FRINGE Final Season Recap: “Black Blotter”

15 Dec

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Welcome to another recap of FRINGE!  Time to discover the magical world of acid trips…

So, Peter got some bitchin’ Observer abilities, but was starting to lose his humanity as a result.  Thankfully, Olivia manages to save Peter by getting him to remove the Observer chip.  And with this being the last few episodes of the series, there’s still the matter of getting rid of the Observers forever to deal with.  And what about this Donald character that’s been talked about but never seen all season?  Read on…

Radio K-FRINGE.  While resting in the lab, Astrid is awakened by an unusual sound, which seems to be coming from the radio they found back in the pocket universe from a few episodes ago.  Walter is awake, but clearly not there when she asks if he knows about this.  Olivia and Peter are waken up to hear about this, and decide they need to find the source of the new signal.  This would be easy, except they have a slight hitch in their plan: Walter dropped a “great batch” of Black Blotter acid, and is seriously tripping balls.  As in seeing Tinkerbell fairies, as well his old lab assistant Carla, pre-being burned to death in a fire.  Hoo boy.

The Walter That Was and The Walter That Is.  While Peter has removed the thing destroying him, Walter has his own demon to contend with: the pieces of brain that he had removed years ago that were put back in.  He explains his deal with Nina to remove those pieces again, and his fear that its changing him for the worst.  He tells them about him almost attempting to leave the lab on his own in the early morning, and realizing that doing so would endanger everyone.  He thinks he can’t stop himself if “the Walter that was” takes control of him like that again.  And as mentioned earlier, he is seriously tripping.

A Trip To Willington, Connecticut.   The team heads to the origin, which at first glance appears to be one of foreboding danger (an old RV with skeletons clasping guns nearby).  From the way Peter and Olivia peg it, there was some kind of firefight with Observers, Loyalists, and someone else (Donald?), probably ten years ago to have decomposed the way they did.  So who’s been sending the signal?  According to the ID, it might have been Sam Weiss (yes, both Olivia and Peter remember him from the other timeline).  Walter doesn’t recognize the name, but he’s got more trouble than that at the lab, namely Carla and an hallucination of Nina playing devil and angel, respectively.

Walter Goes Traveling And Just Found Out On His Way.  Carla points him to a secret compartment in the lab, which has a notebook of his planned creations that he had forgotten about all these years.  And then, he realizes he has tricked Astrid and left the lab, only after he has arrived at an Observer precinct house.  Even he doesn’t know why he went there, but Carla suggests “the Walter that was” wanted to be brought in and applauded for his work, his loved ones be damned.  Of course, Astrid appears and its all an hallucination, with them arriving at a dock.

“What’s ‘black umbrella’?”   She takes him to Olivia and Peter, who think they found the source of the signal: a nearby island (in which Walter sees an emerald castle there).  After having to kill a Loyalist squad at the dock, they make their way to the island, and find a house where the signal seems to be coming from.  They find an older couple, and also the Observer boy they’ve been looking for.  But, there expecting a password from whoever is supposed to be coming, but no one knows it…except Walter.  After a wonderfully giddy nod to the Terry Gilliam cartoons of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (who cares if it makes sense, its just funny), Walter remembers the password to let them proceed: “Black umbrella.”

The Ballad of Donald and Michael.  Over twenty years ago, Donald (or Sam Weiss) came to this couple, who were loyal Resistance members, and delivered the Observer boy to them, who they named Michael.  Michael hadn’t aged since, and the couple became so attached to him, they even debated still sending the signal as they agreed to do for Donald.  They didn’t know what happened to Donald, or what happened to scientist he said he worked with who would have the password, until now.  The team leaves the island, with Michael in tow, back to the lab.  What’s surprising later on is the silent Michael still recognizes both Peter and Olivia, despite all the time mumbo-jumbo that’s happened since their first encounter.

“You’ve been him longer than you’ve been you.”   Walter somberly reflects on the past (i.e., flashbacks to the brilliant 1985-centric episode, “Peter”), and decides to burn the secret notebook.  Carla reappears, warning him that burning it changes nothing…if he was actually burning it, which he discovers he’s not really doing.  Hallucination Nina tells him to keep fighting now that he’s found Michael, but Carla tells him that he can’t stop becoming what he was before, right before he sees a creepily smiling hallucination of himself.  It looks like a Bishop may be unable to be saved, after all.  And with that, four episodes to go…                        

–Fun Walter Facts: created plans for a matter displacer (transporter) as a substitute to canning items, and a combustible engine powered on potatoes.

–A minor concern that I read about that needs to be talked about.  Considering the timeline rewriting stuff of season four, would those flashbacks to the “Peter” episode actually exist now?  Walter shouldn’t remember that, but he does, which is kind of glazed over when you think about it.  On the other hand, maybe its just the producers wanting to get past that quandry of last season and move on.  Either way, its a bit off-putting in retrospect.

–I just can’t hear Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” without thinking of David Fincher’s Zodiac anymore.  Great movie, by the way.

–“You’re burning up…and I know how that feels.”

–“Your hair…it’s beautiful.  It’s beautiful.”

–“There’s nothing left to burn.”

So, thoughts?  Anyone think this was the last we’ll see of Sam Weiss?  Is bad Walter going to screw up everything?  Have you had hallucinations of a lab assistant who died in a fire in your lab, or at least ones that looked like Terry Gilliam animation?  Comment below…

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