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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Blog | 27 comments

Does Bell’s Return Ring True?   Feedback Edition

Does Bell’s Return Ring True? Feedback Edition

Fringe fans, here is your opportunity to sound off about last Friday’s episode of Fringe, “Brave New World; Part One”.  The character of William Bell has made his return and he is once again portrayed by the magnificent Leonard Nimoy.  Clint and Darrell do a terrific job in getting to as much feedback as they can during the podcast but there is only so much time.

So here is your opportunity to sound off on the episode.  I’ll include some basic topic but feel free so share your thoughts on anything you felt about the episode.

  • What did you think of Bell’s return?
  • Were you surprised to see Leonard Nimoy again?
  • How close does this parallel the events of season one?
  • In your opinion, how do all the events of the last episode effect the story line?
  • Tell us if you like the direction of the show.
  • What do you anticipate for the second half of the finale?

Remember, you don’t have to answer all or even some of the above.  Just let us know how you feel, what you like or dislike and what your theories are.  Have fun and by all means, “live long and prosper!”


  1. Happy Sunday!

    I suspected we would somehow see a reappearance of William Bell based on the “Letters of Transit” episode; however, I did not expect more on that until Season 5 and, I certainly not expect to see Leonard Nimoy for sure. That was a surprise. When Bell appeared in this last episode I was immediately bewildered by his physical appearance (due to the one in prior seasons vs. amber vs. one in 4×21) and caught myself thinking that perhaps this is an alternate. The other things that sort of caught my attention on this was Nina saying that Bell died in a car accident and if I recall, that was originally what happened to Red Verse Bell when we first learn of Bell on the Red Verse side a couple of seasons ago. I don’t know if it matters, yet it seems with Fringe those little tidbits come back in some fashion as important (i.e., watch out for more on that regenerative cortexiphan seen in the lemon cake). Since “Letters of Transit” I have seen little clues/signs that Fringe is moving more towards that direction (of course, who knows where we’ll end up actually); so naturally Bell has to return in some form. I also remind myself that with Fringe, futures we see are not necessarily the future that comes about. We’ll just have to wait on Season 5 to know for sure.

    I actually really enjoyed the episode. I’m excited to see Part 2 and how it wraps up some things and sets up Season 5. I am anxious to know how “cliffhanger-y” it will be. I suspected that there is more to the Charlotte character when I first saw her, and it seems from the promo for Part 2 this is the case. Admittedly, I was disappointed in DRJ’s demise and felt it quite anti-climatic. And actually, I felt Bell’s return to be anti-climatic as well and even a bit disappointing. There are also some others things I didn’t think got enough attention, things that were simply touched on that I felt were kind of “wow” moments; yet, I keep having to remind myself that we have a second half of the finale to go and then yet a thirteen episode Season 5. The show has been amazing all these years and I’m trusting/hoping it will end that way. ttfn ~Kristin

    • Happy Monday!

      There’s a contradiction of terms, happy and Monday. Where I am from they are mutually exclusive. Good to hear from you here also Kristin. It seems we are seeing a slight variation of the events from season one etc. They did they same with “Lost” which was another JJ Abrams show. Do I like it? Not really. I suppose they think the change in perspective is clever, but, eh, it’s been done. It’s made all the more confusing by having Peter and Olivia having memories of a time line that no longer exists. Good to hear from you!

  2. This week definitely felt like Part 1 of a two part finale to me, there was a lot of plot holes, unconcluded stuff etc so I can’t wait for next week!

    First thing I thought when Nina said she’d seen Bell’s body after his car crash was “That was the other Bell’s body!!”

    • Maybe so Rory. In fact I’m counting on there being two Bells. (And please, another DRJ!)

  3. My brain was working this whole episode and I’ve come to the conclusion that I can make guess about what is going to happen and how it all ties in with everything we’ve seen up to this point by making two different assumptions.

    1) Everything we saw in ‘Letters in Transit’ is true and is the future, whether or not it is the plot line for season 5 or not.

    2) “Letters of Transit” was a stand alone episode and everything in that future and what lead to that future is irrelevant to the story at hand.

    If I go with my second assumption then I’m left scratching my head with what will happen with season 5. I say this because we’re lead to believe that next friday’s episode will be, to borrow a phrase, “The mother of all episodes.” Teasers can be very misleading or tell you nothing at all, just ask Mad Men fans. So lets leave what we saw from next week out of the discussion.

