Fringe Fans…it has been an amazing journey, these five years of our beloved show.
I have a confession to make; I have tried to prolong these reviews as long as possible so I can keep the show alive. In my heart I never want it to end, but alas as with all great things it must eventually come to an end.
I am glad that the producers (mainly Joel) decided to break up the last two episodes into two separate ones. It makes it easier on this reviewer to be able to ease into the ending better.
Joel Wyman has often said time and time again that this show is about a family and with these last two episodes that has never been truer than now.
I suspect though that he was not only talking about the on screen family, but the off screen one as well. There are parts in both episodes where that is shown to its fullest extent.
I hope that you will forgive me if I get a little emotional when writing these reviews. This show has changed my life (and I suspect that I am not alone in that) in ways that I cannot describe.
It has given me faith again in television as a medium that can move people and can unite fans worldwide. It has restored my faith in quality writing, acting and directing, it has breathed new life into the sci-fi genre that has lost a little bit of luster.
Now on with the show….I like the opening and how the desperation and urgency of the situation is felt throughout the scene. There is always great banter between Walter (John Noble), Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia (Anna Torv) when they tend to get into their rhythm together.
It is always a treat because mostly Peter and Olivia are trying to decipher what Walter is saying. I love that Broyles (Lance Reddick) is still very much a part of their plan and that he is almost the shadow that moves between both worlds.
I love that he calls himself the Raven instead of Dove, which reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe and his most famous poem “The Raven”. The raven has always been a mysterious symbol as well; it has been steeped in mythology for such long time. It is very fitting that Broyles make that comment.
The scene with Windmark (Michael Kopsa) and Michael (Rowan Longworth) are great. It looks as if Michael has a slight smirk on his face, as if he almost pities Windmark in his attempt to extract information from him.
I love that Michael gives Windmark a taste of his own medicine, that he shows Windmark what it must have felt like to have been Walter or Hastings when they were both in the chair and being questioned by him.
The first is Peter Flemming, well known for his roles in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. A veteran character actor, Flemming portrays an Observer Loyalist Lieutenant who reveals the detention location of Child Observer Michael’s unwittingly after Agent Broyles trickd him into thinking he is to provide an extra security detail at Liberty Island.
That boy is strong, yes he is an anomaly, and he is the one thing that will ultimately be the downfall of the Observers. Michael Kopsa is as always great as Windmark, you are almost cheering at how he gets frustrated to an extent that he cannot break Michael.
I love how the answers to Windmark’s questions just bounce back at him, it makes it that much sweeter when you know that Michael is the clear winner in that ‘battle’. It makes me giggle to know that Windmark has been bested by a child. I find it interesting that he refers to Michael as “it” just as Walter did in a previous episode.
Where Michael is being held seems like a fortress as the team stated, but as Peter quickly pointed out no building is impenetrable. The plan that arises from the desperation is one that this viewer was happy to hear.
Leave it to Olivia (Anna Torv) to come up with the plan to save Michael. It has always been her ability to see the other side that has given the team its advantage. Only with the bridge closed how would they accomplish this, is the million dollar question? Only one answer…cortexiphan.
It seems that Fringe has harkened back again to old school, which I love. It brings back parts of the past episodes that have always been my favorites. Seeing the cortexiphan, brought back all the memories of Olivia entering the tank and all the amazing things she could do with it running through her system.
Olivia was always unstoppable, not even a bullet (well, at least without Walter’s quick thinking) could stop her. Once she triggered it, stand back because she was not afraid to use it and use it fiercely.
Anna has always had the capacity to channel that rage into action and power. Just watch her body language when she is amped on cortexiphan, it is like she was a whole person again.
Peter’s concern about the effects that the cortexiphan would have on Olivia is palpable. Olivia knows that he is worried, so is she, she knows that without Michael the plan is lost.
The second Stargate guest star making an appearance is the talented Peter Kelamis from Stargate Universe portraying Doctor”Tobin”. Tobin is called in to oversee the cortexiphan treatments given to Olivia in the lab warning she could be killed in the process if the dosage is too high. Naturally Walter overrides Tobin’s guidance and injects more cortexiphan into Olivia.
I love that Olivia reminds him that Etta died so that they could finish the plan, “both feet in, that’s what we said”. His comment of “What if I lose you, too” is so lovely, it is filled with such love that it almost stops the scene. Josh again shows his talent, his eyes reveal his pain at the thought of potentially losing her, too. She and Walter are all Peter has left, they are all the family he will ever have, now that Etta (Georgina Haig) is gone.
The points that Peter make about the Alt-universe and what if things are not where they remember and what happens if…are all valid and add fuel to his argument of why Olivia should not cross over. All good points, but Astrid (Jasika Nicole) is smart enough to figure out just how to solve that dilemma.
Walter and his brilliant inventions, it is because of that window that this whole mess started, but it is also the solution. Of course it doesn’t stop Walter from using yet another one of the wonderful (I will miss them) incarnations of Astrid’s name.
