Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fringe 5.5: "You Don't Even Know What You Don't Know"

"You don't even know what you don't know," Peter's captive Observer advises in Fringe 5.5, expressing the consumate disdain Observers hold for us lower cast humans.  The same Observer has the other great line of the night, explaining to Peter, Matrix-like, that "you think the black over your head is dark skies when it is really our shoe," in this superbly written, dark episode, which later actually does have a shoe of an Observer closing in on Peter's head.

But the deeper darkness of the show is the dark in Peter and Olivia's hearts over the loss of Etta, and the episode draws not only on Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," but Plato's "Meno" paradox, or a reversal of its axiom that that you can only know what you already know or have knowledge of, otherwise how could you know that you were really knowing anything?

Peter and Olivia each struggle with the darkness and their lack of knowledge in different ways.  Olivia's   new world is falling apart with her daughter gone, and Walter and she fear that she may lose Peter again.  In the end, an unambered videotape of Etta as a little girl brings Olivia back.

Peter's path is a little different.  The Observer's mocking him about his feelings for Etta pushes Peter to torture and kill the Observer - good - and also take the chip out the Observer's head and place it in Peter's.  Is that also good? The tech reveal of the episode is that part of the Observers' superiority is indeed tech - ala Borg - in the brain.  In this masterfully written episode by J. H. Wyman, not only philosophy reigns supreme, but The Matrix meets Star Trek.

What will the Observer tech due to Peter.  Will he be able to absorb the Observer powers and retain his humanity?  Will he be able to truly love Olivia, as he has up until now?

Fringe continues in its brooding brilliance towards finale.




See also Fringe 5.1: Paved Park and Shattered Memories ... Fringe 5.2: Saving Our Humanity ... Fringe 5.4: Ghosts of Fringes Past

See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... 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

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ...Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe  

See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ... New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald 
Men ...17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ...Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best




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