January 19th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
[Editor's Note: Stop reading this post now if you don't want to know what happened on the final episode of "Fringe."]
Friday night's last episode of "Fringe" had everything you could ask for in a finale: memorable scenes which summed up characters' relationships, callbacks to previous episodes, a satisfying conclusion and emotional moments galore.
Before Walter's plan to save the world could proceed, they had to rescue Michael from the Observers.
Olivia suggested the idea of traveling back to the alternate world and going to where the Observers' headquarters would be located there to break in.
Olivia nearly died in the process of restoring her ability to travel between worlds, but she was determined to take on the mission.
It was a treat to see Fauxlivia and Lincoln again, 25 years older, in a world which had not been invaded by Observers. The old Fauxlivia attitude was still there, like when she told her husband Lincoln to "stop checking out my young a–." (And "Walternate" was still kicking at age 90!)
After Olivia successfully rescued Michael, it was time to set the final plan in motion. September visited December and convinced him to travel to 2609 to get one component needed to allow his son to travel in time.
While drilling through amber to find another piece of the time travel puzzle, Peter discovered a videotape, which Walter meant for him to watch. On the tape, Walter said that he had sent Peter a letter. It meant that he had decided long ago to be the one to travel through time with Michael, so that he would meet the man who would end up creating the Observers. They believed that seeing Michael would convince him not to do it.
Walter told Peter that he and Michael were a paradox, and must live out their lives in the future forever. As Peter tearfully hugged him, he told his son, "You are my favorite thing, Peter, my very favorite thing." (Aww!)
On the team's final day in 2036, Astrid took Walter aside. She wanted to show him Gene the cow, still frozen in amber. She would have pulled her out, but Gene's mooing may have alerted the Observers. Walter told Astrid that she always knew how to soothe him.
"It is a beautiful name," he told her.
"What is?" she asked.
"Astrid," he replied. (Finally!)
September also took Peter aside, he had something to tell him as well.
In the meantime, Broyles, who had been helping the team as a double agent, was captured by the Observers, and he was tortured for information. The team's other conspirator, December, was found hanging in his apartment by Olivia and Astrid. Things were starting to look bad for the plan.
September told Walter what he had told Peter: he wanted to take Michael into the future instead. Despite Walter's protests, he agreed that this was the right thing for a father to do. This was not about Walter's fate, it was about changing fate.
The team rushed to complete their work before the Observers discovered them by reading Broyles' thoughts. Olivia and Peter shared a moment of realization that they would see their daughter again, before staging an attack on Observer headquarters using many of the same fringe events they had investigated over the years, including stomach-exploding worms and deadly butterflies. There was even a callback to one of the glyphs, a bloody six-fingered hand on a wall. Broyles – whom I assumed at that point was a goner – was rescued by Olivia and Peter.
The remaining Observers, led by Windmark gave chase as the team opened up a wormhole to the future. They took out Peter and Olivia. Olivia took one look at the "bullet that saved the world" necklace worn by Etta. She then summoned up her telekinetic powers, moving a car with her mind that evidently killed Windmark before he could phase out of the way.
As the wormhole opened, September ran towards it holding Michael's hand, but he was suddenly gunned down. Michael sat down, and played the music box that September had so often played for him. Walter went to Michael and took his hand. He took one last look at everyone, especially Peter, and stepped into the wormhole to change history forever.
In 2015, Olivia and Peter were enjoying the day with young Etta in a park. Instead of the Observers invading, Etta ran and hugged her father.
Back at their home, Peter received that letter from Walter. Inside was a drawing of a white tulip, the same one Walter received as a sign of forgiveness in the second season(!).
Wow. That finale really hit it out of the park. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew, and a special congratulations to John Noble and Joshua Jackson for closing out Walter and Peter's story in brilliant fashion. I don't have a lot of faith that the Emmys will finally recognize their extraordinary work, but here's hoping.
Were you as moved as I was by the finale? Share your thoughts on video or post a comment. And enjoy one last piece of licorice on me.
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