Fringe "The Bullet That Saved The World" Review: Loss, as Motivation

Fringe S05E4: "The Bullet That Saved the World"

There, there. I know. It's tough. Let it allllll out.

Luckily, I spent all week working on my core (a shirtless Stephen Amell is great inspiration) so I expertly absorbed the gut punch delivered by "The Bullet That Saved the World" and locked the emotional torment away, where it will stay until it bursts out in a sea of sorrow at an unspecified later date, probably when I'm having dinner with my wife's parents. Ahhh, who am I kidding? I got all sorts of weepy.

After last week's disappointing foray into the woodlands of the Scab People and its hunt for some red rocks, Fringe needed a bounce-back episode to hot-glue our faith in this final season back together. For the most part, "The Bullet That Saved the World" succeeded with the best episode of the season so far, but it came at a great cost: DEATH. Stop crying!

Before we get to death, let's first cheer ourselves up with some of the cool things the episode did. I'm fully on board with Walter's secret hoarding obsession of old Fringe-event relics. It's pandering a tribute to longtime fans of the show, and put yourself in his place: If you got to see such cool stuff from week to week, wouldn't you keep some in cold storage in a hidden basement in your lab, too? I'm actively choosing to ignore the fact that we've never heard about this basement until now, and whenever my brain says something like, "But wouldn't it behoove the team to know that the basement and all its magical contents existed, in case they found themselves in a situation where they needed a porcupine man corpse or a slug parasite?" I just put my fingers in my ears and scream, "I can't hear you, stupid brain!"

And I do that because... well, I'm going to be honest with you here and you might not like it. I'm not totally digging Season 5's time jump yet, and what enthusiasm I did have has been drained by the search for warped tapes, constant failed attacks by inept Loyalists, and especially those bark-faces from last week. But the reveal of a hidden room full of trinkets from the gang's previous four seasons' worth of adventures is a very comforting feeling for those of us who are feeling bummed by the future. They're like souvenirs of when Fringe was at its best.

"There was a time when we solved Fringe cases," Walter said, with Giacchino's violins going nuts and indicating he was about to say something badass. "Now I think it's time we created our own." That is so cool I don't even know where to start. If the rest of the series involves Walter picking and choosing what cool toys from the past he could use to waste a bunch of Observers, that'll definitely be a step in the right direction.

This week, Walter's video diaries pointed the crew toward his old favorite hiding place from when he was a kid, a hole in a subway tunnel. Why Walter's parents let him walk around subway tunnels as a kid is a question for another day; I'm just going to assume they were constantly stoned and left the back door open. However, the investigative portion of the episode was limited to merely figuring out how to get past a guard checkpoint and thankfully the method they chose would scar the Observers forever. Haha, good one, Tim.

The old Fringe-event item that resurfaced in tonight's episode dates all the way back to Season 1's "Ability," in which a mystery gas caused victims to turn up with their head holes all covered with scar tissue, suffocated to death. The stuff is like the exact opposite of an asthma inhaler. It's creepy, it's effective, it's one of Fringe's all-time greatest squirm-inducing gimmicks. Using spray bottles and gas canisters filled with the agent, Walter, Peter, Olivia, and Etta made quick work of all the guards and retrieved the mystery item—a complex equation—from the subway tunnel because these Loyalists are the worst. I mean seriously, guys. The Observers may have an army of humans ready and eager to turn on their species, but they're obviously a collection of retired bus drivers, accountants, and cartographers because they are TERRIBLE at the whole combat thing. I'm pretty sure I saw one guy purposefully walk into the line of fire at one point, and ducking and hiding appear to be concepts that they just can't grasp. The Observers would probably be more successful if they tried to stop their enemies with insults and bad jokes.

The search for the item was quickly solved because it was secondary to the real purpose of the episode: to make us feel really, really sad. Because the Loyalists were bumping into each other and putting targets on their own foreheads, the Observers—led by Windmark—went after the crew themselves and immediately cornered Peter and company in an abandoned building. That's how you do it, Loyalists!

Etta got separated from her parents and grandpa, Windmark magically time-and-space-teleported behind her, and uh-oh. Though the scene was filled with doom and gloom, it was magnetic to watch Windmark try to mentally pick Etta apart. It's hard being an Observer because emotions aren't one of their strong suits. They have no drive to be different, so they all wear the same suit. Their consistent skin tone only perpetuates their ennui. And drowning their food in hot sauce is the only way they can feel anything. So when Windmark had Etta by the throat and he asked her why Peter had given her a link of various forged metals to wear around her neck and Etta (whether it was intentional or not) let him read her mind to show him the purest form of love—the love a parent has for his child—it was like a single, solitary firework went off in Windmark's mind. Love. It's a concept that's entirely foreign to the Observers (probably because "where are all the Observer women at?"), and though Windmark didn't completely understand it, he knew just how to use it against those who are part of the uprising. He shot her in the belly, not only because she was an agent of the resistance who lied to him, but also because he knew she meant so much to Olivia and Peter.

Fringe always nails these emotional moments, and this one was particularly crushing. Flashing back to the good old days when a character was a young girl just before the older version of her dies in the present time is the nuke of emotional bombs, and the agonizing minutes while Etta lay there shot and dying were Fringe's Hiroshima. Olivia saying, "I love you SO much," Peter erupting into blubbering denial, Etta clutching the bullet and necklace that symbolized her parents... if you kept it together during that scene then you are probably drinking Tabasco straight out of the bottle right now, you cold, heartless son of a bitch.

