Mark Watches ‘Fringe’: S04E08 – Back To Where You’ve Never Been

In the eighth episode of the fourth season of Fringe, Peter is desperate to get back to his own timeline, and then HOLY GOD WHAT IS GOING ON? If you’re intrigued (and you should be because this show is literal perfection), then it’s time for Mark to watch Fringe.

Okay, this is the only time this is going to happen from here on out.

I’m swamped. As I’m sure you’ve read by now (and if not, get on it!) that I doing Mark Does Stuff full time. This is wonderful! But this past weekend was like a tornado of activity. I lost my job (and I cannot wait to tell you how this happened because it is HILARIOUS, so ask me if you come see me on tour), I released the first Mark Reads Harry Potter book, and because of this, I had to spend Saturday and Sunday writing every post for this site. I’d not seen a single Buffy episode until Sunday morning.

So this is a one time thing: I just don’t have the time to write a 2,000 word post about this episode.

But there is a whole lot we need to talk about, so I wanted to host a discussion below about the wonderful and shocking things we all experienced on Friday. The joy of not having a full-time job means that I can hang out in the comments a whole lot more, so I’ll be poking about and sobbing with all of you.

That okay? I apologize for this, and it will not happen this weekend. ONWARDS WE GO, FRINGIES.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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39 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Fringe’: S04E08 – Back To Where You’ve Never Been

  1. lula34 says:

    Never apologize for having a life, being funemployed, and living your dream.

    You called the show "literal perfection," and really, what more can you add to that? Except a lot of confusion and two Lincoln Lees (yay!) and September's pronouncement and, and, and…OH MY GOD, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    I cannot deal, bye.

    • I just want to cosign all of THAT. Fringe is gone for so long and then it makes me feel all stabby at the end? WHY DOES IT HURT.
      But again, HOORAY for two Lincolns being all everywhere in this one.
      Oh and the opening scene broke my heart into 80 billion pieces too. Is it Friday yet?

      • lula34 says:

        OH YES. The opening scene. In which we find Walter. In an apron-and ONLY an apron. Making waffles.

        That was the joy bringer, indeed.

        • feminerdist says:

          I feel like the being in only an apron was John Noble's idea.

        • monkeybutter says:

          No, he was wearing pants underneath the apron! That's why I was immediately certain it was Peter's dream (aside from the soft focus), because otherwise Walter would only be in an apron.

          I love that pants are a revealing detail.

          • lula34 says:

            I saw no pants! 10 points taken away from me! You are so correct–pants or lack thereof are a revealing detail.I LOVE THIS SHOW.

          • Hotaru_hime says:

            My first thought on seeing Walter with pants and apron was, "Thank God he's wearing pants."

            • dbmacp says:

              But Oh, My God, the look on Peter's face when dream-Walter started talking to him made me want to cry. And when Walter held up the chocolate chip banana pancakes, I was reaching for my tissues.

              I just have so many FEELINGS.

              • Hotaru_hime says:

                I felt hungry when he held up the pancakes and then the FEELINGS punched me in the face when Olivia walked in the room..

  2. @mairywo says:

    Ooooh, that's cruel, posting this right when I need to go to bed (some of us live in different timezones).
    But aaaah, the apron! That is all I can deal with tonight, because… Jones? Broyles? September? Noooo, too much, my heart already broke when I watched it… need happy dreams. So the apron it is for now. And of course the two Lincolns.

  3. @bonez565 says:

    Was anyone else really excited that just for a moment at the beginning everything was back to normal, and this whole alternate alternate reality was a flash forward or psychic vision or something because i for one can't wait until we get back to the old dynamic between Peter, Walter, and Olivia

    • platoapproved says:

      While I am enjoying Peter's dilemma and the new universe, I also miss "our" Walter and Olivia and Astrid and Broyles and Nina and EVERYONE. :c

      • YES. As much as I love all the twists and turns this storyline is taking us on, I really, really miss the old dynamic. It should also be noted that as a general rule, I am very averse to change. So there's that.

  4. Eileen says:

    Well that settles it – I am totally going to one of your meetups so that we can share being laid off stories. FUN!

