In the Fringe series finale, Olivia and the gang prepare for their final showdown with the Watchers. Find out what happened and who survived.
After five seasons and 100 episodes, it was time for the hit sci-fi series Fringe to give up. Created by JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Fringe premiered on Fox in 2013 and followed Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv years before starring in Netflix’s FBI drama spirit hunter), Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and his father Walter Bishop (John Noble) as they investigate paranormal and unexplained occurrences such as parallel worlds, time travel, precognition and human experimentation.
Fringe initially received lukewarm reviews, not receiving the same praise from critics as the early years of X files, but the series took some risks with its storytelling and tone that ultimately paid off. The show explored alternate dimensions and timelines before other cult hits like Agents of SHIELD done that by for the course. The idea allowed Fringe to become something new with each season, and although most episodes contained stand-alone storylines, they were always tied to the show’s carefully crafted mythology. This mythology reached its climax in the last episode of the series, titled “An Enemy of Destiny”.
In Season 5, evolved humans known as the Watchers used time travel to initiate planning for “The Purge” aimed at wiping out humanity and altering Earth’s environment for the better. adapt to themselves. The season was set in a dystopian future in which the Watchers have invaded Earth and Peter and Olivia have been separated from their daughter Etta. After the invasion, the Fringe team sealed itself in amber until 2036, when an adult Etta freed the team from its frozen state. As Walter was captured and his memory erased by Captain Windmark, the rest of the group attempted to save Earth by tracking down the clues of Walter he left behind after learning of the threat from the Watcher during the finale of season 4.
This led them to an observant child called Michael and a mysterious man named Donald, who once helped Walter. Donald was really a rogue Watcher named September, and he planned to send Michael into the future to stop humanity from creating the Watchers in the first place – like the terminator franchise. While Michael initially had trouble communicating with the team, he contacted Walter and returned his memories, while September revealed that Michael was his son.
That wasn’t the only family-related development. Etta was killed by the Watchers, who sent Peter down a dark path, though Olivia eventually reached him in their shared grief over their daughter’s death. As the team prepared for their final battle, September reminded Walter that he had to sacrifice himself to avoid a temporal paradox.
During the final confrontation in “An Enemy of Fate”, September was shot by a stray bullet and Walter sacrificed himself by leading Michael through a wormhole into the future to prevent the Watchers from reaching Earth. Before Walter and Michael entered the wormhole, he and Peter had one last embrace as father and son. Olivia also used some of her latent Cortexiphan powers to fight and kill Captain Windmark. These two events reset the timeline and the Watcher invasion never happened.
FringeThe final scene of showed Peter, Olivia and Etta having a picnic in the park in 2015. They returned home and Peter found a letter from Walter containing a drawing of a white tulip – a nod to an earlier episode in which Walter struggled with the fallout of some of his scientific research. After five seasons, multiple universes and timelines, and various threats to Earth, Fringe ended on a bittersweet but hopeful note that saw the family reunited and peace restored. The series has since developed a cult following and spawned novels, a comic book series, and an alternate reality game.
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