Well Fringe fans, this past episode rendered me shocked and speechless.
My tissue box is minus a dozen or so tissues and my heart is broken. For everyone that has seen this episode you clearly know the reasons why.
Fringe has pulled out all the stops and then some, as I stated in a previous review, they are definitely going to go out with a bang and not a whimper.
This episode proves it in spades. I know that the remaining episodes will be a tour de force for everyone involved including the gifted and gorgeous Georgina Haig who discusses her role in Fringe below.
Before I start my review, let me comment on that intense promo for next week’s episode. It is clear that Peter has only one thing on his mind and when he gets it set there is no changing it.
An Origin Story will also give us a chance to see our beloved Polivia reconnect over the loss of their most precious soul. I for one cannot wait, it will be epic!
The Bullet That Saved the World:
Now, on to the episode, I like how it starts with Peter (Joshua Jackson) siphoning gas from a car and then heading into a pawn shop. The items that are shown are definite reminds of my youth and of the bygone era that I am sure Peter longs to get back to. If Walter had entered that pawn shop, well, the phrase kid in a candy store would be an understatement.
The shop clerk (H.A. Hunter) is trying to get him to buy other things than what he came in for, typical. Peter has his mind set on one thing and one thing only, he just wants to get that thing and get out. The Observer reads him, but Peter tries his hardest to fill his mind with random thoughts so that the Observer won’t know his true intention.
Joshua Jackson is great in this scene because you can see his body language change the second the Observer hands him the necklace. His demeanor becomes somewhat confident but with a definite undertone of nerves. This Observer does not seem as vicious as the others, he seems almost passive, which leads me to believe that not ALL the Observers are as bad as we think, September (Michael Cerveris) being the prime example.
Peter’s nerves are clearly starting to surface and that is never more evident than when he leaves the shop and has to literally fight his way out of the situation. He desperately wants to get back to his family. It is always fun to watch Josh be bad ass, it harkens back to his past and all the times I am sure he had to fight his way out of sticky situations.
Thankfully Peter makes it out alive, a little worse for the wear but alive. I am sure Peter is used to it by now, but it is still great to see him alive and breathing.
Meanwhile back at the lab…another great scene where Walter (John Noble) infuses his humor in the situation. John or Walter I should say always has a way of making even the most drastic situations a bit lighter because if his comments. This episode is no exception as we see in this scene and in some to follow.
The scene in the lab with Peter, Olivia (Anna Torv) and Etta (Georgina Haig) is a wonderful Bishop family moment. The concern that Olivia has for him is evident, even though there is some strain between them at the moment, the deep love they have for each other out weighs that.
I love that Peter again calls Etta kiddo and that he tells her the bumps and bruises are worth it. Any parent would say the same thing; they would gladly manifest their child’s pain if they could. I love that Etta is the one that ends up schooling her parents on how they will learn to deceive the Observers when being read. It shows how the combination of both Peter and Olivia is ever present in their daughter.
Georgina does excellent work in this episode as we will see as it progresses. The doubt and fear that Peter has about the Observers being two steps ahead and not knowing how to beat them, it trumped by Etta and her unwavering hope that they will defeat them…one by one.
Hope seems to be a recurrent theme in these episodes so far and I do not suspect it will be going away anytime soon. It is the one thing that they can hold on to. Sometimes that it all that you need to give you the strength to carry on. Hope is a very powerful thing, it is what saves people’s lives and gives them guts to face their fear head on.
I feel that in this season everyone is at the top of their game; they are the best they can be. Maybe it is because the actor’s finally know the fate of their characters and know how the series will end. The writing has always been brilliant, but again, this season is at its peak, with the loose ends from all the past seasons finally falling into place.
I have a few wild theories that I will pose to you the reader a bit later in my review. I may be way off on them, but in Fringe world, anything is possible.
It was so great to see Broyles (Lance Reddick) again! It wouldn’t be Fringe without him. I just hope we also get to see Blair Brown in the next few episodes, I miss Nina Sharp. The scene with Windmark (Michael Kopsa) in the pawn shop is great. It is a little weird seeing Broyles taking orders from someone else, when we are so used to seeing him giving the orders.
