‘Fringe’ Review: “Through the Looking Glass, And What Walter Found There”
The battle against the Observers jumps dimensions, as ‘Fringe’ season 5 debuts its sixth episode of the final season "Through the Looking Glass, And What Walter Found There," where the team ventures into a pocket universe to retrieve a crucial piece of Walter's plan, and Peter's new Observer tech begins to affect him in mysterious wasy.
Last time’s ‘Fringe’ episode “An Origin Story” saw the team struggling to cope with Etta’s heartbreaking death, while Peter interrogated a captive Observer to assemble a deadly plan that would cripple their operation, so how does “Through the Looking Glass, And What Walter Found There” keep the final season in motion? How will season 5 of ‘Fringe’ close out the epic saga?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Fringe’ season 5 episode 6, “Through the Looking Glass, And What Walter Found There!”
Cutting through the amber alone, Walter retrieves yet another tape and pops it in the VCR, in turn revealing that he left a key piece of his plan to defeat the observers in an apartment building at 167 Cedar street. Elsewhere, Peter sits in Etta’s apartment endlessly replaying a recording of his young daughter, when Olivia joins him there and asks only that they keep one another in the loop with regards to what they're feeling.
Walter walks through a bombed out neighborhood alone (getting IDed by an overhead scanner), and makes his way to the apartment building, carefully traversing his way up to the fourth floor. Once there Walter finds the apartment and stands in its center, undergoing a series of organized steps along the floor before stepping through a fissure and disappearing altogether. He reappears, seemingly in some kind of alternate dimension.
Back at the Harvard lab, Astrid, Olivia and Peter wonder where Walter’s gone, before watching the tape to see that years ago Walter created a “pocket universe,” with the help of the mysterious Donald heard about in “The Recordist.” Meanwhile, inside the pocket universe, Walter traverse the tricky and physics-defying nature of the apartment building, before coming face to face with a man named Cecil who’d been trapped there some time ago.
While Walter and Cecil make their way around, learning that time distortions have kept Cecil in there 20 years longer than he’d perceived, Peter, Olivia and Astrid show up to the apartment building, and follow Walter’s steps into the pocket universe. Once inside, the tape on the video recorder resumes playing form the point it cut out, thanks to the pocket universe’s unique conditions. Elsewhere, back in Manhattan, Captain Windmark learns from one of his subordinates that Walter Bishop has been sighted in Worcester.
Following Walter’s video instructions, Peter and Olivia note that he seems to be talking to someone just off camera apart from Donald, as they run into the real Walter and Cecil. While Walter seems to question himself for getting them all so lost, we see on the camera that Walter led a small Observer child into one of the many Fringe Symbol-marked doors. The team finds their way into the room marked with an apple, only to find that the boy isn’t where he was left. Walter grows increasingly frustrated with his failure, but Olivia notices a radio on the nightstand that wasn’t present in the video.
Back in the real world, Astrid notices the Observers arriving outside, while inside Walter and Peter muse that Donald might have moved the Observer boy for some reason. Observers knock Astrid unconscious and enter the fissure, forcing the team to make a hasty escape. In the chaos, Observes gun down Cecil, and nearly take out Olivia before everyone else manages to exit the pocket universe.
Downstairs, Peter remains behind to draw off their Observer pursuers, engaging one in a fistfight and displaying incredible speed and strength. His Observer opponent taunts Peter that he doesn’t yet understand what his new-found Oberver tech is doing to him, when Peter teleports behind him and snaps his neck. Peter teleports away from the scene as Windmark observes, another Etta poster in the background behind him.
After some initial worry, Peter manages to join the others on the monorail to escape. Olivia notes that the mysterious radio appears to be jammed to a specific signal, but isn’t active yet, while Walter expresses his worry to Peter that he has once again become the cold, ruthless and driven man he removed parts of his brain to get away from. Having used Cecil and felt no remorse at his death, Walter begs Peter not to let him become that man again, to which Peter assures his father that he won’t. Peter’s gaze shifts to Olivia at the other end of the car, as we observe Peter’s sight has become the same blue-tinged , grid-like vision of the Observers.
Six episodes, and halfway into the final season, it remains somewhat frustrating that our favorite 'Fringe' team continues finding clues rather than actual answers. The strongest aspects of "Through the Looking Glass, And What Walter Found There" lie in the personal drama between teh characters, most notably Walter's moving worries of becoming his former self, and Olivia's sense of distance between herself and Peter. Moving into the back half of the final season, we're hoping the pace picks up somewhat, without necessarily losing the rich drama we observed tonight.
Did you get your fill of freaky ‘Fringe’ drama? What did you think about the season’s sixth effort? Do you still miss Etta? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Fringe’ episode recap of “Five-Twenty-Ten” on FOX!