    Every episode with Fringe this season I am more and more surprised that I just genuinely LOVE where these storylines are headed – and we're not even in the "original" blueverse with our Olivia and our Walter and all that. Like – Walternate was nice? And he didn't want to shoot Peter in the face with that weird shapeshifter revealer gun thing? That scene made me squirm. And gah the scene with September and Olivia. I can't.

    As always, NEEDS MOAR ASTRID.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Um about Astrid, and rot13 in case you don't want spoilers, but unir lbh urneq Wnfvxn Avpbyr nyernql svyzrq na Nfgevq-pragevp rcvfbqr sbe guvf frnfba? V pnaabg unaqyr guvf vasbezngvba.

      • feminerdist says:


      • fieldofwhitetulips says:

        More spoilers about Mark's spoiler above! Gur Nfgevq-pragevp rcvfbqr vf rcvfbqr ryrira, gur gvgyr vf Znxvat Natryf, naq gur cerff eryrnfr fnlf gung fur trgf na harkcrpgrq ivfvg sebz ure nygreangr.

        fpernzf vagreanyyl*

  5. LadyPeyton says:

    I am just astoundingly thankful that this episode aired on this end go the break because I would have gone crazy for 6+ weeks waiting to see what came next.

  6. Ryan Lohner says:

    I could see the twist with Walternate coming (there had to be a reason we weren't shown who gave the kill order) but everything around it was so awesome that I didn't care at all. The way this show is exploring the concept of two universes interacting has always been incredible, and this adds a nice new wrinkle to the whole thing.

  7. robin_comments says:

    I find that I just cannot get my emotional satisfaction from this show anymore without the original Walter and Peter relationship. I didn't realize just how central the development of that was to my enjoyment until it was gone. D: For that reason alone, I feel like it's crucial to see Peter succeed in his goal. Sorry, Fringe, but I can't move on. Not permanently. It's never going to happen.

    I still love all of the alternate universe complexity and it's fascinating how Peter compartmentalizes it all, separating the different versions of people and who they are (or aren't) to him.

    • platoapproved says:

      Basically, this.

      I just keep going back and rewatching bits of their interactions in earlier seasons and I miss it so much. :c

  8. Avit says:

    I know he had ample reason to act the way he did, but somehow, after the long break, all I could think was "Peter stop being a buttface!!!"

    yr hihgly insiteful comentary ofthe evning

  9. Hotaru_hime says:

    I don't know why I was so convinced that Walternate was a shapeshifter- I guess it was the taking of stuff away from everyone that made me think it was a cover-up. But for us viewers, of course the shapeshifters are from somewhere else- the shapeshifter used a sea-foam green rounded typewriter instead of the standard redverse black sharp typewriter.
    But now I just want it to be Friday and I really fucking hate that I'm going to be gone for all of February because I have to go to India WHY I JUST WANT FRINGE

    • thiamalonee says:

      I was certain Walternate was a shape shifter because his right eye kept flashing in the light when he was talking to Peter in the DoD. I was thinking that they were making it TOO obvious. Does this Walternate have a glass eye or something?

      • Hotaru_hime says:

        The flash in the eye is something that is purely attributable to John Noble. It's popped up a few times in different episodes, leading me to think it's some early form of cataract (they have that same whitish flash) or simply old age producing that result. I sincerely doubt it is something that either Walternate or Walter possess by intention of the writers.

    • Coughdrop01 says:

      I'll trade with you! I go to India and you stay here and watch fringe? I'll even give you my apartment. 🙂

  10. mutatio42 says:

    I always just assumed that time was non-linear for the observers and they just moved as they pleased through time, but September says at the end that he examined all possible futures. Does this mean that the observers are less time traveler and more immortal beings with super-psychic abilities? Because if they can travel through time and see the future, then shouldn't it be set in stone? Unless there are infinite universes where different decisions are made? Also, if September can actually see all of the possible futures, shouldn't he have anticipated that him being in Walternate's lab would have completely disrupted everything? In terms of Peter, is there actually a universe where he exists, or was his universe changed forever when he linked the two? This is all making my head hurt.
    Right now I'm kinda just assuming that one of the other observers killed September, but maybe that's two obvious?
    /end useless pondering

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Well, one could use the episode August to kind of refute what you're saying. I mean, August "saw" that that girl was important and the other Observers did not and flatly wanted her dead. She only became important because in protecting her, August was killed.
      The Observers' job is primarily to observe. To interfere would disrupt whatever was set in motion and cause a whole bunch of other realities. Presumably they can't observe their own timelines.
      There are probably dozens of other universes (like where the new shifters are from) so Peter probably exists somewhere as a normal person who was cured, grew up, fell in love, married, had babies, and works closely with his genius scientist father and cooks bacon with his happy mother.
      Of course, it's all pure speculation.

