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Fringe "Black Blotter" Review: Don't Try This at Home, Kids

Fringe S05E09: "Black Blotter"

Back when I was in college, there was a tradition called Founder's Day where once a year before finals, adventurous and free-spirited students would roll around on the grass under the influence of whatever mind-benders they could get their hands on while indie bands competed for their attention against some really cool-looking clouds, man (so I'm told, ahem). Fringe has a similar tradition, and each season, it reserves Episode 19 for a far-out trip away from the norm; in these trips have involved a whole lotta singing (Season 2's "Brown Betty"), a cartoonized adventure (Season 3's "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide"), and a seemingly unrelated leap into the fuuuture (Season 4's "Letters of Transit"). For both the Fringe writers and my fried college buddes, these experiments are/were a chance to let off some steam before the crunch. They're also a mish-mosh of unforgettable moments (the thrilling "Letters of Transit"/laying down on the ground right in front of a Penthouse-era Luna while the sky danced to the music) and mistakes we wish we couldn't remember (the regrettable "Brown Betty"/being attacked by invisible snake-worms while a friend morphed into a wizard).

I compare the two because despite the outcome, it's the anticipation and not knowing what to expect that makes them so much fun. Well, that and the psychoactive drugs. Because of its shortened season, Fringe turned Friday's ninth episode of the season into its special Episode 19, and it was one of the weirdest the series has offered. There wasn't a consistent theme or constant gimmick. It was just Walter doing some acid and trippin' balls. And though it was also not much else, I adored it.

"Black Blotter" was entertaining largely because of the powerhouse performance by John Noble (what else is new?). Surrounded by dancing fairies, rainbow tracers, and one amazing Monty Python-inspired vignette, "Black Blotter" was a risk that would've failed without a centerpiece who could shoulder the load, and Noble carried the episode all the way to the finish line and could have done it all over again without breaking a sweat.

When you look back on "Black Blotter," all that really happened was that our heroes eventually found Michael, the Observer boy the team encountered way back in Season 1 and was reintroduced to in "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There." Wheels were spun as Olivia and Peter tracked down the source of Donald's radio signal to the site of an old fight and a signal relay, a fairly pointless exercise except for revealing what'd happened to our old friend Sam Weiss. But there was something in the way the whole episode was presented that made these frivolous tasks more than tolerable.

Fringe's fifth season shall forever be known as the broken-record season, as it's repeating its themes until they permanently become part of our brains. Walter's struggle with regressing back into his old egotistical self has been a key to the season since late in the premiere, and we got a lot more of that in "Black Blotter." But thanks to the magic of some kick-ass acid, it was never fully presented as such. Walter's brain created hallucinations of Carla Warren, an old colleague who warned Walter about the dangers of transuniversal travel in the excellent episode "Peter." She was an imaginary cocktail of hubris and guilt (she died in one of Walter's experiments) that tried to kickstart Walter's God complex, and was only thwarted by a hallucination of a young (and sorta creepy looking) Nina combined with Walter's willpower. And the final moments, when Walter was coming down and scenes from "Peter" were being projected onto the wall as Walter's memories flooded past, were nothing short of beautiful. Again, it was more of the same and nothing we hadn't seen before (Walter's struggle with keeping the bad Walter at bay), but thanks to a trippy presentation and Noble's superior talent, it was intriguing again.

Season 5 will also be known as the season we blindly followed a plan without knowing where we were going. "Black Blotter" may have connected the group with little bald Michael, but for what reason? We've now collected some red rocks, an old formula, some fancy tech that drills into the ground, and some other mystery items, but why? Even when Walter says these are all parts of his plan, that's undermined because Walter doesn't even know what his plan is. I feel like I say this every week, and I will continue to do so until we understand the purpose behind this treasure hunt: This pattern of running errands is the shackle that's keeping Season 5 in a frustrating holding pattern. It's still too early to say the scavenger hunt has damaged the season, but so far it looks like a misstep. Season 5 has been full of great individual moments, but it's just not working as a whole yet. I can't help but think that the attempt to keep some procedural open-and-closed elements in the series through Walter's tapes didn't work as planned.

