FRINGE Series Finale Recap: ‘Liberty’/’An Enemy of Fate’

January 18, 2013 by  

Don’t you know? All good stories start with “once upon a time” and end with “happily ever after!” – Ella, “Brown Betty”

And so, we’ve reached the end of FRINGE. In season 2′s “Brown Betty,” Walter tried to end the musical noir tale he was telling Ella, Olivia’s niece, in a pretty morbid way. But Ella would have none of that — she wanted a happy ending. So she concocted another alternative to how the story ended. Was it better? Was it worse? That was probably in the eye of the individual viewer.

I think a lot of people will feel the same way about tonight’s FRINGE series finale.

If you were looking for all the particulars of every piece of FRINGE’s mythology to be answered, you’re probably pretty annoyed right about now. But — and I could be wrong about this — if you were in this mainly for the characters and that resolution, I’m guessing (hoping) many of you are happy. You got the rejiggered happy ending even Ella would approve of.

FRINGE was not a perfect show. (I’d argue no show IS perfect, but that’s another matter.) It went through rough patches. It also went through periods of absolute brilliance. And with so much time on our end to mentally prep for the finale, I thought a lot about what I “needed” from it to feel personally satisfied with the episode/show as a whole.

What I kept coming back to in my pre-finale thoughts was I didn’t want the events of the final hour to recontextualize the series in a way that made the previous 99 episodes unbearable to watch. I’ve only had one show whose series finale massively tainted the previous seasons for me, and the thought of that happening with FRINGE was heartbreaking. And I’m so grateful that while clearly things changed, the experience wasn’t ruined. I don’t see myself suddenly being unable to watch the show on DVD, or anything that drastic. So yay for that.

I have a lot more thoughts on what went down, so since this was a double episode (and the very end), I’m going to go through some of the more memorable or important moments (to me), and then dive back into the finale/season/series as a whole. And this is long. I’m not sure if that’s a warning or an apology, but this is pretty freaking long…

Walter tried to hide his fate from Peter. It didn’t work for long.

As Peter and Walter watched over a newly re-Cortexiphaned Olivia, the elder Bishop picked up on his son’s despair.

Walter: Sacrifice is hard, son. But you’re no stranger to it.
Peter: Neither are you, Dad. You’ve sacrificed a lot.

Of course, what the audience knew is that Walter was prepped to sacrifice more — he was wiling to die to make sure this plan goes through. Walter started to tell his son the truth, but then wasn’t able to bring himself to, and simply said, “You’re very strong, son.” (Confession: this was the 1st time I cried in the series finale.)

And look, I’m guessing every hardcore FRINGE fan went into high alert at that moment, too. Things don’t end well for anyone when Peter refers to his father as “dad.”

Then it was back to business as usual until Peter found a syringe in the amber and a tape addressed to him. And Walter’s cover was blown as soon as Peter played the VHS tape:

Tape!Walter: Peter, I sent you a letter. It contains something of mine.
Peter (to 2036!Walter): What letter, Walter?
Tape!Walter: I imagine you called me to ask, “Why would you send such a strange letter?” And when you tried to call, I didn’t answer. So you came to find me at the lab. But I was not to be found. I was here one moment and then vanished from the face of the earth the next. I want you to know I’m fine; living many years from now.
Peter (to 2036!Walter): What is this, Walter?
Tape!Walter: You will never see me again. You will never see me again because it had to be this way to ensure the future of our humanity. Your future. The future of Olivia. The future of Etta. I don’t want you to be sad. The time we had together, we stole it. I cheated fate to be with you. We shouldn’t have had that time to be together, but we did. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. I don’t want to say goodbye, but I will say, I love you, son.

Then Walter admitted the syringe was an inoculation for time travel. (Of course it was.) Walter inoculated himself in 2015, so he could be the one to bring Michael to the future. He just had a spare in amber in case something happened to him. At that point, I figured someone might be stubborn and try to save Walter from that choice — I thought it could be poor Astrid who had given up basically everything for the Bishops already, or perhaps Peter in an effort to sacrifice himself for his family again. But that wouldn’t come into play later.

