Fringe: An Origin Story
by Ashley Binion
As the famous saying goes, “Before you go on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” After last week’s shocking and high paced episode, “An Origin Story” was more scientific and emotionally-charged.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
We began with Peter in Etta’s bedroom, solemnly going through her possessions when he finds her stash of weapons behind a picture. Olivia, who was sleeping on the bed, woke up, and they mourned together, still reeling from their daughter’s untimely death. This marked the first of many emotional scenes in the episode. In a sweet moment, while packing up her belongings, Walter asked if he could keep a bottle of Etta’s perfume to help him remember her.
Astrid called and informed them there was a hang-up with getting the next tape, because Walter being Walter left flammable material right next to it.
Meanwhile on the streets of Manhattan, electricity charged the air, signaling the arrival of the Observers. They put down a cube on the street, creating a wormhole, where they received a shipment from the future. In these shipments are the final pieces to the air degradation system they have in Central Park and other sites across the world. As Etta told the team earlier in the season, these systems would reduce air quality and the life span of humans to just forty-five years.
Soon after Astrid’s call, Olivia picked up Etta’s ringing phone. It was Anil, a fellow Resistance fighter, asking to meet them at the site of the shipping lane. At the meeting, he informed them that the Resistance wanted to destroy the next shipment. Anil also came with the good news that they captured an Observer, took his notebook, and one of the cubes the Observers used to open the shipping lane. Peter decided since they hold one of the cubes, the Resistance should destroy the whole portal not just one shipment.
At the lab, Astrid and Olivia worked on decrypting the Observer’s notebook while Peter tried to figure out the cube. They brought back some old-school Fringe with Walter demonstrating a piece of science through toys. This time he demonstrated with marbles, cars and army men that if they cut off the wormhole by using anti-matter, the future would become a black hole, creating years of damage.
In order to implement the plan, they needed to figure out how to assemble the cube to open the portal before the Observers, which meant Peter had to go visit the Resistance’s prisoner. Olivia, not wanting to loose Peter, expressed her concern about Peter risking his life, unaware that Walter was eavesdropping.
He later came to Olivia with a tape of one of Etta’s birthdays that he wanted her and his son to watch. Walter knew that she didn’t want to lose Peter and that the tape would help her remember what they had together. The mad scientist understood what she was going through, considering he lost the Peter from our world, and didn’t want either of them to go down the same road he travelled. She initially declined, but eventually decided to watch it. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch him give his expert advice on loss and pain.
Peter visited the captured Observer to figure out how to put together the cube. While there, Anil showed him the technology the Observers use to gain their powers. Since they show no emotion, interrogating him was a waste of time. So, Peter rigged up a camera that focused in on his pupil. This created a way for him to read the Observer and whether he was putting the cube together correctly. A few scenes later, he was successful.
Astrid decoded the notebook, learning the location and time of the next shipment. With that, Peter brought the cube and opened the portal. Right when he was about to shoot the antimatter bomb in the portal, an Observer appeared. A fight ensued, but the team succeeded and shot the bomb. However, while they were fleeing, they noticed across the street the Observers received a shipment. The plan didn’t work. While in the alley, Olivia noticed a line of posters with Etta’s face and the word “Resist.” With her noble sacrifice, she has now become the face of the Resistance.
Peter, furious that the plan didn’t work, ran back to the place they were keeping the Observer. He almost suffocated the Baldie, hit him a few times and exclaimed, “I would be ten times what you are with that tech in my head!” With that, he took the technology out of his head, killing him, and proceeded to put it in his own head. Once it got close to the spine, it just jumped inside his neck. Right after, Olivia called while watching the tape and told him that Etta would want them to be together and with that they exchanged I love you. My Peter and Olivia heart was both elated—with hope that they will find a way back to each other by the end of the series—and heartbroken that Peter has lost himself to vengeance.
They shook up the fabric of the final season with Etta’s death, creating a Peter who is dead-set on revenge, no matter the cost. I was happy to see Peter and Olivia’s relationship in the foreground this episode. After these last two episodes, I believe that Fringe has finally found its stride.
The glyph code for this episode was “fight.”
Why didn’t Walter’s plan work? Will the Observer’s technology cause Peter to slowly lose all emotion? And will the technology act differently in his body considering Observers are more highly evolved?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5