When Captain Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) was first introduced in the alt-verse of FRINGE, in the end of the second season in “Over There,” he was just another member of the alternate-Fringe Division. But as Lincoln’s story-arc developed both in the alt-verse and as Special Agent Lee in our verse, something interesting began to emerge: he was not just another team member who would appear as needed by the storyline. Lincoln Lee began to emerge as a romantic hero in all the right places at the right times.
In addition, as the third season unraveled, the inadvertent love-triangle between Olivia-Peter-Fauxlivia became entangled with yet another romantic interest. Lincoln’s feelings for Fauxlivia (Anna Torv) began surfacing in small ways to such a degree that he was literally the one holding her in his arms when she delivered her baby. It may have been another man’s child, but Lincoln was there; and the chemistry and feelings were undeniable to any viewer paying attention. (See my article: “A Twist of FRINGE: Amidst Tragedy a Love Story Blooms” to read more about that magnificent moment and Lincoln’s declaration of love for Fauxlivia.)
But what was not known was that it was possible that FBI Agent Lincoln Lee in our universe would have a similar soft-spot for Olivia (Anna Torv). It was eye-opening and spine-tingling to see Lincoln resurface in last week’s episode “Neither Here Nor There,” aiding in the investigation of a killer searching for unique minerals in his victim’s blood — which may have been an attempt to create living human shape-shifters. Lincoln may be only a lowly FBI agent in our verse and not privy to all the secrets of Fringe Division, but in Peter’s (Josh Jackson) absence (due to being erased throughout time by the Observers), Lincoln stepped up to fill a noticeable void. He was not only helpful in the investigation to track down the new breed of shape-shifters, he began to fit seamlessly into the Fringe Division world. He is an agent that instinctually understands that there is more going on in the world than he can imagine and it does not bother him one bit – rather, it intrigues him and he is irresistibly drawn to it. Similarly, he is perhaps drawn to Olivia. Olivia is not exactly a “fringe” mystery per se, but she is a pivotal piece in the collision of two universes. Her body chemistry makes her one of the few people who can safely cross between the universes without causing further catastrophic damage.
In a fascinating example of “mirroring,” a new pattern has begun to emerge. Lincoln in both universes is inexplicably drawn to Olivia. He cannot help but to seek her out and be around her at any cost. Being Fauxlivia’s division teammate and superior in the alt-verse makes their association and frequent contact seem normal. But it was not until Lincoln’s path crossed with Olivia in our verse that it became more apparent that more was at work than just coincidence. It is possible for Olivia and Lincoln’s professional lives to become intertwined through the “fringe” cases they investigate, but as the episode showed, it went beyond mere work concerns. Lincoln’s own body language revealed an attraction and interest in Olivia that perhaps he is not even yet aware. When he heard shots ring out in the train yard, he did not seek cover, he instead got atop the train car to see if Olivia was safe. It was only once he saw her standing in the window that he breathed a sigh of relief and returned to attend to the FBI agent, who had been shot.
Perhaps at the core of his soul, Lincoln feels the need to be around Olivia. Just like in the alt-verse, it does not matter what obstacles are in the way (injuries, boyfriends, work regulations or even separation by time and space), Lincoln cannot help but be drawn to wherever Olivia is. Like a chemical reaction or like magnets seeking each other, Lincoln seeks her out.
Making it even more interesting is Olivia’s reaction to Lincoln. Now living in a universe where the memory of Peter has been erased, there is no barrier to her heart. Olivia is open to the possibilities of allowing someone into her life. It was not just a professional courtesy that prompted Olivia to allow Lincoln into the Fringe Division Lab and to be a part of the investigation, she shared with him the secrets of what they are really doing — and showed him where the two universes have merged and even took him to meet her counter-part Fauxlivia. When Olivia first encountered Lincoln in our verse, she resisted every effort he made to become a part of that secret world. Yet this time, without Peter as a deterrent, Olivia was much more welcoming and amenable to inviting Lincoln into her worlds.
Better yet, we were charmed by the idea. What should have felt so wrong and like there was an intruder in their midst, felt more natural than ever before. The question is why? Why this man? What is it about Lincoln Lee that makes him the perfect “mirror” in Olivia and Fauxlivia’s professional and personal lives? Are they linked through time and space? Are they more destined to be together than Peter and Olivia?
Whatever the mystery and answer is, we can only say one thing for certain, we can’t wait to find out! Like the eradication within the Fringe-verses, we are now starting to wonder: Peter, who? No, in our ‘verse, it has become all about Lincoln Lee — the man stealing hearts in every imaginable FRINGE verse. But before anyone calls Lincoln a “thief of hearts,” I assure you, I gave mine willingly.
Related article: “Torn Between Two Realities: Is it wrong to love the alt-verse on ‘Fringe’ more than our universe?”
Related article: “FRINGE: Peter’s Journey From Hero to Villain”
Related article: “FRINGE: A Tale of Three Broken Lives”
Related article: “Inside FRINGE’s Puzzle Box: Has FRINGE Lost Its Heart and Its Hero?”