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 watching the fifth and final season of Fringe, so I thought that I may as well record my thoughts as I viewed, no matter how random and scattershot. By this point, the finale has already aired, and if you’re reading these, you’ve probably already seen it. So have I. I didn’t, however, want to simply upload 12 blog entries over the course of 3 days, so I’m spreading them out and continuing to post two a day. as the series finale airs later this week. So here we go. Spoilers, obviously, to follow.
Fringe 5×07 – “Five-Twenty-Ten”
“He did love you. And it wasn’t enough.”
Man. What an ending. I was going to recap it, but I’d rather just share it:
That last shot, where Peter tilts his head in the inquisitive style of an Observer and shows us how far gone he is, is chilling. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
This episode serves as a natural extension of a lot of the themes that were explored last week, namely the idea that Walter and Peter’s hubris is getting the better of them. The big difference here is that while Walter sees what he’s becoming and is actively trying to stop it, Peter did it to himself and has seemingly no qualms about losing his humanity.
Video tape #5 introduces another item that Fringe fans will be familiar with – the Observer’s beacons, or as Walter refers to them, the cylinders. He requires two of them for his plan and William Bell just so happens to have two in his personal storage facility, hence why Walter removed Bell’s hand from the amber (I’m glad that at least some things are coming together). We also find out that the reason Walter left the rest of Bell in the amber is because he supposedly betrayed them to the Observers, although nobody really has any clear memories as to how or why he betrayed them. I’m hoping we find out more about this situation later on down the line.
When the Fringe team arrives at the compound which houses the storage facility, they find their way blocked by rubble. Peter is able to use his Observer vision to locate the entrance, but his ear begins to bleed, causing the others to worry about him (and for good reason). Peter’s been sneaking around without Olivia and we find out that he’s been tracking the movements of Captain Windmark’s top lieutenants, which allows him to figure out the probability of their future actions. He’s pretty much predicting the future, in terrifying detail. He uses this information to swap out one of the Observer’s briefcases with one of his own, and when three of these Observers wind up in a room together and open the case, it explodes, releasing the biochemical agent that the Fringe team investigated in their very first case together (from the pilot episode). In the words of Captain Windmark, “barbaric”. And yet effective. Peter’s actually using his abilities to fight the Observers on an equal playing field. But at what cost? Peter lies to Olivia about the cause of his bleeding ear, but she knows something is wrong. She reaches out to Astrid, who reassures her that Peter’s simply going through a tough time, but Olivia can’t shake the feeling that she’s losing him.
While Peter’s off killing Observers, the rest of the crew reunites with Nina Sharp in order to gain access to technology that will allow them to break through the rubble and access Bell’s storage unit. It’s another sweet reunion in a season filled with them. Nina’s only too happy to help, and she provides them with a device that will sublimate the rubble into gas. She also offers a warning to Walter. She knows that his personality is slowly changing and she tells him that love won’t be enough to stop him from becoming the man he once was. She knows, because her love for William Bell didn’t stop him. Walter snaps at her, stating that the difference is that Bell never actually loved her. Walter is adamant that Peter will save him. However, once the Fringe team gets into Bell’s storage unit and unlocks his safe, Walter comes to a stark realization. Along with a remote the summons the two beacons, Walter also finds a photograph of Nina Sharp. William Bell did love her, and it wasn’t enough. Walter realizes that despite the love he has for his son, he can’t rely on it to carry him through. And so, Walter once more asks Nina to lobotomize him. These is the extent that Walter is willing to go to stop him from becoming the man that Peter is so quickly transforming into.
Peter acts Observer-like all episode, mimicking not only their abilities, but their behaviour. When Olivia enters Etta’s apartment to find a serious of timelines tracking the movements of the Observers, Peter comes clean to her, explaining that he’s using their own technology against them. She realizes what has happened and as she listens to Peter’s plan, she realizes her greatest fear – she’s already lost him. The question is – can he be saved? Or is love truly not enough?