Posted October 1, 2012 by Jon Burrows in Movies & TV

Fringe Review: Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11

“Fringe has always been a show that makes great strides and takes huge chances.”


After a seemingly endless summer of waiting, Fringe is back for its last season and the remaining members of Fringe Division are the world’s last hope.

(spoilers below)

I’m dismayed to learn that the fifth and final season of Fringe will only contain 13 episodes, bringing the series total to 100 before ending. Fringe will shoot the number of episodes needed to sell the show in syndication–and not an episode more. Though the entire remaining season will be a fight for the future of Earth, I still would have liked a full 22 episode order. Nevertheless, when you know exactly how many episodes you have left, you know won’t have the rug pulled out from under you. The writers and show runner will be able to craft an eloquent ending. At this point, the show isn’t gaining new viewers. For those who forgot the stand alone episode in season 4,”Letters of Transit,” Walter provides a narrated recap at the beginning of the episode as a primer for the show’s present reality.

Fringe has always been a show that makes great strides and takes huge chances. Many of the problems from season 4 seem irrelevant now. The alternate universes are no longer in contact or accessible, meaning we won’t see a return of Agent Lincoln–at least as a main cast member.  Returning to the original time line Peter Bishop existed in for season 1-3 is a forgone conclusion. We are left to wonder: is this an alternate reality? In Peter’s original timeline, was this always bound to happen? Was this why Observer designation: September pulled Peter and Walter out of the ice in the first place? Or is this just one possible outcome we are focusing on for the final stretch? The team faces an intriguing predicament.

When getting into the timey-wimey of it all, I can’t help but think of the damage the observers are doing to their ancestors. From what we know, they come from many years in the future. They are our descendants, and yet seem to have no problem popping back in time, enslaving and poisoning the populace by destroying the air. It makes sense that in the future they come from, the observers have become accustomed to breathing more polluted air. With their treatment of all humans as slaves and cattle is there no risk of damaging the timeline they came from? With their ability to move seamlessly between the two universes, have they colonized the other side as well? Whatever the outcome, September was a hero and the only friend humanity had from the observer’s side. Evolutionary and technological advances came at the cost of the observers conscience. They can see and understand the structure of things like music, but cannot appreciate it’s subtlety or beauty. Over the generations, their gifts made them a society of Philistines.

“Overall, the season premiere was a very strong set up for what’s to come.”

This new future is bleak. The are turncoat humans who serve as the enforcers for the occupiers. There is an entire black market where anything can be bought or sold. There appears to still be currency, but organic food is more rare and valuable. The performance of Georgina Haig as Peter and Olivia’s daughter, Etta, elevates the believability of this new reality. She becomes the face of the fallout. We care, not just because of the story’s dystopian nature, but because of her predicament and strong emotional ties to our main characters. It is especially moving when Etta reunites with Olivia. From the set up episode in season 4, we know that Etta is unreadable by the observers. This episode her cover is finally blown as a resistance member. Between the observer’s discovery of Etta’s commanding officer as a double agent, and the break in rescuing Walter, she is now a public enemy. One of the worst parts of this future is how humanity has turned on each other. Black market dealers have everything for sale, even information to the oppressors. With no hope, people either live in the shadows, or serve the observers as their police force. There’s nothing worse than opportunists who would turn on their fellow man simply to ensure their own safety.


There were some ridiculous moments in the episode like Peter’s bat lock spray loosener, and Walter finding a car that had enough power to run the CD player. The intention here came across clearly; the music helped give Walter hope, and possibly aided in repairing the damage done to his mind. The song choice was less than ideal. Something classical, or from Walter’s youth, would have been more poignant. Instead we got UK pop from 1982 (when Walter would have been in the asylum) because the artist comes from UK branch of WB records.

Overall, the season premiere was a very strong set up for what’s to come. Will we see anyone cross over from the other universe? What role does William Bell have to play for his return (and will he be sporting a hook in place of a hand?) Will Etta’s partner, Simon, be revived from the amber? Did Olivia’s niece and sister survive the purge? For diehard fans of Fringe, the story set ups are both exciting and mind-blowing. In 12 episodes, the series will end forever, most assuredly with a bang.


Jon Burrows

An exclusive writer for Geek Smash, Jon hails from Mississippi and has a passion for music, comic-books, and writing. He collects antique cars and enjoys shooting handguns. Jon sings in his church choir, volunteers his time helping the Salvation Army at local events and doubles as Santa during Christmas season.