FRINGE: 5.05 An Origin Story — REVIEW

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Etta Bishop’s story was cut short in last week’s Fringe, but her legacy lived on in an emotional follow-up that delivered one of the most interesting moves yet as Peter transitioned from lovable rogue to antihero. Peter’s actions made for riveting and chilling viewing as he took matters into his own hands in an attempt honor his daughter and fight for the future. With the person who represented his redemption ripped from him, what grew in her place was something raw, dangerous — and ambitious.

If at times Fringe has taken half measures in its portrayal of Peter, “An Origin Story” was a full measures reaction, as he trudged down a path from which he might not return intact, if at all. The episode delivered the other three P’s – plotting, pacing and progression, making it an unmissable piece of the overarching puzzle.

There were some nagging drawbacks – the convenient off-screen capture of the Badserver, the ease with which the team are still able to run around (though granted I may just have to accept this as being a necessary factor), and the possible contrivance of the Badservers’ shipping things in from a future apparently ‘destroyed’. But these and other soft-spots where largely redeemed by compelling developments.

Events got off to a poignant start with Peter combing through Etta’s items, stopping to compare her picture with Olivia as she slept. A silent act that invited us into his mind-space. Peter’s reaction to finding Etta’s secret weapons cache was classic, “that’s my girl”.

If Peter was ready to rally, it was somewhat strange to see the legendary Dunhamnator sleeping. But it helped to contrast her and Peter’s grief and it’s easy to see why she might not want to face the reality of Etta’s demise. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms.

If we’ve seen Olivia broken before, here she was a shell, as captured by her question: “why did we get her back only to lose her again?” Fringe has always been about the search for answers, but this is a question too painful for Olivia to face, at least on her own.

The plot to collapse the Badservers’ transportation portal, and the subsequent interrogation of the captured Badserver, served as a stable corridor for Peter’s evolution and possible destruction.

Initially it looked like Peter would retain a measure of morality as he approached the situation in another way by reading the Badserver’s subconscious responses. This looked like a moment of inspiration from Peter.

Unfortunately, the plan didn’t quite work. As the Badserver explained, Peter had apparently observed his reaction to a fly, not an emotional response. He had placed meaning where he needed to find meaning.

This was a great Fringe moment that toyed with my expectations, bringing together overarching themes while progressing our understanding of the show’s most compelling mythology (parallel universe aside) and the lengths Peter would go for love, and hate.

These powerful scenes brought the focus back to the human origins of the Observers, something Peter grappled with during the interrogation. But both Peter and the Badserver struggled to see the other’s perspective on emotions and limitations.

The Destiny Tapes took a back seat but Etta’s birthday tape emerged instead. I understood Walter trying get Olivia to share the pain by watching the tape with Peter; he should know the damage the loss of a child can do, but I also understood Olivia’s initial resistance.

While Olivia was “hanging by a thread”, Peter was also being pressed on the existence or otherwise of his daughter. Of course, having vanished from the timeline and been presumed dead for twenty-odd years, he’s something of an expert on the matter.

In a fit of rage, Peter tells the Badserver: “I would be ten times what you are if I had that tech in my head!”, latching onto an opportunity to level the playing field. If he couldn’t get the answers from the Badserver, he’d become one himself. “I Am Become Death”.

With the episode having already gone to such extreme lengths, having Peter go all the way by killing the Badserver and taking his tech felt right for the character, as it laid his actions bare rather than trying to half-and-half the situation by dressing him back in sheep’s clothing.

By fusing himself with Observer tech he will presumably become Observer-like, but at a cost? His emotions? The thing that makes him human, “the proof that she was here”? While there’s an element of sacrifice to go with his ObserverBoon, on some level I’d argue that a part of him wanted to ease the pain of Etta. To add to matters, he didn’t even consult Olivia.

From a story point of view you want the scene where Olivia is telling him she wants them to survive, while he’s gradually fading away with that “I love you too”, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he made this huge decision alone. Did he feel that he was already fighting this war on his own, that Etta meant more to him than to Olivia? Is Peter really that selfish or just that perceptive? The answer probably lies somewhere in murky middle. Wonderful characterization and fantastic climax.

NOTES OF RESISTANCE
  • Perhaps Peter will be able to hold on to his better nature and vindicate his belief that he can be 10x the entity even with all that tech. It’s going to be interesting to see how it shakes out, but you can almost see the possibilities of how this might all end.
  • Walter’s plan to collapse the portal and destroy the future didn’t include much in the way of thought for innocent lives. They may be at war but that slope sure is slippery.
MYSTERIES AND ANSWERS

MYSTERIES

  • What will the Observer tech do to Peter?

