The Fringe Files – Episode 4: “She’s gone son”

Well this has been a long-time coming. Back in September, when I was figuring out what I wanted to blog about for the rest of the year, I came up with the idea for the “Fringe Files”. Fringe was entering its final season, so I wanted to write about every episode as it aired, like I did with Lost’s finale season. Only I stopped blogging and I stopped watching TV. Now that we’re in 2013, however, I’m getting back into the swing of things, and I’m finally starting the fifth and final season of Fringe, as the series finale airs later this week. So I thought that I may as well record my thoughts as I viewed, no matter how random and scattershot. So here we go. Spoilers, obviously, to follow.

Fringe 5×04 – “The Bullet That Saved the World”

“She’s gone son.”

Well damn. R.I.P. Etta. We hardly knew you.

R.I.P. Etta

Seriously, I’m not sure what to say after that. I’m upset. I’m sitting here wondering what the purpose behind Etta’s death was. It feels so meaningless at this point in the game. Maybe that’s the point. War brings casualties.

Fringe continues to slowly unveil its game plan for this season. Every time I think I have it figured out, they add another fold. So, all of the tapes are most definitely located somewhere in the lab. The problem is that the Observers have discovered the lab and the Fringe team had to re-amber it. So I’m not sure how they’ll get out of that one… start from scratch? Is Walter’s lab even safe anymore? I sure hope so, because this episode also introduced a fun new/old element – the fringe events. Turns out that Walter was secretly preserving artefacts from all of the old Fringe cases, which led to my favorite line of the episode: “There was a time when we solved fringe cases. Now I think it’s time we created a few of our own”. Looks like I was right about these last episodes being cyclical. I’m hoping that every week features not only a new video tape and a new part of the plan, but also a revisiting of an old fringe case that can be used to help with the tasks set out by the tapes. While down in the storage area, Walter’s flashlight lingers on the device he used to see through to the alternate reality. “There has got to be a better option for getting us into that train station than a portal that lets us see into another universe”. Oh, but Peter… we so badly want to see into that other universe. Please Fringe, don’t end without letting us see Fauxlivia and Lincoln one more time. Please. I beg of you.

The fringe event utilized this week to get past the security guards at the train station is the chemical compound from the season 1 episode “Ability” that causes scar tissue to form over all orifices, thereby suffocating the victim (the Fringe team needed to get to the train station because videotape #2 reveals that Walter hid his plans there). The Observer Captain Windmark refers to the act as barbaric, and he’s not wrong, but it seems pretty hypocritical coming from him. It is interesting to see the Fringe team storm in there like terrorists, using a fringe event to kill their enemies. Where was this Olivia in “In Absentia”?

There were so many great little moments in this episode (not to mention that this was the third episode in a row to have both a hatch and a video tape, so the Lost comparisons continue): the Observer playing Simon, “Astriff, prepare the laser”, Walter finding his porcupine man, the tentacled donut hole. I love Fringe.

Fringe Moments

The other highlight in this episode is the return of Colonel Broyles and his reunion with the Fringe team. He has apparently been working for the resistance under the moniker of “the Dove”. He met Etta five years back and she recruited him into the resistance and taught him how to guard his thoughts from the Observers. She was going to teach Peter and Olivia as well… but… I guess that that won’t be happening now. Sniff.

Broyles Dunham Reunion

Oh Etta. You were only in 5 episodes, but you will be missed. One more for the road.

Farewell Etta

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