BEST OF FRINGE – Top 33 Moments (4 of 5)

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Welcome to BEST OF FRINGE Part 4 — counting down the top 33 character moments from five seasons of Fringe. If you missed any of the previous entries in the series, click here to catch up. Now let’s continue with Part 4.

Major plot spoilers for seasons 1-5 ahead.


EPISODE: 5.08 The Human Kind
MAJOR PLAYERS: Olivia, Peter
SCENE DESCRIPTION: Peter is slowly becoming less human and more “Observer”. Olivia finds him and tries to convince him that emotion is more powerful than intelligence.

  • Olivia and Peter have both been grieving Etta’s death in separate ways, but they are finally brought together again in this beautiful scene, in which Olivia makes a case for the power of love; a major theme on the show.
  • It’s an interesting dilemma. Peter is not even close to what he used to be, but there’s still some humanity left inside him. He’s this close to killing Windmark, but Olivia tells him to be patient because, however satisfying Windmark’s death might be, it’s not worth losing his humanity over it. It might not be reasonable, but it’s the right thing to do.

Olivia: “She’s alive inside us, and there’s nothing Windmark can do about it because the love that we can share with her now is invulnerable to space, and time – even to them. And I know that our hearts have broken and that it hurts, but that’s what makes us human.”

  • In An Origin Story, Peter told Olivia that he wanted Etta’s death to mean something. The question is – should that mean her sacrifice leads to the end of the Observers, or – as Walter says – that Olivia and Peter’s pain is Etta’s legacy to them both? In the end, our duo got it both ways: because of their shared pain (and love), Olivia and Peter were able to find strength within each other to put an end to the Observer’s existence.
  • Etta’s presence is felt during this scene and the rest of the episode. Her music theme is being played as well. Peter replaces his Observer tech (intelligence) for Etta’s bullet (emotion). It’s the opposite of what the Observers did to become their bald, intelligent selves.

BEST OF FRINGE - Top 33 Moments (4 of 5)
EPISODE: 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss
MAJOR PLAYERS: Peter, Olivia, Walter
SCENE DESCRIPTION: With the power of love and a bit of Cortexiphan, Olivia turns off the Machine. Peter steps inside, but before he does, he shares a romantic moment with Olivia.

  • Not much character character development here (as we’ve seen them try this before), but without a doubt one of the show’s most “epic” moments. This scene deserved a place on this list. Everything so far has led to this. The soundtrack, the flashes from the past… All of our three main characters play a courageous role; Walter lets go of Peter, Olivia shuts off the Machine and tells Peter she loves him for the first time… but the star of the scene has to be Peter himself.

Walter: “I believe that the drawing was no accident. Whoever did it knew the same as I do: that you don’t fail.”

  • All Peter knows at this point is that there is a prophecy that shows him inside the Machine with flames coming out of his eyes. It doesn’t exactly go that way, but Peter stepping into the Machine does have huge consequences.
  • In the “future” episode The Day We Died, it’s revealed that Peter destroyed the alternate universe. That doesn’t quite sound like something Peter would do, and in a way he never did – he changes the game by turning the room into a Bridge between the two worlds.


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  1. Adam says

    So in one of the other threads you said

    “The third one that I added is #12 on this list, and pretty soon you’ll know why I didn’t include that one at first.”

    I’m curious why!

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • Jim says

      Ah, well, it was because I didn’t really consider it a “character moment” at first! It was included on the list of potentials, but I kind of glossed over it at first. Then I realized that it is a HUGE moment and one of the few scenes that made me think “whoa”, so I made room for it. 😉

      The other two scenes that turned this list into a top 33 were Windmark’s “I believe you call it hate” scene and Nina’s death. And that was just because I thought I had the last episodes memorized well enough to really check them out. :p

      Like: Thumb up 1

  2. scully8 says

    I totally loved your #10 selection. That remains one of my favorite scenes — I think it was the first one where I shed a tear or two. 😉

    I’m sad that your list is coming to an end . . . I think, at some point soon, I’ll go through the episodes and pull out my own scenes. I will say, you’ve captured some of the best.

    Like: Thumb up 2

  3. MLW says

    >>It’s rare for shows like this to have the two leads grow into a romantic relationship and to actually make it work, but this show did. The romance between Peter and Olivia always felt natural<<

    Well said. This is one of the reasons they are my all time favorite couple. On many shows the romances often feel manufactured or over time they become a hindrance or an annoyance on the show. That never happen with Olivia and Peter. The writers and the actors really did an excellent job making it believable and honest.

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 12

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