‘Fringe’ Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 2 years ago by

fringe season 5 premiere peter Fringe Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

After years of battling to stay on the air, the Fringe season 5 premiere marks the beginning of the end for Fox’s cult series, now on its final season. Set in the year 2036, the world now finds itself overrun with Observers attempting to convert this Earth for their own use. After tracking down Olivia and reassembling the rest of the team, everyone focuses on their mission: to defeat the Observers.

And that, for all intents and purposes, is exactly what you’ll see in the premiere. The story for the premiere is interesting enough for all those involved, though Walter is the obvious standout, having a one-on-one showdown with the head Observer and an inspiring scene to close the episode. The premiere definitely shows signs of great things to come, however, its lack of attachment to the rest of the series is difficult to overcome.

The entire “battle the Observers” storyline essentially finds its roots in a one-off episode last season, where it allowed producers to continue (and connect) the story if they were picked up for another season. When that season order came, the Fringe season 4 finale had a short scene added to its end, in which September says to Walter, “We have to warn the others. They are coming.” If that order had not come the finale would have been seconds shorter.

That’s what’s we’re working with, and it somewhat feels like it. The Observers, even as powerful as they are, still feel slightly forced into the storyline. The driving thought of defeating the Observers comes without a more richly developed backstory to get behind, other than “they’re bad.” And while the premiere had more than enough time to help build that integral story element, we spend much of the episode tracking Olivia, which culminates in the long-awaited, all-too brief, reunion with Peter, where viewers find out they separated sometime before being ambered.

fringe season 5 premiere walter Fringe Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

As the battle against the Observers continues, most of what we see from the hairless beings comes from the head Observer attempting to mentally defeat Walter. Unlike the previous Observers we became familiar with, this observer is too awkwardly emotive, making his conversations with Walter far less threatening than they were intended. Fortunately, Noble’s performance during those bloody scenes helped to make up for what intimidation was lacking from his abductor.

Elsewhere, the episode spent much time trying to fold in the new Fringe team members with the old, which didn’t work as well as some would hope. Other than Peter and Olivia’s daughter, Etta, the rest of her team falls into the background, making their inclusion set dressing as best.

Even so, all of this doesn’t mean that it’s bad, just that it is what it is. Because of the complete diversion from the series previous storyline, Fringe season 5, so far, feels like the beginning of a very entertaining television movie involving a cast of characters we love. Perhaps Fringe: Observers, or some other title equivalent, should accompany season 5, helping to prepare audiences more for a new story, not a new chapter.

fringe season 5 premiere peter 2 Fringe Season 5 Premiere Review & Discussion

Still, the seasonal storyline seems intriguing at its core, however, the ultimate goal of the season has already revealed, so now audiences are merely waiting for it to happen instead of watching it unfold. Now that we know that Walter has the blueprints to create a device to destroy the Observers, the end result can only be whether it works or not. Toss in any William Bell references and challenges in obtaining, then making, the device, and you’ve got a full season of expected storytelling. Something that can absolutely work, but perhaps not the final season of Fringe many had hoped.

With many integral Peter/Walter plots still left open, it’s difficult to see how they’ll be able to appropriately wrap it up as wonderfully as they were able to in season 4, considering the landscape of the series is now that of the resistance-driven. Still, many series have worked with less, and Fringe certainly knows how to handle its character’s, so there’s no reason not to believe that they’ll be able to make something completely entertaining off all this. How emotionally satisfying? We’ll have to wait and see on that.

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Fringe airs on Fridays @9pm on Fox

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  1. They have been building up to this for many seasons just very subtly. In fact, in an episode from season two entitled “Fracture”, the seeds are planted. At the very end of the episode, it is said by Raymond Gordon “They told you I was crazy, didn’t they? The Pentagon. They said I’d had a psychiatric break. I told them what I’m telling you. That they are here. Collecting data. Making observations. That’s what’s in the briefcase. They’ve been planning for war. And they’ve been passing the information via courier right under our noses.” While I agree, it might seem a little random, I think it definitely is more of a “next chapter” then a new “tv movie.”

