One very important piece that was given to us in this episode is to the reason why Peter wasn’t kidnapped from our side and just taken to the Other Side: Walternate explains that he has to want to be on the Other Side, for the choice cannot be imposed on him. He has to exercise his volition, and it probably has to do with the fact that on his choice depends the fate of both universes. It could be compared somewhat to Lord of the Rings, as Frodo has to accept of his own volition the mission of taking the Ring to Mordor.
While many a hero became so out of circumstances, it seems that what differentiates a real hero from one who just happens to be in the right place at the right time is, again, volition. A real hero chooses to step up and make a change; and so, oftentimes, their acts of heroism, both big and small, are repeated many, many times.
I can’t help also but think of what the scope of heroic deeds is. We often think of epic adventures as the stage for acts of heroic deeds to be performed; such scenes are thankfully rare. Even in places where revolutions are taking place, the real heroes are not the ones who are physically fighting; the real heroes are the ones who are doing everything possible, from, say, physically fighting to striving to attain a level of personal excellence that will contribute to the society they are fighting for in the first place.
It really is flipping an entire set of beliefs on its head; for, in my opinion, it isn’t the doctor who is the hero in the hospital, but the janitors, who make sure that the entire place remains sanitary for the health of all who are in the hospital, and not just the sick ones.
Fans are focusing on Peter’s choice at the moment, and understandably so; but what if the real lesson in Fringe is that the hero is going to be the group, each playing their part, however small, in bringing forth the conditions needed so that both universes survive?