An Origin Story

Last updated
"An Origin Story"
Fringe episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 5
Directed by P. J. Pesce
Written by J. H. Wyman
Production code 3X7505
Original air date November 2, 2012
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
 Previous
"The Bullet That Saved the World"
Next 
"Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There"
Fringe (season 5)
List of Fringe episodes

"An Origin Story" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of the Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe , and the 92nd episode overall.

<i>Fringe</i> (season 5) season of television series

The fifth and final season of the American Fox science fiction television series Fringe premiered on September 28, 2012, and concluded on January 18, 2013. The series is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The show was officially renewed for a 13-episode fifth season on April 26, 2012. The fifth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on May 7, 2013.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of Fox Corporation, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. The network is headquartered at the 20th Century Fox studio in Los Angeles, with additional major offices and production facilities at the Fox Television Center also in Los Angeles and the Fox Broadcasting Center in New York City.

<i>Fringe</i> (TV series) American science fiction television series

Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox network on September 9, 2008, and concluded on January 18, 2013, after five seasons and 100 episodes. The series follows Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, and Walter Bishop, all members of the fictional Fringe Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, based in Boston, Massachusetts, under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses fringe science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe.

Contents

The episode was written by J. H. Wyman, while being directed by P. J. Pesce.

J. H. Wyman Canadian actor

Joel Howard "J. H." Wyman is an executive producer, screenwriter, director and musician.

P. J. Pesce is an American film director and writer. He is also the co-creator of the MTV cartoon The Adventures of Chico and Guapo, as well as the voice actor of Guapo and Mr. Angelo.

Plot

Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia (Anna Torv) mourn the loss of their daughter Etta to the Observers, and Olivia in particular is shaken up and nearly unresponsive. They prepare to leave Etta's safe house, where Peter finds a hidden stash of guns and more antimatter bombs.

Joshua Jackson Canadian actor

Joshua Jackson is a Canadian actor. He has appeared in primetime television and in over 30 film roles. His well-known roles include Pacey Witter in Dawson's Creek, Charlie Conway in The Mighty Ducks film series, Peter Bishop in Fringe, and Cole Lockhart in The Affair. His other film roles include Cruel Intentions, The Skulls, and Shutter. Jackson won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the Canadian independent film One Week.

Anna Torv Australian actress

Anna Torv is an Australian actress known for her roles as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on television series Fringe (2008–2013) for which she was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series in 2011 and as Doctor Wendy Carr in Netflix's Mindhunter (2017–present).

Through Etta's contact from the resistance, Anil (Shaun Smyth), they learn that the Observers have received a delivery of parts for their atmospheric modification machine, which will make the planet inhospitable for humans if completed. Walter (John Noble) and Peter recognize from eyewitnesses that the deliveries are being made through wormholes from the Observers' future, and if they can disrupt the delivery process, they will be one step closer to defeating the Observers. Anil relates that they have captured an Observer (John Prosky), along with a book in the Observer's strange writings and a device that was used to open the wormhole.

John Noble Australian actor and director

John Noble is an Australian actor and theatre director of more than 80 plays. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Walter Bishop in the US Fox science fiction television series Fringe, and Henry Parrish in the Fox action-horror series Sleepy Hollow. His most high-profile film role was as Denethor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also provided the voice of the DC Comics supervillain Scarecrow in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, where his character served as the main antagonist. In 2015, he joined the main cast of the television series Elementary as Sherlock Holmes's father. He was also cast as a doctor in the Australian TV series All Saints. In 2012, Noble was diagnosed with osteoporosis. His charity, Noble Bones, helps to raise awareness for the disease.

While Astrid (Jasika Nicole) works at decoding the book, Peter attempts to understand the device, believed to focus the opening of the wormhole upon delivery. The device proves to be extremely dangerous if put together the wrong way, forcing Peter to go to the captured Observer to try to get information. Olivia tries to stop him, worried about Peter, but Peter insists that he must do this so that Etta's death will not be in vain. At an abandoned warehouse where Anil has kept the Observer, Peter is unable to convince the Observer to talk but instead monitors subtle body actions of the Observer, using those to judge when he is assembling the device correctly. Meanwhile, Walter has found an old video tape of one of Etta's first birthdays, and offers it to Olivia, hoping to coax her out of her depression, but she refuses to watch it.

Jasika Nicole American actress

Jasika Nicole Pruitt, known professionally as Jasika Nicole, is an American actress and illustrator from Birmingham, Alabama. She is known for her role as Agent Astrid Farnsworth on the Fox series Fringe.