You can see the awkward way that Broyles is around Windmark, Lance pulls this off beautifully. He has a somewhat defeated disposition about him when it comes to taking orders from Windmark. Broyles, however, still has that toughness to him; he always has that authoritative air about him, but also knows compassion and loyalty as we will see later in the episode.
It’s sad to hear Windmark being so technical about the necklace and asking why would Peter come and risk his freedom for something so unexceptional. It makes you wonder just what happened to make the Observers so strict and inhuman. What caused this lack of emotion so much that they have become robotic? We may never find out…but then again maybe we will it’s Fringe after all. It is also sad because it makes me think about how such a small thing like a necklace can mean so much to the person who wears it. How that small gesture speaks volumes about the intention behind it.
The scene at the lab with the team as they are watching yet another one of Walter’s tapes, he mentions a story about how his mother took him on these Manhattan Mystery Tours which makes Olivia hang her head in her hands at the ridiculousness of the story. Hilarious! But Walter being Walter it all comes to a point about where the plans are hidden.
What comes next is very cool and unexpected, leave it to Walter to always be thinking, albeit not always clearly or rationally, ahead. His reference to the detective comics that Walter had as a child makes me think of the “Brown Betty” episode (which as you all know is my most favorite episode ever). Fringe…a full circle show. His mention of Pinkos and the mosquito comment later in the scene are classic Walter answers…brilliance at its finest.
The discovery of the past Fringe cases is so fraking cool! I love how the show always manages to take you back to the past cases, that everything in Fringe is connected. Maybe Walter did know something about what the future held, but again his memories are scattered at best. I love that he mentions that they should make a few Fringe events of their own. The one they chose was from the first season, the episode was call “Ability“. It was a horrific way to die, suffocating to death, no thanks!
Walter and food…I need not go into an explanation on this one, except to say that as usual, his stomach has won the battle and has not ceased to amaze me.
The disgusting but hilarious way that Walter tastes the jelly from the twenty plus year old doughnut hole, well, thankfully I wasn’t eating at the time. Again, I love how Walter or rather John Noble in this case can take such joy in the antics of our most beloved crazy scientist.
The scene with the Loyalist in the room with the Observer was scary, but in a way it was necessary, because it revealed a new aspect to the story. The code word Dove was mentioned, there has been speculation as who the dove actually is.
Some say its Broyles others think it was Etta or just maybe it could be someone else entirely different. The dove has always been a symbol of peace, harmony and hope…there is that word again. It comes as no surprise that Fringe has used this to give weight to the fight that they are currently in.
When the Observer asks Broyles about the relationship that he had with the Fringe team, a red flag went off. It seems that Windmark knows a lot about things that are past and that may be used against Broyles or other team members in the future. It is scary that Windmark has that ace up his sleeve. He is the true definition of diabolical. You can tell that the Observer is trying to read Broyles thoughts, but he was taught well and is able to deflect them.
One of my favorite scenes this episode is watching Walter and Peter play with a homemade projectile gun and he says “Pull!” and launches something in Astrid’s (Jasika Nicole) direction. The giddy look on both Bishop Boys faces is priceless. It is nice to see those wonderful father/son moments that have been rare but always profound. It also shows the hope that they have and the way that they can somehow imbue humor into their grim situation.
The next scene with the two fantastic actresses is wondrous. Those mother/daughter moments are what make it so wonderful to watch. Georgina Haig and Anna Torv have and incredible chemistry, one would think that they could be actual mother and daughter.
It is so beautiful to see Etta explain how she came about the bullet that she wears. I love that Etta says that she wore it to feel closer to her. She clearly had been thinking about her parents and finding them longer than we expected. “I figured it had to be important or you wouldn’t have kept it,” Etta says to her mother.
Oh kiddo if you only knew. Your very existence is due to that bullet and the symbolism of it. It’s even more poignant to hear what Peter called the bullet, a fact that we do know from “Brave New World Part 2“.
Again we see the sheer brilliance of Anna Torv and her aptitude to convey subtly, she has perfected it. You can also see the sadness in her eyes for the past that she remembers and longs for again. The memory of it forever etched in her photographic memory.
