Fringe, Series Finale: An Enemy of Fate

When Fringe began I didn’t love it. I certainly didn’t dislike it, but it felt like it was going to be the X-files, or something similar. And for a little while there was a monster of the week aspect to the show.  As the show ends though it has become one of my favorites, and certainly risen well above what I expected for the show. This is because it has done one of the things that so few shows (even very good shows) fail to do. It has taken risks.

The biggest risks this show has taken was effectively reinventing itself in the last few seasons, first by introducing an alternate dimension and eventually moving the show forward in time twenty years. These weren’t the only risks the show took though. They often did things that were surprising. Killing off characters, introducing odd technologies and holding out secrets longer than most shows would.  They even allowed the romance and personal lives of the characters to advance, something that so many shows refuse to do it has become absurd.

To discuss the specifics of the series finale would be a bit absurd. If you haven’t been watching the show you won’t follow and if you have you’ll want to see it yourself. But there are good moments between every character on the show.  Walter had the most of these but everyone had plenty to do. They also made a lot of great connections to previous episodes and even seasons of the show.

It’s hard to sum up all the feelings about a five year show like Fringe in a few words, or to really end a show like this in a single episode, and especially hard in a show that really does have good story, good action and good character development. 

In the end this episode, along with much of Fringe is Walter’s story.  He is the one who caused many if not most of the problems that they face and is the one who usually comes up with the solution.  Yet more often than not it has been Olivia and Peter who have actually stepped into danger to fix it and often them who have paid the price. In this season especially having lost their daughter. So it seems fitting that the series ended with Walter being the one who fixed things. The one who sacrificed everything to change destiny and hopefully finally feel forgiven for the problems he has caused.

That is what made the white tulip such an interesting ending to the series. This was the message that Walter had been waiting for to say that he was forgiven, and while he had received it being able to send it to Peter told his son that he was OK as well as saying that perhaps he had finally forgiven himself. This gives everyone in the show their happy ending, with Peter and Olivia’s family together again and Walter getting to explore an entire world of new ideas.  Not the perfect ending, but then endings are almost never perfect.