And so we head we head toward the "winter finale" (that's just network hype-talk for Episode 10) with only three weeks of Fringe left. There's still a lot of work to be done on the story side, but at least the actors and characters are as strong as ever even if the overall picture isn't.



NOTES (and .GIFs)

– The Terry Gilliam animation sequence was incredible.

– For all the cool hallucinations Walter experienced, none was more powerful than when he saw himself—the arrogant version of himself he's trying to stay clear of—looking right back at him. And the LSD waiter. I frickin' loved that guy.

– So are we done with the Peterver storyline? Is Peter just back to normal and we can forget it ever happened?

– That was some real mushy wuvvy-dovey talk in the forest between Peter and Olivia! Get a room, guys!

– Housekeeping note: I didn't think Fox would air an original episode the Friday before winter break, and made travel plans accordingly to be with family for some holiday festivities. Which is to say: Posting a review of this Friday's new episode is going to be difficult, but I'll try my darndest!

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personally i loved it...mainly because of Walter's acid trip. we've never really got to see inside his head when he's trippin.....although i disagree about FRINGE repeating themes being a bad thing (concerning walter) because im enjoying watching Walters constant changes in his frame of mind...personally this season more so than others, has focused more on character development/moments rather than a cohesive story (so far) but i think the build up with the plan is gonna be worth it and come together nicely in the end so im not worried or frustrated about that
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This episode was total crap the slow destruction of a once awesome show
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ha

founder's day

the roof of walker

falling into sunset lake

i love episode 19

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Incredible acting bu John Noble. That shot were he allucinated the other Walter looking at him all badass-y was amazing
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Aside from the Terry Gilliam animation the episode was kind of like this entire season - a little on the boring side. I sure hope things pick up before the finale. As with others, too little Anna Torv this season. It seems like all of the people in front the camera are ready to get out of this show which makes this season kind of a chore for everyone.
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Whatever mikeuk. You are mad that Peter and Walter finally has something to do instead of following that blonde whore around like puppy dogs.
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Ha!!!! Too little Anna torv? How about 4 episodes of no josh and no Peter in season 4? How about 5 minutes of Peter in every single Over There episode which would be around like 8?

And how about poor jasika? Lance? Blair? I can't even count how many episodes they weren't in.

Anna fans need to shut up since Anna and john has been in almost every single episode so far and has gotten most of the storylines. So quit complaining.

Get over yourself.
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You are missing the point here (as have some others before).

Fringe was written with Anna Torv as main character. This has been very clear, since episode 1. I'm not saying you should like this, but it is the way it is.

Now in season 5 that is not the case. So this is a big change from how Fringe was. This is nothing to do with people getting over themselves, this is about the Fringe writers making a major shift in how the show is written. Therefore it makes season 5 very different from the previous 4 seasons, and it is obvious that some won't like that.

It is a particularly unusual writing decision considering the shortened 5th season, as there is not really long enough to tell a new story in a new way (which is why I think season 5 feels wrong).
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yep, that is kind of weird that the main characters would be in every episode, what kind of show is this LOL - I also miss more Olivia in this season, and I am not quite ready to shut up, so I kindly suggest that you get over yourself.
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I really didn't enjoy this ep, I am a huge Fringe fan but just felt let down this week. But looks like I was the only one!
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you weren't the only one....'nuff said:D
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It confused me as well.
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Loved the sense of surprise (and humor) the Walter "trip" brought. Cool.
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Not overly amazed by the episode. For a long-time fan, it was just way too repetitive. I know those themes by heart - not really convinced that I needed them drilled into my mind even more.

It truly was a mish-mash. The animation sequence was amusing and unexpected, the fairies much less so. Certain parts with Carla Warren worked, certain parts didn't. The flashbacks were powerful (probably because I'd found them powerful back then), but I can't stop wondering whether they were necessary. Hearing about the old Walter is rather tiresome at this point. And that was a very peculiar treatment of Sam Weiss - a shout-out to the past, but such a random shout-out. Anticlimactic much?