    • It amazes me that you think a one off line from a forgettable villain of the week (in a standalone episode nonetheless!)constitutes acceptable buildup for the finale of a five-year show. It’s painfully obvious that the entire “evil observers” plot line was pulled out of nowhere. Just look at the ridiculous Achilles heel the writers have come up with for them. All of a sudden they can’t survive in clean air even though the reason they came back in the first place was that they destroyed their atmosphere? Ridiculous. The writers needed something for the protagonist’s rebellion to sabotage so they pulled something out of their asses at the last minute. The entire premise reeks of laziness.

      • The observers probably can’t breath clean air because they have adapted to the future which presumably has alot more CO in the air. There is also the fact that they are telepathic and that water makes them ‘drunk’.

        All of this seems odd, but I’m sure that is part of the story the writers will reveal.

        Fringe writers are some of the best ever on television. I’d even say ‘the’ best. They have omitted to closing all the loops and story arcs in this season. Give them a chance to show you where the show is going.

        And yes,I think a lot of this has been brewing for some time. But in fringe style, we don’t know how the pieces connect until the writers want us to.

      • you are way off.
        Watch from the beginning. It all there since the begining, what the observers are doing, and it is mentioned several times that, most notably Season ONE episode 19 “The Road Not Taken”, Clint Howard directly tells what is going on and that William Bell founded MD to experiment with impunity to prepare for “the coming war” and create super soldiers to fight with renegade’s from the future who have come back to change the timeline.
        Don’t b**** if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Go back and watch the actual show. You people are so myopic that you comment about how “this season is different” of this episode is “not part” of larger narrative when really youre just too short sighted and in need of momentary stimulation to even grasp how much awesome is happening in front of your eyes. later you’ll see the reveals. Sometimes it feels like you people arent event watching the same show am i the only one with all the episodes or what?

      • you wreak of internet troll. you obviosulsy are untalanted and cant even see clues in a tv show. YOU deemed a villian as forgettable, deemed an episode as a “standalone” episode. these are your calls and apparently they caused you to miss alot of story

  2. I really enjoy the show. ScreenRant, how about some love for Romney? All i see is Obama links to click on.

    • Please, for the sake of the internet stop now. Keep your chocolate out of this peanut butter.

    • Love for Romney? Ha! If he were to give that love back to the people of this country – and not for example dismiss 47% of them as victims as they don’t happen to be as rich as him – maybe he’d receive some love to begin with, and not currently be dying in the polls.

      Thus far, ScreenRant has done a wonderful job.

      • Wow, you must not be able to form your own thoughts as you parrot what the left and MSM is feeding you. Good job at towing the line

      • Steven, you forget that the democrats have had two of the three branches of government, or the majority of power, for six years now. Since Obama took office, we are over 16 trillion dollars in debt, we’ve had over 8% unemployment, there are more people in poverty and on food stamps than ever before, and class warfare has become the norm, as we have come to demonize success and blame the wealthy for all of our problems. Furthermore, the Middle East is aflame, as it always has been, and Iran is closer to building a nuclear bomb. The childish 47% reference that you allude to is based in truth, if you heard the entire quote, and not just how MSNBC characterized it. Approximately that many people do not pay any federal income tax, yet they have the arrogance to accuse others of “not paying their fair share”. Many who are Obama supports do consider themselves to be “victims” of capitalism and/or the American economic system in general and do, in fact, present as preferring to be given a hand out rather than a hand up. You can continue to watch the mainstream media or, perhaps, seek to educate yourself and not fall prey to the prevailing propaganda. The choice is yours.

        • Well said brother.

        • You mean educate yourself watching Fox News? I think you may want to be the one that get’s an education. You use their tag words and their philosophy and then have the balls to warn someone not to fall prey to prevailing propaganda?

          When are you going to learn that neither party and none of the News outlets have your best interests at heart and think for yourself?

          • Rather than contradict anything that I said, you could only assume that I watch Fox News and belittle me for it. Yes, I do watch Fox News, and I consider myself more aware, educated, and wiser for it. Now, do you care to attempt to contradict anything that I said, or can you only beat the drum of Obama based on the fallacy that he and the mainstream media purport?