Astrid successfully decodes the book and identifies a delivery being made that afternoon; Peter too is successful at assembling the device, having finished after seeing the Observer's pupil dilate in making a final connection. Peter, Olivia, and Anil go and start the device, and prepare to fire one of Etta's anti-matter canisters into it, expecting it to disrupt the wormhole and cause the other end to collapse in a singularity. Observers nearby, preparing for the delivery, spot Peter and Olivia and try to stop them, but Olivia snaps out of her depression to waylay the Observer. Peter fires the anti-matter at the wormhole and collapses it. As the three drive away, they are stunned to see another wormhole opened nearby with more shipments passing through. Peter is furious, disbelieving the Observers in the future could recover that fast, and storms off to interrogate the captured Observer. Olivia goes to follow, but is instead awed when she sees a number of human resistance posters plastered in the alley with Etta's face on them and the word "Resist".

Peter confronts the Observer, who notes that Peter only thought he saw what he wanted to see - the Observer's subtle reactions were only in response to observing a fly on the wall. The Observer claims Peter assembled the device all on his own, and he only needed him to act as some type of corroboration. The Observer further mocks a quote said by Anil to Peter: if one goes on a quest for vengeance, one should dig two graves. Furious, Peter strikes the Observer, but when the Observer shows no emotion nor even seems to care if he should die, Peter cuts out a device located on the back of his neck, which Anil earlier claimed is what makes an Observer super-human. The Observer dies from the extraction.

Later, Olivia decides to watch the tape, and is overcome with emotion. She calls Peter to reiterate how much she loves him, just after Peter has inserted the Observer's device into the back of his own neck.

Production

"An Origin Story" was written by executive producer and showrunner J. H. Wyman, while being directed by Tremors veteran P. J. Pesce, his first directing credit for the series.

<i>Tremors</i> (TV series) television series

Tremors: The Series is a 2003 television show spun-off from the Tremors franchise. Originally airing out of order on the Sci-Fi Channel, it was later aired in its proper sequence on the G4 Network.

Reception

Ratings

"An Origin Story" first aired in the United States on November 2, 2012 on Fox. An estimated 2.7 million viewers watched the episode, and earned a ratings share of 1.0 among adults aged 18 to 49, to rank fourth in its timeslot. [1] The episode increased in overall viewership from the previous episode. [2]

Reviews

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club rated "An Origin Story" an "A", citing that it did an excellent job in handling the fallout from Etta's death in "a way that never becomes overly self-indulgent or grim", and that " the mourning we do get is direct, powerful, and, most important of all, relevant not just to the characters’ emotions in the moment, but also to this season’s, and this show’s, overall themes". [3] IGN's Ramsey Isler gave it a positive review, scoring it 8.6 out of 10. He felt the first half of the episode was lacking, but thought "the last quarter of this episode is a perfect example of how powerful and nearly perfect Fringe can be at its best." He also enjoyed the unique portrayal of Peter and Olivia's grieving over Etta's death. [4]

In a 2013 list, Den of Geek named "An Origin Story" as the tenth best episode of the entire series, explaining that it "stuck in the mind" in part because it "kicks off one of the season’s more interesting mini-arcs." [5] Cory Barker of TV.com named the episode the 14th best of the series, calling it a "stand-out episode", and saying, "the show put in a fine effort to make us realize how important [Etta] was after the fact, by showing the different ways her parents grieved." [6] Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly named "An Origin Story" the eighteenth best episode of the series, stating "Fringe worked one of its best themes — the dehumanization we risk by seeking to become superhuman to assuage pain and achieve justice — to shocking effect when Peter, raging from Dead Etta grief, butchered an Observer to jack his quantum computer/teleportation power plug and become an omniscient yet dangerously distant transhuman himself." [7]

Related Research Articles

Olivia Dunham fictional character in the television series Fringe

Olivia Dunham is a fictional character and the main protagonist from the science fiction television series Fringe, which aired on the Fox Broadcasting Company in the United States from 2008 to 2013. The character was created by series' co-creator J. J. Abrams, and is portrayed by actress Anna Torv. Olivia is the series' protagonist, and was introduced as an FBI Special Agent, working for a multi-agency task force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called the Fringe Division, dealing with supernatural events that are linked to experimental occurrences. Having grown up with an abusive stepfather, Olivia struggles with the unexpected changes in her life, following her encounter with mentally unstable scientist Walter Bishop, and his son and an eventual love interest for her, Peter Bishop.

Walter Bishop (<i>Fringe</i>) fictional character on the Fox television series Fringe

Walter Harold Bishop, Ph.D. is a fictional character on the Fox television series Fringe. He is portrayed by John Noble. Noble also plays Walter's counterpart in the show's parallel universe, who is referred to in the show as Walternate.