Walter tried to explain to Peter exactly why he would disappear in 2015: “Because, Peter, the boy and I will become a paradox. Nature abhors a paradox. It has to heal itself. It does so by deleting me and the boy at the moment of the invasion. The boy and I will disappear after 2015.”

Peter was devastated, and man, John Noble (Walter) and Joshua Jackson (Peter) killed that entire scene. If you weren’t weeping at that, how did you manage to stay composed? Seriously. I was a mess pretty much as soon as Peter realized what was going on, and then Walter told his son, “You are my favorite thing. My very favorite thing.” Between those actors and Chris Tilton’s score, I was just a goner.

Peter and Olivia’s goodbye before she went back Over There.

This wasn’t a hugely important scene, but as I was watching, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how far Peter and Olivia have come. Their dialogue from tonight:

Peter: You’re coming back. You’re coming back with the boy. For Etta. I love you.
Olivia: I love you, too.

It makes sense since they’re married, had a kid, were ambered, etc., but perhaps because of the nostalgia from the show ending, I couldn’t help but think of their goodbye in “The Last Sam Weiss” when Peter was about to enter the machine. Look how far they’ve come!

Fauxlivia and Lincoln are together. With a son. (Whom I’ve dubbed Henry 2.0. Yes, I know how season 3′s Henry got his name. But give me this?)

With Michael on trapped with Observers on Liberty Island, the best bet to free him was for Olivia to cross Over There, get to where she’d need to be to bypass security on our side, cross back to our side, steal Michael, come back Over There, and then find a place to safely transport them back home. But to do that, she needed a little help from the Fringe team Over There, and so we got to say hello again to Fauxlivia and Lincoln (who both looked pretty freaking remarkable considering they aged 24 years…they must have taken the same health precautions 2026!Olivia and Peter did in “The Day We Died”).

Lincoln and Fauxlivia are shocked to see Olivia, and the guilt was apparent on Lincoln’s face when he heard how bad things had gotten in his home universe. After all, here he was, happy, with a full family, while his friends on our universe had lost so much.

Lincoln: It’s crazy, how life works out.
Olivia: It’s okay. I made my choices, you made yours. I don’t regret any of them and neither should you. You deserve all the happiness you got.

And hopefully he got happiness. We didn’t learn much about Fauxlivia and Lincoln in 2036 (I would have been fascinated to see some of Seth Gabel’s wishes play out for Lincoln), but they were at least adorably playful/cute together

Astrid saves the day.

No, seriously. You read that right. Astrid FINALLY GOT SOMETHING TO DO! And not only did she have something to do, but Jasika Nicole (Astrid) wasn’t kidding when she said “without her, everything would just go to crap.”

With the initiating reactor for the machine MIA, the team couldn’t open the wormhole to send Walter and Michael forward in time…which would have spelled the end of this season-long plan. So, brilliant Astrid realized they could use an Observer shipping lane (where materials were transported from the future to our current time) as their wormhole. They needed a stabilizer, but that was at least something they could get.

The return of Gene and Walter/Astrid get their goodbye.

Before the team left on their final mission, Astrid showed Walter where Gene was ambered. “I at least wanted you to see her,” Astrid explained.

“You always know how to soothe me,” Walter told her, pulling her in for a side-hug. “You always have.”

Astrid was hopeful about their future, though. She described a future of them “drinking strawberry milkshakes in the lab, and not even going to remember this happened.” (I’ll get back to that in a few.)

And then Walter did possibly one of the nicest things he’s done in a while:

Walter: It’s a beautiful name.
Astrid: What is?
Walter: Astrid.

