Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What a Miserable Future

By Erin Jackson

There is a horrible scene in the season premiere of Fringe where Olivia and Peter are talking, under the smoggy skies of the ruin of New York.

"We didn't save the world," Olivia says to Peter. "Not even by half" he replies. The world they worked and sacrificed for over the past four seasons was all but a rotting corpse. "She's still trying," adds Peter, who is referring to their daughter, Etta.  The daughter they didn't get to raise. As we saw earlier, Henrietta was separated from her parents during an attack by Observers and it was obviously hard on the couple. They went their separate ways; Peter continued to search for Etta while Olivia went to New York to try once again to stop the imminent takeover by Observers, but neither of them were able to accomplish their goal. Instead they were separated from each other, suspended in time for fifteen years.

Central Park is now a carbon dioxide pumping machine, since the air in 2037 apparently still has too much oxygen for the Observers to breathe, which is actually one of the more hopeful things in this bleak, bleak episode. The other hopeful thing? Walter is still Walter, even after being tortured by observers for information for hours and even after having to eat egg sticks (ew). At the end of the episode, he sees a fluttering light outside and investigates. It's a mobile of sorts made from discarded and broken CDs. After some searching he finds an intact mix CD and pops it into a car radio, and out comes the song "Only You" by Yazoo. That wouldn't be high on the list of things I'd want to hear after being frozen for 15 years but in a world where music is rare and merely "tolerated" it's practically rhapsodic, and it's enough to bring hope and a spark back to Walter. It's a small, flickering hope, one that is not ideal but it's hope nonetheless. The answer to the problems became clear, as he gazed at a flower growing their the cracked cement. It would not lie in Walter and Peter's gifts for technology, but in their humanity and love and their determination.

Erin Floyd Jackson has been BFFs with TV since she was a wee one when she would play TV Network Executive. She went to school to learn about how and why TV is the way it is and hopes to someday tear someone's creative vision down and re-edit it to her liking. In the meantime, she and her husband live in Huntsville, Alabama and they occasionally "blog" here ( when they are not geeking out over all the SCIENCE! in the Rocket City.

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