Fringe: Season 5 (2012 - 2013)


Season 5

Critics Consensus

Fringe overcomes a compressed episode count and humbled production values to deliver a moving and rousing conclusion to its fans.



Critic Ratings: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 358

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Air date: Sep 28, 2012

The fifth and final season picks up from the ominous events of last season's "Letters of Transit" episode, in which the year is 2036 and the overpowering Observers rule. The Fringe team -- preserved in amber for 20 years -- is now a rebel resistance team fighting for freedom. Peter, reunited with his now adult daughter, Henrietta (guest star GEORGINA HAIG), sets out to find out what happened to his wife and Etta's mom -- Olivia -- as they launch their mission to free their world from the Observers in the fifth and final season premiere.

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Air date: Oct 5, 2012

The fight for freedom intensifies when the Fringe team revisits Walter's Harvard lab now under Observer control in an attempt to locate the information they need to fight on in their mission to save the world.

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Air date: Oct 12, 2012

As the rogue Fringe team continues to fight off the oppressive Observers' invasion, unforeseen events lead them into a forest where they encounter a strange subculture of people devoted to recording human history.

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Air date: Oct 26, 2012

When the Fringe Team tracks a lead into a hostile and heavily guarded location, Phillip Broyles (series star LANCE REDDICK) resurfaces?but can he be trusted? Pivotal and emotional events unfold.

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Air date: Nov 2, 2012

The Fringe Team responds to recent devastating events by going on the offensive, while one of the key members makes a pivotal and shocking move.

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Air date: Nov 9, 2012

Walter follows leads to a key piece needed to defeat the Observers, while a member of the Fringe team takes on a new role.

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Air date: Nov 16, 2012

As the fight for the future intensifies, a member of the Fringe team orchestrates a game-changing Fringe event of his own.

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Air date: Dec 7, 2012

Olivia encounters a very intuitive and oracle-like person named Simone (guest star JILL SCOTT -- Steel Magnolias) as she looks to recover a key piece of equipment for Walter. Meanwhile, Peter finds himself in a perilous situation as he observes Windmark.

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Air date: Dec 14, 2012

In an attempt to recall his plan to defeat the Observers, Walter takes an LSD trip down memory lane in search of answers. Meanwhile, Peter and Olivia trace a mysterious signal into the woods, where they come upon a grisly scene.

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Air date: Dec 21, 2012

As the countdown to the climactic series finale continues, the Fringe team is running out of time to save the world. As Peter, Olivia, Astrid and Walter scramble to tap into a key piece of the puzzle to defeat the Observers, they enlist the aid of Nina Sharp who conjures up a plan.

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Fringe: Season 5 Photos

Tv Season Info

A television drama centered around a female FBI agent who is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena.

Cast & Crew

Anna Torv
Agent Olivia Dunham
Jasika Nicole
Astrid Farnsworth
Blair Brown
Nina Sharp
John Noble
Dr. Walter Bishop
Michael Kopsa
Captain Windmark
Rowan Longworth
Child Observer
Georgina Haig
Henrietta Bishop
Abagayle Hardwick
Young Etta
Michael Rogers
Ian Butcher
Second Observer
James Kidnie
The Commander
Eugene Lipinski
Ted Cole
Scientist Observer
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Critic Reviews for Fringe Season 5

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (6)

Over five loopy seasons, Fringe never once lost sight of that mission -- hunting down an answer to the question of what makes us "us."

Sep 28, 2012 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fringe's final two hours were constructed as a big, action-packed adventure, an outline that served its finale well...

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Unlike Lost, which expanded horizontally as its story lines multiplied, adding characters like mayflies, Fringe has expanded vertically. It has maintained an equally challenging narrative... while concentrating on a core of three characters.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

It's classy, inventive sci-fi with shades of Doctor Who, Looper, The Matrix and The X Files.

Sep 28, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

We're all in this together, Fringe fans, watching to see how these last 13 episodes play out.

Sep 28, 2012 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

TV's best sci-fi series returns.

Sep 28, 2012 | Full Review…

The focus here is clearly on the characters, which has always served the series well in the past. Something tells me that strategy will work here again as Fringe comes to a close.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

It's storytelling highs are some of the best ever done in the science fiction genre. It continually delivered to its devoted fans. There was virtually no chance of a disappointing ending.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

The nods to the past are sweet, but what any real Fringe fan wanted from these last episodes was a farewell to the characters we've come to love that feels emotionally satisfying - and on that level, this series finale more than delivers.

Jun 26, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

At some point, Fringe kind of fell in love with change for its own sake, and it wandered away for long periods from what powered its finest moments - the complex bonds among Olivia, Peter and Walter.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

There's still hope for this story and this world, and as usual Fringe viewers will have to be patient to see that hope spring forth.

Sep 28, 2012 | Rating: 7.7/10 | Full Review…

Whether through laughter, tears or countless other emotions, there is rarely a time when I am left untouched.

Sep 28, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fringe: Season 5

  • Dec 17, 2017
    Fringe takes some of the most interesting ideas in science, adeptly crafting a deeply-fulfilling story about the most profound aspect of being human- love. Everything about this series worked for me, and I would've been happy with it with a lesser payoff, but the series conclusion took the story to a level I never expected from television. Fringe is my favorite series of all time (The Black Blotter episode was just amazing, as were all of Leonard Nimoy's guest appearances), and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
  • Feb 24, 2017
    For three seasons, "Fringe" was a sci-fi masterpiece worthy of any other other ever created in that genre. Then, the network (in this case FOX) decided to cast it off to the "fringes" (pun intended) of their schedule, burying it on Friday nights and make the show creators sweat out renewal, severely affecting plot cohesiveness. So, by the time this final truncated season got the O.K., it was clear that the show would never truly recapture the magic of earlier installments. That being said, the show producers still managed to create a workable ending to such a high-concept show. It just wasn't in the jaw-dropping format of the past. For a basic plot summary of the Fifth Season, this campaign sees the show shift into the future, where Peter (Joshua Jackson), Olivia (Anna Torv), and Walter (John Noble) are pulled out of yellow amber by none other than Peter & Olivia's daughter, Etta (Georgina Haig). They discover a world in havoc and terror, caused by an Observer takeover. However, Walter has a plan to set things right, requiring a number of different "ingredients" (compromising the bulk of the season's episodes) and help from old friends Astrid (Jasika Nicole), Nina Sharp (Blair Brown), and Agent Broyles (Lance Reddick). The obvious problem with this season is that because of FOX's tampering, the show oozed away all its most creative juices in a rollercoaster season four. Without knowing whether or not a final renewal was imminent, the writers were practically held hostage, story-arc wise. So, by the time word finally came down that a 13-episode send-off was a go, things had to be severely simplified. Thus, a show that once dealt with some hefty, mind-bending topics was reduced to "rebels vs Observers" in terms of the main plotline. In essence, it failed to distinguish itself from other general sci-fi fare currently on the airwaves. Yet, despite that glaring weakness, the Fifth Season still holds some meaning in the Fringe cannon for one main reason: the characters. When all the lofty storytelling and mind-bending plots fall away, the strong characters that comprise this show still stand strong. You'll keep watching because you want to see how they all end up. Simply put, the Fifth Season of "Fringe" is clearly in a different class (unfortunately a lower class) than the first three or maybe even four seasons of the show. It is still interesting to watch because, at least for sci-fi "big idea" show fans right now, the pickings are extremely slim. It just isn't the "glory days" of old.
  • Nov 15, 2016
    Fringe saves the best season for last by challenging some very interesting concepts such as freedom, time and sacrifice.
  • Jun 12, 2016
    for 2012: the 5th and final season of FOX's hit sci-fi drama comes to a somber if imperfect conclusion this season takes more of its sweet time with less emphasis on high-stakes action and more of wrapping up character arcs as well as emotional arcs we caught a brief glimpse of the future but our heroes wake up now in 2036 from hibernation in amber and where the Observers have established complete takeover of humanity enforcing strict law and order; they have taken away free will, thought, decisions, and closely monitor everyone as a result Loyalists who follow the Observers are promised sanctuary and protection since no one wants to suffer a grim fate hope still lies with Etta, Peter and Olivia's daughter banding with Resistance fighters to overthrow the tyrannical rule the key to restoring hope and freedom may lie within videotapes containing clues Walter kept hidden to formulate a plan to reset the entire timeline of events returning characters as well as past Fringe events come back to tie up all the loose ends in order to achieve the happy ending we all want it's even said here that destiny is able to change and we just have to be willing to make the sacrifice for it to happen Peter and Olivia build up their relationship eve further through loss, vulnerability, rash decisions, and moving on I was in tears knowing how far this Fringe team has come and what they were willing to give up to save all of mankind, that's what makes the drama balance, the science-fiction aspect work, and the chemistry of everyone involved making it so relevant to our reality JJ. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Robert Orci succeeded in making the modern 'X-Files' of our generation a lot of imagination, philosophy, human understanding, and coherent storytelling
  • Mar 20, 2016
    A bit of a tangent from previous seasons but still a grand and satisfying finale to a near flawless show
  • Jan 29, 2016
    So sad this finished!!
  • Jan 04, 2016
    Another one of my very favorite shows of all time, made by some of the same people as my favorite, Lost! The show was a little slow at first, but still very good. By the middle to the end of Season 2 it really picked up and got REALLY good! Some people think that's when it got too weird and out there, but again, just like Lost, that's what I liked so much about it! The weirder and more out there, the better for me! It would have benefited from 1 more season, because the final season felt a little rushed and like they were trying to fit in all their remaining ideas, but I still think it's ending was pretty perfect! I'm still waiting for a Fringe movie! They left a little bit of a loose ends that would make for a great film! #FringeMovie
  • Aug 07, 2015
    It started out strong and held out until season 4 and slowly started unraveling from there. Still a favorite despite it's flaws.
  • Jun 16, 2015
    This last season of Fringe truly is the best. It might be a short season, but it's the best in the Fringe series. It totally is excellent in every way, and the series overall couldn't end in a better way. Fringe is a TV-show that just kept me interested and made me love it because all the mysteries and questions it made me ask. This is one of my favorite sci-fi shows, and yes it might have some slower and less interesting episodes, but it's so awesome with all the unexpected questions and mysteries. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci did a hell of a job with Fringe, and I hope more Fringe-like TV-shows are coming in the future! The final season of Fringe is awesome as it is spectacular. The average score for each episode is: 8.06 Fringe: Season 5 get a 8/10.
  • Jun 13, 2015
    Near Perfection. My favorite final season of any television show. EVER. I didn't give it the full Five because there should've been more seasons!

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