I get Walter’s nicknames for Astrid was his thing. It was cute. It was his way of showing affection. But this is also a woman who has given up her entire life for this family. We don’t know a heck of a lot about her life pre-invasion (the brief glimpse in “Making Angels” was the only real exception), but in 2036, they were all she had. And despite that, she was often left behind and then had to pick up the slack to save their lives. If Walter thought this was the last conversation he was going to have with this woman who had been his constant companion, I’m so glad he was serious and kind.

Peter and Olivia go on a quest for the stabilizer and unleash a trail of Fringe events in their wake.

It was a pretty awesome visual to have so many of the FRINGE “cases of the week” come back thanks to Peter and Olivia spraying gas over Observers as they invaded Observer territory while on their quest for the stabilizing cubes, but the mechanics of it was a little bizarre. Either way, after Peter got the cube to stabilize the wormhole in his possession, they were able to save Broyles, who was being held in an unventilated room nearby. Yay, luck!

September changes the plan…but it doesn’t matter in the end.

Inspired by Walter’s love for Peter — and with 20+ years of learning to understand the depths of his emotions — September realized that what he felt for Michael was love, so he told Peter he’d would be the one to travel with his son to the future, and took the inoculation to make it happen.

“It’s not about fate, Walter, yours or mine,” September informed a crushed Walter, who had been planning on sacrificing himself for his own redemption. “It’s about changing fate. It’s about hope. And protecting our children.”

Which, really, is so much of the series summed up right there. The events of the show kicked into gear because all Walter wanted to do was protect a dying version of his son. He didn’t intend to keep him, he just needed to know that there was a version of his Peter in existence out there; his love overrode all rational thoughts. He changed fate and thus everything we saw happened. How could Walter in any way fault a father for wanting to be with his son?

But the gesture ended up being for nothing.

As the plan came together later in the episode, the Observers didn’t take too kindly to their shipping lane being taken hostage. September and Michael were running to the wormhole and September was shot in the back. Michael sat down and played his little music box for his fallen father, and Walter realized he’d have to make the sacrifice he had so recently been relieved from.

There was no time for real goodbyes this time around between Walter and the people he loved, but that almost worked better. The sorrowful looks between Peter and Walter? Heartbreaking. As was Peter’s mouthed, “I love you, Dad.” We saw a brief moment of grief from Astrid, but it’s a real shame Walter and Olivia never got any closure.

Adios, Windmark.

The only good thing about the Observer versus Our Team fight? Windmark finally died. He kicked Peter’s butt and the parallel of him choking Olivia in a similar way to Etta’s final moments was jarring, but in the end he got squished by a car that was moved by telekinesis. So…there’s that. (Is it terrible I wanted his death to be more painful? Yes? Fine.)

The timeline was reset.

With Walter and Michael doing their part in the future to show that emotions aren’t terrible and maybe the Observers shouldn’t invade us, please, bam, next thing you know, we’re back there in the park where the season opened up. Probably not a surprise to most viewers; we’ve been theorizing about it for months, and nearly every theory I’ve read about how the series would end ultimately resulted with them in that field again. I’m…still torn about the reset. It certainly appeared that all of season 5 was wiped away from existence, and while the year was often depressing as heck, losing powerful moments like Walter seeing the lone flower growing, Etta’s death, and Nina’s sacrifice hurts. But it’s done, and young Etta was delighted to be with her parents, none the wiser to how terribly difficult her life nearly was. No big, bad Observers to split up the happy family, only the dreaded bath time to fear.

Peter gets that letter from Walter.

Etta finally gets her bath, and Peter opened up that fateful a letter from Walter. (“I sent you a letter. It contains something of mine.”) Inside? That missing white tulip drawing. Peter at first looked amused/confused, and then he quickly looked up…knowingly.

And this is where things are about to get really nerdy, folks.

I’m sure this has already been debated, but what does Peter know? In Astrid’s goodbye to Walter, it certainly seemed like they were saying when they rebooted the timeline, they wouldn’t have a memory of the future. (And therefore, Peter wouldn’t remember seeing the tape where Walter warned he’d do exactly that.) Does he know his father is now gone? Does he remember all of what he went through in season 5?

