Fringe Review: The Beginning of The End

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I couldn't have laid bets on the meaning of "An Origin Story."

I still don't know for sure, but it can only be assumed that origin refers to the beginning of the Observers, as Peter went to great lengths to stop them and when he couldn't beat them, he decided to join them. Say what?

A Catastrophic Event

Who would have thought, two years ago, that I would have missed a case of the week episodes of Fringe? I wanted to know more about the mythology and lore and what made the worlds tick. I had no idea we were headed to 2036 and this incredibly dark place.

I now understand the purpose of "The Recordist." It was to show us that in spite of the horrors to be had in 2036, there were still people left to save, wonders to behold and reasons to fight. If we hadn't been shown the outer fringes of society still functioning without the daily influence of the Observers, I'd say just let them win.

When Olivia said she was afraid for Peter, he thought she meant his physical self. It was then that it became obvious he had lost sight of the big picture. Wonderful Walter, astute as always, understood exactly what Olivia was talking about and asked Olivia to face the pain of losing Etta head on with Peter by watching a birthday video of Etta he had hidden away in his desk. 

Walter understood first hand how devastating it was to lose a child, as he had done it more than once. Like Peter, in this world of Fringe we can always hope that Etta will be back, but in the meantime the grief experienced by Peter and Olivia is still all encompassing. Walter had kept a box of toys that he used to fondly remember Peter, and he offered to Olivia the birthday video. The little girl was the daughter she knew best, as they had only recently come to know their adult child before she was brutally taken away again.

It took a while for Olivia to warm up to the idea of watching the video and to recognize how close she might be to losing Peter. Was she too late?

Peter's anguish got the better of him as he attempted to read the Observer using his keen analytical skills through mental manipulation and pupil dilation. As soon as the Observer's eyes veered to the left, I knew he had won. Peter did not. His attempt to stop the shipping lane from the future was foiled.

Why did it never occur to me the Observers were more than genetically enhanced and an actual technological product? Were we aware of this? I had my dunce cap on because until Peter said it and the light bulb went off that the same tech could be in HIS head, I was oblivious.

One thing I don't believe is that it's as easy as carving the piece out and slicing into your own neck to pin it into your spinal cord to get the Observer effects. Fringe requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, but this was pushing me to the edge just a bit. Well, more than a bit. 

Whatever it did to him, it will apparently happen gradually, as his conversation with Olivia was about as normal as any other conversations they had recently. As Olivia struggled to hold onto her humanity, Peter seemed poised to throw his right out the door in his determination to give Etta credit in saving the world. He didn't even stop for one second to think about what he might become and how that goal might disappear due to his linear desire.

I really don't know what I expected from the final season of Fringe. This wasn't it. On January 18th, it will all come to a crescendo whether I like it or not, and I'm gritting my teeth in the hope that I do, because I really want to end out what has been one of my very favorite programs of the last 20 years with a favorable experience. 


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

Strawberry fields

Wow, this is seriously dark. Peter going crazy was well done, powerful and intense scenes, but I hope we will get normal Peter back soon. Olivia will pull him back, I'm sure of it. When the season started, it became obvious dark times are ahead, but I wasn't ready for something like this. Too depressing. Especially after Etta died, I loved that girl so much. It's different than "Fringe" from just a year ago... I hope we will get a happy ending after all his.


Wow! This is not the fringe I remember loving. There's not much story line going for Olivia, she looks broken and I hate seeing that in her. They have strayed right from the point of what fringe was and is meant to be. I hope that it will get a great ending it deserves.


@Forty Seven. Lol. Thanks for that. You gave me good laugh. Still chuckling. I feel exactly the same way. At this point , I am just hoping for a reset in the end. It's all crazy but I'll admit I'm intrigued.


Etta's dead and now Peter's insane. WTF?!


Fringe should have given Olivia an Active storyline dealing with her past, confronting Walter and Bell, that would have been her character growth.
Walter is an arrogant egocentric bastard, (Peter as well)he used children as labrats, but Fringe shows Walter as the poor selfpity Walter. I wanted to know what Olivias life was before the end of Fringe, who her father is, how she felt about her mother and Olivia angry at Walter for damaging her life. Instead she has been turned in a Peter needy girl, who treats her like a little wifey, and now she is going to be Elisabeth, as we can predict that she has to save him and Walter from the bad to do the good, not by action, but with love, yuk.
And I totally understand Anna Torvs love for Over There and Altlivia, Olivia is a great character, if only they would write for her.


Ok fringe went from normal awesome crazy to stupid bat shit crazy in one episode. What the hell was Peter thinking? This season has been a mess and a half. I just wish they would catch a break already. I also hope that if they do succeed, things are reset and Etta comes back.


I believe that's it goes back to where September saved both Walter and Peter . September must've known something because he wasn't supposed to save them. Maybe he knew that Walter and Peter were the key to saving the world from the observers and that Olivia had a part in it to save them


to Kevin: Peter does not need to be the first Observer as well, he was already mr knows evrything, he got the being the Important one, he got to be God in S3 and Jesus in S4 , there is no need to give him another extra . At the same time Olivia was the Thinking Inetlligent Strong FBI agent, with an ability thanks to Walter and Bells abuse, She went from Peters girl in S3 and some more in S4 till now being treated by Peter as some little woman, she still has her gun, but that is it. Please give Olivia her role back, the show is called Fringe, not Peter.


Maybe this makes Peter the very first observer. By doing this, he created the observers due to the time loop. Thus putting in motions their existence and their very events that lead to the take over.


My predictions coming in full force. 4 epi of Obs Peter (he really has been made into SuperGod Superevrything and now Neo at once, nothing left for Olivia), Olivia having to get him back with care, Elisabeth Bishop , but with these Bishop men, the one that is going to kill herself, I would. Last part of the season Walter full of guilt and selfpity, and we go to the end with the reset, by again SuperHeroGod Peter. Anna Torv was brilliant: all her pain and anguish was there. Anna really has gotten the ungreatful part again this season, what adisgrace they did so little with my Olivia Dunham. BTW big mistake that it was not set in 2016.

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Fringe Season 5 Episode 5 Quotes

Our daughter dedicated her life to freeing us, and now we're going to dedicate ours to making sure that that means something.


Abner, why did you leave the propane tank there if the first place?