Right now it feels like season 5 has really peaked with the Peter-turning-into-Observer plot, a plot that I've thouroughly enjoyed, and a plot that was brought to a rather abrupt halt. Etta was also great to watch.
The whole storyline with Walter's plan is just such a nuisance. I think I'm not the only one who is more than ready to see it finally get somewhere.
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The egg head kid is creepier than a priest and a dark alley combined!
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I watched this On Demand and had to rewind the getting to the boat scene where I thought I saw something blink as they were going through the building. Anyone else catch that frog that later appeared in the Python-esque scene? If you blinked, you missed it.

One thing bothering me is that Anna Torv seems pretty bored this season. Maybe it's that her character is sort of a third wheel to Peter and Walter's stories? Maybe because the show is ending? I don't think it's that she is sad over the daughter either, but she could be playing into that a little. To me she seems, at the moment, like she's just along for the ride and doing nothing much of importance herself.
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@headclub says the person who would have been just fine watching Anna torv do all the work while John and josh do nothing.
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You're an idiot. Patty AKA Mommadeen, AKA Purple faces, aka, the Peter troll/Anna hater
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She's been cut out of the storytelling.. Wyman says he loves Peter & Walter's charcters and it shows...
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I liked all three of them in the first seasons, but this Walter is too much for me - Peter is the best character this season, since he had the Peterver conversion and they have cut off Olivia so much, imo.
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I suppose you would feel much better if John and josh were third wheel to Anna's stories and seeing her do all the important things while john and josh do boring things right?
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Haha I hadn't noticed the frog the first time! He blinks and everything...clever
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3-4 episodes left. As much as I like the Monty Pyton sequence, I thought this episode was a filler. Nothing really interesting or fringy happened. I wish they actually tried to put together what this big plan is. A deadly mineral, a giant magnet, and an observer child? They should have left some clues for us. I also thought the faeries were just added to bring a holiday theme, but then again I have never taken any hallucinogens before. I feel as if the show is just stalling. I suspected more action in a final season. I hope it picks up soon.
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I loved this episode, although I'm not really into this last season... Fringe can do so much better than: hey, we've got a plan... which we don't remember, but.... i've got it on video tapes, so we just have to get all of them and exterminate the Observers from our world. yaaay.
Nope. Sorry, I don't buy it.

I do however dig the Walter becoming his arrogant version and hope that September will be back to play a very important role in the series finale.
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In this episode did we get given a clue as to what the plan might end up being?

Carla Warren mentioned to Walter: "Do you remember anything else? When you were going to create your own universe and start from scratch"...

Do you reckon this could be the ultimate plan?
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I think that has to do with what happened in the last season finale, "the bullet that saved the world"... which Walter would've been apart of if he hadn't had the parts of his brain removed.
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Yep.
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what an episode...and I don't mean this in a good way. I liked last scenes the most,where Walter is thinking over on floor,while projector played above and on him. Really powerfull stuff,but all those jokes were boring and episode itself isn't worth much. Sorry, it is worth something,but just all those "trippin" scenes were too much and now with only 4 episodes to go...what I wanna say is,that time could be better spent!

Season 5 is great,but all these "breaks" between episodes are too much. Air these 13 episodes back to back each week and then do reruns or whatever. Every show,that has 13 episodes or less,does this that way and is way better for show and season! What we are getting is,some episodes air,then wait,episode air,wait again few weeks,another airs....pointless!!!! People then expect, that all that wait was worth something for and when you get episodes like this one,this late into season is hurtful(to me at least...for those that enjoyed episode, I apologzie ,if you liked episode and I offended you)














MASTERPLAN with tapes:






Walter will build machine for Peter. Talking about machine,that only Peter can use. You got 2 of those things,which I guess will be used for each arm. Then,when they got that big magnet,I knew it was gonna be for machine.
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If Donald isn't Sam Weiss then who is he ? Why Sam helped Donald?

