An emotional finale for 'Fringe'
January 19th, 2013
11:36 AM ET

An emotional finale for 'Fringe'

[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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soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. 2 phat phucks Of Hollywood

    make sure your "shielded" from the hollywood screen also...hate hollywood and what they stand for.

    January 22, 2013 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. 2 phat phucks of hollywood

    just plain low end anyway you slice...make sure you check your sh-t while you stay in hollywood,...

    January 22, 2013 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Matt

    Best show ever. It had humor, continuos twists, and some amazing deep thoughts that are distilled in me. I am truly inspired and just loved the show.

    January 22, 2013 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Take a fine wine break

    once in awhile...kay?

    January 21, 2013 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. in order for vintage to upgrade...

    blogging must go...most is not visible anymore...puzzled is there...and now we move forward.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sorry for the inconvenience..

    we were lo0king for something. blogging is not my bag..i like humans

    January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. A vintage break is a always good in between.

    good morning!

    January 21, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Season 5

    Hopfully we can upgrade the season at some point. all the best in 2013

    January 21, 2013 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. HIllBIlly

    Can't wait to get season 5 on DVD.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ben

    It was a good show for a while. Then they introduced the whole alternate universe story line and the show sucked from then on. Totally not worth watching once they went with the continuous story arc.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fantasy Hunk..

    i'm sorry but it was all day rerun again

    January 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. count whites kay..


    January 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Don't call people rats..

    until you look at you...

    January 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rat wannabe

    Since we are all off after nails?

    January 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. You make the public so proud

    see everyone tomorrow!!

    January 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. tracie


    January 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. your a bore...

    pick on a rat your own size...

    January 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  18. See allllllll tomorrow...

    boy do you look stoopid once again....thanks for the laughs potatoe.

    January 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Are you proud?

    i wish i was as popular as you are. P;

    January 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. is scruffy here?

    friday nights? ok i will watch the show! i have a party now and must go...have a great sunday everyone!!!
    talk too you later!!!

    January 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  21. TriumphTheInsultComicDog

    Fringe stunk more than my massive turds

    January 20, 2013 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
    • I think

      that you have been licking and sniffing your butt for too long. You obviously are delirious.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriumphTheInsultComicDog

      You shouldn't be thinking. It's obviously not one of your strengths.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah, right!

      This coming from the "dog" who thinks poop jokes are so funny. A true sign of intelligence, if I ever saw it. Fringe was a great show. If you ever watched anything but cartoons, you'd know that.

      January 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriumphTheInsultComicDog

      Ah ok so you think you can measure intelligence by a persons sense of humor do you? If that's the case then what does your obvious lack of a sense of humor say about your intelligence? It should suggest that yours is at a very very low level. Watch cartoons? Uhm nope. I have much better things to do than sit in front of the boob tube in search of entertainment. Now I suggest that you attempt to pull your head out of it more often. Try seeking knowledge and wisdom. You'd be better off that way.

      January 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • looks like alot of you were on the boob tube

      all day today...have a great night...

      January 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Well

      I have a very good sense of humor. Never once in my joke repertoire have I used a poop joke to get a laugh. It is just kind of classless. And your statement that you don't have time in your busy day for watching tv, you certainly have a lot of time invested in this blog. You are here all times of the day. Maybe you should invest in watching some educational tv to broaden your horizons. Comparing your so-called humor with intelligence doesn't say much for you!

      January 21, 2013 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • TriumphTheInsultComicDog

      Oh right like you've never ever told a poop joke in your life time. Come off it! You're no better than the rest of us. Yep I admit I am here posting often. I enjoy it. It's fun to stir the pot some. Maybe I should invest in some educational tv to broaden my horizons? I sincerely hope you don't solely rely on it for education because there are FAR better sources than tv in that regard. If you turn to it for education then you deserve the little education it will give you. I myself prefer to experience things first hand and learn as I go. If a particular thing interests me I'll read books and articles about it as they'll go further in depth about it than tv ever will. "Comparing your so-called humor with intelligence doesn't say much for you!" I'm glad you realize that comparing humor and intelligence doesn't say much about a person. Especially since in your second reply it was you who started comparing the two with this statement "This coming from the "dog" who thinks poop jokes are so funny. A true sign of intelligence, if I ever saw it". All I did was swing your judgemental pendulum back toward you in that regard. Perhaps you should try thinking (although as I pointed out before it's not something you should do much of as it is clearly not a strength for you) about your arguements a bit more lest you continue to contradict your self.

