I actually really love this episode and can't help but give it 9.5 FINALLYs, which, of course, refers to the closing scene of the episode, about which I was and am really thrilled. The episode reminds me of the X-Files and The Walking Dead, which is awesome because they are both really great shows. The writers had previously said that the episode was inspired by the Twilight Zone (which is definitely the case because there is an episode of the Twilight Zone called "Welcome to Winfield"), but I have yet to see any episodes of that. The opening scene is a bit annoying, though, because I am so tired of episodes beginning with dreams; don't get me wrong because I think that that dream was a memory of what happened after the conclusion of "6B" (3.14), but still, it was a dream sequence. I don't think that this is the first time that she has had a dream about Peter, either, which means that she was indeed lying when she previously told Peter that she wasn't having dreams about him, and I had suspected so because she said that she wasn't having dreams about him without actually saying that she wasn't having dreams about him. She said that he was a stranger to her, so why would she be having dreams about him?
In this episode, we see Walter becoming more like himself, and even Olivia says that he has been more open lately, and I would totally agree with that. I think that that has to do with the ending of the episode, although I know that there are others that would not agree with me, but I'll talk more about that when I discuss the ending. This episode brings our team to a town called Westfield in which people are going crazy, completely losing their sanities, seemingly moving back and forth between one set of memories and another, and for whatever reason (it's never really clarified), they can't leave Westfield (which totally reminds me of Once Upon a Time). "Johari Window" (2.11) immediately came to mind, which is funny because that episode is even mentioned in this episode, and we learn that that is yet another episode that did not happen within this timeline. I'm wondering if Teresa reminded anyone else of Bootstrap Bill from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as she repeats something that she already said without realizing it. It was also kind of cool to see Walter being attacked, since that isn't something that we see too often ("Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sleep?" comes to mind), and he reacts so quickly, which is also cool to see.
About halfway through the episode (possibly even sooner), I had a theory that ended up being right; I suspected that the two universes were coming together within that specific town. I then immediately suspected that Jones was behind the situation, which also ended up being the case, but we don't know why yet, have no idea what he was trying to accomplish. However, I now have an idea regarding why the writers chose to pair Jones and Colonel Broyles together, which also ties into the ending of the episode, so I'm obviously going to have to talk about that at this point. Okay, so, the ending of the episode shows us that Olivia is finally (hence my Bunsen Burner rating) coming around, is finally reverting back to her old self, finally displaying memories of her former life, and I am so happy that that is finally happening. I think that the timeline is reverting back to its original state, although I'm not really sure why; it could be because Peter is a variable that this continuum doesn't understand, so the only way it knows how to deal with him is by writing him back into itself. If you think about it, Jones and Colonel Broyles are the only two currently alive characters that should not be alive, the only two alive characters that had previously died within the previous timeline, so I think that they will "die" by vanishing like Peter did at the end of the third season, when the timeline fully reverts back to its former state, which is why the writers chose to pair them together.
Like I previously stated, I think that Walter becoming more like himself has to do with the ending, and that is because I suspect that, like I also said, the timeline is reverting back to its original state, which is how Jones and Colonel Broyles will eventually cease to exist, and if I'm right, that would explain characters beginning to become more like themselves. Near the end of the episode, in fact, it's apparent that he is really beginning to like having Peter around, as when he's reminded of the Machine, he seems very sad to have been reminded. People have accredited his change in character (such as leaving the lab and working in the field) to Redverse Astrid having said to him that he should think of Peter as his son so that he can be happy, and I would say that that may be a factor, but I don't think that it's the factor. Additionally, some people have said that it's only Olivia that is experiencing the reversion due to the Cortexiphan injections, and again, I disagree; I think that she is the only one who is experiencing it fully, but I don't think that she is the only one who is experiencing it at all. This episode, due to the two universes coming together, really reminds me of "Jacksonville" (2.14) and "The Man from the Other Side" (2.18), both excellent episodes, and one of the people on the bus whose two egos converge looks, at first, deformed like the people of Edina. I love how Peter says of Olivia that "she gave me a place to call home" because that's so consistent; he stayed in the Blueverse even after he discovered the truth because of her. Stay on the fringe for now.