After that poignant scene things start to get volatile. The team’s sense of urgency is heightened when they know they have been compromised, thanks to Olivia’s idea of re-ambering the lab, it buys them some much needed time to escape. It also sets them back since now they have to work twice as hard to extract everything that they had to re-amber again. It seems their work is never ending.
When Windmark makes the statement that Etta had hid her thoughts from them and that others may have the ability as well, it is not a good sign. Windmark is onto something he just needs confirmation and he intends to get it anyway he can. He has no qualms about the way he does it, his way or no way.
The Walter electrocution line again, funny, but what follows it is what makes the last 15 minutes of this episode harrowing, heartbreaking, breathtaking and gut wrenching. It is writing like this that always put Fringe in the top notch of exceptional shows.
When Peter and Walter enter the train station and finally find their way underground the x that marked the spot is an age old symbol that was used in the 1940’s “Kilroy was here”…indeed he was. It is lucky for Walter that he used such an iconic symbol to mark where the schematics are.
Peter and Walter are interrupted by an Observer that seems, after being shot by Peter, to be able to teleport preternaturally. Finally escaping to find the other team members our heroes breathe a sigh of relief, if only temporary.
I love that Broyles pulls out a picture of Peter and Olivia from their days in Fringe Division. They were a part of his family as much as they were his team members and colleagues. The schematics look veryfamiliar to Fringe fans.
They look suspiciously like the etchings that were made on the table in Walter’s cell in St. Clair’s, only problem is he cannot remember them. I have a feeling I know why. I will be posting my theories at the end of this review.
It is so great to hear about how Broyles met Etta and that he had a hunch who she was before she told him. The affection that Broyles had always had for Olivia is definitely shown in his interaction with her. I love also that as soon as he found out who Etta was that he knew he’d join the resistance.
I love that Broyles mentions that Etta taught him instead of the other way around. Like mother like daughter. Some tissues were definitely used during this scene, well worth it though.
The irony of Windmark using the word barbaric to show his disgust for what the Fringe team did is very interesting. He is just as barbaric if not worse when it comes to what he has done to get the information that is needed from Walter or anyone he crosses paths with. Plus what happens in the last few scenes is the very definition and he shows that he is the epitome of the word and then some.
The hardware that Broyles brings to the Fringe team is frightening, but unfortunately a necessity in the war they fight, a fight that ends in the worst way possible. The last scenes are definitely edge of your seat when the team is chased into the warehouse. It was in these scenes that the heartbreak began and ended with the most poignant, gut wrenching, beautiful and utterly devastating loss in Fringe history to date.
Tissues and swear words were used by this reviewer profusely throughout these last scenes, both being strewn in all directions. The gun fight is reminiscent of past Fringe episodes and it always makes for great television. When Windmark asks Etta, while he is chocking her why Peter bought her the necklace, she for the first time lets him see in her mind. A memory of before the Observers invaded, her childhood, the one time in her life when she was happy.
It is a gorgeous scene and Georgina is a masterpiece. She is so at peace in this moment that it is almost surreal. She knows her fate, she knows what has to be done and she is the willing sacrifice. Love, her motivation since she found the bullet, she needed to find her parents, needed their love and to love them.
Something Windmark knows nothing about and will never know about. “You never know when to give up” Windmark says to her…she is a Dunham & a Bishop they never give up. It was in her DNA the second she was conceived and runs through her veins like her blood.
When Etta was shot, it was truly the shot heard around the world. I can honestly say that I never expected it and worldwide gasp and scream were heard from Fringe fans everywhere. When Olivia utters Etta, it is heartbreaking, she feels it, and she knows in her gut that something is wrong. A mother knows and has an instinct that will always be connected to her child.
The fact that Etta is holding onto the necklace is truly heartbreaking, I am teary eyed just re-watching and thinking about what it symbolizes. It truly is the bullet that saved the world, ironically because it is the catalyst that will drive her parents to continue the fight and avenge her death.
When Olivia, Peter and Walter find her, the flood gates of emotion open for me and I am sure every Fringe fan out there. There are not many shows that can make me cry, but this one managed to do it, this scene in particular. I suspect the finale episode I will be a puddle of snot and tears on my bed, but that is yet to come.