      January 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  22. sucky finale

    Seasons 1-3 were amazing. The last season sucked. The finale sucked.

    January 20, 2013 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  23. NO.NO

    What the hell are you thinking? The first 2 seasons were amazing and the 4th one was mind-blowing. Have you watched just the 5th season?

    January 20, 2013 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  24. Gregory

    I canโ€™t believe no one notice the return address of Walters white tulip. Look closely and pause it bc you can see he mails it from an observer address. Look at the writing. Itโ€™s an %#^# street in observer language. He made it to the future. He is the professor from Norway. We see he is n Boston but in the future. Did anyone catch this. Also missing the sssshhhh Michael told Olivia what am I missing.

    January 20, 2013 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      Nice observation! It was from the future somehow! Can't figure out the second part though; which professor from Norway are you referring to? Still trying to figure out the Shhh, too.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
    • shhhhhhhh

      is only 4:45aM

      January 24, 2013 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  25. TC

    I just hope i have missed an episode so i can watch some vintage Fringe one day, but i know i haven't. Can only hope a film comes out x files style.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  26. Frank

    I loved this show. The finale may be one of the best ever done. I will truly miss these characters especially Walter. His relationship with Peter and their final scene together were memorable. Yes there were holes but they always exist in these multi timeline sagas. Speaking of holes did they ever explain why there was only one William Bell?

    January 20, 2013 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • TC

      If memory serves me right, the William Bell in the alternative reality had died in car accident before he became rich and influential.

      January 20, 2013 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  27. John in Florida Ocala

    It's a said day when one of the best TV shows in the history of television fails and they add several more mindless reality shows to the list. The problem lye's with the show pushed the limit and made the viewer think? Whats even more said is the fact that their is more people would enjoy the mindlessness of watching someone else life who could careless about theirs.

    January 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. thank you maf...


    January 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  29. bought it mayl

    thank you...

    January 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  30. may

    perhaps the observers were still created, i.e. the original twelve who went back, but then eradicated after walter and michael became a paradox...thats probably the only reason why peter is still there with etta and olivia

    my main question is, the looks on olivia's and peter's faces right at the end, DO THEY KNOW / remember the events after the invasion... i hope they'd remember it, even though it would not of happened for them in that time

    cant believe it has ended, really satisfying but really sad

    January 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Terry H

    I loved the ending. Very emotional. Loved when Walter told Peter that he was his favorite thing, and loved when Peter told Walter "I love you dad". I will seriously miss this show. It was one amazing cast of actors and actresses. It will be hard for another sci fi show to live up to this one.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Deborah

    I loved this show, from beginning to end. The characters were so easy to like, particularly Walter, a genius whose best ideas came from dropping acid ๐Ÿ˜‰ The ending did the characters and the show justice. I think Fringe is going to be a hard act to follow.

    January 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  33. pirlantadunyasi

    This show was so unique in its ability to combine drama with complex scientific theories. The characters, especially Walter, was extremely successful.

    I watch a lot of tv shows, including Supernatural, Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead. But there is no other TV show that i will miss so much. It's not like wondering what happened next, but more like stopping to visit your favorite uncle all of a sudden. The characters will be missed.

    Also, this show was extremely underrated by the TV channels in my opinion. I dont know if the reason lying behind the end is low ratings, but if it is, they made a really bad judgement. Some of t he episodes of this show was much better than 90% of the movies I have seen.

    January 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • aurora_australis

      I agree with your comments 100%. Regarding the relatively small number of viewers... I believe that the fate of FRINGE was sealed with FOX steadfastly showing the series on Friday nights.... Every show ever slated in this night always fails... it has nothing to do with the show – god knows everyone will either download it, or record it, and watch it later.... Look at all the other networks – Friday nights sux for tv – because the bulk of the nation is doing something else! Just look at the fandom of FRINGE! We got a 5th season because of it.... I blame FOX for this fabulous show winding up way too early..... Like you said, most of the series currently on TV absolutely suck in comparison to FRINGE.... I just hope we might be able to look forward to a decent major motion picture eventually.... Long Live FRINGE!!!

