Friday, November 9, 2012

Fringe 5.6: "Dad"

Fringe continues in its final season to be the finest science fiction on television - this year, to be sure, and in some ways of all time, too.

The specific story in episode 5.6 concerns a "pocket universe" that Walter discovered back in 2016, as our world reeled and collapsed under the Observer invasion.   The pocket universe, on a floor of an apartment building, contains all sorts of goodies, including ceilings that suddenly turn into floors, and an entrance accessed by a virtual square dance.  As I often noted in my reviews of Fringe in the first few years, it had a 1950s Science Fiction Theater flavor, which was well recalled tonight in the pocket universe.  But that was probably the least important part of tonight's story.

More important is Peter's transformation, due to the Observer chip he embedded in his brain last week.  Tonight we see that it is giving Peter some or all of the Observer powers.  He recovers more quickly from blows (likely due to the chip's shunting of their impact and pain to less vulnerable parts of his body), calculates kinesthetics and distances more quickly on the move, is a more effective hand-to-hand fighter, and can move with awesome speed.  The question of course now looms larger than ever of whether this transformation will undo and destroy Peter, as the Observer that Peter gets the better of darkly hints.  We do need to take this with a grain of salt, since Observers can be vicious liars in their goal of undoing us.

Peter still has his redeeming humanity, at least as of the end of this episode.  Walter has been acting less like Walter and more like Walternate all season.  It's likely because his brain has been reconstituted to completion.   John Noble does a great job portraying this.  At times tonight, Walter even sounded like Walternate.  But Walter is still Walter, at least insofar as his being sensitive to his own transformation, and worrying that it's turning him into something he wasn't and didn't want to be.

Peter picks some of this up, talks to Walter, and tries to reassure him that he won't let Walter turn into a a ruthless man.  As part of that reassurance, Peter calls Walter, his father, "Dad".

It's a single word, but it speaks to the profound humanity of this series, and why I'm going to miss it keenly when it concludes.




See also Fringe 5.1: Paved Park and Shattered Memories ... Fringe 5.2: Saving Our Humanity ...Fringe 5.4: Ghosts of Fringes Past ... Fringe 5.5: "You Don't Even Know What You Don't Know

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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