Fringe’s fifth and final season began on 28 September, 2012 with the Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11. Written by J.H. Wyman it takes us back to the future, the year 2036, which was first introduced in the fourth season episode Letters of Transit.
As Peter (Joshua Jackson), Walter (John Noble), Astrid (Jasika Nicole) track down Olivia’s (Anna Torv) last location, they attempt to deal with the loss of the intervening years, the fact that they didn’t save the world from the Observers who took over, and their own personal issues which occurred when Olivia and Peter lost their daughter during the invasion, causing Peter to leave Fringe Division.
Recovering Olivia from amber (she’s in the hands of a familiar face), where she has some tech Walter needs, she and Peter are reunited and get to see the woman their daughter grew into, Fringe agent Henrietta (Georgina Haig).
But no sooner is Olivia rescued with the Thought Unifier, than Walter is seized by Loyalists and brutally interrogated by Windmark (Michael Kopsa) who recognizes that September (Michael Cerveris) inserted shards of a plan into Walter’s head and that the unifier would connect them all. But if they are simply destroyed during the interrogation, maybe there is no hope for the Natives, and the world will belong to the Observers.
There’s a lot going on, a lot to take in, but as the episode comes to a close, we realize that even as Walter laments the fact that he may no longer have the key to the plan, despite the Observers’ best efforts, there is always hope.
In Absentia was written by J.H. Wyman and David Fury. It first aired on 5 October, 2012.
Walter believes there may be clues to the plan that he can now no longer remember in his old lab at Harvard. Unfortunately, the entire campus has been taken over and outfitted as an Observer/Loyalist base. They’ll have to find a way in, and not only that, but recover Walter’s camera from amber, so they can view the tape he recorded before he ambered his lab.
Sneaking through tunnels, they get into the lab, but are found by a Loyalist guard, Gael (Eric Lange) and it is through Etta’s interrogation of him that Olivia sees how different the world is now, and how it has affected all of those who live in it. She’s not happy about Gael’s choice to become a Loyalist and is even more upset by the lengths her daughter will go to in order to get the information they need from him.
As the camera and tape are recovered, Olivia and the viewer get to see how her arrival has impacted both sides of the war, and what it may mean going forward.
It hurts Olivia to see the things that her daughter may have to do, and I think that makes her more determined to make things right, which the recovered tape hints they can do. If they can recover other hidden tapes, which will reveal Walter’s plan, and allow humanity to oust the Observers.
The hunt begins next time!