Walter Bishop and company say goodbye in a moving, frustrating, ultimately rewarding series finale   

By Jeff Jensen
January 20, 2013 at 04:48 PM EST
S5 E12
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The end of Fringe didn’t begin for me until Walter Bishop said farewell to his son, and by extension, all of us, as well. I do not mean the final minutes of “Enemy of Fate,” when Peter said, “I love you, Dad,” and Walter, moved by words he had longed to hear but couldn’t over the roar of a raging wormhole, responded with that teary-eyed, resolute nod before taking The Observer Child into the future and changing history with intentional, targeted paradox  – a mirror moment to the big bang of the Fringeverse, when Walter navigated another portal with another extraordinary lad, a misguided act of heroism that accidentally shredded the fabric of reality and produced tragic consequences across multiple worlds and timelines. And yes, that last sentence was not just stupid long but incomprehensible-crazy. But that’s why you recap Fringe. “Because it’s cool!”

No, I refer to The Tape. It was a video goodbye letter, produced around 2015 or so, when the elder Bishop thought his master plan to rid the world of The Observers would go differently. What followed our viewing of the tape was overwhelmingly powerful, and exactly the kind of thing you want from a series finale. More, the scene produced language that framed this swan song season in a way that helps me to appreciate it for what it was, not what I wanted it to be. This hasn’t been Fringe’s greatest year, and the last two installments (which aired back to back on Friday night) fell short of the show’s finest hours. Looking back, I now think – and certainly feel – that the Fringe saga officially ended with the last episode of the fourth season. The fifth season was “stolen time,” to use Walter’s words, a generously bestowed bonus period that gave us 13 more hours with a “favorite thing,” to use Walter’s slightly awkward if rather apt term of affection for his son. Their embrace was an implied group hug that included all of us who have stuck with the show through parallel universe thick and Rebootlandia thin. It was a sweet, sentimental, sincere gesture, in a season that was basically one giant sweet, sentimental, sincere gesture, for better and worse. Yes, I wished it was more than that… although given the limitations of time and budget, I’m not sure how much more Fringe 5.0 could have been. So I’m grateful for this “stolen time,” for this lingering goodbye hug, for this humble, lonely flower – a white tulip – of deep feeling and remembrance. And now we let go.

The Fringe finale experience was defined by paradoxes, intellectually and emotional. Case in point: Me. As you read this recap, you will encounter a Fringe fan who was alternately pleased and pissed, elated and exasperated by what he saw on screen. The fact that I had such dissonance at all leaves me disappointed with the finale – I wanted to be lost in the story; I wanted a clean, unqualified win. But to be clear: That dissonance is personal, and irrelevant to the question of the quality of the episodes (I think), and more, my feelings continue to change the more I reflect. This recap isn’t really a recap of the last two episodes — it’s wrestling match with my own conflicted feelings and still-in-flux thoughts. You’re going to read stuff that sounds like critical judgment, positive and negative. But if I could, I’d be rewriting this recap over and over for days, maybe weeks. Consider this a rough draft of my final thoughts of the show — just as one might view these five seasons of Fringe as a rough draft of the history that was produced with its climactic through-the-wormhole reboot/reset/whatever.

So yeah: Up until the Walter-Peter waterworks, I wasn’t loving the double feature denouement of “Liberty” and “Enemy of Fate.” I wasn’t hating it, not by a long shot. I just wasn’t loving it. And I wanted to love it. The whole thing got off on the wrong foot with me. As I looked forward with intense anticipation to spending my remaining minutes with Fringe, I certainly wasn’t thinking: “Man, I can’t WAIT to watch long scenes of hairy September building wormhole-making machines and stirring beakers of rocky road time travel rocket sauce!” But there he was, hairy and machine making and rocket saucing. Snoozers. The time given to that busywork – and to Captain Windmark’s failed, bloody-nosed backfiring interrogation with The Observer Child and his briefings with The Commander – could have been better spent on expanding “Liberty’s” best stuff: Olivia’s excursion into the “over there” world. #ChelseaClinton2036! #IStillBelieveInAPlaceCalledHope(BecauseIt’sFrozenInAmber)

