Fringe: Liberty and An Enemy of Fate
by Ashley Binion
It’s hard to say goodbye. After countless fringe events, ninety-eight episodes, and two universes Fringe ended its five year run with “Liberty” and their 100th episode, “An Enemy of Fate.” The two-episode ending gave fans callbacks, retuning characters, and ultimately remained true to itself.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead!
Fringe’s final Friday began with the series’ penultimate episode, “Liberty,” a universe-jumping and Cortexiphan-filled hour.
It started with the team frantically trying to find Michael, the child Observer, after he allowed himself to be caught by Windmark. Broyles coerced a Loyalist soldier into giving away Michael’s location, Liberty Island. Being “the dove,” he then relayed the information to the former Fringe team.
Since the island was so heavily guarded, Olivia suggested using the other universe to help in their quest. After checking that the other side was still intact by using the universe window, Walter injected her with four bottles of Cortexiphan. Anna Torv did an amazing job making me cringe while watching Olivia struggle with bottle after bottle of the drug being injected.
The first of many moving father and son moments occurred between Walter and Peter. They discussed sacrifice, but Walter couldn’t bring himself to tell Peter about the impending sacrifice he was to make.
Olivia jumped universes, where she was instantly snatched up by the other universe’s Fringe Division. The audience gets a glimpse of an older Lincoln Lee and Fauxlivia. I didn’t realize how much I missed Fauxlivia until I saw her. It made me want to watch season three all over again. Did anyone else notice that Chelsea Clinton was running for president? I thought that was a nice touch.
I loved the reunion scene between the married couple and Olivia. It’s always fun to watch Anna Torv act with herself. We were then caught up with all the events of the other universe. Fauxlivia and Lincoln have a cute little family life, Fringe division is still around, and Walternate is ninety years old and continues to lecture at Harvard. Lincoln and Olivia had a nice moment where he showed his remorse and regret for leaving his home world behind. Then came the best line of the episode from Fauxlivia: “You can stop checking out my young ass.” Such an adorable moment in a tense episode.
Olivia jumped to our side’s Liberty Island. After some initial hiccups, she found Michael and took him back to the other universe’s Liberty Island. Observers followed, but Fauxlivia and Lincoln had her back. After a short goodbye, Olivia and Michael safely jumped back to our side’s Battery Park.
While Windmark had the boy, he tried to read his thoughts, but got nowhere. He ordered for tests to be done. The Observers realized how he had a higher intellect and they are unable to comprehend. Windmark traveled back to 2609 and informed his superiors of the revelation.
Meanwhile, September built the device that would create the wormhole that would help transport Michael and Walter to 2167. He ran into difficulties when the main power source was no longer viable, and made his way to December’s apartment, hoping to get some help from the fellow Observer. With that, the episode and the door closed with the number 513. This, of course, is a shout out to the next and final episode: the thirteenth episode of the fifth season.
The glyph code for this episode was “loved.”
The 100th episode, “An Enemy of Fate” continued the pace of the previous episode. December and September had a nice discussion about emotions, and a nice shout out to August (my favorite Observer besides September). Even though the original twelve Observation Team had been engineered to not have feelings, they all ended up developing emotions. December agreed to help, but once he acquired the piece, he was killed by Loyalists and it was taken from him.
After some old-school Fringe science talk, they devised a plan to shoot the beacons into one of the Observer’s shipping lanes and have Michael enter the future.
Peter discovered a tape while lasering through the amber, with his awesome Doctor Horrible goggles, that was addressed to him. The father and son watched the tape together. On the tape, 2015 Walter described sending Peter a letter with something of his inside. But when he tried to reach his father, he wouldn’t be around because he vanished and living in the future. Current Walter told his son that he would be the one to take Michael to the future and he would disappear the moment of the invasion. In this moment, Walter was a father sacrificing himself for the well-being of his son. Peter visibly upset, embraced his father. Joshua Jackson and John Noble did an excellent job in this scene.
Back in the amber, Astrid showed Walter she found Gene. This led to another one of my favorite scenes. Astrid noticed Walter’s distress and tried to comfort him with the prospect of drinking a strawberry milkshake. They have always had a special bond. After calling her every name in the book that began with an “A” throughout the series, when he complimented her on her real name it was absolutely heartbreaking.
Windmark, now onto Broyles “being the dove,” had him followed, captured, and tortured. But never fear Olivia and Peter to the rescue! They released a handful of old Fringe events on the compound. The ones I saw were the parasites from “Snakehead,” closed orifices from “Ability,” exploding heads from “The Cure,” the butterfly attack from “The Dreamscape, crystalized bodies from “Pilot,” and a random six fingered hand which is a glyph image. Oh, and another was another callback to “The Equation,” when Peter was hacking into Broyles’ room and the light flashed red, red, red, green.
It all came together in a final battle, where sadly September bit the dust, Olivia used her Cortexiphan powers to throw a car and kill Windmark (which was awesome), and Walter took Michael’s hand and led him into the future as Peter said “I love you, Dad.” This mirrored the moment when Walter took Peter from the other universe into ours, where the entire universe of Fringe began. Shout out to Michael Giacchino’s moving score.
The next image the audience sees is the scene in the park, where the season began. It worked, the Observer invasion never happened. The series ended with Peter, now at home with Olivia and Etta, discovering the letter Walter sent him. Inside the letter was the drawing of the white tulip, Walter’s symbol of hope.
I was extremely satisfied with this ending, which was emotionally rewarding. Sure, it was somewhat predictable, but to see Peter and Olivia get their happy ending with their daughter was fulfilling.
To me, the series was never about the awesome science, the father and son relationship, nor the romance. Of course, these elements I loved, but instead it was about family. Yes, Peter and Walter were biologically family, but the Fringe world and team came together to form their own dysfunctional family who loved each other and would do anything for one another. This was well represented in the final two hours.
It was poignant and optimistic, much more optimistic than I thought it would end. Of course Walter was never going to have a happy ending. He had to amend for his mistakes and his overwhelming hubris. In the end, Fringe stayed true to itself and its overarching theme of the importance of family.
The glyph code for this episode was “close.”
What did you think of Fringe’s ending?
“Liberty” – 5 out of 5 stars
“An Enemy of Fate” – 5 out of 5 stars