Etta wasn't going out without one last bang, though, so she activated a Matter Blaster grenade and when the Observers came back to her corpse thinking they'd find Olivia, Peter, and Walter beside her, things went boom and the whole building and everyone inside were wiped out of existence.

Peter, Olivia, and Walter witnessed this from afar, and it was the most telling clue of where things will go from here. No one bawled or wiped their nose on a hanky. Instead, Olivia left the scene first, visibly shaken but not wanting to let the feeling linger. Last time she lost Etta, she ran away to help save the world instead of staying behind to look for Etta. It wlll be very interesting to see whether she behaves the same way this time, but Olivia leaving first was a sign that things haven't changed. Even Olivia clutching The Bullet That Saved the World in that scene could be interpreted as a save-the-world-first attitude, and hope that Etta's sacrifice wouldn't be without purpose. But Peter stood there alone, motionless and damaged, like he was brewing something big in his mind. I think we should all be prepping ourselves for Peter to go all Liam Neeson on the Observers. Take Etta away from him once, shame on him. Take Etta away from him twice, PREPARE TO DROWN IN A POOL OF YOUR OWN BLOOD!



NOTES

– Do you think Fringe killed Etta too soon?

– Broyles is back and wrinkly! Man, his job must SUCK. Great reunion between him and our guys, welcome back! And yeah, he's probably going to die before the end of the season.

– Who is The Dove? Are we supposed to know?

– The trick to keeping the Observers out of your mind is the same one guys use to not embarrass themselves in bed: Think about baseball!

– Things I learned tonight: Walter gets off on being electrocuted and donut holes make for great apocalypse food!

Comments (235)
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a wonderful and humorous commentary above by Stephen Amell on last weeks Bullet That Saved the World episode. I love this last Fringe season with all the glowy amber caves, and post apocalypse style sets. The emotional scenes between mother daughter were intense and superb. Now I know why they spent so much time on those scenes leading up the her death (so not fair). She was a great addition to the story a steely cynical post apocalypse fighter with her Mother's talents, and need to be in control like her Mother but lacking Olivia's compassion and vulnerability. I was looking forward to the clashes of those two, who was going to win. I think the line from Walter I think it was who said we used to solve Fringe cases now we make them is what this season is all about. Can Olivia and Peter save the world. Does Olivia try with her usual compassion and humanity in tact or does she turn into a hybrid of herself and her daughter. Does Peter turn revengeful as a Dad would at such a great loss. Does Olivia learn what she needed from her daughter to fight this new world or does she save the world doing it in her special way alone, to bring back the humanity of it. Or will Peter have to step in somehow to bring her back from moving too far over the edge. at the last minute. They will end up as a team how they started I have no doubt. It will be an interesting ride. Does love save the world, or a combination of love and bad ass. Wish this wasn't the last season I think it is the best so far.
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Does anyone remember "Fracture" (season 2 episode 3)? The criminal-of-the-week was a terrorist blowing up people to stop the observers from collection data because he thought they wanted to start a war. I just rewatched it and maybe the writers just wanted to keep their options open so the story could go either way, but still; that's nice thinking ahead! ;)
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I cried so much...how could they. What about Mom. It was so hard to let her daughter back in...And this.....shame on Fringe. After this episode I was drinking whiskey out of the bottle. Somebody is going to pay. And Yes Peters look says it all..it will be him. Love this show....
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The Dove is clearly Broyles. I thought it was obvious. And shame on you for not mentioning that hilarious scene of the Observer playing Simon.
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i think there was something more in Peter's look that revenge. We still don't know what happend in the past when they lost Etta and Peter stayed in Boston. If she got lost or died when the observers invade.

It wouldn't be so far fetched that she died and Peter found a way to bring her back, after all, he is Walter's son. So, maybe if he did that once, he can do it again.
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Please figure out Fringe time-travel enough to prevent Etta's death!
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I'm confused. Someone is saying further down this comment section that there have been plenty of different timelines in Fringe. I can only think of the timeline where Peter surviived as a child and the one where he didn't . There are more? What am I forgetting?
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Unless I'm mistaken, those are two different universes, but the same timeline. In the original timeline, there were two universes, one where Peter lived and one where he died. Everything in the first 3 seasons was all one timeline, though. Then at the end of s3, Peter ceased to exist--and technically never had existed--so this created the second timeline. This new timeline also had two universes, but Peter never existed in them. Those are the only two timelines I can think of offhand.
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Thanks for your reply:) I feel validated...
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I disagree. Different universes were explained as slightly different choices and outcomes of the same people. Thus a slightly different world. What then does timeline constitute?

I think there is a single timeline and two universes. Think of it a single reel of film. Then the Observers edited it - deleted Peter and thus from that frame of the film, the rest of the film changed, got edited. Thus the world we are seeing now. However, Peter and Olivia's love was so strong that it could not be erased from existence ("the film") and memories started leaking through and then you know what happened - the rest of season 4.

