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The 7 Best And 7 Worst Peter And Olivia Moments From Fringe

What makes a great television couple? If we take a step back, we can identify a few characteristics that are necessary for a couple to reach the status of quintessential television love birds. The first is obvious — we need to know, either implicitly or explicitly, that they are in love. Second, there needs to be an element of angst or a will-they-won't-they dynamic that keeps viewers engaged. And lastly, the ingredient that brings it all together — the actors need to have chemistry that electrifies every scene they're in together.

There are numerous TV couples who tick all of these boxes, but today we're going to be talking about just one: Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia (Anna Torv) from the beloved sci-fi series "Fringe." The Fox series that ran from 2008 to 2013 is a puzzle of a show, and the world-altering revelations only get more mind-bending as it goes on. But over the course of its five perplexing seasons, one thing remains certain — Peter and Olivia love each other deeply, and their love might actually have the power to save the world.

The epic yet simultaneously understated nature of their love story is one of the reasons why Entertainment Weekly writer Emily Rome picked Peter and Olivia as TV's all-time greatest couple. What makes them so great is that for every happy moment between them, there are just as many painful ones. To give you a sense of just how much they've been through, we've compiled a list of their very best and very worst moments. Keep reading to discover the ups and downs of true "Fringe" love.

Best: The card trick comparison (Season 1, Episode 10)

Compared to what follows, Season 1 of "Fringe" is a fairly lighthearted set of episodes. For this reason, much of Peter and Olivia's relationship this season has a playful and upbeat feeling to it, despite the life and death situations they occasionally find themselves in. Luckily for fans, there are plenty of flirty moments between Peter and Olivia sprinkled throughout the first season that illustrate their attraction to one another.

For example, "Safe" sees our dynamic duo having a fun night out at a bar. After taunting her about her allegedly boring disposition, Peter tries to impress Olivia by showing her a card trick. She is impressed but wants to show off a few tricks of her own. She asks him to pick any of the cards she puts on the table, and she correctly guesses each one. Now Peter's the one who's impressed by Olivia's ability to count cards and her uncanny way with numbers.

Of course, because this is a show about solving mysteries, Olivia's recitation of all the numbers she remembers leads to a break in the case, but their flirty banter is just as important as solving the mystery. Sweet, teasing moments like this become less frequent as the series goes on, but their dynamic here is an early illustration of just how well suited to each other they are.

Best: The almost kiss (Season 2, Episode 14)

Though Season 2 sees Olivia learning to tap into and control her powers, the responsibility of these abilities gives her a lot of anxiety. In "Jacksonville," (often cited as one of the best "Fringe" episodes), the team discovers that a building from the parallel universe has been deposited in the prime universe. Walter surmises that a building from the prime universe will disappear due to the law of conservation of mass. Walter tries to help Olivia to re-activate her ability to see objects from the alternate universe by taking her back to Jacksonville where the Cortexiphan trials took place. This is where he figures out her abilities only activate when she's afraid.

Back in New York, Olivia is anguished by the fact that she can't help save everyone, and Peter attempts to comfort her. "I never met anyone who can do the things that you do," he tells her, lovingly stroking her cheek. The look in his eyes is pure and unadulterated adoration, and Olivia is similarly swept up in the moment. "Peter," she whispers reverently. She admits that she's scared, and Peter tells her that she shouldn't be before leaning in to kiss her.

Their first kiss just wasn't meant to be, however, as Olivia suddenly realizes that the fact that she's scared is actually a good thing. Breaking away from her embrace, she runs to the roof and correctly identifies the building before it can disappear. While it may have been a bit of a tease for fans, their almost-kiss is just as important as any of their actual kisses. The love they have for each other is abundantly clear here, even if it takes a while for them to fully accept it.

Worst: Olivia sees Peter's glimmer (Season 2, Episode 14)

Though it's clear that there's something between Peter and Olivia from the moment they meet, their journey to happiness is a long and arduous one. There are a number of roadblocks in their way, and the first of these emerges in Season 2. After Olivia unlocks the ability to tell when objects are from the alternative universe via a distinct glimmer that's invisible to most people, she discovers something she wishes she never knew.

After plenty of will-they-won't-they tension, Peter and Olivia are all set to go out on a date in "The Bishop Revival." But when Olivia arrives at Peter and Walter's (John Noble) house, she is shocked by what greets her. When Peter opens the door, Olivia notices that he's glimmering, which means he's actually from the alternate universe. Olivia's face falls, and Walter notices. While Peter grabs his coat, Walter comes up to Olivia and whispers, "Please don't tell him."

