I mentioned last week that there was an element of Neo in The Matrix about Peter’s developing talents since he stuck the observers’ tech into his head. He’d started to see the world differently (with a kind of blue sheen to things) and was able to teleport himself like the observers and could fight them, hand-to-hand, without losing badly.
His transformation continues in ‘Five-Twenty-Ten’, and we learn that he can now see someway into the future, allowing him to predict the movements of observers. This, coupled with the way he is reacting to the loss of Etta (badly), is pushing him to step up the resistance (and he notices the increasing number of ‘Resist’ posters with Etta’s face on them), almost by himself, and is planning an attack on the observers using weapons from previous Fringe cases (in this case, the chemical weapon from the first Fringe case he worked on).
While Peter can now plan out an attack in intricate detail, he’s starting to suffer side-effects; not only is the tech in his head causing him pain, but it seems as though using his new powers is destroying his body, as he bleeds from the ear and starts to lose his hair. He’s also speaking more like the observers, using only as many words as he needs to, and putting odd stresses on certain words.
I have to be honest and say it’s not a transformation I think particularly works. It seems too obvious to have Peter becoming more and more like the observers, in the way he speaks and carries himself (he becomes more upright in the way he walks) and presumably, with his hair falling out, starting to look more like them too. Although he’s still very much on the side of the resistance, and is planning to take out Windmark, at this point I would not be surprised if the final two episodes of the show revolve around Olivia trying to bring Peter back to the right side, rather than joining with the observers. I hope I’m wrong about that, but it does feel like this is the way Fringe is headed (Olivia is already worrying about Peter’s behaviour before he explains what he has done to himself).
Meanwhile, the construction of Walter’s plan to stop the observers continues with the help of Nina Sharp. The next tape guides them to another laboratory where Walter used to experiment alongside William Bell (and take copious amounts of LSD), but the entrance is blocked by rubble. The team decide to meet with Nina, hoping that she has access to some technology that would allow them to move the rubble without attracting the attention of the observers. She’s delighted to see Olivia again, and agrees to help by letting them use a device that turns stone into gas (again, this is Fringe, so I’m totally fine with that being a thing).
In ‘Letters of Transit’, the episode from season 4 that was set in the year this season of Fringe continues in, Walter didn’t have time to cut William from Amber, instead just slicing his hand off. That’s referenced in this episode, as William’s hand is needed to enter the laboratory (via a hand-scanner). Once inside, the team find a safe, but are disappointed when they only find some documents and a strange device. Peter accidentally sets it off, which surfaces two ‘beacons’ (the strange metal cylinders seen in previous seasons of the show).
Another important element of this show is the relationship between Walter and Nina. She worries that Walter will become the man he used to be (before he had those pieces of brain removed, which have now been put back in). Although he initially tells her that he’s confident he can remain as the man he is now, he later asks her to help him remove them again, worried that he’ll lose Peter if he regresses to the way he once was.
Despite my reservations about Peter’s story, I’m still enjoying this final season, and with just six episodes remaining, it’s certainly building to an interesting finale. The beauty of Fringe is that it exists in a world that is entirely unpredictable, so while I have my theories about how it could end, I have no idea where it will end.
And I can’t wait to find out.