Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fringe: Season 5 Episode 7 - Five-Twenty-Ten

Hello Fringe folks! Well, we're halfway through the final run.  How are we feeling?  Last night's episode was pretty darn crazy and equally creepy.  I'm going to give it a "WOW!" review just because I don't know how they're going to get out of this mess they're creating (and because I was entertained, obviously).  We certainly have our theories and we'll retouch on them below.  But, I keep feeling there's another twist up their sleeve that we're not seeing.  Peter with the tech has been pretty darn cool, but obviously it's concerning to fans on his fate.  And it was great to see ol' Nina Sharp again!  Halfway through the season and we've finally seen all of the remaining regular cast members.  It's a 13 hour movie, and since we're 7 hours in, things should start heading towards an inevitable climactic showdown and conclusion!  Here's hoping it's going to be one for the ages.  But, until then we have a job to do.  Let's recap and analyze the episode at hand!

Going to try for the brief recap again and spend more time in analysis below (key word being "try" as always).  

So, there were basically 2 plots that tied together this week by the end.  Peter was running a side-mission with a clueless Anil while running errands for the team.  We got to see him in all of his Observer-skilled glory analyzing a situation and calculating outcomes.  It was pretty darn cool and reminiscent of that season 3 episode (Plateau) which took place "OVER THERE" with the guy whose brain function was off the charts and causing him essentially to see the future.  Over the episode, Peter was intentionally meddling with expected outcomes to force a few of Windmark's chief commanding Observers to meet and be "dealt with"with a Peter created Fringe event.  (Thanks Walter for keeping that stuff around!)   Of course, the Fringe Event that was used was from the Pilot episode with the skin melting stuff used on Flight 627.

The main mission centered around another retrieved tape of Walter's plan.  They had to retrieve 2 Observer Beacons (which we've seen used several times over the course of the series).    Walter did make mention of how these devices are used by the observers/invaders to locate different points in space and time (Just something to keep in the back of the head for now).  The location of these devices?  In one of William Bell's storage facilities!  Yes, the same facility that spawned the reason for Walter cutting off William Bell's ambered hand.  We'll get into more details of that encounter below.  The storage facility ends up being a big pile of rubble and impossible to get through.   Peter uses his observer skills to locate where the door should be and covers it up just like everything else he's doing.  But, they end up having to seek out Nina Sharp for help.   Everyone has a jolly reunion (with some other discussions we'll dive into below) and she eventually considers using observer technology that essentially turns solid objects into gas.  A technology they used to clear out Central Park for their air degradation machine.   There's this scientist who goes all wide eyed when he meets the legend, Walter Bishop who explains how the machine works.  He talks about this light going blue and running if it does, but it never does.  (so, maybe that's foreshadowing for a future episode?)

 Anyway, the machine creates a path to the doorway and they are able to activate the power to the handprint identifier.  They pull out Bell's hand and it gives them access to the facility.  Lots of Fringey stuff in the facility and a safe.  I feel like we've seen a William Bell safe in season 3 after he originally died.  Bell keeps things he treasures the most in safes.   In this one was a techy thingamabob and a picture of Nina Sharp. awwww  Oh yes, and the combination was the name of this episode.  ("That's amazing, I've got the same combination on my luggage!")  Peter, knowing that he gave the observers a bigger case to deal with, knew that they wouldn't be on the team's trail as Walter tried to figure out the combination.   The tech thing ended up being a remote or something to call up the beacons.  Peter was able to wave his hand over it and activate it, causing eyes to stare of course.  They get the beacons and Peter takes one splitting up from the rest of the team (saying it's logical to split them up).   He then continues with the rest of his "other" mission.  

Later on Olivia, who has been suspicious of Peter hiding something for a couple episodes now, tracks down Peter and sees him observing various timelines of key observers.  Peter is talking LIKE an observer and being very calculated.  He tells Olivia he put the tech in him.  He says they will avenge Etta.  And Windmark is next.  He also starts mouth Olivia's words as she's saying them just like we've seen the observers do.  Olivia is totally freaked out and walks out.  Oh yeah, and did I mention Peter's hair started falling out?  Of course I didn't.  It was the last thing we saw in the episode.  OH BOY!!