    I’m moving more towards the idea that ‘Letters’ was real. The only thing I can’t fit into that idea is Astrid. It looks like she may die and she is quite clearly a part of ‘Letters’. My ultimate point being that we’re coming down to the last episode and I feel like I don’t have a clue what the twist is going to be.

    Sorry, I know this is a little off topic, but this is how the episode left me, wondering about next year. But first things first, let’s wrap up this season.

    • Well said Josh. I too am wondering lots about what will be Season 5.

      Have an excellent week everyone!

    • Don’t worry about being off topic. We live for that stuff around here. I’m thinking that the future in “Letters” is real also. As for the next episode,Bell will blackmail Walter into helping him. His leverage will be saving Astrid or letting her die. Here’s hoping Walter has a few chess moves up his sleeve that Bell hasn’t seen. Thanks for the reply Josh.

    • Could it not be that the Astrid we see in 2036 is the shapeshifter Canaan?

      Seeing how distraught Walter is over the death of Astrid and how she was a part of that ‘family,’ Canaan takes her form. Not until the some penultimate episode of S5 do we see that truth when it is needed for Canaan to take the form of an Observer to gain the tech to send Etta back in time to save the future. It then comes to Walter that he must truly come to terms with the death of Astrid.

      Just a strange idea I have about how 2012/13 or wherever they set the “present” of S5 might interact with those in the 2036 future.

      Frankly, I hope I am wrong.

  4. Astrid being shot was a bigger suprise to me that seeing Nimoy!

    I wonder if the producers are going to let Blue Astrid die and use that fact to justify a different 2036 (change is possible) after the Fringe Team works throughout Season 5 to alter the events described in Letters of Transit, and repel the Observer invasion.

    • Green Peter, your scenario is plausible. I replied to Josh in Maine (see above) that Astrid survives the gunshot wound due to Bells intervention. But it will come as a cost for Walters cooperation. Hence Astrid Makes it to 2036. What does Walter do to wriggle free from Bells blackmail? We’ll see Friday.

      Did I tell you my theory about there being two Bells? Then again maybe Walter shoots Bell in the head, operates on him to fix it and then Bell becomes a good guy again. OK, that’s a little crazy. Thanks for the response GP!

  5. Honestly I don’t think anyone long time fan was super surprised about William Bell returning especially after “Letters of Transit”. The fact that he’s the man behind David Robert Jones was definitely a bit of a shock though. I’m not exactly buying the alternate version of Bell theory (Though it’s not a total dismissal) since I think it was established in “Over There” that the alternate version of Bell died young (Funnily enough in a car accident.)

    I’ve got a lot of expectations for part two this Friday. Part one was a pretty great setup, but I find myself with more questions and not a lot of answers for something that is supposed to largely wrap up the series “Letters of Transit” notwithstanding since we’ll get those with the final season.

    • A bit of a shock to see that Bell was the man behind Jones? I’d say more of a disappointment. It seemed to cut Jones off at the knees as the big bad this year. Jones was such a great character. Hopefully that was just his shape-shifter alter ego that was reduced to ashes at the end. He deserves a better fate.

      Thanks Joe B.

      • I can’t cite disappointment quite yet since I’d like to see what William needed Jones for, but I will agree that his sudden death was a shock. I think this is an unfortunate side effect of the TV format and the need to close a lot of important threads since the showrunners were probably running under the assumption this might be their series finale. For example I think this really hurt “Worlds Apart” as the relative sudden departure of the alternate universe felt weak and rushed. I was hoping that this was going to be similar to last year’s run of “6:02 AM”, “The Last Sam Weiss” and “The Day We Died” where they ran as a continuous story arc, but that sadly doesn’t seem to be the case.

        • Impressive knowledge of the series JoeB, well done. Did Wyman and Pinkner hint that the story of David Robert Jones isn’t finished yet?

          Why wasn’t “Lost” held to the same standards for closing loose threads on TV?