Seeing Michael in the chair and getting a paralytic is frightening. It is such a telltale about what Nina (Blair Brown) had said in the previous episode about how the Observers are animals. The way that Windmark is still affected by Michael, that he has to leave the room because the blood is still leaking from his nose is almost his comeuppance of sorts. It is almost getting to Windmark and Kopsa is great at just showing a bit of frustration.
The scene when they finally get to Battery Park to find the proper space to set up the window, to me is when the episode shifts. The team has hope again (that word again!) they might just have the chance to pull their plan off.
It is great to see Donald/September (Michael Cerveris) again. He has always had a wonderful part in the Fringe family as a somewhat outsider, but now that we know what really happened and the purpose he always served it makes his role in the ‘family’ a whole lot better.
I like that we get to see Donald constructing the device that will help him travel to the future with Michael. His careful planning and precise details would make Walter proud if he were there helping him.
It made me giggle, though because I could not help but think of that brilliant show (and one of Josh’s obsessions) Breaking Bad, on AMC. With Donald blending all the elements together, it just was hilarious, because it reminded me of the “cooking” that goes on when making meth.
One of my favorite scenes (and there are a few in this episode) is when the gang head underground to help ready Olivia for the cortexiphan. It is an intense scene between all the main characters, you can feel the tension in the air, it practically oozes off the screen. Josh and Anna are fantastic in this scene, the care that Peter shows is perfect and the pain that Olivia goes through is visceral.
When Peter is attaching the pads to Olivia’s chest, you hear her whisper to him “I’m okay”. It is such a sweet moment, because she knows him and what he is thinking without even saying it. Again, Anna and Josh are the epitome of brilliant.
Watching Anna take each and every “shot” of cortexiphan was torture, but that was the point. You felt her pain, every shift or change of her body you could feel. Every time I saw the needle go into her neck it made me cringe. It was a perfectly constructed scene.
That scene must have been so physically exhausting for her and everyone involved. Those scenes are never easy for actors to do, but I applaud her for being the trooper and barreling through it like the pro she is.
One of my favorite things about this scene is Walter (John Noble). The ability that John has to turn his megalomania on and off at the drop of a hat is proof of his immense talent. His comment about the fact that he knows about cortexiphan and the effects is hilarious, but also a bit scary. That part of himself that he has been desperately trying not to have resurface does at times. Too bad Nina (Blair Brown) is not around to rein him in.
“Sacrifice is hard, son, but you are no stranger to it,” is such a great line that Walter says to Peter. It has so much meaning, especially in the finale episode. It is basically a huge foreshadowing of what is to come and also a nod to the past and what Peter has lost in every time line.
“Neither are you dad,” Peter answers him, and knows that Walter can relate in so many more ways than he could possibly imagine. The times that Peter calls Walter dad are few but when they do happen, it makes my heart swell. It is such a beautiful moment between these two men and it shows all over John’s face.
I love that the images that are present in Olivia’s cortexiphan laden brain are of little Etta (Abagayle Hardwick) and the short time they had together. The fact that there is hope (that darned word) of them getting her back is one of the reasons, dare I say the ONLY reason that Olivia is doing what she is doing. The notion that she will have not only her “perfect little soul” back, but her husband and her life back is the best incentive ever.
The light in her eyes comment is funny. It gives Anna a chance to be snarky with Walter for once. It is also a tender scene with John and Anna embraces it wonderfully. Those two actors are always incredible in their scenes together. When you have two powerhouses going head to head it makes watching the scenes a whole lot better.
The moments of Peter saying goodbye to Olivia before she goes to the Alt-universe are beautiful. You can see in Josh’s body the worry and fear that is running through Peter.
He does a great job of manifesting it and showing it through his eyes. I have always said that Josh is great at revealing his emotions through his eyes and in this scene there is no doubt. The “I love yous” are just perfection. I guarantee every Polivia fan was squealing with joy.
Hello Alt-universe! Hello Bolivia, damn she still looks great for being 50 years old. I am so happy that Lincoln (Seth Gabel)and Bolivia got married and have a son. I was a little confused by that since we all know that she had VPE and nearly died giving birth to Henry in the episode Bloodline. Maybe things changed or they found a cure, but nonetheless it is amazing. Seth Gabel aged well…it is so great to see him again, too. I love that the producers are bringing back cast members from the past.
Am I the only one that got choked up and teary eyed when both Olivia’s hugged? I don’t know why it was such an emotionally powerful scene for me. Maybe it was because of the now friendship that they had developed despite the history that we the fans know has been a part of their past. It is as if they are long lost sisters seeing each other again, Anna does an exceptional job, as she always does when playing both versions of Olivia.
I was a little confused about how Bolivia knew about Etta and the fact that she was missing. I think there were a few scenes that may have been left out and that we will hopefully see on the DVD. I know that on twitter there were folks that had said that Bolivia and Lincoln’s son name was Trevor and that there was a scene that was shot but not shown. On well, let’s hope we get those in the DVD.
