TV Recap: 'Fringe' Episode 507 - 'Five-Twenty-Ten'



Fringe Episode 507
Written By: Graham Roland
Directed By: Eagle Egilsson
Original Airdate: 16 November 2012

In This Episode...

Tape #5 sends the Fringe team to the waterfront warehouse that Bell and Walter used to work out of. The building is still there, but it is a pile of rubble, leaving our team to figure out how to get into it. Walter believes the safest, easiest way is to rearrange the rubble’s molecules and go through it. That naturally would have been my first suggestion. While Astrid, Olivia, and Walter go find Nina Sharp, Peter splits off to go meet Anil, leaving Olivia very worried - and very suspicious. (We’ll get to Peter in a minute.)

Nina - now wheelchair-bound - is elated to see Olivia and Walter and will happily supply them with the tech they need. Nina is worried about Walter. She taught Etta how to implant the bits in his brain because she needed his intelligence to fight the Observers. But she is concerned that he will turn back into the man he used to be. Walter is certain that Peter’s love will keep him grounded. Nina reminds him that she loved Bell, and he her, but it wasn’t enough. Walter coolly tells her that Bell was incapable of loving anyone but himself. So much for Peter keeping him grounded.

Peter rejoins his friends at the warehouse site as they are finishing setting up the equipment. It works like a charm, turning the solid matter into steam and essentially disintegrating a path into the building. They are looking for two cylinders that are beacons that allow the Observers to move within the space/time continuum. It isn’t in the storage unit, but Walter finds a safe in the back. He knows Bell’s combination - he just can’t remember it. Olivia is getting anxious - the Observers are bound to notice a change in the molecular structure of this area and come swarming in. She wants to go, but Peter takes a different tact, calming Walter and telling him to relax, concentrate, that there is no rush. This worries Olivia, but it works and Walter gets the safe open. Unfortunately the cylinders are not in the safe. All that is in there is a strange silver disc, and a photo of Nina. They take both and hurry out. Liv hands the disc to Peter, and as soon as he touches it, it lights up. The ground rumbles, and suddenly the two cylinders burrow up out of the ground. With no time to ponder the significance, they grab the cylinders and dash out.

Peter leaves separately from everyone else - another red flag to Olivia. Walter requests as stop on the way home - he wants to give Nina the photo from the safe. It is proof that Bell loved her, even if he wasn’t in love with her. Walter apologizes for the things he said and admits he feels like he is losing himself more and more every day. He wants those bits of his brain re-removed.

Okay, so the whole Peter thing. The Observer tech in his head is giving him Observer-like powers. He sees things in blue and can predict the immediate future. He has also stopped sleeping, and developed that blank-stare-and-head-tilt that the Observers are so fond of. He has asked Anil to switch briefcases with Observer Royce. Anil tries and fails, which confuses Peter, who thought he “saw” every possible outcome. What he didn’t factor in was a cell phone call that altered history enough that Royce did not forget his briefcase, preventing Anil from making the switch. Peter decides to do it himself, at an Observer restaurant. He checks the briefcase in with the hostess (who has individual cubbies for fedoras and briefcases - it is kind of adorable, and an obsessive-compulsive’s wet dream) and waits for a specific moment. The hostess takes a phone call from an estranged boyfriend, distracting her enough to give Peter the briefcase he points at - not the one he brought.

Royce then takes Peter’s briefcase, and opens it up in a meeting with a couple other Observers. He opens it, a gas releases, and the Observers’ faces literally melt off. One guy’s jaw just drips away. Peter used some of the flesh eating virus from Walter’s Fringe archives (“Our first Fringe case will be their last.”) This took place while Fringe was desolidifying the rubble, which meant the Observers were too busy to worry about atmospheric anomalies. 

After dropping off Walter, Astrid, and the cylinders at the lab, Olivia goes home. She is frightened by what she finds. Peter is there, making obsessive color-coded notes on dry erase boards. In a frighteningly flat tone, he explains that he installed Observer tech in his head. He cannot be read, but he knows what they are up to. The timelines are the minute-by-minute habits of Windmark’s top “advisors” - Royce being one of them. This is all revenge for Etta. He took out Royce and a couple others; now his sights are set on Windmark. Olivia is concerned, but when Peter starts repeating her words in precise unison with her, she is positively terrified and slips out of the apartment. Peter is so focused, he barely notices. A throbbing headache causes him to rub his head, and he discovers a large chunk of hair in his hand.

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode left me sad and anxious. Maybe it is because I know the end is near. Maybe it is because all the characters are falling apart mentally, and unlike most TV shows, there is no guarantee of a happy ending with Fringe. Maybe it is because Peter is going to go bald - and he has such a nice head of hair. The reveal of the hair was well-executed, but I hope the producers don’t think that this was a shocking reveal. This has been a long time coming.

Walter Babble

In the storage unit, Walter makes a shocking discovery: Bell took his David Bowie. Olivia is frustrated as Walter goes on and on about how Bell stole all his records. She drags him away, but he brings the Bowie album back to the lab. It was “The Man Who Sold the World,” in case you were wondering.


The Observers are on to Peter. Windmark insists that this was all as he “intended.” Olivia is adamant that she won’t lose Peter again.