How can the inner child is still child in 2036 ! He is in the same as he was in 2015 .
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Not that i'm looking for it, but i wonder why i haven't seen anyone mention Donald, the observer-assassin from the season 2 episode "August". Sure, he died at the end of that episode, but that timeline was erased. I guess the name could just be one heck of a coincidence.
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We don't know how long the Observer child has been out of the pocket universe, but we do know Walter left him there a long time ago, where time moves extremely slowly compared to the outside universe. Depending on how long (our time) the boy was left in the pocket universe, that explains why he hasn't aged.
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actually the couple who was watching the boy mentioned that it had been 10 years(?) and the boy hadn't aged a day.
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Hmm.....in that case something else is going on. Maybe staying in the pocket universe for a long period of time (our time) slows the aging process. Although....there may be a different story for the child now. We last saw him in the alternate timeline, where grown-Peter always existed. Maybe now in the Peter-died-as-a-boy timeline, things are different for the Observer boy. But it does seem that an Observer would be immune to changes in the timelines, since they seem to perceive them all.
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Yeah, the observer boy still recognized Olivia even though they met in a different timeline. I figured he didn't age cause maybe the tech the observers have keep them from aging but that wouldn't make sense cause he aged past being a toddler... so I have no idea.
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Gotta love Walter's "trips", they're always entertaining. Only problem I had with this episode is how Peter's brain just went completely back to how it was before the tech. If anything it should have stayed exactly the same and just didn't progress. It's like he got alzheimers and forgot everything his brain learned.
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"Brown Betty" was episode number 20 btw, so these odd episodes haven't always been number nineteen in the past either :)
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Actually, the ”Unearthed” episode of Season 2 was really produced for Season 1. So really the 19th episode produced for season 2 was in fact ”Brown Betty” but was #20 to air
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Ok, I'm studying for a Masters in neuropsychology and once the amount of connections in Peter's brain was enlarge by the device, they simply wouldn't disappeared even if the device is removed. So Peter should have the same powers, only difference is that the connections won't increase and take over the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain).

Besides that, I liked the episode. The scene that Walter is sitting in the lab and the images are being projected was amazing.
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ok, but he didn't stay with that tech for long, the process hadn't been completed when he took it out, so everything in his brain just went back to normal... or it's still there, but unable to be used.
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well, I think episode didn't really show us much of Peter. And explained all about that tech. I think it will come into play in later episodes
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I hope so, either that or they're rushing the season and won't bother to explain it.
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And Fringe has gone full stupid now and had a book burning for the sake of God.

Man. I don't dislike Fringe as a storytelling device. It's often fun and quirky and the acting is good, but when they dig into the whole "there are some things that are God's realm and Man is not supposed to know" they sound like religious fanatics. The imagery of Walter burning a book (even if it was an imaginary one) as he kept hearing that some things are only for God to know sent chills down my spine, not because it was a good scene, but because Fringe seemed to thing it was an uplifting, liberating thing to get rid of knowing things. That's creepy and screwed up, and it's even worse that no fans seem to have a problem with it.
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I do have a problem with it, I always did and it's not the first time I've pointed it out, although maybe not here. However, Fringe is not that great or deep of a show to spur a serious debate in every forum. Fringe has always been a silly show and its major strength has been its quirkiness. Every time they’ve tried to deep its feet into serious territory, it has fallen short, because the writers themselves are not that smart. Their aversion to science is creepy and screwed up, but this is nothing new in science fiction.
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I don't think there's anything to be so angry about here. That all to illustrate Walter's character. Walter has been battling all season against becoming his former self, and we know that present-Walter does not like former-Walter. In present-Walter's mind, his mistakes in the past were directly linked with his insistence on "playing God." I think it makes perfect sense for the character and his story arc. I don't see it as Fringe getting preachy at all.
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I respectfully disagree. They've been doing this from the get go. That quote is not from this season, either. The whole "science going too far" motif is extremely close minded, but hey, it's a classic sci-fi trope, so I accepted it.

Then they made Walter (current Walter, not former Walter) explicitly into an atheist, which I thought was a bold move... as it turns out, it was only so they could have him break down, admit to "hubris" and ask God to punish him for taking science too far. There they lost me. That definitely got preachy.

And now book burning? Sure, it fits the character, as it was defined (lame as that definition may be) and as it turns out the book in question is only a metaphor for his former "there is only one God in this lab" self, but still, the imagery is very specific and I can't accept it. And this comes soon after a magic negro character talks about faith and convinces Olivia that there is an afterlife because Olivia recycled a bullet. I wonder if she'd still lack faith if she had used a nail as a projectile instead...

