Season 3 Episode 10

The Firefly

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 2011 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
623 votes
  • 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 t
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • A success by all measure

    The decision to move "Fringe" to Friday nights was sounded criticized by many of its fans and critics alike. There's a certain irony in the fact that the two heirs apparent to the "X-Files" legacy, "Fringe" and "Supernatural", now find themselves in direct competition in the original timeslot of their creative ancestor. Yet, against all odds, "Fringe" has managed to match its Thursday ratings (at least for this episode), and therefore improve on the Friday night average for FOX.

    One can only hope this is evidence of good things to come for the series, because creatively, it is hitting all cylinders. This particular episode makes good on the promise of the fall cliffhanger by focusing on the machinations of The Observer. Much of this episode is an elaborate test, designed to determine whether or not Walter would be willing to let Peter risk his life. This suggests that Peter's life may hang in the balance as season arc progresses.

    It's not a minor point, however. If The Observers are some kind of inter-dimensional monitors, tasked with maintaining watch over the Multiverse, then the current war between Fringe Prime and Alt-Fringe would be a matter of great concern. More to the point, if they are working behind the scenes to repair the damage Walter caused, they would have to ensure that Walter himself would not compound the problem.

    With the story now firmly rooted in its own mythology, following the grand J.J. Abrams traditions from "Alias" and "Lost", there is some hope that the origins and role of The Observers will be fleshed out this season. I can't help but wonder if they are connected somehow to the ancient civilization that appears to have created the Vacuum in the first place, in both universes. What if The Observers are the evolved spawn of that ancient culture? The "Fringe" mythology has been relatively tight and well-contained up to this point, so it would make sense.

    The Observer, in this case, designs a psychologically crushing test for Walter in this episode. The notion that he was responsible, however indirectly, for the devastation in the life of someone he so admired is devastating. It was all the more powerful because it was so delicately constructed over the course of the story. One could tell that connections and consequences were impending, but the revelatory scene was chilling in its impact.

    The writers also continue to explore the fallout of the Olivia/Peter mess, as they try to figure out where they stand with one another after the damage Fauxlivia has done. I expect Olivia to relent eventually, as Peter's role in the coming crisis becomes clear, and just in time for Fauxlivia's inevitable return to the stage.

    "Fringe" has gotten to the point where the writers know what the show is meant to be, the boundaries of the story have been fairly well-defined, and it's just a matter of letting everyone execute to the best of their ability. With the season approaching its midpoint with the next episode, the current complications within the story should continue to escalate, and I can't wait to see where the writers take us next.
  • 310

    Fringe is back after a brief hiatus and it is finally right back on track. To the shock of no one, an episode heavily featuring the observer turns out to be one of the best of the season. We had a very good storyline involving "time travel" and the ramifications of what Walter did all those yearsago, coming full circle here tonight. Plus, Doccctttttooorrrr Brooooowwwwwwnnn from Back to the Future, so that was a nice surprise.

    This is what Fringe needs to be: a little bit of action, a little bit of creepy sci-fi goodness, and a little bit of discussion about strawberry milkshakes. Great episode for the show's Friday night debut.
  • Catching a glimpse of the Observers' twisted logic

    Observers episodes are always a treat, in large part because we know so little about them ... and don't quite understand how they think. "The Firefly" is probably the best example of that. I mean, until the last scene, there was no way to predict what was happening ... I didn't expect it to be related to Walter's serum, I thought the point was only to test his moral compass. Which, by the way, is a good idea : if Walter wants to equal Walternate, does that mean that he has to turn "evil" ? That, coupled with the fact that, for the first time, he was ready to take the risk to lose Peter, after being defined for so long by his fear of losing him, was very compelling character developement. On the emotional side, there was some meat too : it's even more evident with each episode that Olivia came back a changed woman, and the scene where Walter, upon hearing Roescoe's story, slowly realizes that saving Peter cost another life is heart-breaking, even if I thought that it was a shame to cast Christopher Lloyd as what was, in the end, a tool in the Observer's hands, and a secondary character ( was casting him a red herring, making us focus on him, just to reveal he was not that important ? ). Anyway, there was chemistry with Walter, and I hope we'll see him again.
  • Powerful episode with the right touch...

