Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fringe 5.4: Ghosts of Fringes Past

Talk about searingly bittersweet - mostly bitter, actually, but indelible on the psyche - we get a soul-satisfying scene, followed by one of by one of the biggest kicks in solar plexus in tonight's episode 5.4 of Fringe.

First, there's a delightful trip down Fringe memory lane, as Walter realizes that some of the mementos of Fringe cases past could help our gang in their future resistance against the Observers.   He kept what he could of what we saw in every Fringe episode, and selects the gaseous compound that causes skin to quickly grow over the lips and suffocate the target - in this case, tonight, the targets being human collaborators and Observers guarding Penn Station Newark (a station I know well, having caught a train or two from there down to Washington, DC when I taught at a college in New Jersey).

So far, so good.  And even better when we see Broyles, apparently collaborating with the Observers, but of course that couldn't be, and we see him in a great scene with Peter, Olivia, Walter, and Etta - one of the best this season.  Excellent acting by Lance Reddick who perfectly plays an older Broyles, with a little less of the Broyles quirk, and a slowing down just a bit as befits his age.

Tonight's show would have wonderful had it ended right then and there.   But Fringe isn't pulling any punches, not holding anything back in its final season, including the overwhelming superiority of the Observers, at least at this point.   And so the episode concludes with yet another tip-top gun battle, but an Observer gets the drop on Etta - and kils her.

A major blow, not only to the resistance, but to viewers.  Etta was a wonderful character, the best of Olivia and Peter, full of sass and power.   It doesn't make us feel much better that she manages one last move which takes out a bunch of Observers with a bomb.   Her loss is pretty close to insufferable.

Fringe, as we know, admits of time travel.   Certainly the Observers do it with ease.  In that sense, there's hope for Etta.  But until and unless we see her alive again, we've seen a sad and diminished future on Fringe tonight indeed.   Maybe even more reason that ever to watch what happens.




See also Fringe 5.1: Paved Park and Shattered Memories ... Fringe 5.2: Saving Our Humanity

See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17:  Second Chances ... Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides ... Future Fringe 4.19 ... Fringe 4.20: Bridge ... Fringe 4.21: Shocks ... Fringe Season 4 Finale: Death and Life

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ...Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe  

See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ... New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ...17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ...Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best








"As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

"Daddy, this is the best book I've ever read!" -- Molly Vozick-Levinson, age 12 at the time

"cerebral but gripping" -- Booklist

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