Finally, My Reactions to the Fringe Finale

fringe final seasonFRINGE: 5.12 “Liberty”
FRINGE: 5.13 “An Enemy of Fate”

Did you have your kleenexes, folks? Because man, that finale took a lot out of me.

I went into the finale with some predictions and low expectations. That’s hard to say outloud. Low expectations? Why, Raked, how could you? I know, I know. But considering all the ground they had to cover and the fact that J.J. Abrams isn’t the most stellar at closing up loops with iconic series (I’m still a bit miffed at the Lost finale), I just didn’t know how they’d sum it up.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did they sum up everything (ok, yes, there may be some lingering questions, but nothing too bad), but as moment by moment went by in the final episode, we got so much closure with our favorite Fringe characters, and based on what I was seeing on twitter, I wasn’t the only one with tears streaming down my face at the end.

We all knew that somehow Walter was going to be a big player in this finale. He was really the reason that the world was what it was when he crossed over to grab Peter way back when, so we knew he needed to come full circle somehow. I thought he might die. But once the episode(s) started, we saw that he had a different fate: living the rest of his life in the future.

Of course, there was a brief moment when September was going to take his place. But even that was shortlived, as September took a bullet, and Walter took Michael’s hand. It was a bit of a bait and switch — the viewers felt that Walter was safe, and in the end, we still had to say good-bye.

Michael, to me, was just so interesting in these final moments. For being a phenomenon — one that was Observer but still harbored the emotions of humans — you really didn’t see much of that emotional side. It wasn’t until September’s death that you realized that the reason was not because he didn’t feel them; he just didn’t know what to do with them. Instead of crying at September’s side, he went into himself. Sitting alone, playing with the music box that September introduced to him, not knowing what else to do.

Walter had his own symbol, which we discovered in the final scene. The scene where back in the past, Peter got a letter from Walter, before discovering that Walter was gone forever. We finally got to see the end of that fateful day in the park, and when he was home, he got a simple gift from his father: a white tulip, Walter’s symbol of strength. At this point, I certainly couldn’t keep it together, and it was just so meaningful. Almost as meaningful as Walter’s own words to his son, “You are my favorite thing, Peter. My very favorite thing.”

[Hold for sobbing to subside.]

Overall, a fantastic way to end the series. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t poke a few holes in it, so here goes:

  • We learned it from Lost and we’ve seen it here: Abrams does not know how to age people. That being said. seeing Faux-livia and Lincoln again was a great addition to the finale, synchronized guns and all.
  • I do have a minor issue with the idea that they played with time, allowing it to be reset. Technically, if all Observers were suddenly eliminated, wouldn’t September, too? In that case, who would have saved Peter from the ice when he was a child? Wouldn’t Peter be dead…and then Olivia wouldn’t have Etta either? (For more on how time travel doesn’t work and will melt your brain if thought too hard, check out Fringe Science.)
  • The hallway scene was incredible — and a great nod to episodes past. I was very pleased to see that early Fringe cases were not forgotten, even in the future.
  • I’m rather distraught to think about how Astrid will never know Walter’s final words that her name was beautiful. Once they fixed the past, that conversation never happened, and she’d always think that he just never knew her name.

I’m going to miss this show, but kudos to that final Friday night. And I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that this talented group of actors gets some new work soon.

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