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Fringe Review: Haven't We Been Here Before?

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"Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" brought us so close to the alterverse, but all Walter did was wander into a pocket universe. Whatever that is.

No doubt it's something that allows for as little extra makeup, characters and excitement as possible. The poor guy he found roaming the halls there thought he was in purgatory. I'm beginning to think I'm in Hell. 

Walter on a Search

To say I was disappointed we weren't immediately hit with consequences to Peter's self-implantation of the Observer tech is putting it mildly. At the very least, a damned infection seemed to be in order. Who else could have pulled a dirty, bloody unknown gizmo out of a living neck and them jammed it into their own without one, tiny bit of misfortune because of it?

I think of the number of things Olivia went through and how every time she was faced with consequences. Every tank dump to try to enter the mind of her first partner, John. The last time she was dosed with cortexiphan her two worlds split in two and she lost the life she knew in the new timeline, thinking she was going crazy in the process. And that was from a drug that was already present in her system.

What Peter introduced to his was foreign, unclean, unsafe and unproven. 

We still have the new, improved Olivia Dunham. She no longer runs from her feelings, but faces them head on, almost revels in them and is willing to help Peter confront whatever he is feeling as well. She spent years trying to pretend nothing could hurt her, and now she's somehow the pinnacle of mental health.

Where is Anna Torv's material? As the many facets of Olivia, Olive, and Liv in this universe and the alternate, as herself and Liv playing her and so on and so forth, she's made Fringe sing. Her reward in the final episodes is to become a supporting character. I don't understand.

I was worried early on about the Myst-like premise of searching for video tapes and putting them together like a puzzle. Puzzles take time. Time is something we really don't have. We're still finding the corner pieces and are halfway through the board. That's a lot to build upon for the middle of the puzzle, and it will still take a long time to get a clear picture of the full plan. 

To top it off, we've been here before. Last year, in "Brave New World, Part 1," Olivia exhibited some of the same superpowers from her cortexiphan trials that Peter got via the implant. Remember, she was stopping nanites and controlling Peter like a Wii. Does that mean there is some connection between the two? Maybe. But when the Observer finally started punching Peter around it apparently knocked the last pin into place because that was what he needed to notice any change whatsoever from the implant.

We wondered in the latest Fringe Round Table what or who the Observers are now that we know there is some tech involved. Do they all have it? Are they born and then enhanced? Are only those in the Army enhanced? So many questions, but none of them are even close to being answered. Seeing Peter doing things Olivia did when she was at the height of her powers does make me wonder if the tech doesn't also infuse some cortexiphan or equivalent into the host's system. 

I'm losing my faith that we will have answers as the show comes to an end. Perhaps they're playing their cards close to the vest in the hopes of getting a movie deal instead of finishing things off on television. There's no doubt I'm going to watch until the conclusion of the series. I won't miss an episode. But the faith I had at the beginning of the season is gone.

Could they throw a Hail Mary pass? Sure. Let's start with utilizing Olivia. Oh, wait. They're filming the last episode. Any input is too late. I hope Walter's talk about hubris and becoming the man he didn't want to be again after his brain was put back together wasn't some sort of secret message about the series. Help me keep the faith with some dazzling comments!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (714 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I totally disagree with you review! Patience! Patience! Stop trying to rush things. All will be revealed in good time! Let the tension continue to build! Thank goodness the show has 2 very talented writers who are doing a fabulous. I thought this was was one of the best episodes of the series 5 out of 5 ... the hour flew by. And John Noble continues to amaze me as an actor - yet another superb job! Iloved his final scene with Peter!

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I think from the 5-8, the plot is back to Olivia, I hope!

Modwild

@Valerie Because there isn't another chance for them to be together, which the fans have been anxiously awaiting for four seasons. Maybe you didn't want them as a team. I did, and I'm crushed.

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i loved this episode. Peter was a badass, so what's not to like

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@geaoge LOL!

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Maybe that child is September

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to lucy: Why don't you start complaining and maybe whyman start writing on your favor. i know you can do this, because you troll all the time. Arent you that one and only crazy anna torv fan, who post the same shit over and over on hitfix, who hangs on those justjared boards. You are the one on those justjared board arent you, stalking the diane kruger and joshua jackson post? I'm on to you.

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@ Carissa Pavlica with all respect, but we did see olivia fighting on her own all the previous seasons before. BEEN THERE DONE THAT= olivia fighting on her own. But we never got to see peter do it alone. now, why is it when olivia was fighting on her own, nobody, including you were saying: okay, enough with that. We want to see her fight with peter and not alone. There was none of that. But the moment peter start doing things on his own, then you want equal things happening to olivia and peter. sorry, this sound too hypocrite.....

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wyman heard all the complaints of Patty and he decided to write the season in his honor

Modwild

FYI - by writing what I did I was not trying to divide you all into Josh v Anna camps. I love them both. I was hoping for a final season where they were finally together. As a team. We spend four seasons where they fought to get there, now let's see what they can do as true partners. Instead we have Peter fighting alone, as we've watched Olivia do so many times before. Been there, done that. It's not a dig against Jackson, it's against the story being told. Four characters left on the canvas. They'd accomplish a lot more counting on each other than working in private and telling lies. They can all act, they just don't have the material!

Fringe Season 5 Episode 6 Quotes

Don't you see Peter? I'm not safe. It's my mind. Ever since the pieces of my brain were re-implanted, it's been changing me back into the man I was before. Bit by bit, I'm losing myself Peter. I'm losing the man that you helped me become.

Walter

Walter: Please son, whatever happens, don't let me go.
Peter: I won't dad, I promise.