The Observers and the team engage in a battle in the year 2036.
First, let me just geek out a little bit.
Henry Ian Cusick is in this episode! Desmond Hume from LOST is in this episode! Wow.
Cusick plays a guy named Simon Foster who seems to be a team lead in Fringe Division that is now comprised of agents who essentially police "natives" since the Observers, who we are told took over in 2015, are too busy banging whores and getting drunk on water.
Etta, an agent who has the ability to hide her thoughts from the Observers, is in possession of an amber encased Walter Bishop. An informant apparently found him and two other amber encased individuals, but is killed before he can tell her their location.
We meet old man Broyles who is still running things but taking threatening suggestions from the Observers about the natives.
Simon and Etta figure out a way to get Walter out of the amber, and after some candy munching, discuss with him the Observer problem and how to get rid of them. 20-years earlier Walter created a way to vanquish those pesky bastards before ending up in the amber. The agents are in possession of the plans for this device. Unfortunately for the agents, they quickly realize that Walter is suffering from brain damage.
Etta brings Walter to a wheelchair bound Nina Sharp trying to figure out a solution to their problem. Nina tells them they need to get a piece of Walter's brain from the old Massive Dynamic building, which is within a city full of Observers. MISSION!
At the old Massive Dynamic lab, the gang finds Walter's brain tissue. Walter then goes to sleep so Simon can tell Etta a story about the horrors of 2015 and the birth of the resistance. I don't mind this bit of exposition because Cusick is an amazing actor and he could say virtually anything and make it riveting. This little bit is as good as anything our main characters have delivered this season.
Walter eventually wakes up, having already been injected with his dissolved brain tissue. Now fully himself, he is quickly brought up to speed just as security forces and an Observer descend on the lab.
Inside the lab, as Walter checks out the plans to make his Observer busting device, he tells the agents that September once told him that the planet was ruined in 2609 and that the Observers traveled back in time to take this planet --or this planet in this time- for themselves. As the enemy approaches, the gang makes its escape leaving an improvised explosive device of mass destruction behind to take out their pursuers, and the entire building.
Having made their escape, Walter leads the agents to the location of the rest of his amber encased team. They release Astrid from her 20-year old prison cell, but their extraction device is damaged in the process. When Simon realizes that his tracking device has led authorities right to them, he physically forces Peter out by taking his place. This is done with some trickery as the audience is meant to think Simon saves William Bell, but we later discover the truth, and that Walter has cut off Bell's hand (likely because Leonard Nimoy wasn't available) for use in some future purpose.
At the end we, along with Peter, realize that Etta is Henrietta... his daughter.
TO BE CONTINUED...
When a guard stops the agents and Walter and asks for their paperwork, Walter channels Star Wars.
Walter: These are not the droids you're looking for.
After the guard lets them go.
Walter: Move along.
If I had to rate this episode, and Walter's amber coffin says I do, then I'd give it:
95 out of 100
A shockingly well acted, written, produced, shot, and paced episode where the majority of it is focused on characters we have never met before. While I suspected that Etta could somehow be related to one of our main characters, the moment when she reveals herself to be Peter and Olivia's daughter was effective and emotional. I'd say the same for the whole episode. If there were any missteps, I ignored them because I was intrigued about the direction it was headed. Though, for a few minutes after it ended, I wondered if this wasn't a much better direction to take most of this season, instead of a couple, or handful of episodes.
Anyway, for maybe the first time this season, I am literally DYING to see the next episode. Can this show finish strong after delivering a less than stellar season? Can it pull a LOST season 3?!
Tune in next week.... and yeah, I know I could have quoted more of this episode but my head hurts. Sue me.