Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fringe 5.07: "Five-Twenty-Ten"

“I knew the man you were, you and William. You both tested the limits of science, of the universe. You felt that boundless power that comes with omnipotence. You felt what it was like to be God.”

We’re really starting to near the end game with “Fringe” at this point, an unfortunately, I have to say that I’m pretty glad for that. The string of misery inflicted on characters I used to care about has just gotten to be way too much. I can’t imagine the story possibly having a happy, or even neutral, ending at this point. Or if it does have such an ending, it will be achieved by some sort of reset that would amount to little more than a cop-out. And I’m actually starting to think that the latter will be the case. It would certainly fit in with what has happened between the past couple seasons. Anyway, in this episode, Peter gets scarily more Observer-y while Walter deals with the fact that the restoration of his brain has made him more like his old self than he’d like. Peter’s transformation is especially horrifying and tragic, mostly because he and Olivia have been through so much but never seem to be able to find peace. Olivia knows full well that things aren’t right, but she doesn’t really know what to about it yet. On the positive side, we get to see what Nina Sharp’s been up to for the past twenty-some-odd years. Nina’s appearance was the one bright spot in an otherwise downer of an episode. It was cool to see her closeness with Olivia revisited, and it was interesting to get a peek at the Ministry of Science (so far we had only seen the Ministry of Defense).

The episode opens with Peter standing on an sidewalk acting especially Observer-like. He sees an Observer (one of Windmark’s top lieutenants) get in a car with another Observer after protesting that he’s going to be late for an important meeting. Peter then walks across the street (through traffic), seemingly goes back in time, and makes sure the first Observer doesn’t get in the car. Then he calls Aneil (Etta’s old Resistance contact) and says he needs help with something. Peter returns to the lab with some gasses the team needs to keep the de-ambering laser powered up. They’re mildly suspicious that it took Peter so long to procure these gasses, but they let it go because some Observers and Loyalists are just outside the lab. Everyone has to be very still so that the Observers and Loyalists don’t look through the window and see what’s going on. Once the threat has passed, the team frees the next cassette from the amber. The tape reveals that they need to collect two canisters used by the Observers for transportation from William Bell’s lab. That’s why William Bell was ambered and why they needed his hand. There’s some exposition about how the team found out that Bell was on the side of the Observers, and throughout this, Peter’s motions are getting noticeably more Oberver-like.

The team heads to Bell’s old lab, and the place is kind of a mess. Peter points to where the door should be (it’s partially hidden by a pile of rubble), and Olivia notices that Peter is bleeding from his ear. That can’t be good, but Peter tries to play it off as no big deal. The team is discussing how to clear the rubble when Peter gets a phone call from Aneil. The Observer Peter asked him to track didn’t forget his suitcase in the park like Peter said he would. Peter rushes off to deal with that while the rest of the team continues to deal with the rubble. They’re going to ask Nina Sharp for help because she runs the Ministry of Science now and might have some helpful tech. Like I said earlier, the reunion between Olivia and Nina is kind of sweet, although now it’s making remember how much I hated the rewriting of all the characters last season (which is when Olivia and Nina suddenly had a closer relationship).

Anyway, Nina takes the team to the Ministry of Science, and she tells the team that she has a device which can change solid matter into gas. That seems like the perfect method for clearing the rubble in front of Bell’s lab. Nina and Walter also have a conversation about the consequences of restoring the missing pieces of his brain. Walter is still convinced that Peter can keep him from being the power-obsessed man that he was before. Fat chance. Meanwhile, Peter meets with Aneil, and he finds out that the Observer wasn’t distracted watching a girl play in the park like Peter thought he would be. This whole conversation understandably confuses the hell out of Aneil. Peter is going to take care of the briefcase switch himself at a different point in time. He also asks Aneil to go into an Observer district and wait for two Observers to arrive at a particular building for some sort of meeting. When Peter gets in his car, he seems to have some sort of seizure. I’m wondering if this happens every time he moves through time?

Peter goes to what appears to be a bar that Observers frequent, and he successfully completes the briefcase switch. Meanwhile, back at the Ministry of Science, Olivia and Astrid talk about how worried Olivia is that she’s losing Peter again. I don’t get any sense of what Olivia thinks she’s going to do about this problem, though, other than accept her fate. Later, an eager Ministry employee, who really reminds me of a sort of Brandon 2.0, shows off the solid matter to gas machine to the team. He warns them that it could overheat because it’s an old model, and if the lights turn blue, they should run. This struck me as a sort of Chekhov’s gun (as in it should have blown up while the team was trying to use it), but it wasn’t. Walter and Nina then continue their conversation about Walter’s changing personality, and Walter is especially hurtful to Nina. He says that Bell never loved Nina, which is why Nina wasn’t enough to keep Bell from going evil. This is so hurtful to Nina that she starts doubting Walter will be any different than the last time he had a whole brain.

Across town, Aneil sees the Observers arrive for their meeting right on schedule. He’s about to call Peter when an explosion happens on an upper floor of the building. Inside the building, the Observers are going all melty. Peter rejoins the team outside Bell’s lab. He gives an explanation for where he was (he got caught in traffic and couldn’t meet up with Aneil) that seems reasonably plausible, but Olivia doesn’t quite buy it. She lets it go, though, and the team uses Nina’s device to get into Bell’s storage area. Inside is a safe, and they figure that’s where the canisters are. Walter has trouble remembering the combination for the safe, but when Peter gets him to focus, Walter finally succeeds. It looks like the canisters aren’t inside, though. Peter picks up the small device that is inside the safe, and all of a sudden, the canisters emerge from the floor. Olivia is worried that there will be observers outside of the lab when they reemerge, but Peter just walks out. Then Peter says that it’s “logical” that they split up to return to the lab. Olivia just looks resigned to losing Peter again.

Walter sets up another meeting with Nina. He shows her a photo (of herself) that Bell kept in his safe. He apologizes to Nina and says that Bell did love her after all, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from turning evil. He then begs her to take the pieces out of his brain again. Meanwhile, Olivia finds Peter’s “lair” where he’s been writing down the timelines of important Observers. He explains everything to her, including the fact that he put Observer tech in his head, and he asks Olivia to join him on his quest to avenge Etta’s death. Olivia just runs out of the room, frightened and horrified by what she’s seen. The episode ends with cutting back and forth between Walter being sentimental over his lab (I guess in preparation for brain surgery?) and Peter contemplating Windmark’s timeline. Peter’s hair then starts falling out, and he doesn’t even seem to care.

No comments:

Post a Comment