I loved the idea of giving Olivia a showcase episode, even if it came at the expense of other characters, and even though it should have come much sooner. There can be no denying it: Olivia got lost this season, and while I don’t completely agree with those who believe she’s actually been marginalized for quite some time, I certainly understand the complaint. Ever since late season 3, this strong, complex individual has been largely defined by her romance to Peter (or lack thereof). Hear me: The show has nothing to apologize for when it comes to this ‘ship. I loved how Fringe used their soulful, deeply loved loved (if not always passionate) love to express the great human truth that all of us need connection, need to be intimately known by Another. Still, there’s always been more to Olivia than the man in her life. Check that: The show worked hard – mighty hard – to make Olivia more than that, following all of that John Scott/Can’t-get-my-dead-boyfriend-out-of-my-head nonsense of the first season. But as Fringe moved into the tricky, fitfully successful business of mining the Rebootlandia premise for compelling drama, Olivia’s glittering facets seemed to dull and smooth. By activating Olivia anew with proactivity and power (and with four mega doses of Cortexiphan, no less!), “Liberty” allowed us to witness and enjoy for the last time the dynamic, multi-dimensional (and cross-dimensional!) action hero of “Bound,” “Brown Betty,” “Entrada” and more. [Tangents within tangents: I’d enjoy a reading Feminist interpretation of the finale, from some who could do it better than I. Lots of female empowerment (Olivia Becomes Electric! Astrid with the game-saving “Eureka!”), in a story that had the flawed, fallen patriarchal male of the Fringeverse taking himself out of history to save the future of humanity.]

I was captivated by the idea of using the parallel universe as a backdoor into the “over here” prison camp facility on Liberty Island to save Michael from The Observers, who were going to chop up this super-powered empath/alleged genetic anomaly for scientific study. And it was cool to connect the rescue drama with Olivia’s own past as abused weird science guinea pig. In the process, Olivia got catharsis for her own inner child, and she got to actively participate in the finale’s stated theme, a certifiable great commission to all of us: “Protect the children.”

And of course, I loved seeing Bolivia and Lincoln Lee again. They had aged well. We learned they had built a life and family together. We got one last chance to witness Anna Torv smile Bolivia’s signature winky-krinkly smile and rock a gray-streaked red-brown do. (Our Ken Tucker saw Susan Sontag. Perhaps influenced by recent Parks and Recreation, I saw Lucy Lawless.) I loved Bolivia busting Lee’s chops for ogling her frozen-in-time doppelganger: “You can stop checking out my young ass.” And of course, I loved that Chelsea Clinton was running for president.

NEXT: The Ridiculous Good Fortune Of Inexplicably Ventilated Buildings

Olivia’s “over there” adventure to retrieve The Observer Child had great significance to the endgame, which brings us to this: Why did Michael step off the subway and allow himself to be captured last episode? It was interesting how the show resisted a direct explanation and wanted us to figure it out for ourselves. My theory: Michael allowed himself to be taken because he calculated with his quantum brain (or knew via omniscient knowledge) that such an action would set in motion a chain of events that would give Olivia the power she needed to overcome what had become the biggest obstacle for accomplishing Operation: Reboot, a hateful superman who wanted to exterminate humanity.  When you consider that Michael also effectively brokered some eye-for-an-eye vengeance-justice for Etta’s murder, that magical little kid suddenly becomes downright creepy. (More on him later.)

Despite the small pleasures and recognizable-in-retrospect endgame benefit of the “over there” sequence, the storyline, in the moment, felt a little meager. The world was too under-produced (really felt the pinch of the slashed budget season here), the story too hurried for a truly satisfying stop on Fringe’s “Favorite Things” world(s) tour. And it was jarring to see The Observers teleport between universes as they chased after Olivia to reclaim the kid. I seem to recall this was possible, but I think it was a mistake to play this card, anyway, and for the first time this season, no less, because it begged questions that the show didn’t – and couldn’t – answer. What was The Observers’ relationship to the “over there” world? Did they ever consider it a threat? Is there only one group of Observers in the Fringe multiverse, i.e. the population that’s indigenous to the “over here” timeline? Why didn’t Peter think of going “over there” and asking for help earlier in the season when he was Observer-powered? And why oh why didn’t The Observers send more than just two agents after Olivia? They should have sent dozens!

I’m not looking for nits to pick. But I saw those nits nonetheless. And they bugged. Maybe I would have forgiven them more easily if we weren’t dealing with the heightened, high-expectation business of a series finale. I know perfection is impossible. But I was hoping to be swept away. Alas, some of the clunky mechanics were distracting, and they diminished the entertainment experience. Just being honest about my experience.