I think that there's no chance that this is another timeline, because then it would mean that none of the people we are watching now are the same as in seasons 1-3. That would be like changing the whole cast. Moreover, that would mean that there's a timeline out there where everything is alright and Peter never disappeared, right? So the camera crew basically just jumped through timelines to watch this one?

Also, why then the observers just travel to the timeline where's there no Peter if they so wish? If they can create timelines, then it seems they could travel between them. Observers specifically noted that they ERASED Peter from existence - meaning they changed the current existence and then the present changed - we then saw our characters as if Peter has never existed. That was the point of the whole concept - to show how one man's existence or non-existence can impact people. Walter, Astrid, Olivia - all were different and mostly less happy people.
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Thats good then... thats pretty much what I was thinking. I said further down that even though the original story was Peterful and then things changed and it was Peterless... it was still basically the same timeline... I conceded maybe 2. but this guy said there were loads and I was forgetting stuff. I should trust myself more. Thanks for you answer :)
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You got it all right. Contrary to most SciFi material, Fringe actually distinguishes between timelines and universes.
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Did I miss it along the way? Was there ever an explanation why the Observers invaded and subjugated Earth. Do they like our weather? Do they like our livestock? Do they really, really like our women, since there seems to be only male Observers?
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yes it was said why they are here
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I must've missed it. Why are they here?
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Because their environment became inhabitable. That's all we know for now.
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Bogus. Timelines of alternative universes cannot be reset...... in the end all you might be able to manipulate is human perception in order to somewhat relief pain and loss. Etta is dead and dead should remain... GIVE IT UP WITH TIME TRAVELING, IT'S EXPIRED.
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The Fringe team is fighting people who have time traveled from the future... It's too early to give up anything about time traveling when that's what this whole season is really about.
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I love Fringe. But in science fiction and fantasy-anything can happen. They have tranformed time and the universe more than once-I will not give up hope to final episode. If you think about it, Peter and Olivia have become one of the greatest love stories! They have suffered a lot! Let's hope time and the universe will help them out.
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I really don't get the Observer thing either They are beings who have lived through eternity and seen everything. How could anyone even hope to fool them? And how could they not know the concept of love since they had all of eternity to study human behaviour?



Nothing of it makes any sense, and things are far too easy for the former Fringe team, fooling them, not to speak of the loyalists.



And the whole idea with a war against evil observers cheapens a show who hasn't been this black and white about Good vs Evil before. as opposed to many other shows we get to understand the persons instead of seeing them as evil enemies (like the red universe for instance)



This is just kidd's stuff, but at least someone was killed off, and that was a step in the right direction, but seriously: The observers should easily be able to kill anyone whenever they want.
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Well, most of them weren't exactly good at any point (erasing Peter for example, who was at that point a living breathing person who was loved).



But things have definitely been too easy, considering the methods to overcome loyalists has basically been guns, until part of the last episode.



I think the Etta move was a good one, but I would love to see some twist, that for example she was not their Etta.

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Not only could they kill anyone but also erase them from existence (like Peter). In the S3 finale we have seen that a timeline altering doesn't seem to affect the Observers. So why should they care about minor butterfly effects related to some "ordinary" humans as the habitat seems to be the only thing they want? It's a real inconsistency (at least until now).
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It seemed to me like they cared about the "butterfly" events because those were all things, that, if not handled correctly, would've led to the destruction of the habitat they wanted to keep. So the first 4 seasons were just "observers manipulate humans to save the world so they can take it over and treat them like slaves."
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I wouldn't call it an inconsistency, because so far the science is so far out that we've pretty much come to expect anything being possible. Perhaps the observers, coming from the future (one future) are not affected by the timeline change. Although someone had a theory that erasing Peter was necessary to get to their dominating timeline. His coming back may not have altered enough to stop that.....
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Of course everything is possible but the show has to explain its rules and keep them. It did a good job between S3 and S4 but now all we have are speculations as to why those rules suddenly don't apply anymore. Until the show explains it itself, there are valid but still inconsistent theories out there which makes the whole thing inconsistent in itself.
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Kinda off topic, but maybe somebody can catch me up to speed. I'm obviously missing something in the Observer's plotline. Through 4 seasons they were mysterious guys who lurked in the shadows and didn't interfere with things, but they merely wanted to observe important events. How did we get from that to "Malevolent race of future humans who enslave humanity?" Never seemed to be much of a buildup that they were evil in any way, except for s4 penultimate episode which was a kind of preview for s5. And also....didn't s4 reveal that they are in fact humans from the future? Why would future people be interested in conquering the past? It just seems like a major re-do of the entire Fringe mythology so far.....but obviously I am missing something?
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Sure, you might be missing smaller things which might lead to some theories but in the end I'm just as lost as you as no *clear* answers were provided. I feel that the shown needs to establish a bridge between now and the old 4 seasons. And finally explain the Observer's history in detail. And yeah...they better do that fast.
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yes, agree with that, that they need a bridge to previous seasons.
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I think I've figured out what has been strange for me in season 5........ Olivia.

Up till this season, Olivia was effectively the main character. She got them all together in the first place, and most cases were driven due to her persistence or position as FBI agent. Although every character got to shine, she was the one that was driving it.

She was also the main player in the universe switch (both as a goodie and baddie) and every major event was because of her or about her (perhaps with the exception of Peter in the machine).