CRAZY EPISODE, right?!  Well, I intentionally skipped over a lot of stuff so we can discuss below.  So, let's get to it! 

GLYPH CODE - TRUST - Trust Peter's antics?  Walter trusting Peter to keep him grounded?  Or maybe we should trust the writers to get us out of this mess in a satisfactory way?  They probably all apply!  Thanks Fringepedia for the screenshot! 
Observers Spotted! -  Like I said last week, it's just a tradition to keep this here! 

  • "Fire up the laser Agnus.  Let's get that hand out of the amber."  (Or something like that)
  • Walter annoyed at William Bell for stealing his David Bowie record.  Hysterical.  Eventually we saw Walter took that record back and "The Man Who Sold the World" played for the ending montage of crazy events. 

  • Walter started quoting the movie Marathon Man when trying to recall the encounter with William Bell.  
  • He also talked about dropping acid and watching the boats coming in near Bell's storage facility. 
Food of the Week
  • It can't be.  Was there no reference to food this week?  Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken!  We've been on quite a streak.  Of course, it could be intentional if Walter is becoming his old "godly" self. 
Points of Interest
  • We learned a little bit more about the encounter with William Bell before they were ambered.  William and Walter had started talking again after the invaders came.  Bell insisted he wanted to help rid the world of them.  But, he apparently betrayed the team and was really WITH the Observers.  We had theorized on this since the season 4 finale and also Letter's of Transit with Walter's evil look at ambered Bell and his comments about what he did to Olivia.  Peter, Olivia and Astrid were recalling their parts of the story.  Walter put a mission in place sending Olivia to New York for the thought unifier and calling Peter in Boston saying he was ready to implement the plan.  Walter was with Bell and the observers were coming.  They knew that the only way they could have known that the team was there was if Bell told them, and that's when Walter ambered them.   Of course, this means if the Observers found Simon Foster and killed him (or did something to him), they also have William Bell.  And if Bell is on their side, we most certainly will be seeing him before this series is over.  Please Leonard Nimoy, come out of retirement one more time!  And please give a long monologue tying seasons 1-5 together while you're at it!  I figure it should only take about 3-4 minutes of screen time!  
  • Walter has growing concerns that he's going to become the old Walter Bishop due to his brain being fully intact again.  Nina recognized this concern as well.  Walter started making accusations to Nina that William Bell never loved her and only loved himself which hurt her.  This was the OLD Walter speaking of course.  Our Walter eventually came back and gave her that photo.   This was the 2nd time we've seen a photo of Nina Sharp in a safe owned by William Bell.  The first time was after the original time he died in the original timeline.  Anyway, Walter is convinced that Peter will keep him grounded.  They love each other and Peter will not let him become that man.  Walter didn't have Peter before when he learned what it was like to be God.   Of course, we all know that Peter is gradually becoming an Observer and will be of little help to Walter in his current state.   And Nina doesn't think Peter's love will be enough either as Bell loved Nina and she loved him.  It wasn't enough.  The temptation of being one with the gods is too powerful.  Walter agreed in the end and asked Nina to take out the pieces of his brain.  We'll see if that indeed happens! 

  • At the end of the episode, we saw Walter reviewing everything they collected this season.  The thought unifier, the transistor radio, the rocks from that crazy bad episode, the beacons.   It felt like it was putting a cap on this segment of the season.  It seems we have found all of the objects needed and now the plan just has to be put into place.  We'll see if that is the case.  

  • Nowhere else to put this, but totally loved the Observer Hat Rack in the restaurant!      

  • And Peter seemed to be feeling some effects of that tech being in him.  He was suffereing from ear bleeds and he also saw a bright light and seemed to be getting a headache (sounds like season 5 of LOST).   If he doesn't turn into an observer, the tech might just be killing him.  He's going to need Walter's help to get it out! 