ANSWERS

  • Astrid managed to decode the Observer language after realizing that it each symbol comprises multiple meanings.
  • As well as the tech we knew about previously, the Observers also have tech implanted in their necks.
  • Peter fused himself with Observer tech and was ..affected.
 9/10 Seriable Stars

Quotable of the Week: “You don’t even know what you don’t know.”

Best Moment: Peter fusing himself with Observer tech.

Outstanding Performer: Joshua Jackson

<<Previously | Next Time>>

Comments

  1. YourPique says

    One more contrivance Roco…they’ve been trying to decode the Observer language since “August.” They knew it was was going to be super important in 2012, and they had 3 years until 2015 hit. Yet Astrid seems to start from scratch here, decodes it in only a few hours with a couple old computers?

    The episode definitely had some nice callbacks…namely the red/red/red/green lights, Observer Binoculars and the notebooks full of the Observer language.

    Like: Thumb up 6

        • Cody says

          Maybe their world is at stake and Astrid likes to play word puzzles alot so it was easy for her to decode with the extra motivation.

          Like: Thumb up 1

        • Friends of Walter says

          But now that have context to apply to the language to decode it. Before it could have been anything, but this time they knew it was a series of dates & locations so reduced the possibilities by a huge factor, allowing them to decode it in a few hours.

          Like: Thumb up 0

  2. says

    Brilliant review. Brilliant episode. However, I do not share u’r gloom for Peter’s future. Call me a romantic, but I believe LOVE will win out.

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 11

  3. says

    Roco, it is a pleasure to read your reviews.

    The quote of the week, “You don’t even know what you don’t know,”
    has me thinking that “You know much more than you actually know.”

    Peter”s transformation is going to be an eye opener, and I hope he finds it in himself to remain humble about what he can accomplish successfully.

    Like: Thumb up 5

  4. Red Balloon says

    Great points Roco!, I see what you mean about Peter, he immersed himself in an outrageous situation from which he couldn’t possibly know the consequences. Definitely like father like son. Walter and even Walternate were driven by the same emotions when saving/losing Peter (love/hate/revenge), and later Walter & Bell consciously conditioned Cortexiphan kids, including little Olive to a future full of pain and anguish. I think that’s the difference between Olivia’s intuition about what’s right and wrong, that she has never intentionally or irrationally done something to jeopardize her soul, until 4.15 when she decided which memories would she keep but even then, she knew who she was and would be in her choice.

    In the end, I think this was supposed to happen with Peter right now, I think we’re looking at a future/past? in which Walter would learn to make a better choice (again), because the anger that we saw in Peter, we haven’t seen that in any other character, not even Walternate…destroying their shipments, creating the blackhole, torturing the Badserver and injecting himself with that unknown tech, doesn’t show any kind of evolution from what Walter/Walternate did. I believe we are witnessing an outcome being watched by Walter himself, maybe September is showing this to him, and he’s pondering his choices for saving Peter or letting go. Long shot maybe, but I don’t think this is the kind of choice a hero would do, but a huting human being? sure and I think it fits his character.

    I like where they are right now, because I’m excited to see what’s their next move on them all, since all of them have being entangled with a new variant: Etta

    Great and outstanding performances by Joshua, Anna and John, beautiful scenes and interesting plot.

    Like: Thumb up 9

  5. says

    @YourPique: Good point. We could allow for their knowledge of the Observers being slightly different in this timeline, but as you say they still had several years – and Peter to fill in the blanks. Astrid’s off-screen decoding was rather convenient.

    @Scully: You’re probably right, love will most likely have the last laugh. I’m just grateful for the uncertain terrain that Peter suddenly finds himself on!

    @I hear you Betty. It seems being a ‘better man’ has always been his challenge and will be ’til the bitter end. He’s asked a big question of himself, now let’s see if he can answer in the way he envisaged.

    @Red Balloon: That’s a great way to look at it, whether literal or otherwise. Peter has long played the role of ‘father’ to Walter, and with time and consciousness being what it is in this story, who knows what kind of process our heroes are travelling through.

    Like: Thumb up 3

    • YourPique says

      Completely overlooked the new timeline…so “August” didn’t happen. Oops. That makes it somewhat less contrived I guess…but it sounds like they worked with September for awhile, so he could have also taught them his language. Oh well, we’ll see where they go from here.

