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Tear Jerker: Fringe
A the end of the pilot, Olivia goes to ask Peter to stay and help them. Every time he asks "where's John" she doesn't answer and starts talking faster and faster. It's painfully obvious that she's trying not to cry.
At the end of The Same Old Story, when Peter begins to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat to Walter (a man in the mental institution had sung it every single night for all 17 years, so he couldn't sleep without it) and Walter says "son, is that you?" sounding like he's about to cry.
In "The Arrival", Walter drugged Astrid in order to get the Beacon out of the lab without anyone noticing. At the end of the episode, he tries to apologize to her, but Astrid doesn't even look at him until he leaves.
In The No-Brainer, Peter doesn't want Walter to meet the mother of Carla Warren, who died in a fire in Walter's lab, because he's afraid that Walter won't be able to handle it. Carla's mother asks Walter if there's anything she should know about her daughter, and Walter tells her that Carla had a beautiful smile and that he misses her.
When Thomas Jerome Newton shows Walter a series of still images and asks what his strongest association with them is, four out of five of them draw an association with Peter: an image of Peter as a boy, a glass of orange juice, a bowl of custard, and a child-sized coffin.
Walter breaking down over comatose Olivia in "A New Day in Old Town." He insists, at first, that she can be revived, then examines her himself and moans, "I'm so sorry, Olive." (Probably for a lot more than just failing to revive her.)
The one sentence that will dissolve any fan of Charlie Francis into a puddle of tears. "You're gonna be fine."
The Observer August, who sacrificed himself for his human love.
Walter's breakdown in "Snakehead".
And again at the end when he sees that Astrid was hurt by the gang members.
Walter doesn't receive his sign from God in the Alternate Timeline. What he does get is just as touching.
Alternate Elizabeth: I forgive you, Walter. I forgave you a long time ago. And if I can , God can.
When Peter calls out Walter for kidnapping him from the alternate universe, says that Walter isn't his father, and then leaves.
It's a little bit of Fridge Horror(Fringe Horror?) but in "Brown Betty," when Fairy-Tale-Noir Walter is implied and then later revealed to be a monster who steals the dreams of children, you realize that this is either how Walter views himself deep down or how he thinks Peter sees him. Either way, it's a little heartbreaking.
Olivia's speech about why Peter should return to her world in "Over There Part 2" (2x23).
Olivia's confrontation with Fauxlivia's mother. The hug, the little "I'm not your daughter" and the fact that the brainwashing actually works because of it. A part of you just knows that the reason it worked was because she wanted it to.
"This is your safehouse."
This conversation between a shape-shifter and the boy who thinks that it (he?) is his father.
Shape-shifter: *about a monster under the bed* You know... sometimes... monsters aren't all that bad. Sometimes... if you get to spend some time with them, they can be very surprising. They can be, um, incredibly sweet and pure and capable of great, great love. And then, one of them might actually become your very, very best friend.
Boy: But you're my best friend.
Shape-shifter: *quietly* Yeah, that's right.
The scene in Marionette where Olivia is trying to wash all her clothes, then breaks down at the sight of Peter's sweater, is just... It's heartbreaking to watch the stoic Action Girl be suddenly broken.
Just about every interaction between Peter and Olivia in that episode is a Tear Jerker.
Whatever parts of Subject 13 that didn't make you feel warm and fuzzy. Heck, even Walternate inspired a few sniffles.
Little Peter's breakdown especially. The hitch in his voice when he shouts "I wanna go home" is heartbreaking.
"She's me, only better." Oh, Liv...
There's one brief moment in "Bloodline" when Lincoln thinks Fauxlivia has died in childbirth. She's fine two seconds later but he just looked so sad.
Peter's Ret Gone. Sudden, no acknowledgement, no goodbye, just... gone.
From 4.02 "Walter, I'm here. Can you hear me? I'm right here. Walter, I'm right here. I'm here, Walter. Walter, right here. Right here, Walter. Right here. Walter, I'm here. Can you hear me? I'm right here. Walter... Please. Help me."
And they did it again in 4.03: "Walter, I'm scared. I wanna come home."
