"The End of All Things" brings us some answers that we maybe don't need and creates questions that still seem to have obvious answers. I really want to be wrong but the writers keep making me right.
First of all, as I said last week, the whole falling-in-love and Peter going to rescue his dearest love story line was happening way too early in the season and so of course they pulled back on that last night, as if operating straight out of the will-they-won't-they playbook.
Peter's logic is so forced that it feels unnatural. He has never been told he's in the wrong timeline by the Observers, so why is he so confident that he needs to get back there? In fact, in the show's biggest reveal, we find out that the Observers are human scientists from the future (and some timeline or another). Outside of not really needing that much information (I prefer not knowing the details of mysteries like this) it revealed something that should have made Peter think about his in-the-wrong-timeline theory.
September reveals to Peter that Fauxlivia gave birth to Peter's son, Henry, and that it was a product of the Observer's mistake. Apparently Peter was never supposed to have a child with Fauxlivia, but by trying to fix his error, September put into motion a series of events that resulted in the wrong girl giving birth to Peter's love child. It was a nice touch to call back to something most fans thought had been brushed under the rug, but will it have any impact on the grand story line? Unfortunately, it seems to have been only introduced to further confuse Peter's perception that he has to remain loyal to what he believes is his Olivia.
So if September has been trying to correct a mistake and that mistake is the death of Peter, and by correcting that he created the past and present situations, then logically Peter IS THE TIMELINE. He is the constant. If Peter exists, then everyone around him exists. He's not in the wrong timeline. Everyone else is in HIS timeline. And September tells him that the reason he tried to correct things is because Peter is special. So why does Peter jump to conclusions? Why doesn't he just ask September "Am I in the right timeline but everyone else just forgot me when I got erased but I am so important to the future of mankind that time simply keeps reinserting me back in?" Instead he inserts his own theory into what he's being told, even though September has never acknowledged it as being accurate.
It is infuriating. Sure, most people probably won't even think about it while watching the show, but we are now 10 or so episodes into this Peter-needs-to-get-back-home bullshit even though it seemed obvious when it was first introduced that he's IN THE RIGHT PLACE. I would love to be wrong and I will eat crow if I am, but I'm not. And by making it so obvious, the writers make potentially really good episodes, like last night's, into something that ends up irritating me the more I think about it.
Should I even mention how badly they telegraphed that the Nina with Olivia was not the real one? Nah. Let's just let it live on its own.
Look, the episode was enjoyable at times and could have been great, but by giving us an answer about the Observers that isn't all that interesting (much like what the Final Five were in BSG, or what the numbers meant in LOST, no spoilers) and then returning us emotionally back to where we were two episodes ago, isn't something I want to applaud much.
The only real positive movement, if you can call it positive, is that Olivia is now going to be in full pursuit mode to convince her dearest love that she's his. But I don't know how exciting it will be to watch Peter shoot her down over and over while guiltily pining for her as he thinks he's supposed to be with someone else. It feels like something that could wear thin pretty quickly unless you are a 13-year old girl.
I didn't really touch on the rest of the episode because, until we get a clearer picture of what David Robert Jones is up to, there isn't much to discuss. He obviously has a plan and it's probably sinister as hell but this episode didn't leave much meat on that bone. The only thing his involvement did was reveal how much Olivia is affected by Peter and how his presence motivates her power. It's kind of romantic and all but in the end is just part of the general stalling tactic to bring us to Peter's eventual realization that she is his Olivia.
The really big question the episode left out there is: if Peter was so important to his universe that September had to save him, and that his having a child with Fauxlivia was so wrong, then if he wasn't meant to cross over, why is this Olivia his dearest love? Unless Olivia was always meant to cross over to the other universe, meet Peter, and have his babies there. I guess time will tell.
If I had to rate this episode, I'd give it:
78 out of 100
Yes, I did a lot of complaining about this one but there were moments when I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it loses points for Peter's continued refusal to just ask simple and obvious questions either of himself or September. And I wouldn't even mind his idiocy if his behavior was better, more believably, written. Plus, the one step forward two steps back mentality is used like a crutch by every writers room on this planet when running out of good ideas. That worries me that the eventual payoff will fall flat by the time we get to it.
Season 4 has had some good episodes and may end up having a great payoff, but it has been one long stalling tactic and that's rarely a good sign on any show.