I fully admit that haven't enjoyed this season as much as others, but that doesn't mean I didn't still love it. The great thing about this show is that even when I'm not totally loving the plot, there are still more than enough wonderful character interactions to make it worth watching. For me it's always been, first and foremost, a show about family--everything else is secondary--and they've never failed me on that front. Never.
I was very pleased with the way they resolved everything and felt like every character got a great send-off and appropriate closure. Getting to see superhero Olivia again? Yes. The callbacks to all those disgusting MOWs? Awesome. Walter telling Astrid that her name was beautiful? PERFECTION.
My only two quibbles were that 1) nothing about it surprised me and 2) it felt a little rushed at the very end. It was pretty telling that every Fringe fan I follow on Twitter was wailing when they cut to that last commercial break with only nine minutes left. I wish they'd maybe thrown one or two less wrenches into the plot in that last hour so that they could have spent a little more time on the aftermath. It would have been nice to have gotten a longer look at happy Peter and Olivia and Etta before we had to say goodbye for good. I mean, it was wonderful to get the happy version of that scene in the park at last, but I'm greedy, I want a more than just a scene I've already seen most of over and over all season long. And as for the end being predictable, well, it's hard to get too mad about the fact that they wrote the most appropriate ending possible. I mean, I saw the white tulip coming three episodes away, but since it's one of my very favorite episodes and the significance of it is heightened even further by the way the fans used that symbol to show support at Comic-con, it'd be really stupid to complain about that, wouldn't it?
I suspect that on rewatch I'm actually going to enjoy this season a lot more. The serialized plot and shorter season will probably lend themselves better to DVD viewing. Plus, I think knowing that it was the end put too much pressure on everything and raised my expectations too high. Once I've had time to digest it all and make peace with the fact that it's over, I bet I'm going to be a lot happier with this last season.
And you know what? Even if the whole rest of the finale totally sucked (which it didn't), it'd still be a masterpiece just for that Walter/Peter scene. "You're my very favorite thing" is possibly one of the most beautiful father/son moments ever filmed for television. But even more than that, Walter saying he wouldn't give up their time together "for the world" was the perfect conclusion to five wonderful years. It wasn't just a figure of speech, it was a very literal statement, and given the guilt and pain he's struggled with, I really can't think of a more perfect way to end the show than Walter telling Peter that it was all worth it in the end.