People continually mistake what they see on the screen for an attempt at imitating reality, a somewhat unfortunate consequence of moving pictures looking very similar to, well, reality. I find it’s far more rewarding to treat the pictures you see as visual symbols, inherently as abstract as words on a page or musical notes; what they show is not meant to accurately depict what happens, but rather to symbolize it, to capture underlying tones otherwise lost: the Observer’s bullet-catching merely showed his utter differentness, serving as an illustration rather than a faithful depiction.
And besides, it served to highlight his sacrifice in the end – those bullets shouldn’t have been a concern to him, yet he let them kill him.
Similarly, in an action film, cars may explode in a fashion utterly impossible in the real world, which just serves to highlight the main focus of the film, the complete mayhem and hullabaloo the action takes place in.
It’s not a mistake, as such, to not conform to ‘realistic’ expectations; the pictures on the screen are not what is ‘really happening’ any more than the words in a sentence are – both just serve as a codified representation.
Of course, I’m far more likely to apply this attitude with shows and films I happen to like… And in total, I think this episode was a really good one, with what we learned about the observers, and setting the scene for things to come; and once again, I really liked Walter, who was supremely low-key in this one, and managed to come across as more profound than ever.