Fringe / Television

Fringe “The Bullet That Saved the World” Impressions

Last week’s Fringe episode “The Bullet That Saved the World” was so good. As my fellow Whiteboard writer Omarey said during the roundup, it is an episode we had been waiting for. This season has been great so far, but we were waiting for the episode that really blew us away. And this was it. So I haven’t had the time to sit down and take some notes with the episode that I usually do, but I would have hated myself if I didn’t talk a bit about this episode in some way this week, so I’m going to wing it (spoilers ahead, make sure you watched this episode before reading on… seriously big spoilers incoming).

So I guess I start with the end since it was such a big moment. Etta died. I was surprised like I assume most people. I will admit her dying did cross my mind when I first saw she was a guest star still this season, but honestly I kind of dismissed the notion. I figured she would not be in a few episodes for other reasons (maybe a flashback… maybe the group separates at some point… whatever). Heck if she was going to die, it is also surprising that it happened so soon. I’d argue it was bold too. Sure we hadn’t known Etta that long, so Fringe fans weren’t necessarily going to be outraged over her death. Sad, but probably not angry. I think it was bold because of the effect it has on Olivia, Peter and Walter. It affects them, so it affects us even more I think. But Etta fit so well in this group. And so much of the fun this season was watching her interact with her parents. Especially with the odd circumstances and how their lives had been up to this point. And she was just a good character, so it was sad from that perspective too. But the scene was so fantastic that you really couldn’t be mad I don’t think. It was all just handled so well. It really changes the direction of this season and should be interesting to see how all of these characters react (and we already see a bit of that at episode’s end).

But while I jumped to the end of this episode, it was really amazing even before this final sequence. Another great thing about this one was Broyles. I was just mentioning after the last episode how we had seen more of Fake Desmond than Broyles this season. He got quite a bit of time in this episode though. In this new future, there have been a lot of character reunions, and Broyles seeing his old Fringe team is another great one. Particularly the Broyles/Olivia one where she calls him Philip. His interactions with the Observers were also cool. I loved his line when asked what the necklace’s purpose was, “Its purpose? You wear it.” Said with an almost disbelief from Broyles at how these guys just don’t get it. It was fantastic. Oh and his nickname is “The Dove”… awesome.

My other favorite aspect of this episode was Walter’s secret room below the lab. We get to see all of these things from old cases. And then they use the substance that makes your orifices close up (from one of my personal favorite Fringe episodes “Ability”) as a weapon against the Observers and Loyalists in what played out like a cool heist scene.

A few more things:

  • So I have been a little unsure about the tape situation. They seem to all be in the lab, but now they had to re-amber the lab. Not sure if they would be back there or not. The Observers didn’t think anything was up… but yeah, I guess we wait and see.
  • I called the Etta death bold earlier, but it would certainly be less bold if this whole plan of theirs ends in her being alive again (say time travel or reset-ish nonsense). This wouldn’t seem out of the realm of possibility in this show. Not really wanting them to go that route though.
  • We find out what the necklace is and it is what most of us thought it was, but Etta doesn’t find out exactly what it’s from (if I recall correctly) which is kind of a bummer.
  • The Observers sometimes flash right into bullets it seems. I like to think the Observer science team we knew from earlier seasons of this show would never do that.
  • Peter is back to dual-wielding, but it worked for me this time. I imagine he’ll be dual-wielding assault rifles or rocket launchers or something going forward after his daughter died.

I don’t think this brief write-up captured everything that made this episode so great. Like how intense and exciting some of the sequences were, but I think I managed to hit the major notes. It was an episode this season needed to kick things into a higher gear. It was amazing as an episode on its own, but also pushes us into… maybe not exactly a new direction, but I think Etta’s death pushes us forward with a different urgency and gravity than before. A different feel. I can only hope we get a handful more episodes of this caliber before this show comes to an end.

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