Reaction: Fringe (4×19)

Okay, wha…?

Fascinating 19th episode, really, packed with lots of good stuff and lots of LOL-it’s-the-future! stuff. What is it with cheesy “future music” no show can resist when they time jump? And coffee chewing gum (snicker), new tech, old tech that’s better than new tech and why do wristwatches still exist? Not to mention, the despotic tyrants complete with their Gestapo-esqe clad army.

Anyway. I knew instantly that the girl was Olivia and Peter’s child. The amazingly straight blonde hair gave her away, as did her ability to block the Observers from reading her. While Fringe tried to play that one close to the vest with vague hints, I didn’t find those vague hints very vague at all.

All the Observers but September have always creeped me out, so them being evil wasn’t a surprise. They’ve been leading up to that for a while, I think, and it was only made more clear when September went rogue by doing the right thing despite the overriding directive/mission of those jerks.

Simon was love. I really enjoyed him. :(

Future!Broyles … I so wanted them to reveal he was secretly still part of the resistance.

Walter with his brain put back together (or whatever – I glazed over that whole magic science bit) was rather more ruthless than I was used to. Chopping off Bell’s hand? Yikes. I was with Astrid there. Still, it seems apparent Bell had something to do with Olivia getting killed (shot, presumably), and we all know how Walter feels about his Peter and Olivia. We also have seen multiple variations of Walter and know very well how capable he is of being brutally cold.

What I’m wha…? over is the ending. It seemed like a lot of build up for a huge climax, but it just ended with the reveal that Henrietta is Peter and Olivia’s girl. Which we all already knew. Are we revisiting this future? I hope so, so they can save Simon and we can see Etta again, and all the special things she can do.

I found the episode satisfying, but totally not at the same time.


  1. Azzy says

    B-but I liked the cheesy future music…

    Oh. Also the intro. Man, I love how Fringe is always playing with the intros, it just adds a lot to the show, I think.

    I was kinda surprised the Observers took the central stage as villains, actually. I was used to them being kind of lame and in the background, so… this was a nice change, at least?

    Man, I hope Peter and Astrid rein Walter in next episode. He’s a bit of an ass.

    Oh, oh, also! The lie Simon told about Walter being Etta’s grandfather wasn’t a lie! He really is! I just thought that was a funny detail, what with Simon getting it accidentally right.

    That’s all. I really had no problems with this episode overall. It was actually fun.

  2. Danathan says

    I was reminded somewhat of the “Epitaph” episodes of Dollhouse (I know there were a hell of a lot of problematic issues with Dollhouse, but I watched it all the way through anyway, because, you know, Whedon). Like “Epitaph One”, I thought that “Letters of Transit” painted a hugely convincing possible future despite it coming completely out of the blue. All the way through each of the episodes, I was waiting for something to happen to send someone back in time to prevent this future, but it never happened, and I was impressed. In the case of “Letters of Transit”, at first I kind of wanted someone to go back and change things, since the whole situation looked pretty awful, but by the end I had remembered about “Epitaph One”, and how interesting it was in series two of Dollhouse, seeing how things got into the hellish situation they were in, and I started hoping to see Fringe go in the same direction.

    Agree about Broyles. Now we’ve seen both Prime!Broyles and Alt!Broyles turn traitor or collaborator in different situations. Bad form, writers!

    I didn’t get the reveal about Etta being Peter and Olivia’s daughter until a few seconds before it was said aloud. I am so bad at picking up hints.

    Regarding William Bell, when I watched the episode I took “what he did to Olivia” to be referring to his taking over her brain earlier, but your explanation makes more sense. In fact, now that I think about it, he may not even have ever taken over Olivia’s brain in the post-Bridge universe. Doh.

  3. sbg says


    The music was fine, it just cracks me up that when show wants to really show us how futurey they are, they have a scene exactly like the one Fringe did.

    The Observers as villains makes an awful lot of sense, right? Otherwise, what the heck have they been doing? Anthropology, I suppose.

  4. sbg says


    I think there’s got to be a reason Broyles is working with the Observers. But I admit that’s mostly because I love Broyles and I want him to be decent. If this is future Original!Broyles, then… :(

    I made the assumption that Olivia got shot based only on Etta wearing a bullet necklace – and Olivia did get shot in the future Peter went to once before. I wonder if we’ll ever know; the show’s on the bubble again this year and might not come back for another season (or a shortened one).

  5. says

    Future Broyles’s makeup was atrocious. Gotta say. And the Observers always remind me of that Magritte painting, The Son of Man.

    Still, I like this jerky get-down-to-business Walter! Even though, even with magic science, I was facepalming at the “antimatter” business. But I’m getting tired of Polivia as this driving force behind the Fringe storyline– though I also just want Astrid to be treated as a main character and not a side character, like, even just as much screen time as the Lincolns have gotten this season would be nice, as a respite from the romance subplot. (Unless “The Power of Love” as a threat to the Observers is because Peter and/or Olivia and/or Henrietta are major elements in the destruction of Earth that they’re trying to prevent?? That could be neat, in a hero-as-secret-antivillain kind of way.)

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