Fringe Review: Letters of Transit -

Fringe Review: Letters of Transit

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  • TV Series: Fringe
  • Episode: Letters of Transit
  • Starring: Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown
  • Written By: Jeff Pinker, J.H. Wyman, Akiva Goldsmith
  • Directed By: Joe Chappelle
  • Network: FOX
  • Series:

Fringe Review: Letters of Transit

Fight the Future

By Kurt Anthony Krug     April 22, 2012

One of the series’ trippiest episodes occurs with a preface that the Observers invaded Earth in 2015 (they time-traveled from 2069 because they poisoned the planet as it’s later revealed in the episode). Now in 2036 – yet another alternate future in this series – Earth is ruled by these creepy-looking, bald-headed telepathic guys dressed in suits, ties, and fedoras. Under the rule of the Observes, the Fringe Division polices those who are called “natives” if there are any signs of resistance.

We get to see Broyles (Lance Reddick) and Nina (Blair Brown) 20-some years into the future. Kudos to the makeup artists for making them look authentically old. We also meet agents Etta (Georgina Haig, Road Kill) and Simon Foster (Lost alumnus Henry Ian Cusick, who’s currently co-starring on Scandal) who wish to rid the world of the Observers. 

Etta discovered Walter (John Noble) trapped in amber. Walter holds the key to turning the tables on the Observers as they “thaw” him out. In classic Walter fashion, the first thing he asks for is for some food. It’s painfully obvious after his “thaw” that Walter – who wasn’t all there in the first place – is off the deep end, so Nina suggests that the two put the piece of his brain that he requested be removed when the series began back in his noggin. 

Naturally, that’s easier said than done as they have to go back to the abandoned Massive Dynamic building in what is now a police state. But they do it and de-lobotomize Walter, who becomes abrupt, abrasive, arrogant, and aloof. You can understand why he removed this part of his brain as he was scared of what he was becoming – something further evidenced with his doppelganger Walternate (also Noble).

Other members of the original Fringe team are also trapped amber, including Astrid (Jaskia Nicole) and William Bell (Leonard Nimoy). Who did not see that one coming? Isn’t Nimoy supposed to be retired? Isn’t Bell supposed to be dead? Be that as it may, it was good to see him for a split second to provide that WTF moment. Walter is a real bastard and severs Bell’s hand in case they need his fingerprints to access various buildings.

But there’s a final one (as far as we know) who’s trapped in amber: Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). He escapes with Etta. The big shocker was revealed that she’s his daughter. That was kinda, sorta obvious from the start when she demonstrated she could resist the Observers’ psychic probes. Then the episode ends. When next week’s scenes come on, things return to the present. Let’s hope the creators can revisit this storyline. Despite being named Best Drama by TV Guide and delivering quality episodes 4 seasons in, Fringe is a “bubble” show and may not be back for a 5th season.  


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invisage 4/22/2012 10:27:39 PM

Finally a Fringe review!!! 

Awesome episode... really threw things in yet another direction. Only probelm is we don't get another season they are not going to be able wrap things up in just another 3 epsisodes. Maybe them going with this new direction so late is more fuel to the rumour that fox is going ahead with a 5th season, but with only 13 episodes. That should be enough to nicely wrap things up then with some solid episodes and not too many filler ones.

Kurt you forgot to mention the big Q about Olivia's fate and what William Bell did to her (we are made to assume the bullet Etta is carring on a chain has something to do with it).I don't think we will be seeing Nimoy in more than just a 'frozen' shot (especially minus a hand), so I think he gets to continue enjoying retirement :) But I don't think Olivia is dead either.

Soooooo many damn Qs!!!

DaForce1 4/22/2012 10:54:25 PM

 The Observers come from 2609, not 2069 (probably a typo). We know Olivia's fate according to Etta (which happened in 2016). Plus this is a companion episode to the one where Peter ended up in the future (2020's I believe) and had to send his mind back to the present to correct a mistake (which obviously didn't happen in this timeline now). 

This comes down to September bringing Peter back into the timeline where he was erased, because it was Peter and Olivia's child that prevented the Observers from taking over (according to September). 

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 4/22/2012 11:41:53 PM

I think that this has always been there intention on the show. This and maybe whatever is up with David Robert Jones. The show's motto afterall is "Fight the Future". Which until now was kind of vague.

Bryzarro 4/23/2012 6:12:00 AM

 I was trying to think if this tied into the episode where Peter time jump myself.  Have to go back and watch this week.

Line of the episode:  Walter- "These aren't the droid's you're looking for.  Carry on!"

Classic Walter.

isgrimner 4/23/2012 8:12:14 AM

I've been saving up all the Fringe eps since the hiatus return on the DVR to watch them all in one go.  I almost watched them this weekend, but got sidetracked.  I'll actually probably break down and watch them this week.  Fringe along with Game of Thrones are currently my favorite shows on right now.  So when Fringe gets a review on Mania, I have to click on it to support it, even though I'm really only looking at the grade so as not to get spoilers.

twomcs 4/23/2012 12:27:44 PM

 Not only is Fringe the best show on TV, it's the only non-animated show on Fox worth watching. No way this should be a "bubble" show. Just ridiculous! 

Graebeard 4/23/2012 5:32:30 PM

Is it possible this is the last season for Fringe?!?

Can't be! Along with GOT, this is the most intelligent programming on! It's everything X-Files wanted to be. 

C'mon everyone ... "we want Walter ... we want Walter ... we want Walter ..."

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 4/23/2012 8:52:36 PM

twomcs, Raising Hope is awesome.

DougRed4 4/24/2012 9:10:13 AM

@Graebeard: Fringe is a really good show, but even at it's very best, it pales in comparison to the show it was obviously inspired by: The X-Files!

Butchman 4/26/2012 10:42:54 AM

IMHO: Fringe is ten times better than The X-Files. Acting is a lot better as well.

My one complaint about this epsode is that it left us hanging more than most. Something was missing.... The story took too long to get to an interesting point and then stopped.



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