Now she doesn't play that role at all. Walter is the key player, along with Etta up till this episode, with Peter next. In season 5 so far Olivia has been only a follower and not the driving force at all.

I think Fringe needs her as that driving force. I think her character was perfect for that. She was the stoic, cold, reliable one who ultimately cared deeply about all of them, and was in a position to make the necessary changes.

I wonder if we will see that dynamic again.....
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Well, I thought that her role in "In absentia" was crucial, not plot-wise, but in terms of emotional weight. But I agree that she has been sidelined a bit. Which isn't surprising, if you think about it, since the Baldies will be defeated by science, and everyone else in the team has scientific skills ( Peter's an engineer, Astrid's a cryptographer, and of course Walter is a genius ) , except Olivia ... But I have no doubt that she will be relevant to the plan before the end ( whether that means bringing her powers back or not ). Anyway, with Etta gone, the dynamic will probably shift closer to what we were accustomed to.
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Dunno. Fringe got better and better in it's first two or three seasons and spiraled downward eversince. Too many realities and too many different versions of the people make it hard to care for anyone and here they go and remove the big eyecandy they had in this season.



This whole observers have taken over the world thing just sucks. Earlier storylines involving the two universes where much more intrigueging, all this seems so pulled out of the hat and set up. Fringe should have ended at the point where Peter originally disappeared. It think that was after season 4 but right now if hadn't spent so much time on Fringe already I would probably have stopped watching some time ago.

Here's for hoping the rest of the season will be better.
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What different versions? Olivia and Peter are the same people from season 1. Astrid and Broyles are only different from the point where they met Peter and are basically the same persons. Walter is the only one that could potentially be a completely different person by the peter erase but it's quite clear that he's not.
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I would say that is different enough...... I also agree that this new 'reset' is difficult to get to grips with. Not just in the relationships but also in the roles they play.
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I hope Etta's death will give this season the change it needs, because it was not good!
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I totally lost it when she died. I am really looking forward to Peter going full tilt at the Observers. I would not be surprised if September ended up being the Dove and I think it would be pretty cool if he did.
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Well folks, I've decided after intense deliberation and much courage to come out as the the cold heartless SOB who did NOT feel an ounce of pity or sorrow at Etta's death! (Hate that weird name btw) I was in fact glad and relieved in so many levels! Not that I hated her, but I didn't like her either. You know what I mean?

First off, this show is going back to its roots- pre Etta & Observer world (Ahh the good old days!) Secondly, Now we get more Peter & Olivia time coz I don't know about you, but he was crushing on his daughter big time! And as hot as he or that may be it wasn't going anywhere! We need to get back to the emotional essence and foundation of this show Peter & Olivia! FOREVER! And somehow they managed to top last season's atrocity and make everyone more of a stranger at this point, who we can't relate with! Alternating Universes is one thing but Time Jumping NO THANK YOU! Maybe now with this pertinent death we can slowly make our way back to the reason we all watch Fringe - Peter, Olivia & cooky Walter! And ultimately to an improved season. And promos of Badass Peter is a great start!
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Just as a random FYI, Tim - Michael Giacchino isn't actively scoring Fringe right now. One of his proteges, Chris Tilton, took over full-time after Season 1. The Season 4 soundtrack just dropped on iTunes.
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It's obvious that The Dove is going to be the one who ushers in peace (ie. eliminates the Observers), and in the end I have a feeling removing the Observers will result in a jump back in time to the point where they invaded, minus the invasion, and hence all will be reunited without knowing what WOULD have happened otherwise.



The Dove won't be a person, it'll be a weapon -- or else a person that IS a weapon.



A particularly poignant episode, and MAN am I looking forward to when Windmark gets his in the end!
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I'm pretty sure that the weapon will erase the observer timeline so that they don't exist and thereby reset "our" timeline. September will survive though and the final scene will be of him observing peter, olivia and henrietta in the park giving a hint of a smile while doing so.
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I was certain that the Dove would be Etta for some reason. But I'm not at all convinced that we won't be seeing Etta again, at least not the only version of her. All those weird flashbacks Olivia has, of two different situations with the same girl... I don't know, maybe is my denial kicking in.



Now, not only there is no women observers, but no black ou yellow version of them. That future scares me a little bit.
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What weird flashbacks of two different situations? I might have missed or dismissed something..

Also, if Etta is alive they need to hint to that in the next episode or else it will be a cop-out if they bring her back later.
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If you rewatch the earlier episodes where Olivia is remembering the day Etta disapeared it does seem to suggest 2 different memories. It was disjointed and if I remember correctly Etta is in differnet places, but maybe its just the way they edited it.
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Got to give credit to my husband, who totally called it on which "weapon" the team would use to get through he barricade. Way to go! I got all weepy, but if someone HAD to go, it had to be Hildi there, cause there's no way they're taking Peter.
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The one thing I've always loved about Fringe is that it is so incomprehensible sometimes. When I heard that somebody was going to die in this episode, I was betting on it being Broyles. But I'd never guessed, it would be Etta! She was still so new to all of this and I didn't think she would be here temporarily.

But then again, on the other hand, she was and has been the weakest link of this season. Maybe it's because we're so familiar with our Fringe Team, although it was good that she was there. But in all that saving-the-world-thing she just didn't really fit in.