We've been throwing around several theories this season of where it's all going.  I haven't really come up with any new ones after this episode but there is nothing in this episode to take away from those theories either, only add to them.  
  • Is Peter really September? - The second Peter disappeared at the end of season 3 we wondered how Joshua Jackson would still be on the show.  Theories started coming up and one was that Peter will return as an Observer.  He didn't, but the producers thought that was a pretty interesting idea.  Now, did they always have it in mind that Peter would eventually become LIKE the observers or did they take that theory and turn it into a cool story?   What if there was this grand scheme from the beginning that Peter and September were linked from the very beginning?   What if that's why September was watching Walternate come up with the cure that would heal his younger pre-observer self?   What if that's why September was inspired to rescue himself and Peter from Reiden Lake?  What if this is why September was so concerned about Olivia dying in every timeline?  Why he's had a soft spot for the Bishop boys and refused to let Peter disappear from existence forever?  CONS against this theory: If Peter disappeared, wouldn't September disappear too?  Unless they were on 2 different timelines.  Maybe September is from a timeline where Peter went down that path.   Maybe Peter will still have the ability to be saved from that fate.  I thought I had more cons, but I can't think of them right now.   There's also been the long running theory that the Empath kid is September.  We've been thinking that from season 1.  There has to be a reason he's been brought back into this story.  We'll see what happens! 
  • Will Time Travel play a role in the end?  They have the Beacons now.   Perhaps they can go back to before the invaders come and stop them.  Of course, September already warned Walter "They are coming" and they couldn't stop them.  So, maybe it's a smaller time travel event that takes place.   I was listening to a podcast where a listener called in with a theory.  What if Walter goes back in time and steals child Etta from the past and brings her to the future so that Peter and Olivia would be reunited with their child and not have missed 20 something years of her life?  I'd say that would be a crazy reason why they couldn't find her after she disappeared, but clearly she lived a life while her parents were ambered.  So that would be some crazy paradoxical thing that would happen.  Obviously, time would be altered if Etta didn't exist in the past to help start the movement against the observers.  But, I thought it was an interesting idea.  Maybe they can find some way around it.  They've messed with time before and not made clear sense out of it! 
  • Be a Better Man than your Father - Peter's mother always said it to him.  And the phrase recurred throughout the series.  It was something Olivia used to empower her abilities as well.  Right now, Peter is NOT following that mantra.  He's taken on some "god-like" abilities of his own.  There's no theory here, but I heard the phrase recently and wanted to bring it back to the forefront.  It's clearly a common theme for the show so we should keep it in mind.  
So, that's all I've got!  We're on a 3 week hiatus.  No episode on Black Friday or the week after.  But, since FOX isn't concerned with ratings, we're getting 3 episodes in December including a December 21st episode.  I can't promise I'll be around to recap that one, but who would be around to read it!?   We'll be wrapping up the show in January with an episode on 1/11 and a 2 hour finale on 1/18.  And you can guarantee that I'll be recapping those!  I believe we're getting another Walking Dead and Revolution in the next couple days so look for recaps on those.  Other than that, hope you enjoyed my ramblings, happy holidays and see you in a few weeks! 


Anonymous said...

I agree this episode felt like a turning point. As you mention they've set up a number of plots, we are halfway through the
season (I have to point out a 13 hour movie on tv is called a mini-series.. haha), they've collected all the pieces to the plan (BTW don't forget the formulas that they gave to Broles), and it looks like it's time for everything to unravel.
I really didn't think the tech would turn Peter into an Observer. I'd always thought that their appearance was a result of natual evolution, mutation or some biological catastrophy. I guess Peter will be craving spicy food soon. I really don't want to see the "Peter is September" ending. It certainly seems like it's possible from the way things are lined up.

I think your best theory was "But, I keep feeling there's another twist up their sleeve that we're not seeing". I think there will be a surprise too.

I didn't remember any food in this episode either. Perhaps that was intentional. Meek Walter was obsessed with food and other pleasures of life. SOB Walter doesn't have time for such nonsense.

Regarding the David Bowie album. It reminded me of something I have been missing this season, the weekly classic rock sample that used to be a regular staple in the lab.

I am almost to the point where I give up trying to figure out the end game. Every season there have been lots of theories from fans, no one has ever gotten in totally correct. No matter what, it has been a good ride.

Was that "luggage" crack a reference to Mel Brooks and "Space Balls" (a spoof on Star Wars)? If you've never seen it the combination of something important was 1-2-3-4-5. One character states "that sounds like the combination to an idiot's luggage". Later in the movie the combination is given to Mel Brooks (playing the hapless emporer and all around buffoon) and he says "that's the combination to my luggage".. LOL

Bill B

Mike V. said...