Like I said, I don't dislike the show, but they dip into this particular bowl of idiocy too often, and nobody seems to call them out on that, which is really, really weird.
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Loved the episode. Four episodes seems like enough to wrap things up, so this Walter centric story was very welcome.
John Noble got a chance to kick some acting ass again and he took it. I was scared when he looked at his arrogant self and that montage in the lab at the end of the episode was amazing!

- Peter and Olivia share some more excellent dialogue.
- LSD waiter was hilarious!

Four more episodes... God that's scary...
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About Peter, well episode itself was fun, different. At many points it shake me p to say WHAT was that! Specially the Password, I guessed the password like I am sure many of us too. So about the Peter...

I think or I want to believe that some part of Observers' power should stay back with Peter. The tech was to open human's brain to operate to its max, and once its open, it shouldn't be shutdown all that fast, not without some sort of side-effects. My wish is to see Peter either holding something back on purpose or even he doesn't know what he might be capable of, not 100% of what he was but at least 50 60% of it. I don't mind those powers wears off by the end but if that happen, we will get to see Peter's amazing smile and expression alongside the hammering time jumps during fights.
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I'm still good with this season, It makes me happy...
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same here!
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There's also a Fringe episode this week... unless it involved murders at a high school. Which cost us last week's penultimate Haven.
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I love Walter's LSD episodes.I love them because they are written and acted with such class and tact. They truly are part of the storyline because the writers planted the seeds back in the first season that Walter regularly takes drugs, including some of his own making, to assist his experiments and his thought processes. Most of Walter's trips are fun and entertaining, but this one seemed very dark and guilt-ridden; but still entertaining. The major storyline of the episode seemed to be Walter's guilt over his past deeds. I loved Carla Warren and Nina Sharp playing the angel and the devil on Walter's shoulder, except they seemed to be switched around. Isn't the good one usually in white and the bad one in red? I was also saddened to hear that Sam Weiss apparently died around the time that the Fringe team was encased in amber. But at least he worked for the resistance...in the middle of nowhere...living in a Winnebago...and killed a couple of observers in the process before he died.
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Loved the episode!!! If you didn't have a reason to vote for John Noble: you have NOW!!!

One thing I was wondering about: The Observer boy was called Michael. The actor that played September is called Michael Cerveris. They both can/could feel (kind of). And there are many theories about him being September out there, so this could be a clue. I mean it also could just be me, reading into stuff that is just a coincidence...
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Maybe it's September's son?
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Best episode ever. The last 10 min blew my mind ...
And the frog - when I saw it I thought it was ME tripping! Wait - I WAS tripping!
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I loved the way they handled the trippy episode this season. They knew that they couldn't waste any more time on an episode like this without advancing the plot, so they brilliantly combined those strange elements in with another search for a piece of the plan, and a great story to once again develop Walter's struggle over what he's becoming. The drug scenes added a lot of charm to this episode, as well as some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) references to Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, and Monty Python. And speaking of the Monty Python scene, I loved it, I thought it was very well-made and was very funny... But at the same time, I also hated it. It's just that, throughout the whole episode, they did a fantastic job of blending the silly drug moments with the regular story, and when that scene came, it was just so sudden and out of place that it seemed very distracting. Great on its own, but I just thought its inclusion at that part of the episode seemed too odd, even for a Fringe drug episode (though maybe I'll like it more when I rewatch the episode in the future). I do have to agree with you about the flashback scene, with Walter remembering what happened with "Peter." The acting by John Noble, the directing, and the musical score really helped to give that moment the emotional strength that it needed, and I thought it was the best part of the episode. As for the progression made this episode, I can understand where you're coming from. Getting that child Observer really isn't that much progression, but it's something I actually wasn't expecting to happen until at least next week, so I was very surprised (and happy) to see it happen this week. I've been thinking that he (and maybe September) were the last big pieces of the plan, so I'm excited to see how this effects the progression of the plan, and the season's main story. So, despite a few issues I had with the episode (the placement of the Monty Python scene being the biggest), I thought it was a brilliant episode that blended the more silly drug moments with the story/character progression almost perfectly.
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I agree that the blend is good. I think that the writers wanted to tell more character stories this season but thought that everyone else would be just worried that the plot isn't progressing when so few episodes are left. So they decided that the scavenger hunt would be a way to incorporate both elements.

