Though this quote is taken a bit out of context, I think it's an apt description of future Earth in 2036.
Yes, we are picking up where last season's future episode Letters of Transit left off.
The episode opens with Peter dreaming about the day the Observers invaded Earth. It also turns out to be the day Peter and Olivia lost their daughter Henrietta (who, as we know, Peter has been reconnected with).
Many sequences in this episode were splendid. Walter's interrogation, though difficult to watch, was an amazing to sequence to get into the mindset of the Big Bad Observer (same one who threatened a much aged Broyles in Letter of Transit) as well as the amount of will power Walter had in resisting the torture. Unfortunately, it had dire consequences.
The rescue sequence was executed well. The plan was good (really cool technology, faking the dead thing was). Peter, Olivia, and Etta executed it rather flawlessly. Everybody got out alive and relatively unscathed.
I know some people probably didn't like the reveal of a tumultuous relationship between the wonder couple, but even though an outline of what happened (Peter apparently abandoned the team after Etta's disappearance), the events leading up to it were not explained, which I think leaves us open for some good flashbacks in future episodes.
That last scene with Walter after they figure out the torture has erased chunks of his memory, including the plan to defeat the observers, was immensely powerful. Him sitting in his underwear in that dilapidated taxi listening to the music was fantastic enough. Then he saw that dandelion, a weed most people utterly hate, and I'd like to think those tears were him feeling hope for what may come in the future.
Some quick observations:
- Marcum proves his overwhelming creepiness with his purchase of Olivia and hoping to be her knight in shining armor like she was Sleeping Beauty. I shuddered.
- I completely forgot Simon sacrificed himself to free Peter and ended up in the Amber. Hopefully the brown shirt traitor bringing up the recovery of Simon's body means we may get to see more of him to come.
- Maybe the most important one, I think Etta may not be 100% stable. She seems to have much more of Peter's personality than Olivia's, and I don't think it's any more obvious than in during the rescue sequence when they have the following exchange: "What happened to him?" - P "Occupational hazard." - E "That's my girl." - P. I'd say Etta is somewhere near the point where Peter was during his murder-all-the-shapeshifters phase. She's been fighting this war for likely near as long as her parents have, and she is still quite young (23-24) so her actions are still more influenced by her emotions. This may prove to be problematic in the future for the Fringe team.
- Glyphs spell out D-O-U-B-T. I have feeling we'll be seeing much of that in future episoded.
Overall, I'd give this episode a 9 out of 10. I liked it. The pacing kept things moving. We had some great scenes. I look forward to seeing if Wyman can keep the story going now that it's serial for these last 12 episodes. If the rest are close to this premiere, I think season 5 is going to come along just fine.