      Like: Thumb up 3

  6. Red Balloon says

    Olivia’s state of mind was something extremely weird and sad to watch in the Dunhamnator we know. She’s been distracted, unfocused, depressed and out of her true self. At the beginning she didn’t even questioned Peter about the guns he found, and when watching Etta’s video at the end, she even told Peter “I want you to come home”, I believe that in that particular moment she really thought she was in 2015 when they both lost Etta, because it’s obvious that were they are right now cannot be called “home”. Those moments plus Peter’s dialog with the Observer ” You’re wrong about emotions not being real. My feelings for her are very real” and Walter eavesdropping on their feelings, are some of the reason why I believe this is somebody else’s point of view, a perspective, studying or experiment that is being watched. I’ve always suspected of Nina being manipulating the time-lines, as if she’s longing for an outcome were she doesn’t end alone, either with Bell or Olive…but it’s also a long shot like the one I said above. This episode was refreshing because of the new facet the characters are in.

    Like: Thumb up 4

    • tw says

      The thing with Olivia, is that Olivia has never been “free”. As a child, she became an experiment. In her “original” timelines, she was a tool for use, on a “schedule”, like a puppet. In the rewritten timeline, she was lost, partial … only later to be “upgraded” to a mish-mash of the Old Olivia and New Olivia.

      The closest to “love” that Olivia has known, has been with Peter. Like a destined pair. And this was obvious, because when it came to Peter, Olivia lit up like a display board … her Cortexiphan kicked in, and her greatest asset, also reminded her of her own “enslavement”. She was still an experiment. Even in love.

      Having Etta, and losing her “powers”, gave her some reprieve. A break. But she didn’t know what to do with that. What it would look like. It didn’t make sense to her. She had gone from being something like a programmed human, to a human with NO program. What to do ? How to love ? She loved Peter, but she didn’t recognize herself fully. And now here is this thing, this child, that SHE created ?

      For Peter … a person who wasn’t an experiment, but had a family … ended up being kidnapped, stolen, lost in timelines and loops and paradoxes … his issue wasn’t an identity issue, rather, his issue was a HOME issue. Peter knew who he was. He just didn’t have a HOME.

      Olivia had a home, but she didn’t understand her own “person”, because she was always being used by everyone else.

      For Peter, Etta was home. The proof of his home. He may have had questions, and concerns, when he re-emerged in a new timeline, and loved a different version of Olivia that was “possessed” by an old version of herself he once knew. But Etta’s existence …. was the seal of his having “arrived”. She wasn’t Walter, wasn’t a strange father figure that came and went … she was HIS. An extension of him. Where she went, he was there also … across time, and space. He even said she was a perfect soul that he created with Olivia. For Olivia, she didn’t know what to make of it.

      So very much, Olivia is now lost even more. Now, she is back in her “role” as the tool, the world needs a Dunhamnator … but she is powerless now. No Cortexiphan kicking in. She’s confused. Her moments of peace gone. Her world broken even more. She loved Etta. As best she could. And even that was taken from her ? And she couldn’t keep up with Peter … Peter had become more “human” than her. She didn’t know what it was like to just be “Olivia”. She was always a destiny/fate/tool for the use of everyone else. And now Etta is gone, Peter has lost his home in Etta, he’s ready to run forward and create a new UNIVERSE with Etta as the inspiration … and where the hell is Olivia ? She doesn’t know how to run that race. She doesn’t know how to be like Peter. She knows she needs him, because he’s the closest thing she’s had to love, and enduring hope.

      But no one has ever run forward to create a new universe for HER … have they …

      Walter’s done it for Peter. She’s done it for Peter. Peter tried to do it for her, and it took in some ways. But it bypassed her, it wasn’t the universe she fit into. And as Peter kept going, with Etta, she got left behind again. And now Peter is doing it for Etta.

      What needs to happen, is that someone needs to give Olivia back control, for herself. She’s never really had it. Peter had SELF control. He made his own choices. Olivia has not. She’s not had the life she could have had, the family she could have had, the circumstances she could have had. She’s not had the FREEDOM to truly CHOOSE what *she* wanted. It’s always been in pieces. Olivia needs to have the “whole”. She needs to clearly have the opportunity to choose the universe the way she wants it. Not Walter. Not Peter. Not the Observers. And Peter will find, that if he lets this happen … lets Olivia have control, that his own daughter will live on through her, and he will see the life of Etta, in HIS Olivia. Because his Olivia, is actually the Olivia that Olivia herself always wanted to be.

      Well-loved.: Thumb up 26

      • Red Balloon says

        @tw, I’m impressed by your thoughts, thanks a lot, and I feel that needs to happen for Olivia, that’s when we’ll see her true and full potential and her beautiful savior soul. Powerful thoughts really!

