Stars: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Georgina Haig
Writer: Graham Roland
Director: Jeff T. Thomas
Network: Fox, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: October 12, 2012

With the introduction of the idea that Walter (John Noble) has had many of his memories erased (some of which would allow him to remember how to stop the Observers because September told him the secret), FRINGE now begins what may be a very odd little subplot for a good duration of this 13-episode series finale.

Essentially, Walter recorded the information on how to stop the Observers on a series of VHS tapes that he left all around the city. It’s a scavenger hunt on an epic order – and of course, the notion that the videotapes have survived decades is a bit suspect, but at least that notion is addressed in many spots during “The Recordist.”

The third videotape is found first (not the first or second) and it leads them to a remote forest area that no one dares to tread. There, they find people who have been afflicted with a strange disease – the result of chemicals coming from a local  mine.

In that mine are ingredients that our Fringe team must retrieve in order to start their annihilation of the Observers.

The interesting thing about this group of people is that they see themselves as “recordists” of the truth of what has happened to earth since the Observers took over. They have a huge archive and add to it daily. They don’t want to be found out, otherwise their work would be ruined.

This aspect of the story is classic science-fiction, as good as anything FRINGE has done, yet, I’m having a hard time getting around this whole videotape hunt which doesn’t look like it’s going to resolve itself any time soon.

Once again, Walter gets some of the best moments on the show (he smokes pot at some point). I love how Walter engages in the things you never see a character of his age partake in on a show – and how under the rug the writers sweep these moments so they play in a very subtle wink, wink way. If you’re paying attention, you get it, if you don’t, no loss either.

There’s also a big heavy element of family in this episode as we see Olivia (Anna Torv) still growing closer to her daughter Henrietta (Georgina Haig).

I’m always curious how people, who have never seen FRINGE, would react if they dropped into the middle of an episode like this. The show is so different year after year, fans embrace these changes, but casual viewers are likely scratching their heads or running to change the dial.

That’s why the series has had such a hard time gaining new viewers, but it’s wonderful that these last 13 are hand-crafted for fans only. Rarely does a network allow for this kind of folly, but I’m embracing every little morsel of this brilliant series (warts and all) before the plug is finally pulled before the year is up.

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

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


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Article Source: Assignment X 
Article: TV Review – FRINGE – Season 5 – “The Recordist”

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