Fringe Review: The Bullet that Saved the World ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Review: The Bullet that Saved the World

      Email Post       10/29/2012 12:43:00 AM      


I spent this entire episode waiting for something, watching to see how Fringe would avoid doing the obvious, plotting out how the eventual something would be sad—but resolved, as clearly the Over-Therians were destined to return, so it would all work out. But, frankly, I was overthinking it.

I’m referring, of course, to the death (and I was referring vaguely to avoid putting a spoiler on the front page). I knew there would be a death, because I didn’t get a chance to watch the episode until Saturday night, but I didn’t know whose it would be. Georgina Haig has been listed as a guest star, and fan reaction was mixed: it seemed too obvious that she would be the one to die. Viewed from that perspective, most of this episode felt like set-up for Peter’s death: his near-miss with the Observers and their wacky bomb, for instance, felt like foreshadowing. And so, I thought, clearly Olivia would die, since everything was clever misdirection.

It wasn’t. Or, in a way, it was. Peter risked himself foolishly and sweetly to give something of very little actual value, and incalculable emotional value, to his daughter. He put it all on the line for simple paternal love. Etta’s death is a death for Peter, in a way—when he and Olivia “lost” her all those years ago, he never lost hope. Now, he has nothing to hope for. If that’s not some kind of death…

What will that death mean? Will Peter be able to move beyond his grief? Will it fuel his rage and, by extension, the revolution? Will Olivia, Peter, Walter, and Astrid be able to learn how to control their thoughts the way Broyles can? It’s hard to imagine they could do so if the episodes maintain the same pace they have: is a smallish (year or so) time-jump going to happen to get us closer to any sort of success for Team Free Will?

In such a sea of questions, it’s nice to have a life-raft (or a dove, if we’re feeling Noah about the imagery) to grasp onto: Broyles. As a high-placed double-agent, he has been and will be invaluable to the resistance. But as a familiar face and old friend who hasn’t died, hasn’t gone evil, hasn’t even gone ambiguous—like Etta’s necklace, that has a price above rubies.

So does the return, however brief, of old Fringe cases. It was a nice call-back to past episodes, and I’m happy that Fringe is willing to give us fans a little treat like the porcupine man. I look forward to Walter’s basement of horrors being useful again. I really, really look forward to it, especially as Team Fringe will need all the help they can get deciphering the indecipherable physics.

But let’s return for a minute to my perpetually failed attempts at prognostication. The window to Over There made an appearance, and I can’t help but think it popped us to remind us of the people who we might never see, but could still see. Am I the only one hoping for a bit of Over Thereness? And how fascinating would it be, to see Olivia (for instance) at two different ages?

What Is Its Purpose?

• Astrid: “Walter, there’s nothing in there but lab equipment and your easy-bake oven.”

• Olivia: “You really had no idea that he was doing any of this?”
Astrid: “I wouldn’t have slept at night if I did.”

• Astrid: “Walter! Technically, this is a weapon of mass destruction.”
Walter: “So is the mosquito that carries the West Nile virus.”

• Walter: “You electrocuted me.”

• Walter: “Don’t you understand? This is Greek to me! Except that I read Greek. This is Aramaic to me. And not the western dialect, which I can speak a bit.”

• Broyles: “Agent Dunham.”
Olivia: “Phillip.”

• Lot of good Astrid lines this week, huh?

• Ah, the pinko scare!

• Loved Walter and Peter playing skeet in an enclosed space.

• The Wikipedia article on “Kilroy was here” is rather fascinating. To me, at least.

Three and a half? Four? out of four donut holes, still spongy.

Josie Kafka reviews Fringe, The Vampire Diaries, and Game of Thrones for


Lccf said...

I agree with you that the death was ... I won't say cheap, but it was less interesting in itself than because of the consequences on Peter. So the jury's still out, as far as I'm concerned.
I had the same reaction as you when I saw the window : bring on some Red universe, with old Fauxlivia, old Lincoln ... and maybe even Walternate ! ( how old should he be ? around 100, right ? but who knows how their advanced tech can expand their lifetime ? ) Dose Olive with cortexiphan if needed, but I'd like some kind of closure for these characters ( maybe Fauxlivia could even drop a line about rainbows coming back ... ), and both universes fighting side to side against the Baldies would be the ultimate olive branch between them ( since the Blue universe ultimately had to defeat Jones and Bell alone ).

