Previously on Fringe: The Recordist
Ahhhh, Fringe! What an amazing episode. Managing to hit a wide range of emotions, great plot, and wonderful moments, people, and cases from previous seasons, there were so many, many, many great moments that the small quibbles I have seem like mere trifles. Trifles, I tell you.
Peter goes to a thrift shop to buy Etta a chain for her bullet necklace. When there, he runs into an Observer. The Observers find out that Team Etta is at Walter’s old lab, and they must evacuate ASAP, despite Walter’s old tapes being in there. In order to cover their tracks, they re-amber the lab.
However, before leaving they enter a part of the lab that Team Etta– with the exception of Walter– and viewers have never seen before. Below his lab, Walter has compiled several Fringe cases they previously work on. Team Etta realizes that a huge clue is at a subway station. Unfortunately, the only way to get to the tape is to pass several Observer stations.
Their solution? Use previous Fringe cases to get past them! With the help of a chemical from Season One, which seals all orifices, they successfully nab the clue and are off. Etta tells them that an old friend wants to see them. Then who buy Broyles himself drives up! This is the happiest moment of the episode, with old faces getting familiar with one another, and friends catching up.
But the Observers track them down and begin teleporting to them. Broyles manages to drive off without being caught, and Team Etta leaves on foot, running into a dilapidated building. Windmark, the Observer who tortured Walter in the premiere, catches Etta and interrogates her before shooting her in the chest. Awful, I know.
Before dying she says her last goodbyes to her family and gives her mother back the bullet that went through her brain all those years ago. They don’t want to leave her– especially Peter, my poor friend– but Etta triggers an anti-matter device, given to them by Broyles.
Team Etta leave the building just as the Observers go back in, confident that the old Fringe team will be around Etta and can be caught unaware. Etta, the Observers, and the entire building disappear.
Olivia, Peter and Walter are visibly shaken by this event. Olivia is the first to stoically walk away, with Walter having to urge Peter several times that they must run. An interesting role reversal. The Observer who caught Peter at the thrift shop is seen watching the entire event, curious.
Love is one of the main emotions that have connected– and pushed apart– these characters for the past 4 seasons. It is what led Walter to take Peter from his world, how Peter came back, and is an emotion that the Observers cannot understand, as they feel nothing. This is what separated August and September from the other Observers– their love of the humans. We can only hope that this episode changed the unnamed Observer as well.
Thoughts, Opinions, Quibbles, and Favorites
- Oh, Fringe. You amazing show, you. This is definitely in the top 5 episodes of all time. The plot! The character development! The acting! It was all amazing. AMAZING.
- I loved the unique camera angles we saw in this episode. We were inside the amber facing Walter and Astrid as they dug behind us, and inside Walter’s secret underground Fringe basement looking up at Team Etta as they walked inside.
- On that note, I enjoyed the little nods to previous seasons. The porcupine man, strange squid creature with teeth, and more.
- I also loved Walter’s little yearning glance to the window into the parallel universe. Bolivia and Walternate teaming up to help Team Etta against the Observers? I think yes!
- While Etta’s death was tragic, I’m hoping Kurtzman and Orci use this opportunity to further develop Team Etta even more. Next week’s promo looks good. I love the vivid contrast between how Olivia and Peter react.
- And as sad as her death was, it was definitely not as sad as Alt-Lincoln’s death. Maybe because we were more connected with Etta. I personally felt that Etta took up a majority of screen time that could be given to other actors, but that doesn’t mean her character was fully developed. She was only here for 5 episodes! I’m not saying that it was too soon chronologically-wise, but plot-wise and character-developmentally, it was definitely a little bit soon.
- Because I didn’t feel that connected to Etta, the saddest part about her death is the reactions that familiar faces– like Peter, Olivia, Walter, and Broyles– have and what they are going through. Especially Peter. You can just tell that his heart literally aches at the thought of losing her. He’s always been more open with people than Olivia, and has already lost his son and Etta as a child. To lose her again– this time forever, will break him. And that is the transition into next week’s episode. Peter getting revenge for his child’s death.
