Such a statement is a false dichotomy, for in the framework of the timeline September chooses for them, these people have free will to do what they want with it. And so it isn’t too far-fetched to theorize that as a whole, these people’s lives will achieve the same purpose, albeit in a different way, because it is in their nature to do so. It is in Olivia’s nature, whatever timeline she may end up in, to fight for justice, just like it is in Walter’s nature to imagine the impossibilities.
Are traits of character in one’s nature? Perhaps so, which means that it doesn’t come as a surprise that this timeline’s Lincoln Lee comes with the same sense of astonishment and quiet strength at his first appearance in the episode “Stowaway” (Season 3, Episode 17). However, I didn’t expect his despair, although it does make for some great discussions, all the more that it comes in sharp contrast to Peter’s seemingly bottomless well of hope in the last season. One would think that the latter would have more reason to be desperate than the former and yet, in 2026, he still held hope that the future warranted having a child with his then-wife Olivia.
The answer to the question of hope versus despair depends largely on one’s conceptual framework of the meaning of life. Peter seems to have clung onto the fact that he had been saved from death by Walter, and that alone proved that he was alive for a purpose. Perhaps Lee, having joined Fringe Division, will be able to find such a meaning for his own life as well.
Then again, finding out more about the Observers and the power they hold on the future of humanity might become a great source of disempowerment for Lee as well as for the rest of the characters in Fringe. Our fedora wearing friends continue to be mysterious, as September is told to wipe out any lingering traces of Peter from the timeline but, once again, goes against what he should, as an Observer, have done. Why is September going against what his nature dictates him to be, i.e. an Observer, bent on protecting the timeline that is meant to be from altering its course?