‘Fringe’: ‘The Bullet That Saved the World’ review

Posted Filed under

The dramatic conclusion to this week’s Fringe is something that hardly anybody could’ve seen coming.

It’s a real gut punch to see Etta, arguably the symbol of hope for the future, have to sacrifice herself for the plan to defeat the Observers. As in the final season of so many other shows, though, the threat of the villains has to be emphasised. Etta’s death is really significant, and it’ll likely be the catalyst for the rest of the shows conflict. This episode is a suspenseful and emotional one, and that shocking conclusion will stick with viewers for a long time.

Because we’ve only spent five episodes getting to know Etta, it’s hard to know how much of an impact losing her has. She was just becoming more of a fully realised character, though, and her remembering her past before she’s shot is surprisingly heartbreaking. Her death will have a serious effect on Peter and Olivia, as they’ll surely struggle with having lost her twice. It is from here that they’ll likely gain increased motivation to end the Observers’ reign.

‘The Bullet That Saved the World’ is a great episode before this point, however, as it sees the return of Broyles and follows the team as they attempt to gather more parts of Walter’s plan. Revealing that he has secretly stashed a lot of evidence from the events of previous seasons, Walter suggests creating diversions that’ll occupy their oppressors. In doing this, the team begin to seem more like a resistance than we have seen before, and the fast-paced action in this episode is really Fringe at its best.

It’s great to see Broyles again too, and the reunion that he gets to share with Olivia, Peter and Walter is a moment that really feels earned. It would appear that he’s going to have a significant part to play as the season heads forward, especially now that Etta’s connection to the Resistance isn’t going to be of use. The Observers are really starting to act like the deadly and dangerous force that the show has been saying they are, in this episode they are ruthless, cruel and intelligent in their actions. To beat them is going to take much more than the Fringe team had thought.

Killing off Etta is certainly a bold decision on the part of the writers, and only time will tell if it’s the right choice. It’s always painful to lose a great character, especially one played so well (Georgina Haig really gave an incredible performance) and with so much promise. Her death makes a point about the harsh reality of this world, though, and it’s one that Peter and Olivia needed to learn.

‘The Bullet That Saved the World’ is the strongest episode of Fringe so far this season, with tense action, emotional reunions, surprising developments and a devastating conclusion. It’s clear now that this is the final season and nobody is safe.

Aired at 10pm on Wednesday 14 November 2012 on Sky1.

> Buy the complete Season 1-4 boxset on Amazon.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…

> Follow Simon on Twitter.