This is probably the most beautiful scene ever filmed in Fringe…so far. The way that Etta has come to terms with her fate, that she is calm and knows that she is leaving her parents after just finding them. She also knows what it’s like to be loved by her parents, to be a family again and to fight side by side with them as she always wanted to.
This scene reminds me of two things, What Edwin Massey (Paul McGillion) said in “The Recordist” episode about cowardice “You are not a coward if you are afraid, you are a coward and you know what needs to be done and you don’t do it”. Etta is her mother’s daughter, she is always putting others above herself, and she sacrifices herself for the good of the resistance.
She knows what needs to be done and without hesitation she does it. She becomes the hero, the martyr, the dove if you will a true testament of her genes and her love for her family. The other is my theory from a past episode regarding the chess game.
Both Anna and Josh astound in this scene. The frantic way they are trying to stop the bleeding and telling her they can get her help is calmed by Etta saying to leave her. The look in Olivia’s eyes is heartbreaking, Anna once again is astonishing, and she is a force of nature.
When Olivia tells Etta “I love you so much” it is profound, she doesn’t say that often and when she does she means it with her entire being. Etta’s response is perfect, “I know”-she always did, but to hear it from her mother, she can die in peace.
Josh is so amazing in this scene, he shows how distraught he is, he reacts the same way he did when Olivia was shot by Walter in season three finale. His world is shattered; again, he has lost her again, his perfect little soul.
No parent should go through that, but he now knows how Walter felt when he lost Peter twice. Walter is also mourning the loss of his only granddaughter, John again and always brilliant.
When the team is not been found, Windmark assumes that because of love they would go back and get Etta, once they investigate and find out they were wrong, they discover two things, they necklace is gone and the anti-matter bomb that she has, with seconds left on it. How Windmark gets out of there is beyond me. From a distance, her family watches and mourns the loss of one of their own, their daughter Etta who is now with her partner Simon Foster (Henry Ian Cusick)…partners forever.
The last scene of Olivia holding onto Etta’s necklace made my cry again. It will truly be the symbol of her undying drive to make sure that Etta didn’t die in vain. The look on Peter’s face as the episode ends is heartbreaking, his world ended the second her last breathe was taken. He will make it his mission for the rest of his life to exact revenge on the people who did this.
The hashtag for this episode was #TurningPoint and indeed it was for the whole team. A lot of fans were hoping that this would be Josh’s episode to shine, but I think the next week’s episode “An Origin Story” will be the one where we really see what Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) is made of.
I just hope that he uses that brain of his and knows that revenge is never the answer; as good as it may feel. It will definitely be an episode that will be talked about and no doubt will be one of Josh’s best.
Okay…now to my Fringe theories:
I have a feeling that we will definitely see William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) again. I think he has something to do with either the Observers invading or as Walter said to help complete his plan. Bell has been involved with Fringe either directly or indirectly from the beginning. He is definitely a cog in the wheel somehow.
When Bell talked about the Chess game in Brave New World Part 1, he had mentioned that “The most valuable piece is the Bishop and for the game to be won the Bishop must be sacrificed”. I had assumed that the Bishop was Olivia, now I think it was Etta. Bell knew the game, he saw the future, and he had already been there. “The art of chess, the art is knowing when a piece is most valuable (Etta) and then in that very moment, being willing to sacrifice it.
For in the vacuum created by the loss of one that is most precious (Etta’s death) opportunity abounds. Influence maximized and desire becomes destiny (Peter and Olivia’s wanting to avenge Etta’s death). It is a clever way for the writers to throw us off track and then truly reveal what was meant by Bishop being the most valued piece.
I think the parts of Walter’s brain that were extracted are the very parts that contain the information to the schematics found and I do believe that September dictated them to him. The Observers have the ability to cross time and September has always been part of the Fringe team’s life.
He knows their future but cannot tell them, so he told Walter the plan and then slightly changed it so that the events of the future would come back to that plan. There were also theories on Facebook about maybe doing another reset to before the Observers invaded so our team can defeat them before they invade.
Okay, those are my theories, I may be way off or right on the money, only time will tell. Thanks for reading this long review, I would love to hear your comments on it.. I hope you dried your eyes and put your heart back together, until next week…RIP Etta Bishop, you will be missed.
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Until next time,