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Season 3 Episode 10

The Firefly

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 2011 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
621 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Observer reunites musician Roscoe Joyce with his dead son, setting off a series of events that culminate in a life-or-death test for Walter. Meanwhile, Olivia deals with the repercussions of her absence from This Side, and Walter bonds with Joyce, one of his musical heroes.

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  • the firefly effect

    Quite a good episode, even though the appearance of Walter's favourite keyboarder seemed a bit random at obviously, everything's connected.

    For the rating, I had to give an extra for the Twin-Peaks-reference! :-D

  • The Firefly

    It is time to change. Everything is upside down. While the series is the plot for the sixth page is completed. A future that depends on the other: find a new direction to ensure the greatest wishes for 2011, the fourth season!

    So after a pause, and champagne gifts, turn to "Fringe." And thankfully, because the longing and curiosity has already squeezed suffocated. Olivia (Anna Torv) returned to his home universe, and after cried tears, it's time to return to work. Mission one that focuses just on one of the most remarkable characters of mythology: the Observer. That not only have observed, for saving Peter (Joshua Jackson) from certain death, then have to restore the balance.

    So far nothing new. It's history already knew. What is still not quite understand is that these beings, moving as they see fit over time, can not with a simple trip back to balance things. Why not let Peter go back and drown? After all saved because the first time? There seems to be a certain continuity that must be respected but that has not been well explained.

    That said, the whole episode was a complex web of events, cause-effect, a domino brilliantly constructed by the Observer, with a goal that only know the end. And this is game pieces and pawns that the episode ends up being a huge victory. Why? Because all these movements and actions are based on characters dense in true feelings, that make us believe and to suffer:

    The moments between Peter and Olivia were amazing. Very simple but very incisive. All the drama around the book, everything that she has lived but not, of what she wants but can not. Amid all the drama, talks about the real love, and it is not easy;

    We had the right side of luxury. For two reasons. First, because we are talking about Doc Emmet Brown (Christopher Lloyd), the mythical, that is here with another, now mythical, Doc There is thus a titanic duel which resulted in two excellent performances and a fantastic moment, yes, that that Walter (John Noble) realizes that the culprit was the death of his son's musical idol.

    Finally Walter and the time has to let your child go. The decision as observers sought. If he allows Peter to die once, going back to do it. For what and why? Only the future will tell.

    "Fringe" returned and, despite not having given any guidelines of the plot future episode offered a solid and engaging. Come tmoreless
  • The Observers

    This was a great episode, haven't seen the observers in action for awhile. I don't know if the observers are on the other world too. If they are I must of missed that explanation, I'm not shocked why they were setting up a chain of events for Walter but it was exciting to watch the rush on whats going on and whats going to happen. This whole mystery that Peter has to die better start giving some answers, they don't even call him special or unique, unlike Olivia but Peter has to die? It's usually the lead character it happens too.moreless
  • The Observer tests Walter; Peter risks his life; Olivia tries to make herself all right by pretending everything is all right; Walter is forced to see what he's done over and over again.moreless

    There are a few points of this episode I would love to address. Firstly, the Walter-Joyce connection. I realize it was strange to have this wonderful old man grow on us just to have him be a lesson--not even grow on us like victims do in their first three minutes before horrific deaths, but really grow on us--but Joyce and Walter had a real relationship, and I'd love to see them together again. Of course, that's not going to happen, but in my head I will picture the two old men together, chuckling about the eighties and far before.

    The Observers. I've always been fascinated with the human obsession of dissecting the logic vs. emotions relationship. The Observers are a real treat, although I wish they were almost more neutral; it increasingly feels like they have a specific agenda far beyond keeping things in balance. Of course, that isn't to say I'm not curious as to what that is... And I haven't been able to get the Observers out of my head since the love story of one in season 2. Gosh, that was a while ago.

    Speaking of love; Peter and Olivia. You know, I really want them to be perfect for each other--I mean, I REALLY do--but other than the "I'm sorry," Peter hasn't been very good in his response to Olivia's trauma. He stares a lot, though... She, on the other hand, is being tough as always, and is more "intense" than ever. I hope the tension ramps up a little, honestly, I know I might be a spoiled fan for asking for more, but sometimes their relationship's a little too platonic for me! Grr. It's not even so much what they do as how they do it, and the two aren't giving me that lump-in-the-throat feeling. Once again, I remind you that I still love them as a couple and will still be listening to the song Olivia sang to Peter on repeat.

    Finally, Walter and Peter. I agree with a previous reviewer in that, for a long time, fear of losing Peter was the prominent feature of Walter. It's great how the character changes, or at least torturously reveals the change, in this episode. I loved every second of it--except for, and keep in mind it was only a second, when Walter let Peter go. And, you know, those couple of close calls with Peter--I'm talking the truck, the gun, etc.--were well crafted. Bravo, writers.

