I really love the “Welcome to Westfield” (4.12) episode because I have been waiting all season for the timeline to revert to where it was, and it’s finally happening, and I saw it coming the moment that Walter surprised Astrid by coming to the scene and Olivia responded by saying that Walter had been more open lately. Throughout the episode, we see other clues, as well; as examples, Olivia remembers the Edina case even though that apparently never happened in this timeline, and Walter is suddenly very close to Peter, and the sadness on his face when he is reminded that he promised Peter that he would help him find his way home is evident. Additionally, some of Walter’s previous personality traits are back, such as his excitement about food; don’t get me wrong because he likes food in the new timeline, as well, but it just seemed to be more potent in the previous timeline, and Olivia became frustrated with him because he had something to offer that didn’t have anything to do with the case, something that we haven’t seen in a very long time.
I am just so happy that we are finally moving away from this timeline; Olivia remembers, and before long, Walter and Astrid will, and I have a theory regarding what we’re going to see happen somewhere between now and the end of the season. I think that we’re slowly going to see more of the original timeline come to fruition until finally, Jones and Colonel Broyles will “die” (or, perhaps more accurately, cease to exist), which is why the writers decided to pair them together; they are the two people that shouldn’t be alive. The question is what purpose, then, the Machine will serve; obviously, if I’m right, then Walter and Walternate will no longer need to help Peter find a way home, which I have thought to be kind of ridiculous ever since Peter came to the conclusion that he was in a different place. He is and has been home; people just don’t remember him. This is not a parallel universe; September says in “Neither Here nor There” (4.01) that “the timeline has been rewritten,” not that “a new timeline has been written.” That’s key. With this new development, I can’t wait to see where this story is taking us.