walter tells Peter that something for which he never accounted is that the two worlds are inextricably linked; if one world dies, then the other will, too. He therefore says that the day that they triggered the machine was essentially "the day we died." I wonder why these two world are linked, though. Why aren't alluniverses dying (assuming they are not all dying)? Is it because of what Walter did in 1985? Is that why that universe was the one in which he chose to observe a Peter? Was it the easiest to find in a search for a parallel universe? Olivia (who, by the way, doesn't really look fifteen years older) has apparently learned to control her abilities in that particular future, and she stops a box containing fragile material from hitting the floor, which is pretty neat. On the Other Side, apparently, the drawing of Olivia exists there, as well, unless someone somehow made a copy of it here and then sent it over there, because we see Walternate with the drawing of Olivia, and he seems to think (or know, I'm not sure which) that the drawing applies to his universe's Olivia. I love what she says to him. "They outsmarted you, didn't they?" she mocks him. "They know you turned the machine on, so they put Peter in theirs, and now, we're the ones that are going to get destroyed." She is basically saying to him, "Look what you did now."
Broyles says, when we come back to 2011, that Peter has been in the machine for sixty seconds, so apparently, time did not pass the same way for him as it did for them. I absolutely love the confrontation scene near the end of the episode, because I have been waiting for the two Olivias to confront each other once again for a long time, in hopes that they would now be friends, but unfortunately, they don't say anything to each other. I get the sense, however, that they will be working together, because our Olivia definitely wants to be cooperative. She interrupts the quarrel between the two Walters and says that they are all together now, so they need to work on solving their problems, and the other Olivia, based on her facial expression, seems to be in agreement. I have waited even longer for a confrontation between the two Walters (which David Wu has cleverly referred to as "waltercation"), because we haven't even seen that yet, and as far as we all know, this is the first time that these two men have met each other, and obviously, there's bad blood. Now, though, Peter never existed, which definitely has me scratching my head, because I can't think of what he did to cause that to happen. He only changed from 2011 on, so how does that affect the past? Precisely as Anna Torv said her reaction was, what does this mean? What does it mean in context of the series thus far and of the series in the future?
I close by saying that I really like the new intro. The "fringe sciences" listed are cellular rejuvenation, thought extraction, cryptozoology, neutral partitioning, brain porting, temporal plasticity, dual maternity, chaos structure, clonal transplantation, biosuspension, water and hope. I put "fringe sciences" in quotes because those last two are obviously not even sciences, and I don't know what to make of them, especially not "water." What significance does "water" have to this episode? Is it maybe that (clean) water is not as easy to come by, since the universe is dying? I appreciated this finale in a lot of ways, but it is not as good as last year's finale, "Over There," and, in my opinion, it's going to be very difficult for them to ever write and film a finale that tops (or is even as good as) "Over There" (a television epic). What primarily makes little sense to me is that the other Olivia stole a piece of the machine on this side so that we couldn't use it, yet we douse it. I'd suggest that the function of Olivia's ability takes the place of the function of that piece of the machine, but the machine is activated before Olivia intervenes, so is it that without that piece, the machine doesn't create but destroys? There are so many questions, and I can't wait until season 4. I give this finale 7.5 Kate Dunhams (NCIS fans surely get the reference).