        Like: Thumb up 7

  7. Rick Terry says

    I posted this up over on FringBloggers but thought I should post it here too.

    Has anyone given any thought as to why or rather how the Observers were able to recover their shipment so quickly?

    The only explanation I can come up with it that when Peter shot the anti-matter baton into the wormhole it actually did do exactly what walter believed it would do. Although I believe he fail to account for the nature of time-travel itself.

    Let me explain:

    We know that the Observers had a shipping manifest with schedules that they adhered to. Correct?

    With that in mind we have to assume that Observers on the future side of the portal also had the same schedule. Correct?

    Can we also assume that whoever is in charge in 2609 has a copy of that schedule?
    I think yes.

    So let’s say that Walter’s plan worked and totally destroyed the shipping channel/wormhole turning it into a black hole sucking in everything in its path setting the 2609 Observers back years, or even decades.

    To me that wouldn’t necessarily matter in our time. Even if it took the future Observers years to recover their shipping channel/wormhole they would still stick to the schedule. Of course for this one particular shipment they would just tweak the time by a few to several minutes.

    That I believe is what happened. Peter actually did screw up their portal for a good long time, but it didn’t matter because once they recovered they simply adjusted the time by a few minutes and went through with the shipment as planned.

    By this logic, there really isn’t a need to have the future Observers standing around waiting for certain times to ship either. In fact all they would need to do is send shipments on a continuous basis to all the different times and places scheduled on the manifest. From their end it would take however long that it needed to produce the tech and box it up then they could send it virtually any time they wanted. from our end it would happen over the course of several days/weeks/months/years/etc.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 11

        • Rick Terry says

          It boils down to this:

          Lets say for the sake of this theory that the shipment was scheduled to arrive a 10:30 am on fifth ave in the year 2036.

          The shipments are coming from the future, even if Peter’s action set the Observers in the future back ever how many years it has no bearing on the 2036 present. It may have taken those future Observers 200 years to rebuild their wormhole in the future, but they can still send that shipment back in time to whatever time they want to with their time-travel capabilities. So lets say it took them 200 years to rebuild the wormhole, then once it has been rebuilt and they regain their capability to send shipments back to the past, they just dial up their time-machine to 10:40 am on fifth ave in the year 2036. (ten minutes later than the original failed shipment) they would have to make it a bit later or else they would not get the shipment to the correct timeline since 10:30 am already happened and we saw that Peter prevented the shipment at that time already.

          This would explain why just several minutes after Peter seemingly destroyed the wormhole, that another wormhole was able to open up ten minutes later (in their time) in the same spot with a perfectly fine shipment being delivered.

          I hope this makes it a bit easier to understand. :)

          Like: Thumb up 6

          • tw says

            Excellent idea.

            Another idea, is the thought that the Observers have shipped their equipment to another universe, or era, of any time they choose … and they “ship out” on schedule. So while 2609 is in desolation and flux (and perhaps they live underground or something in order to survive), their equipment has been safeguarded in a time and place that no one can intervene. Remember the BEACONS … they arrive, and depart, on schedules. Perhaps it’s similar with the “cargo”. And for all we know, the Observers stored all their things in the distant past, where no human can touch them, before human history. Peter and company may have just created a small black hole and sent it back 250 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs lol.

            Like: Thumb up 0

          • Red Balloon says

            I do get it now!, thanks!. What you’re saying is that it really wasn’t a good plan since the observers would’ve found a way to continue with their schedule at any cost ones they recovered, so the destruction continues just with 5-10 minute delay. How come Walter didn’t see that!?. Well, for me it was just Peter’s way to declare war on them because they didn’t even had a backup plan, it was reckless from everybody to let Peter’s revenge play like that. But since they were lucky enough to come out of this alive, at least now they have new information about that tech the observers have in the back of their necks, and perhaps they took a short cut to get a key element/information for September’s plan to work. I think it was just a short cut from the writers, because they suddenly interrupted Walter’s quest… that feels weird, but the outcome now it’s interesting so no complains.

            Like: Thumb up 0

  8. Pwnsauce says

    Makes sense to me, Rick. I think you could be right, but I’m assuming that they left that unexplained because it may actually have relevance later. Maybe that is specifically what they’ll realize, and then maybe find some way to cut the future off a la Terra Nova.

    I was thinking about it earlier, and I realized that the contrivances in this episode made me a bit angry. Capturing an Observer without any sort of explanation is a huge one. Not even Peter or Walter inquired how they did it. I know most stories take contrivances to wrap up at the end, but this just seems like it’s crossing the line.

