Mark Watches ‘Fringe’: S05E09 – Black Blotter

In the ninth episode of the fifth season of Fringe, the team tracks a signal to a strange location in an attempt to find the next piece of Walter’s plan. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Fringe.

I really don’t want to think about the fact that there are only four episodes of this show left. The writing and acting is so consistently good that I still wonder how it’s not the biggest show in the world. It’s so satisfying to watch, the writers constantly reward our patience, and have you seen the faces Anna Torv makes? Bless this show, and I’m going to miss it.

  • One of the first things I noticed in “Black Blotter” was the fact that Walter got Astrid’s name right. The very first time he says her name, it’s correct. I am probably reading too much into it, but that’s significant, right? He’s never done that. Oh god, that’s the “old” Walter coming back, isn’t it? OH GOD.
  • While it’s clear that Peter has sustained no lasting Observer abilities, I appreciated the fact that he looked fucked up during the cold open. He looked like he’d been hit by a truck in his sleep.
  • OH SHIT, WALTER TOOK LSD. Please let this be a weird episode, PLEASE. Also, I kind of love that Fringe is so open and frank about drug use? I don’t watch any other show that is like this.
  • I actually didn’t recognize Carla Warren until Walter said her name. Holy shit, what a brilliant way to bring back a character we haven’t seen since… what? Season two? Bravo.
  • So Nina did agree to take out pieces of Walter’s brain after the plan has been assembled. I wonder if she’ll follow through on it.
  • I know it’s cheesy, but that whole “I have just what I need right here” scene tore my feelings apart. I think “Black Blotter” does a fine job of addressing Peter’s mistakes openly, especially when the writers have him apologize to Olivia. I don’t know that many other shows would take their male lead and have him humble himself before a character like Olivia. I’m used to shows passing this opportunity up. Instead, Fringe chooses to build character from this experience, and it makes this show so much more rewarding to watch than I could have ever imagined.
  • And on the same token, this episode is a stunning examination of Walter’s guilt and his complicity in the events that brought all of these characters to this future. This is represented both in the whimsical portrayal of good/evil faeries and in the hallucinations of Nina and Carla, respectively. Carla is the Walter That Was, the man who believed he was a god of science, and Nina represents what Walter eventually chose to become. As Walter’s original personality returns and he begins to fear what he’s becoming, he has to make a choice again about what kind of person he must be.
  • The use of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” was so great, y’all.
  • Just in terms of the cinematography and editing, “Black Blotter” does wonders to make us feel disoriented and confused, and that only made this episode better.
  • So, the first of many plot twists comes in the form of Sam Weiss. It only makes sense that some iteration of him would have to show up in the future, and I wonder if they’ll elaborate more on his role in these events in a later episode. Perhaps even a guest appearance???
  • What else was in the notebook? I really hope there wasn’t anything Walter could have used. Regardless, I took the temptation and the destruction of the notebook to be analogous to Walter’s struggle to stay human, to not turn into the monster that eventually led to Carla’s death. I also got the sense that he never actually had it, that he imagined the entire thing because of the LSD, which would explain why the bowl was empty at the end of the episode.
  • What’s fascinating about this season of Fringe is that the plot is complicated but it’s singular in focus. While the writers have certainly referenced a ton of the past, we’re watching the Resistance try to defeat the Observers. Because of this, these stories all feel ferocious and clean. They’re gripping and thrilling because we, the audience, know that these characters are so close to discovering the truth. What is the plan to defeat the Observers? So, when Michael stepped out of that house, it felt like such a huge reveal. And it was! But it got me thinking about how exciting season five is, and it’s specifically because the show has been allowed to tell a wholly serialized tale. I’m so happy that this happened.
  • So: Is Donald dead now? Who is he, and why did Walter trust him so much? Why did Walter’s brain choose this moment to give him hallucinations of Carla and Nina? We can’t forget that Walter’s brain was totally fried at one point when he was being interrogated.
  • All right, so the Black Umbrella sequence: best Fringe moment, or BEST FRINGE MOMENT? The clear love of Monty Python was enough to send me into a round of giggles, which was unfortunate because I was in the library when I watched this. There was even a foot coming down from heaven to stomp on someone! I LOVE THIS SHOW.
  • There were no real shocking twists at the end of “Black Blotter,” and that’s okay. I know it’s a set-up for what’s to come. So where did Michael come from? How is there a child Observer? Note that we have never seen an Observer that wasn’t an adult male, so how can this kid even exist?
  • And honestly, I don’t understand the plan at all. None of the pieces make sense separate or together. We know it’ll use a lot of energy, and… then what? Oh, this is going to be fucked up, isn’t it? WE ARE SO UNPREPARED.

Huzzah, I AM ACTUALLY ALL CAUGHT UP! This is FANTASTIC. Now I can be a part of the liveblog on Friday! is this real life

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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