Blair Brown in FRINGE - Season 5 - "Anomaly XB-6783746" | ©2012 Fox/Liane Hentscher

Blair Brown in FRINGE - Season 5 - "Anomaly XB-6783746" | ©2012 Fox/Liane Hentscher

Stars: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown
Writer: David Fury
Director: Jeffrey Hunt
Network: Fox, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: December 21, 2012

As FRINGE concludes its last episode of 2012 before it heads into the final three episodes of the series in January, the show continues its up and down ride through the season long arc of the humans versus the Observers.

It’s been a challenging season, and at times, a rather boring one too. Without the benefit of too many standalone episodes, the ongoing threat vacillates between ominous to non-existent.

It’s hard to get a grip on the Observers being a threat when they can’t shut down a small group of rebels who used to spearhead the FRINGE division – especially when the Observers have an advantage because they calculate multiple scenarios in their head and teleport. It’s a flaw that is as frustrating as it is ridiculous.

“Anomaly XB-6783746” focuses on the FRINGE team finding another piece of their puzzle – a young anomaly, a child Observer (Rowan Longworth) who holds the key to stopping the Observers for good.

The episode meanders a bit, as Nina (Blair Brown) tries to help Olivia (Anna Torv), Peter (Joshua Jackson), Walter (John Noble) and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) communicate with the young Observer who should not exist (and was scheduled to be destroyed).

Anna Torv, John Noble, Joshua Jackson and Rowan Longworth in FRINGE - Season 5 - "Anomaly XB-6783746" | ©2012 Fox/Liane Hentscher

Anna Torv, John Noble, Joshua Jackson and Rowan Longworth in FRINGE - Season 5 - "Anomaly XB-6783746" | ©2012 Fox/Liane Hentscher

The episode also features Captain Windmark (Michael Kopsa) who realizes Nina is a traitor and begins to interrogate all her employees to find out what she’s up to. Windmark also learns that the Child Observer has been found. Nina doesn’t give anything up, and kills herself before he can extract information from her.

What should have been a huge emotional whopper with Nina’s death, is rendered bittersweet and a little disconnected, particularly with the future storyline and the lack of Nina throughout Season 5. It’s necessary, yet not well played.

Somewhat Dark Walter rears his early head throughout and it’s great to see Noble play this quasi-soulless version of Walter again, though, again, it feels like a near replay of the arc of Peter losing his soul due to Observer tech. With 13-episodes, it’s not a good time to repeat yourself.

I’m still not sure where everything is leading, and I’m excited to see the final three episodes, but moving the story forward into the future and doing a season long arc has in many ways stifled the shows usually top notch credibility and creativity. It’s an incredibly entertaining series, but it finally settled on a direction that sadly didn’t work as well as they probably thought it would when they originally pitched this concept.

FRINGE continues to be one of the most fascinating shows on television, I just wish they would have went into a different direction and not unhinged the show’s final breaths by jumping ahead in time, demystifying the Observers to nothing more than your standard issue bad guys and dealing with a world that doesn’t hold the same warm place that the previous worlds FRINGE has created.

Points for taking chances, points taken away for losing its way hard after a promising first batch of Season 5 episodes.

Related: Exclusive interview with Seth Gabel on FRINGE, ALLEGIANCE and ARROW

Related: Interview with FRINGE executive producer J.H. Wyman

Related: TV Review: FRINGE – Season 5 – “The Human Kind”

Related: TV Review – FRINGE – Season 5 – “The Bullet that Saved the World”

Related: TV Review – FRINGE – Season 5 – “The Recordist”

Related: TV Review – FRINGE – Season 5 premiere – “Transilience Thought Unifer Model-11”


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Related: Breaking News – FRINGE Season 5 finale will end with closure says executive producer

Related: Fox explains the decision for renewing FRINGE for a fifth and final season

Related:TV Review – FRINGE – Season 4 – “Brave New World – Part 2 – Season Finale

Related:TV Review – FRINGE – Season 4 – “Brave New World – Part 1”

Related:Interview with Leonard Nimoy on the Season 4 finale of FRINGE, STAR TREK 2 and Season 5

Related: Interview with FRINGE star Seth Gabel on the future of the series and the rest of Season 4

Related: FRINGE producers reveal the status of Season 5 at Wondercon 2012

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Article: TV Review: FRINGE – Season 5 – “Anomaly XB-6783746”


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  1. Agree with most the above.

    Walter being soulless is what made the over the top crying of Walter for Nina so ridiculous, as he returned to soulless Walter directly after to watch Nina kill herself cold faced.

    Noble never had the guts to play that soulless nasty Walter for a part of the season, blocking the entire Olivia-Walter story-arc, as Olivia knew Walter from the age of 3, and was and still is his victim, nothing done with that.

    Olivia responded to Ninas death in Olivia fashion, heartbreaking truly felt, and I keep being amazed how Anna Torv manages to bring across Olivia so beautifully, while Wyman is erasing the character under her feet.

    Olivia lost her Chosen One and hero status to Peter in season 3, she was made into his wife starting season 4, but still had some value and potential to the overall story,
    but the way she was used in season 4 by Bell and Walter was beyond disgusting.

    I hoped Olivia in season 5 would finally get the arc of no longer being the victim of Walter, instead she has been made Peters wife, a bit mother, and has to be in most of the scenes without a storyline and mostly no writing or bad writing, and mostly be worried for Peter.

    This episode Walter gets the connection with the child Observer, used to be Olivia,
    next week Walter goes into the tank, used to be Olivia,
    So who will get the cortexiphan? Walter or Peter, as Peter already has Olivias role as action person.
    Nina at least gets to go on a her own terms,

    Olivia is being used , and has been made passive since at least half season 4.
    No active storyline, no part of the big picture.
    Since Wyman has no interest in writing for Olivia and Anna, very obvious, he will think that he can get away with turning Donald/September into Olivias father, will save explaining why they never did anything with him, and he can pretend that this was the plan.
    But it will do nothing to Olivias arc.

    The observers in the form of September and co had something,
    these observers are copycat cliche nazi, with the loyalist troops a farce.
    Over There remains the best part of Fringe, with the idea of Cortexiphan a storyline that could have been great, if they would have done more with teh victims , Olivia and the other children.

  2. Wonderful review! I loved the latest episode of Fringe and it’s great getting a few questions answered like who the heck Donald happens to be. I enjoy watching Fringe which’s one of my favorite primetime shows I never figured I would care to watch. I enjoy watching all my shows on primetime when I’m home. The problem’s I always record a bunch of things, because I work at night. I have to pick what I’m going to watch and miss the others ….


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