'Fringe' Review: The Many Ways 'Letters of Transit' Blew Our Minds
'Fringe' Review: The Many Ways 'Letters of Transit' Blew Our Minds
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Where does Fringe go from here?

With only a few episodes remaining before the end of its fourth season and no word yet on the status of Fringe season 5, the crazy and bizarre world shown to us in "Letters of Transit" is more than just a gamble: It's a potential revolution. We got a glimpse of Fringe's future, and now we all have to consider just what that means.

Hopefully, by the Fringe season 4 finale, the show manages to answer at least a few of the questions brought up in "Letters of Transit." Keep reading for a look at these burning Fringe questions -- and maybe for some possible answers.

Why and how did the Observers take over?

According to what we learned in "Letters of Transit," the Observers took control of Earth in the year 2015. The reason given -- learned from information given to Walter by September (at some point in the present Fringe's future) -- is that the 27th century Observers had killed the Earth and therefore needed to take over the Present.

Has this always been the Observers' plan? Is that why they're wandering around, watching everybody? Or does something in the events of Fringe cause a change?

On a side note, when did the Observers get so excited about partying and loose women?

What happened to Olivia?

The only Fringe team member not seen in "Letters of Transit" is Olivia. While we get no full explanation as to why, a few things are inferred.

  • William Bell did something awful to Olivia.
  • The something awful is probably related to the crushed bullet (?) worn by Etta as a necklace.
  • Whatever happened, it happened after Etta's birth (obviously) but long enough before the team was ambered that they're not lost to grieving.

Could this be the result of that mysterious man who is meant to kill Olivia?

How is William Bell in the amber?

He's dead right? Like, really dead. So what is William Bell doing in a piece of amber? Does this resurrection relate to Olivia's fate? And is Fringe really going to get Leonard Nimoy back?

Will Simon matter again in Fringe?

Simon sacrificed himself to get Peter out of the amber and is thus thoroughly in the custody of the Fringe agents. He would seem to be screwed.

On the other hand, Peter promised to help save him. And Simon isn't dead or anything...

Maybe this is just wishful thinking brought about by my undying love for Henry Ian Cusick. But maybe not -- Simon was an interesting character. Even if Fringe never goes back to the future, it would be cool to see a teenaged Simon in the present-day.

How soon until Etta is born?

The math is tricky.

Assuming that Fringe does, in fact, take place in our present, only three years remain before the Observers take over. Peter and Olivia have only just gotten back together, meaning that any offspring are at least a year from birth.

Here's the problem: Etta said she was four when her parents "died." That means the girl was born last year. How could that possibly work?

A couple of solutions present themselves:

1. Etta was lying about her age. That may be, but why would she bother?

2. Etta has already been born. Seriously. Peter's son with Fauxlivia, Henry, would have been born at exactly the right time to be Etta's age. What if, somehow, Fringe changed its history (again) so that Peter had that same baby with our Olivia? And the baby was a girl named Henrietta.

It could work, in a creepy Fringe kind of way.

What was the device?

Simon and Etta desperately wanted Walter to build some strange device. Walter seemed to know exactly what it was and only needed his team (and Walter Bell's severed hand?) in order to build it. Fringe did not, however, bother to tell us what this machine is or what it does.

The obvious solution is that we're back to Peter's Doomsday Machine. That thing can do anything, after all. Unless we're dealing with another machine entirely.

Will Fringe ever revisit 2036?

Why did Fringe give us this episode?

Plot synopses tell us that the show will return to normal for the rest of the season, and nothing indicates that this distant future matters to those plots. Fringe season 5 is still a desperate wish and not a certainty, so how will Fringe fold the events of 2036 back into season 4?

I have no clue. But it's going to be incredible finding out.

What did you think of "Letters of Transit"? Are you confused, or do you have an idea of how this all fits together? Figure it all out in the comments section below!

(Image courtesy of FOX)


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