‘Fringe’ Season 5, Episode 7 Review – A Turn for the Worse?

Published 2 years ago by

fringe season 5 episode 7 walter peter olivia astrid Fringe Season 5, Episode 7 Review    A Turn for the Worse?

Ever since Peter injected an Observer device into himself, Fringe fans have been wondering when, not if, he will begin to be negatively transformed by their future technology. In this week’s episode, “Five-Twenty-Ten”, Peter’s potential future is revealed when the repercussions of his decision begin to drastically change him forever – and perhaps permanently.

After taking a few weeks off to mourn the loss of Etta, the Fringe team is ready for the first successful offensive attack on the Observers. Well, at least Peter is (unbeknownst to anyone else). Walter, Astrid and Olivia, meanwhile, are busy collecting the pieces needed for their anti-Observer device, which takes them back to William Bell’s vault, where he has kept the important pieces safe underground. As Walter’s plan begins to come together, Peter’s lone mission and “Observer” upgrades come to light after he begins to transform into an Observer himself.

The story, although returning Fringe to familiar settings from the past – and thus, strengthening the connection to previous seasons – is largely focused on Peter transitioning into his new Observer abilities. This is not completely dissimilar to what has been shown since Peter initially implanted the device; it just lends the issue  more actual screen time. After all, secrets can only remain as such for a limited period of time on television. And this is a secret that’s just waiting to be revealed.

At least that’s what one could deduce from this week’s episode. What initially started as Peter gaining strength and speed has now developed into him having precognitive abilities and being able to track Observers by their future actions. A welcome advantage for the Fringe team, no doubt, but one that continues to heed a similar warning: “At what cost?”

Fortunately (or unfortunately), that cost took but a mere two weeks to reveal itself – and awkwardly at that. Peter’s subtle changes following his implant of the Observer device, which always walked the fine line of revealing too much, became completely unhinged in this week’s episode, turning whatever subtle nuanced performances the actor, Joshua Jackson, had planned for the character’s transformation into unpleasant mimicry of a robot… or Observer.

fringe season 5 episode 7 olivia walter peter Fringe Season 5, Episode 7 Review    A Turn for the Worse?

There’s an enjoyable duality in this week’s episode, where Walter, Astrid and Olivia continue to progress the proverbial seasonal storyline, while Peter is able to side-step some of the “fetch quests” in order to pursue his own plan for bringing down the Observers. What’s unfortunate is that if none of Peter’s awkwardly robotic actions were added into this episode, it would have helped to better develop the overall story, allowing audiences to care more about what’s going on, instead of who “things” are happening to.

Admittedly, the return to William Bell’s vault and a brief appearance by Nina Sharp were enjoyable highlights. However, if one looks too closely at where Fringe currently stands when compared to previous seasons, the constant reminders of past characters and events begins to eat away at what minimal storyline Fringe season 5 is currently working with, leaving fans wondering whether or not the show should have ended in season 4. But it didn’t – and rightfully so.

Despite a few missteps here and there, the core characters that make up Fringe – Walter, Peter, Olivia and Astrid – are all still enjoyable to watch onscreen, and Peter’s transformation into an Observer should be interesting to watch, if for no other reason than to see Walter’s reaction. As Peter continues to throw himself in the line of fire to save the world (or universe), Walter must continuously deal with the loss of a son who shouldn’t exist in the first place. But as Peter slowly begins to change into something else entirely, Walter’s ability to once again save his son begins to look impossible. Can Walter finally do what he couldn’t all those years back, and let go of Peter?

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Fringe returns in three weeks with “The Human Kind” @9pm on Fox. You can check out a preview of the next episode, below:

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  1. very nice nod to the pilot episode. fringe is trying to close all the chapters that they started in the first cpl season. fringe has come a long way. just a cpl mpre episodes til the series finale. just hope it ends bettr than lost.

  2. I’ll never argue over the end of LOST, because i loved it, however i understood to an extent the let down of it, but i think people who were disappointed by it, at least for the most part, were expecting something that wasn’t realistic, some sort of end all be all reasoning behind all the events, secrets unfolded, that wasn’t going to happen, and i never expected it to. I was almost happy it didn’t because if they would of made up some sort of reason it almost definitely would of felt, cheesy, contrived, and ruined the essence of the show, which was the “unknown” about everything. At the end of the day what mattered was the people you were watching, their characters, their interactions, and their relationships, which is what they gave closure to. Hence why i, and a lot of people loved it.

    As far as fringe goes, loved the episode, i actually really enjoyed seeing how freakishly similar Joshua Jackson was at mimicking the Observer’s mannerisms. Love where the show is going.

    My only question is i could of sworn that after the 3rd episode i believe? They took a break (because of Playoff baseball i believe, on FOX) but once it came back they said 10 uninterrupted episodes, which obviously this 3 week break would contradict that. Just wanted to know if i misunderstood what they said about the last 10 episodes.

    • They totally did promise uninterrupted episodes.

