Monday, January 21, 2013

'Fringe' series finale recap: 'Liberty'/'Enemy of Fate'

A final 'Fringe' team note of thanks.

Well, here we are. The final 2 hours of Fringe. I've got a handful of tissues and my blanky, let's do this!

We open this rollercoaster with Michael captured and Donald/ September absent. The team frantically uses all of their remaining resources to locate Michael. This means calling in Broyles. Uh oh. That didn't end well for Nina, you know. He finally manages to obtain Michael's location, but we all know this will put him in the line of fire. But hey, Broyles is a big boy, right?

Meanwhile, Michael is being held at Liberty Island. Anyway, Michael is strapped to a chair in one of their white rooms when Windmark comes to gloat over him. He explains to Michael that it's in his best interests to communicate with him. Michael just stares blandly back at him. Windmark continues his interrogation until his nose starts bleeding. Ah, poor little Anomaly XB-6783746 is better at this game than he is. One presumes that Windmark is simply unable to penetrate Michael's mind and has caused the damage to himself. He gets up to leave instructing his lackeys to run complete diagnostics. "Find out what it is." he instructs them.

Broyles finally manages to pass Michael's location to the team, but the situation looks hopeless. Security on the building is so tight that they can't find a way in. Only Olivia finally realizes a way. With the help of cortexifan, she could go in from the Alternate Universe, grab Michael, and bring him through with her. There's only one little problem, the cortexifan burned out of her system a long time ago. But don't worry, Walter has more! He and Bell designed it to have a shelf life of 127 years! Peter is not cool with this idea, but we all know that Olivia wears the pants in this family. And you know, this is all for Etta. But finally, to assuage Peter's fears, Astrid decides to use the Universe Window to look into the Alternate Universe to make sure there aren't Observers there. "Brillant Ashgard" Walter enthuses. Sniff. That might just be the last time Walter ever gets Astrid's name wrong! Anyway, the Alt Universe looks Observer free, so the plan is a go.

Meanwhile, Donald shows up at the Harvard lab and nobody is there. He determinedly continues with the Plan, building the device they will need to send Michael to the future. After a lot of cool looking sciency stuff, he turns it on....and it doesn't work. Apparently, his trigger is out of juice. He pays a visit to an old friend, December.

At a Resistance medical facility, the team proceeds with Olivia's cortexifan dosing. Unfortunately, Walter has to give her a massive dose directly into her brain stem. This turns out to be quite painful and only temporary. Olivia will only have 3 hours to get across, grab Michael and get back. They hope she wont use up all the cortexifan and get stranded somewhere. This is a great plan! While they wait for Olivia to wake up, Walter struggles with telling Peter the truth about what he will have to do, but fails. Remember, Peter still doesn't know that Walter will be sacrificed for this plan to work. It's a touching scene between father and son. Peter and Olivia exchange their "For Etta"'s and she crosses over outside the Fringe Division building in the Alt Universe.

The Observer's have made an interesting discovery about Michael. They have figured out that he has EMOTIONS AND A BRAIN. Egads, they are horrified and rush off to tell Windmark. Windmark reports to his superior and explains Michael's abnormalities to him. Essentially, he has to tell him that Michael is beyond their ability to comprehend. The Big Whig thinks they need to continue to study Michael. Windmark, of course, wants him dead. "There is no greater danger than that which is unknown." he says. They compromise, and decide to just cut him up into little pieces and keep them "alive" separately. Windmark almost smiles. Not cool, man.

In the Alt Universe, we see an older Fauxlivia making googly eyes at a graying Lincoln when she gets the call. Olivia is waiting for her in her office and picks up a photo of Fauxlivia, Lincoln, and their teenage son from her desk. Aww. Lincoln finally got some. I'm proud of him, he deserved some happiness. She explains to them what she needs, and of course they agree to help. Because they are awesome. Of course, Fauxlivia has to remind Lincoln to "Stop checking out my young ass." in regards to Olivia. They take Olivia to the appropriate coordinates, and she crosses over, but Michael isn't there.
He is currently being strapped down, fully awake for "disassembly". Luckily, Olivia is a badass and saves him before they start cutting him apart. But the Observers follow her across to the Alt Universe. They didn't count on Fauxlivia and Lincoln though. They help dispatch the followers and off Olivia and Michael go. Of course, this prompts Windmark to go looking for the leak, which leads him to Broyles.

"An Enemy of Fate"

We learn from Donald and December's conversation, that he first 12 Observers sent to study us all learned some emotion. They didn't know why they were here. December is reluctant, but Donald badgers him until he agrees to help. Donald needs December to get him a new trigger for the device from their time. He is very earnest with all his new human emotion.

Capt. Windmark shows up to talk to Broyles. He plays it cool, and after a few questions, Windmark lets him go. Of course, it's just a trap so he can lead them to Michael.

The team is reunited at last, Donald and the team meet up at they lab. He tells them they will need to go pick up the trigger from December. As Walter details what the device will do, it is finally revealed that "someone" will be with Michael. Donald starts looking a little teary. I'm thinking he's going to change his mind about Walter going with Michael. Suddenly, Olivia gets a call from Broyles. He's realized that they are following him. He tells Olivia to proceed with the Plan, but she struggles with it.