Furthermore, what did the timeline reset, exactly? (And presumably did we stay in the season 4-5 timeline? If so, hopefully Walter kept his memory of his original persona.) We know there was no invasion, but how far back does it go? Is the only thing that changed that invasion? (AKA September still arrived to interrupt Walternate, which meant Walter had to cross over to save Peter and the events of the series happened up until that fateful invasion day?) Or are other things different? I understand the words Walter said about the paradox and why he and Michael would need to disappear, but if I think about the complexities of it (and the implications for the time travel earlier in the series) my head hurts.

Despite the looming questions in my head (and those above are just scratching the surface), I come out of the FRINGE experience satisfied. Yes, the first half of “Liberty” dragged a bit for me and I found myself looking at my clock for the last half of “An Enemy of Fate,” wondering how the heck they were going to fit the rest of the series in with so little time left, but the character moments in the two hours blew me away. I laughed; I cried; I cared. At the end of the day, being touched by the show is more important to me than whether every little thing I wanted to see answered was addressed.

And I was.

At its best, FRINGE brought more heart to an episode than any other show on television. Walter, Peter, Olivia, Astrid, Nina, Broyles, and the supporting characters brought such an incredible dynamic to the table every week that I could probably spend another couple thousand words just talking about them. What they were, what I’ll miss…it’s all starting to become a little more real that this was their final bow. And I’ll forever be thankful that the writers got to end this incredible story on their own terms.

A couple other thoughts:

  • Fauxlivia and Lincoln were incredibly fast to be okay with timeline reboot. I know they trust Olivia, but since they have their nice little safe home and family, you’d think they might be a little more hesitant to help her reset time. (Man, I’m going to miss typing sentences like that.)
  • Speaking of Over There, we left Fauxlivia and Lincoln in a not-so-great spot. I’m going to assume they’re safe and sound with their Over There family. But did the timeline reboot alter their lives?
  • In 2036 Over There, the news reports showed that Chelsea Clinton leads polls in Presidential race.
  • Loved that December lived in apartment 513. (AKA episode 5×13, AKA episode 100, AKA their series finale.)
  • As it turned out, they did pull a “Letters of Transit” on us with “The Boy Must Live”…they tipped their hand on rebooting the timeline and Walter’s sacrifice and let the next two episodes deal with those consequences.
  • I’m glad the final scene of the series wasn’t reunited in the park. That might have been too predictable.
  • What’s interesting to me is that while Walter certainly made a sacrifice — I don’t think there’s anything worse for him in life than having to be apart from Peter — he didn’t actually die. While I certainly didn’t want to witness Walter die, I had been mentally prepping myself for that outcome for a while. After all, as former FRINGE executive producer Jeff Pinkner noted in season 3, “Had we played [the episode 'Peter'] first, Walter’s the big villain [of the show]. But because we know him and we love him and we see the consequences, we understand why he did it, suddenly it becomes an understandable act.” While Walter might deem his fate the worst thing imaginable, I’m glad he’ll have the chance to live the rest of his life knowing he made it possible for his son to get his family back.
  • Also, can you picture Walter and Michael spending the rest of their lives together? Michael not speaking, Walter likely getting frustrated with that. Comedy spinoff? (I kid. Mostly.)
  • What the heck are Astrid, Nina, and Broyles up to in 2015 if there’s no invasion to worry about?
  • Before the season started, FRINGE showrunner J.H. Wyman said that when he was crafting this final year, as a television viewer himself, he felt “most importantly, I wanted to sit down and after I finish watching the [series] finale of my favorite show, I would want to feel like, that was an experience and I cannot believe that stuff is over. I can imagine where my characters going in the future.” I felt that when the episode was over. I wondered where Peter, Olivia, and Etta would go. What would their life be like sans Walter and Observers? Maybe one day we’ll find out.
  • Thanks to social media, a fan shout out seems to have been discovered. (“Thanks for your support!”) Did you spot any easter eggs? Because I’m sure there were more I may have missed. (I did see the six-fingered bloody hand print…)
  • I need to thank you guys. Whether you’ve read every recap or this is your first one; if you commented or merely lurked; if you yelled at me or agreed with my opinions (or some combination of the two)…all of it, any of it, it mattered. Clearly I adore this show, but seeing your great ideas/theories and pure passion for the show has been an utter delight over the years.

