"Five-Twenty-Ten" reintroduced us to the beacon used in past Fringe seasons that looked like a giant silver bullet, although I can't quite figure out how it will help save the world.
Walter continued to both hate himself and treat others poorly in some sort of a vicious catch-22, while Peter carried on with his ultimate Observer revenge mission, and we finally had a visit from the always welcome Nina Sharp.
Walter's ugliness was definitely resurfacing. When he was speaking to Nina, Walter had no idea that the love he and Peter had for each other was worthless, as they were both experiencing the feeling of omnipotence. When two men begin to feel like God, which one wins in the end?
The first time it happened, Walter opted to remove parts of his brain. If Walter did it again, would that round out to Peter turning into William Bell the Second? Would Olivia be left behind like Nina once was? How would Walter explain away that relationship falling apart, when he once believed so deeply in their love?
It was perfect that the only thing in Bell's safe other than the beacon finder was a photo of Nina. That photo of the woman he loved was protecting the prize the team was hunting for. So much for Walter not turning in the man he was afraid to be, even just last week when he spoke with Peter on the bus. Kudos to him for delivering the photo to Nina, admitting he was wrong. Begging for her to take his brain apart again was agonizing.
The whole time Walter was worrying about himself, I was equating William Bell and Nina Sharp with Peter and Olivia. Things are so very, very different than they were last year, when Peter met with September and learned that he had always been home, but everything was different because he had been erased. It was with one of the beacons they discovered with Bell's safe that Peter called to September and was able to discover the truth about the world. Olivia learned the feelings she had for this man she didn't know were real, because she had known him.
That was in "A Short Story About Love." The future seemed to bright then, as if nothing could come between Peter and Olivia. The Observers ripped him out of the universe. Completely destroyed him from ever being a part of anything and still, the strength of the love people had for Peter kept him alive.
Where are we now?
Peter is being erased from the universe again, but at his own hands instead of the Observers. He's also using bio weapons from the past, their very first Fringe investigation together. He's not using them on people, but on ... the kind he's becoming. He's obsessed and out of control. He's no longer a loving husband or son.
Peter's on a mission on revenge. I'm not even sure what's driving it at this point. Is it really Peter, or is it the wicked Observer he has become? Would the Peter we've grown to know and care for really be so full of hate? My answer is no. What we are witnessing now isn't Peter Bishop. It's a byproduct of a stupid move made in a vulnerable moment.
That's what putting that tech into his head was. It was stupid. He was grieving. He was alone when he should have been with his wife and father. His pedigree, both Walter Bishops, have shown again and again that taking on the world by yourself can lead to dire circumstances. You can't get much more dire than changing from a human into an Observer; the very things your daughter hated and fought against all her life.
Olivia finally looked afraid of Peter. She should be. He's been lying to them all, and nobody knows what he is capable of at this point. Losing him must look like more of a reality than she even imagined, and she knows very few people in the world to turn to for help with Peter's situation. By the end, he wasn't talking like Peter and he was losing his hair. Realistically, he should be sinking into group think at a rather quick rate. He'll probably be looking for himself soon, with his own photo up on the board next to Windmark's.
Walter will, no doubt, think of some way to reverse the effects of the tech. Peter most likely won't die an Observer. He may die, but not before returning to his normal self. In the meantime, we'll be forced to watch his family suffer as he runs rogue and puts himself and others into danger. The Observers are pathetic creatures. I didn't feel much excitement in seeing their faces melt off.
To live (or whatever it is they do) without ever knowing love, freedom or individuality is sad to me. Attacking them in a blaze of glory isn't what I thought it would be. Instead, I just feel heartsick. If Walter can't fix it, or Olivia's love (and nothing I've seen with the Observers so far leads me to believe love will play a part in this particular rescue) that's Peter's future we're looking at, and it's not a very pleasant thought at all.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.