sprocket: The trusted assistant at work (Astrid Fringe)
[personal profile] sprocket posting in [community profile] fringe_rewatch
Fringe spent a fair amount of time trying to convince me Peter had the capacity to be an action-driven protagonist. They could have saved it for this episode.

My second thought at the end of "The Bullet That Saved the World" - the first being capslock at Etta's death - was "uh-oh. What grief-stricken reaction will a Bishop father take this time?"

"An Origin Story" delivered. Why blow up a shipment when you can destroy an entire pipeline? Why keep an Observer prisoner alive when you can kill him for the tech that will turn you into Batman?

There are a lot of moments to like or discuss in this episode. The dialog isn't always terrifically natural, but the actors work to sell the emotional content. As Peter elects to memorialize his daughter by embracing her cause, Olivia buries herself in work at the lab. There's some set design and direction choices at work that enhance this: for much of the episode, when they're separated, Olivia is in the amber-lit dark with Astrid, while Peter is in the resistance's brighter but desaturated Observer lockup.

The general reaction to the shipping lane re-appearing was a little puzzling to me. The future is another time, not another place: if the original shipment and shipping lane were destroyed, the Observers uptime might have spent weeks, or months, rebuilding their launch site, or relocating to another physical site, to access the same temporal arrival window. Thoughts, anyone?

Olivia's silent reaction to the replacement of the Observer posters with the Etta "resist" poster was one of my favorite moments in this episode, and perhaps the entire fifth season until "Liberty". As Peter despairs that the plan didn't work, the world has shifted, without our protagonists even noticing.

The Resistance theme is still heavy-handed, but works hand in hand this week with Olivia and Peter choosing how to remember Etta and how to move forward on the plan to defeat the Observers. The appearance of Etta's poster, and Peter demonstrating that both sides of this conflict can embrace some pretty questionable means to achieve their end, both speak to that theme.



Writer: J. H. Wyman
Director: P. J. Pesce
Originally Aired: November 2, 2012

Synopsis: Olivia and Peter react to Etta's death, as the Resistance asks for help sabotaging an important shipment from the future.

Most Memorable Quote:
CAPTURED OBSERVER: Your assertion regarding the involuntary response of the body to physical threat was interesting but highly antiquated. It does not apply to us. In truth, there was a fly on the window. As my cerebral cortex registered it, there was a small irregularity in my heartbeat, causing a slight deregulation of my oxygen to my brain which in turn affected my oculomotor nerve. This oculomotor nerve is what caused my pupil to dilate. That's what you picked up on - my observation of a fly. But you ascribed meaning to something that was not there. You saw what you wanted to see. You believed what you wanted to believe, because that's what your emotions do. They ascribe meaning to something that is not there. They fool your perception as to what is real.

PETER: No. You're wrong.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: A dog does not smile, no matter how many times your kind might think it does. You put together the device because of your intuition and your knowledge and your experience as an engineer. You simply needed confidence. So, you made sure you saw what you needed in my reactions. [Pause] You blame us for her death, but it is irrelevant. She was here, now she is simply not here.

PETER: [Punches the Observer] Did you feel that? She is not simply gone. She will be remembered! Unlike you. If I kill you right now, no one will remember you. No one will miss you!

CAPTURED OBSERVER: ...miss ...me?

PETER: You are nothing but tech. I would be ten times what you are if I had that tech in my head. [Punches the Observer again]

Links:
Transcript
A. V. Club
Den of Geek
Entertainment Weekly
Pop Culture Nexus

Fanfiction: Taking suggestions in comments.

Date: 2015-05-02 03:55 am (UTC)
cahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cahn
I wonder whether killing Etta off, while a stupendous plot moment and ALL THE FEELINGS I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH, was in the long run maybe not such a good idea, as I think I can date my waning investment to this episode -- Etta was such a compelling character, and she was the bridge between the future-dystopia world and Our Heroes. Without her, there is no direct live (both literally and figuratively) connection between the characters we love and this odd world they've been dumped in. (There are Broyles and Sharp, to be sure, who could have played this role but didn't.) So everything starts becoming a little disconnected to me...

I don't really understand why the Observers can't, well, observe the Fringe crew from uptime and just capture them. I mean, S1-S4 they seemed to sort of work that way. It irritates me.

Though I love the Etta "Resist" posters.

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