It's possible that the actors were coming from the same perspective as many in the audience (including myself at the time) that while there's always been the possibility of a romantic relationship between Peter and Olivia, the seldomly chosen route would be to keep their relationship brushing against the line for it to become romantic, but keep it firmly as a familial one.
And I can totally see and appreciate where they were coming from. As much as I'm a (mostly) shameless shipper in nearly everything I watch, I, like you Huges
assumed this was the way the show was going to go. I'd 'ship from the sidelines, but not expect anything greater than what we'd been getting pre-"Jacksonville" and I was fine with that. I never watch a show just for the pairing, but Fringe has always been an even greater exception to that "rule" for me. I'm not always
invested in *all* the relationships in every show I watch, but this one is different*. I'm so invested in Peter/Walter, Olivia/Walter, Olivia/Walter/Peter, Astrid/Walter, Olivia/Broyles etc.etc.etc., that I wasn't focused on JUST Olivia/Peter. And I'm more than happy with that, so long as....
Even if P/O don't wind up as a couple in the end, I'm perfectly okay with it as long as it's written well. That being said, I think propelling their interest in one another along to the point of sharing a chaste kiss is pretty huge given the personality of the characters and how guarded they both are. But they've also earned it.
. I'll be just dandy, too, so long as it's believable. Of course, the fact that it actually happened in the first place is something I'm still trying to wrap my head around. My mom happened to be watching with me (she'd never seen it) and I kept having to ask her to confirm what I was seeing. Reflecting back on it now, I'm both incredibly excited, because I'd never imagined it would really happen, and a little dubious: what do the writers mean to do with the characters when something this huge has happened? It's such a huge personal shift for these people that the implications are mind boggling. Maybe it's simply that I'm not used to show runners letting something like this happen "so early"? Of course, this show is nothing if not unconventional and based on the spoilers that are coming out, we're not going to have to worry about anything "normal" happening. I wonder if they didn't "allow" it to happen because the crazy that is this show is more than enough to create "roadblocks" (and maybe permanent ones at that) that may actually be more organic than the ones contrived for shows like "Bones".
Also? I really feel for Josh and Anna, if they'd really been viewing the Peter/Olivia relationship as familial/fraternal...it must've squicked them out a little once they'd reached "Jacksonville".
Brevity thy soul is wit...and I have failed utterly. I blame the fact that it's nearly midnight and I'm filled with sugar and caffeine.
*I admit-and I know I'm going to likely shock some folks, I'm sorry!-that I've never been a fan of Charlie.