- I’m positive that Peter and Olivia’s relationship will not relapse the same way that it did when Etta went missing as a child. First off, Peter won’t be obsessed with finding her. Second, the writers to a seriously excellent job of keeping the plot fresh. Just when I was getting tired of Astrid and Walter looking for those tapes– and the result was always the same– we move on to doing something else.
- I’ve said it before, but the sound effects of this show blow my mind. Seriously, guys. You are awesome. Like then Windmark was with Etta I loved the super high-pitched sound showing he was torturing her.
- And what the hell was up with Windmark just pointing when looking for Team Etta? Not walking and pointing, or even pointing and talking, just seconds of him standing and pointing in directions.
- I love every second of Fringe.EVERY SECOND. I love you, you hear me? Don’t leave me. Ahh. I’m trying to enjoy these episodes without worrying about being cancelled or how we did ratings-wise.
A short paragraph about negative things: Did Etta know who her parents were all along? Killing Observers with guns sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Why? I don’t think Astrid should have jumped out of her hiding space seconds after the Observers left. I also don’t think Broyles should have had a picture of Peter and Olivia in his briefcase, there for anyone to see it. I get that Walter can’t remember Physics; his brain has deteriorated. But I think writers have forgotten that Peter is a freaking genius as well. How about having him at least glance at the problem and attempt to figure it out?
Peter: [after giving Etta her necklace chain] Worth every bump and bruise, Kiddo.
Walter: My cold storage of all the Fringe Events we have ever encountered, dormant for twenty-one years. If we are going to find a diversion to get into the railway station, we’ll find it here.
Peter: What do you suggest, Walter?
Walter: There was a time when we solved Fringe Cases. Now I think it’s time we created a few of our own.
Etta: So this is every Fringe Event?
Walter: Documented and preserved to the best of my ability. Oh, look, Olivia, my Porcupine Man.
Olivia: Where’d you get that?
Etta: I found it… at our old house on Quincy Street. I wanted to remember things. I don’t know. I just wanted to be there. It made me feel closer to you. It was looted. The entire block was. Upstairs in your bedroom, what used to be your bedroom, I found what was left of your old jewelry box. And there was this matchbox inside. I shook it and found this. I figured it had to be important, or you wouldn’t have kept it.
Olivia: How long have you been wearing it?
Etta: Since I was thirteen. You want it back?
Olivia: No. No. No, I want you to keep it. Let me see it. You know your father used to call this the Bullet that Saved the World.
Walter: Don’t you understand? This is Greek to me, except that I read Greek. This is Aramaic to me. Not the Western Dialect. I do speak a little.
Broyles: Agent Dunham.
Broyles: It’s good to see you, Doctor Bishop. Peter. I asked her not to tell you in case…
Peter: … we were read.
Broyles: When I heard that you were back, I tried not to, but I had to see you. Five years ago, I got called to a crime scene outside the city, and I saw Etta for the first time. And, even though she was turned away from me, I could have sworn I was looking at you. It wasn’t until I told her who I was that she admitted the truth, that she was your daughter. Once I knew, I had her transferred into my section. I had a mind I was gonna look after her, but she taught me. She recruited me in the Resistance, taught me how to block them from reading my thoughts.
Windmark: He bought the necklace for you. For what purpose? I would like to know. Love. You never know when to give up.
Peter: Etta. No. No, no, no.
Olivia: Henrietta, look at me, okay? You’re going to be okay. Etta? But we have to move you, okay?
Etta: No. There’s no point.
Peter: We’re not gonna leave you here.
Etta: You have to. You won’t make it with me. I’ll slow you down. You have to leave.
Olivia: ‘Etta. I love you so much.
Etta: I know.
Peter: No. No, no. No. I can’t leave you. Not again. No. no.
Walter: We need to leave. She’s gone, Son. We have to go. She’s gone, Son.