First, there's a delightful trip down Fringe memory lane, as Walter realizes that some of the mementos of Fringe cases past could help our gang in their future resistance against the Observers. He kept what he could of what we saw in every Fringe episode, and selects the gaseous compound that causes skin to quickly grow over the lips and suffocate the target - in this case, tonight, the targets being human collaborators and Observers guarding Penn Station Newark (a station I know well, having caught a train or two from there down to Washington, DC when I taught at a college in New Jersey).
So far, so good. And even better when we see Broyles, apparently collaborating with the Observers, but of course that couldn't be, and we see him in a great scene with Peter, Olivia, Walter, and Etta - one of the best this season. Excellent acting by Lance Reddick who perfectly plays an older Broyles, with a little less of the Broyles quirk, and a slowing down just a bit as befits his age.
Tonight's show would have wonderful had it ended right then and there. But Fringe isn't pulling any punches, not holding anything back in its final season, including the overwhelming superiority of the Observers, at least at this point. And so the episode concludes with yet another tip-top gun battle, but an Observer gets the drop on Etta - and kils her.
A major blow, not only to the resistance, but to viewers. Etta was a wonderful character, the best of Olivia and Peter, full of sass and power. It doesn't make us feel much better that she manages one last move which takes out a bunch of Observers with a bomb. Her loss is pretty close to insufferable.
Fringe, as we know, admits of time travel. Certainly the Observers do it with ease. In that sense, there's hope for Etta. But until and unless we see her alive again, we've seen a sad and diminished future on Fringe tonight indeed. Maybe even more reason that ever to watch what happens.
... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17: Second Chances ... Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides ... Future Fringe 4.19 ... Fringe 4.20: Bridge ... Fringe 4.21: Shocks ... Fringe Season 4 Finale: Death and Life
"As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review
"Daddy, this is the best book I've ever read!" -- Molly Vozick-Levinson, age 12 at the time
"cerebral but gripping" -- Booklist