Another example: Phillip Broyles. Hat’s off to Lance Reddick for rocking the few moments he’s had this season. I’ve missed him. And Reddick’s performance in those brief encounters made me miss him. But I really disliked the way the storytelling yanked his character around just to create tension. Getting exposed as The Dove, Windmark letting him go Broyles could lead the bad guys to Walter, Broyles knowing that was exactly what Windmark wanted him to do and subverting that desire, Windmark recapturing Broyles after a long chase that could have been shorter and doing what he should have done in the first place, i.e. use his psychic powers to extract the information he needed, although by then, it was too late, and so none of this was really necessary at all, except to give us that time with another “Favorite Fringe Thing”… Ugh. Sweet, but Ugh. Worse, Team Windmark’s botched handling of “The Dove” subverted their almighty menace with stupidity. This has been a problem all season. When you have villains that are much more intelligent and much more powerful than your heroes, you have to deal fairly with their strengths by allowing them to actually be that intelligent and that powerful. If you cheat them of their strength, you cheapen the drama.

Did you think Broyles was going to die? The story sure seemed to be walking us up to it. When Broyles hung up on Olivia with a terse “Just get it done” as he launched into operation: misdirection/maddening series finale time-kill, I thought Fringe had dealt him a perfect last line, befitting his crisp, commanding character. A glorious death could have followed. Instead, Olivia and Peter rescued him, in another moment that felt like a narrative cheat. The team had to infiltrate a building teeming with Observers and Loyalists to steal one last element for the wormhole-making machine. To neutralize the baldies, Peter and Olivia flooded the structure with Fringe Gas – a veritable Greatest Hits package of Fringe Bio-Terror. The invisible butterflies. The skin-grow virus. The head-‘sploding Scanners thingies. It was one more example of the finale’s “Favorite Fringe Things” approach to producing meaningful bits, and this, I liked…

Right up until the point when Peter and Olivia (who wore gas masks during this sequence) found Broyles. He was woozy and bloodied from Windmark’s abuse, but utterly unaffected by the toxin. How? Tell ‘em, Peter: “You don’t know how lucky you are this room has no ventilation.” Seriously. And the funny thing is this: I was so enjoying this sequence, I don’t think I would have noticed that plot hole if Peter hadn’t called it out.* Sigh. But hey: Broyles! Whoo-hoo!

*Update at 9:48 AM: Went for a walk after posting. Had an epiphany. In light of my theory about Michael that’s coming up in a few hundred words… is it possible that The Observer Child — my “enemy of fate”; imbued with knowledge of things to come — helped save Broyles from his fate by planting the idea in Windmark’s brain to put him in a room with no ventilation?

Moving on…

The problem Fringe faced with killing characters in the finale is that if they were subsequently revived by a reboot/reset, the show would have made mockery of our grief. Of course, others fans and several critics have been harping on this for weeks, as well as on another hazard of the reboot/reset master plan since it was revealed in full last week: Making our heads explode from a pox of paradoxes that would nullify Fringe mythology and cheapen the primary benefit, Etta’s resurrection. (Reboot is cheating! It’s the blood doping of storytelling! DON’T MAKE US SICK OPRAH ON YOU, FRINGE! Live strong and creatively!) I discussed this idea to some degree in last week’s recap, and if you participated in the message boards, you’ll know that I went on record as saying that I thought the idea of Let’s-magically-solve-our-problems-by-obliterating-history! (i.e., The Jughead Solution) was so profoundly wrong, I just didn’t believe that Fringe would go through with it.

But it did…

… and to my total surprise, I’m okay with it.

NEXT: Grandpa Paradox Explains It All

My about-face began with Walter’s videotape. The mystery of this object captured my imagination, and the emotional power of the scene floored me. Walter — dressed in a warm wool sweater instead of the white lab coat he has worn in the other scavenger hunt videos – looked into the camera and said:

“Peter. I sent you a letter. It contains something of mine. I imagine you called to ask why I would send such a strange letter. And when you tried to call I wouldn’t answer. So you came to find me at the lab but I was not to be found. I was here one moment and then vanished off the face of the earth the next. I want you to know I am fine, living many, many years from now. You will never see me again. You will never see me again to insure the future of humanity. Your future. The future of Olivia. The future of Etta. I don’t want you to be sad. The time together we stole. I cheated fate to be with you. And we shouldn’t have had that time together but we did. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. I don’t want to say goodbye. But I will say, ‘I love you son.’”

Peter absorbed all of this with shock-faced numbness. Time and again, the younger Bishop had challenged fate and won. Not this time. A big part of the war to come had already been fought and lost long ago. “Does it have to be this way?” he asked his father.