I for one would not like if the whole season was plot-driven only - that's not Fringe. If there were many totally standalone stories with character development then we would be shouting that the plot isn't moving. They went for the middle ground. It's not perfect for everyone, but the overall result I think is/gonna be great :)
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I am just gonna say it , Season 5 is in trouble . I wasn't expecting it from this show but I don't think they are doing a good job closing it . It's a shame , but I still have hope , bacause this show is good at picking up the pace , and has blown my mind several times . I think the final season can still be rescued , but it needs to go out with a bang . I am talking piles of Observers dead , time travel , Broyles back , William Bell , etc . I still have faith but so far it's kind of dissapointing .
I didn't like this episode , much like some other episodes from this season , I feel like not much happened in terms of action and fight against the Observers . Yes , they killed a couple of Loyalists but there werent't a real challenge . The hallucinations were funny and cool but they mostly felt like a waste of time . An entire episode dealing with Walters hallucinations is too much for a shortened final season .
This season is lacking one of the two fundamental things that make this show one of the best : action . We had a fair share of science this season , which is cool but not enough . After all this season is all about the Resistance and I haven't seen much of a war , I just hope that changes .
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You're just mind because your precious Olivia/Anna isn't doing much.
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I agree that we need Broyles back!! And William Bell, AND CHARLIE! and Lincoln!.. Ok just kidding haha I do miss Broyles though, but why can't people accept that this is a different world already? Yes we miss some characters and yes it is moving at a slow pace, but you all have to consider that they are trying to wrap a story in 13 episodes so cut them some slack.. they have never disappointed us, well at least me and personally I am loving this season, I am just going with it and enjoying the last bit of Fringe that we have left.. because you're gonna miss it when it's gone! Also, "This season is lacking one of the two fundamental things that make this show one of the best: action", I take it that the other one you meant was science?.. I think we've had more action than science, we have some artifacts as Tim says but we don't know what they are, and the science they have used we already know, the observers, some fringe events from past seasons.. we have had plenty of action, observer fights!, Etta dying, loyalist vs resistance and whatnot, okay maybe some more action is in order but we've had our fare share!.. And I disagree that these are the two things that make this show the best.. I think there are three things, and the first one are the characters, then the science fiction which is AWESOME and then the action, all combined with amazing writing and actors.. so cheers to that! And good night! And Merry Christmas
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Charlie brotha, no matter what I do, you're gonna die brotha...
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The whole season has felt like a waste of time. It's strange since everyone involved said there would be no fillers this season, Yet lots of things, like Walter's tapes, have just felt like filling a slot while hoping to come up with something more interesting the next week.

I would live an ending with some edge to it,and not just some corrny happy conclusion. I would like to see some major sacrifices and it would actually be cool if the Observers came out on top with Peter as their leader. :)

It seems unlikely however now when everything with Peter becoming an observer seems to have been dropped. It will probably end with some stupid loophole again like when Walter suddenly remembered he had constructed a plug where DRJ could be stopped with one push on a button.

