“Fringe” season 5 continued Friday, October 26, with episode 4, “The Bullet That Saved the World,” and it showed the team reunite with a familiar face, but also lose a loved one to the fight.
Creating Fringe cases. Yes, this episode saw the team that solved Fringe cases use one of them to get past the Loyalists and Observers (after fooling them by re-ambering the lab once they got tipped off they knew they were there) in order to get to the plans Walter (John Noble) had hidden underneath the subway station. Specifically, they armed themselves with gas masks before letting loose the airborne toxin that hyper activated the protein that generated scar tissue, and it worked. They got what they needed, but what they didn’t realize was one of the Loyalists had put a tracker on their car.
The next step in the plan. Though they got the plans from the station, that was only step one. They had to figure out what to do with them, and unfortunately, it was some sort of physics that Walter had never seen—or at least never remembered seeing: “Don’t you understand? This is Greek to me, except that I read Greek. This is Aramaic to me.” Oh, Walter, don’t ever change. Before heading back to the lab, however, Etta (Georgina Haig) had someone who wanted to see them.
“Can Broyles be trusted?” That was the question going into this “Fringe” episode, and we were very happy that its answer was a very strong “yes.” They didn’t have much time for an emotional reunion before they had to get down to business, but we did learn that once Broyles (Lance Reddick) saw Etta at a crime scene (and she reminded him of Olivia) and told her who he was (at which point she told him who she was), he had her transferred into his section. She recruited him for the resistance and taught him to block them, but that took nearly a year. However soon after they looked over the weapons he brought—including an anti-matter baton that couldn’t be deactivated once armed—an Observer showed up and they realized a Loyalist had put a tracker on their car at the train station. They had to separate, and Broyles drove off with the plan moments before Windmark arrived on scene.
Does Windmark suspect Broyles is part of the resistance? Now that we know that Broyles is part of the resistance, we can’t help but worry about him with Windmark so close. There were a few instances where we couldn’t help but wonder if Windmark suspects Broyles is hiding something:
- Windmark wondered why Broyles didn’t tell him about an officer who failed the security test, and when Broyles said he didn’t know, the Observer told him, “That is my point.”
- Broyles was ready to use his gun if necessary when the Observer who questioned the officer who failed the test (and during which “the Dove” came up for the third time) talked to him and commented on his previous relationship with the “fugitives.” He had said Windmark was going to ask him about it.
- Windmark suggested to Broyles that others besides Etta could deceive their readings as well.
The bullets that saved the world. This “Fringe” episode started off with Peter (Joshua Jackson) buying Etta a replacement necklace and encountering an Observer as he did. Though he tried to keep the Observer from reading him, he did see a young blonde girl. After Peter escaped into the sewers (and then from a bomb), he returned to the lab to tell them what happened. And what followed were a couple of moments that may have been hinting at what was to come (more about that in a bit). When Olivia (Anna Torv) watched Etta put the bullet on her new necklace, she found out she kept it because it had to be important—and it made her feel close to her mother. Olivia told her Peter used to call it “the bullet that saved the world.”
However, we have a feeling that when it’s all said and done, there will be two bullets that saved the world—Olivia’s and Etta’s. Yes, Etta died in this episode after the team had to split up when the Observers and Loyalists tracked them once they separated from Broyles. While Walter hid and Peter and Olivia doubled back for him and Etta, Windmark found their daughter. He saw the necklace and read her, seeing flashes of Etta as a child with Peter. He realized it was all about “love” and shot her. By the time her family found her, it was too late—and they had no choice but to leave her because she had activated the anti-matter baton. After a heartbreaking, tearful goodbye with her parents during which Etta gave Olivia the necklace, they left her in the warehouse. But she wasn’t done yet. Windmark was so focused on finding the others that he took a group back to Etta’s body, thinking they would return to her because of love. He realized what had happened once he saw the necklace gone, and while he got out, Etta certainly did some damage in her last moments alive, taking other Observers with her. Did this episode foreshadow Etta’s death?
- Peter pointed out that even though the Observer got an image of her, she was as much a fugitive as the rest of them: “Unless you can think of a reason why that would hurt us…”
- “No good deed goes unpunished,” Etta said after Peter gave her the necklace. The Observer read him when he was getting that for her. We have a feeling things would still have ended the same way they did.
- Windmark wondered why Peter put himself at risk for the necklace. Because it was something that clearly meant a lot to him, we weren’t surprised that Windmark was prepared to use it against him.
So will that be the second bullet that saved the world? Will this be the motivation the others need to push that much harder to defeat the Observers? Windmark may have made a grave mistake when he killed Etta because we can see this being the trigger for Olivia and Peter to do whatever they have to in order to win and save the world.
Five stars. Giving this episode five stars was a no-brainer. It could easily end up being the best episode of the season (or at least up there on the list), as “Fringe” isn’t holding anything back as it counts down to the series finale. As much as we hated to see Etta go—she, Olivia, Peter, and Walter didn’t get nearly enough time to be a family—we weren’t too surprised that she died. There are casualties in war, and they are at war. “The Bullet That Saved the World” did a good job of reminding us of that—and not just in 2036, but with the reminder of what happened to Olivia back then as well. Now we’re just worried that we could lose someone else before the series is over.
“Fringe” continues Fridays at 9 p.m. on FOX 5 in Queens. What did you think of “The Bullet That Saved the World”?
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