Walter erupted with a spasm of despair, grief, frustration, and what seemed like 19 other things compressed into a single, garbled “Yes!!” He explained that he and The Observer Child would become a paradox that would have to be managed as a consequence of ret-conning the Observers out of existence by showing the 2167 Oslo eggheads a different way to evolve humanity than expanding intelligence by unplugging emotions. “Nature abhors a paradox,” said Walter. “It has to heal itself. It will do so by deleting me and the boy at the moment of invasion. The boy and I will disappear after 2015.” While this initially sounded as if Walter and Michael would also be erased from history, forgotten by all, Peter clarified – and Walter seemed to affirm – that Walter and Michael would merely be stuck in the future. Apparently, self-aware, self-regulating Nature would prevent these anomalies from another history from migrating to the new past they were about to create. (I rationalized this as another example of how J.J. Abrams dealt with time travel in his Star Trek film, i.e. how Original Series Spock traversed the black hole and became marooned in Quinto Spock’s alt-timeline.) Bottom line: Rebooting/resetting time from 2036 would yield the same exact effect if Walter and September had successfully executed the plan back in 2016.

“I know in my soul this is what I’m supposed to do,” said Walter, ratcheting up the emotional intensity of the scene (and, for a moment, hushing all of our WTF? like a proverbial Observer Child finger to the lips). “I want you to give Olivia your daughter back. I want to give you your life back. As a father, how could I not do that for you. What I said on the tape, about stealing tome to be with you, I mean it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” The Bishop boys embraced. It would be their last hug. “You are my favorite thing, Peter,” said Walter, eyes liquid with tears. “My very favorite thing.”

Peter began to cry. So did the observers at home.

So many things to say about this scene, including what I saw a verbal pun. Two Walters. A pair of grandpas. A pair of doctors. Grandfather Paradox. (Yes, groan.) (Oh, you’ll miss this.) The scene cleverly, effectively, affectingly internalized and reflected back our own angst about the looming reboot/reset, as well as our own grief about the cancelation of Fringe. It suddenly hit me, watching this scene, that Fringe’s has been about itself and our relationship to it: Stolen time with a show that had survived cancellation for at least a year because of our love for it (see: season 4 Peter); a master plan that leads to the self-termination; anxiety about legacy, and how we’ll remember the show, if we’ll remember it at all; uncertainty of ever seeing it again, in any form, in the future.

“Enemy of Fate” did not specify when Walter recorded this message, but I believe we can assume it was between Etta’s birth in 2012 and when the team went to amber in 2016. If I have been understanding the story properly, Walter and September began working on the master plan before the invasion, which is to say, following the very last moment of season 4, when September visited Walter in the lab and announced, “We have to warn the others. They are coming.” Many are asking: Why  do only Walter and Michael get deleted? I think Fringe was sticking to past precedent. See: Season 3/Season 4, when Peter activated the reset, then got erased. Fringe logic: Your reboot, you get rubbed away.

Regardless, the implication is clear: Walter’s plan to purge The Observers from the continuum would leave all of Fringe history (Rebootlandia edition) prior to 2015 intact. Which was – all at once – a revelation, a relief, and a mystery. How was this possible? Why wouldn’t the regenerating ripple of the ret-con wave wash across all of Rebootlandia, or at least just the parts touched by September’s 12 sides survey team? That’s just common sense, right?

Well, yes, it is. But that doesn’t mean we’re right. It might not even be science. It’s certainly not theoretical fringe science. And most importantly: It’s not cool. Here’s something I didn’t know before watching “Enemy of Fate,” something I discovered while writing this recap: In 2010, a scientist named Seth Lloyd made headlines in his field (and to some degree beyond) by solving one of the oldest arguments against time travel, an argument built on everything Walter said about nature abhorring paradox. The argument was known as The Grandfather Paradox. It’s the idea that you can’t go back in time and kill your grandfather before your birth because that would negate your existence as well as your time travel. But Lloyd put forth a theory based on an idea in quantum mechanics called “postselection” that’s basically a new, better riff on something known as the Novikov self-consistency principal. It’s an idea that’s implicit in Walter’s view of “nature,” i.e. that the universe can create novel solutions to paradoxes.