Bill, I'm on my phone so ill just be brief. But of course I'm quoting spaceballs! Lol click on the link I referenced its a YouTube video! I'll comment more later. :)

Mike V. said...

@Bill - Okay, full response time!

Yes, a 13 hour movie on TV technically is a mini-series. lol Good call on the formulas. I DID forget about those.

I wasn't sure if the tech would turn Peter into an observer either, but it clearly looks like we're headed down that path. I just think his "family" will be on hand to prevent it from happening. But...maybe that'll be a change from "original events" that led to a certain observer's existence. I'm not really on board with a "peter is september" ending either. But, I think if there was a twist on it like...peter "WAS" september in a certain timeline but not this one....I might be okay with that. As long as the dots all connect and it makes sense.

But I best theory is my non-theory. lol The one that we're hoping we don't see things coming. I'd love for that to happen.

Totally agree...I think the non-food reference was intentional. Surely, after all of these seasons they wouldn't forget something like that accidentally!

We definitely did get nice music samplings every week (something I was too lazy to keep up with in the blog). But this season definitely has had its moments...the only other one I can think of was the season premiere with Walter listening to "Only You" in the car. the music in this season seems to be more in the forefront rather than in the background when Walter is doing his lab work.

I wouldn't be trying to figure out the end game too much either if I wasn't writing about the show almost every week! lol But definitely has been a great ride.

And I already touched on the Spaceballs stuff. I'm not sure why I was reminded of it. I think it was the fact that Walter was making fun of William Bell's memory when it comes to stuff as simple as remembering combinations (so he used the same one all of the time lol) .

Thanks for the comments as always!

MJ said...

Peter seeing into the future was really cool, and ewwww on the face melting again. Though after this season of TWD don't know how I can say ewww over a little thing like that. LOL And they finally go to use the hand they've been dragging around - so crazy. Anna Torv is doing such an excellent job with the looks she keeps tossing Peter leading up to his telling her what he's done - cause she's known he's just not right. (Guessing where that door would be, activating the beacon, ) You can just see the worry on her face ! I never saw marathon Man so didn't get that part, but loved the Bowies album bit.

What did I miss? Why does it meant that the observers have Bell if they have Simon??

On anther note - if you don't mind me asking - how much does this site cost you annually for domain name and webspace? I know someone that writes stories and is looking for a place to keep them online for cheap - and though not a blog a blog site would enable comments and such. He'd want to be able to lock the text down though so it can't be copied/pasted.

Mike V. said...

Touche' on the face melting vs. The Walking Dead gore. lol I didn't see Marathon Man either, but it's still funny that Walter quoted something that seemed so integral to the plot only to find that it was a movie. He's done it before with other movies too I think. Agree on Anna Torv. A lot of fans think she has taken a back seat this season so far, but we could say the same thing about Joshua Jackson in previous seasons. Josh is finally getting to take on a different personality like his co-stars have done in season 2, 3, 4. I'm sure it will all even out by the end of the series. But yes, Anna is doing some great reaction acting.

I just assume the observers are pretty thorough at examining an ambered area. They found Simon in amber...and William Bell was ambered in that same location. So, if they removed and killed Simon, I'm guessing they removed William Bell as well. But, that doesn't mean he's confined or anything. If he's working WITH the Observers, then he could be out and about and eventually causing problems for our Fringies. We'll see. But William Bell is DEFINITELY in the future somewhere.

I don't mind you asking. lol Blogger is free to use. I pay $10 a year for the URL (of course, I still do that on too so it's $20). I forget if I'm still paying it on Flashforward. Anyway when writing the recap for the LOST finale, I ran out of free space for uploading pictures and eventually had to pay extra for storage there too. BUT, Google has changed their Data limits and what counts towards them. Now all of the photos on blogger are pretty much covered for free. So...I pay $10 lol Of course, I'm at the mercy of Google keeping me up and running and storing my content forever. There's always the fear that it's just going to disappear one day if I don't export it all and save it locally. But, it IS Google. So, I think I'm in good hands. :-) I don't see any settings to prevent copy/paste of text. But, there is open access to modify the HTML. So maybe there's code that can be searched and how to add that to the blog. There are ways to disable comments if that's something he'd want to do as well. There's other blogging services as well that might have these features. Wordpress comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

I agree, trying to figure out the end game seems increasingly pointless over the last several months. Particularly with time travel/ parallel worlds, etc.

I thought the idea of Peter becoming September was way off since they don't look like each other and the story didn't need the link. But with the hair falling out and your points--IDK,maybe. It's still possible Peter can go to Observerland and do some recon and/or damage.

Now that Olivia knows, maybe she and Walter will want to take the Observer tech out of Peter?

I liked the bombing he did of the Observers.

Going back to end game of the show(can't help myself), my first question is what condition will the Earth be in, what year, which Eart, CO2 levels, etc. That will help determine who lives, dies and wins. Do the producers/writers really want to leave us with a dystopian future?


Mike V. said...


I'm not sure where I stand on the Peter = September, but it's hard to deny some if the facts that are out there. It makes it a possibility. Or also that that Empath kid is September. It's all in play right now. It is possible Peter might be able to travel to the future and do some recon/damage. We'll see!

I would assume that Olivia is going to share with Walter what she found out and they most certainly are going to want to SAVE peter. Of course, I'm sure some conflict is going to arise where they will need Peter's new "abilities" before they save him and try to remove the tech. lol

I've been wondering about this dystopian future being where they leave us all season. I just can't see the show ending that way...but I don't know if they're going to go back and reset time again either. Seems too easy, not that I'd be against it! lol They could always leave us with a hope for the future and things, including the environment, are already showing signs of improvement. The show has always been about this core family and about HOPE, in general. So, that could be one way that the end of the show is on a lighter note, even if bittersweet. Surely, someone won't make it out alive. My money has been on Walter. Of course, there has to be some kind of redemption for Walter and the awful things that he did in the past. I guess we could technically say Walter has been on the redemption path this whole series..making up for his past sins. He's a totally different person now, but he may feel he'll still need to make an ultimate sacrifice of sorts to right wrongs. We'll see what happens!

Regular commenter (just more infrequent these days) AUStarWars told me his overall theory for how things will end. Something like Walter (i.e. pre St. Claire's Walter) will find out exactly the things that are going to happen because of his meddling with Science...all the way to the Observer invasion. He will then request for the pieces of his brain to be removed which inevitably leads to him being locked away in St. Claires...where we found him in the beginning of the series. Things would come full circle. I kinda like that idea. Of course, that wouldn't prevent present day Walter from sacrificing his life to save Peter/Olivia, the world, or something like that. But, it would be a reveal for exactly why Walter made the crazy request to have parts of his brain removed. That would be a nice touch.

MJ said...

Ah - I get ya now on Bell. I also hope Nimoy does one more appearance before the end - that would be so great. I know alot of folks thought Olivia was pushed to the side by Etta doing trips with Peter, but I agree that she'll be more active soon.

Doc Jensen was actually a good read on Fringe this week - not too out there. His theory on marathon man was very interesting. Also his theory on Peter and Olivia's relationship.

Mike V. said...

Thanks for the heads up! I'll have to check out the Doc. I do on occassion, just sometimes forget. :-) lol

Anonymous said...

Oh I'd bet the farm that Nimoy will appear at some point this season. And I'd double down that it will be the last 2 episodes.

I read the Jensen review as well each week but rarely comment. Sometimes I think he makes connections that aren't there but it's usually a good read. I am even more interested in some of the comments readers make.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Bill B

Mike V. said...

Yeah, absolutely Bill. He has to be involved in the finale. That just makes too much sense! lol They kept his involvement in season 4 a secret, which was crazy. So, I'm sure they can pull it off this time too.

Doc Jensen - Yeah, he was always the same way with LOST too. His brain gets going and he comes up with some really crazy ideas. But, sometimes they're a fun read anyway. lol Hey, he ended up writing a movie script with Damon Lindelof and is being produced by Disney (1952). So, I guess the LOST writers didn't think he was "TOO" crazy! lol

Mike V. said...

And Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Anonymous said...

