Fringe season two didn't end with a gonzo shock like the undamaged Twin Towers at the end of season one. But that's okay, because it gave us a zillion things to think about, especially in its final moments. Spoilers ahead...
Our heroes succeeded in rescuing Peter Bishop, after he'd already figured out that his birth dad didn't actually want to give him a pony. And Walter got some quality time at last with William Bell, who explained some stuff and gave Walter some closure. And Olivia met her match - leading to a cunning substitution.
So here's some stuff to think about:
1) Was it really just Walter who caused all of that damage to the Other Side? That seems like a hell of a lot of damage for just one trip. Especially when we're told over and over that William Bell has made the voyage so many times, he's turned his molecules into a universe worth of atom bombs? Still, the extent of the carnage in the alternate Earth was horrifying, and the glimpse of all those people trapped inside amber by the Fringe Division's containment mechanism was the best special effect the show's ever had.
Actually, second best. The best special effect is John Noble's acting, especially this time around. Walter's reaction as he and Bell drive across the gray, dead countryside and he sees just what he's done is... amazing. And Walternate continues to be a bravura performance as well.
2) Was William Bell telling the truth about anything? I know, I know - he's dead now, and the Law of Television is that when a character's dead, you generally have to take their word for stuff. You don't generally find out a character's lying unless you can see that character get confronted and 'fess up. Plus, this was clearly meant to be the "closure" episode for William Bell, thanks to Nimoy retiring. And yet... I still wonder. Did Walter really ask Bell to take a piece of his brain out? What exactly was Bell doing working with Walternate? Did the "other" William Bell really die in a car crash? The more William Bell said we had to trust him, the less I did.
3) How long is it going to take for our crew to see through Fauxlivia? That's the best name I can think of for her. She won't have the same chemistry with Peter that Olivia has, and she just seems too full of life and energy and character, and all the stuff that Olivia lacks. Makes you wonder how hard it's been for Anna Torv to act dead-eyed all this time.
4) Why did Walternate do the switcheroo with the two Olivias? I mean, they captured "our" Olivia, and that should have been enough to stop the escape attempt in its tracks. If the goal was to keep hold of Peter, then why not do the simplest thing? I wonder if this will be explained next season or if it's just a plot hole.
5) What did William Bell mean when he said Peter is holding up well? Is there yet another problem with Peter's health or metaphysical consistency that we're not aware of yet? Peter is such a fragile flower. Is Peter going to turn into a trillion atom bombs?
6) What are they doing to Olivia in the alternate universe? They've only had her as their prisoner for a couple days, and she's already fallen to pieces. That was genuinely scary and alarming.
7) Is there a way to fix the other universe without destroying ours? Can't the two Walters put their heads together and figure something out? With the double Walter brain power, it would probably take them an afternoon. Tops. And is anybody else disappointed that we got Olivia/Fauxlivia action, but no Walter/Walternate confrontation?
8) Does Olivia really love Peter, like she seemed to hint, or was that just a strategem that her frosty brain came up with? Can anybody tell what Olivia's really feeling - even Olivia? And as a side note, you could tell that this episode was co-written by movie scribe Akiva Goldsman. Brilliant though it was, it definitely had a few moments of big-screen movie dialogue, where people make loudly subtle declarations, including Peter to Walter at the end.
9) Why can't Peter see Walter's point of view? It's not rocket science, really.
10) Can it be next fall now please?
What did you all think?