And so here being gone (though: Is someone ever really gone in Fringe?) is something that may be good for the rest of the season, but it is also very sad (I have to admit: She's grown on me, anyway). Well, maybe this was just the bullet that saves the world this time.

And there are definitely some logical holes in the plot and that's what I'm constantly ranting about in other shows (for example, Revolution...). But no so much with Fringe. Because Fringe has got something that other shows don't: It was never a show about logic, it was and still is a show about love.

And love isn't very logical most of the time and maybe that's the reason the Observers don't understand it. They can't get to them because they're missing the most important piece of the puzzle. Love.

That's the reason I don't care about these plot holes and that's what I meant with Fringe being sometimes totally incomprehensible. Cause that is what it is about. If you had liked logic, you would have stopped watching Fringe after seeing all these weird cases with scar tissue closing every body hole, etc.

But if you're still watching...it's like Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (austrian author) said: Those understand very little who only understand what can be explained.

So Fringe: Go ahead! Make me question and make me understand:)

Let's get our world back!!!!!!!!
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One thing I'm not getting: The Observers can transport?! What's up when in the last episode (i think it was, has been a little off during this season..) it would take ages for them to get to the team when they where in the woods with the "Human History Guys"? Can they only transport in the cities? Has this been explained?



I'm still not sure of this season. Sure, I love Fringe, but so far this season has underwhelmed me something terrible.
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here they knew the exact location. in the woods, they did not.
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The Dove is Broyles, I think that was obvious
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That's what I first thought when he was preparing to be attacked or arrested after hearing that name : the Dove is either himself ( which looks like the obvious answer right now ), or someone who the Observers know has connections to him, like Nina. I don't think he was preparing to shoot the Observer, which you can't if you don't have a Bell hypertime gun, maybe he was ready to shoot himself so that he couldn't be "read" and unwillingly betray the Dove ?
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i was hoping this was mentioned - because it was stated explicitly in several other recaps i read. i haven't watched the episode yet (i love spoilers, can't help it) so i'm not sure how it was handled on screen, but from all other recaps it seemed obvious
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The problem with battling time travelers from the future is that they should know everything which makes them cocky and with good reason. This all has to focus on September in the end because how could it not? September is Walter's secret weapon - has to be. Of course there are other ways to go but I can't imagine what. Perhaps the writers can. I put my faith in the Lost writers in the end and boy was I wrong, and I should have known by the ridiculousness of season 6 as it progressed. But my faith remained - dubiously - till they drove the whole thing off a cliff and straight into Heaven. And now I have faith in these writers to get it right. The end of season 4 went pretty much how it had to be even though it drew much criticism for being so pat - and who can fault them for not letting Olivia's death stick? Fringe and its fans deserve a happy ending and that's where I'm putting my money...
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The Dove might be Nina Sharp? Unless she's dead and I missed it ofcourse. First I thought Broyles but since he said it was after meeting Etta that he joined the resistance, the resistance must obviously already have been there so that rules him out. Then maybe September but I suppose the other observers might have already killed him off.
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I think Etta is not the real Etta at all, maybe she's The Dove?
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If Walter had been electrocuted, he would be dead...
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Also, as good as the episode was, I can't help but feel a bit angry at the writers for killing off such a good character. Honestly, I wasn't expecting that. I figured she was the key to beating the observers. I figured she was gonna be there, at the end, standing next to her parents when they put a bullet in Windmark's head.

One more thing realized from this episode. I can't talk about Fringe objectively anymore. Love the show too much :D
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I want to know why she was killed off, because September told Peter that Henry was not meant to be, because he was destined to share a future with Olivia.



I always assumed she was important because she had inherited some Cortexiphan abilities that blocked off The Observer's mind reading. But now..I'm just confused.



LOVED this episode though. Even though I knew death was coming, and that this episode was a #TurningPoint in the Final Season. But I have to admit I didn't think it'd be Henrietta I thought it would be Astrid because she dipped out on her own early on in the episode.
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Oh God this was painful. A very good episode with such a sad ending.. I was screaming WHY? 10 minutes after the episode. It is actually pretty amazing how a character who's been on the show for 5 episodes is so important and the loss of that character brings such strong feelings. Kudos to the writers and especially to Georgina Haig.
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OK, I'm probably one of the most sensitive guys I know. I enjoy movies like Titanic (a lot) and can't get enough of sad situations in TV and cinema. I've even been a blubbering idiot at the end of Six Feet Under to the point of having one of those classic sore throats when you cry too much. The scene in this ep did absolutely nothing for me. Four episodes was not enough for me to grow attached to Etta and I don't care what anyone says about Olivia, I think she's either a terrible person (character) or she's being terribly acted. She had pretty much no emotion in that scene and Joshua Jackson had a ton. And they don't even put the camera on him! I was more heart broken when my mind was racing at the reveal of Broyles because I was so sure he would be the one to get offed by the episodes end. I even thought "oh, she can't be dead. Her mother has those super powers and they've yet to go into a story with the daughter having the same powers. She'll pop that bullet out quick and then mother and daughter will each have a bullet to wear around their neck.". But it didn't happen!