I also love the fact that the cortexiphan is affecting Olivia as she sees her little girl again at three years old standing in Bolivia’s office. It is such a jarring sight, but great to see Anna’s reaction to it.
The scene with Windmark and his superior in 2609 is great. That room is so stark; it is quite disturbing because it reminds me of a mental institution and the sterilization of what that represents. The baffling quandary of Michael and his advanced intellect is causing great concern for Windmark. He cannot accept the fact that Michael is far greater a threat than he could ever imagine.
That Michael may be the cause of their downfall. I think that even though Windmark doesn’t say it he feels it and knows it somewhere in that Observer brain of his. “There is no greater danger than that which is unknown” as Windmark states, which has been a running theme in Fringe since the beginning of the show…the unknown.
Talking about Michael like he is a thing is disturbing, asking that he be “disassembled and preserve the parts” is so creepy it sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel.
Olivia’s scene with Lincoln is great, I love that there is still a little reminder of the decision that she chose Peter over him; but that she is glad to see he has a wonderful family.
Seth is great at that tension and he shows it well, but I think he will always love Olivia, but differently now. Bolivia’s comment about “her young ass” is funny and so cute to see Lincoln react, they are completely in love and it is beautiful.
When she arrives again, she is clearly disoriented and keeps seeing things. Her hallucinations are some of the things that Walter warned about and Olivia has to be extra careful and know which ones are real and which ones are not.
Michael being wheeled to an examination room is eerily reminiscent of what happened to Olivia in the Entrada episode when Walternate wanted to vivisect her to see how her brain and the cortexiphan work. It is very interesting that Olivia was considered an anomaly to Walternate, a threat as well and look at what happened to her and how the show has almost come full circle again.
Olivia becomes her bad ass self as she roams through the halls looking for Michael, anybody that gets in her way gets taken out. You can clearly see the desperation and urgency in Olivia’s body as she races against time (literally) to get Michael and herself back where they belong. Anna is always at her best when she is in her kick ass mode; she has that confidence and swagger that has always made her great to watch as any incarnation of herself.
Rampaging through the hallway she fades in and out again, but after encountering an Observer and besting him, she charges toward her goal and finds Michael. The little smile that Michael has on his face when he sees her is sweet.
Just because he does not speak does not mean that he does not feel or comprehend what is going on. The contrary is the case with Michael; he is more in tune with everything and everybody that he is beyond feeling.
When Olivia and Michael make their way to escape and are caught by the Observer, you think they are done for until the team of Dunham and Lee open fire in a carefully choreographed synchronicity that you are cheering for them.
The last scene with both Olivia’s is bittersweet, again we say goodbye to the Alt-universe, we say goodbye to a part of Fringe that has always been a weird little part of the family.
Without it we would not have our beloved show, love it or hate it but know that it will forever be our Red verse! Goodbye old friend you will be missed.
Anna once again does what she does best; she is perfection as she bids herself a farewell. I love Bolivia’s retort to Olivia’s statement of “You have a beautiful family” and she says “Thank you, go save yours”…watching it again I am getting teary eyed.
It is a beautiful scene between two characters (albeit the same actress) that shows just how much each has grown over the course of the five years and the different timelines. They are not so different after all. Anna’s talent is one of the things I will most definitely miss on TV, she is a rare gem.
Arriving back with the team everybody breathes a sigh of relief, especially Peter. He has her back in one piece and he is glad. But the fight is not over as Olivia mentions that the Observers know she crossed over.
The scene in the van when Peter and Olivia have their moment together it is so…perfect. There is really no other word to describe that scene, a photo of that scene was leaked on twitter and of course it set the fandom on fire. Now we know the context of what is was and are very happy about it.
Windmark sitting at his desk as he asks the officer about how Michael disappeared is creepy. When he rats out Broyles you want to just scream, because that is very bad. But we all know that Broyles can most certainly handle himself..
It is so great to have the episode end with Donald going to see an old “friend”…December (Eugene Lipinski). I always liked his character, because he was always giving September the benefit of the doubt. He had a soft spot, so to speak, for the plight of September and the “family” he made himself a part of. The producers did a nice job of keeping that a secret too, I like how they are bringing back some of our favorite characters.
Watching that scene again floored me, here’s why, I was so excited about seeing December again that I completely missed what September said to him. When I did watch it again and September said “Walter Bishop is back and we have the boy,” makes me think that this was always planned. That what happened has happened and that the timeline needed to get reset again on order for things to be as they were. It was a HUGE HUGE HUGE revelation and one that segues perfectly into the next episode. That last shot of the door closing revealing 513 was pure genius.
Well, that is the end of this review of the second to last episode of Fringe ever. I hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did and used enough Kleenex to warrant opening another box. I would love to hear your comments and remember Fringe is and always will live on …forever!
Please feel free to leave a comment here or If you prefer, you may also click the social media icons below to share this news article or as many of our readers and visitors often do, visit the WHR on Facebook or me on Twitter by clicking the links or images avatars in this news story. See You on The Other Side“!
Until next time,