Fringe 2036: What We Know and What We Don’t

Season 5 of Fringe opened us to a whole new world. After a short 43 minutes in Season 4 episode 19, Season 5 threw us into 2036 with tons of questions and very few answers. Since we had our first week off since the season began, let’s take a few moments to remember what we do and don’t know about life in 2036.

What We Know

Observers can read people’s thoughts

We learned this in Season 4 but when Walter is kidnapped in episode 1 of Season 5, he thinks of music and the Observers can hear it. This is how they try to discover the plan he concocted with September.

Etta is more badass than Peter + Olivia

In episode 2 of Season 5, Etta showed how hardened she’s truly become living in the Observers world without parents. She doesn’t trust people (rightfully so in this case) but the influence of Olivia’s compassion has already started to soften her. She ends up letting the guy go after all. Peter tries to justify Etta’s actions by noting how much the world has changed but Olivia doesn’t buy it.

Peter & Olivia aren’t together

In episode 1 of Season 5, we learn that Peter wouldn’t leave Boston when Olivia and Walter went to New York. Olivia states that when they lost Etta, the grief made them “incapable of being what they needed for each other.” Olivia went to help the world, but Peter lost the will and blames himself for losing Etta. Olivia reveals in episode 3 of Season 5, that she also felt responsible for the loss of Etta because she hadn’t always wanted to be a mother. She believes that Etta being taken away was her punishment for not being confident in motherhood. All of this contributed to the deterioration of hers and Peter’s relationship in 2016.

Walter (once again) created a scavenger hunt to save the world

Walter and September created a plan to defeat the observers over 20 years ago. But he hid it scattered within Walter’s brain-harddrive out of sequence. Olivia found the device that would help Walter put the plan in order. It turns out, Walter made a bunch of tapes and scattered them around. In order to figure out the plan, the group must find the tapes in order, and follow the instructions.

Things are a little different

The moment in episode one when Walter finds a CD in a cab and is able to play Yazoo’s “Only You” is one of the most impactful moments of the season thus far. In a world with very little hope, a small dandelion growing through the cracks is a miracle. And so is some music for Walter! In episode 3, Peter mentions that he’s hungry and Etta gives him a pill that’s apparently an apple. Reminds me a little of Willy Wonka’s chewing gum with a three-course meal…

What We Don’t Know

What happened between the end of Season 4 and 2016

At the end of Season 4, Olivia found out she was pregnant. Now obviously, something happened between that and when Peter and Olivia were separated from Etta. And even more happened between the separation and the Amber-ing. Over the first three episodes, a few flashbacks began filling in the holes as to what happened during this time. I’m assuming that by the end of the season, most of these holes will be filled in.

Etta’s Past

How did Etta become a Fringe agent? What happened to her when the Observers invaded? There’s literally 20 years of Etta’s life that we have no idea about. There’s not enough time left to find out all of this but some holes filled in would be nice 🙂

2036 Terminology

Loyalists: The people who support the Observers

Resistance: The people fighting the Loyalists & Observers

Amber Gypsies: People that steal people out of Amber and sell them on the black market



Heather is a recent West Coast transplant and can't remember what humidity feels like. She spends most of her time (& money) watching movies, marathoning TV shows on DVD, attending concerts, reading, eating vegetables, attending conventions (San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, Dragon*Con so far!), blogging about her quarter-life crisis, downing coffee and traveling the world. She likes comic books, photography, reading on the Metro bus and wearing cold weather clothes despite the actual temperature in Southern California.

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