Although there was not as much character development as their usually is in a season of Fringe, I did like the premise of this plotline. And I do think that unchecked by the rational, emotions are humans’ weakness. But balanced out with wisdom, there is no doubt in my mind that emotions are our strength, because it opens us up to things the rational mind cannot comprehend. In this case, as Olivia explains, it is also the strength of the Fringe team because emotions are “the one thing that [the Observers] don’t have.” She might have told Simone that she doesn’t believe, but Olivia believes enough to use whatever she has left of her faith to convince Peter to remove the tech.
Olivia’s rather lifeless presence in the last couple of episodes becomes a little more understandable after her conversation with Simone. The fighter is in hiding; she is broken, having lost her faith. Perhaps more than anything, Etta’s death was the feather that broke the camel’s back. Whatever the case might be, I don’t think that Olivia and the Fringe team can win against the Observers without faith. What they are required to do as part of this war is to basically go places that no one else ever has, and that takes faith in much more than Walter’s math skills. As one of my favourite poems, “This is Faith” by Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhiyyih Khánum describes: “To walk where there is no path/To breathe where there is no air/To see where there is not light/This is Faith.” And while I loved the spark of the old Olivia, putting together a pneumatic gun of sorts to thwart her kidnappers, I still feel like it is too little too late. I am trying to be kind to the writers, who only have 13 episodes to wrap up a story that is complex at many levels, and I think that is the only reason that I am still accepting a lot of what is happening on screen as the logical conclusion of what probably happened off screen.
While we are on the subject of things that bug me, I am disappointed that we don’t have time to explore the Resistance more. I would have loved it to be more involved; why isn’t Anel more involved with the team, for example seeing how close he was to Etta and how much he must know about the Observers? You would think that of all people, Etta’s parents and grandfather would get all the support they could get from the Resistance that is plastering her face all over the city, and not have to go on errands on their own. It would have made for some interesting story telling, if only to find out more about what has been going on since the Fringe team was ambered.