Reaction: Fringe (5×01, 5×02)

I never did re-watch last week’s episode. Let’s just sum up with: it really is the Year of the Time Jump. I don’t mind it quite so much with a show like Fringe, only because they pull timey-wimey, weird sciency stuff with some frequency and they, you know, introduced it last season. That said, while I wouldn’t go so far as to claim I love everything about how they’re choosing to spend the final season, I do think they are handling it with some finesse. The flashbacks are consistently of one thing, and it’s a major trauma point for Olivia, Peter and Etta. It’s clearly and instantly apparent that this is a key moment – for their lives, and the resistance. Had Peter and Oliva not lost Etta, they wouldn’t have fractured. If they hadn’t fractured, maybe they wouldn’t have had to encase themselves in amber, etc.

The Walter torture gave us a true glimpse at how ruthless and evil the Observers are, though evidence of that has been very apparent just on the way the world is now – the air of desperation in everyone, the high value of walnuts.

For a while last week, I couldn’t help but thinking, “Oh, great, now instead of white woman with long blonde hair as the savior to the world, we have … white woman with long blonde hair as savior to the world.” I don’t know if I should be relieved or amused that it’s somewhat reverted back to the former rather than the latter, or that I suspect we’ll see “the fate of the world depends on these two white women and their white male sidekicks”. ;)

Interesting parallel between the torture scene last week and this, which revealed the Resistance isn’t exactly squeaky clean themselves. There’s a certain danger to embracing the “well, they would, why shouldn’t we?” philosophy when fighting a war like this. The lines become blurred. Who are the good guys, really? I was with Olivia, though, in that I found Etta’s hardcore approach very sad and scary. Imagine waking twenty years into the future to find your daughter a hardened war vet, completely unwilling to believe in any good. And, yeah, Etta was not wrong about the Loyalist, except neither was Olivia. Fringe does such a great job with the complexities, no matter what they are.

It was also easy to see Etta as an amalgamation of Peter and Olivia. Olivia’s response was pity and horror. Peter’s was, “I understand, and we’ll get the fuckers, just not now”. (Yeesh, seeing Desm…Agent Foster’s head with his eyes still blinking as the Observers experimented or tried to gather intel…) He’s got a ruthless streak in him as well, of course he does. There’s been so much crap in his life. Both of them might turn out to need Olivia to offer a balance.

Not enough Astrid, but is there ever?

Did I miss where exactly these videos of Walter’s are? Did he really leave a message saying, follow the videos but give no clue where to find them? Oh, Walter. I see why, but goodness, it’s kind of silly. I loved that as himself twenty years ago was saying how this was the person who found the recorder’s destiny, he was talking to himself and the original team.

Overall, I’m liking this time jump a lot more than other certain shows and their attempts at layered storytelling. ;)

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