"Imagine If… Walter Was in Violet Sedan Chair" (BEYOND THE FRINGE chapter #6B)

Showing us a universe in which Walter joined Violet Sedan Chair back in the 60s is, in my opinion, kind of a silly way to end this comic series, but all the same, I actually liked this comic a lot better than the "Ghost Writer" comic. The art is really great and looks very realistic, something that is made very apparent at the end of the comic when we see present-day Walter, Nina, and Belly. Even young Belly, though, looks exactly like young Leonard Nimoy, even more so than the younger Bell in the second half of Jhonen Vasquez's "Ghost Writer" comic, and I immediately knew, as soon as I saw him, that it was a young Bell. I do, however, have a problem with Walter and Belly being depicted as being in college together in this comic, as it would seem to be a continuity error. The first series of comics, the ones that show us when Walter and Belly were lab partners when they were younger, tell us that Bell is younger than Walter by a good seven years or so, as Belly was still a college student when Walter was a young college professor. I know that this is a parallel universe, but it would stand to reason that they would be the same age in every universe, and this kind of annoys me, but I digress. I suppose that the storytelling is what is most important, but continuity errors do annoy me when they happen in regards to any franchise, even though I, from experience as a writer, know how easy it is miss one.

It took me a minute to realize that the red-haired woman was Nina, but I had a major "ah-ha" moment when I did realize it. After Nina gets hurt during a scientific experiment, Walter wishes to discontinue the experiment, something about which he is very adamant, but Belly says, "It's for the greater good, Walter." This is very typical of Belly. It isn't long before Walter decides to quit the field of science and pursue music, ultimately joining, as requested by one of the band members, Violet Sedan Chair. He realizes that it is not a life for which there is room for love and settling down, and at the end of the comic, he meets up with Nina and Belly, now apparently a couple, and expresses his regrets of having lost touch with them, and I get the impression that he is also expressing regret of having let Nina go. Is this indicative of something that went on in the Blueverse, too? Did Walter, at one point, have feelings for Nina that he surrendered? We know that he and Nina spent a lot of time together when they were younger, and we have seen the two of them in intimate settings such as when Nina holds his hand to calm him down during the "Of Human Action" (2.07) episode, so it is possible. I like this comic and give it 7.5 chocolate mint and LSD milkshakes (typical Walter). I am excited to buy the hard copy of the Beyond the Fringe comics, available today.

"Brave New World" (part 2) (4.22) - season finale

The second part of the finale is really good, although it's definitely annoying that "Letters of Transit" (4.19) spoils a lot of the revelations. It told us that Bell was alive. It told us that Olivia would be pregnant soon. It told us that the Observers would come for an invasion. It's cool, though, how other questions are answered. For example, we finally know how September got shot, and a stage was set at the end of "Back to Where You've Never Been" (4.08) for a play that is finally acted out now. I was definitely really surprised that Jessica was a baddie; I didn't see that coming, and her "revival" scene was one of the most disturbing, creepiest scenes that I've ever seen on TV. It kind of reminded me of Charlotte going insane before she died. It was almost as bad as the "Marionette" (3.09) scene during which the girl's corpse is made to walk like a marionette. Rebecca, speaking of September, tells Olivia that "he's very concerned about the events in your life." I have been saying for years that September seems to be here to protect Olivia, and it looks like I was right; he is her "guardian angel" of sorts. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what the nanites had to do with collapsing the universes, but during a recent viewing of the episode, I realized that Jessica must have been there for a reason, and she tells Olivia that Bell had suggested to draw September out by putting Olivia's life in danger, so the nanites may have been a ruse to put Olivia's life in jeopardy. That leads to the question, however, of why Bell wanted to kill September. Does he know about the coming invasion but not understand that some of them are good? Is that why he wanted to create a third universe, to prevent the Observers' invasion?

We also learn from this episode that Olivia is the power source that Bell is using to collapse the universes. That leads me to wonder if she was Plan B or if Broyles was. Did Jones hurt or kill Christopher and/or Diane? Did Christopher's treatments continue with Walter (or someone)'s help, or was Jones the only one with the means to help him? The opening scene of the episode really reminds me of Jurassic Park, and it's really cool. I love Bell's line during this scene. He says, "The Bible tells us God created his universe in seven days. It's taken me considerably longer." There is a blue flash during this scene, which is something that I don't think we've seen for a while. He is absolutely crazy, something that is clearly demonstrated throughout this episode, especially right before Olivia "dies" but will wait to talk about that. I'm really glad that Astrid is okay, and I'm surprised, too. That looked like a fatal wound to me, and she was even left for a little while before being picked up. I thought that the lemon cake would end up being important because it would have to do with saving Astrid, but Astrid recovered on her own. Obviously, Olivia's wound was much worse and much more fatal, shall we say, but I had no idea how Olivia's predicted death would play out, obviously; no one did. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that if September saw her die in the future, why didn't he also tell her at the end of "Back to Where You've Never Been" that her death wouldn't be permanent? Did he fear that he'd risk changing the course of events from happening the way that they're supposed to?

