Monday, November 12, 2012


So, as usual, I'd fallen behind in my TV viewing, and last night my husband and I watched the last two episodes of Fringe. And holy hell, I did NOT see this storyline coming. I saw the death of Etta a couple of weeks ago, and was shattered by it. (Narratively, in retrospect, it made perfect sense to have the existence of Etta in the storyline, but return it to the three key characters the series started with.)

But then, in a fit of grief, Peter held an Observer captive, went all medieval on his techie ass, and removed the bit of tech that made him an Observer. Oh, but he didn't remove it to study it. Nope, he popped that little baby right into the back of his noggin, and like the Ceti Eel in Wrath of Khan, that thing just burrowed its way in. Instantly. And zoop, it was gone.

So... could this be Peter's future?:

This photo is not from FOX, by the way. A fan
has Photoshopped it. 
As soon as that little piece of tech zooped into his brain, I said to my husband, "Ooh, will he be shaving his head and eyebrows and picking out jaunty fedoras?" Peter took one last look at the now-dead Observer (amidst me sitting there taunting him, "Grab the fedora! You're gonna need it!") and left. To him, the tech will put him one notch closer to figuring out these monsters.

To us, it could be one step closer to having to change his name to a month on the calendar.

Now we're seeing him looking through the train and seeing it outlined like the Observers do. He can anticipate the movements of another Observer, and does that poof! thing where he disappears and reappears instantly. And we know it's not long before he'll be able to see across time like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five and will be in danger of being assimilated.

Joshua Jackson is playing him brilliantly. In this week's episode ("Through the Looking-Glass and What Walter Found There"), we step into a world that only Walter could have created, where stairs go in the wrong direction and depth perception is of no use and you walk down the hallway on the ceiling past upside-down doors (which, incidentally, bear the glyphs that take us to commercial breaks). There was a moment where Peter and Olivia join him in that world, and in the hallway, Walter begins to explain himself. I actually backed up the scene after we watched it and said to my husband, "Watch Peter's face and head as he listens." He doesn't blink. He tilts his head subtly to one side and has an almost serenely baffled look on his face, like the Observers do. It was one brief moment, but it was a hint to viewers that Peter is starting to change. Then, in a less subtle moment, he doesn't take Olivia's hand to go back through the vortex, and when she appears on the other side, shooting an Observer, he just looks at her and keeps running, as if she doesn't mean as much to him.

I have faith that he will be saved before he can be completely consumed by the Observer mentality, but until then, the thrill-ride we've been on this season is only getting better and better. I love this show.

The finale, as announced last week, will air on January 18 of next year in a special two-hour event. So come on, prophets of TV! What do you think awaits us in this season? Can you see how it's going to end yet?


Page48 said...

Suddenly, he looks like a guy who knows that he doesn't even know what he doesn't know. Ya know?

Erin {pughs' news} said...

It's going to end back before the Observers took over, with Peter and Olivia and their little girl at the park. Only this time, the Observers don't suddenly appear and ruin their happy little family!

This was the best episode so far this season, in my opinion.

I sure as hell hope that you're right about Peter being saved before he turns into a total Observer. I hate the thought of that.

I can't believe it'll all be over in January. :( That's so soon!

Anonymous said...

So you are mad that Peter didn't hold Olivia's hand? And had Peter held Olivia's hand, wouldn't that be bad and "sexist"? I mean I thought Olivia was a strong independent woman?

Anonymous said...

I watched the scene with Peter and Olivia and no, peter did not just start running after Olivia shot the observer. He picked her up and said "you ok" and looked straight at her.

I mean, do people hate Peter that much that they make stuff up?

Nikki Stafford said...

Page48: Well of course I know! We all speak a different language here. ;)

Erin: I love your scenario, and hope it happens! That would be a great idea, and since the Observers can see across time, past and present and future, it could happen. Wouldn't a second chance be lovely?

MonsterBabe: I love when angry people come on here to ascribe various things to me. I was saying it was against his character. He did ask if she was OK (I didn't say that he didn't) and then he ran on ahead again. The old Peter would have had her in front of him. He knows she can hold her own, but that's never stopped him from worrying about her.

And yes, caring about another person and holding hands and showing concern is totally sexist. How dare he.

Anonymous said...

And how dare Peter for taking care of himself and making his own decisions without needing olivias permission to do so. And how dare Peter for kicking ass because only Olivia is allowed to kick ass.

Btw, Olivia didn't need to hold peters hand either and was ALWAYS was the one to run in front of Peter but that's fine cause she is a WOMAN but it's sooooo BAD for Peter to run in front of Olivia. Hypocrite.

Oh btw, Olivia and peter held each others hands when they crossed over into the pocket universe but forget that.

Marebabe said...

Nikki, I failed to notice Peter’s subtle mannerisms as he listened to Walter: the head tilt, not blinking, the “serenely baffled look”. I can’t wait to get home this evening and play that scene again.

Erin, I know what you mean about January and the end of Fringe looming. At work I have a desk calendar that displays five months across the top. Yesterday I wanted to check a date in January, and I didn’t even have to turn a page to see it. It’s like we’re on a Japanese bullet train, rushing to the end of the year. I sure will miss Fringe when it’s over, but I’ll have all five seasons on DVD.

Nikki Stafford said...

Actually, you hit exactly what I was talking about in your last sentence (I'll just let the rest of your comment slide). He grabbed her hand so they would cross over together. That was entirely in keeping with his character. He didn't grab her hand to keep her safe, but for both of them to keep each OTHER safe, that's how I saw it. Yet once he was over there, he started to do the weird head tilt thing, and then didn't grab her hand on the way back the way they'd gone in. I didn't think it was this massive thing, the "OH MY GOD HE'S NOT TAKING CARE OF POOR DEFENSELESS OLIVIA!!" that you seem to be somehow construing from my comment (if you honestly think I think that, then this is clearly your first time on my blog...), I actually used the word "subtle" (and for your benefit, the word "subtle" means not obvious) to describe this tiny little thing that we wouldn't even consider to be abnormal, but within the context it was.

I do think Olivia can seriously kick ass -- I've said on here before how much I love her and Anna Torv -- and I adore Peter (as I've said many times) and I'm concerned about him turning. But no, I don't think she needs to have doors held open for her or that he's a sexist pig who never lets her think for herself. If I did, I think I would be watching a different show.

Fred said...

Like you, Nikki, I thought Peter was becoming an observer. I eve suggested he might be the first observer. But I've had to rethink this. If Peter were the first (and chronologically he might be, given the other observers arrived from the future), then how did they get the device Peter put into his head? This seems like shades of that compass on Lost, that seems to go round and round from hand to hand.

Another idea was that Massive Dynamic could have taken the device out of Peter and mass manufactured it. Surely, Massive Dynamic must have a prototype, something Bell and Walter cooked up in their spare time. It would be a perfect segue to reintroduce Nina to the story. But wouldn't the writers have already hinted at this?

So thought number 2. It all hinges on whether Peter should have been saved as a little boy or not. Perhaps the observwers were interfering to save Peter for the wrong reasaons. Like that other story, It's a Wonderful Life, we might ask what might the world have been if Peter had never been born. We got a hint in the last Season, but that had to do with the dual worlds--ours and the alternate. What was Thursday's intention in saving Peter?

In the last two episodes we can see that actions have real consequences as Etta's face keeps popping up all over the place. present actions can change the future, or at least the present. So now my final thouhgt is this: Peter ultimately has to die. And he has to die at the hands of Olivia. By having Olivia kill Peter, she will change the future and present, so that the observers will never appear in history. It's a bitter-sweet conclusion, but one I think the writers may make a possibility for the show.