Don't get me wrong, the episode was awesome and at the very least, killing off Etta gives Peter and Olivia even more purpose in taking them down (and for us wanting to see them taken down), but that scene didn't do it for me at all.
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I actually think Anna Torv is doing an excellent job of depicting somebody who is very rational and doesn't let her guard down... I think it is just the stereotype that if you do not see a woman weeping, screaming and tearing her clothes she is not feeling anything...
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I must be a cold, heartless son of a bitch then, because there was no single manly tear, no sobbing like a little girl, no nothing on my end. Of course, SOMEONE *eyeballs Tim* on Twitter saying to bring a tissue to this episode, along with the writers telegraphing Etta's death by separating her from everyone else kinda killed the surprise.



But that leads to answering the first question... They couldn't have killed Etta off soon enough. The problem with her is that there's a disconnect between her character and the audience. We're supposed to care about a character who's five episodes old because of WHO she is, without any emotional background invested in said character? Not that Etta wasn't totally chill and a bit of a badass, but how is the audience supposed to WANT her to live and be happy, when all we have to go on is that The Bishops love her? She was the weak link. No real emotional investment -especially considering we went from season four where Olivia wasn't even pregnant to BAM! Grown ass child who was supposed to have been a boy and is more proof season four Olivia wasn't the really Peter's Olivia- and her death is a turning point into The Bishops, Astrid and Broyles to bring down the reign of the Observers.
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how are you gonna say season 4 olivia wasn't really Peter's Olivia? September told him so. and Henrietta was not supposed to be a boy, that was Henry, Peter's child with Fauxlivia from the Red Universe, not Olivia from the Prime (blue) Universe. Peter was erased so that Henry would be erased because Henrietta was too important.



I
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What show have YOU been watching? Cause the one I was watching, September told Peter Henry was supposed to have been the child born to Olivia, not Fauxlivia. But due to the clashing of the realities, it all got messed up. It was why they erased Peter from the timeline, so Henry was never born to the WRONG person.



And I'm sorry, I will never believe what the writers introduced... a timeline in which a character was killed as a child, where a person never experienced certain events, never acted out the motions because said character never existed for them, then have that character come back to life and drag memories from that revival in their wake, and then come to the hypothesis that memories make a person YOUR person.



I mean, if I could gain access to Will Smith's memories, then go around saying I was Will Smith because I REMEMBERED doing things he did, that'd be cool. But it doesn't make me Will Smith. Yellow verse Olivia never did any of the things she did with Peter because of the timeline reversal. A person is more than the sum of their memories. She is the sum of her actions and her choices, and what she remembers are actions and choices of someone else. Truly, the moment I really gave up on Fringe, was the moment September told Peter that yellow verse Olivia was HIS Olivia. It was bullshit writing with a bullshit conclusion, made to pander to the Peter/Olivia fans.



It was like the writers of Lost saying they had two choices in how to end the series. The ending that struck the emotional note or the ending that explained everything, and they decided to go with emotional. It was shitty then and it's shitty now.
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Dude, if you gave up on Fringe what on earth are you doing here? Go watch something else...
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I obviously still watch, since I was able to comment on the episode, but I gave up on Fringe in the sense that I no longer believe that it will give the viewers a satisfying ending, or any ending that isn't the cheesy lame one the writers also did on Lost.
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The scene where Broyles finally rendezvous with Olivia and company kind of tugged at my heartstrings a little. It was a very touching moment, the actors involved pulled it off perfectly.



Etta dying. Poetically it seemed, allowing the Observer to get a glimpse of what the bullet-necklace symbolized. And then she died. I was beyond crushed. I was under the impression that Etta was the LIGHT, the sole reason why September needed Peter and Olivia to procreate. Etta was necessary for the future, because September knew that the Observers were about to make their move and Etta was the only human being who could hinder their plans of total domination. I was also hoping she had some uncanny abilities, like her mother. Telekinesis or something. Instead all she could do was block her thoughts from Observers?



Hopefully this won't be the last we've seen of the character
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If I had been Broyles, this is what I would have been thinking when the observer mentioned The Dove:

I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE damn it stop thinking that. I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE aaagghh...uh...boobs, Olivia's boobs...no not Olivia's. Who else has boobs? I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE I'M THE DOVE Sigh... I should at least have picked a cooler name.
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ROFL!!!!!
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Broyles is the Dove... Peter will go frantic on everyone next week, Anna Torv is magic.
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Hey, why hasn't FringeFanatic made a comment yet? Is he still lying in bed in a foetus position crying over Etta?

To the episode: Walter, just as a hint, next time you're planning to save the world and want to hide your precious plans, how about using Flash memory?

And to the notes:

- Killing Etta soon has both its benefits and drawbacks. Naturally, now we won't get to see her interact with her parents, at least for some time. But on the up side, this is the kick in the butt for Peter and Olivia to start working harder for a solution. And this event needed to come sooner rather than later. There are nine episodes left. If Etta had died in, say episode 10, they would have had only three episodes left to fight fuelled by her death.

- Yup, Broyles will die. But good to have him back for a while. Maybe they'll meet him again when the time-line returns to the past.

- The Dove? I thought that was Broyles' codename? That's why he gave all those weird looks when he had to talk to the observer about the name.

- So baseball is your go-to trick? I thought it would be TV related, like thinking about Whitney or something. But I guess that would make you cry, and that's not great either...

- It was pretty hilarious when Walter was smoking after the electrocution.
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Do you think we'll see Etta again? As in - alive at the current time?

