‘Fringe’ Season 4: ‘Welcome to Westfield’ Spoilers Discussion

Published 3 years ago by

fringe season 4 welcome to westfield ‘Fringe’ Season 4: Welcome to Westfield Spoilers Discussion

Will Fringe return for another season?
Fringe Season 5 Renewal Under Negotiation

As Fringe passes its halfway point of season 4, the severity of Peter’s need to return to his own timeline is finally revealed when two worlds begin to collide, causing their inhabitants to take on memories they previously didn’t have – in this world, at least.

A preternatural occurrence brings the Fringe team to air-polluted Westfield. But when Walter’s offer for a free piece of advice is almost the death of him, the trio begin to realize that there are much stronger forces are at play in this small town.

Two irises, rapid mitosis and 92 chromosomes (double the amount in a normal human being) leads Walter to reminisce about a previous experiment he conducted with William Bell. When said experiment is magnified to cover an entire town, the results are disastrous for anyone and everything inside it.

But what happens when Olivia becomes affected by the merging of these two worlds – and what, if anything, can be done to reverse her newfound love of ordering in food on a Friday night. Is the true, original Olivia finally returning?

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the episode – if you haven’t seen the episode, I would recommend you don’t read these comments here until you have. You’ve been warned.

Discuss away!

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Fringe airs Fridays @9pm on Fox

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  1. This episode was so crazy! I love Fringe so much!

  2. Im so confused! Is Peter in the original universe and they just don’t remember him because of the Watchers? I thought a few episodes back there were 3 universes but now I’m not so sure??

    • It’s the same universe, but a different timeline. In this time, Walter’s Peter died (just like before) and he went to the Other Side to save Walternate’s Peter. But in this time the Observer didn’t save Peter when he and Walter fell through the ice.

    • wouldn’t it actually be four universes?The original,the alternate,and each of those with alternate timelines.

      • I honestly think that it’s the two universe’s in the same timeline. Peter was just wiped out from existence. But now, since he returned, they’ll all start getting their memories of Peter back (like Olivia has and Walter will soon do) and live in a world where Peter never existed, but they remember things as if he did. And then, our heads will explode.

  3. The kicker at the end seals it for me – Peter is going to realise that this IS his universe, and that he has been wiped out of it. How will this change what he wants to do with the machine?

  4. This brings about an interesting situation about what is correct for Peter to do. Remember how upset Olivia was when Peter was with Fauxlivia, even if they were virtually alike. Is this “The” Olivia? How can Peter find out. If she is not, how can Peter justify pursuing any kind of relationship with her?

    • I was thinking the same thing. He’s been very careful in how he handles his interactions with Olivia. Being sure not to look at her as his Olivia. He’s even gone as far as to help Lincoln get her to notice him as a potential boyfriend. But if it turns out that this really is his world, then what happens with Lincoln and how does he reinsert himself? I wasn’t crazy about basically doing Season 3/4 over again with slight changes and variations at first, but it’s been growing on me.

  5. My personal theory has been around for the last few episodes. It started when Olivia started looking at Peter just a bit differently about 2 or 3 episodes ago.

    I started to think that there really isn’t too many differences between this universe and his old one, except that it might actually be better. In the other, the two universes were nowhere near trusting enough to work together and the alternate Walter was savage and cruel.

    I figured that what would end up happening is that Walter and Peter would realize that there is no way of getting back to the other universe and now it seems the his Olivia is now back, or at least part of her. Now the real twist is that Peter chooses or is forced to go back and lose her again.

    I think he stays and in a way, things continue but now Olivia is going to die at some point. He just cannot get a break can he?

  6. My gut tells me that Peter will not ‘reunite’ with Olivia even if there is a sense that she is THE Oliva. The heightened tension and lack of fulfilment will continue. The other tense thing in this episode was her dizzy spell–which originally seemed like it was triggering the Westfield syndrome. Clearly it’s related to the tests being performed on her by Nina and Massive Dynamic. Maybe the tests have reached a critical juncture (in her ability to fluidly cross between universes) and that’s why the memories of Peter are returning. One thing’s for sure: September’s in trouble… he seems now to be the one who forever altered life (by saving young Peter)…not Walter.