It's a devastating revelation for Olivia, and it's made all the more upsetting by the fact that she now harbors this secret which will undoubtedly hurt Peter when he finds out. Olivia and Walter are now unwitting partners in this charade, and it causes a subtle rift between Peter and Oliva as Olivia reckons with her guilt. It may not be the most upsetting moment between the two, but it's the first of many disturbances in their evolving relationship.

Worst: Peter disappears after learning the truth (Season 2, Episode 18)

"Fringe" may bend the laws of time and space to achieve its knotty world-building, but the show doesn't totally ignore the rules of logic. For example, Newton's third law, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," rears its head time and time again. Mind-bending revelations always prompt startling reactions, which is exactly what happens when Peter finds out he's from another universe in Season 2.

While Walter is awaiting the right moment to tell Peter the truth, Peter ends up figuring it out all on his own. When he confronts Walter about the situation, Walter doesn't deny the truth; all he can do is try (and fail) to explain his actions. Peter grows cold, and angrily tells Walter, "I am not your son." As the episode ends, Walter is heartbroken to learn that Peter has checked himself out of the hospital, his whereabouts unknown.

While the episode is more focused on the fallout between Peter and Walter than it is on Peter and Olivia, Peter's realization undoubtedly affects Olivia just as much. After all, she has been keeping the secret as well, and Peter's disappearance is painful for her, too. This division between the three of them might seem impossible to rise above, but, as the show teaches us, love can overcome any obstacles.

Best: You belong with me (Season 2, Episode 22)

The Season 2 finale of "Fringe" finally gives Peter and Olivia a happy moment, though unfortunately it doesn't last for long. After Peter learns that he is actually from the parallel universe and Walter essentially kidnapped him as a child, Peter returns to the parallel universe to try and figure out his place in the world. Peter begins spending time with Walternate (his biological father) who, unbeknownst to Peter, wants Peter to use the doomsday device to destroy the prime universe.

Olivia travels to the parallel universe to try and stop the doomsday device from being activated. When she finally finds Peter and reveals herself to be his Olivia, he tells her that he feels he doesn't belong in either universe. Desperate to have him back, Olivia finally reveals the depths of her feelings for Peter. She tells him that she's thought of "a hundred reasons" why he should come back, but it all boils down to one: "You have to come back because you belong with me."

Her tearful admission is followed by their first kiss — a long-awaited moment for fans. It should be a moment worth celebrating (and it is), but, because this is "Fringe," we don't get to revel in it for long. Shortly thereafter, Fauxlivia takes Olivia's place and traps her in the parallel universe, then travels with Peter back to the prime universe. This moment of happiness may have been short-lived, but it's an important milestone in their relationship, nonetheless.

Worst: Peter sleeps with Fauxlivia (Season 3, Episode 4)

Season 3 might just contain the most devastating storyline for Peter and Olivia in the entire series. At the end of Season 2, it seems like Peter and Olivia might finally get their happily ever after. Olivia convinces Peter to return to the prime universe with her, telling him that they belong together. Peter obliges, and he returns to the prime universe with who he thinks is his Olivia. As the audience learns, it's actually Fauxlivia who takes Olivia's place at the last moment.

At the start of Season 3, Peter is happy to have Olivia back, unaware of the fact that it's not the real her. He does notice something different about her, but she explains it away by saying the experience of being in the parallel universe changed her. Fauxlivia begins to feel like she's in over her head, so she finally initiates a sexual encounter with Peter to temporarily ward off any more emotional intimacy by emphasizing the physical component of their relationship. Peter is happy to oblige, of course, because he thinks it's really Olivia.

It's a shocking betrayal from all angles. We can't really blame Peter because he had no reason to think it was anyone other than his Olivia, and he was also violated by Fauxlivia's deception. It's an extremely painful moment to watch because we want so much for Peter and Olivia to be having the moments Peter and Fauxlivia are having, and it's so obvious that this betrayal will destroy both parties once the truth comes out.