          • DarkElfa is right,
            You obviosuly are watching partisan conservative info ie Fox News? You are using their tag words and their philosophy and then have the balls to warn someone not to fall prey to prevailing propaganda?
            When are you going to learn that neither party and none of the News outlets have your best interests at heart and think for yourself?
            and keep this stuff off of screen rant. I call shenaniganz on the political banter

        • actually Jeff, it’s been about 5 trillion added. Not 16. 16 is the total. Another fact is that Romney said what he said about the 47% sans sound bites or edits. The whole thing played out. it is not based on truth. It was a generalized comment that wrote off disabled vets, senior citizens who’ve already paid income taxes. The actual “welfare” or the Right likes to call “the lazy” is only about 9%.

          I guess those of us in the military who don’t pay certain taxes are looking at handouts too.

          Unemployment is well over 10% where I live and has been since at least 07. My investments took a shot in the throat early 08. I have a rental property that sat empty for 22 months (starting Feb 08).
          So, this mess we’re in wasn’t created with the new administration. GWB and the democratic congress f’d it up.
          Now you have the reverse and it’s getting a tad…a smidgen better

          Ok, so on with the show…..

          • Actually, my2cents, in Obama’s four years, over six trillion has been added to the debt, more than any other president in history, and as I correctly indicated, the total is now over 16 trillion. Obama himself called Bush “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for adding four trillion to the debt in eight years, but apparently, he does not think himself the same for adding six trillion in four years.
            As concerns Romney’s comment about the 47%, it is a fact that approximately that many people do not pay any federal income tax, and it is also a fact that some Obama supporters consider themselves to be “victims”, but it is only your interpretation that Romney “wrote off disabled vets, senior citizens who’ve already paid income taxes”. Tell that to the senior citizens and vets, who, in election after election, generally vote republican. My bet would be that, despite your attempt to demonize Romney, most of them agree with him.
            Finally, yes, the economy crashed under Bush (not a fiscal conservative) and the democrat-controlled house and senate, but it has not improved significantly at all, and being 16 trillion in debt, it is on the brink of collapsing again, perhaps irrevocably. Plus, just the interest that we pay to China for their loans will soon support their entire military program. Nice, huh? Reagan had the poor economy he inherited from Carter turned around in less than four years. It is obvious that Obama doesn’t have a clue how to do the same.

            OK, so on with the show…

            • How you guys manage to squeeze in your crazy trash talking politics into this innocent and provocative discussion about an awesome TV show…is beyond me. you silly ‘mericans and your silly, silly politics.

              well…”on with the show” then ;p

        • wrong wrong wrong///none of you are economists and it shows. it takes aprox ten yrs to pull out of a reg recession..none of this has anything to do with the current president… everyone forgets reagan had over 10% unemployment which came down after several yrs,but intrest rates hung around 18+%. buying a home for 100,000 took big incomes in the 80′s… this is not obamas fault and ya all know it…when you guys get your econ degress we can talk…until then stick to tv fantasy…it is what we are suppose to be talkining about anyway..geeeez

  3. Does anyone know what this week’s clue was in the Fringe glyph’s? Also, great episode; can’t wait for how everything unfolds and am actually supportive of Fox for once, in giving the show a final season order to conclude everything.

    • The glyph was “DOUBT.”

      And I could not disagree with ScreenRant more. The premiere was nearly perfect. So beautifully done, so intricately woven, so well executed.

      I think the author of this ‘rant’ came to the show with an already determined opinion, to be honest. Everything flowed so well for me.

      And to condense the next 12 episodes into something as silly as you have is pretty unfair to show that has been hailed for its storytelling 4 seasons straight.

  4. I actually did not care for the first episode. What happened to the Observers?! These are guys who were so advanced that they could cross time, for crying out loud. Now, they appear almost entirely defenseless and toothless, getting shot down one after the other.

    • If you’ll remember toward the end of the last season that a special gun was developed that they cannot stop the bullets.

  5. You must not be a hardcore fan. This is not a new storyline or suddenly a new chapter leaving the rest behind, no way. One of the things I adore about Fringe is it is not dumb sci fi, they make you think! I loved this episode and I am going to be so sad when it ends.

