I don't see where they could have just arbitrarily dropped "One Night in October" later into the season. The episode sets up the whole situation of the truce between the worlds, how uneasy it is, and I think the next episode (8) will come back to elaborate on that setup in a big way.
IMHO, here's what's happened so far: a lot of establishing.
-The Education of Lincoln Lee
-Peter's return and difficult readjustment (subplot: new friendship with Lincoln)
-Walter dealing with his madness and with Peter's return
-Olivia growing troubled by something within herself
-Two worlds in a truce, but still not trusting each other
-September's botched plan
-Shapeshifter and Nina weirdness
Naturally, this all seems low-key after Season 2 (OMG another Universe and Peter's life is a BIG LIE!) and Season 3 (it's the END of the WORLD!) Showrunners operating under the assumption that we know and love the characters/worlds so much that less heated storylines will hold our interest. For me, that is a correct assumption, but maybe I'm not in a majority. All I know is, to keep up the superheated pace of the last 2 seasons might risk a decline into silliness. To keep being grownup holds its own risks, I guess.
BTW, some see a love triangle developing between Peter, Lincoln and Olivia. I'm not sure where they're going with that, but if they were, it seems like a very honest triangle situation. Peter genuinely believes he is in the wrong place, and seems to think this Olivia and this Lincoln belong together. But, what if that's not true? I wonder if that "what if" still needs to be played out.
Triangles aren't bad - dumb triangles are bad. You could hardly call this situation "dumb" - it would be a pretty honest triangle situation.
Sadly, I think I know what's going to happen. If Fringe doesn't make it to Season 5, everyone will blame the showrunners for Season 4, and that will be the official "verdict," rather than another possible verdict: that the showrunners decided to push the show in a more mature, reflective direction and not enough fans wanted to come along.
But that's OK. I thought the show was going off the rails toward the end of last season (low point being Walter's scene in the chapel) and I'm just enjoying the ride for as long as possible. No good show goes unpunished. :-)
If I felt that the showrunners hadn't earned my undivided attention, I might feel they were getting pretentious, but I absolutely don't feel that way. It's not really a matter of "trust" but rather, I am willing to approach the show and its characters in a new, bit more serious mode - the world of Season 4. (And I know a Season 5 would also mean a whole new direction too)
One criticism I can understand is that Season 4 isn't as "fun." I'll give that a nod - but also say that for me, characters coming face to face with their doubles for the first time will never NOT be "fun" (wondrous, eerie) so I am totally looking forward to naive little Lincoln undergoing that eventually. It was a big part of the reason why Episode 402 was so very brilliant IMO. The sense of wonder and horror we should never lose.
Edited by Money Magnet, Nov 25, 2011 @ 8:16 AM.