FRINGE: 5.01 “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11”
FRINGE: 5.02 “In Absentia”
A reader dropped me a note today (thank you!!), asking my opinion of the new season of Fringe, which finally snapped me out of my non-reviewing and made me go: Raked, it’s been at least a week since you reviewed something. You’ve been wanting to react to this very different season of Fringe, now do it!
So here I am. Openly admitting to what I think so far about this new, different, dystopian final season of Fringe.
First and foremost, when I caught the season premiere, I kicked myself. We did have one brief encounter with this world last year. It wasn’t the finale, but I believe the penultimate episode, where we met Etta and joined her pursuit to find her parents and save the world. Unfortunately, having not realized what this season would bring, I didn’t think about going back and watching that VIE — Very Important Episode. So while I wasn’t completely lost, I did feel like I was at a disadvantage.
I still have yet to rewatch that episode, so I’m just going along. I’m incredibly intrigued to discover what happened to bring this future that we’re seeing. So far, we’re seeing two different versions of the months before the amber, where Etta disappeared and Peter and Olivia are reacting in the park. We’ve seen it from both their points of view, but that doesn’t mean we know any more about what happened.
What I find interesting, though, is how these events separated our favorite couple Peter and Olivia. After four seasons of wanting these two crazy kids together — and finally seeing them GET together — the writers successfully brought that sexual tension back by revealing that Etta’s disappearance broke these two apart. Now all I want by the end of the season is to see these two back together.
And, of course, the world fixed and made a better place. Which brings us to the future, namely, Etta. What do we think of Etta? Etta hasn’t shown us too much of herself in the episode last season and the premiere, but we sure learned a lot in Friday’s episode. Namely, who is she really?
She’s tough. She’s rather vengeful. She’s got one purpose in mind. And she’s a little frightening. The way she tortured that guard (who in the end, I do believe really had a son, but I guess we’ll never know) was just a frightening scene. And the look on her face when she saw her friend being experimented on…that’s not someone I’d want to mess with.
But there are things that can penetrate that forcefield. Namely, Olivia. Somehow Olivia was able to convince her to keep the guard alive when everything was telling her not to. Olivia’s still got a fresh perspective of hope, something that has been beaten out of this world, and it’s refreshing to hear her kindness.
So if the future is here, what’s next? Walter’s memories have been lost (by the way, the scene with him in the car listening to music was brilliant), and now the crew will have to look for five video tapes to put together the plan to save the world. At least we know where this season is going, but it doesn’t look like it will be a peaceful ride.
Personally, I like the direction of this season, even if it was a surprise to me. It seems fitting for the end of the series, and I’m still left with the many questions that Fringe demands you ask week after week.
But what do you think? Good, bad, or ugly? Your call.