April 21st, 2012
11:02 AM ET
Everything on Friday night's episode of "Fringe," from (yet another) changed opening sequence, to Henry Ian Cusick's performance, to the sight of an aging Broyles - and yes, a glimpse of William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) - was as perfect an episode of television as we've seen this season.
I can't say I followed every single thing in the episode, which took us to 2036, in a world ruled by the Observers - but then again, the "Fringe" mythology in general literally needs multiple timeline charts to explain, so I didn't mind. This was as gripping an episode as we've ever seen.
Etta and Simon, two fringe agents, plotted to bring back Walter Bishop, who was frozen in amber. This, of course, goes against the belief that the original fringe division, in the original universe, was purged, along with many others who didn't become "loyalists" to the Observers.
When Walter was unfrozen and asked, "Do you have anything to eat?" I got chills!
Unfortunately for Etta (who bears a striking resemblance to Olivia Dunham) and Simon, Walter was not the savior they hoped for. His brain was severely damaged, even more than it already was, after being frozen. Even so, he was able to repair Nina Sharp's mechanical hand, and they were able to recover a piece of his brain. Suddenly, it's a more take-charge Walter than we're used to.
One of the Observers caught on to their plan and a chase ensued with Broyles joining in – who realizes, via a piece of licorice, that Walter is back.
Soon, Walter, Etta and Simon come upon the fringe team, frozen, including William Bell – whom Walter abandons, save for his hand, which they will need to get through security for the next phase of their mission. Astrid and Peter were brought back, same as ever, but it appeared that Olivia is dead like the Observer predicted earlier this season. However, Peter's return was because of Simon's sacrifice, and now he is frozen in amber. No, Desm... I mean, Simon!
Then came the moment we all expected might happen. Etta asked Peter if he recognized her. Slowly, he understood: This is his daughter. An extraordinary performance by Joshua Jackson, Georgina Haig and Michael Giacchino's score at that moment. I won't lie, my eyes were welling up.
If the rest of the season comes even close to this, I think "Fringe" has made its case for a fifth (probably final) season.
Were you as blown away by this week's "Fringe" as I was? Share your view on video or comment below.
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