Fringe (2012) – Five-Twenty-Ten, and The Human Kind

Both Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter (John Noble) are having issues with their brains this week in Five-Twenty-Ten, and Olivia (Anna Torv) learns what Peter has done.

Written by Graham Roland, this episode first debuted on 16 November, 2012.

Peter is keeping secrets from Olivia, specifically the fact that he has incorporated Observer tech into his own brain. Walter, meanwhile, speaks with Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) about the reintroduction of brain matter and if he is becoming the man he feared he would be before its removal.

Interwoven with all this is the recovery of another tape from amber which sets them off to find more things for Walter’s plan. But as Peter starts to exhibit some strange abilities, and manipulates events to destroy some Observers, Olivia begins to suspect something terrible is happening to the man she loves.

When she confronts him, we realize he really is beginning to change, highlighted by the last moment of the episode when he begins to have his hair fall out, just like an Observer. But he also reveals that he can see the timelines and that he has chosen his next target, Windmark (Michael Kopsa).

Will the team really have to make such drastic sacrifices to save the world, even as they continue to mourn the death of their daughter?

It’s interesting to see the way the changes manifesting in Peter and how Jackson plays it, but it also leaves one worried about the ultimate cost, even with the series finale on the immediate horizon.

The Human Kind was written by Alison Schapker and it first aired on 7 December, 2012.

While Peter continues to manipulate Windmark’s timeline, Olivia sets off in search of an electromagnet but runs into bounty hunters.

At the lab, Walter and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) investigate some recovered Observer tech to understand what Peter has done to himself. Walter pleads with him to let go of this path, to not lose his humanity, a fear Walter has for himself.

As Peter hunts down Windmark, Olivia is able to escape her captors and learn from Walter exactly what effect the implant is having on him. Before he can kill Windmark, and start down a path he may never return from, Olivia confronts him, reminding him of what their daughter would want for them, and he finally removes the implant.

Peter maintains his humanity, but will they be ready for what is to come? While I’m glad to see Peter return to who he is, I wonder if the series is playing it safe at this point? He only really had it installed for a few episodes, and I know it’s a shortened season, but it seems that he was convinced to remove it pretty quickly.

Emotionally it’s the right thing to do, I just wonder if he would have kept it longer if the season had been a twenty-episode run instead of thirteen.

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