    • Classic argument right there. “I don’t like your opinion, so you must not be a REAL FAN!!”

  6. dam it fox y u only give us 13 eps =((

    • Well you know if they gave us more then 13 episodes they wouldn’t be able to afford Seth Macfarlene to make all the steaming piles of s*** he makes, crap! Did I say s***? I meant to say quality entertainment when it comes to FOX, I am ALWAYS getting those two confused! I mean their not in the business of keeping good shows on the air.

  7. The episode was good. I love how they got here and personnally, I can’t see the series going in any other direction. I’m glad they did the fast forward to the future because there was too much going on in the past. I’m really hoping that we can get a movie afterwards.

  8. I disagree with those who say the seeds of the Observers morphing to ruthless oppressors were planted in prior seasons. This turn of events seems more like a simple-minded solution to bringing the series to a conclusion than a satisfying reason to explain the Observers. Abrams is great at creating mysterious story lines but doesn’t have the chops to really create an internally consistent universe where these story lines can play out.

    • I agree Ravedice. First, I believe that the ending to the fourth season would have made a great ending for the series. Once Fox renewed the show for one last year, however, I think that sent the producers scrambling, and they could not think of anything else to do other than an Observers invasion, since they were the only characters that were not yet fully fleshed out. The Observers that we knew, however, at least in the characters of August and September, were altruisitic and self-sacrificing. The other Observers appeared to be more unintrusive than anything else. Now, they are not only dastardly, but for advanced time travelers, they appear rather defenseless and weak, getting shot down at the hands of Peter and Olivia’s child, and low and behold, they also now need extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to breathe?! So far, this season really feels exactly like what it is…an extra season.

    • you are way off.
      Watch from the beginning. It all there since the begining, what the observers are doing, and it is mentioned several times that, most notably Season ONE episode 19 “The Road Not Taken”, Clint Howard directly tells what is going on and that William Bell founded MD to experiment with impunity to prepare for “the coming war” and create super soldiers to fight with renegade’s from the future who have come back to change the timeline.
      Don’t b**** if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Go back and watch the actual show. You people are so myopic that you comment about how “this season is different” of this episode is “not part” of larger narrative when really youre just too short sighted and in need of momentary stimulation to even grasp how much awesome is happening in front of your eyes. later you’ll see the reveals. Sometimes it feels like you people arent event watching the same show am i the only one with all the episodes or what?

      • No, he’s qute correct.
        You should watch some of JJ’s other shows to see the simlarities.

  9. I thought the observers see time simultaneously, how come they can’t see how walter is trying to get rid of them?

  10. Fringe is dumb, to add even more, it is fantasy tv series, not Sci-Fi.
    Sci-Fi as ridiculous as it comes is always based on logick and has a continuous pattern. Fringe lacks such properties, thus has to be called fantasy series…

  11. SO many things about this episode bothered me. The observers took over an entire planet but couldn’t stop three people from finding and freeing Walter!!! Cmon! And they make their get away in that fancy beat up old hippie van, yeah right…….And nobody follows them??? Don’t get me wrong I loved Fringe. But the wind has gone out of her sails for sure.

  12. What show were people watching that they didn’t notice the build up of making the observers the villians??? Maybe it was different for me because I watched the first 3 seasons back to back before I started watching them a week apart on tv. The observer ‘bad guy’ scenario has been in every season. A couple of memorable moments were: 1)the survelance the FBI had on the observers; 2) the other observer who fell in love with that girl and did everything to save her 3)September going against the others to cover up Peter’s life, 4)others stuff. Personally, I think the observers were waiting for us to self destruct per that crazy guy, but Peter foiled that plan so they Observers stepped in.

  13. What show were people watching that they didn’t notice the build up of making the observers the villians??? Maybe it was different for me because I watched the first 3 seasons back to back before I started watching them a week apart on tv. The observer ‘bad guy’ scenario has been in every season. A couple of memorable moments were: the survelance the FBI had on the observers; the other observer who fell in love with that girl and did everything to save her; September going against the others to cover up Peter’s life; others stuff. Personally, I think the observers were waiting for us to self destruct per that crazy guy, but Peter foiled that plan so they Observers stepped in.