And a couple of memorable quotes:

  • “Lieutenant, are you suggesting I might be the Dove? I’m more of a raven, don’t you think?” – Broyles
  • “Can you hear me? Blasted thing, what I wouldn’t give for a good old-fashioned tumor-inducing cell phone.” Walter Bishop, ladies and gentlemen.

(Funny) Bishop exchange of the night:

Peter (to Walter, after his father offers him anti-gravity bullets to shoot the Observers with): If we shoot them, they’re dead. Why do we want them to float away?
Walter: Because it’s cool.

Only appropriate to end this recap with an old Walter quote: “I think I shall miss them. More than I imagined.” And we will. Thank you again for coming along on this ride.

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Filed under Fringe Recap

Comments

23 Responses to “FRINGE Series Finale Recap: ‘Liberty’/’An Enemy of Fate’”

  1. Catherine on January 18th, 2013 10:03 pm

    AMAZING! One word, amazing! And correct indeed. It was the ending we all needed. I’m so happy with that conclusion and it went out in a beautiful bang.

    One question though, Olivia’s smile at the end…does that mean that she remembers the future they lived through and not Peter, or does she not remember at all?

  2. Kristina Hammock on January 18th, 2013 10:04 pm

    That was beautiful & heartbreaking but a wonderfully fitting end for a fantastic show like Fringe. I will never forget it.

  3. Andrew on January 18th, 2013 10:05 pm

    Beautifully done. What else can you ask for…the timey wimey stuff has me confused but from a character arc POV you cannot ask for more. Walter who did experiments on kids earns Michaels trust to take him through the wormhole. Olivia using her cortexiphan powers for the ultimate good in stopping Windmark. Peter being the supportive rock having grown from being a drifter. Astros doing her thing, even bringing Gene back into the mix.

    All I could have asked for is Kirk and Ari to show up one last time… Damn fine work by all

  4. Dixie on January 18th, 2013 10:05 pm

    This was the happy ending I wanted. Joel succeeded, it was earned, we paid for it, but it was beautiful. Amazing performances by everyone. I can’t believe it’s over but I take comfort that they ended the way they wanted to, and it was beautiful.

  5. Laffers on January 18th, 2013 10:09 pm

    Currently sat in my bedroom, alone, at 3 o’clock in the morning, sobbing my little English heart out.

    Brilliant. Wonderous. Heart breaking. Fantastic. Tragic. Spectacular. Joyous.

    That’s all i’ve got right now. I’ll come back when I can string more than one sentence together at a time.

    I’m now going to attempt to stop crying, and go to sleep. Somehow, I doubt my success.

  6. Jeff on January 18th, 2013 10:36 pm

    Now, I really wan’t to go back and look at the first few episodes of season 5 where they showed Olivia and Peters dreams of the invasion. As I recall, the clothes in Olivia’s dream were slightly different than the clothes in Peters. It would be cool if the clothes in Olivia’s dream were the ones they wore in the last scene. It would be an awesome clue and it would make perfect sense because Olivia has always been able to subconsciously across timelines (Mr. X, Peter after he was erased).

    Overall, I was very satisfied. Loved the callbacks and character moments. Some awesome moments (Seeing the other side, Olivia crushing Windmark). I’m still not 100% clear on how the time travel/paradox stuff works yet but I’m hoping that will make more sense after a second watch.