There is a huge revelation that this new universe idea was actually Walter's and that he asked to have pieces of his brain removed so that he wouldn't remember having this idea. That was a surprise, and again, it makes me wonder what Jones' agenda was during season 1. September says during "The End of All Things" (4.14) that it was the same, but if it was initially Walter's idea, how would Jones have known of it? I love the helicopter scene, and Nina uses an interesting choice of words. She says, "Olivia now has as much activated Cortexiphan in her system as the Olivia from the original timeline." She seems to suggest there being two different Olivias, but she uses the term "original timeline" so probably not. It would, in fact, seem that since "A Short Story About Love" (4.15), she has accepted that everyone has indeed forgotten Peter and that Olivia is still the same person. How, though, did Olivia and Peter not get seriously injured? That was quite a jump from the helicopter. When Olivia is shot in the head, I think that Peter's "NO!" was how we all felt. I couldn't believe it; I was in utter denial and was in tears, and I couldn't imagine a good fifth season without her, but obviously, that's where the lemon cake came into play. Josh Jackson's acting during this scene is great. Where did Bell go, and is that the bullet that Etta will wear around her neck? It's interesting that Olivia is apparently not "special" anymore, that using Cortexiphan to come back to life made her abilities void, so I guess that we'll be seeing a "normal" Olivia come season 5. I know that there were some people who voiced that it didn't make sense that she didn't come back to life when Walternate shot her in the season 3 finale, but first of all, she hadn't been recently dosed with Cortexiphan, and second of all, no one got the bullet out (a nasty scene, by the way).

So, Broyles has been promoted to General Broyles, and Fringe Division will now be fully funded. Broyles has offered Head of Science Division to Nina, and I could be wrong, but it seems like they may be an item now. I mean, we saw her kiss him during "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01), and that has to mean something. Speaking of that episode, that was when Fringe Division was on the brink of being shut down, so things have certainly come a long way. Olivia is pregnant, which was not a surprise because of "Letters of Transit" (4.19), nor was September's warning that "they are coming." "Letters of Transit" (4.19) pretty much spoiled any attempt at a cliffhanger that the finale makes, which is unfortunate. Is there something more to the pregnancy, though? Olivia looked very apprehensive. Anna Torv said that we won't be seeing Olivia pregnant, so I wonder if we will be jumping to 2015 for season 5? I almost feel like we'd have to in order for questions that "Letters of Transit" (4.19) asks to be answered. So, the "X" on the nanites that is the same as the "X" on Mr. X's shirt is something that I want to discuss briefly. It could be that Mr. X wasn't ever meant to be a person but was meant to be the nanites, since they are ultimately what allowed September to be captured so that Olivia could tell him of his warning. It's also possible that since the nanites are connected to Bell, they were used to represent him, since he did technically kill her; at least, it's because of him that Walter killed her. Although it would have left some questions unanswered, such as why Olivia's memories returned, more or less, if it weren't for "Letters of Transit" (4.19) and September's warning at the end, this could have been a series finale. I love how Walter, at the end, is humming "Rock-a-Bye-Baby" since he is obviously excited. Hopefully, during season 5, we'll see Peter in that purple tux. I give the second part of the finale 9 batty Bellys.

"Brave New World" (part 1) (4.21) - season finale

"Brave New World" is a great finale, apart from the fact that its ending wasn't anything jaw-dropping since we didn't get much of a cliffhanger, but I'll talk more about that when I review the second part of the episode. Unfortunately, it's spoiled right during the opening credits that Leonard Nimoy would be in the episode, which I hate; I wish that they didn't have to do that. They did the same thing during the opening credits of "Back to Where You've Never Been" (4.08), revealing that Jared Harris would be in the episode. Granted, the promo revealed that, anyway, and I had been convinced for a while that Jones was behind the new Shapeshifters, but still, generally speaking, I wish that they wouldn't do that. Aside from the opening credits, though, they did a really good job of keeping his return under wraps. He was in the "Letters of Transit" (4.19) episode, but initially, the rumor had been that that wasn't physically Nimoy, that he had just been added in using computer graphics, but then, shortly before the finale aired, it was apparently revealed that he was not added in via computer graphics, that Nimoy had actually come in for that, so then, the speculations that Bell would return began to circulate, and seeing them therefore wasn't much of a surprise. What was a surprise, however, was that he was working with Jones; that I didn't see coming, mainly because it had been Jones' agenda during season 1 to cross over to the Other Side so that he could kill Bell. Was he lying, or did he instead find someone eager to form an alliance, since we know that Peter wasn't there to stop him from crossing over? Also, when the team goes to St. Claire's to see if Bell ever signed in, they seem to be looking for his name, but wouldn't he have signed in as Simon Paris?

