Fringe fans—we did it. We got five seasons of Fringe. Even with those terrible ratings and timeslots that jumped all over the schedule, we got all five and producers are getting to end on their own terms. (And unlike Chuck fans, we didn’t have to buy any Subway sandwiches to do it!)
But watching the season premiere, “Transilience Thought Unifer Model-11″, a fan couldn’t help but wonder both of the following:
a) “I never would have suspected The Observers taking over would be the ‘end game’ for the show, as opposed to something having to do with the alternate universe.”
b) “Gosh… I feel like The Observers becoming evil needed a bit more set up.”
Perhaps The Observers taking over the planet, since they ruined their version of it sometime in the 2600s, had always been the producers end-game. But it’s a bit of a head snap since the alternate world no longer seems in play (for now) and while we get hints of the gaps between 2012 and 2036, it still seems like an awful big rush to get to this point, even if all of this was set up in Letters of Transit episode last season.
To enjoy season five of Fringe, you have to make a narrative leap. And just go with it.
One narrative leap that might be tougher to swallow – yes, even more than that – is the idea that Peter and Olivia, who had been through so much together (he basically punched a wall through the universe to get back to her last season, even though the universe didn’t really want him there) separated when their child was taken.
Narratively, it’s fascinating to see one of them fight to find that child, while the other fights to save the world (which, inevitably, would save that child.) And gosh, seeing that fight would be awesome. But instead, we skip past it. But hopefully we’ll get to see it in flashbacks.
Put aside those leaps of faith, however, and you come away with a pretty entertaining hour of television, and one that perfectly sets up the endgame. Plus, who didn’t feel something dusty in the air when Peter put his hands on Olivia for the first time after she’s de-ambered? Or Olivia lays eyes on her now grown daughter?
While things seem pretty desolate and pretty dire in the future, all hope is not lost. The Observer torturing Walter tells him that nothing grows in scorched Earth. But Walter, who plays an old song in a dead car at the end of the episode, does indeed see a dandelion growing in the scorched Earth. Not unlike the one that is blowing away when Etta plays in the park in the flashback at the beginning of the episode before she’s taken away from her parents.
Walter can’t remember the plan for defeating The Observers that September put in his head, and Etta seems pretty convinced it’s lost forever. But our heroes will find it. And will find a way to defeat them.
My theory? Perhaps September also put that exact plan in Walternate’s head. Just in case.
- I hope we see flashbacks to why Etta was kidnapped by The Observers and what was done to her. Did they kidnap lots of kids? Or just her because they knew of Peter and Olivia’s importance?
- Glad to see Desmond… er… Etta’s boss isn’t forgotten. Have to imagine he comes back into play at some point.
- I hope Leonard Nimoy’s appearance in season 5 isn’t just to see him in amber and his hand. I actually hope he gets de-ambered and has a larger role to play. I still hated it when he was a ret-conned a bad guy last season and hope he gets redeemed.
- If The Observers can be at multiple places in multiple timelines, couldn’t they have foreseen all these break-outs? Uh oh, there I did it. My mind just turned to mush…