      January 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. xyz

    there is a hole in the plot. something doesn't fit with the last 4-5 eps. It defies the old thing from the 2nd and 3rd season which seemed more accurate and well written

    January 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  35. the best

    i love this show...i'm sorry its going..

    January 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. ld

    Incredible, though I agree with the logical problem of no observers=no Peter in this universe. I will miss this show, which is probably one of the smartest and best written best series ever on tv!!

    January 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • fringe geek

      If I understood correctly, time was only reset from the moment in 2015 when the Observers would have invaded. So everything that happened before that, including Walter bringing Peter from the other side, still happened.

      I have never been so affected by the end of a TV show. My whole family and I were glued to the TV every Friday night at 9. We all miss Fringe, especially Walter! PLEASE MAKE MOVIES!!!!!

      January 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  37. What a great show...

    i have to watch it again...i taped it and i have to make sure i see this great show one more time.

    January 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Midge

    this show is sooooo funny .. .i cannot believe this actually serious....

    January 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  39. hahahaha

    What a great show...i have to watch it again...when's the next rain storm...:)

    January 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Len?

    parking lot next rain storm? kay

    January 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  41. we can do it too.. wanna see production?


    January 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  42. my salute to you.


    January 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  43. David

    seriously think about it if the observers never get created then walternate would have found the cure for Peter thereby not requiring Walter to cross over and cause all the problems that he did, If walter never crossed over to get Peter then Peter would not have met Olivia and He would still be in the alternate universe. To a certain extent this finale was good but left a lot of questions much like the final episode of Lost. However when you consider Michael is alive in the future with greater capabilities than the observers then that would mean he would have the capability for time travel like the observers, perhaps we will see amovie like the star trek franchise in the future

    January 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Olive

      yeah i thought episode 12 was incredible and that 13 had a big plot hole with peter still being with Olivia and having Etta....i thought they were going to have both of them erased from this universe. i know what i was expecting is asking much but i thought they might pull a complete 180 degree turn and just have Olivia working for the FBI like nothing had happened. i still liked ther ending even though there were a couple holes.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Olive

      oh and i would LOVE if there was a fringe movie but sadly that is never going to happen...we were lucky to get this 13 episode season.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mass Confusion Experts..

      overheard broadway show..thanks.

      January 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      In this timeline, which was reset after Peter got into the machine, Peter was not saved by September. He died in the lake, just as you said. Peter came through from the original timeline because of his connection to Olivia and Walter. There is no reason to believe that this would not have happened without the Observers, and the Observers had very little impact on the lives of the characters in the new timeline.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Jackie

    The show was great, but the end plot is not logical base on the premise. If the observers never existed then Peter died in the lake when he was a child and the show did not happen. But if you are not into logic and timelines then the show was wonderfully entertaining. every pleasing if you don't think to deep.

    January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      Your complaint would be valid if events had been resent in the original timeline. However, Peter was never saved by September in this timeline. He died in the lake. Remember that the timeline reset after Peter powered the machine, and in this timeline, the Observers had a much smaller impact on the lives of the characters.

      January 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TC

      Septembers interruption stopped Walter from finding the cure for his son Peter therefore he would never have gone to the alternate reality and saved that Peter.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  45. Sadie

    The finale was amazing, and very satisfying, as chloe stated. This has been one of the best series on tv. It is a shame that it is now over. The cast and the storyline was always top notch. The storyline was always very intriguing, and kept you wondering about what would happen next. I think I liked the Walter character the best. John Noble is really a good actor, and played a terrific role. The scene between Walter & Peter saying goodbye was very touching. I, for one, will miss this show.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Diane

    This finale was spectacular! It was everything a fan who has followed this show from the beginning could have asked for! Very well done!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Christian

    A fitting ending to an extraordinary story that was compelling on so many levels. The show was pure genius and I doubt we will ever see anything like it again...that is of course unless a movie is made with the same actors.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Lesley

    OUtstanding ending. I will miss Fringe! Maybe someday there can be a come back.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  49. chloe

    It was amazing. Very satisfying.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |

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