  7. Mike K on January 18th, 2013 11:31 pm

    It was a finale that we for the most part knew how it was going to end. That didn’t diminish it at all though. I felt that it moved on a bit too quick at times and that’s not always bad, but I guess I just wanted more. I look at the time and think, “wow, its about to end already?”. I’ve been though a lot of (emotionally) tough finales with shows I absolutely love, this one wasn’t like most of those. I felt satisfied, instead of tears in my eyes, I had a smile on my face.

    Maybe is wishful hope, but I don’t think we’re done with the Fringe universe, but if this is truly it then I am still satisfied.

  8. wobbledygook on January 19th, 2013 12:10 am

    It was perfect.

    Thank you for covering the show all this time and for always asking insightful questions about the show. I always came here if I wanted to hear something different about Fringe that was just a stock question for the writers. Wonderful job.

  9. wobbledygook on January 19th, 2013 12:11 am

    ^ That’s WASN’T a stock question for the writers. Wow, in all my Fringe emotions, I messed that one up.

  10. Donna on January 19th, 2013 1:09 am

    I completely enjoyed these last two episodes. Yes, the timey wimey stuff is getting questionable, but it was questionable back when Walter and Peter were plotting to scatter parts of the Machine, and when Peter popped back into reality, etc etc. All water under the bridge now. What’s important is that the episodes tied up all the emotional loose ends (and even explained why the Month Observers weren’t so nasty) and it was sad, but very fitting that Walter went off into the unknown, leaving Peter and Olivia to be together. The ending was bittersweet, as the best of Fringe always was.

  11. Jenny on January 19th, 2013 1:16 am

    I think it was perfect and wonderful. I’m still in a stunned state. I went from bawling like a baby to feeling happy for some reason. I can’t wrap my arms around it. Just did the PST re-watch & could barely watch. I feel like I need time to digest my first viewing.

    But THIS is the way I wanted it to end. Back at the park. I know there were a lot of people against it but I wanted that reset back to them happy with Etta playing in the park more than anything.

    What also is great is that it is open for more if there’s ever a chance. Does Walter still exist? Obviously the Observers exist in some capacity or Peter wouldn’t be there. So there can be a next chapter. If only?

    All I know is I love Fringe and I already miss Fringe. I’ll go to work tomorrow for my 14h day, maybe then I’ll be ready for my real re-watch.

  12. Anna on January 19th, 2013 3:12 am

    BEAUTIFUL. I love the way they ended it. Fringe has left a mark on me. Will remember it forever!!! <3

  13. Donna on January 19th, 2013 8:40 am

    Want to add one more thing…

    The big question seems to be, “How could events have unfolded as they did if September didn’t exist?” No answer was provided by the writers.

    But rather than seeing that as a hole, I would hope that fans instead see it as a possibility for new imagination. Ordinarily I would say, “That’s up to the writers to explain, not the fans.”

    But these writers did SO much right, put SO much care into the themes and characterizations, even put so much thought into these final episodes, that if any showrunners ever earned the right to ask fans to creatively fill in the blanks, it was these guys.

    So, I hope, with the passage of time, fans come up with new theories/stories that address the burning questions, including the one posed above.

  14. Jeff on January 19th, 2013 9:48 am

    OK, so after thinking about it more, the time travel stuff is starting to make more sense.

    Originally I thought that a time reset would mean that September would never interrupt Walternate, Peter would never cross over and a lot of other changes.

    However, I forgot that we’re in the amberverse. In this timeline, there was no interaction with Observers before 2012 and not enough after to prevent us from getting to the park scene. Remember last season, Amber Walter and Amber Olivia have no idea what observers are. So when Walter stops the Observers from being created, everything will be 99% identical up until the point of the invasion in 2015.

    And with regards to Peter, Peter isn’t from this timeline. He’s a paradox from the other timeline that Olivia brought back. So even if there had been observer interactions in the amberverse, it wouldn’t have prevented him from being with Olivia.

  15. Amy tvgirl222 on January 19th, 2013 12:18 pm

    Great clarification, Jeff. The amberverse timeline was indeed different vis a vis their interraction with the Observers. I like your thinking!

