Fringe Review: Trip Mix 6

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Fringe has an absolutely amazing capacity to move me. Whether through laughter, tears or countless other emotions, there is rarely a time when I am left untouched.

Along those lines, "Transilience Thought Unifier Model 11" seemed such a technical title for so touching an episode.

Our heroes barely missed a beat after an emotional reunion. After all, there was still work to be done. Not only did they have to find Olivia, they needed to uncover what it was that September shared with Walter about stopping The Observers.

Unfortunately, their fight was cut far earlier than they ever imagined, with Olivia literally ambering herself with the key to breaking the code in her hand some 20 years previous. When they think of just how close they came to stopping the ugly future in which Etta grew up, it must be devastating.

Walter on Season 5

Yet given the many hardships she suffered - and we viewers haven't even scratched the surface of what they might have entailed - Etta is the perfect blend of her family. She has all the guts, wisdom and compassion she undoubtedly would have gotten had she been raised by those for whom she had searched her entire life. One hell of a girl, our Etta.

The season opener wasn't full of revelations about what brought our world to this state, but we did get glimpses. When The Observers stepped out of the air and began destroying the planet when Etta was about three, they seemingly walked straight for her as she innocently blew the seedlings from a sprouted dandelion. In the confusion, it appeared Peter lost sight of exactly what happened, so they may have scooped her up.

Either way, she was gone and it was Olivia's need to try to save the world and Peter's to try and save his beloved lost little soul that ended the beautiful romance of Peter and Olivia.

Because of that broken marriage, we weren't treated to a loving scene of them reuniting. As has been the case during so many years of Fringe, once again our fateful lovers were at an impasse. I feel confident that will change and their family dynamic grows to one of trust once more.

The tenor belonged to Walter. It was he who was taken by The Observers in the hopes they might find from him their purpose in being there, what their plans were and who was helping them. The intricacies of Walter's brain have always been one of the most unique and resplendent aspects of Fringe. Learning how to function again at full capacity with literal pieces taken away made his character lovably idiosyncratic in methodology and trigger mechanisms. 

When his brain was returned to him, there was a slight struggle for the warm, merciful man he had become to maintain his boundaries with the man he had once tried to bury. In "Transilience," Walter uses that incredibly strong, now partitioned and magnificent brain of his to protect everyone he loves by keeping The Observer from reading his thoughts. Among other things, he turns to his passion for music to gate off the symphony of information he has stored in his mind.

As always, John Noble took what would could have been as simple scene of struggle to keep his thoughts private and turned it into absolute genius. You could practically see the various harmonies as they played across his face, his effort so grinding blood vessels burst in his eyes and throughout his head, leading to a choral masterpiece of emotion.

When finally joined with the device September had created specifically to gather the partitioned pieces of his brain into a workable plan to stop the takeover of earth, his psyche was once again so damaged they feared all was lost for good.

Unless you were paying very close attention at the beginning of the hour, you may have missed the segment when Walter was lying on his little bed, watching the sun glare off of the blue bricks on the wall. By the end of the hour, he was there again; now frustrated in his failure and inability to do the one thing he had been prepared to do for over 20 years: share the plan to save the world.

When he saw that glimmer, it was as if a little beacon beckoned to him and his journey ended with hope, the sight of a dandelion and some beloved music.  

Will music be enough to restore Walter's dismantled thoughts? It's always been his saving grace in the past. He couldn't have found a more appropriate song than Yaz's "Only You" to begin the healing process. Listen to the lyrics. So perfectly suited. The capacity of music, hope and family will be Walter's redemption and I'll venture a guess that his enthusiasm and vigor will be infectious, breathing new life into not only the cause but their family.

Other things of note:

  • Only Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole and John Noble are in the opening credits as series regulars now. 
  • The words in the new opening sequence? Community, Joy, Individuality, Education, Imagination, Private Thought, Due Process, Ownership, Free Will and Freedom...all found behind barbed wire and off limits. Miserable future, indeed.
  • William Bell and Agent Foster, Etta's former partner, were found in amber. Here's hoping they play at least a small role going forward!
  • The Observers have built carbon monoxide factories to poison the air so they can breathe it, limiting the average life to 45, and they paved over Central Park. Scum they are!
  • The small glimpse of the day The Observers took over looks so epic I hope we get more time on that day. 
What were your thoughts on the premiere? Now that it's over and we have only 12 left to go, what do you hope to see? Feel free to share if you cried the moment the show started just because it was the last premiere we'll see and if you were bawling at the end because of the sheer fantastic nature of said ending. Wildly raising my hand here!!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1033 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


only discovered fringe a few months ago and watched it all at least twice. absolutely love it and such great casting all around. I had trouble getting this episode to congeal into the fringe i know and love. hopefully it will come together. didn't cry but really pissed that they are ending it with so much material skipped. I hope that nina and broyles will be around - we already know they are from previous future scenes. also holding out hope that they did not completely destroy september and that he will show up


