After last week's surprising death, Fringe continues to ramp up the suspense of its final season with this week's episode, "An Origin Story", where we find Peter facing off against an Observer, who forever changes him. But are Peter's new abilities going to help or hurt the Fringe team's chances of defeating the Observers?
Olivia and Peter are still mourning the loss of their daughter, Ella, from last week's episode. Though both are upset about her death, Olivia is mostly unresponsive, slowly slipping further into depression. Peter is tasked with making sure his daughter did not die in vain. And with the help of an imprisoned Observer (or lack thereof), he does just that.
After receiving information from one of Etta's friends, Anil, in the resistance, the Fringe team discovers that the Observers are receiving deliveries through wormholes from the future to aid in their building of an atmosphere machine, which would make Earth uninhabitable for humans. To help them figure out when the next delivery will be, Anil also supplies them with a captured Observer, his wormhole gun and a decoded book.
With Astrid busy decoding the book, revealing the time of the next delivery, Peter goes head-to-head with an Observer in an attempt to figure out how to put together his wormhole gun, which, if put together wrong, is extremely dangerous. After a suspenseful battle of wits, Peter assembles the gun and attacks the wormhole. Unfortunately, the Observers are more than equipped to respond, instantly negating any impact his attack had.
Peter, now pushed to his emotional breaking point, takes a scalpel in hand and removes a device from the back of the neck of the Observer, killing him. Anil had previously told people that it's this device that gives the Observers their abilities. With this information, Peter inserts the device into the back of his neck, instantly giving him all of the abilities of an Observer – which he uses to take out one with his bare hands.
Now that Peter has the abilities of an Observer, the Fringe team is better equipped to take on their enemy. But at what cost? While it's true that their battle against the Observers will become easier with Peter's new powers, there has to be some negatives that come along with it. Could Peter slowly be turning into an Observer? After all, this episode was an origin story.
To find out that answer, we'll just have to wait and see. Even so, giving Peter the power of the Observers does make him the central focus of the series once again. And even though there's currently only the slightest bit of connection between this season's story and last, this shift in Peter's character does provide the producers with the opportunity to tie everything together, bringing the entire series back to its origins: Peter, the boy who shouldn't exist.
Fringe returns Friday with "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" @9pm on Fox. You can check out a preview of the episode below: