“An Origin Story” – Fringe

Peter Bishop, superhero.

Has a nice ring to it, no? He could wear a cape with a large B on the back, or style himself as The Bishop and have a mitre and a crucifix that shoots lasers.

“An Origin Story” dealt with two major points – firstly, the aftermath of Etta’s death at the hands of the Observers last week, and secondly the team’s confrontation with a captured Observer who might offer an opportunity to strike a lethal blow against their oppressors.

I had my own theories on Etta’s death in free radicals last week, namely that I’m not entirely sure that it will stick. Olivia as much as said the same this week when she commented “why would we get her back just to lose her again”, but whatever happens it was nice to see Messers Dunham and Bishop actually grieving the loss of their daughter.

Olivia essentially withdrew from the group, spending time in solitude or sleeping, worrying but being too shaken or shocked to actually do anything. Peter, on the other hand, was much more intent on revenge – and throughout the episode he took every opportunity to its most lethal possibility. This isn’t a man looking to execute the slow and deliberate plan on Walter’s tapes, this is a man just looking to execute.

Not to mention tearing the universe a new sphincter.

The team’s main goal was to interrupt a shipment of tech being sent from the future, blowing up the connection on our end in the hopes that the blowback would create a black hole for the Observers a few hundred years from now. It seemed like a solid plan, especially after Walter gave us the Star Trek Easy Explanation (™) involving a pair of tights and two dozen marbles.

Peter then paid a visit to an Observer that is-he-Desmond’s-brother-or-not resistance fighter Anil had captured. He then read baldy for subtle tells when putting together a device to open and destroy the portals, before putting it to good use when… nothing happened.

In some ways, this was frustrating. The fact that the device didn’t work is nothing more than a narrative 180, lending implied tension to a situation that essentially resets itself. However, much like Etta’s death so soon after being reunited with her parents, there was something suspicious about how it went down. The Observers recovered so very quickly, and in a later conversation the captured baldy didn’t say that Peter had actually put the device together incorrectly.

Something smells fishy, and here’s hoping the writers are making that smell deliberately.

The final scenes of the episode were where the real irreversible action took place. A furious Peter stormed in to question the kidnapped Observer, who in turn launched into pontification on how Peter never saw tells of any kind – he just saw what he wanted to see.

“You ascribed meaning to something that was not there.”

So did a lot of people, dickhead.

It was a fitting metaphor for the gap that exists between the Observers and humanity, one hammered home even more by where the conversation ended up.

“She was here, now she is simply not here.”

Well that’s just foolish, baldy. And sure enough Peter goes Rambo on the Observer, cutting the tech out of the back of his neck and inserting it into his own. Peter Bishop, the Observer-infused superhero. There are many worn routes this plot could take, the most obvious being Peter having his emotions slowly sucked out of him – but frankly I’m just looking forward to seeing him kicking ass and transporting all over the place like a boss.

As for Etta, at least Olivia and Peter end the hour on a conciliatory note, and with plans to dismantle the Central Park ventilation system that’s slowly killing humanity. And there are more tapes for Astrid to extricate.

So looking forward to roided up Peter wreaking havoc and Etta getting the memory she deserves.

And some wacky shit around episode nine, in grand Fringe tradition.


Free Radicals

– I love when TV shows badly Photoshop people into photos, and those ones with Etta were whopper.

– Etta Bishop, bomb and weapon fan.

– Any commentary on the “Go Ask Alice” graffiti visible beside Central Park? An Abrams-esque important detail or just random? It’s a line from the Jefferson Airplane song “White Rabbit”. Observations welcome.

– Again, a lot of “I need this computer to get this item to open this box to blow up this segment to stop this part” plotting this week. Frustrating.

– “Before going on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” And before mocking Peter Bishop, make sure you’re not strapped to a table.

– Not much Walter this week, but liked the detail of him keeping Etta’s perfume.

– Remember the comic that kid drew in “The Recordist”? Looks like Fringe is going full on superhero-y.


About alfla

Playwright, screenwriter, sometime improv enthusiast and full-time television lover. You know, in THAT way.
This entry was posted in Fringe, Fringe Reviews, Reviews, Television Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “An Origin Story” – Fringe

  1. Alan K says:

    Peter = The First Observer?

  2. Alan K says:

    Also this was released a year or two ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdSL_ZJRKUM

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