    I did, however, like Peter inserting the Observer tech into his neck plotline. It’s definitely something that can be explored in many different ways, but I do feel as others have said, that love will be what wins it for humanity.

    All in all, a very good episode, but contrivances and off-screen happenings are becoming way too commonplace for my tastes.

    Like: Thumb up 2

    • Rick Terry says

      I wonder if we’re supposed to assume they used stasis runes to capture him? I agree that a little more exposition would go a long way for me. Maybe all will be revealed in a later ep, then we can look back and say OOOOH I see what you did there.

      Like: Thumb up 2

    • QbanariK says

      Guys, remember they only have 13 episodes to finish telling this story, so expect the story to move much faster than what you are used to. Off screen (and fairly irrelevant) events are bound to happen at an abnormal rate. Some things now will either require your imagination or a brief explanation will be provided but not more. If we had an entire season I’m sure they would have milked this episode with the Observer capture, the book decoding, etc. but the writers now need to pack a lot of more relevant details in such short airtime that are running out of space.
      I don’t think the story is really suffering because of this, it’s just a lot faster paced.

      Like: Thumb up 2

  9. says

    Great review Roco.

    I think Peter is going to be like an Observer as well, in good ways and bad ways. The perks, we know a few (velocity, time/space travel, strength, etc) the bad, that will make Peter suffer (lose of sensibility, taste, fellings…) well, poor Peter and Olivia and Walter.

    Like: Thumb up 2

    • Rick Terry says

      I disagree with you somewhat. I think he’ll retain his humanistic traits, while having that added bonus of speed, strength, telepathy, teleportation, time-travel etc. We’ve seen in the promo for the next ep that he still has emotion seeing as how he is watching the hologram of Etta “Just to see her again.”

      Of course time will tell if you are right, I just don’t think he’ll lose touch with his emotions, and feelings, taste, hair, etc. In other words I don’t think it’ll turn him into an actual Observer. I think there was a reason he said “I’d be 10X the man you are with that tech in my head.”. I think we have to take the show at its word until we see otherwise.

      Like: Thumb up 3

      • Red Balloon says

        hey Rick… I took a look at the script, and it says ” I would be ten times what you are if I had that tech in my head” (what you are, not the man you are)… I agree with you that he won’t turn exactly like an observer, but I think he will be close enough to make us nervous. I’m sure that this is one of the main reasons of this plot … to take us there where a human being we know could lose its soul in the process of becoming technologically advanced

        Like: Thumb up 1

        • Rick Terry says

          I know I used quotation marks but I was paraphrasing. Just so you know.

          As far as him getting close enough to becoming an Observer to make us nervous; I still say no. I don’t think that is going to happen at all. I think he is already emotionally compromised due to the loss of his daughter, and that he is on a revenge kick. I believe he will become more hate filled in this regard toward the oppressors, but toward Olivia and Walter, he will be as compassionate as he always is. He may have his angry moments just because of the mood swings that a child’s death could cause, and I expect there to be some kind of depression as well. But to say that he will in any way physically or even emotionally (or lack there of) start resembling an Observer seems ridiculous to me. I mean I can see that this episode was supposed to leave us wondering that,but I’m confident that will never happen.

          Like: Thumb up 4

          • Red Balloon says

            What I was trying to say when I quoted the “what” against the “man” is that somehow Peter acknowledge the threat of turning himself into a thing controlled by tech and there’s a good possibility that it will control him at some point, and that’s when he might be close to lose his free will, he will be easily manipulated by whoever has the main switch, and that switch may include loosing/compromising your feelings/humanity. Of course it may not come to that, perhaps his super power journey will be shorten by the tech’s removal, but we don’t even know if it can be removed without consequences. I agree that we won’t see baldy Petah or Jalapeño Petah, but I still maintain my words that he will be in danger of misplaced convictions on what makes him human.

            Like: Thumb up 1

      • mlj102 says

        But it all comes down to what makes an Observer an Observer? How exactly did they get to be the way they are? I get what you’re saying, that the tech is what gives them the added abilities and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the other unique observer traits like loss of feelings and senses, but it seems to me that the two should be connected.

        Fringe has always been about the consequences. Specifically, how advanced technology has consequences, good and bad. The observers are from a time where technology is so advanced that they have actually incorporated it into who they are. And sure that’s great – they can do some really cool things. But there have to be consequences, too. Everything comes with some sort of cost. You can’t have one without the other. If the technology gives them their abilities, I don’t think it’s all that far fetched to think it also took away some of what made them human. I think it would be short-sighted and lame if Peter were able to develop all the neat observer tricks without having any negative consequences from it.