She wants to come get him, but he tells her to "just get it done". This steps up the time table. They've got to hurry. As Peter burns through the Amber to get a piece of equipment out, he finds a syringe and asks Walter what it is. Walter lies, and says he doesn't know, looking quite sad. Then Peter finds a tape addressed to him with Walter's handwriting on it. He pops it in the VCR while Walter looks on devastated. Grab your tissues, people! The tape is Walter. He tells Peter that he sent him a letter and then just disappeared. "It had to be this way" the Walter on the tape says. He had to do this to ensure the survival of all humanity, and of course Etta. "I don't want you to be sad. The time we had together, we stole. I cheated fate to be with you....I don't want to say goodbye, but I will say I love you, son." Peter looks over at Walter, who looks miserable. Walter admits that he does know what the syringe is. It's an inncoulation for time travel, but he already had his back in 2015. He is taking Michael to the future. "Why" Peter asks. Walter takes a deep breath and explains that he and Michael will become a paradox. And Nature abhors a paradox. Well, that bitch. According to Walter, he and Michael will be "deleted" at the moment of the invasion. "So, in order to maintain a future without the Observers, you and Michael have to live out the remainder of your lives in the future." Peter says. Walter nods sadly. "I want you to give Olivia your daughter back." Walter says. "As a father, how could I not do that for you?" Walter asks. Hugs and tears... "You are my favorite thing, Peter. My very favorite thing" Excuse me while I go get more tissues.

Ok. I'm back. So, Olivia and Astrid go to get the trigger doodad from December, but find that he has hanged himself and it's gone. Looks like he got caught. Now Windmak knows what the Plan is. This won't go well. Especially when they capture Broyles. As the team argues about what step to take next, Olivia goes over and asks Michael, since he appears to be able to see the future. His only response is to raise his finger to his lips in a shushing motion. Luckily, Astrid realizes that they can use a shipping lane to send Michael to the future. Now they just need to steal one little part. As they head out Walter hands Peter some anti-gravity bullets. "Shoot Observers with these and watch them float away like balloons." he says. When Peter asks him why, "Because it's cool!" Walter exclaims. Astrid pulls Walter aside to show him something. She leads him into a tunnel in the Amber, right up to Gene. She was going to let her out, but was afraid she would moo too loudly. Walter is quite emotional and he and Astrid share a moment. "Walter, this is not the end", she says tearfully. "It's a beautiful name" Walter says. She asks "What is?" "Astrid" he replies. Sniffle.

Meanwhile, back at Windmark's evil headquarter's he commences on the classic bad guy soliloquy. He explains to Broyles how the original 12 Observers who were sent to our time became "infected" with emotions. "But not you" Broyles pops off. Windmark says he will never speak of this again, but he admits to Philip that he feels something. "I believe you call it hate" he says. "The feeling is mutual" Broyles says.

Peter and Olivia are preparing to steal the last little part they need. They put on gas masks and start pouring canisters of something into the ventilation system of the building. Well, here comes the fun part! They've put all of Walter's collected monsters from the Fringe events into the building! It's a beautiful thing to behold. As they run through the building they come across Broyles in a luckily unventilated interrogation room. He is suited up and off the go to what feels like the final confrontation.

In the lab, as Walter and Donald are preparing to leave, Donald stops Walter. He explains to Walter that he is going with Michael. When they made the Plan, he didn't have the emotions to understand what being a father was. "It's not about fate, Walter. Yours or mine. It's about changing fate. It's about hope and protecting our children."

Oh, Donald.

They all meet up again at the site and the Resistance is there to help them take over the shipping lane. As they fight their way through the Loyalist soldiers, Windmark appears. He goes after Michael first, and Olivia rushes to stop him, but Peter gets there first. Sadly, Windmark beats our boy down and then starts in on Olivia. In the fight, Etta's necklace is knocked onto the ground. As Olivia picks it up, her face becomes more determined than ever. As she gets to her feet, her eyes never leave Windmark and car alarms start to go off in the distance. The power in nearby buildings begins to flicker and then go out. Suddenly a truck is smashed into him, crushing him between two vehicles. All that's left is a blood stain, baby! As She looks at Michael, he makes the shushing gesture again. So, is this just residual cortexifan, or did she always have this in her?

(Hmm, I think he knew she would need it in the end. That's why he stepped off the monorail.)

Donald appears and grabs Michael. They start running toward the shipping lane, when Donald is shot and falls to the ground. Michael sits down beside him and pulls the little windup music box from his pocket. The rest of the team races towards him, but Walter is already there. He reaches a hand down to Michael who looks at him briefly before taking it.

Together they walk towards the light of the shipping lane. As Walter looks over at Peter, he is whispering the words "I love you, Dad." Michael and Walter turn and walk into the light. The light slowly fades away to the familiar dandelion against a green field. Etta is at the park playing in the flowers. As the familiar scene plays out, no Observers come and they actually make it home this time. As little Etta gets a bath, Peter shuffles through the mail. There's an envelope addressed to him in Walter's handwriting. (Look closely and you will see a message from the Fringe team!) He opens it to find Walter's White Tulip inside. He looks puzzled for a moment and then looks alarmed. Fade to black. The end. Goodbye Fringe. Goodbye Walter. I don't have any tissues left.

A small aside: I don't get it. I'm no time travel virgin. I've watched Star Trek and Doctor Who. It seems to me that if the Observer's never exist, then September doesn't exist to save Walter and Peter from drowning in the icy pond. Therefore, no September, no Peter, no Etta. If anybody wants to give me a crash course in theoretical physics that doesn't involve complicated math, let me know.
Fringe is currently airing previous seasons on the Science Channel. Check your listings.


Linda said...

Walter is in the future, he could aways send September back to the alt-verse to distract Walternate so Walter still crosses over. Who knows? Timey wimey, wibbly wobbly. More answers, lead to more questions! *shrugs*