Fringe Review: Haven't We Been Here Before?

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"Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" brought us so close to the alterverse, but all Walter did was wander into a pocket universe. Whatever that is.

No doubt it's something that allows for as little extra makeup, characters and excitement as possible. The poor guy he found roaming the halls there thought he was in purgatory. I'm beginning to think I'm in Hell. 

Walter on a Search

To say I was disappointed we weren't immediately hit with consequences to Peter's self-implantation of the Observer tech is putting it mildly. At the very least, a damned infection seemed to be in order. Who else could have pulled a dirty, bloody unknown gizmo out of a living neck and them jammed it into their own without one, tiny bit of misfortune because of it?

I think of the number of things Olivia went through and how every time she was faced with consequences. Every tank dump to try to enter the mind of her first partner, John. The last time she was dosed with cortexiphan her two worlds split in two and she lost the life she knew in the new timeline, thinking she was going crazy in the process. And that was from a drug that was already present in her system.

What Peter introduced to his was foreign, unclean, unsafe and unproven. 

We still have the new, improved Olivia Dunham. She no longer runs from her feelings, but faces them head on, almost revels in them and is willing to help Peter confront whatever he is feeling as well. She spent years trying to pretend nothing could hurt her, and now she's somehow the pinnacle of mental health.

Where is Anna Torv's material? As the many facets of Olivia, Olive, and Liv in this universe and the alternate, as herself and Liv playing her and so on and so forth, she's made Fringe sing. Her reward in the final episodes is to become a supporting character. I don't understand.

I was worried early on about the Myst-like premise of searching for video tapes and putting them together like a puzzle. Puzzles take time. Time is something we really don't have. We're still finding the corner pieces and are halfway through the board. That's a lot to build upon for the middle of the puzzle, and it will still take a long time to get a clear picture of the full plan. 

To top it off, we've been here before. Last year, in "Brave New World, Part 1," Olivia exhibited some of the same superpowers from her cortexiphan trials that Peter got via the implant. Remember, she was stopping nanites and controlling Peter like a Wii. Does that mean there is some connection between the two? Maybe. But when the Observer finally started punching Peter around it apparently knocked the last pin into place because that was what he needed to notice any change whatsoever from the implant.

We wondered in the latest Fringe Round Table what or who the Observers are now that we know there is some tech involved. Do they all have it? Are they born and then enhanced? Are only those in the Army enhanced? So many questions, but none of them are even close to being answered. Seeing Peter doing things Olivia did when she was at the height of her powers does make me wonder if the tech doesn't also infuse some cortexiphan or equivalent into the host's system. 

I'm losing my faith that we will have answers as the show comes to an end. Perhaps they're playing their cards close to the vest in the hopes of getting a movie deal instead of finishing things off on television. There's no doubt I'm going to watch until the conclusion of the series. I won't miss an episode. But the faith I had at the beginning of the season is gone.

Could they throw a Hail Mary pass? Sure. Let's start with utilizing Olivia. Oh, wait. They're filming the last episode. Any input is too late. I hope Walter's talk about hubris and becoming the man he didn't want to be again after his brain was put back together wasn't some sort of secret message about the series. Help me keep the faith with some dazzling comments!


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


Don't forget the rest of the main seartm beliefs: Should 12 year olds be allowed to get abortions without their parents knowing? Should you be required to get Federal approval before you mow your lawn? Should you have the right to defend youself and your family against bodily harm even if deadly force is required? Should China (or Germany, France, etc) be involved in making US laws? Should convicted sex offenders be allowed to work in the public schools? Should you be required to pay for the sex change surgery of your neighbor?


Let's speculate..
I like what others think that the Inner Child is September.. or Peter is September. At least nobody thinks Peter will be Lord Valdemort. Its likely Donald( I hope its Sam becoz I missed Uncle Eddy) took out the boy from Doraemon pocket to the outside world that boy grew up. I love the idea of pocket universe. It reminds me the ending of Men In Black 1 final where our universe is just inside a marble.. That even remind me of an anime called Captain Future where the hero investigate the theft of some black pearls from some famous museums. Later it was found out that the pearls if tied together is a doorway to a micro universe where the villains want to invade to get a valuable minerals. The hero save the micro universe and give them a sun.. oops sorry but I really love the idea...


My guess: peter and olivia will travel back in time at the end to the point before the Observers took over and get to live happily ever after.
Reality that confuses this: peter has oberver tech in his head... does this mean that he is now an observer? if the plan to take down the observers involves this tech in their heads, peter's in trouble.


@Ninja13, No


From the very beginning I loved Fringe but now I am glad its ending so I don't have to try to figure out what is going on!


Plus- if a series generates this much conversation, isn't it a testament to it being great entertainment-- even if you're unhappy?


I've only read a few comments & stopped myself because people are getting pretty passionate about their point of view... but here's my two cents. I like this season & it's my hope that it goes like this- Peter & Olivia find a way to thwart the observers & travel back in time to a point before the observers separated them from Etta & they get a third chance to reunite their family. Perhaps it's a bit fairytail-ish but who cares?? I'm a romantic & want Peter & Olivia together. It would be awesome to end the series with them beating the observers. I like that they had advance notice about when the series would end so they could write it's conclusion on their terms. It's a bummer when a series has a cliff hanger for the end of the season & then they get cancelled.


Seriously, what the HELL is going on with all this peter/olivia fan rivalry.
This is really, really sick. You guys are maniacs, you do know that, yeah? I don't know what elese to say.
Unlike the majority here, as it seems, I totally enjoyed this season so far.
And as for Peter becoming an observer: I like where this is going. Can't hardly wait for the remaining episodes!


@Bob, you do know that Jeff Pinkner left and isn't writing on the final season, right?


This season has been very disappointing. I did like the pocket universe. I liked Peter's superpowers but I want to see Peter and Olivia together in love, marriage and being badasses.

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Fringe Season 5 Episode 6 Quotes

Don't you see Peter? I'm not safe. It's my mind. Ever since the pieces of my brain were re-implanted, it's been changing me back into the man I was before. Bit by bit, I'm losing myself Peter. I'm losing the man that you helped me become.


Walter: Please son, whatever happens, don't let me go.
Peter: I won't dad, I promise.