The common thread that weaves each episode of Fringe together is the fundamental truth that every action has a reaction. Nothing goes without consequences. Throughout Season 3, we have observed the continuous butterfly effect of Walter’s decision to keep the alternate version of his son Peter. As a result, the balance of both the alternate universe and our own has been significantly unhinged with tragic disasters on each side. However, the alternate universe has experienced far worse damage. Quarantined Amber sites have become permanent reminders of the sacrifices they have made in order to ensure their survival. In an unprecedented verdict by Walternate, the decision to go forward with the destruction of our universe has begun in this week’s Fringe, ominously titled "6:02 a.m. EST."
We are still left to consider many questions. Which universe will survive and which will pay the ultimate price in order to restore balance? Is there a possibility that instead of destruction, the machine can create a world in which the two universes can exist harmoniously?
These last three episodes are of the seasons promise to be the most intense yet and I can hardly stand it. To say I’m not biting my nails at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, while on the edge of my seat, would be a lie. Fringe is just so cleverly written that the pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place, leading to what could possibly be the most exciting of all conclusions.
This week’s episode contains various accolades to past episodes, with each of them being essential and fitting in their own way. Beginning with a quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer, Walternate fights an internal battle, clearly troubled with the decision that lies before him. In the eyes of some viewers, Walternate may be seen as the villain, ruthlessly pursuing methods in order to destroy our world. But his unvarying apprehensiveness suggests otherwise. He has not only dealt with the kidnapping of his son, but the ultimate crumbling of his world as a result of his alternate’s actions. The sacrifices made to protect his people have led him to the point where he is willing to be responsible for the death of an entire universe, parallel to his own. “Now I become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this phrase. Back in Season 2, Carla Warren mentions this phrase to Walter before he crosses over to the other side. Only this time, the quote has more meaning in Walternate’s case.