        I think it will take some time for those things to actually manifest – it will be really neat being able to do all these super-human things and that’s all he’ll be noticing at first – but I think he will start to experience the negative aspects of being an observer. But I think it’s a logical thing to have happen – especially so that he will learn his lesson: that he acted impulsively and he really didn’t know everything he was getting into. He doesn’t know the whole story of what it means to be an observer. Like the observer said, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” and Peter’s arrogant claim that he would be 10x the person the observer was if he had that tech in his head is going to come back to haunt him when he realizes the full extent of what he’s done to himself. I’m convinced that there will be negative consequences. It would be too easy if there weren’t.

        Like: Thumb up 6

        • Rick Terry says

          I don’t think for a minute that there won’t be some negative consequences. I just don’t think they will be of the “becoming an Observer” variety. I thing there will be some physical detriment like maybe headaches, and even bodily rejection of the implant, restlessness, sleeplessness etc. There might be some logistical detriments like; Now can the Observers track him, shut him down remotely? Things like this are what I’m expecting. But the obvious; “He’s gonna lose his humanity” or “He’s the first Observer”, or “He gonna turn into an Observer” or the most ridiculous one I’ve heard; “He’s gonna become September”, will not happen.

          Mark my words Nov. 5th 2012

          Like: Thumb up 3

          • Pwnsauce says

            After a bit of pondering, I don’t think Peter could be September. If we say that we’re currently in the Amber timeline, Peter was erased, at least for a little while. That would in turn make September’s continued existence after erasing Peter a paradox.

            I think it’s hard for us to guess what the process for becoming an Observer actually entails. I don’t think it’s as simple as your hair falling out and the tech lets you do all the things an Observer can do. Once again, I’m very intrigued by where this could go, but based on Seasons 3 and 4 I really don’t know how optimistic I am about all the questions that need to be answered actually being answered. Please Joel, no more huge contrivances!!

            Like: Thumb up 1

          • LI Fringie says

            Not sure I agree, Rick. By implanting this tech, I think Peter might well be a forerunner to the Observers, i.e. a direct ancestor. He’s definitely NOT September, who himself said numerous times over 4 years that “the boy is important”. Perhaps this is why.

            Like: Thumb up 1

  10. ramona says

    Could Astrid be channeling Asperger Astrid and that was why she was able to program the computers to quickly decipher the Badservers writings? I think that the characters from the Altuniverse will surely be coming soon. In my opinion the series ending will come around full circle and will be used to introduced the very first episode of the series. I also feel that Walter’s own son, Peter, will have a part to play in helping Badserver Peter find his humanity again.

    Like: Thumb up 4

    • Mel Duff says

      It is so interesting that you chose the word “channeling”. I think Walter is definitely becoming sharper (verbally), which is more like Walternate. I know that it’s been explained by the re-implantation of the missing brain sections but I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to it.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  11. _lost_stef_ says

    One again Roco this is a great review!!

    Over at Fringe Bloggers a few people including myself are a bit confused on what the title of the episode ‘an origin story’ refers to. Do you have any thoughts?

    People say that Peter could be the origin of Observers I don’t agree with this. There must have been an origin of ‘something’ but at this point in time we are not seeing it.

    Like: Thumb up 3

    • Rick Terry says

      In comic book lingo “An Origin Story” is the special edition that delves into a characters history where you get to see exactly what made that character into the super hero they are. Like Spiderman being bitten by the radioactive spider, then seeing his uncle killed, Or Punisher watching his family gunned down, or like Batman seeing his family killed. It is the quintessential and pivotal moment or action in their lives that puts them on a course to become what they become. this was Peter’s and Olivia’s Origin story. I dare say it was the final resistance’s Origin Story. But in the most literal sense of the phrase it would be Super-Peter’s Origin story.

      “The boy is important…”

      Like: Thumb up 6

  12. shahrzad says

    I don’t know why but when Peter told the observer that he would be ten times better if he had the tech in his head,it kind of reminded me of the episode “Peter” .
    Back in the lab Walter was so angry and desperate to save Peter’s life that he wouldn’t even consider the consequences of his actions.I remember him saying arrogantly “there is only one God in this lab and it’s not your’s”.
    That’s why he had parts of his brain removed,because he was afraid of what he was becoming and that he wasn’t sure whether he could handle the knowledge he had.
    I see the same arrogance in Peter’s statement.He wants revenge,he wants his daughter back and he is so desperate to prove his point to the observer that his existence means nothing and he will not be remembered because love and emotions are something that gives meaning to human’s life,only to put himself in a place where he might jeopardize the same emotions that makes him human by wearing the observer’s tech.

