Fringe Review: An Origin Story ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Review: An Origin Story

      Email Post       11/04/2012 12:01:00 PM      


“Why would we get her back just to lose her again?”

That, my friends, is the question. Character deaths almost always make me think of a line from the last season of Angel: “How very touching his meaningless death was.” It was creator Joss Whedon’s acknowledgement that death, especially on a show with a clear expiration date, is often a hokey emotion-generator, meant to give us the morbid frisson that tells us we’re watching quality television that is “willing to take risks.”


That is not to say that I’m against character deaths; stories need stakes, and a happy sunny reality in which no one dies would turn a genre show into a series of very special episodes of The Brady Bunch. But Olivia’s question is worth meditating on, because it has so many answers. On one level (the level on which we’re aware that we’re watching a fictional creation), the answer is the one I gave in the first paragraph of this review. On another level—that of the world as experienced by the characters in their crazy, grief-ridden, dystopian lives—the answer is a line from Primo Levi: “there is no why.” But that is no consolation.

On a third level, the answer is more complex: Etta died to create a new version of Peter. Etta’s death is the impetus for Peter’s “origin story,” the tale of how he became the human/Observer hybrid that he seems to be turning himself into.

“What do we have? Pieces we don’t know how to put together. A scroll with physics we can’t decipher. A thought unifier that doesn’t work, and a box of rocks from a mine. That’s what our daughter died for so far.” Peter wants revenge, and he wants to give meaning to the jumble of tragedy that his life has been. He wants her death to have meaning to others, even if to him it can only ever be anguish.

The Observer told Peter that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, an echo of a famous statement by Donald Rumsfeld about “unknown unknowns”—the things that we don’t know we don’t know, and do not therefore try to discover. The attempt to shut down the wormhole shipping lane is an example of this: the plan failed because our heroes don’t know what they’re up against, or much of anything.

Now that Peter has accessed the Observer’s tech, all of that might change. Perhaps our heroes will win. But I wonder how much they will have to lose, of themselves and of their relationships with one another, in order to do so.

In the middle of all of that, Walter’s advice to Olivia was the most touching: he spoke as the Walter who lost Peter and never managed to bring him back, who knows exactly the pain the Olivia and Peter are facing, and how hard it is to see anything but that pain. Olivia is grieving, but Peter, like his father before him, wants to fix the grief. That will make it so much harder, when he realizes grief isn’t fixable.



Quotes:

• Anil: “Before you go on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

• Olivia: “Yeah. It is that type of gun.”

• Walter: “You must face this pain together; the pain is her legacy to you both.”

Four out of four black holes.


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

7 Comments:

Zepp said...


I thought great, these their points of view, Josie even if I might disagree with you, or do not fit fully in some of them. These are settings that made me reflect and reorder my emotions felt as if it was a remake of that great episode 5.05, thank you. For my part, anyway, I do not like really when "dies" some important character during the course of the stories being told. I do not like it. Moreover, if a final grade when this "death" whoever knocks imaginary until then, I created that I built over the course of the show. But since its beginning, Fringe seemed to be really different, these issues of "death." I have always been guided by a rule, or a lemma that I did for myself, "nobody dies for a long time in Fringe." And within this theme, we have seen Olivia (as I recall) "die" a couple of times, and it is there, alive and well, at the doors of the end of Fringe.

The Etta was a character, in my opinion, that went very well within the context of the script Fringe, and this premature "death" of her, pulled me out, or somehow erased all that atmosphere I had ever done, or formed team composition Fringe, this 5th season. By going further, because now without Etta, the Fringe team is depleted, pass me that feeling of missing something, of being incomplete, I have this impression. But, think or presume that the "death" of Etta, is something strategic Wyman, something to be presented at the end of Fringe. But this is mere conjecture mine course.

I'm also not against, totally, "death" character protagonists, but am not much in favor. Everything is relative, depends on the circumstances of the cases, and the show I'm watching. I personally want to enjoy the main characters from beginning to end of a show, if not more or less this way, I will not like this show, flatly. At least that's me. Of course, everything is as if, like the show, but if we're talking about Fringe, I do not particularly go into discussion, because I want to see in the final scene, at least, Walter, Olivia and Peter, live and well. That, to me, is a condition unique and basic.

Laura Racero said...

You forgot one of the scariest quotes in the whole series: 'I would be 10 times what you are if I had that tech in my head.'"

Cerece Rennie Murphy said...

This show is breaking my heart. With so many questions from 4 seasons unanswered, I just don't understand why we are here right now. I don't really see Peter's actions as going down a dark path. We spent 4 seasons watching Olivia try anything to solve a case. Why not Peter? This is the man who stepped knowingly into a machine he believed would kill him, just to save Olivia (and the world). What more would he do to save his daughter.

Cerece Rennie Murphy said...

This show is breaking my heart. With so many questions from 4 seasons unanswered, I just don't understand why we are here right now. I don't really see Peter's actions as going down a dark path. We spent 4 seasons watching Olivia try anything to solve a case. Why not Peter? This is the man who stepped knowingly into a machine he believed would kill him, just to save Olivia (and the world). What more would he do to save his daughter.

Briar said...

You need far more than two graves if you want revenge. You may need millions. Look at what the US has done in revenge for 9/11.

537d7c78-4f2b-11e1-b978-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Did I miss something? Why did collapsing the wormhole not work? Seemed to be just a red herring. I'm beginning to wonder if the whole scavenger hunt for creating the weapon will be too. 'Collecting coupons' is what this type plot is usually called. It seems to me getting kind of tedious that every week we're focused on this. Season 5 is on par with season 4 so far, but it suffers from not having a firm plot development IMHO. The story and characters seem to just drift with the current. I would have thought the final season would have been better planned. The homages to other SyFy too may be getting a little overdone. The rescue of Walter
a few weeks ago was similar to that of Morpheus in THE MATRIX (complete with the gun in each hand shootout). Next week too, recalls when Neo figured out the matrix programming and attacked the agent with his now equal powers. Using the wormhole to deliver a bomb was right out of BATTLEFIELD EARTH. And of course the interrogation with the eye closeup was pure BLADE RUNNER. I'd rather they pay more attention to their own story. And turn Peter loose. We want payback not the tired "dig two graves" meme. It's not revenge, it's justice. Best line was a couple of weeks ago when the interrogator found his men dead with no faces and said, "Barbaric." Yep, and there's more where that came from. "War is all hell." Time to give them a belly full of it.

DocH said...

Timeout on the red herring talk - it has only been less than 5 minutes of aired episode time since they made the assumption that the wormhole collapse failed. They have not had a chance to explore or discover the answer to their "apparent" failure.

Who knows? - Observers travel through time - maybe the wormhole closed for a decade - but they jumped back in time and stopped their shipment on the second iteration, knowing the collapse was imminent. You gotta think these things thru. Just like Peter going back and saving Etta on the second iteration in the warehouse where she was shot by Captain Skidmark.

Post a Comment

Formatting Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i >italic</i> = italic
- <a href="http://fringetelevision.com/">link</a> = link

Anonymous posting has been turned off.

 

Viral & Official FOX Websites



FTV Members

Meta

Powered by Blogger
Designed by Spot