    But even under the original timelines, I just rationalize that the Observers might still have sent back the Study TEam of 12, even if they now were a “kinder gentler” observers…they just wouldn’t invade. So, August and September and all can still come back and save Peter from drowning and everything…they just won’t invade because they are now highly involved.

    I loved it.. every bit of it. Yes, I cried,but in a wonderful way and even view it through rose colored glasses of knowing that Walter will be a kid in a candy shop, getting to play with all the new scientific discoveries of whatever year he was traveling to and working with the Scandanavian (or whatever nationality they were) scientists. A delight to his mind!

    Any parent would step through that tunnel to save a child an ounce of pain. Given all the times Fringe has asked us to suspend disbelief, the final act wasn’t extraordinary at all, just true and real.
    I

  16. Marisa Roffman on January 19th, 2013 12:44 pm

    @Jeff: I suppose that’s possible? I believe September still was key in the amberverse…I could be wrong (and admittedly I’m running on a little amount of sleep), but Walter still crossed over to try and save Peter — he just wasn’t successful and Peter drowned because September didn’t save him here. So in theory, I think Peter still should have lived, because Walternate was never interrupted. Possibly. Maybe. Because things are so vague and not wrapped up with a bow, I think there will be speculation for years to come. (Which is fun!)

  17. Marisa Roffman on January 19th, 2013 12:49 pm

    @wobbledygook: Thank you for your kind words!

  18. nelliesbones on January 19th, 2013 12:54 pm

    Thanks for this recap, Marisa, I cannot believe it’s over. I loved it, and yet, I’m sitting here with a big hole in my chest. I’m gonna miss them so much.

    Olivia’s wistful smile in the end – I had to think how she once said that she was so scared all the time that she couldn’t fully appreciate what she had. I hope she can from now on. I hope that Etta grows up being the kick-ass woman we learned to love. I hope Olivia continues to be amazing (by the way, did she or Michael crush Windmark?). I hope Fauxlivia and Lincoln are safe and sound Over There. Boy, how did I love seeing them and golden Miss Liberty one more time. I’ve been missing the alternate universe and our Fringe Events all season long. It was cool that dead Observer guy was floating. It was cool to see the butterflies and critters once again. I would have given a lot to see flying human porcupine hybrids one more time.

    I’m so very thankful that we were allowed to follow their tale for 100 episodes. So many stories remain unwritten (and that’s a shame), but what we saw is a masterpiece. I’ll forever cherish it. This finale brought closure to me.

  19. Claire on January 19th, 2013 4:39 pm

    I have to give especially heartfelt thanks to you, Marisa. I didn’t watch the first couple of Fringe seasons live, but when I heard everyone raving about season 3 I had to check it out, and you were a massive part of that (I was a huge, huge Bones fan at the time).

    I first watched The Abducted, and by Entrada I was in love, and quickly went back and got caught up. The show has meant so much to me over the last few years, and I was lucky enough to be in Vancouver for the filming of Liberty (the park scenes and the redverse diner scene). Seeing the cast in action and meeting Josh, Jasika and Seth was an experience I will never forget.

    So thank you for your always brilliant coverage, and thank you so much for starting me on this journey on the first place!

  20. Emme on January 20th, 2013 12:48 am

    SOOOO that’s where the white tulip went!
    Dear Fringe, my imagination will miss your wonderful stories and I will miss these characters dearly. There will never be another like Walter Bishop…especially not as played by the great John Noble. This show from the very first episode has truly stimulated the “heights of my intellect and the depths of my emotions.” Thank you for the lovely ending.

    Marissa, I only started reading your recaps half way through this season and I wish I had discovered this site much earlier because I would have made my Fringe experience even better. Nevertheless, I loved coming here to read all your wonderful insights. Though I rarely commented I enjoyed the sense of community I felt through all the readers comments and your recaps. The clarifications were great too…this season brought back a lot of details from past seasons, some of which I had forgotten.

