Fringe Finale: Fatherhood and Family
I’ve watched Fringe since the beginning and I even survived the gawd-awful Season 3 Peter-sacrifice that caused him to be written out of reality only to be asserted back in, and have no one remember him. Though taking that out of the equation, I was pleased as punch with the following two seasons and I really enjoyed the series finale of Fringe. Also, it can be confusing if you haven’t seen any or all of the episodes. Just warning you.
Also, there are spoilers. You’ve been warned.
I think the whole scavenger hunt was a useful writer’s tool to make sure that they could spin out the final episodes and have it bring everything together, but it is a bit cliché. Rarely have I felt that a series ended faithfully and fully encompassed the show, as most shows that I like get canceled before they have any real momentum. The last two episodes pick up immediately after the previous one, where Michael, the anomaly from the future, is being interrogated by Captain Windmark, the leader of the Observers. Only instead of mental superiority, all Windmark gets is a bloody nose and a busted up looking eyeball.
So instead of mounting a full on frontal assault to save the mute-Michael, they turn to stealth and trickery, a personal favorite. Since Olivia burned up all the Cortexafan (Translation: Super Mind-Juice) in her system, she hasn’t been able to jump universes. So, side effects of cerebral hemorrhaging be damned, they’re going to jump universes and save the boy. This also gives a nice neat bow for the other universe, as we now find out what happened after Peter closed the barrier between worlds. Olivia gets real high, takes a deep breath and steps into another universe to be confronted by Faux-livia some 21 years in the future.
So with some careful planning, Olivia managed to recover Michael without too much issue, and they take him back to the lab to keep safe. Thus ending part one of the show.
Part two picks up with the continued plan, which is to send Michael the boy into the future point where the future scientists discover a way to mute emotions and raise intellect, which Michael has a way of raising both, something previously unheard in the timeline. Because of this, they want to subvert the Observers from arriving in the past, so that Peter and Olivia can get their daughter back. *sniffles*
Broyles is followed and found out to be a Mole. The observers follow him and find out the majority of the plan, the importance of the boy, and that Broyles is carrying the part that Donald/September needs to complete the device to travel through time.
Then follows what I believe to be the most poignant moment of the series, one where the character of Walter becomes instantly redeemed for what he has done, something that he has been trying to achieve all season since learning of what he used to be like before they carved out the bad parts. The story so far has been all fantastical with sci-fi elements but what is really at the heart of the show is a story about family, fathers, and sacrifice. While tunneling through the amber, Peter finds an empty inoculation syringe and a final tape in Walter’s handwriting, addressed only to Peter. Walter having not remember making any tapes, watches with Peter as they play it.
Walter explains that he is gone now, that he sent him a letter, and that peter called to ask about it, and Walter was gone. He explains that he is alive and well in the future, and that what he did, he did it for Peter, Olivia and Etta (their daughter). That the time they all had together, he stole it and isn’t remorseful about the time they had. Which of course makes no sense, until Walter speaks up after the tape ends. He’s going to go with the boy, to make sure that he gets to the proper scientists. In order to do this, nature has to delete Walter and the boy at the moment of the invasion. Paradoxes cannot exist in nature.
Damn. That’s really emotional, and I think that it plays upon the whole theme of Fathers and their sacrifices for their sons. Walter sacrificed the stability of two worlds for his son, Peter sacrificed 21 years of life to find his daughter, and in turn now is doing everything he can to get her back. And now Walter is willing to cut himself completely off from those he loves, in order for Peter to get back his daughter.
Cue Final Countdown.
Agent Broyles has been captured by Windmark and is being interrogated to find out where everyone is located. They find an alternate way to get to the future, through the shipping lanes that push goods/technology for the Observers. The device is rendered mute, as they are now going to raid an observer building in order to get one of the shipping lane devices that will open a time portal.
Broyles is conveniently also being held within the same building. So instead of leaving him to die, they decide to rescue him by pumping various technologies that they had once stopped in previous episodes. My personal favorite is the alien worm parasites that just kind of explode out of chests.
Donald does something that brings a smidgeon of hope to the end: he takes the final inoculation in order to travel through time so that Walter doesn’t have to go! They bust in, save Broyles and make their way to the point where the shipping container is supposed to be located.
Now a lot of things relevant to the plot happen in quick succession. Mostly I don’t want to ruin the ending for you. As a few twists happen along the way, but I will leave you with one simple satisfaction.
Closing, I think the writers of the series have done a fantastic job, and bring together the whole series in a very concise manner. The progression of characters have been absolutely enjoyable to watch, and the ending brings in a lot of emotions that bring together a well rounded series. I am sad to see it go, but I am happy with how it ended.
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