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the physics written in the tube they found under the train station is the physics in "And Those We've Left Behind". Like the complete and extended version of it. Hmm.

Zepp said...

I have the impression that yes, Josie. I think Peter will go beyond their grief, yes. Peter, since he came from Baghdad, has been suffering true "blasts" emotional, that would devastate any individual, but he stood firm and in total control of situations, I think. Throughout this time, Peter, had already in his arms his beloved dead Oliva, twice, not to mention that time when she, after "fly" through the glass windshield of an automobile, entered into a deep coma and "irreversible ". Now, with the death of her daughter Etta, he will again be quiet guy, and with its purposes of revenge, of "payback", more "quietly" accented. I see that Peter goes beyond their grief when he gets lost, and begins to attack rather than defend themselves. From now on, I think Peter will have a quieter, but more fulminating. Observers beware, for now, will feel themselves in itself, this pain that Peter is suffering now, I'm sure of it.

milostanfield said...

Lccf, Josie:

I would love a good old dose of RedVerse myself. I'd move there in a minute just for the better health care, AND the redhead (Damn you, Linc!). Will they be the rabbit out of a hat that rescues everything? The Invaders may be over there as well, since they can go there sans Machine. And the RedVerse was in worse shape than the BlueVerse, so I dunno if they could help us. I'm gonna say no RedVerse, which is good news for us RedVerse fans since my predictions are always wrong! It would be cool to see the child of Linc and Red come over and help us kick butt. Maybe they had a son named Donald. Now there's a wacko theory!


So you're thinking we time bubble back to, say, 2014, make a tweak, maybe interact with the Fringe team from that time, and viola, no invasion? Cool. The "future events rippling backward through time" thing from 4.10 "Forced Perspective" would be nice too. I'm leaning more toward wanting the war to be won through character rather than physics, but it will probably be some combo of the two. I'm beginning to wonder if the whole September/Walter's plan thing is a McGuffin and that maybe it will be won some other way.


Peter has had so many emotional blasts come his way, and we always feel them, right there, up close and personal with him. I remember his travails in 1.04 "Arrival" and his resilience after that. And his journey back to the family after "I'm not your son!" in Season 2. And his patience after the consequences of getting THAT phone call in 3.07 "The Abducted". But this blast is devastating. I'm afraid for him right now. Just want to put an arm around him and say "Bro, you can do this!" Hope you're right about him.

Zepp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zepp said...

Yes, milostanfield, but for me, Peter is a kind of guy, more or less, as always had a "short-fuse". He demonstrated all this his anger or rage "contained", ready to explode when he wanted (beginning of the 2nd. Season) into the FBI building to talk to someone, and was prevented at the gate by an FBI agent, and he gave him a quick push like "Kick Boxer", and then giggled provocative to the agent, he hit. Right now, enters the scene, Agent Amy Jessup, who, to calm things said: "He is with me, they can leave ..." Peter's it, it's still kind of "rebellious street guy" because he grew up alone, without father and mother to educate him in the midst of gang of "bad" boys, and it seems to me, is the temperament of it, until today. Peter, it seems that guy gives payback in any way.

For less reason, Peter, summarily exterminated several shapeshifters, imagine now that killed their daughter Etta! And I do not know if Peter will be able to be calmed by someone ... Maybe Olivia, get something, but ....

Zepp said...

And beside that I spoke about Peter, it is worth remembering that, until now, was the only man to win, categorically, the Observers. When they uttered the sentence: "he never existed," Peter insisted on living, became reflections, thoughts, dreams, rays, ghost electric, magnetic image projections, until, finally, he appeared in the lake Reiken, remember? Of course, all this with a probable, and providential "little help" from [friend] September, which was to buy a piece of an old blender, to make the circuit of deleting it, once and for all. But they not managed, and Peter won the Observers, with much "struggle for life" anger and willpower. I think that now it is more or less that way.

Anonymous said...

Why do people thing that Broyles is the "Dove"? Nobody said that in the episode. I'm pretty sure that Nina is actually the Dove.

Lccf said...

Thank you Krick, I thought I was the only one to think the Dove is Nina !

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