Friday, September 28, 2012

Fringe 5.1: Paved Park and Shattered Memory

Fringe opened its fifth and final season tonight with a great episode that picked up right where - not last season's finale - but episode 4.19 left off, that is, in the 2036 brutal dystopia ruled by the Eternal Bald Observers. In other words, they're not Observers any more. They're would be and to a large extent already in power masters of humanity. They've paved over Central Park, for crissakes, in an effort to make our world more habitable to them. They come from our future, where the air is really bad, and they're using Central Park to literally pump noxious gases into the air.

Walter, Peter, and Astrid survived from our time to 2036 in amber, that wondrous technology from the alternate reality of Fauxlivia and Walternate, which may now be closed forever (though I somehow doubt that) to our reality, whatever the year. Henrietta - better known as Etta - has survived into the future in real time, which is to say, she's lived day by day, the hard way, into 2036. She's fighting the bald be-hatted Masters as part of an underground, which makes sense, given that she's Peter and Olivia's tough and beautiful daughter.

The two last saw her when the Masters unleashed their attack, a little in the future of our time and reality. The first part of tonight's episode features Peter, Etta, Walter, and Astrid finding Olivia - who was not in evidence in 2036 in Fringe 4.19 - and freeing her. Unfortunately, Walter gets captured in the process, making it more a tradeoff than a victory.

Walter may have the ability to defeat the Baldos, one of whom, an especially nasty piece of work who reminds me of the guy who plagued Neo in The Matrix, proceeds to torture Walter. In the process, he destroys a part of Walter's mind, putting Walter back in the same leaky boat he in was for most of Fringe seasons past.

So we have an excellent foundation for the final season. I've always thought that Fringe was at its best when it dealt with overarching story lines - like the alternate reality - and not with the standalone insanities which were only sometimes really outstanding. From the looks of it, Fringe will be concentrating on nothing but defeating the bald ass hats now in charge, which means we should be in for a superb last season indeed.

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

"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

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