    I am now under the impression Fringe writers can do no wrong this season. We are almost halfway through and we can't say we have had a real filler so far or even an episode that could be easily discarded. "The Firefly" was no exception.

    Peter's destiny in the upcoming potential Worlds shattering events came back in full swing, brought about by the observers. We didn't quite learn what his role would be, but we got to know if his father would be able to let him go when the time comes. The observer provoked a chain reaction culminating in a life-or-death test for Walter. He had to decide whether or not to let Peter leave, knowing he might not see him again.
    Beside the observer's advice, Walter had something else nudging him toward the right decision: continuing to argue with Peter would have put a woman's life in danger. A woman who was involved in unforeseen ripple effects initiated by Walter and the observer the night they respectively abducted and saved Peter. Which is I suppose why the title "The Firefly" conjures up "The Butterfly Effect"...

    I liked how the young woman was connected to Peter, Walter and the observer via a firefly, and how in turn she was linked to the accident that robbed Joyce, the band member of his child. Watching Walter and Joyce's journey into the past, Walter putting the pieces together and ironically Joyce being pulled back from the past by living it again, made for wonderful moments. Moments with the right amount of emotions to touch us without being sappy.
    Christopher Lloyd's portrayal of Joyce was flawless.

    As if the above wasn't enough, the episode was sprinkled with delightful moments between Olivia and Peter. I find them delightful because I am among those who thought our two birds, in a way, jumped the gun in "Jacksonville". The writers started redeeming themselves by having Olivia use the sentence "You belong with me" which I found very appropriate especially considering how shy she was when saying it. Now we are back where we should be: Olivia should embark on a journey of discovery, she should get to know him and herself better, just like he did during two years. He did it because he was arguably drawn to her from that very first day in the hotel lobby in Baghdad. Turning around the effects of the book he originally sent to BOlivia was neat...
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Intriguing Observers, guest of the guests, inspiring father and son relationship, entertaining action

    The Observer Strikes Back. Is it the end of the red and blue format that has made season 3 excellent so far ? I hope not ! To tell the truth I never found the Observer interesting in the first season 1 episodes. An enigmatic watcher pulling strings seemed dated and too reminiscent of shows like The X-Files even I'm sure more experienced viewers have dozens of better references in mind. However now that Olivia, Peter and Walter have dramatically grown on me I was probably more opened to what the Observers could bring to Fringe. Indeed from their emotionless figures to their powers it seems they could be the spicy ingredient the show needs to dazzle our neurons. I only wish they were as creepy as the silent men in black from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Hush. But let's hope the writers will surprise us in the upcoming episodes ! Something bizarre would definitely be a home run. As for The Firefly story it was Observer and Walter heavy. If you don't know anything about them then the little recap should definitely be useful. It was quite enlightening and the episode was filled with breadcrumbs to help us comprehend who he is and what they have done. And who better than Christopher Lloyd as a special guest for a time travel ride ? His old and tired character was so moving. It was also quite clever to connect him with Walter on a father level. Moreover even if you should have a déjà vu impression the events were still quite intense to follow and their impact on Peter's fate absolutely shaking. So with a few edgy action scenes and the usual Peter and Olivia side story it was an other captivating installment. Otherwise let's hope we'll get back to the other universe next time because parallel stories with Observers could be mind blowing !
  • Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the future!! lol

    Who remembers Dr. Emmett Brown from back to the future!!! I can't beleive that dude still sounds and looks exactly the same 25 years later. It's nice to see that some of my favorite childhood actors still get some work. This was one of my favorite movie lines of all time. "This is it! This is the answer. It says here... that a bolt of lightning is going to strike the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm, next Saturday night! If... If we could somehow... *harness* this lightning... *channel* it... into the flux capacitor... it just might work. Next Saturday night, we're sending you back to the future!
  • The foreshadowing has set the tone of this season, Olivia and Peter are mending, and the Observers are back.