    • Definitely agree with you Joe! Even with supposed missteps, they still gave something completely original, and no one can deny how engaging and addicting it was. I think the 5th season was utterly brilliant, but the final season could’ve went a little differently. They introduced interesting new characters in season 6 and then didn’t do anything with them. And I think alot of people didn’t like that the finale hinged on a major plot device that wasn’t even introduced until the 2nd to last episode. I loved the arc of the entire show, I loved the characters, and I think there was much much much more good than bad. I miss Lost!! Still so many directions they could go, time periods they could explore if ABC ever wanted to revisit the show, even in comic book form.

      • Yeah i can definitely submit to that, i did think the final season was so up and down, one brilliant episode then there’d be one dull one the very next week. I honestly think the few missteps they had in the final season had to do with Abrams Stepping away and letting the co show runners finish it on their own. While i understood it from Abrams perspective, i think it hurt the show a bit. I agree the 5th season was ridiculously good, and i think the 6th season definitely had highs that are hard to reach in any show, nevermind just Sci fi, but again had a couple lows, that were pretty low. Regardless i enjoyed the finale, i liked seeing the closure of all the central characters, virtually everyone on that show was likable, which is something truly hard to accomplish, something i think Fringe has in common, despite extremely different and diverse personalities, it’s definitely a mark of a great show overall.

        @Matt thanks for clarifying that, that’s rather lame, and kind of weird they’d flop like that so quickly, is there something taking place on Fox the next couple weeks to take its time slot we’re unaware of? Or maybe it’s an attempt to boost ratings?

    • Un-interrupted was referring to being uninterrupted by other programming, like the World Series. Every show has a two to three week break in the middle of the season. It’s practically a necessity so that the showheads can assess where they are right now and make sure they get on the right path for the rest of the season.

      I think they probably just assumed that people knew that those three weeks happen no matter what.

  3. It’s pretty good, probably the best sci-fi out there right now, but it’s certainly not as great as Lost was…

  4. thought it was a great ep love how their showing peter becoming an observer

  5. Maybe, I’m mad; but does anyone else think that Peter could be Windmark? Or that he is the origin of the Observers?

    • Sorry G-star but thats one step too far imho as it would contradict alot of the previous story. For example after peter served his purpose, September was supposed to delete the remnants of him from time, but choose not to do so as he was a good observer. Why would Septemeber’s superiors have ordered the deletion of Peter, if peter was their origin or destined to be their king observer?

      I think whats more likely is that peter is the same as the observers comms device, that was referenced in this episode. He’s the variable that the Observers cant predict and as such he was the wildcard which gave the fringe team the edge, however with adding observer tech to his brain and becoming like the observers he’s prescribed his behavior to the same as theirs, thus making himself predictable and losing the advantage that the team had.

      Personally i think all Peter’s Data-esque movements were just annoying. Peter isn’t a cyborg. The Observers behave like that to convey their otherworldyness and the fact that they have no comprehension of modern human emotional drives, peter on the other hand is driven by grief, loss and vengeance, even with the tech in his head, thus he completely gets the emotional resonance of his character, theirs no need for all the jerky head motion and stupid sentence structure. They should have allowed Joshua to play it in a more nuanced manner. Watching the actor slowly lose grip with his emotions, becoming colder and more removed and seeing how those events affected him, echoing the same fears of Walter in this episode, that of losing himself and becoming a man he doesnt want to be.

      I think it would of added an interesting dynamic to see both Bishops basically go through the same issue at the same time in two different ways and see how their relationship helps sustain them and ground them.

      unfortunately with only a 13 episode run, they dont have the time to develop the story in the paced way it deserves. Shame they never got a full 22 episode order. (sad)

  6. I really liked the episode. Probably the best of the season. Its definitely gearing up for a kick ass final 6 episodes. Questions will b answered (hopefully.

    In regards to the Peter storyline, frm wat I understand TPTB had a vauge 6 year plan for the series, clearly they only made it 4 1/2 so if TPTB wanted to stay on that course, concessions had to be made. For example, skipping 2012-2015, jumping into the future, plus storylines that would be given more time to develop in a 22 episode season, are reduced to 1 or 2 episodes. That is why Peters transformation happened so quickly. Personally I have no problem with the accelerated storytelling, cuz TPTB kinda had no choice.

  7. Yes, 134sc totally agree. This final 13 ep season is divided into three arcs. The first arc is eps 1 to 4, the second arc from 5 to 8 and then in to the final stretch. So, they just don’t have the time to take things slowly this season, unfortunately.

    I loved this episode. I like the theme it is exploring with Peter committing the same sin as his father. Josh did a great job of gradually transforming over the course of the episode.

  8. Looks like one of my biggest predictions of the show is coming true,with peter becoming an observer,though I thought that it would go down a differently.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Peter completely bald and pale skinned.

  9. Peter is September ?

  10. I really hope this is not the end of Fringe. I love this movie. It is one of my favorites.