  7. I personally believe that Peter’s old timeline, where he existed in full (the blue timeline), and the one in which he was pulled into (the “amber” timeline, if you will) are now merging. For whatever reason, most likely due to David Robert Jones shenanigans, or maybe due to the Observers, the two timelines are now merging together. Since two timelines, like two universes, cannot occupy the same space without disastrous consequences, we have the destruction we saw in this episode. As a result, Amber-Olivia is now being flooded with Blue-Olivia’s thoughts and memories and eventually one will win out. This will probably start happening with Walter and Astrid as well…if it hasn’t started already, which i actually think it has in Walter’s case. Now, what can also be taken from this is that September’s warning to Amber-Olivia about “all the possible outcomes are the same, you must die” is that eventually Blue-Olivia will win out, consuming Amber-Olivia, and while not physically killing her, will more-or-less destroy Amber-Olivia. What this does for the Blue-Alternate Universe, I have no idea.

    • I agree except Blue-Olivia and Amber-Olivia share the same body but they have two minds (one with memories of Peter and one without). That’s why she isn’t a genetically mutated freak.

  8. I think that the writers messed up with the different timeline stuff.Basically,it doesn’t add up at all,and it is leaning more towards it being the same timeline but everyone got rewritten or mind wiped.The one and only thing that throws that whole thing off is that the alternate Broyles is still alive.

    They keep leaning towards Olivia remembering Peter from before he was erased by The Watcher,but again,the whole Broyles thing is messing the continuity of the show up.

    I love this show,but they really needed to stay away from this alternate timeline stuff.It’s gonna end up like Lost where nothing makes sense,or it’s gonna have to be retconned.

    • Yeah i was thinking the same thing Longshanks but thought i was missing some part of the story. Originally i thought that this current sequence of events occurres in a different universe but, now that its happining in an alternate timeline i’m still not sure what to make of the whole Broyles thing.

      • Foopher is right. Olivia never crossed over to save Peter, so alternate-Broyles never helped Olivia and Walternet didn’t have him killed. Without Peter existing, that particular chain of events didn’t happen.

        I believe this is Peter’s timeline (there is only one timeline), but since he never existed because of the Observers and the machine, things are completely different…David Robert Jones is alive, the shape shifters have advanced technology, and more. Go back and watch the earlier seasons and see how they’ve change things because Peter didn’t exist. It’s actually quite ingenious writing.

    • This a timeline where Peter never existed. Things happened differently, and Broyles didn’t die.

    • Since the alt-Broyles in this timeline is working with shapeshifters, do we know for sure that he isn’t a shapeshifter himself? Then the two timelines would not be as different; alt-Broyles would have been killed for a different reason (to be replaced by a shapeshifter) but would still be dead.

      • I hadn’t even considered Alt-Broyles NOT being a shapeshifter. Food for thought now!

  9. When they tried to leave town and kept driving by the Welcome to Westfield sign again, I had a feeling I’d seen something like this before.
    The people would drive by the Welome To sign, but each time the population number was less – people were dying or disappearing from the town. I couldn’t think of it then, but I just remembered that it was an episode of Haven. Of course, the situation was different there.

