TV on Disc: Face the Future in ‘Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season’

Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner) opens by sending the cast of the brainy weird science fiction show of parallel universes and dimension-hopping villains into a whole new alternate reality where Walter (John Noble) is a little less stable and Peter (Joshua Jackson) never existed, until he pushes his way back in to reality. The war between the dimensions turns into an increasingly cooperative détente as they work together to stop the villain opening the cracks between the worlds, and even the two Olivias (Anna Torv) end up in a measured truce, both learning a little bit more about themselves through that distorted dimensional looking glass.

The slow romantic waltz between the hopelessly-in-love Peter, who bursts into a world that forgot his existence, and the emotionally closed-off Olivia, who starts to absorb memories from another life, is more than a love-conquers-all storyline. It’s mirrored in love stories and unlikely friendships across dimensions (see Astrid reach out to her OCD counterpart on the other side) and the healing of the damaged, guilt-ridden Walter all over again. But the most fun is had in a flashforward episode to a totalitarian future ruled by a society of Observer overlords who run the Earth like a supernatural mob. Hints of things to come in Season Five?

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