  14. What show were people watching that they didn’t notice the build up of making the observers the villians??? Maybe it was different for me because I watched the first 3 seasons back to back before I started watching them a week apart on tv. The observer ‘bad guy’ scenario has been in every season. A couple of memorable moments were: the survelance the FBI had on the observers; the other observer who fell in love with that girl and did everything to save her; and September going against the others to cover up Peter’s life. Personally, I think the observers were waiting for us to self destruct per that crazy guy, but Peter foiled that plan so they Observers stepped in.

  15. I think the guys behind Fringe are doing an amazing job given the circumstances. Some shows come up with “forced” season finale’s due their abrupt cancellations, whereas other shows never even get a chance to close up properly (Flash Forward/The Event, anyone?) Season 4 of Fringe capped off the William Bell arc satisfactorily. If the show had ended there, it would have sufficed, but we would always be left with the question “what about the observers?” hence this last season. Fringe has done very well in my book, with or without this last season. I’m just glad to see my favorite show still up for a final run. good times…

  16. I’m surprised at some of the comments regarding this “added” storyline. I dont believe it to be added at all. I had read a couple years ago that JJ Abrams and group had fleshed out the ending at the very beginning of the show as a “map” to avoid the problem he had with Lost.

    The reason the Observers are bad: the future was changed again by Walter, the fringe team and William Bell… which created an evil version of Bell and eventually this new Universe “replaced” the observers with evil future selves. Thats why September and his group have disappeared as observers. They no longer exist in this new future.

    I think there has always been only one possible ending: for Walter to have never crossed into another universe to begin with. Anything after his crossing is still pollution of the future universes. (The observer not interfering with his death didnt help.) Peter should NOT be here and his continued presence disrupts the universe. My guess- the finale will take place in the past- with Walter never crossing over. Maybe he evens develops a cure for Peter. Both Peters survive. Or maybe the Observer doesnt distract Walternate in the past. Final scene the observers watching Walter decide to destroy his window and the observers showing emotion and actually smiling.

    • Clarification of my Walternate comment. The observer distracting Walternate is what ultimately sets everything in motion. Possible scenario- No distraction by observer= Walter doesnt cross over; Peter gets saved as a child and lives in the other Universe where he belongs. The observers remain exactly what the future held for them to be: Observers. And William Bell stays what he should have been: the good guy.

      By the way: how did William Bell get encased in Amber? we see him disappear into what I assume was the other universe. Me thinks we will have another Leonard Nimoy backstory appearance shortly.

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  18. A couple of observations that I haven’t seen discussed regarding this first episode:

    Walter gets attracted twice by the same “rainbow” lights into his room. The issue of “rainbows” was mentioned by the other Olivia-so I think a recurring theme. It felt very much to me (and to Walter) as if the rainbow lights were calling him.

    The taxi with the CD player couldnt have been stranded very long- the battery still works. very odd. Walter has mentioned on numerous occasions that he needs music to concentrate. And here it is- music from the ’80′s in a car with a working battery, calling to him with rainbow lights. BUT- and remember props are in Fringe for a reason- the most interesting thing about the car- the SEAHORSE dangling from the mirror. If I remember correctly the seahorse is Walters fathers “branding” of experiments related to the Bishop family. Coincidence? I think not. That music and car was planted for Walter to discover- but by whom?. Taxi anyone? Could there be a this Universe version of “Henry the cabbie?”

  19. I’m hoping the child observer from Season 1 turns out to be September, which we maybe find out in a September-centric episode. That would be cool.

  20. I’ve got it! The ending I mean! an interview with John Noble gave it away- He states that Walter is responsible for all of this moral abomination, and only Walter can stop it from happening. The “Observers” are all descendants of Peter and Olivia. Thats why Etta was taken during the raid. To protect her. THE OBSERVERS ARE CORTEXEPHAN DESCENDENTS. They have mind control powers, time travel powers etc.