    All in all a good episode for the return from winter break. First I was glad to see that albeit slowly, Olivia is reconnecting with Peter. I was really afraid the writers of the show were going to use the whole alternate Olivia situation as an excuse to forever ground the relationship. As far as the larger plot went, the return of the Observers along with that final piece of dialogue at the end did a great job setting the mood for the rest of the season. Now viewers know that something is going to happen to Peter, and everything we see from here on out will be weighed with that thought in mind. Can't wait for the next episode!
  • Good episode - glad to have Fringe back.

    These long breaks between episodes have become so tedious. But, as stated, looks like we're into a new story arc. I came to Fringe late in Season 2 so I'm a little rusty on the whole - Walter stole Peter from "Walternate" and "The Observer dude rescued them from the water,....", but I'm definitely catching up. I might have given the episode a higher score except, I found the introduction of the Christopher Lloyd character to be somewhat superfluous. It served the plotline and therefore became necessary; but Christopher Lloyd as an former rock star just didn't ring true. I'm also still trying to like this Olivia - I'm sorry but everything about Olivia 2 was so much more interesting. I think Peter is confused - It will be interesting to see whether they bring the two together somehow and resolve this thing one way or another.
  • An entertaining return episode that sets up events for later in the season.

    Fringe is a show that I love to watch, both for the crisp writing and acting, not to mention the plots, the subplots, and subtle nuances that make this feel like a small slice of home. Friday's episode was entitled, "The FireFly," which has at least two meanings in my mind. First, during the episode, we see the return of the mysterious Observer (Michael Cerveris), who reveals to Walter that Peter's abduction at an early age has had unforeseen impacts on this world. Peter, for example, caught a firefly: Who would have thought that by this simple act, a little girl, three miles away would not have been able to catch that same firefly? Who would have thought that, as a result, the same little girl would have wandered off, causing her father to look for her on a rain-soaked night in 1985, driving his car through an intersection? Who would have known that the girl's father would accidentally strike and a kill a young man on that same night? Who would have thought that this young man was the son of Roscoe Joyce, keyboardist for Violent Sedan Chair, Walter's favorite band? Last season, we learned that Violet Sedan Chair made only one album in this universe but three albums in the other universe. (Walternate's favorite album was the third, which Peter had obviously never heard). The fact that Walter brought Peter to our side inadvertently caused the accident that killed Roscoe Joyce's son and led to the breakup of the band, one of the very things that he loved. Walter's actions have had consequences for this world... some big, some small, but consequences nonetheless. Walter's gain was also his loss, or something along those lines. On the other hand, the title of this episode may just be a subtle nod to the fact that another Fox show ("FireFly") was moved to a Friday time slot.

    The Good: I enjoyed seeing Christopher Lloyd's performance as a burnt out, broken down former '70's rocker. The parallels between his loss and Walter's was great. Also, I enjoyed seeing Ana Torv attempt (struggle to return) to normalcy and confront her current feelings for Peter, herself, and the woman who replaced her for the last few months. John Noble, as always, was excellent as Walter.

    The Bad: If you were a casual viewer, who had never seen Fringe before, this episode would have left you lost (oh, J.J. Abrams). In some ways, this was a slow episode, laying the groundwork for the remainder of the season. In sum, this was a good episode, but I can't wait for Fringe to pick up the pace.
  • Fringe never disapoints! This episode leaves me trying to figure out how the death of Peter will be prevented. I enjoy the mental challenge.

    This episode brings Peter closer to Olivia and perhaps closer to death. This series combines an interesting weekly story with an ongoing interest in the lives of the charectors. In this episode we get a look into what the charectors actions contribute to their futures as well as the futures of others. It's a concept that makes one think and I believe that real TV genius does just that - makes you think. Who are the Watchers and how do they connect to everyday reality or do they? Will Peter die because the Watcher changed his reality or will Peter change the reality of the Watcher? This show challenges reality.
  • The Firefly

    The Firefly was a very interesting episode of Fringe. I really enjoyed watching this episode and watching complex events unfold. It was cool to see more of The Observer and fun trying to figure out what his plans were. It was interesting to see the interactions between Peter and Olivia in this episode. It was really cool to see Christopher Lloyd playing Royce and seeing him in a totally different role than his Iconic Back To The Future character. This episode was complex and definitely sets up future events. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode of Fringe!!!!!