    I don’t think the writers just made up that whole tech story line only to make Peter a secret weapon for the fringe team so that they could ease their way into troubles by his new found abilities.
    I think peter would eventually cross the line and would get closer to be an observer and be distracted about his emotions,and at this time the story will get to the point where he has to make a choice that only a human with a human perception would make.

    sorry for the grammatical problems.English is my second language :))
    Thanks Roco for your great rewiews

    Like: Thumb up 7

    • Aria Mohtadi says

      Great observations!

      “That’s why he had parts of his brain removed,because he was afraid of what he was becoming and that he wasn’t sure whether he could handle the knowledge he had.”

      All the more evidence leading us to the cyclical nature of Fringe.

      Like: Thumb up 1

  13. JWhitt87 says

    My main mystery is wheter or not the implant causes chronic whole body baldness. Maybe Peter will shave up and infiltrate the Observers’ HQ with his new superpowers.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Rick Terry says

      I’ve seen set photos up to episode 9, and Peter looks exactly the same as he does now. In fact he might even be wearing the same clothes.

      Like: Thumb up 2

  14. charliefan19 says

    Peter going all Jack Bauer on the Observer was good to see…once the Observer opened his trap and said that mankind was like ants, blah blah blah. It was interesting to see the different ways this new grief affected Peter and Olivia, rather similarly, I imagine, to when they “lost” her the first time.

    Peter carving the tech out of the Observer’s neck wasn’t surprising (after all, he was being Jack Bauer) but I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or upset when he put it in his own neck and it burrowed in like a scary bug. @_@ Umm…Peter…you killed the Observer to get that thing out, remember?

    Apparently, Peter doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about himself anymore…only Etta “not dying in vain” and being remembered. That’s what makes it so sad when Liv calls him and says that she doesn’t want to lose him…because she already has.

    IMHO. :)

    Like: Thumb up 7

  15. wendy says

    i think Peter is September i hope not!! coz after all the hard time Oliv and Pete relationship i hope it will give happy ending to them both, walter, astro and broyles and the Universe!! pleaseee

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Rick Terry says

      I’ve seen so many people say they think Peter is September. I personally think it is kinda ridiculous, but I’m just curious why would you think Peter is September?
      A. They don’t look anything alike
      B. Why would Peter as September be following his own past via time-travel? Wouldn’t he already know what happened to himself?
      C. How would this benefit the story?

      Like: Thumb up 3

      • says

        Why would Peter, if he was September, go back to Walter’s lab and interrupt Walter trying to find a discovery.

        No, Peter is not September.
        Maybe the Inner Child.
        He was wearing a baseball hat when he being driving away. And September really did show up to a Yankees game, right.

        Basball, what is baseball?

        Like: Thumb up 0

          • Goodday says

            But I’d say Peter is none of the above, in fact, I don’t think that he’d even become a real ‘observer’. We’ll see though.

            Like: Thumb up 0

            • says

              Oh oh, I meant to say September is The Inner Child, plus they both have a thing for hats.
              The child is definitelty invested in Olivia, especially when she kisses his forehead. He is just beaming. He feels her love.

              Like: Thumb up 2

  16. Aria Mohtadi says

    Thanks for the awesome review, Roco.

    I have to admit, although I was disappointed with Etta’s untimely death, Peter’s transformation (An origin story? Observer “Zero” perhaps?) was probably the most satisfying moment this season so far.

    “If he couldn’t get the answers from the Badserver, he’d become one himself. “I Am Become Death”.

    I wonder how Bellie’s advice going to fit into this: “Be a better man than your father”.

    Hope the writers don’t back down on this amazing character milestone, which brings that “Peteserver” comic-con snapshot to mind.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  17. Red Balloon says

    I just want to say that the further the story goes, the clueless I become about the ultimate baddy. It can’t be Windmark because he has superiors in the year 2609 right?…so who is the one behind the Observer’s?… Nina?, Belly? Jalapeño Petah?… it’s just to early to say, but at this rate, maybe the Boom Boom Machine is doing it all by itself, it came alive!…cluelesssss

    Like: Thumb up 0

  18. MEghan says

    Walter thought Peter was more important than his wife or Nina or Bell or the universe. What Peter has done is no different, it was rash and stupid and has consequences exactly like Walter. Walter didn’t get to reach him and tell him not to make same mistakes.

