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. 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (758 Votes)

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

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Surely, having observers come back in time would change future events and give them a lot more time to evolve on their own. So why don't they look different? Nothing changed with them. But here is the twist. Could it be that time is a loop in the fringe show. The observers already came back and took over. They are simply just repeating it and there's nothing you can do to change it. This wouod explain why the future for the observers hasn't changed with the observers intervention. Also this would make the last scene in this episode sound more plausible. The observer told Peter " you don't know what you don't know" or something along those words. Peter kills the observer by extracting the tech and allowing it to gain entry into his body. This will eventually lead to him having observer powers 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.

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It's a shame they couldn't do more with the other universe. The flaws that I see is that the observers are humans from the future that are technologically modified. But that does t mean they can appear in two universes at the same time. My point is, if earth prime ( the one we are in now ) was take over then what occurred in the alternate universe. Nothing? The observers didn't take that one over too or did they? The second flaw I see with this story is that they are sending items back in time through the portal. The problem was that when they first appeared in the series, they simply interacted. September had influence on events and that changed the future. So why is it that the takeover did not change the very own observers future? A example would be going back in time, allow hitler to win WWII. Then your future would be dramatically different. It would not be the same future that you came from since you altered the past. So how are they sending things back? Surely, having observers come back in time would change future events and give them a lot more time to evolve on their own. So why don't they look different? Nothing changed with them. But here is the twist. Could it be that time is a loop in the fringe show. The observers already came back and took over. They are simply just repeating it and there's nothing you can do to change it. This wouod explain why the future for the observers hasn't changed with the observers intervention. Also this would make the last scene in this episode sound more plausible. The observer told Peter " you don't know what you don't know" or something along those words. Peter kills the observer by extracting the tech and allowing it to gain entry into his body. This will eventually lead to him having observer powers 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.

Modwild

@Zee Chen - If you're idea is corny, then I wish to eat a meal of only corn with you. This final season saddens me and when I once had hope with two universes working together to change the future, I now feel numb and depressed. Corn!!!

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I am hoping for a reset buried in the finale somewhere. Where they get to turn back time, have the life with Etta, and fix the observers for good.
I know it is corny, but I love this show and a happy ending would be so awesome.

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.

Peter

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

Walter
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