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Fringe reveals an unfortunate future

Following the 'Fringe' tradition of a crazy 19th episode of the season, the show shows us what becomes of the world. The year is 2036 and the Observers have taken control.

- Season 1, Episode 19 - "Letters of Transit"

Opening Sequence: community, joy, individuality, education, imagination,
private thought, due process, ownership, free will, freedom

 It’s the 19th episode of the Fringe season, which means an hour of odd awesomeness! Remember last season’s cartoon episode, “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide”

“Letters of Transit” took us to the future. The year is 2036 and the Observers have taken over the world. Unfortunately, Walter and his team were put in amber when they got close to building a device to rid the world of the Observers.

Fringe agents, Etta (Georgina Haig) and Simon (Henry Ian Cusick), were on the case. As soon as, I saw Etta, she had to be Olivia and Peter’s daughter. She looked just like Olivia, plus she had a special ability. Then, there was her obsession with finding the rest of Walter’s team. She had to be looking for her parents, right?

Even with the clues, the final review that Peter was saved from the amber and that she was his daughter, Henrietta, was highly emotional. And, what was the significance of the bullet around her neck? It was last season’s 19th episode that ended with Olivia saying, “I haven’t seen him before, but I think he’s the man whose gonna kill me.” And, this season, we find out that she died. Is her future something that can be altered?  Or, was September correct in predicting Olivia’s death?

While this episode took place in the future, it isn’t clear that this occurred during the current timeline. The opening sequence was in blue, not in amber. Is this just one of many possible futures that the Observers have seen? But, assuming this was the future of the new timeline, then we were provided some insight into what happened.

In the new timeline, William Bell did remove part of Walter’s brain. But, unlike the previous timeline, Bell did not die. He was still alive when the Observers took over. At some point, Bell was also responsible for what happened to Olivia. Her death? Is that why Walter had no regard for him?

It was a pleasant surprise to see Nina still around and helping Etta. She looked good for her age, especially loved the hair. At least, Etta had some family still around in the future, even if not by blood.

Now Walter, Peter, Astrid and Etta will have to build the device to bring down the Observers in 2036. Is that what a potential fifth season would be about? Or, can they change the past and stop the Observers before their 2015 takeover; similar to how Walter sent the machine back in time for Peter to save the universes?

“Letters of Transit” brought more questions than answers, but was a fun departure for an episode. The problem I have with jumping to the future is that we know there is nothing good ahead for our the Fringe team. The only hope is that they can find out about this and change it.

Odds and Ends

  • The guy who found Walter said there were two more — a man and a woman, who were younger. But, there really were three, right? Astrid, William Bell and Peter.
  • Did the Observers take over the other side too? Does it even still exist?
  • Observers get drunk from water. Cheap way to fill their flasks … intriguing.
  • Loved the classic Walterisms — licorice, LSD, Star Wars droid reference, monkey feces, and just Walter being Walter.
  • Henry Ian Cusik was a nice addition as Simon. Is there a way they can bring him back? Maybe play his father, who was part of the resistance?
  • “Henrietta?” — Peter
    “Hi, Dad.” — Etta
  • The glyphs spelled out: QUAKE
  • No word yet on whether the show will be picked up for season five or not. Fingers crossed the Fringe isn’t cancelled! This show is too good to go out now.

[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B003L77G2Y” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”139″]

Photo Credit: FOX

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11 Responses to “Fringe reveals an unfortunate future”

April 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Did we just see season 5 episode 1?

April 21, 2012 at 1:18 AM

Perhaps! I’d love to see more Henrietta and Simon. Though, they would have to find a way to save Olivia, right? I’m not sure I’d want to see a season without her too. Given the show’s history, I’d guess that S5 would be more about them stopping the Observers before 2015.

April 21, 2012 at 1:34 AM

So Anna Torv has made Fringe for 4 seasons, has given everyone the great Olivia Dunham in multiple versions, and is already forgotten?

What a way to treat the amazing anna Torv, the most hyped episode of the season and she is not even allowed 1 scene, where they do everything to get Jackson in, even though he prefers shooting a film in Fringe time.

Anna must feel totally betrayed, being written out like this, even before the season finale.
She had to play the double memory story arc, because of Jacksons schedule and him not being capable, she had to serve the Lincolns, she had to serve everyone, but no decent writen episode for Anna.