    Like: Thumb up 4

    • tw says

      True, Peter did the same thing his father did basically, however, this isn’t Peter’s first rodeo to do that. It’s his *second*.

      The first time he did it, it was in the Machine. And he kept reaching the year 2026, Blueverse, over and over. He destroyed the Redverse, saved the Blueverse, all in an attempt to save his Olivia. That was the timeline he participated in that was on “loop”, because he never made a different choice. He always chose kill one, save one, which ended up destroying them both. When he finally made the different choice, it was to create the Bridge, and (if you read the comics), you see that he realized HE was the problem. It wasn’t how to save Olivia, or one universe, or another universe, etc … ultimately, he needed to “remove himself from the equation”. If you read the comics, you see this.

      So in other words, when Peter reappeared in a timeline he had been erased from, he had his “second chance”. And we would hope that, like his father, he was humbled and learned his lesson.

      His father was faced with similar choices again, and feared he would make the same mistakes. But Bellie reassured him that he had wisdom now, to replace the hubris. And thus we see Walter make the same choices, but now there are different outcomes which are beneficial with those new sets of choices, rather than detrimental such as with the old ones.

      Peter’s a bit different …. Peter wasn’t concerned about hubris verses wisdom. He simply loved Olivia, and wanted her to live and to experience her. What Peter doesn’t like, is being a puppet of “fate”. Peter loves the idea of meeting the Buddha on the road, and killing him … and continuing on his path, so that he’s in control of his own “destiny”. What humbled Peter, was “submitting to the Buddha” when the Buddha said, “you need to be erased”, so to speak. Peter tried to control his fate in the Machine, and the fate of others, but it didn’t work the way he wanted. Too many variables to consider. So he focussed on one, HIMSELF, and he ended up being erased, removed from the equation so that it could “balance”.

      This time, Peter came face to face with the “Buddha”, in the form of the Observer and his “shoe/ant colony” analogy (we even see a literal Buddha statue in Etta’s apartment in this episode). And Peter didn’t submit to the Buddha, he killed him. So at first glance, it looks like Peter is doing the same things. But he’s actually not. After killing him, instead of continuing on, he turned around, sliced the Buddha open, took what he wanted from the back of it’s neck lol, and became the “Buddha” *himself* ;-)

      And previously, when he tried to use a machine to decide the fates of others, he did it alone …. others got him there, but when he went up into it, he was in the “captain’s chair”. This time, he’s not the only one in the captain’s chair. Peter+Machine isn’t a separate entity, as it was before … this time it’s part of a team that has to work together.

      Like: Thumb up 1

        • tw says

          The reference I’m making to the Buddha is a call back to the episode “Firefly”, not the actual historical person. In that episode we learn that Peter’s favorite book is, “If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him !”, the reason being that Peter doesn’t like relying on others for answers, he wants to find them within himself.

          Seeing as how this episode had a Buddha statue in Etta’s bedroom, and Peter goes running back to the captured Observer saying he’s “going to get answers”, and then kills him and plants the Observer tech inside himself … I was drawing the comparison symbolically about the way Peter is handling the “allegorical Buddha”.

          Like: Thumb up 1

  19. Briar says

    We already know the cost. He has murdered someone in cold blood. He has become what he seeks to destroy and in doing so, he has destroyed himself. This is what revenge does: it turns the person seeking it into a worse monster than his foe.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  20. crolmac says

    I just read all your comments and a thought popped up in my head.
    The observers are all male, all dress similar, all work following a same general purpose, and ‘deal’ with those of them that don’t want to follow the …whatever it is they all follow. I thought one sort of ideology, like nazism or such, but they work with no passion or zeal, they just do what they must. It put in my mind a hive…maybe they have evolved under population pressure, and evolved a solution to the overcrowding by becoming like the ants or the bees, where organization ensures the survival of the masses, with no leaway for individual action and thinking, only the intelligence for following the hives’ general goal for survival…
    the other thought that occures to me was why here and why now did they come to take over the world, and why is peter so important to them. I really don’t think that it is because he is their origin, as they actually wanted to get rid of him, before he could have offspring. And it is his saving by what turned out to be a rogue observer that got them interested in him .
    And what did walter do that got september interested, as i sometimes think that september wanted peter to cross over the universes. It may have been important for the universes to influence each other, or may be linked to the fact that here is only one peter anywhere. Since he came to distract walternate at the beginning, was it on purpose or by accident, to achieve this? September was different, and i am sure that he was the observer child, influenced by olivia before he got his implant back at the hive.
    Sorry, got carried away,(it was fun!) take care

    Like: Thumb up 0

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