    • Drk_Nexus says:

      From what I can remember from the S3 episode "The Firefly", the implication is that Observers can see the future – as in, all possible futures that branch out from the present moment. AND they can time travel. Immortality might be a thing for them too, but if it is then I can't remember any evidence for it.

  11. SecretGirl127 says:

    I knew the opening was a dream, but I loved the dynamic of the trio back to the way they had evolved in the world I know. I was sad for all of them when it was over. I did not expect Walternate 2 to be a good guy (dare I consider him a good guy?). Which only makes me think Walternate 1 is somehow behind this mess with Nina. Mark, as one of the San Diego meet up folks, I just want to say that we should get the scoop on what went down with your job too! Email us the gossip based on the RSVP list!!!!!

  12. Ellen says:

    Oh my goodness FRINGE. I actually believed going in to it that I would get some answers… nope, just a million new questions. DAVID ROBERT JONES? I mean seriously, it's been more than two years! Thank goodness I rewatched his S1 eps recently… although now that we're in universe number 4 (?!), who knows if what we saw before even matters. Does this mean that ZFT is coming back? Are we going to meet that similar-sounding terrorist group from the future timeline in the S3 finale? Is Amber-Alt!Broyles now the evil one, or is Amber-Walternate still lying?

    Honestly, as sad as it would be for Peter, I'm still kind of hoping that the 'verses we've seen this season are just the original blue and red rewritten rather than two more distinct 'verses… it would be impossible to juggle four, particularly two almost identical pairs. Well, the show hasn't let me down so far, so I'm super excited to see what comes next 🙂

    • @mairywo says:

      I'm with you on that last part. Although I'm not hoping that they're the original blue/red universes that just developed differently without Peter, I'm afraid they are. I don't want them to be because that would suck for Peter. In my perfect world, Peter would find the way home and things would go back to the way they were, but when has Fringe ever done what we expected? I'm extremely excited to find out what they come up with next.

  13. ivorychopsticks says:

    It was more exciting than anything to see Peter in the new 'verse, and especially to see him interact with Eliznate. Josh Jackson is so amazing at moments of emotional vulnerability; can there be a whole hour of Peter and Elizabeth talking about stuff?

    Also, and AGAIN my favorite interaction of this whole season:
    Peter: You are not the man I thought you were.
    Walternate: You are exactly the man I thought you would be.

    How can this even happen? Why is this so amazing? It doesn't even seem right to call him Walternate anymore. How can we designate equal and different characters and not give them a hierarchy? I want a new nomenclature, man…

  14. plaidpants says:

    Dude, looking back on it there was a bunch of foreshadowing for the reveal, particularly Peter mentioning how he once "killed a guy" with the machine….

    I'm really excited to have Fringe back!

  15. cjeffery7 says:

    1) i know people want everything to go back to normal, like they were before, but this season's end game can NOT be that simple, and frankly, it wouldn't be very interesting for any of the characters if they just reverted back their old selves without any development. Peter can't be the only character poised to go through stuff. i can honestly say i have no idea where this season is going, but i look forward to whatever mind boggling finale they have planned. whether Fringe gets renewed or not is a WHOLE other sad, sad, sob story to be addressed at a later date. =(

    2) i was thoroughly unimpressed by the cliffhanger reveal. don't get me wrong, the implications are quite huge for a main character prophesied to die, but it seemed a bit predictable in its execution. that being said, i have a feeling it isnt just as simple as "olivia will die." and wtf was the deal with the shot observer? whats going on in observer land? who shot him? WHEN was he shot – past, present, or future??

    3) i totally called it that robert david jones was the returning baddie. he was clearly the worst ever.

  16. Eefje says:

    I've just watched this episode and I'm really hoping that this is Peter's timeline without Peter, and at some point something will happen that will cause everybody to have dual memories of their lives with Peter in it and their lives without him.

    On the other hand, if it is a different timeline, that means there are 4 Lincoln Lee's on the show. So much awesome!

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