Fringe is an American science fiction drama television series originally broadcast from 2008 to 2013. The show, created by Jeffrey Jacob Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, revolves around the fictional Fringe Division, a congressionally funded federal law enforcement task force, manned primarily by Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security personnel. The task force is responsible for investigating crimes and phenomena related to fringe science and the individuals and conspiratorial organizations that perpetrate those acts. During the five year series, the mythology and backstory of the show expanded exponentially across a broad spectrum of recurring themes, locations and characters to serialize story arcs and intricately link early episodes with later ones across all five seasons.

<i>Fringe</i> (season 4) season of television series

The fourth season of the American science fiction television series Fringe premiered on Fox on September 23, 2011 and concluded on May 11, 2012, consisting of 22 episodes. The series is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The show was officially renewed for a fourth season on March 24, 2011.

Making Angels 11th episode of the fourth season of Fringe

"Making Angels" is the eleventh episode of the fourth season of the Fox science-fiction drama television series Fringe, and the series' 76th episode overall. The alternate Agent Farnsworth grants herself permission to cross over to the prime universe in order to visit Astrid and learn about her past after her father's death. In the investigation, a former MIT professor uses his talents, along with borrowed technology, to intercede in the lives of those destined for a life of suffering. Meanwhile, the Observers monitor the entire affair and learn of the failed intervention of one of their own.

"A Short Story About Love" is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of the Fox science-fiction drama television series Fringe, and the series' 80th episode overall. The series follows members of a Federal Bureau of Investigation "Fringe Division" team based in Boston, Massachusetts that uses "fringe" science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe. "A Short Story About Love" centered on a scientist extracting the pheromones of his victims, all male spouses, and using the resulting substances as a perfume to get close to their wives. While the Fringe team investigates, Peter learns more about the Observer September.

"Letters of Transit" is the nineteenth episode of the fourth season of the Fox science-fiction drama television series, Fringe, and the series' 84th episode overall. It is set in the future, where the Observers have taken control of human society. In 2036, two FBI agents fight to free their world of the Observers by finding the amber-encased bodies of the original Fringe team. The episode's premise is subsequently built upon as the key setting of the show's fifth and final season.

Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11 1st episode of the fifth season of Fringe

"Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11" is the first episode of the fifth season of the American Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 88th episode overall. The episode premiered in the United States on September 28, 2012.

"In Absentia" is the second episode of the fifth and final season of the American Fox science fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 89th episode overall. The episode aired in the United States on October 5, 2012.

"The Recordist" is the third episode of the fifth and final season of the American Fox science fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 90th episode overall. The episode aired in the United States on October 12, 2012.

Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There 6th episode of the fifth season of Fringe

"Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" is the sixth episode of the fifth season of the Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the 93rd episode overall.

"The Bullet That Saved the World" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of the Fox science fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the 91st episode overall.

"Five-Twenty-Ten" is the seventh episode of the fifth season of the American Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 94th episode overall. The episode premiered in the United States on November 16, 2012.

An Enemy of Fate 13th episode of the fifth season of Fringe

"An Enemy of Fate" is the series finale of the American Fox science fiction/drama television series Fringe. It is episode 13 of season 5 and the 100th episode overall. It aired, along with the penultimate episode, "Liberty", in the United States on January 18, 2013. The final two episodes were simulcast in the UK and Ireland on Sky1 and in Spain in Canal+.

"The Human Kind" is the eighth episode of the fifth season of the Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 95th episode overall.

Black Blotter 9th episode of the fifth season of Fringe

"Black Blotter" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of the Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 96th episode overall.

"Liberty" is the twelfth episode of the fifth season of the Fox science-fiction/drama television series Fringe, and the show's 99th and penultimate episode. It aired with the series finale, "An Enemy of Fate", in the United States on January 18, 2013, along with telecasts in the UK and Ireland on Sky1.

References

  1. Bibel, Sara (November 3, 2012). "TV Ratings Friday: 'Last Man Standing' & 'Malibu Country' Debut Strong, 'Shark Tank' Rises at 9PM, 'Grimm' Down, 'Fringe' & 'Nikita' Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  2. Bibel, Sara (October 29, 2012). "Friday Final TV Ratings: 'Grimm, 'CSI: NY' & 'Blue Bloods' Adjusted Up, 'Dateline' & 'All Access Nashville' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  3. Handlen, Zack (2012-11-02). "An Origin Story". The A.V. Club . Retrieved 2012-11-03.
  4. Isler, Ramsey (November 3, 2012). "Fringe: "An Origin Story" Review". IGN . Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  5. Harrisson, Juliette (May 2, 2013). "Top 10 Fringe episodes". Den of Geek . Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  6. Barker, Cory (January 18, 2013). "Looking Back at Fringe's Five Seasons: The Top 20 Episodes". TV.com. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  7. Jensen, Jeff (2013-01-18). "'Fringe': 19 Best Episodes". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 2013-01-19.