  10. “I think that the writers messed up with the different timeline stuff.”
    Yeah .. BIG TIME!
    There’s just too much logical inconsistency in the main storyline right now that I find it quite difficult to maintain any form of suspension of disbelief! I mean, forget about the “Grandfather paradox” and other famous time-travel irrationalities that Sci Fi fans have just come to learn how to rationalize, one way or another, and thus manage to make sense of things and enjoy the show; It seems to me that FRINGE writers are actually fond of taking things way too far! The flip-side is; eventually there has to come a point where things have gone way beyond the writers’ ability to deliver any meaningful or satisfactory explanation! I mean don’t get me wrong; it is indeed quite bold and immensely challenging to go for a cliffhanger like the one they wrote for season three finale! It did manage to leave fans and audience raving about it in forums and fan-clubs, and it stirred such a huge “occult” debate among fans on theories and attempts to come up with an explanation to what exactly may have happened there. This is by all means a monumental achievement in terms of good TV storytelling. However, as huge as it actually was, this major twist in the story was also the very reason why some fans have failed to keep up with this show, or at least, have quit trying to make sense of things anymore! To me it was the straw that broke the camel’s back!
    Let me save you the agony and pain, my fellow fans and tell you right now: Quit trying to make sense of things in this story, and see if you could rather enjoy the Drama, the acting, the (case of the week) formula, the special effects (when there’s any), or whatever else you can get yourself to enjoy in this show. Because let’s face it: There’s not a way on earth that the writers could possibly come up with a logically consistent explanation to all this nonsense they’ve been so good at getting away with throughout the show!

    I mean let me give you just two examples of logical inconsistencies in this show that couldn’t possibly be explained or rationalized no matter what you do:

    1 – The very first origin of the machine! How did it even come to be in the first place, when Walter only built it – in the events that we saw – from the remains that he – supposedly – time-traveled to plant in the far past, so that his future self would discover? This is a causal loop that has no logical way around! But then again, Sci Fi fans should be okay with that because they’re so well accustomed to “grandfather” Paradoxes, right?

    2 – The idea that Peter was erased from existence – what ever you take this to mean – and yet the events that HE CAUSED continued to unfold (with the universe union and so forth), to the extent that he actually vanished into thin air amidst the very conversation that HE CREATED; is logically inconsistent, and is obviously the reason why fans are confused – along with the writers themselves as it seems – on what to make of this “disappearance” of Peter; was it an erase of any memory of his existence from all those people who continued to play the story of which he was the central causal agent (which is obviously irrational and is not to be inferred from the way things are different in the current timeline); or did the observer actually choose not to save Peter 26 years ago, and thus another timeline took place instead, where none of those events that led to the moment where Peter “vanished” ever took place at all, in which case there should actually be no adult Peter at all to return or “re-emerge” or whatever?? Whatever you do folks, there’s no logically consistent explanation for season 3 finale, and the observer so ambiguously saying “They don’t remember Peter”, and the other responding “how could they? he never existed”!!

    My belief is that FRINGE writers do realize the magnitude of the mess they’ve created, and they’re only bargaining on people’s emotional attachment to the characters to keep the audience going at the moment!
    However, this is yet another problem (side-effect) that so much messing up with the parallel universe plot-device has yielded! Not only have we failed to suspend our disbelief in the “physics” at play; we’ve even failed to maintain our 3-years old emotional investment in the characters! I mean I have to admit that the writers did manage to come up with some of the most creative drama sequences ever written within the two previous seasons, thanks to this shifting universe device. However, it was this very device itself that doomed the show! This radical shifting and rebooting is bound to sever pretty much any emotional bonds the audience may have achieved over time with the main characters. This is something that FRINGE did quite a few times on the course of seasons 3 and 4!

    So quite honesty, I can’t think of any reasonable way for the writers to make any sense of this huge mess they’ve created, especially when they know that the next few episodes may in fact be the very last of the Show!

    • Awesome post Anonymous Logician,but it just made me realize something.

      I think that the only real way that they are going to get themselves out of this mess,and I’d bet money on this,is that they are going to end up making Peter an Observer.

      Even though in the end when you really start to piece it together it probably won’t make a lot of sense,I think that since Peter has seemingly existed beyond the limit of time and space,that some sort of way,he’ll end up being one of them.Not only that,he might end up leading the Observers.

