Review: Fringe Season Four

Two words for season four: Lincoln Lee.

lincoln-lee-blueWarning: I can’t talk about this season without talking spoilers. So don’t read this unless you’ve already seen Fringe season 4. Seriously.

fringe_season_4Season 4, how I love you. And yet I also hate you. I don’t hate you as much as season 3, which I guess doesn’t actually exist anymore thanks to you, but did you have to go and erase seasons 1 and 2 too? White Tulip, one of my absolute faves, means basically nothing anymore? But oh, thank you for more Lincoln Lee, and specifically Blueverse Lincoln.

agent-lee-i-presume

Red Lincoln and Blue Lincoln meet.

At the end of season 3, Peter disappears and no one remembers him. We find out that he’s been “erased from the timeline,” as the Observers put it (which turned out to be total bull – dying early does not constitute being completely erased from time, but I digress). So season 4 starts with the Fringe team, without Peter. Everything feels off. Walter is even a little more nutty without Peter there, and Olivia actually seems a bit more confident but also a little empty, and Astrid is basically the same but the role she plays is a little different. Things carry on with glimmers of Peter trying to get back, or at least that’s the way it seems (later we find out it’s really love conquering all). Meanwhile, they work on a shapeshifter case that kills Blueverse Lincoln Lee (who apparently they had not met in this timeline)’s partner, and he ends up coming in  to work with the Fringe division. Before Peter appears, Olivia says “no way” to Astrid about dating Lincoln , but then she seems to be reconsidering, even after the mysterious Peter that no one remembers returns…

And somehow, I, who have been Team Peter and Olivia since Season 1, suddenly found myself seriously shipping Lincoln and Olivia. He was so shy and cute and sweet around her I JUST COULDN’T HELP IT. Seth Gabel, the writers, the directors, the producers, THEY DID IT TO ME. (Sidenote: I specifically wanted this version of Lincoln to end up with this version of Olivia. I still wanted Peter to be able to go back to “his Olivia.”)

power-of-cuteness

Lincoln around Olivia.

Needless to say, I was frustrated when September told Peter that he was in the right universe/timeline/whatever-the-crap-this-amber-colored-title-sequence-place-is, that he had no where to go back to. “A Short Story About Love” was obviously supposed to make me feel happy but instead it made me feel like this:

grumpy-cat-love

I’m pretty sure this is how Lincoln felt too.

But we’ll get back to this whole Lincoln subplot thing. I want to address other issues I have with this season. Like, the fact that for everyone who isn’t Peter, and sort of Olivia, it erases everything we’ve seen about them before on the show. And then for Olivia, that she forgets about this whole other life where she got away from her crazy and abusive stepfather and was raised by a nice Nina. And then poor Walter, he doesn’t have the same benefits of knowing this Peter and knowing that God’s forgiven him.

And then the crazy weird inconsistencies this created when we decide to re-do cases from season 1, where somehow magically, the same guy wearing the same shirt with the same people on the same flight of the same plane has almost the same thing happen to him four years later than originally when Peter was around. What? I try to justify it happening later due to a change of plans with David Robert Jones and William Bell due to Peter’s premature death, but that still doesn’t justify SAME CLOTHES SAME PEOPLE SAME FLIGHT SAME PLANE other than the obvious reason: budget.

But let’s talk about something positive this whole catawampus storyline shift did, and that is the return of David Robert Jones.

fringe-DRJonesDRJ is a great villain, and I felt his first story arc in Fringe was a little unsatisfactory, so I was happy to see more of him. So yay for more DRJ! But I am still a little unsatisfied with the conclusion of his overall story, especially since we never get the answers to his connection with ZFT (does it still exist is this timeline, or did Peter somehow change that too? Or does this come up in season 5?). However, having his second demise somewhat reflect his first was great. And I don’t really understand how the shapeshifters were going to play a role in Jones’ and Bell’s new world.

Speaking of that, what is up with totally whacked-out crazy William Bell?!

William-BellI hope there will be more answers about Bell in season 5. I really liked the old Bell better though…

Now, back to another positive thing about this season with the new timeline: Walternate and Fauxlivia are much nicer! Guys, in season 3 I hated Fauxlivia with a passion. I hated her at least as much as I hated Walternate. I don’t think Fauxlivia was inherently more evil in season 3, but she quickly chose to take that turn, I think largely because of Walternate and Newton’s influence. (Sidenote: I found Newton’s end in season 3 also unsatisfactory. Basically, I don’t like the way Fringe ends the storylines of their villains. Except Harris.)

So, this brings me back to Lincoln. After Redverse Lincoln dies, he decides to stay in the Redverse, presumably in part to see how things go with Fauxlivia. And while I wanted Redverse Lincoln and Redverse Olivia to hook up, and I wanted Blueverse Lincoln to feel wanted and needed… as a compromise… I think this might be OK with me.

lincoln-faulivia

How you doing?

Mostly, I want Lincoln to be happy. I’m just sad he isn’t a regular in season 5. *Cries*

lincoln-peterYou’re a good guy, Lincoln Lee. *Cries again*

Here’s Gene with a FBI hat to make me feel better:

fbi-geneI don’t know how to rate this season. Some of it I really liked, but some of it frustrated me. I gave season three, which I felt the same way about, 4.5 stars, but I still can’t decide if I like this season more or less than season 3. I do want to give kudos to a finale that really wrapped up the season nicely, and that even made me like Peter and Olivia being back together again (after basically hating them being together from “A Short Story About Love” up until “Brave New World Part 1,” minus “Letters of Transit,” in which we don’t actually see them together but we see their daughter). It’s either 4 stars or 4.5, but I don’t know which quite yet. So I’ll just leave us with this still from the season 4 gag reel:

fringeseason4gagreel

Joshua: “Welcome to the gag reel, Seth Gabel.”

Help me out with my rating! How do you feel season 4 compares to the others? Were you as frustrated by new timeline stuff as I was? Are you a Lincoln Lee fan? 

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