The Last Sam Weiss
Season 3, Episode 21
The Last Sam Weiss.jpg
Air date April 29, 2011
Written by Monica Owusu-Breen
Alison Schapker
Directed by Thomas Yatsko
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Cast | Transcript

"The Last Sam Weiss" is the twenty-first episode of the third season of Fringe.


Olivia joins forces with the mysterious Sam Weiss in a desperate race against time.


In the prime universe, the doomsday machine creates numerous static lightning storms up the eastern seaboard. As Walter Bishop and Astrid Farnsworth see to Peter Bishop's recovery after his failed attempt to enter the machine, Olivia Dunham takes Sam Weiss to the machine. Weiss states that the machine is not meant to be a doomsday device, the strange effects a byproduct of machine's "frustration" believing that Peter is already inside the machine. Weiss suggests finding a proverbial "crowbar" that can be used to break the shield protecting the device to give Peter enough time to enter it. As Olivia travels with Weiss to collect a box and the key containing this crowbar, Weiss explains that he descends from a family of Weisses that found the incomplete collection of information on the First People and the device, and have sought to try to find the rest. Upon collecting both the box and key, they open it to find a parchment, revealing that Olivia is the crowbar.

Meanwhile, Walter and Astrid determine that most of the effects of the device are occurring in the areas between western Massachusetts and Liberty Island—the locations of the doomsday machines in the prime and parallel universes respectively—aligned like iron filings around the ends of a magnet. Walter convinces Phillip Broyles to move the device to Liberty Island to reduce the area affected by the strange events. During this time, Peter wakes with confused memories and leaves the hospital, traveling to a location in New York City and buying a silver dollar coin from a pawn shop.

Olivia and Weiss bring the parchment to Walter, who recognizes Olivia's telekinetic powers must be used to turn off the machine in the parallel universe. To prepare Olivia they use the quantum entangled Selectric typewriter that the Shape-shifters had used to contact the Alternate Universe, having her attempt to "use" the parallel universe's version to send a message to the prime universe's one. Olivia struggles with trying to activate the typewriter without success, even with Walter's support. Peter is soon discovered in New York, about the same time that the machine has been moved into position. Walter and Olivia rejoin him, finding him confused and believing himself to be in the parallel universe. Peter eventually comes to his senses, Walter believing the state a temporary result of the head trauma. Astrid calls the trio from the lab, revealing that the typewriter is typing out "Be a better man than your father", a phrase Olivia and Peter have talked about before, ensuring Olivia can disengage the parallel universe's device. After doing so, Peter takes a moment to recall the events of his life including Walter and Olivia, and then steps into the machine.

Peter wakes up on a war-torn street in New York City. He finds himself in the future, facing the completed One World Trade Center, dedicated in 2021 to the victims of the September 11 attacks, but falls wounded into the arms of Agent Harrison of the militarized Fringe division.

Notable Quotes[]

Walter: I know what it's like to feel unequal to the task required of you. To feel incapable. I'll never be the man I was, but I've come to embrace those parts of my mind that are... peculiar and broken. I understand now that's what makes my mind special. I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you're going to embrace that, there's no end to what you can do.
Olivia: I know that you want to believe in me. And I want to believe in me... but believing doesn't make it true.

Sam Weiss: I'm not the first Sam Weiss.
Olivia: So which Sam Weiss is this?
Sam Weiss: My great-great-great-great grandfather. He was digging for mastodon bones and he discovered an ancient manuscript instead.
Olivia: So he was the one who wrote the First People book?
Sam Weiss: No, that was the fifth Sam Weiss. The third and fourth Sams spent their lives searching for the manuscript's missing sections.
Olivia: You're a dedicated bunch.
Sam Weiss: A machine with the power to create and destroy worlds shouldn't be taken lightly.

Walter: Forgive me if I'd like to spend my remaining time with my son.
Astrid: Well, what about Olivia? You saw how hard it was for her to leave him, but she's out there trying to find a way to end this.
Walter: I too have tried. I went so far as to ask God for help. How did he respond? Nothing.
Astrid: That's your excuse? Come on now. What have you done, Walter? God helps those who help themselves.



  • When Walter is flying the kite to attract lightning there is "wind" blowing his and Astrid's hair and other items in very close proximity to them yet neither the trees in the background or behind the kite or anything else in the area are moving at all; nor is the kite properly constructed in a manner that would allow it to actually "fly" even if there was wind.


  • "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors