Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fringe: The Bullet That Saved the World

It was, I dare say, one of the all-time great episodes of Fringe. And that's saying a heck of a lot.

This last Friday night's episode had it all. Action, adventure, poignant scenes. Love, hope, desperation, sacrifice, anger. I really don't even know where to start writing about it - I just had to. So let me try to set up the scene below with a little background for non-fans.

In the scene, after a humorous exchange designed to provide contrast (lasting about the first 30 seconds), we see Etta and Olivia preparing for a mission. Olivia is Etta's mother - despite the fact that they appear to be about the same age. (This - and please don't check out on me - is because Olivia has been suspended in kind of a cryogenic state for 21 years.) Etta has a necklace with a bullet she found among her mother's things when she was 13. This bullet has great significance. Watch:

SPOILER ALERT: If you watch Fringe and haven't seen the episode yet, go no further. Stop here and watch it immediately!

Yes, the bullet has great significance. If you saw the Season 4 finale, you know that Olivia was shot in the forehead and died. It's impossible to explain without laying out four years of storyline, but she had to die in order to save the universe from a destructive energy radiating from her. After she died, the bullet was removed and she came back to life.

It was definitely (somewhat intentionally I suspect) a type of the death of Jesus and how it has redeemed and saved our universe. Especially since she was able to come back from the dead having accomplished her purpose.

So the interesting thing to me was this: here we are, 20+ years later. The original threat is gone, but the world still needs healing in a big way. And here is her daughter, holding on to the bullet, connected to a chain, worn as jewelry. Do you see where I'm going? The bullet is to the Fringe story what the cross is to our story. A bullet is a hideous thing, an instrument of death. But because of its significance, this bullet is worn as jewelry. Exactly like the crosses we wear around our necks.

Listen to Michael W. Smith on the subject:

What is your line?
Why do you wear your cross of gold?
Does it find a way into your soul? 

REPEAT SPOILER ALERT! Major plot point ahead!

For Etta and her mother's bullet, it did find a way into her soul - it drove everything she did her whole life, up until a moment when she met up with her own bullet. A bullet that, I believe, will turn out to be the bullet that saves the world from the new threat. (Such a wonderful title to the episode, with multiple meanings - love that!)

Will you and I (like Etta) each take up our own respective crosses? Or will we just wear them around our necks?

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