    Overall, I loved this episode, and I'm only knitpicking here because that's what reviewers do. Can't wait for the next.moreless
  • Back to December!

    After a VERY disturbing Marionette the show comes back to its usual tone in a story about fatherhood, Observers and meddling with timelines as only Fringe could do: with a subtle homage to Back to the Future in the form of Christopher Loyd!

    An old couple inspires Olivia to take a look in a whole new direction regarding her situation with Peter, while Peter himself starts sharing with her what he shared with her alter-ego but, just as Peter and Olivia are course-correcting their own relationship, the Observers start course-correcting the mistake they made years ago ...when they let Walter keep Peter.

    It must be difficult being a father, like Peter himself has experienced as the parentalized child of a deranged Dr. Bishop, but its also difficult on Walter for instinct kicks-in whenever Peter is in danger. See, a father can't let his child die even at the risk to lose his own life, forgetting said child its as unbearable as to actually lose him ...and yet, it's that very instinct what the Observers undermine during this episode, the trigger that kicks-in whenever Walter sees Peter in mortal danger and, because he learnt to let him die, Walter is now ready to do so again.moreless
Nancy Bell (II)

Nancy Bell (II)

Adorable Old Woman

Guest Star

Rob Boyce

Rob Boyce

Tough Man

Guest Star

Olivia Cheng

Olivia Cheng


Guest Star

Michael Cerveris

Michael Cerveris

The Observer

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Peter: You ever feel like every time we get close to getting the answers, somebody changes the question? Olivia.
      Olivia: So why is this your favorite book?
      Peter: Because it talks about not depending on other people for answers. That you can only find the answers inside yourself.

    • Peter: Walter.
      Walter: Peter. You're up early.
      Peter: Oh, no, I'm still asleep upstairs in my bed. You're just talking to an astral projection of me.
      Walter: You're just saying that to see if I'm high.

    • Peter: Who's that at two in the morning?
      Walter: Oh, my pizza.
      Peter: So you are high, then.
      Walter: Maybe a little.

    • Olivia: I understand that you had a visitor last night.
      Roscoe: I don't remember talking to him, but I remember that he was here. It's a curse not remembering a miracle.

    • Peter: Walter, are you all right?
      Walter: If all right means despondent, yes.

    • Walter: You know the future. Tell me how I can save my son from dying.
      The Observer: There are things that I know. But there are things that I do not. Various possible futures are happening simultaneously. I can tell you all of them, but I cannot tell you which one of them will come to pass. Because every action cause ripples. Consequences both obvious and unforeseen. For instance, after I pulled you and Peter from the icy lake, later that summer, Peter caught a firefly. I could not have known he would do that. But because he did, a young girl three miles away would not. And so later that night, she would continue looking, trying to find another one. I could not have know that when she did not come home, her father would go looking for her, driving in the rain. So that when the traffic light turned red, his truck skidded through the intersection at Harvard Yard, killing a pedestrian.
      Walter: Did that happen?
      The Observer: You and I have interfered in the natural course of events. We have... upset the balance in ways I could not have predicted. Which is why now I need your help.

    • Roscoe: I forgot what my son felt like. What he smelled like. How it felt to be around him. But now I remember. Nobody is supposed to have a second chance like that.

    • Peter: First he saves the girl, then he tries to kill her. Then he runs up five flights of stairs just to shoot me with his magic air gun and disappear. None of it makes any sense.
      Olivia: And how is this different from any other day?

  • NOTES (5)

    • Blair Brown is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Music: Mah-Na Mah-Na (Piero Umiliani), If I Only Had a Brain (Jeremy Little)

    • Injoke: "Dr. Jacoby from Washington State" is a reference to Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, the eccentric psychiatrist on the TV series Twin Peaks, played by Russ Tamblyn. He also wore green/red glasses.

    • Injoke: The writers included at least one reference to Back to the Future (1985), in which Christopher Lloyd also starred. The storyline of this episode relies on the year 1985 and differences in events spanning 25 years. This is similar to the film where the main character travels back in time (to 1955, a 30 year span) but needs to get back to the year 1985. September transports Bobby 25 years into the future and Walter predicts the location of someone in the present day based on their location 25 years ago.

    • International Airdates:
      Canada: January 21, 2011 on Citytv
      Latin America: February 15, 2011 on Warner Channel
      Sweden: March 4, 2011 on Kanal 5
      UK: March 23, 2011 on Sky1
      Germany: March 28, 2011 on ProSieben
      Finland: November 9, 2011 on MTV3
      Poland: March 27, 2012 on TVN
      Czech Republic: March 4, 2013 on FANDA


    • Olivia: I feel like Rip Van Winkle.
      Referencing the short story by Washington Irving (1819), where the title character sleeps through 20 years and wakes up to find that the American Revolution has occurred and most of what he knew has long since disappeared.