 NEXT: My Last Fringe Theory: About A Boy

To be clear, I’m not arguing that Fringe is steeped in these ideas, or wanted us to go find this research and apply them to the show and do the work of answering stuff it rudely declined explain. My point is really this: What the BLEEP do we know!? All of our assumptions that a timeline reset MUST go all the way back to Reiden Lake, all of our assumptions that knowledge and identity are irretrievably is lost when time travel reboots history – who says it HAS to be that way? I’m not saying these things aren’t problems. I’m just challenging the assumption – which I myself expressed just last week – that they are and will always and forever be unsolvable problems. It’s what Walter told us last week: “All at once, I understood that everything I’ve ever known, or thought I knew, as a great man, could fit into a thimble.”

And so I share the view of many Fringe fans who’ve been pelting me with Tweets and emails arguing that the Eggheads of The Future could have solved the problems of paradox in order to preserve a past that has brought them the key to saving the future of humanity. Perhaps this took the form of creating a different kind of Observer, one that played the role of September at Reiden Lake in the old timeline…

But I also wonder if “Enemy of Fate” was trying to suggest that The Observer Child represents the key to smoothing out the problems of paradox, that he is some kind of human embodiment of “postselection” or the Novikov self-consistency principal. One of the most conspicuously odd beats in the finale was the moment in which the gang was in the lab wrestling with confusion and trying to keep the faith (“There must be a reason. There always is!”) – and we cut to that shot of Michael sitting in front of a TV monitor, watching static, wearing that inscrutable Mona Lisa face. Now, think of how he initiated Astrid’s “shipping lane” epiphany by putting his finger to his lips, as if to hush the room so the idea could bubble forth in the quiet. Think of when Michael cryptically shushed Olivia with the same gesture right after she killed Windmark, the culmination of a chain reaction of events he initiated by getting captured, which led to Olivia’s Cortexiphan activation, etc. All of this in an episode in which the McGuffin of the plot was finding a solution to the problem of a broken piece of Walter’s master plan to reset time, a piece called… The Initiating Reactor. The Observer Child = An Initiating Reactor. He is the secret fixer of master plan problems, paradoxes, and other perplexities. He played Solution Broker in this timeline — Maxwell’s Demon in a bald cap. I wonder if perhaps he’ll grow up to play the same role in the new timeline. Michael = September 2.0. Like father, like son.

Or maybe Walter is going to become a cloud of sentient electricity that transcends space and time, just like early Rebootlandia Peter, and chaperone the new timeline through its growth pains by whack-a-moling problems as they arise. Finally! The man who played God becomes the activist God we all want!

See, Jeff? Look at what happens when take some time and think about some s—t. You love that, don’t you? The Fringe finale is now TOTALLY AWESOME!

My bad attitude about the end of Fringe continued to lift when we got to the Gene scene. While the team was hustling to evacuate the lab, Astrid took a second to bring Walter into the catacombs of amber and show him that she had found their beloved bovine preserved in the crunch. “I was going to let her out, but I was afraid they’d hear her moo,” said Astrid, referring to occupational hazard of hiding out in a building crawling with Observers and Loyalists.

“Yes, she does moo quite loudly, especially after a meal,” said Walter. He held Astrid, and expressed gratitude for assuaging the tumult in his heart as he prepared to make like Christ and submit to his self-sacrificing fate: “You always knew how to soothe me.” Astrid tried not to lose it. “Walter, this is not the end. We’re going to win this. And when we do, we’re going to be drinking strawberry milkshakes in the lab and not even remember this happened.”

“That sounds lovely,” said Walter, sadly.

As Astrid walked away, Walter suddenly said, “It’s a beautiful name.” He was referring to her name, the name he routinely forgot or mangled. Astro, Afro. Ashcan.

“What is?” asked Astrid, wanting to clarification, or, perhaps, knowing exactly what Walter was referring to, and just wanting to hear it,

“Astrid,” said Walter. And coming from John Noble, it did sound truly beautiful.

Damn if that didn’t kill me even more than the “Favorite Thing” thing! Here was Walter affirming Astrid’s intrinsic identity by proving he knew (or suddenly remembered) her proper name after subjecting her to so many degrading (if very amusing) derivations of it – which is to say, constantly rebooting it. Here were Walter and Astrid putting a brave face on the very negation terror we were sweating at home. It was great to see my feelings modeled on screen. (Also see: The subplot involving September seeking assistance from his old friend December, who initially declined out of fear of the prospect of annihilation.)

NEXT: White Tulip, Forever and Ever, Amen.