    Walter is building a time machine. The only way to stop this is to stop the Cortexiphan trials. The last episode will have Walter somehow stopping himself and William Bell from ever doing any experiments. Maybe Walter will kill a young Walter and young William Bell in the past, before the trials.

    GREAT CASTING… they should have Zachary Quinto play a young William Bell in final episode!!!! LOL!

    • One simply cannot time travel to the past and kill your younger self. It didn’t happen, that’s why you still exist in the future. If you had died in the past, you wouldn’t exist in the future.
      You could try to go back in time and kill yourself, but something will stop you, whatever saved your earlier self from yourself. It all happened before, you may merely go back to witness it happen again.

  21. I’m confused by this.. I just finished season 4 and I don’t understand first of all how out of nowhere they had an episode where they jumped ahead 20 years then went right back to the normal time. And when they were in 2036 when they were deamberizing the gang how Peter just showed up out of nowhere.
    I don’t understand how Peter said he needed to go back to his life but yet he was in his life and they started remembering. and what the hell happened to the life he had in season 1-3?
    And they never said what happened to FeauxLivias daughter.. I thought that was gonna be Etta but apparently olivia and peter are pregnant in the 4 finale.
    Maybe I just need to watch everything again but I feel like JJ Abrams left a lot of loose ends and a lot of pulling s*** out of the woodwork.

    • That’s Abrams for you. He is not the great intellect that some believe him to be. His show Lost became just that…lost…in the last few years and ended terribly. I personally loved the end to Fringe in season 4, however, and I thought that would have made a great ending to the series. The episode to which you refer foreshadows season 5, which to me, is clearly just an add-on season that the writers scripted (or perhaps had sitting in a desk somewhere) after the show was renewed for one last year. I’m watching it, but thus far, it has really taken a left turn, as the Observers are nothing that they were presented to be in earlier examples.

  22. SO MANY PLOTHOLe, n it’s not like anything that “doesn’t make sense” only because we havent seen the whole story yet… how can u justify the fact that the “observer” a being that not only jump from space and time, dodging bullet, o and btw they can also read ur minds. (their tech is also way more advance than earth also…) so yes it make perfect sense how they took over Earth so damn easy, and ok i get that the whole story has to base on how olvia and peter save the world again. but dude… they fail when they have the whole fringe department + the whole world(may be even two worlds!?) backing them, but yet after so many years ruling over the human race, they suddenly became the biggest threat ?(o and seems like they can’t be capture or watsoever with all those power differences between them and the observer ( i do remember the fringe department can locate anyone pretty easy on earth thanks to the goverment , only kinds of pp who can get away for a long time are those that can shapeshift, or with some kind of high tech that this gov doesn’t understand) and Watsup with torturing bishop? isn’t him the key of everything???why do you need to find out the secret plan when you can just kill him? it’s the rebel who need the clue … not the one who already owns the world for god sake….. i thought people fall in love with the show because unlike many other dramas that doesn’t make sense or the character stupidity goes up and down depending on how stupid they need to be so the plot can go on…. How can you actually justify all of these plotholes in the latest season and claim it’s perfect when it’s exactly the opposite of what we fall in love with the FRINGE at the very first place?!?!? it’s like ok plot aside, the whole thing still look pretty appealing and i am still in love with the characters, and I may still probably watch the whole season while scouting at all those plot holes that they probably can’t fix, but I can bs and say that how perfect it is when the only reason that you can backup all this plot holes by saying Because Olivia and Peter is the good guy, o because they are the main characters. Dude that is the exactly reason why we like Fringe but not any other crappy sci-f movie or dramas… I don’t need it to”make sense” with the “tech” or time traveling , but expecting me to think it’s fine when a dragon cant kill a pig n eventually got slave by the pig only because the writer say so? COME ON!

  23. I will admit I don’t get a lot of it because I cannot remember shart from previous episodes. I’ve slept far too many times since then. I come back to this show each season because I think Anna Torv is the finest “girl-next-door” woman in the world. She ain’t good lookin’ in the usual way which is exactly what makes her so hot. I luff her.

    Oh yeah…plus Walter is pretty entertaining, too.

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