Fringe – S4 Ep19, Letters Of Transit

OMGOMGOMG. You guys, I can’t even. This episode, it just. My mind and heart, they’re broken — in all the right ways.

Okay, okay. Previously on Fringe, episodes I didn’t have the chance to recap, but were quite good. Sadly, Alt!Lincoln is dead. Our Lincoln, feeling unwanted on our side since Peter and Olivia are in loooove, is hanging out with the Alt team and brokenhearted Fauxlivia. Col. Broyles was working with DRJ because Jones was giving him medicine for his sick son, but Broyles is awesome in any universe and he turns himself in. Anything else vital? Well, I’ll bring it up when/if it comes up.

But this is episode nineteen, and so like “LSD” and “Brown Betty” before it, it’s the crazy wild inventive one. And boy oh boy, is this one all those things. There is only one plot line, and this is how it begins (in scrolling text on the screen, although without Star Wars music, more’s the pity):

‘They came from the future. At first, they only watched.

Arriving at key moments in human history. We called them OBSERVERS.

But in 2015 they stopped watching… and seized control.

Citizen uprisings proved bloody and futile. Those who survived became known as “Natives.”

It's like the intro to 'The 4400', if there was a shot of everyone in a concentration camp.

In an attempt to show their allegiance, some Native factions became “Loyalists” and were marked by the OBSERVERS.

The original FRINGE TEAM fought the invasion, but was quickly defeated.

FRINGE DIVISION was allowed to continue at a reduced capacity, but only to police the Natives.

The resistance was quickly overcome

…or so they thought.’

Boston, 2036. A blonde agent who bears more than a passing resemblance to the one we’re all expecting to see enters a club where Observers are paired with not-so-happy-looking women. She gets into an altercation with a man who doesn’t seem happy to bow to the Observers’ whims. It appears as if she’s killed him, and when the Observer reads her mind, whatever he sees satisfies him.

However it turns out that not only has the female agent not killed the guy, but she has some kind of natural ability to block the Observers’ mind scan. The erstwhile ‘dead’ guy delivers her the body of one Dr. Walter Bishop, encased in amber, before a Loyalist shoots him actually dead. The blonde gets away, taking the amber and its precious contents with her. There’s a new credits sequence, and it is awesomely bleak and 1984-ish, with crowds of people in containment camps, and things like “Community”, “Joy”, and “Private Thought” as the ‘fringe’ concepts.

Our not-Olivia heroine talks to her partner at Fringe Division, who’s played by Henry Ian Cusick, aka Desmond from LOST. He’s extremely awesome on this show, too (he was one of my favorite parts of that other show that I do not love), although his name here is Simon, not Desmond. Oh, and the blonde is Etta, by the way. They’re both thrilled at the possibility of meeting one of the members of the legendary first Fringe teams. Not only will he know where the other team members are, but he’ll probably also be able to help the Resistance — no one knows why they vanished after the invasion, anyway.

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