The spectacle of the final battle was a little disappointing. Despite all the sound and fury, quick cutting and gimmicky window dressing (see: the allegedly “Because it’s cool!” thing of anti-gravity bullets that sent dead Observers ascending into the heavens), Fringe couldn’t quote disguise the limitations of its reduced season resources. It was a budget Ragnarok.

We also had to wait out the bogus suspense of September trying to take Walter’s place as a sacrifice to the gods of paradox. I loved and understood the reason we got for why this wasn’t the plan all along: Even though September has technically sired The Observer Child from his genetic material, he was biologically unequipped to emotionally reciprocate Michael’s love and emotionally nurture him. In other words: He couldn’t be the father that the boy needed. But that was 21 years ago. He was Donald now. A rehumanized Observer. More, the example of Walter’s love for Peter and his relationship with Peter had inspired him and helped change him. Donald wanted to be the one who took Michael into the future. He wanted to be his father. He wanted the boy to know that he loved him and could love him. Walter conceded the role…

But I never believed Walter wouldn’t be the one to cross the threshold with Michael. Walter’s need to atone for past sins was the narrative backbone of this series. It was, in many ways, the only story the series had an obligation to satisfy. “Enemy of Fate” tried to tell us that Walter no longer needed to feel this way — you proved yourself a long time ago, my friend — and I think that’s correct. Regardless, I think the triumph of Walter’s salvation is that it made him into a man who was committed to the ongoing, never-ending work of redeeming the world, regardless of his complicity. This all to say: Walter was going to be The Sacrifice, it was obvious the story was going to make that happen, and so Donald’s death was telegraphed. I didn’t like the way he went down. Shot in the back while making a break for the wormhole portal? I wished for more heroism. Nonetheless: We felt it. The Observer Child took a moment to hold vigil for his fallen father by taking the “Greensleeves”/”What Child Is This?” music box and playing September’s soul out. Touching.

We rode this wave of emotion into the inevitable last act, in which a redeemed mad man and an extraordinary little boy trekked into the future to save us from mechanical animal dehumanization. As Walter took the child by the hand, as he looked back at Olivia, as he received Peter’s love, and as he and Michael disappeared into Tomorrowland, the inspiring meaning of it all radiated through the crazy. “Destiny can be changed. But you have the will to change it, even if it requires sacrifice.” “It’s about changing fate. It’s about hope. Protecting our children.”

That sounds lovely.

The last moments of Fringe took us to back to the day in the park in 2015 when Peter and Olivia were enjoying a lazy sunshiney day with their daughter Etta In another timeline, this bright moment came to a dark end when The Observers invaded and Etta was taken from then. But this was a new timeline and different day, and so instead of losing their daughter, Peter and Olivia scooped her up and took her home. At long last, the girl would get that bath!

When they got home, Peter checked the mail. We saw one envelope topped with the line: “Thanks for your support!” (Hey, Fringe: You’re welcome.) We saw another envelope, addressed to Peter. We saw it was from Walter. We saw Peter’s brow wrinkle with confusion as he removed a folded piece of paper. We saw the drawing of white tulip, a complex Fringe symbol for hope, forgiveness, remembrance, and the permanence of the soul. This drawing – this piece of art, drawn by a time traveler – had been given to Walter, who no longer remembered the man due to his mad meddling with the timeline, and it arrived at a moment in his life when he needed it the most, when he thought he had lost his son forever. Now, Walter was giving it to his son, in advance of the grief Peter and Olivia and Etta were about to experience from learning that they had lost their father and grandfather forever, for reasons they would not understand, for reasons that would strike them as inexplicable.

But there is always a reason.

Peter looked at the white tulip. Confusion left his eyes. Something that looked like enlightenment dawned and locked into place. Did Peter remember? I think he did. But we’ll be debating the significance for a long time to come. One thing is for certain: I won’t forget the last five years of Fringe. I’ve enjoyed covering the creative journey of this remarkable show since the beginning, and I am grateful for the honor of recapping it these past two seasons. Thank you for your readership, and your grace for my crazy. (And my typos!) It’s no easy thing following in the footsteps of Ken Tucker, who recapped Fringe during its first three seasons, who believed in the promise of Fringe even as it struggled to find its voice, who then articulated the artistic beauty of Fringe and its deep, valuable meanings more clearly than anyone I know. If you’re feeling nostalgic, revisit his recapped work at this site, and definitely check out his last review of the series.

For one last time: The message board is yours.

Twitter: @EWDocJensen

Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, and John Noble star in J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi drama
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seasons
  • 5
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  • 09/09/08
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