Just saying: why can't the observers go back in time and kill the team so they wont bother them?

Mike V. said...

@Anonymous - lol it's a good question. I guess 1st of all, because then there wouldn't be a TV sow, but that's an easy excuse. I think the only observers that were sent back in time were the science research team, so they wouldn't have "observer assassin's with them" Of course, this reminds me of something I just heard in a podcast yesterday.

Everyone remember the episode AUGUST from season 2 where August the observer became obsessed with saving a girl who was destined to die? The observers hired an assassin in that episode who may have worked with the observers on several occasions. His name? DONALD!!! Now, Donald died in the original timeline but in the revised timeline he may still be alive and may want to help bring the observers down. That would be pretty crazy.

One other thing, apparently the 19th episode of season2 (you know, the crazy ones. We're getting one this year too but obviously it won't be the 19th. it's either 9th or 11th. I think I heard 9th.). Anyway, the episode was Brown Betty. This was when there was that 30s story and our characters were all playing different roles. Anyway, Peter was wearing a fedora and had a briefcase. Walter was practicing with Dark Arts. Nina was one of the "Good guys". And I think Olivia helped resolve the issues. Gonna have to rewatch. But anyway, apparently there is strong mirroring in that episode to this final season. So, even if it wasn't designed from the beginning that way...when looking back it will sure look like they knew what they were doing! And that's all we really want in the end. For the illusion that there was always a plan. I've read enough about the creative process to know that it's really difficult to plan out a show, stick to it, and be successful.

Speaking of, I'm reading a book by critic Alan Sepinwall right now called - "The Revolution Was Televised" Great behind the scenes look at the making of many of the great shows of this recent Golden Age of television. (The Wire, Sopranos, Deadwood, "LOST!!!", 24, BSG, Buffy, The Shield, etc..) He interviewed the showrunners of these shows too so it makes for a great read. I even learned some stuff that I didn't know about LOST. Good stuff!

How's that for stream of consciousness discussion? lol

MJ said...

Sheesh - no I do not remember August hiring an assasin or trying to save a girl. LOL I'll def do a rewatch of all fringe next summer probably, once this final season is out anyway.

Mike V. said...

August actually didn't hire the assassin. The other Observers did because of August's interference in the course of events. August ends up dying which becomes a key point in history too because it's the first time one of THEM died.

I'm definitely going to rewatch it all too. Science Channel is reairing them now too with additional scientific analysis in commercial breaks. I think John Noble book ended each episode too with intros and stuff. I set my tivo and it's all sitting on there! (they marathoned season 1 on black friday) lol

Anonymous said...

I don't remember it being mentioned that it was the first time one of them died but you may be right (I'm not that sure).
I do remember that the point of August dying was to make the girl "important" because one of "the observers" died because of her. If I recall August had intervened when she was a little girl and kept her from her fate of dying with her family. I believe the hitman was hired to kill her as a way of restoring the time line. August once again intervened and by dying made her important in history.

Interesting theory on the Betty episode. Wasn't Olivia a private-eye in that one? It definitely was one of my least favorite episodes so it would be something if it had as much relevance as you are theorizing. (Actually I was so glad when they got rid of Ella and the sister, (Rachel?). They just didn't fit into the show and were a pointless distraction IMO).

I have been catching some of those Science Channel episodes. Much like my rewatch over the summer I am still amazed at how many allusions to future reveals there are in retrospect.

That book sounds like a good read.

Bill B

Mike V. said...

Gonna post this everywhere. This is chapter about LOST from the book I'm reading right now. It's good stuff!

Bill, I got the same impression when rewatching a couple years back. Pretty sure they said August was the first one that died. But not sure it's relevant to any future stories. Lol

Mike V. said...

Correction. Just an excerpt of the chapter in that link. I do recommend the book though!

Anonymous said...

ummmm question: so why can't the observers just travel back in time and "take care" of our fringe team so they wouldn't bother them??

Mike V. said...

Ummm I think you already posted that question and I responded to it above! Lol

Mike V. said...

great interview with Joel Wyman (lone showrunner for the final season)

Mike V. said...

Finale title and some non spoilery info announced

Mike V. said...

Nice slideshow from the 100th and final episode party