wendelah1: (Etta Bishop)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] fringe_rewatch
This was a little better than the last two episodes, though the pace drags every time they have another Important Moment Between Characters. Thanks to our team, the resistance just lost two more key allies and an important research lab. Given how carelessly they've been operating since they arrived in Observerland, I'm shocked there haven't been more casualties. I guess it's because we're pinning all of our hopes, as well as every damn plot line, on The Plan. There is so much more they could have done with season five, so many other stories they could have told us along the way.

 photo 712d77c6-cf94-4b32-8354-024f6bf2b87b_zpscxxsuvts.jpg


Air Date: 21 Dec 12
Written by: David Fury
Directed by: Jeff Hunt

Summary:
In order to communicate with the Observer child, the team enlists the help of Nina Sharp. She provides them access to a black lab that formerly belonged Massive Dynamic. After the rest of the team leaves to get an additional piece of tech, she is apprehended by Captain Widmark and his minions. Rather than be read by Widmark, she kills herself, but not before she has told him that he's creepy as fuck and not as highly evolved as he thinks. Not that this was believable in any way, but somehow she managed to hide the boy from the Observers and Loyalists who tore the lab upside down searching for him. But once our team shows up, they locate him easily enough. Long story short, at the end of the episode, all that they've managed to learn is the identity of the man known to them as Donald.

Most Memorable Quote:
CAPTAIN WINDMARK: He is merely a curiosity, and you are mistaken about him. He is no child. He is a chromosomal mistake. A genetic anomaly. Designate: Progeny XB-6783746. Like all anomalies, he was scheduled to be destroyed. But he went missing. It was a great mystery in my time. No one knew what became of him... until now. I would very much like to meet him.

Links:
Transcript
A.V. Club
Den of Geek
IGN
HitFix
Entertainment Weekly

Fanfiction:
I hope someone out there is working on a novel-length fix-it fic for season five.

Date: 2015-05-24 03:24 am (UTC)
sprocket: The trusted assistant at work (Astrid Fringe)
From: [personal profile] sprocket
Okay, super late, but every time I tried to start a comment it started, "NIIIINNNNAAA" and that was all she wrote.

So let's break that down.

Nina Sharp has been one of my favorite secondary characters since the pilot. The woman with the bionic arm just happens to be the CEO of a wildly successful technology company. She is a gray figure, suspiciously well informed on a number of questionable topics: the Pattern; the cortexiphan trials; the multiverse and Peter's redverse origins; Baby Boy Bryant's unique genetic condition, and the experiments that utilized his uniqueness. Her ambiguity is reaffirmed in "Anomaly XB-6783746" when she reveals the lab:

NINA: I have access to tech that I think will be helpful for you to communicate with him. It's in a lab not far from here.

PETER: A Ministry lab? You think that's safe?

NINA: Not a ministry lab. A black lab.

OLIVIA: I thought Massive Dynamic black labs didn't exist.

NINA: Long pause Well, I'm glad I can still surprise you.

Blair Brown plays the line deftly. That pause before she speaks gives the viewer a chance to remember the many times Nina has withheld information in the past, and to wonder whether another of Massive Dynamics' sins are about to rise to the surface.

But Nina is not just the gatekeeper to questionable knowledge. She stands at blueverse Peter's grave in 1985, one of two people other than Walter and Elizabeth to mourn a young child's death. She's the woman who argued against Walter crossing over, who became Olivia and Rachel's foster mother in the S4 timeline, and who had a complex decades-long relationship with William Bell. Nina's choices were informed by her own rich experience and by the mad science she experienced in Walter and Belly's company.

In keeping with the mutation of resistance as a theme to sacrifice as a theme, Nina lays down her life to ensure the Observers don't extract from her information about the Fringe team. Despite her transcendent joy in seeing Olivia earlier in the episode - or because of it - she waits as long as possible before killing herself. Nina's story has been the story of a women shaping own fate to her satisfaction, with less attention to the approval or disapproval of those around her, and her death comes on the same terms as her life. Au revoir, Nina.

* * *

Apparently in the future the Patriot Act isn't a thing. "It came in on Nina's private comm" means "we can't trace it"? Really? I appreciate the callback to the S1 glass thing, but... cell phones are insanely traceable. Unlike the Fringe team in "The Road Not Taken", the Observers don't need to reconstruct a one-time event. They control the infrastructure, including hypothetical integrated wiretaps.

Also, who thought putting Walter under the e-cog was a good idea? Why not Olivia, who has the canonical empathic connection with Michael? From a plot perspective, I know why it was done that way, but it's poorly supported within the story-world, and also emphasizes how Olivia is being sidelined in this season.

I hope someone out there is working on a novel-length fix-it fic for season five.

Yes, but there's so much that could be considered a "thing to fix". Olivia being sidelined, the plot coupon thing, Etta's death (either her loss or the timing in the story), the lack of altverse... things I have not recalled which are deeply important to someone reading this... for me, the deal-breaker is the betamax tape plot. Unless you're writing something that keysmashes all the writer's buttons, the effort to fix those plot coupons is far greater than the reward for fixing it.

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