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No, I don't. Not in the current time line. I don't mind, though. I understand that her dying is a necessary evil to move the story forward, even though it was incredibly painful to watch. I trust that we'll see the family reunited when time line returns to present day, before the observers took over the world. However, I wouldn't mind being wrong about this, it would be exciting to see her return again soon. But I doubt she'll be back.
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I expected Etta to die. Etta was already twenty-something but Olivia and Peter were still in their thirties, so the three of them living together as a family would have been a little weird. I'm pretty sure that in the end they find a way to go back to year 2015 and re-live the twenty years they lost in amber - observers don't take over the world, so Etta doesn't go missing and they can live happily ever after. Kind of boring but very likely ending.



A complete series reset, on the other hand, would actually blow my mind.

Maybe they find a way to prevent any of the Fringe events ever happening in the first place! That would be so cool.

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That doesn't sound very cool....that's like the end of a movie when you find out it was all a dream and you want to shoot whoever made the film cause you just wasted 3 hours of your life watching it.... sorry I'm remembering how I felt after seeing Vanilla Sky....
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See, I'm not a fan of that thinking. Even if the Fringe team does go back in time, and somehow prevents the Observers from taking over, it's just a divergent timeline. There's no undoing of the other timeline. So, while Peter and Olivia may be able to save THAT Etta, the Etta we just grew to know over the last couple of episodes is still dead. Also, if they went back in time, wouldn't there be two Peters and Olivias?
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Instead of *going* back in time they could just use some time travel technology to sabotage the observer's teleportation system before the start of the invasion so that they all die when they try to teleport. That way our heroes will never become who they are now, and never know what really happened. I'm not saying that I *like* this idea. I'm just saying that it would be a way to avoid existing in multiple versions. Since they have already used it once on this show (season 3 finale), I think it's unlikely that they will use it again.
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I also think resetting "everything" would be very lame and way too convenient. It's not very creative as it's the 1st thing which comes into mind.

Although they already managed resetting timelines in S3-S4 without the issues you brought up so it would be a possibility. However, noone would remember the old timeline like in the beginning of S4.
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For all we know, they\ll hop into a time machine to go back and save Etta. :)
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it feels like LOST when it was headed to its last episode... i cried at every death: juliet, jin & sun, sayid, jack & etc... this was so heartbreaking for the family especially to peter and olivia... they lost her, then etta found them, just so they can lose her all too soon...

peter cried over etta the same way when olivia died when walter shot her... the same bullet!
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I worry that her death is just the first of many, this is the last season after all so they can kill off main characters. I hope they don't kill off Walter, yes I know it's not real, but I will be sad if Walter dies :(
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If Walter dies I will be inconsolable for days! He is the best character on TV. Also...hang on...it's not real?! It must be just based on fact eh;)
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In a way it would be appropriate if he dies in the finale, but I can't imagine that he will die before that.
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I thought Broyles was The Dove?
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So, I finally caught up with Fringe today (this morning). I don't love this show as much as the people around me, so it takes me a while to sit down and watch. I liked Etta just fine, and call me a heartless, Sriracha-drinking son of a bitch, but she pretty much went the way I expected: in a "this entire timeline is bullshit like most of them, so it doesn't matter who lives or dies, as we will once again erase all that has happened by season's (series's) end." The only surprise I got out of it was that Etta only used a Fringe-style bomb. I figured she'd actually save the others by fighting them off long enough to help them escape. She basically just died and let her body serve as a lure, which is kinda the same thing, but not as cool. Anyway, either they were going to stand there and watch her die, or stand there and watch her vanish once they improve the timeline. At least this way provides the most pain and shock for the icevein challenged, and sets the others up with 'more' motivation to save the world. Can never have enough motivation to save the world...

I'm pretty tired of them taking advantage of all these continua to serve as reset buttons. 'Make a kid with the fun Olivia? Nvm.' 'Spend years bonding with the real Walter? Who cares, all that matters is Peter and Olivia. Sister and niece slowing things down? Hit reset. Have a fairly badass daughter with the original Olivia? Won't matter, because it won't have happened.' And the amnesias. My god, the amnesias...

I always liked Broyles, and I'm not that surprised that he kept his job for so many years after the Observers showed up. He's not a saint, but he knows that if he didn't keep the job, it would just be given to someone else, someone who would likely be much worse. As usual, only one man can save the world, and it's not he, so I think he serves the world better simply by trying to hold back the status quo.

As far as the Dove, I'd be disappointed if it wasn't someone we know, so aside from the obvious September, Nina, or one-handed Bell, it's likely the stand-in agent while Peter was gone last year. I know he went to the other side with Fauxlivia when it closed, but they could write around that. Maybe everyone was sent to their original universes when the Observers arrived (a sort of total harmony between C and G), and he was able to stay low because he was thought to be accounted for. Loose, but a lot of explanations are going to loose when this is all over.

September being the Dove would easier explain how they learned to fool the other Observers, though. I don't expect all these upcoming answers to be satisfying, but I'm at least expecting better than we got from Lost.
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Umm...OK... 2 timelines....one which always had Peter and the one that didn't but then did which was kinda really the same timeline it was just Peterless then Peterful. How many timelines do you think there are? "this entire timeline is bullshit like most of them" kinda infers that we have seen a lot...or maybe you are watching Fringe in a different timeline where each season is a different timeline. Anyone confused yet?
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There was Peterful on 'our' side and the other side, with matching and expendable versions of pretty much everyone, and Peterless versions of both sides...and Peterful-after-being-Peterless versions, where the Peterful versions are still gone, and only Peter and Olivia actually remember the original Peterful timeline.