Could Bell be why Porcuman didn't happen three years ago, but just a few weeks ago, in this timeline? Like I said, unless Jones was lying, he and Bell were not in alignment back in season 1, so that could be why that didn't happen then. It's interesting, though, because Jones' endgame was revealed to be to "create a world designed and controlled by him," and September says that Jones' endgame was the same then as it is now, so did he need Bell's assistance to help him do it? It just doesn't add up, because we learn during the second part of the episode that this was actually Walter's idea and he doesn't remember because that was why he asked to have parts of his brain removed, so how would Jones have had the idea first? It seems like Bell would have. I wonder if Jones is gone for good this time. My bet is yes, he is; I sincerely doubt that the timeline will ever go back to its original state, and even if it did, Jones is dead in that timeline, too. Obviously, I was wrong about my theory that the writers chose to pair Colonel Broyles and Jones together because neither should be alive and they'd disappear when the timeline was restored. The timeline was not restored, and I don't think that it ever will be, which is discouraging. All of that character development between Walter and Peter for three seasons is thrown out the window, reset, and at this point, we would be let down either way because if the timeline were reset, season 4 wouldn't have technically happened. It's very frustrating.

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out how the nanites were important, what they had to do with collapsing the universes, but I think that I have an idea now. However, I'll wait and discuss that when I review the second part of the episode. On the computer on which Walter is examining them, they have an "X" marking on them exactly like the "X" on Mr. X's shirt from the "LSD" (3.19) episode, which is odd. That's also something that I'll discuss during the following review. It's kind of annoying, though, how when spontaneous human combustion is mentioned, Peter says, "You know that's just a myth, right?" He and Olivia should both have memories of what happened during "The Road Not Taken" (1.19), yet neither of them mention it, and in fact, what Peter says suggests that it never happened. I was not surprised when I found out that Rebecca Mader would appear in the episode because Mader frequently voices her love of the series via her Twitter, so I figured that it would only be a matter of time, and like I said when I reviewed "Letters of Transit" (4.19), it's kind of cool how we had Desmond in that episode and then Charlotte in the finale. Olivia comforts her, and the lights flicker, which is a cool scene, but not quite as cool as the scene near the end when she uses a "Jedi mind trick" on Peter and controls his body. That was utterly amazing, and I do like season 4 for its effort to show us what amazing feats Olivia is capable of. She can manipulate electricity, can calm people down, and can even make people (or just Peter?) move using her mind. There's more, obviously, but again, I'll wait.

I know of someone who had a problem with Olivia saying that Jessica encountering them almost made a child an orphan, because she knows that the girl has a father, and that is not the definition of an orphan. However, I think that was just being dramatic. Speaking of which, she mentions wanting a nursery in the house that she and Peter eventually choose, which is obviously referencing Etta since we know about her, and speaking of offspring, another name that caught my attention during the opening credits is Samantha Noble. I assumed that she was related to John Noble, and sure enough, she is his daughter. The character's name is Dr. Benlo, which is an anagram of Noble. I think that she kind of looks like Jennifer Garner, and I love how Walter says, "I must say; you're much prettier than your predecessor." That was most likely the writers' sense of humor since she looks like him. Also, I wonder if by her "predecessor," he is referring to Bruce Sumner. It's so insane that Jones was trying to direct a ray of the sun toward earth. That was definitely insane, although a bit unrealistic because even though I'm not scientifically inclined by any means, I would think that that would burn everything around it to a crisp. Near the end of the episode, Walter refers to Astrid using two different names - Atlas and Alex. I love her reaction to being called Alex; she is so funny. I also love how Walter, before leaving, says, "Peace out." I was so surprised when Astrid was shot, and I thought for sure that she was gone, but then, I got thinking about the lemon cake and knew that that scene had to be significant. I was right, sort of, but I'll talk more about that during my following review. I give the first part of the finale 10 regenerative lemon cakes.