More frustrating than looking for the pieces of a puzzle is having the pieces and not knowing what to do with them. This pretty much sums up the 10th episode of the fifth and final season of Fringe, as the team, having found the child Observer now known as Michael, tries to figure out how to communicate with him in order to find out what he knows about the plan – which hopefully will be more than what Walter remembers. Thankfully, Nina Sharp has more than one trick up her sleeve and is able to provide the team with more high tech gadgets. Unfortunately, this proved to be her last one… Although death never kept William Bell from playing some of his own tricks.
Nina sealed once and for all her allegiance by making the ultimate sacrifice, but not before delivering a stinging insult directed at Windmark himself, an insult that hit straight home, one that only a person with her scientific expertise could deliver. Blair Brown yet again portrayed Nina as a strong yet sensitive woman, and brought to life a quality script courtesy of the Fringe writing team.
Walter's reaction when he, Olivia and Peter found Nina dead in her wheelchair was heartbreaking thanks again in part to the writers, who kept the script uncluttered by unnecessary conversation or painfully cheesy one-liners. No doubt the script was left so in order to allow for John Noble’s acting skill to tell us everything we need to know: that his character is devastated. There is a chance that Walter did think, at least in part, about how Nina’ was now going to keep her promise to him, but the largest part of him looks shattered at this newest loss. This episode has yet again demonstrated where Fringe got its reputation for excellent writing from, and how emotionally charged moments become even more perfect for the acting skills the individuals portraying the characters infuse in it.
Nina’s death was much more difficult on fans than Etta’s death. The latter was difficult in the effects it had on Peter, Olivia and the rest of the team. The former is difficult because we have lost a character in whom we have invested so much during the last five years. No doubt the rocky beginning of fans’ relationship with this fiery redhead further cemented her in their hearts. I hope Broyles will be back in the next three episodes, and I hope that he is not going to die – that would just be too much for my Fringie-heart to handle.