  6. Bell returns? Who said this Bell is our Bell? Walter and Bell had been dabbling in the Fringe Sciences for decades and intruded on alt-universe toes on many occasions. These universes are linked because they are so incredibly parallel in development. My bet is that in this timeline, alt-Bell (Bellternate?) lived and is allied with Walternate. Nina is correct – our Bell died on Xmas. Walter is correct too – Bell visited him a week later on New Years… ALT-BELL. That was the 20 year-old chess move. Okay. Let me simplify for the mytharc-impaired. Normal Nina has standard hair. Alt-Nna had wacky hair. Normal Bell had standard issue hair – the Bell we saw in the Captain’s cabin on the Good Ship Mutant-Ark had? what? He had wacky alt-verse hair like Meena. ergo? NOT Our Bell. (or Penny’s Boat)

    Personally. I think Joel Wyman does the alt-universe villain hair himself… just saying. He likes the spikey-do.

  7. I was very very excited surprised to see Bell. I was so happy that the spin was DRJ had a boss. I was truly sad that it was Bell, I understand to bring the biggest emotional punch home, Walter’s best friend turns out to be the show’s biggest enemy.
    Interesting how the other Bell let the company’s ownership to Walter & sacrificed himself , but this timeline/universe Bell is the arch enemy. I grew up watching Star Trek reruns constantly. I was 15 in 1984 when Star Trek III came out and we waited 5 hours in line to see Spock come to life. So I have been a Nimoy fan for a very very long time.
    I was so impressed they kept this secret and no spoilers were released.
    I can’t speculate anything because I know the writers on purpose always turns the tables on me and that is why its a great show.

    • Hey Charlie, always good to hear from you. I hadn’t thought of the best friend angle, that does make it kind of sad doesn’t it?

      I saw “The Wrath of Khan” and “The Search for Spock” in the theaters also. Good times!

  8. Elaine (aka Langley in chat room)

    I had the feeling that Bell was coming back and involved with DRJ. It made sense to me. But what has Walter, Nina, or anybody else do to Bell to make him want to destroy the two universes for a new one? One recurring theme for most of the 4 seasons has been “what one would do for a loved one”, so I am asking myself “What or who is Bell doing this for?” What is Bell’s motivation? I need more back story for Bell or the Bell/Walter relationship.

    Yes, Olivia is pregnant. That is why she mentioned the nursery to Peter. Little Nugget Henry or Henrietta is on his/her way.


    • Maybe Bell is in love with himself Elaine. He certainly seems to have a God complex doesn’t he? I feel there is another shoe to drop.

      Thanks Elaine.

  9. Wow. I read the blog — Villain hair assessment! Apparently great minds think alike. Although that doesn’t ‘splain what happened here. Us agreeing. I guess that is called Synergy (one of us. one of us). We add the 4 dimensions you bring to the group-think, then add the 2 dimensions I bring – and we get like 7 dimensions. Heck – we could solve the coffee shortage in the alt universe with this kind of brainpower. I still stand firm on one controversial issue. The PURGE has started already. Our citizens are not self-incinerating because of Nanites. They are “all burned-up” because they are paying $4.80 for a cup of coffee at a chintzy Starbuck’s wannabe kiosk in the middle of metro-generic-mall USA. I blame the Observer’s. This is all part of their grand scheme – starve the alt-universe of their coffee – then make our coffee excessively exorbirtant in cost. We will assume the alt-universe is behind the atrocity and engage them accordingly in the “Great Coffee Wars” of the early 21st century. That saves the Observers most of the dirty prepwork in the Purge. My guess is that the pleasant coffee Barista in the mall is really a deep-cover Observer – Advance Special Forces: Expresso Division.

    Two Dimensional DocH – Out. (gotta top off my coffee regular before more folks get to work)

    • Yes, the new cottage industry of villain hair assessment. We’ll have to figure out how to monetize it.

      I have to confess I just bought a bag of Starbucks coffee. First time. The price is ridiculous! I feel I’ve fallen prey to the great coffee caper. Save me Walter!

  10. Oh – and Olivia. – N U R S E R Y – peppers, tomatoes, other young veg. They live in Boston. You need a nursery to get that stuff started in the shorter growing season. Apparently this Cortexiphan dosing has given her a real Green Thumb.

  11. Has everyone seen the latest trailer?
    Is that considered a spoiler?
    What is the rules with spoilers and the blog?
    I won’t post anything just to say that an amazing trailer for friday was released last night.
    And yes there are spoilers in it.
    Darrell posted this last night…I can’t post the specific link at work…sorry bout that…
    ‏ @FringeObservers
    I have no words for this latest #Fringe trailer. EPIC doesn’t even begin to do it justice. SPOILER WARNING

    • I saw it today Charlie. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t resist. I would call it a spoilery. Still cool though!

  12. EPIC , indeed !!

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