Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 13 Season 5 An Enemy of Fate
Posted by Karl Withakay on January 21, 2013
A Dreary Blue Episode
There won’t be a plot synopsis of this episode over at Polite Dissent this week.
Discredited Fringe Science
“Blast this thing. What I wouldn’t give for a good, old fashioned, tumor inducing cell phone.”
Science is often subtle nuanced, and it’s always difficult to completely rule anything out, but the best scientific research shows that there are no detectable health risks from low energy, non-ionizing radiation emitted from cell phones, especially not cancer.
Even Broyles is Smarter Than That, Right?
The minute Broyles got the information on the location of the high value prisoner, he should have considered himself compromised, as it should have been obvious to him that it would be easily traced back to him once they took action based on that information. After that meeting with Windmark, he should have been doubly concerned that he had been found out. Boyles was relying too much on his ability to block being read.
It’s Always About Getting Your Superiors to Understand the Importance of Your Project
Maybe it really was a lack of allocation of resources due to not considering the threat to be all that serious. Windmark now seems to have plenty of resources for observation and tracking of targets.
Use the Best Quality For the One Tape Not Vital to the Plan
The video tape that Walter left for Peter was in better condition than any of the other ambered tapes. There were no skips, unreadable segments, tracking problems, or garbled audio like all the other tapes had.
Questioning Observer Observation Again
They mentioned monitoring all the remaining members of the 12 Observer scientific expedition team, but they didn’t bother to keep September under observation?
Windmark’s emotional behavior is now explained by the influence of being in the past.
Some Nit-Picking About Lock Picking
What kind of electronic lock is vulnerable to hot wiring like the one Peter cracked in this episode?
Oh, We Got Weapons…
It was nice to see the Fringe team use four years of Fringe experience in their attack against The Observers and Loyalists.
Be Internally Consistent*
How was Walter able to escort the boy into the future if September took the inoculation that he needed to make the trip?
* See the comments section where I am corrected on this.
If The Observers have taken over 2136, presumably 2167 in that time line’s future will be a time already taken over by Observers with few, if any, remaining humans, and there will be no breakthrough leading to the creation of the Observers as a new continuity had already been established. In order to prevent The Observers from being created, wouldn’t you have to go back to a point before The Observers’ takeover to send the boy forward into 2167?
How will the reset affect the alterverse? Will Fauxlivia and NerdLee remember Olivia’s last visit?
It would seem that no doors have been completely closed to some day returning to the Fringe universe(s). I doubt it will happen to a show that had a level of popularity appropriate to its title, but John Noble is only 64; he could still be around in 5 or 10 years.
My Alternate Ending
In my alternate ending, when September is shot, Windmark goes to grab the boy to capture him, and when he does, the boy touches Windmark’s face. The boy reveals the full depth of what he is to Windmark, and allows Windmark to experience and understand the full range of the human experience beyond just the hate he has been feeling. (This would be perhaps visualized with various video and audio clips: a white tulip, Niagara Falls, Peter and Olivia kissing while Etta plays, MLK’s I have a dream speech, the Ode to Joe, etc.) Upon experiencing this revelation, (maybe a small tear forming at the corner of one of Windmark’s eyes would be too corny here…) Windmark picks up the boy and runs through the portal/ wormhole. The show then proceeds as it did, except Walter is seen playing with Etta as Peter and Olivia tell them it’s time to go home.
I’m not prepared to make a comprehensive, qualitative assessment of the show’s ending at this time. I think it usually takes time to think about and reflect on the ending of a show you’ve been watching for five years. I am prepared to say that this last season was a bit of a disappointment for several reasons.
Season five was really a different show; a spin off from Fringe with the same characters if you will. The show used to be about Fringe events, dealing with them individually, and figuring out The Pattern underlying all of them. Season five was a post apocalyptic resistance show with the Fringe characters, and at times it was clear the writers weren’t used to writing such a show. They frequently had highly wanted criminals walking around in public with impunity, with those in power not using technology and techniques widely available in the 20th century to combat the resistance.
Furthermore, it seems fairly obvious that the nature and purpose of The Observers in season five was a retroactive continuity different from whatever they were originally intended to be. * 2/1/13 See the the comments section where this is at least partially refuted. The retcon of Anomaly XB-6783646 being the boy that was important rather than Peter is an even more very disappointing retcon that is easily contradicted from numerous other episodes of the show.
I’m glad we got a fifth season, but while I enjoyed pointing out the plot flaws, I much preferred separating the wheat from the chaff in regards to the science presented in the show, and there just wasn’t as much of that in season five due to the different format.
I’m not sure what will become of this blog going forward. I hope I don’t loose interest in or devotion to continuing with it as many even longtime bloggers before me eventually have. I don’t want to make any promises, and I’m going to be pretty busy with other things until at least mid March (2013), but I have a few ideas. The show Revolution seems to provide enough material to fill out a blog post each week, and I may just start covering that show going forward. I hope you will occasionally check in to see if I have anything new to say that you might find interesting. Thanks for coming and thanks to all those who have commented. Until next time…