Worst: Peter confesses to Olivia (Season 3, Episode 9)

If you thought watching Peter sleep with Fauxlivia was bad, then you clearly haven't considered the fallout of their affair, which is at least 10 times harder to watch. After Olivia returns from the parallel universe, Peter tells her that he and Fauxlivia began a relationship together, and he explains away the differences because of everything that had changed. In response, Olivia tries to explain it away as well, pretending that it's okay because no one in the parallel universe knew it was her either. But, of course, she's not actually fine with it. Later, after Peter tells Walter that she took the news surprisingly well, we see Olivia preparing to do laundry, presumably to wash the smell of Fauxlivia off her clothes. She finds Peter's MIT shirt already in the washing machine, and as she considers the implications of its presence, she sinks to the floor and cries.

So no, Olivia is not okay with the fact that Peter and Fauxlivia slept together. The episode ends with Olivia finally telling Peter how she really feels as she questions why he didn't know it wasn't really her just from looking into Fauxlivia's eyes. "I don't want to be with you," Olivia tells Peter. "She's taken everything." Peter has no response to Olivia's questions, and it's devastating to watch. They were so close to finally being happy together, only for the rug to be pulled out from under them in the cruelest way possible. It makes for good television, but we're still a little mad at the writers for this one.

Best: I want what you want (Season 3, Episode 14)

Understandably, it takes some time for Peter and Olivia to recover from the damaging wrench Fauxlivia throws into their relationship. But in "6B," the team find themselves with a peculiar case. A recently widowed woman in an apartment building thinks she's seeing the ghost of her husband, but he's actually her husband from the parallel universe. Their connection creates a quantum entanglement that Peter and Olivia are forced to break.

Their universe-bending attachment causes Olivia to think about her relationship with Peter. Olivia arrives at Peter's house with a bottle of whiskey in hand, and they toast to the disaster they've just prevented. "I want what you want," she tells him. "What do you think we should do about that?" Peter responds. The answer, of course, is that they need to kiss about it for a while. Olivia takes the lead here and leads Peter up the stairs to finally consummate their love.

It would be an important moment for any couple, but it's especially important for Peter and Olivia after everything they've been through. Olivia has finally come to terms with the havoc Fauxlivia has wreaked in her life, and she now trusts Peter again. It marks the first time Peter and Olivia (the real Peter and Olivia) sleep together, but it also means much more than that.

Worst: Olivia doesn't remember Peter (Season 4, Episode 4)

It seems like Peter and Olivia were finally going to get their happy ending in Season 3, but the writers had other ideas. In the Season 3 finale, the team races to stop the end of the world. Peter enters the doomsday device and finds himself in the year 2026. Using what he has learned from the future, Peter uses the device to merge the two universes and create a bridge. His attempt to avert the apocalypse is successful, but he inexplicably disappears in the process.

In Season 4, we learn that Peter has been completely erased from the timeline. Nonetheless, he still finds himself seeping through, appearing to Walter in mirrors and then finally emerging in a fully corporeal form. Because he has been reduced to non-existence, no one on the team knows who he is or recognizes him. This is obviously a horrible realization for Peter, and nothing is more painful for him than realizing that Olivia, the love of his life, doesn't know who he is.

Peter finds himself in the hospital, and he asks to see Olivia. When she enters the room, he's overjoyed to see her, but not for long. "Who are you?" she asks. Peter's face falls, and we know we're in for yet another heartbreaking storyline between these two. Why can't the universe just let them be happy?

Worst: Peter thinks it's best to stay away from Olivia (Season 4 Episode 14)

When Peter first emerges after being erased from the timeline, it's extremely difficult for him. He's been placed in a universe in which he never existed, and he wants nothing more to get back to his timeline — the one with his Olivia. But then something strange happens. Olivia starts to remember Peter, but Peter isn't convinced what's happening to her is natural or right. He's still haunted by what happened with Fauxlivia and wants to make sure he doesn't repeat the same mistake.

Olivia tries to convince Peter that she's in love with him, but he thinks it's just a projection of what he wants from her, and he doesn't trust that she is his Olivia. Olivia begs him to stay, but he doesn't think it's the right thing to do. "I have to go home," he says, walking out into the night.

Luckily, September shows him the error of his ways shortly thereafter, but that doesn't make this scene any less upsetting. It makes total sense that Peter wouldn't trust what's happening between him and Olivia considering their past experiences, and it's yet another reminder of all that Peter and Olivia have to go through before they can finally be together.