In 4 seasons of fringe, she may have had 14 decent written episoes, the rest went to Noble and Jackson. but it is Anna Torv who they sideline in the one episode they are most proud of.

Worst of all bot Wyman and Pinkner ignore Anna completely, compare that to overhype around Jackson.

Anna never had a decent backstory for Olivia, most of the time horrible writing, the episodes in season 3 until Marionette, were not so much about Olivia, but more Fauxlivie and after Jacksons complaining, Anna was sidelined, and Olivia reduced to the Girl of Peter since Firefly.

Is this really how they are going to end with Olivia?
We were going to get finally after 4.12 the coming of age of Olivia, according to Abrams and with gritted teeth Jackson, so that was 4.15, Olivia giving up her being for Peter?

I am disgusted by how Pinkner and Wyman have treated Anna Torv, she saved them from bad writing, awesome Emmy worthy actress, and then she learns that like that, Olivia is gone.

Jackson has got his way it seems.

I am done with Fringe.

April 21, 2012 at 1:39 AM

I don’t think Anna Torv has been treated bad at all. She has been given amazing storylines throughout the seasons. And, most of S3 was about Olivia. Joshua Jackson was barely in the first 3 episodes of this season.

Regarding this episode, this is the only one that will be in 2036 this season. Anna Torv, as Olivia, will be back next week.

As September predicted, Olivia was killed. We don’t know how or when other than it was after Henrietta was born and most likely before the Fringe team was ambered 20 years ago.

April 21, 2012 at 2:23 AM

Really Anna torvs character has come out hell last season i thought they dropped peter from it several episodes in searching for that strange artifact changing things they bring peter back and don’t know who he is the universe changed September Olvia walter Astrid even ASTRID has had a Story with her bringing her up Lincoln lee had his time up the main part of the story always was


How can you be done with fringe all the characters EVEN Fringe division director Broyles had his son episodes Walter had the Bell episodes future and past peter has not had a Background episode before fringe division only bits and peices of people he knew

Olivia has Had several mother episodes sister and neice episodes
AStrid Father
Walter has had Peter as child
Peter had mother episodes
September had Peter and Walter episodes
Lincoln got further Airtime then his character needed but he is not bad

Charlie got Sidelined Charlie Got dumped on where the hell is Charlie

April 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I don’t agree with the complaints about Olivia not getting enough story – come on, she’s had plenty of great stuff to do. And in this particular episode, I felt that Etta channeled some of Olivia’s mannerisms – particularly the way she speaks – such that I always felt Olivia’s presence even though she did not appear in the episode. This show continues to blow me away.

The main question I have after viewing this episode is, what has happened to the other universe? Did the Observers only take over one side? Did they destroy the other side? I was hoping we’d get an explanation, but I’m sure it’s coming eventually.

April 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

People calm down!

Last night was the equivalent of Dollhouse’s Epitaph 1. If there is a season 5 it will probably be a build-up to what we saw last night. Olivia still needs to give birth to the kid so there should still be plenty of Olivia if Fox allows it. There is plenty more story for her.

Plus revealing that she is alive in the future would kill the momentum of September’s prophecy for her. She could be alive somewhere in 2036 waiting for Letters Of Transit 2… or she is dead *ducks for cover*

April 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Let’s not jump to conclusions about Olivia. As we saw with William Bell, even the dead can come back in this show. She may die in a way for a time, but I’m sure the writers will bring her back in one form or another.

I’m also curious to figure out whose child Henrietta is. It’s got to be more than a coincidence that she has the same name as Fauxlivia’s child from season 3. (Especially when you consider the reason the child got his name was due to the circumstances under which he was born. Our Olivia would have no motivation to name her child after the taxi driver because they haven’t even met on our side.)

Bottom line: there are way too many questions! There must be a season 5!

April 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I took the name Henrietta as being from Peter, since he knows he had a son Henry, which he never met. It would make sense to me that he’d want to honor that loss in some way. Not sure how Olivia’d feel about it, though she did know the cab driver Henry as well, from her early S3 experiences

April 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM

loved the episode!!!

April 23, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Something still bugs me. Long ago reality 1 did a trade with reality 2. They sent Broyle’s dead body to reality 1. Then after Peter saves the world’s there are 2 Broyles’ again.