I liked this episode as a standalone because I'm having trouble reconciling the FRINGE from the past 4 seasons, and everything I loved about them, with this dystopian universe. Was Nina Sharp's existence completely superfluous? What was the point of the Alternate Universe, and the Altcharacters like Lincoln Lee, if they play no part in what is happening now? I understand that September was trying to help Walter prevent the Observer future by time jumping and trying all different possibilities. But, nearly 3 seasons of shapeshifters, mysterious typewriters, Fauxlivias, and Walternates seems like much ado about nothing if this is where we're coming to a close.


This is my favorite show and it rarely has disappointed me.
I am so sad this is the final season, but so excited to see it!
I loved this episode but I loved Letters of Transit so I am very excited they got to follow that up.


Is there any hope that they could get another season? Good Lord! How are they going to fit everything that needs to be shown in 13 eps!! Loved this ep! I have a sneaking suspicion that Walter will die at the end... TVLine made a prediction that either Peter, Olivia or both Peter and Olivia will die. But I'm sure it's gonna be Walter.
I started of not liking Fringe but now I am hooked!!! I liked the end scene, not all hope is lost. This is one of the best shows, completely under-rated.


Looking from the window above it’s like a story of love.
Can you hear me?
Seems like only yesterday… moving farther away.
Won’t you hear me?
All I needed was the love you gave.
All I needed for another day.
And all I ever knew… only you.
Sometimes when I hear your name, when it’s only a game and I need you.
Listen to the words that you say, it’s getting harder to leave when I feel you.


Olivia and Peter another break and earning, is because Wyman has stated in every interview, and on twitter, that all his time goes to writing for his John Noble, he needs the material,
so the rest of the cast gets the leftovers, and have to praise Noble, and Emmy for Noble is Wymans mantra.(strangely Noble has only 1 Saturn, last year). Anna Torv is awesome, and 3 times Saturn winner despite the poor material she gets, but she stil does not get the central Olivia story arc she should get. Only 4 in the credits, means they will be in every episode, the others will get paid when they work.
Also 4 writers, same thing. It used to be that credit actors got paid for 22 episodes, while working 9.
Bit expensive all because of a low budget, 13 episodes for under 20 million I read.


Olivia seeing Etta, that was the most aesome acting of Anna Torv, the shock, the old grief, the disbelief, everything was there, brilliant.
Wyman said that the 3 leads would get their own story arc, but again Torv anf Jackson have to do another round of badly written Olivia and Peter, and all the writing and great storylines go to Wymans declared favourite John Noble, all for his Emmy, and everyone else has to work for him. Fringe must be the only show that so blatantly writes for 1 actor. Why not give Anna Torv finally the Olivia Dunham backstory storyarc? Pleased that Olivia was found (but Olivia again as an object), to little Olivia, I hope there will be more,
and Etta was a big mistake, as she takes screentime and action from Olivia, and two actors who are 33 and 34 and have to play 37/38 parents of a daughter of 25, with Josh jackson, Peter is a boy, Anna Torv brings it across brilliantly, but I would have prefered a totally different storyline. Only 4 in the credits, means only them in every episode, and the rest gets paid when they work, Low budget this season, 7 days shooting (used to be 8), I saw somewhere that the enitire season is under 20 million, it used to be 40, went to 30-ish last season.


★★★★☆TV ☯♥✌✖☢☣ϟ☦
Agree with fortyseven on Peter and Olivia. One of the many reasons S4 was such a crawl for me. However 2036 (Finale Season) looks like it's going to be the best of them. At least the potential is there thanks to a great premiere. John Noble is by far the most EMMY worthy Actor.


Good. Given how different Season 5 is, they could have refrained from pushing peter and Olivia apart aain.


I still cant accept the fact that this is the final season. I love Fringe!!!

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Fringe Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Peter: Olivia, I want you to meet Etta. Kiddo, come meet your mom.
Etta: Hi mama!

Etta: It's an egg stick.
Walter: What a miserable future.