John Noble has rescued lots of episodes of Fringe making the character so much more nuanced than the sloppy scriptwriting has managed to do.
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The slow unwinding of season 5 is probably a function of the entire cast, crew, writers and execs knowing they were going out after 13 episodes. They did not have the need to drive high ratings or impress FOX anymore so they seem to have set about filming a 13 hour major motion picture that is playing out at a very slow turn. I am sure it will all be wound up in a nice tight fashion by the time they roll the final credits, but thinking back to how they ended Battlestar Galactica I fear that much will be left on the tables of the writers room.
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Great episode, I love it when Fringe gets trippy. So I've been thinking quite a lot about what Walter's big plan to defeat the observers could be, and I actually think I've figured it out. So, the obvious answer would be a weapon that could kill them all or immobilize them in one fell swoop, but that wouldn't be too satisfying. No, whatever it is would have to suddenly make the observers less of a threat, so the human populace can then rise up and take back Earth. No, most of the things they've retrieved have been pretty random, and it's been pretty difficult to see what it would be like if they were all put together. However, I got an idea when I was thinking about the observer child. In the episode we first saw him in, it turned out he was an empath of sorts, in that he sensed what Olivia wanted and was able to gives her clues to where a killer was. When Peter turned himself into an observer, Walter discovered (through a brain imaging scan) that his frontal cortex was growing, and the areas of the brain that deal with emotion were being shrunken until they would be destroyed. This is the price of being an observer, the emotional centers of your brain are no longer at play, and you don't possess emotions anymore. So, I think that Walter's plan (which was originally concocted by an observer) will be to make all the observers feel emotion. Somehow, using all the stuff they will retrieve, they will use the child's super-empathetic-ness to broadcast emotion around the world and change the Observer's minds so that feel again. This way, the observers will lose their superhuman abilities and they will feel guilty for what they've done. This will severely cripple the occupation, and it will still give the team some final showdowns with Widmark and others. Also, it's such a classic Fringe move to mix science and emotions like love. So for a final move they'll be using science to use emotion as a weapon, which validates human emotion and makes everything that Peter went through in becoming an observer and then opting out worthwhile. So yeah, logic will be beaten by feelings.
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That's a great theory! Making the bad guy somehow 'feel' all the pain he's caused has been done before, in multiple stories.... So it wouldn't be the most original ending, but it coould work I guess. I'm hoping for something more complex than the old switcharoo to be honest though...
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----- Spoiler alert ----- (cause if I'm right it might ruin it for you)

I think the 'plan' is ........................

to make Fringe happen.

I think the plan is to create 'the pattern', or this is the defense against their plan. If you remember in an earlier episode when Olivia and Sam find the info, it says that they are the first 'people'.

I suspected this before, so seeing Sam turn up kinds of reinforces the idea.

Perhaps the point is to make then become what they already became........ if that makes sense. Michael (who has just got to be September, can take it back in time).
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Sooo.....I assume when you say "make Fringe happen" you mean the TV show, right? You mean they will do whatever action started the beginning of the show, correct? But if they do create the pattern, how will that stop the observers? Wouldn't that effectively do nothing? Doing what started the show would just make everything that has happened on the show happen, so they would still be fighting an observer occupation. Also, the pattern was a series of events designed to harm the other universe in order to protect ours, which didn't and wouldn't have any effect on the observers. Furthermore, them being the "first people" refers to the fact that they sent the machine back in time so that they would find it in their time. And of course, the pattern and them being the first people happened in another timeline, one that only Peter and Olivia remember.

Now I don't quite understand what your last sentence means. I get that if Michael is the past September he can take something back in time, then stay in that time and grow older (well, they can travel through time at will so presumably he'd keep popping around time and then be seen by them when he's older). On a side note, I'm not sure how likely your theory about Michael being September is, but the actor who plays September is named Michael Cerveris, so there's something there. So yeah, "make them become what they already became" I'm guessing means what you said at the beginning about them starting the pattern? But then what is the "it" that Michael could take back?
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seems like a good possibility - only thing i don´t see is that their brain emotional parts have been destroyed long ago, so it is not just a matter of reactivate them, right? In any case, you are right, it should have something to do with the observers tech, as it would also somehow justify Peter's experience with it.
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My guess is that the child would cause those parts to regrow. The brain itself is incredibly elastic, and is able to adapt to wide-ranging situations. One of the most famous examples of this is a girl that had pretty much half her brain removed when she was very little (this was the only way to stop her from having several painful seizures a day), and the remaining half and a bit actually developed to operate much like a normal brain. True, she has difficulty with math and went through a lot of physical therapy, but she is remarkably normal considering. Now, this happening before she was six, when the brain isn't as developed, and since all the observers are adults their brains wouldn't theoretically adapt as well as a child's. However, this is a show in which adolescence and drugs were combined to give a child mind-control, and the observers have tech in their brains that regulate how the brains work, so the writers could easily get away with saying that an empathic burst of emotion + tech that reshapes brain = creating parts of the brain that produce emotion.