      Anyway,back to some of your points,I love the show,and the thing that keeps me watching is the chemistry between the characters,but I’m tiring of The Observers(the lead guy in particular) always saying something that throws the whole continuity out of whack,and even now they have yet to bring any of these things back up because they are waiting for like the last three episodes to cram it all in.

      Telling Olivia that in every possible future that she is going to die,and leaving that to linger for weeks on weeks is,well,weak.Of course this is how they will make Peter one of the Observers so he can either change things to prevent her death,or something to that effect.

      Anyway,I guess we’ll have to wait and see how these things play out,but they better not leave this season open ended,because with the low ratings,I fear that this is going to be the last season of the show.

    • I agree with you Anonymous Logician, the writers are in a very hard place.

      Though regarding how Peter was erased I think the show is pointing straight at the Observer going back in time and avoid rescuing Peter from the lake. It’s the only way you can explain what happened.

      Up to that point it was all clear, the observers as shown on one of the previous episodes see time linearly and can go back and forth as they please. So our main observer just went back and avoided saving Peter. This explains the “he never existed”. Of course it was thrown at us like that instead of “he ceased to exist a long time ago” just to keep us hanging a whole season!

      The real problem for me now is how they will justify the return of Peter. If you alter a timeline and have someone die, he should stay dead in the future! Not return!

      I can only think of two ways out of it… all emotions and feelings lived by Walter and Olivia with Peter on the previous timeline cannot be erased completely, the whole soul vs. reasoning, so he’s back because they couldn’t let go.

      Or the observer being so attached to Walter and Peter found a way of pseudo-deleting Peter knowing he would return sooner or later.

      I would love the second option since it would be a much more deep explanation. However I’m pretty sure they’ll go with all the emotions, destiny, bla bla bla, boring but dramatic explanation!

  11. This episode had a lot of the elements of the “Jacksonville” episode. I’m surprised that Peter didn’t catch on to this.

    • I couldn’t remember which episode it was, but I knew this was familiar territory. Thank you G. Miles

    • i don’t see how the writers have written themselves into a corner here. Nor are the actions based on if Peter “existed” or not. As for your points 1) Walter’s ability to travel time isn’t completely crazy, especially since the Observers ARE time travelers.The machine itself gave Peter the ability to jump forward in time last season. The time travel probably works because the laws of nature are completely out of whack. Since the laws of nature arent skipping around doing odd things in reality we cant say this approch to time travel is rediculous, impossible or logically inconsistent. 2) Walter still stole Peter from the alternate universe, so the war and the instabilities of the universe are still happening. When the Observers say Peter doesn’t exist technically they are right-adult Peter doesn’t and has not ever existed in this time line, until he pops in to it. He DID exist in the “over here” he then died, Walter stole the Peter we know: both walters lost their child, so Peter doesnt exist in this “time line” as an adult or partner. Given that he’d jumped into the future isn’t it even possible that the machine is what dropped Peter in this new time line? He would then not exist but would have his body thought memories etc because he is coming from a place where he does exist. Possibly he is cocooned by the machine (or in mid jump) so the machine erases him from Oliva and Co’s perspective but is unable to fully delete him. Because he wasn’t deleted the time lines fully split and the machine mistakenly dropped him in the wrong place. Then the blue universe could still exists but Peter is locked out/ I’m just pulling this off the top of my head but it’s a way that allows for all these things to happen with out having to over think it. If the machine still gets created by walter, it still makes the bridge between universes and everything that Peter “caused” in Season 3 still happens, just by someone else’s actions. He doesn’t need to start the conversation, another character can. Clearly Fauxlivia still came to this side, Liv was still captured and held by Walternate, that alone could be the catalyst for the conversation, or Broyles could have helped Liv escape and she would then try to convince our side to begin negotiation. Thereby creating the bridge and getting the conversation started. Peter starting it isn’t that big of an issue. Two people can be thinking the same thing & different actions can result in the same outcome.