So if you're talking about their present, there is only one timeline, but if, like me, you're talking about the show in its entirety, there have been plenty. Though, I'll admit, it'd be a lot easier to love this show more if I were able to forget huge chunks of what actually happened, like they do..and it seems maybe you, too.
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I agree there are lots of versions but I still think only 2 timelines. Where else has time diverged apart from when Peter ceased to exist?
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Umm....there is only one timeline...
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Actually I didn't buy Etta's death. There is something in the air in that scene that didn't feel right. Emotions were off. Scene was off a bit. Yes she died but Olivia was too calm during Etta's death or kinda thinking something. C'mon she's the mother losing child for second time! Of course Etta's death is too soon and it is all planned for the twist I believe. When Etta said about how old was she when she found that bullet Olivia got confused for a second. It was a second time in their conversation when Olivia got confused about Etta's memory. She was suspecting something's wrong in her story. May be she's not Etta from their timeline. And they gonna find their Etta may be in the next episode already? or they gonna go back in time to stop Observer from killing Etta. No way it will be that simple. In 4 episode Etta is gone? C'mon. I don't buy it. There is still not fully undeveloped dynamic between Etta and Peter and Olivia. It's good stuff. Still many questions about her life without parents. many questions about that particular day when she dissappeared. No way they gonna drop this like that. In the middle of the road?

And i'm still not digging the lab tapes thing. it is getting old already. And it is ironic that Etta Peter and Olivia can kill many loyalists so easy but cannot kill or torture one particular (in best episode so far - episode 2). Yeah. Television what are u gonna do?
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...good stuff man.. i just wanna add, when Etta was dying, for a second there, i thought Olivia will use her abilities.. but i remembered Walter saying at season 4 finale that her resurrecting used all the Cortexiphan... so...

I really wish we see Etta more, but writers maybe killed her on purpose to inflame the dynamics from Peter and Olivia on the end of the show... i mean, we so far have seen very little from Peter.. on Fringe beginnings Peter was as smart as Walter, now, he only fights..
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And what else is Peter suppose to do? Sit and around and do nothing? What do you mean Peter had done little? God, people just love to bash Peter.
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Maybe September is "the dove"? Or is that too out there? He has been trying to help them all along by keeping Peter alive, worrying about Olivia having to die at end of last season...the resistance reclaiming earth would be a moment in history he wouldn't want to miss and as its all time travely he isn't necessarily dead is he?

I hope timelines don't reset at the end of this season. All I need for a happy ending is for Peter, Walter and Olivia to be OK...
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I was sure about Broyles being the dove. But besides Nina Sharp, September is probably the best other candidate. However, if September knew that the resistance would be reclaiming earth, so would all the other Observers which leads to illogical conclusions. Assuming that they all can time travel, of course. If there are only some with that tech and they've gone off the grid it would explain why we saw none of the Observers in the future using time travel to catch the resistance (which until now is a plot hole for me)
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Broyles joined the Resistance 5 years ago, which means that for more than 15 years he actually worked for the Observers!!!!!! no comments on that?????? I was very shocked, I'd rather had preferred he'd died fighting them!!!







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Maybe he was an independent freedom fighter.
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Possible, but me thinks not. According to his reuniting speech, he definitely worked in his same capacity during that time (before 5 years ago) and it was Etta that taught him how to block the Observers from reading his thoughts. I'm willing to bet if he didn't know how to before and was an IFF while working directly for the Observers, he would've been caught.

He might've done his job half-heartedly, but fassbender has a good point.
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Damn... Definitely killed off Etta too soon. Way too soon. I expected her to make it to the very end, so this was more than shocking. I don't recall any other show where a character that I'd only known for several episodes (barely five in this case) would've grown so much on me.



It was great to see the reunion with Broyles, and the basement that allowed the team to create their own Fringe events was nothing short of amazing. But the painful death did a lot to dampen whatever enjoyment I might've found in those.
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WHYYYY Ettaa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No bring her back by any kinda of twist
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Does anyone know what the toy(musical coloured light) that peter commented on as i use to have one as a child as well and would be kewl to find one again????

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I think that little aside was lost on a lot of younger viewers. If you press the wrong button when rekeying the pattern back to Simonit makes a "buzz wrong" sound. Winmark went through like 50+ buttons flawlessly. It was another subtle way to remind us observers are smarter then humans.
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Wasn't it a "Simon"? I think they're called "Simon."



The lights light up in a sequence, and then you have to remember and push the buttons in that sequence.
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In Brazil it was called Genius

http://www.trash80s.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/geni2.jpg
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Wow. Just EFFING wow. I've never really taken to characters who are introduced towards the end of a series, because you're not given as much time to "get to know them" like day 1 cast... but Etta was AWESOME.

I mean, hell, she is/was the byproduct of Olivia and Peter. I cannot believe they killed her off. I cannot believe it. The only saving grace is that they had her go out like a BAMF.
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