    Jeff, Thank you for sharing that, it makes a lot of sense. The only question I have is how Walter would have known the invasion was coming to have mailed the letter beforehand if the Observers no longer came into existence. It’s funny because the question doesn’t bother me but makes imagine all the wonderful possibilities! (The most wonderful of all being that Walter in the future somewhere, through Michael’s abilities was able to see how everything turned out for Peter, Olivia and Etta…maybe one day Walter will meet his great-grandchildren and even their children in person.

    I read this post on the Fringe facebook by a person named Charlotte Morin and I thought it was sweet:
    “I think that Michael symbolizes God giving humankind yet another chance to get it right. He already knew that things were going to work themselves out and he and Walter left heading into the light to save the world. The song “What child is This” (the music box tune,) contains these lyrics:
    “This, this is Christ the King,
    Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
    Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
    The Babe, the son of Mary.”
    And a quote from the White Tulip episode,”I’ve asked God for a sign of forgiveness. A specific one: a white tulip.”

    I’m so happy to have been able to experience this show.

  21. Ray Roberson on January 20th, 2013 1:44 am

    In my own history of TV viewing, this is the 3rd series that was allowed to pass along under its own controlled phase out. The other two? M.A.S.H. and Babylon 5. Both ended in quiet moments, and left me with thoughts of what followed for the characters. They also experienced spin-off shows that stuck around for a short time.

    I also wonder just what was reset and who remained alive with the reset. We may never know unless the network comes back and asks for another 4 or 5 year series arc – or with a movie or two.

    Thanks to you, Marisa, for sharing and providing a share-point for a complete lot of strangers to share and discuss and speculate on a wonderful series of storytelling.

    Peace to all you.

  22. Zepp on January 20th, 2013 11:45 am

    Thank you, Marisa Roffman, by the opportunity offered by you, through this your space here at GMMR, I freely expose my opinions and thoughts relating to our beloved series Fringe. Also, I apologize for my bad English level, because this is not my native language. But as I mentioned, found here, a great place, democratic, in which I shared my ideas freely, for all these wonderful years of Fringe, thank you once again.

    This final Fringe, under my point of view, it was wonderful, emotional, and super fit everything that we were told, these five years of Fringe. I, with my eyes inveterate optimist, I see, symbolically, that scene at the end, with Peter looking at a drawing of a white tulip flower, not as an end of the series, but only as the end of another season Fringe. From what I’ve felt with that last scene of white tulip, is that everything does not end there, but continues, has more consequences, more stories to be told … And that’s where my hopes are founded, for us to have another Fringe, after your end …

    Thanks for all!

  23. KofTroy on January 21st, 2013 2:29 pm

    This may sound a bit over thought, but in the flashbacks where Peter has his arms out, he looked like a cardboard cut out. It looked weird, as if that moment was the moment of change. Now. I believe everything was real up to that moment which was a fixed point in time. But to get to that moment including events of 2036, that had to happen to get to the moment Walter was deleted.

    Olivia remembered the future, as noted by her reaction at the end, and she looked very rough around the edges. Her smile did not come easily until she saw Peter grab Etta. Also, because if anyone would remember season 5, it would be her. The cortexiphan always gave her other abilities, more than anyone thought, ie. wasn’t it supposed to have burned out of her system? It did not.

    Peter remembered after ha got the tulip; it was his trigger. And that badass look at the end? Happy Daddy left the building for that moment & they deserve to remember how hard they fought for Etta, as they said it was all for Etta

    I would have liked to have known why Etta was grabbed, and I think that she would have been found, it seemed almost too diffucult as they were Fringe Agents, they were connected. But losing her, had to happen as well, to make the final moment & reset take place as well. How did she know who her parents were? It was so chaotic that day, how would the kidnappers know who she was? She had also clearly been indoctrinated into the Resistance since she was very young. I think September grabbed her, so that she would be part of season 5 as well.

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