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Fringe Season Five: Five Questions About “The Recordist”

by  in Comic News, TV News Comment

Friday night’s Fringe followed up on the revelation that there were tapes out there explaining how to save the human race in the only way possible: Getting our heroes out of the city, and back to nature. Not that they were alone out there, of course. Here are five questions about this week’s “The Recordist.”

Is Anyone Else Getting A Lost Flashback?
Watching the Walter videos is really reminding me of that other Uber-Successful JJ Abrams Show, especially with the faux aging and “warped” parts that just so happen to hide important revelations, answers and information that would change the course of the episode/storyarc/series. I don’t know if the videotapes – And, really, considering these were recorded at some point after the Observers invaded Earth in 2015, is it in any way plausible that Walter really used Betamax video cassettes? Really? – are intended to be a shout-out to Lost, but that’s certainly what they feel like.

The Plan Is To Undo The Environmental Change, Isn’t It?
Again, we get a plot that makes mention of the Observers’ attempt to toxify the atmosphere in order to make it more palatable for them… Even though we don’t know what the magic Macguffin rocks are actually supposed to do, what’s the betting that they’re somehow involved in a plan to purify the atmosphere, saving humanity and dooming the Observers? Happy Endings All Round!

Why Didn’t Walter Want To Go To Philadelphia?
I’m not quite sure what to make of Walter’s reluctance to visit the co-ordinates from the tape – And, for that matter, did Olivia get the co-ordinates wrong when she repeated them? Accident when making the episode, or some kind of plot hint that makes no sense just yet? Walter’s “My feet hurt” seemed obviously a lie, so what were we supposed to make of that, considering he really didn’t remember anything about what they found there? Was he expecting something else? Was he a coward, and so didn’t want to put himself back out into the field? Or was it just an off note from John Noble for once…?

Why Haven’t The Observers/Loyalists Discovered Astrid?
No, really; she’s just hanging out in Walter’s lab, which is in the middle of an Observer base and no-one has found her yet? Even if you buy into the “Walter’s lab was abandoned” part of things, that’s still just a little unlikely, especially when she calls and live streams information from that location. You’re telling me that no-one is tracking that kind of thing? Really?

Who Was Donald, And What Happened To Him?
The most obvious question of the episode: Who was the man who had visited the mine before, and was kidnapped by the Observers? Walter hypothesized that maybe he was September, which offers an interesting possibility: Could September be traveling through time, seeding the clues that Walter needs to defeat the Observers? But if so, why would he be called Donald? Despite the story moving on from this surprisingly quickly, I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot about Donald in the future…