Fringe Season 5: 5 Questions About "Transilience Thought Unified Model-11"

Fringe returned this week with the show permanently moving to the year 2036 and humanity's struggle against the Observer invasion of Earth. With the series essentially being rebooted for its final season, are you that surprised that we have five questions about "Transilience Thought Unified Model-11"?

If Peter Abandoned The Team, Why Was He With Walter and Astrid?

When Walter mentioned that Peter had abandoned the team, what was he talking about? After all, we know that Peter was with Astrid and Walter when they were all ambered. But then again, so was William Bell, and he was very definitely not on the side of the Fringe Division last we saw him. After Peter and Olivia split - because Peter was looking for Etta - Did Peter go "rogue" from the mission at some point, and join Bell? Is Bell's presence with the team in the amber a red herring? After all, Bell did get a shout-out this week. And almost as importantly…

What Happened to Etta?

If the flashback at the start of the episode is anything to go by, Etta disappeared when the Observers began the Purge in 2015, but where did she go? Given the bullet necklace that seemed so important to her when she woke up at the start of the episode, I think this is a mystery that we're going to have explained before too long. Here's the real question: Is wherever she was related to her importance to ending the Observer occupation - and does it have nothing to do with Olivia and Peter after all?

What Is The (W)Hole?

Olivia was looking for a device that would complete "the whole." Or the "hole," perhaps? Even though, Ella asked "the whole what?" I feel as if Walter was describing something as "the hole." But what is the plan that September shared with Walter, and does that have anything to do with the device that Peter powered, back at the end of Season 3? Maybe it's just me, but the hologram of the device looked very familiar to me. After all, didn't Peter travel to this future, back when the device was first activated…? (I was totally with the evil Observer torturer when he told Walter "What is your plan to defeat us?" I want to know, too!) Now that Walter has been essentially rebooted to his confused mental state at the start of the show's first season - And why, exactly, can't he just regrow his brain the same way he did before, exactly…? - we may never know what the plan was, and yet, I doubt that it'll disappear so easily with only fourteen episodes left.

Are The Observers Doomed To Repeat The Mistakes Of The Past?

We know, thanks to "Letters of Transit," that the Observers traveled back 500 years because they had ruined the Earth of their time… But now, we discover, they're pumping carbon dioxide into the air to de-purify the atmosphere to make it easier for them to breathe. Wouldn't that just speed up the ruination of the planet, and destroy their existence even earlier than before? We know that the Observers have some increased knowledge of time, so I assume that they've already considered all of this, and yet, from out human perspective, it just doesn't make any sense… What, exactly, is going on with this future timeline? And, perhaps more importantly, is the key to defeating the Observers something to do with their need for an toxic atmosphere, or was that just the key to defeating them this week?

What Is Fringe Now?

The show has changed so much since its first appearance - and even since the last season - that it feels like an entirely different show, and I'm not sure it's a change that I necessarily appreciate. Yes, there's still Walter and Peter and Olivia, but now they're surrounded by weirdness in a world that's even more weird; there's nothing to balance everything out, and that lack of balance seems important. I'm going to miss the humor, and the sideways look at the everyday that the show used to offer, I admit. We'll see how the grim dystopia plays out in the future weeks, I guess. After all, there was a flower at the end of the episode...

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