Best: Peter realizes Olivia is his Olivia again (Season 4, Episode 15)

Much of Season 4 deals with the aftermath of Peter's disappearance from the timeline. At first, none of his loved ones remember him. But then, with no real explanation, Olivia starts to remember him and the relationship they had. Peter initially thinks it's his fault that she's remembering and that he's somehow influencing her in a way she has no control over. But Olivia's never been one to just let things happen to her.

Peter resists the changes at first, until he doesn't. It all starts with a discussion Peter has with September. Peter is desperate to get back to his own timeline, and he begs September for help. September tells him he's been home all along, and the reason he came back is that "you could not be fully erased because the people who care about you would not let you go, and you would not let them go. I believe you call it love." September tells Peter that Olivia is his Olivia, after all, and Peter knows what he has to do.

He races to Olivia, and they embrace in the middle of the street, kissing as the camera spins around them. No words are exchanged, and they don't need to be — we know what this means. The power of love brought Peter back to Olivia, and Peter's love brought Olivia back to herself. As September said, some things can't be explained by science, and love is one of them.

Best: Olivia tells Peter she's pregnant (Season 4, Episode 22)

Peter and Olivia's relationship doesn't always meet the criteria for a "normal" relationship, but that doesn't mean they don't want or deserve the things that other couples want. In the Season 4 finale, the team races to stop William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) from destroying both universes in order to create a brand new one. Walter stops Bell by shooting Olivia in the head, correctly surmising that her powers will heal the wound once the bullet is removed.

Olivia makes a full recovery, and Peter picks her up from the hospital. He becomes concerned when she seems anxious to tell him something, but, as it turns out, it's all good news. Olivia tells Peter that she's pregnant, and after an initial moment of shock, Peter breaks out into a toothy grin. They're about to kiss when Walter clears his throat and reminds them of his and Astrid's presence. They note the fact that they have an audience and kiss anyways.

The scene in the hospital would be a sweet moment for any couple, but for Peter and Olivia, it's even more meaningful. It would have been hard to imagine them ever getting to this place in earlier seasons, and it's clear they are both overjoyed about the news. We know that parenthood isn't an easy journey for them — at least the first time around — but it will all be worth it in the end.

Worst: Peter and Olivia react to Etta's death (Season 5, Episode 5)

Season 5 is a pretty dark season for a number of reasons. Most of it takes place in 2036, during a period where the Observers have taken over and humanity lives under their dictatorial rule. Peter and Olivia meet their adult daughter Etta (Georgina Haig), who is a part of the resistance, but their reunion is short-lived. In the fourth episode of the season, Etta is killed by Captain Windmark (Michael Kopsa), sacrificing herself to further the cause. Having only just met her, Peter and Oliva are understandably shattered by this loss.

In the following episode, Peter and Olivia are both mourning Etta. Olivia is in a depressive state and is almost non-responsive, while Peter is hell-bent on getting answers. It's this division between them that is the most heartbreaking. While Olivia is at home, Peter is busy extracting the device from an Observer that gives him his powers.

In the final scene of the episode, Olivia decides to watch a tape of Etta from when she was a child. She breaks down in tears and calls Peter for support. Unbeknownst to her, Peter has just implanted the Observer's device into his neck, which could cause him to lose all sense of humanity. Peter comforts Olivia, but we know the truth — something is about to change. Peter may no longer be the Peter we know and love.

Best: One happy family (Season 5, Episode 13)

For an average couple, settling down and having a quiet family life might be the end goal. But when it comes to television, many of us would much rather see action and adventure than a quaint domestic scene. Interestingly enough, "Fringe" flips the script in this regard. Peter and Olivia go through plenty of adventures over the course of five seasons, so by the time the series comes to a close, we're actually rooting for them to have a nice domestic life.

At the end of "Fringe" Season 5, the team saves the world. Walter sacrifices himself to alter the timeline, save humanity, and perhaps most importantly, give Peter and Olivia the chance at a happy future. It's now 2015, and Peter and Olivia are enjoying a day in the park with their young daughter, Etta. This is a scene we've seen many times before, but it's usually followed by the invasion of the Observers and Etta's disappearance.

But this time, none of that happens. Etta runs happily into Peter's arms, as Olivia smiles at her family. It's a small, exceedingly normal moment, but it's filled with so much meaning. We know the pain and the sacrifices that have been made for them to experience this exact moment, and it makes their happiness that much sweeter. After all is said and done, love is the only thing with the power to save the world.