Honestly, I'm surprised that the scientists who originally created the observer tech went all the way with it. Walter said that the device was also increasing the number of folds in the brain, which already would make someone much smarter. So why didn't someone make a device that could make you a genius/maybe allow you to do some observer-like things, that didn't push into the emotion centers of the brain? Or a device that also increased the folds in the emotion centers of the brain (and everywhere else for that matter) so that the rest of the brain didn't need to be as big as it is now, and the frontal cortex could get bigger without harming anything?
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I understood that they sort of did it on purpose (eliminate emotions) since they consider them a weakness.
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Yes, I dare say they were victims of their own technology. I am thinking of Doctor Who's Cybermen. They are originally human, but then they become robots and realize how cool a life without pain is. So they go and make everybody else robots too, in order to save them from their painful life. I can imagine something similar for the observers evolution. However, you are right, the future of human kind would not be pale white males in any case. It is a pitty, they won´t have time to explain us this a bit better.
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You'd have thought they'd be more selective in what emotions they eliminated. Since they're able to predict the future, teleport, and have super strength I can see why they would have eliminated fear. But there are at least a few emotions that you'd want to keep. Joy, for instance, is something I wouldn't really want to do without. Nor do I consider it a weakness, in that any disadvantages are made up for a hundred times over by the advantages. I mean, I see how love could be viewed as a weakness, in that people will do terrible and stupid things to protect the ones they love. But unless you get someone addicted to drugs, how can joy be a legitimate weakness?

I guess since the observers are technically one of many possible futures, they just happen to be the unlikely one in which everyone decided to go full throttle on emotion elimination. They're also apparently the future in which there's no diversity regarding anything and there's only one gender, though I guess all the women and non-white people could still be in the future and the white male observers of the occupation force are an inaccurate representation of the future population.
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I am disappointed that the Peterver story didn´t give anything this week. Hope it is not really going to end like nothing ever happened! Also, I don´t like whiny Walter. Sorry. I know John Noble is super popular here and I agree he's an excellent actor, but I am more than tired of this season's Walter. Sometimes I wish he would turn bad already so that I can also enjoy Noble's performance like everyone else :(
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Last week I said that I thought the Peterver arc ended too early. Now that I've thought about it some more, it actually annoys me more. What was the point of killing Etta if it wasn't to motivate the rest of the gang to do something really extreme? In the last two episodes, everyone has been more concerned with protecting their current lives than with saving the world. They're not doing anything that they wouldn't have been doing if Etta had been alive.
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I have had the same thought, why did they kill her, then? Another reason to hope that the Peterver arc is not totally over :(
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I would be surprised if it isn't. There just aren't enough episodes left to get back into that. We're just going to see more video tapes, and then finally "the plan".

Another thing that annoys me is that now the resistance knows that it's reasonably safe to insert those things into their own brains, and then just pull them out after a couple of weeks (or a few days or whatever). There must be lots of them who would be willing to do that to be able to fight back better. But of course no one is ever even going to consider it. That resistance guy they've been working with probably hasn't even mentioned it to the others.
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I agree with you. This Walter storyline is way too similar to the Peterver storyline (losing your humanity, etc.)... Walter talks Peter back, then loses himself--what up?
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yeah, schedule-wise I thought the show wasn't back til January, so around 9:15 flipping channels I was surprised and peeved! Thanks for the heads-up on this Friday and the awesome reviews, Tim!
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I have zero recollection of them meeting the observer boy in season 1. And wasn't Sam Weiss some form of immortal guardian? Did he write all the first people books? Maybe i'm combining him with the guy from the Event. I supposed I should have re-watched the previous seasons before, because all these callbacks are just being wasted on me.
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They met the observer boy in the episode with the serial killer known as "the artist." He takes women who do piercings and tattoos and whatnot, and makes them look like 50's housewives. The boy was able to sense where the killer was and give Olivia clues that eventually led to his location.

Sam Weiss was the guy who owned a bowling alley and helped Olivia deal with the trauma of her car crash. It turned out that he was the last in a long line of Sam Weiss's. His family had written the book and it was his job to make sure that certain things went the way they were supposed to. However, since that was in another timeline he could have been a librarian turned resistance fighter for all we know. Hopefully he'll at least appear in a flashback or something.
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