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By Tariq Kyle (@TRQhz) at 2:00 pm, January 20, 2013

On Friday night the show that many of us have come to love ended after five seasons, and it left us clutching our hearts and smiling so big it hurt. Tariq explains why this was one of the best series finales yet, and how they did no wrong.

I’ll start this review by saying that at first I wasn’t a big fan of the whole Observer taking over the world plot line. It kind of felt like that random 5 year jump that Desperate Housewives pulled, and so contrived I almost stopped watching. However, once you give it a chance you’ll see that the Observers were the catalyst that let Fringe end in such a fantastic way that we don’t need more cases or weird investigations, we’re perfectly content with what we got.

Joshua Jackson said it best, that the show came to a natural ending that was right for every character in it. We got to see the story lines and relationships between each character come to a satisfying finish and we have no unanswered questions or loose ends, unlike the Merlin series finale. I think the best thing about this is that they even went to give us a glimpse of Gene, Walter’s pet cow. How many other shows make sure that they give us the thirty seconds we need to make sure we have no questions? Not that many, at least that I’ve seen, and I’m very grateful for it!

With every show, there’s the risk of getting overly sappy when you want to give the fans a happy ending. You want things to work out for your characters but at the same time you have to decide what, and who, to sacrifice to get there. So many shows try to skip the sacrifice and try to just please the fans, but realistically it just doesn’t work. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, the saying goes, and Fringe is a true testament to that.

When we found out that Donald took the syringe so he could be the one to take Michael to the other side, it was kind of a disappointment and a copout. It was disappointing because — this might just be me– I love tragedies. The feeling of complete loss is exhilarating, it’s refreshing, and we don’t get it that often in today’s TV. Shows today tend to do the copout, the almost sad ending that turns around to be completely happy and full of sunshine; but not Fringe. They were able to give us a sad ending that still had a sweet aftertaste, and it left us open to imagine Walter in the year 2167, where I hope they still have redvines!

Another reason I loved this finale is while we got to see the Bishop family reunited (technically never parted, though), it was bittersweet when Peter got the white tulip. He would never get to see his father again, but because of his sacrifice Etta would grow up to be a completely different person, someone who would get to enjoy her teen years and high school and not hardened by war. This is why I was smiling so big at the final scene; it was the ending we always wanted and it gave us a future that would continue on in the hearts of the fans. Yeah, it’s just a tad disappointing that the characters look like they don’t remember the Observer time line at all, that they won’t realize what they missed and who they lost in the process to get normal life back. Though in the end I’m glad they don’t have to remember the hardship, and instead are rewarded with years of happiness with Etta.

If you’re angry because Walter had to leave his family, be happy instead because he did his duty as a father, a friend, and a scientist. He paid the ultimate price for taking Peter from the other side, but only after he got his due. Yes, we were upset when no one remembered Peter before he was erased, and we were sad when the relationship they had was restarted from scratch. But with Michael’s gift he left his family knowing everything, and he reminded us of the Walter we grew to love in the first four seasons.

This was the absolutely one of the best finales a show has ever produced, and I honestly have no questions or needs to know any extra information. Do you feel the same way, or do you have questions that you’re dying to get the answer to? Let me know in the comments below!

  • http://twitter.com/plischt plischt

    I totally agree. For me it was the perfect ending of a great series. I will miss it!!!

  • Acrobatic Flea

    Also agree 100%. So many geeky shows go totally off the rails with their “grand” finales (I cite Lost and BSG as the obvious examples) that I’ll admit I was slightly anxious going into this. But, as you say, it was perfect.

  • http://twitter.com/ameywakeford Amey Wakeford

    Agree 100%. Gettin teary just reading this and remembering it all from the other night. It ended well and perfectly and i couldn’t ask for much more :D

  • http://twitter.com/gabysm11 M. Gabriela Sosa

    I don’t think I’ve ever loved a TV show like I love Fringe and I have to agree: it was perfect, for Fringe, it was absolutely perfect. It didn’t feel forced or as if they were trying to please anybody. Joshua Jackson also said that you can’t please everyone and only do what was right for the story. And I’m infinitely grateful they did.

  • a german Fringe-Junkie

    Just wondering that nobody questions how it´s possible that Peter and Olivia met each other. No speculations about what happened in the new timeline in the year 1985? If the Observers won´t exist then September won´t exist and Walternative will rescue his Peter himselves.
    What is your explanation for this?

    • http://forgiveyourmind.tumblr.com/ Tariq

      I think the difference is that the Observer’s race still exists but with the additional capacity for human emotion. So it’s still very possible that September existed and saved Walter & Peter, but the race as a whole doesn’t decide to invade.

    • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

      my interpretation is that the observers didn’t cease to exist in the history of time, they still sent 12 observers (september, december, etc) to observe human history and intervened at certain points (september still distracted walternate, peter still used the machine and was erased from the timeline), but because they had the capacity for emotion they would have never made the morally corrupt decision to invade.

      • Eirini

        yes but my question is, if the observers still existed then Michael would have never been an anomaly, and he would be born in his own time.. and if they never invaded walter would never had to leave for the future , this kind if confuses me

        • Mab

          Walter said it, “Nature abhors a paradox and will right itself.” All the events up until the invasion took place as it was necessary for the life to function.

          Much like the universe healing itself, it cut off what would cause more anomalies in this case, Walters existence after the invasion because he was the one to stop it.

          • http://twitter.com/Peril_in_Pink Gina Smith

            Yeah I think Walter’s existence (or non-existence) confuses me the most. Everything is reset and Walter is there until 2015 when all of a sudden he is erased from the earth? At that point would Peter notice he is missing? Or is he just suddenly erased from their minds like when Peter was removed from the timeline? But with no memory of Walter, how would they explain how Peter exists in their world without Walter stealing him from the other side?

          • http://www.facebook.com/oolufola Olu Olufola

            Walter existed and so does September. Remember September is Michael’s father. Walter goes into the future with September which effectively stops the invasion in 2015. There will still be a September observing, as he was an original onserver model.

            If Peter can get to September, he could ask him to help him look for Walter maybe.

    • Tiago

      I believe the show’s ending is good on the emotional side, but lacking in the logical…it’s best to just feel than try to reason it out too much, because you end up like me with 5 different timelines that still create a paradox.
      You see, if Peter would cryo himself for 100years, he would meet his father coming from the future. This means that there can’t be no reset time…because for his father to be alive in 2178 (or something) would mean that he came from 2036, and if he’s not there, then the Observers will have no emotion and will still invade…so, the paradox remains, even if they erase him at 2015.
      What “actually” happens is creation of alternate realities. Just as there is the Alternate Universe, with Walternate and all that, they simply created a new reality, in which Walter exists in 2178…but he would still exist in 2015, simply it wouldn’t be the same Walter, as the one in 2178 is from a different reality…in the same way that Peter is from the Alternate Universe living in “ours”.
      So basically…they just wanted a good emotional way to end the show, with a good sense of conclusion…but in logic it failed…so it’s best to avoid and not think too much, and just let it be what it is, as Simone said to Olivia, that you cannot know everything, you also need to believe in something.
      For me it was a very good show, that made many of us remember why we loved X-Files. I will miss it.

  • Bobbie

    Having missed some. I didn’t understand what the white tulip meant

  • Gil_Cdn

    An auspicious ending to a universe collapsing series with no hidden vagenda. A big thank you to the producers, writers, casts and crew!

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