Walter's situation in the Amber Timeline. The Peter we know drowned immediately after being brought to A-Side, which is why he's Ret Gone. Without him to help keep Walter anchored emotionally, Walter didn't receive the Character Development of the past three years, and didn't leave his lab in all that time.
The end of "Novation"
Walter: *holding Peter's face* Every day, for the past 25 years, I've tried to imagine what you'd look like as a man...my son. *lets go* But I don't deserve this. I don't deserve you. I realise now that this was my punishment. You were sent to tempt me. See if I would repeat the mistakes of the past. You shouldn't be here.
Peter: Walter, no!
Walter: Wherever you came from, however you got here... it doesn't matter. I can't help you.
In The Firefly, when Roscoe is talking about his son's death and the subsequent collapse of the band, breaking up emotionally over it... which is made even stronger by Walter's realization that he's responsible for not only Roscoe's son's death but the collapse of his favorite band and Christopher Lloyd's intense, emotional performance.
Peter's scene with Walter in Back to Where You've Never Been. Walter tells him how Elizabeth committed suicide and then refuses to help him because of what happened last time.
In "Making Angels", Alt-Astrid comes to Blue universe without asking for clearance. We know something bad happened to her but we don't find out until this conversation.
Alt-Astrid: I thought I would come here. I didn't know where to go after. Mother had traditions for such occasions but I don't know. I don't remember her. My mother died of cancer when I was a girl. Did yours as well?
Alt-Astrid: At first I thought I would walk in the park. But it was so cold. And I cannot stop thinking about the word Reverend Stewart said. What a leader he was. A great man. A great friend. Reverend Stewart said he would be sorely missed. *starts to cry* And they lowered the box down into the ground and we put down flowers. I didn't know where to go. Because the park was so cold. May I ask you a question? Yours. Did you love him?
Olivia: Astrid. What's going on?
Astrid: I think my fa... I-I think her father is dead.
Alt-Astrid: My father... I cannot get the thought out of my mind. That I couldn't give him what he wanted because of... the way that I am. That he secretly wished that I could love him back in a way that he could understand. Do you think that if I were more like you, he would have loved me more? If I was normal?
Even sadder is finding out that he would have loved her more if she was normal.
It's impossible to watch this episode without wanting to give Alt. Astrid a hug.
Olivia: When the day comes, if I don't remember this, I want you to try and build something with me again. Don't give up on me. I love you, Nina.
Nina: I love you, Olive.
Peter and his mother reunite during the season two finale.
Olivia now has a nephew that she can't remember.
The brief scene with Nina was fairly depressing.
The Bad Future. The universe is breaking apart. The opening credits now include water and hope. The other universe, with baby Henry, Henry the cabbie, Marilyn Dunham, Alternate Astrid, Christopher Broyles, Lincoln, Scarlie, Fauxlivia and all the characters we have come to care about, is already gone. Walternate shoots Olivia.Ella, who once fixed Walter's story, doesn't believe in happy endings anymore. But Walter has a plan. A really drastic plan.
What's even worse are the reactions to his death. Altsrid is visibly upset when she tells Broyles the news but Fauxlivia's reaction is the worst. There's no dialogue in the scene... all you see is her expression and then her leaving the room abruptly.
The scene afterwards, when Fauxlivia cleans out his locker and finds his pictures. The look on her face when she hears Lincoln's voice and slowly realises it's not her Lincoln...
Fauxlivia, who was all smiles until then, drowning her sorrows. Unlike Olivia, who has a rather high alcohol tolerance, Fauxlivia just gets hung over and miserable. Also? It's alcohol that Frank left behind when he dumped her. Lincoln was her "shoulder to cry on" after that.Yeah.
"I don't like funerals. I never know what I am supposed to say." Damn it, Alstrid stop making us cry.
The look Fauxlivia gives Colonel Broyles when she finds out that he tipped off Jones and the tear filled look he gives her back.
Nina has gone grey, is in a wheelchair and her mechanical hand no longer works. She's lost her surrogate daughter and has to pretend to hate her granddaughter. We don't know what's happened to Ella and her little brother. Broyles looks like he's aged a hundred years. Most of the team have spent twenty years in Amber. Olivia is missing. September is probably dead. No sign of Lincoln. Olivia and Peter's child grew up without them. Walter went from "can barely remember you" brain damaged to Walternate 2.0 and hates the man he once considered a close friend. Simon sacrificed himself to get Peter out of the Amber. They have to fight Observers who have already been established has practically unstoppable Badasses. The world has, in short, gone to shit. But they've saved the world once already, implying that the alternate universe is safe. And Etta is reunited with her family.That's something, right?
