Josh Jackson did say that if the series were to be renewed for a fifth season, this episode would open the door for that story, and now, it has been renewed, so I'm sure that a lot of the unresolved questions that this episode asks will be resolved during season 5, but like I said, at the time, we didn't know if we'd be getting a fifth season, and neither did they, so giving us an episode like this jumped the shark a bit. However, I have to hand something to the writers because they really pulled a fast one. I loved "The End of All Things" (4.14) because I thought that we had finally found out who the Observers are and what they want, but then, this episode tells us that that wasn't the whole truth. Apparently, most of them have come to conquer us, and September is a "good" one who tried to assist Fringe Division. When September tells Peter about who he is and what his intentions are from "The End of All Things" (4.14), did he not know about this, or did he feel it necessary to leave out most of the truth? The latter could make sense because it could very well be that he saw Peter as important and believed that he was supposed to be with Blueverse Olivia because it would be Etta that would bring the Observers down, and he may have felt that if he told Peter that, it wouldn't have happened. I immediately figured that Etta was the daughter of Peter and Olivia; it certainly was no surprise when it was officially revealed at the end of the episode, and I think that most everyone felt that way. I remember how Courtney, formerly of the Fringe Podcast, said that there was a big revelation that was on par with the revelation from the Empire Strikes Back when we learn that Vader is Luke's father, and I can only imagine that it was that the Observers are here to conquer us.
Walter is so funny when he first wakes up, before the missing pieces of his brain are placed back inside of him. He tells the loyalist, when he, Simon, and Etta are apprehended, that "these aren't the droids you're looking for" and then to "move along," which is hilarious. Then, however, when the pieces of his brain are placed back in, he is kind of a jerk, which is what "Grey Matters" (2.10) showed us. With the brain pieces, he is more like Walternate. I found it interesting that the weapon that Walter had been designing before the team was ambered is referred to as a beacon because nothing in this series ever seems to be a coincidence, and the machine that we first see from "The Arrival" (1.04) is known as a beacon. Is it possible that, like the Machine, the Beacon was built by Walter, yet he hadn't realized it yet? The holograph of it didn't look the same, but it's just a theory, and it would be quite interesting if true. Another thing that got me wondering is why coffee is a rarity in this future. Two thoughts come to mind. I think that either the Observers forbid it for some reason, or the Observers have damaged the environment just like they did their own from the twenty-seventh century, and coffee, much like it couldn't be on the Other Side, can't really be grown as easily anymore, but they're just thoughts. It's kind of annoying how that was stated but then not explained. I love Fringe, but sometimes, they leave far too much to be explained by us the fans, wanting us to fill in the blanks ourselves, and too much of that isn't good; LOST did the same thing.
We obviously had a new opening for the episode, which was cool, and the words seem to be liberties that we currently take for granted - community, joy, individuality, education, imagination, private thought, due process, ownership, free will, and freedom, many of which remind me of liberties that are usurped within Orwell's 1984 universe, and I definitely got the impression that education is deprived of citizens when Broyles said to Windmark, "I can count." The episode is an interesting Dystopian episode, and in that regard, I suppose that it does sort of bend the genre a bit like "Brown Betty" (2.19) and "LSD" (3.19) do, but it wasn't as "out of the box" as I would have liked. I would have preferred a sitcom or a puppet show, something like the "200" episode of Stargate SG-1, perhaps, which I love. We are left with so many questions that I'm hoping season 5 will answer. Where is Olivia? We see from the finale that even though she was shot, she didn't technically die, so why was she not ambered with the rest of them, and what did Bell do to her? Did he kill her for good? Now that we know of Bell's evil plan to destroy the universes and create a new one, why was he with them? Is the bullet around Etta's neck the same one that was taken out of Olivia in the finale? Why did Walter need Bell's hand? Is this future a possible future, or is it destined to happen? Will we return to 2036 at all during season 5? The ending is really sweet, but it just seems to end, and I know that many people felt this way. There is no closure, and it seems like it needs a second part. My final observation is that it's funny how we have Desmond in this episode and then Charlotte in the finale, and only those who are LOST fans will know what I mean. To conclude, this isn't an episode that really did much for me.