The penultimate hour of the three-part conclusion to season 3 was a more enjoyable and eventful hour than last week's preamble. It was a little slow to get going, but then launched into a sprint that took us towards a key moment we've been waiting this whole year for: Peter (Joshua Jackson) stepping into the Doomsday Machine, as intended by the mysterious First People who built that contraption eons ago. It was a very enjoyable episode, despite some perfunctory story beats, and actually turning Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan) into a less interesting character than hoped. He's just the latest in a lineage of people who keep naming their children "Sam Weiss", sworn to protect a few artifacts and secrets they don't fully understand themselves? He's just Oded Fehr from The Mummy movies? I'd hoped for more.
Overall, "The Last Sam Weiss" was a bit of a mish-mash, but it contained some memorable moments, and the ending was a genuine thrill. I'm a little frustrated Olivia's "super powers" continue to feel like lazy ways to get the story going, Peter's subplot as he made his way to New York in a deranged state of mind was a pointless addition, and Sam Weiss's background was a real disappointment -- particularly considering he got his name in the title. But I can't help responding positively to the idea Olivia and Peter are not only lovers, but prophesied instruments of creation/destruction. Hopefully the next episode will deliver the knockout punch we're waiting for, as Fringe's season finales have traditionally given us momentous changes.
written by Monica Owusu-Breen & Alison Schapker / directed by Thomas Yatsko / 29 April 2011 / Fox