The fact that Lincoln isn't there is officially no longer a Tear Jerker.
The ending of Worlds Apart.
Walter: I think I shall miss them. More than I imagine.
The first thing Walter does after they turn off the machine is to check if Peter is still there.
They stop Jones for now. But the alternate universe has stopped healing.
Walternate's reaction to the news that they might have to turn off the machine. This man fought tooth and claw for his universe. His world was healing. And now it'll go back to what it was before the truce. A world falling apart. Damn.
Nina: *shouting* Oh Walter, just stop it! *Olivia and Walter look startled* The car crash wasn't an accident! William had lymphoma. *quietly* He'd being trying to fight it but... I think he didn't want me to see him that way any more. He didn't want to be vulnerable. He wanted to go out on his own terms and he did.
Walter: It's still possible-
Nina: *shouting* Oh Walter, anything is possible! But the man I knew wouldn't try to destroy a universe! That doesn't sound like William.
4x22. Astrid's scene in the hospital. That woman shouldn't be allowed to cry, it's too damn sad.
The Ending of "Forced Perspective." It helps that Emily found out that her visions COULD help people, and prevented many deaths. Very, very slightly.
The scene with Peter and Olivia in "Transilience Thought Unifer Model-11". Especially Peter talking about losing Etta and shedding Manly Tears.
Olivia: So we didn't save the world.
Peter: Not even by half.
When Olivia realizes that the Observer occupation has turned Etta into a cold woman willing to torture a man and steal decades of his life away as a matter of course, and Olivia wasn't there for her when she was growing up in that world.
The reveal that Olivia didn't return to New York instead of trying to find Etta in Boston because it was the right thing to do or because she was "stronger" than Peter, but because she was convinced that her daughter was dead and couldn't bear the thought of finding her.
Etta's death. Not only is it sad in and of itself, but taken into the fact that both Peter and Olivia had virtually already lost a child and because of losing that child, they lost each other. They didn't get to see her childhood or see her grow up. Then, they get reunited with her, and get to see her in all her glory. For a matter of days, maybe even a couple of weeks and she's taken from them all over again. Not to mention that Olivia thought she lost Etta for being divided in her goals in the first place. Imagine getting her back and then losing her again because you're trying to save the world instead of get some place safe. Considering the reasons, that Peter and Olivia were no longer together this firmly puts them beyond square one because there is no hope left that she'll be found because they both watched her die.
Walter crying in the background is even worse. Because he knows exactly what it's like to lose a child and to find them again... only for them to die.
Every. Scene. With or about Etta. Becomes this. Olivia and Peter discussing a nursery? Depressing. Olivia telling Peter she's pregnant? Depressing. Reuniting with Etta? Depressing. Anything with the Bullet? Depressing.
In 5x05, Peter holds up a photograph of Etta while Olivia sleeps and looks at how similiar they are.
Peter: That's my girl.
Walter's Shipper on Deck tendencies are usually more funny and heartwarming but when he got out the videotape of Etta's birthday...
Walter:You're afraid that you will lose each other again. I'm trying to tell you that I see what you see. That's why this tape is so important. You must watch it and remember what you both had, what you still are and you must hold on to that. You must face this pain together. The pain is her legacy to you both. It's proof that she was here. And I have experience with this sort of pain. And you can't escape it by building walls around your heart. Or by breaking a universe. Or by vengeance. You lost each other once but you have another chance.
Olivia: I can't.
When Olivia does watch the tape.
Three year old Etta: Kiss Mommy!
The entire episode, Olivia looks like she's two seconds from snapping. After she watches the tape, she ends up sobbing and calling Peter. Yes, it was worse than "Marionette".
Walter asking for a bottle of Etta's perfume, so he can remember her, even if his memory is faulty.
Peter going to Etta's house just so he can listen to a voicemail she left and hear her voice again.
The scene between Walter and Peter at the end of 5x06.
Walter: Please, son... whatever happens...don't let me go.
Peter: I won't, Dad. I promise.
The indomitable and enigmatic Nina Sharp, crying over Etta's death and not even being about to comfort Olivia sooner in case she puts her in danger.
A throw away line from Nina tells us that Broyles is the one who told her what happened to Etta. Broyles is the one who recruited her in the first place because he recognized her the moment he saw her. Just picturing that conversation is painful.
Both of Nina and Walter's conversations in "Five Twenty Ten".
Nina: Then you should know how hard I tried to hold onto William. How much I loved him. It wasn't enough. I wasn't enough.
Nina: You asked me before if I saw him in you. I just did. The Walter I know would never say anything so cruel.
The look on Walter's face, when he finds Nina's photograph in William's safe is a tearjerker for two reasons. William Bell really screwed over Nina Sharp. He drugged her surrogate daughter against her will, tried to blame Nina for it and then attempted to destroy her universe. He was in love with this woman. Secondly, it means that Peter's support might not be enough of a tether for Walter. Considering Peter is currently going all Observer on us, the outlook doesn't look good.
The scene with Peter and Olivia at the end of 5x07. Peter starting to go full blown Observer on her and Olivia (who had spent the entire episode worrying about him) walks out of the room.
Peter removing the tech after Olivia tells him that she loves him and Olivia holding him afterwards.
Peter is still speaking in Creepy Monotone when he says this line but you can just hear the emotion in his voice.
Peter:When I was fighting Windmark, he showed me Etta's last thoughts... before he shot her. She thought of us. That day in the park... before they invaded... before everything went wrong. Her last thoughts... they were of us.
In "Black Blotter," Walter's absolutely terrified of becoming the man he used to be.
The entirety of his last hallucination. Peter drowning and no one saving him.
Nina Sharp's death. Particularly Olivia, Walter and Michael's reaction to it. Nina knows that she's screwed the moment she gets Olivia's phone call. She goes back into the lab, obviously distressed, and her only thought is to protect and comfort Michael.
They play the video feed. Olivia can't watch.
Nina's last words are the same as Etta's. "I know."
Hasting was Mind Raped by Windmark but still didn't betray Nina. They find out where she is because Olivia called her.
Hastings: I tried. I tried.
It is incredibly depressing that Nina died thinking she "wasn't enough" for William Bell and that the only thing she was good for was helping the Fringe team get what they needed. It's made painfully clear that Olivia and Walter do not feel that way.
Nina: I'm nothing if I can't be a resource for you.
The White Tulip makes a comeback in 5x11. September brought it back from the other timeline and gave it to Walter. So he'd have the strength to perform a Heroic Sacrifice. Donald has tears in his eyes when he tells him this.
Windmark finds Donald's apartment.
Donald: They're in my home.
Walter: You can't go back there.
Donald: There is no back there.
"Peter, I think we're going to get our daughter back."
The two hour series finale. All of it. THE ENTIRE THING.
Specifically: "You are my favorite thing."- that whole scene. Also, Michael playing the music box when Donald dies, Peter's silent "I love you, Dad", and the very last scene.
Peter: *quietly* Does it have to be this way?
Walter: *breaking down* Yes!
After all that, September doesn't get his happy ending and Walter never sees his family again. Was the Hope Spot really necessary?
Astrid and Walter's scene with Gene. Taking about not remembering any of it and sharing a strawberry milkshake in the lab. This doesn't happen. Walter remembers everything and Astrid never sees him again.She doesn't know what he's planning to do. And then there's this.
Walter: It's a beautiful name.
Astrid: What is?
That moment when Broyles (who's about to get captured by the Observers) calls Olivia by her name, rather than Agent Dunham, and his last order. "Just get it done." They end up rescuing him but still.
It gets so much worse when it dawns on you, as it does with most TV shows, that this is it. This is how it all ends. This is the last we'll probably ever see of Olivia, Peter, Walter, Astrid, Broyles and September. And what a tear-jerklingly beautiful farewell they all recieved.
On that note: it's hard not to get teary-eyed over the poetry of how the chaos of the entire series ends exactly how it began: with Walter taking a little boy with him through a portal.