So, have you recovered from Walter's "Black Blotter" trip on last week's Fringe? I know; terrifying. All together now: Deep breath, hold, let it out. Okay. We are ready to move on.
As we get started, the team determines that Michael does not have the Observer tech in his head that proved so hazardous to Peter's mental stability. This is rapidly followed by Walter's disappointment that Michael doesn't want a Vine. Olivia looks on disapprovingly. The team continues to question Michael, who doesn't respond. He just watches them argue back and forth about putting him in a coma and talking directly to his brain. Fortunately, Walter is reminded that he is just a child. "He is MORE than a child... We are running out of time. We have a world to save!" Walter rants. As Walter stomps off, Olivia decides to ask Nina for help.
Unfortunately, Nina's position doesn't appear to be wholly secure with the Observers. It appears that her secretary is spying on her and then, like magic, Capt. Windmark shows up. The secretary nervously spills her guts while he sends a lackey to retrieve another techno doohickey, i.e. an LQ7 Unit, to figure out who called Nina. Apparently this one can pull sound waves out of glass. Interesting. They hear Nina mention an Observer child. Whoops. Now Nina's in trouble.
Nina meets them in a dark alley and offers the services of one of her "black labs" to them. Disapproving Olivia frowns disapprovingly. Nina continues on that she has been letting the Resistance use it since the Invasion. As they mosey to the lab, Peter and Nina get a chance to talk about Walter. Peter tells her about the acid trip and she laughs. "Then he hasn't changed that much!" Peter doesn't seem amused. He confronts Nina about her promise to remove the bad parts of Walter's brain again. She replies that it's good incentive. As they catch up to Olivia and Michael, they pause a moment on one of the Etta's Resist posters. I think perhaps Olivia is trying to replace Etta with Michael. How sad.
Back at the Ministry of Science, Capt. Windmark waits as 1:00pm arrives and Nina does not return to work. He decides to go looking for a weak link in Nina's chain. Meanwhile, the team finally arrives at the black lab. Apparently the Resistance has been experimenting on Observers. There is a dead one in a pod like contraption as they enter. Walter hurriedly covers the pods so Michael can't see them. The Resistance was trying to understand how the Observers "read" people. They didn't learn a lot, but it might help them communicate with Michael. As Olivia and the boy enter the lab, it appears that covering the pods doesn't keep him from knowing what's under them. He worriedly peers around at them. They place a techy helmet called an e-cog on Michael's head and ask him if he knows what Walter's plan was. Waht they find is that Michael's brain is different from other Observer's. The machine doesn't know how to interpret his thoughts. Nina decides that they need to try to form a bond with Michael to get him to understand what they need from him. But this will require another e-cog halo from the Ministry of Science. But, hey, no problem! Her boy Hastings back at the Ministry will help them. Little does she know that poor Hastings is in line for interrogation by Capt Windmark and is a little too busy to answer his phone. The team decides to call Astrid to help break into the facility.
Back at the Ministry, Dr. Hastings is in deep trouble. Capt. Windmark looks very grim. As he crawls around in Hastings brain, the team sees them through an observation window. Poor Hastings, his little brain is melting. Nina calls Olivia for an update and finds out about the interrogation. As Olivia tells her that they have ruined her life, Nina looks resigned and quite determined. She destroys her phone and rushes back into the lab. As Olivia continues to watch through the window, Windmark and the other Observers teleport away. Shortly, some guards enter the room to get Hastings, only Peter and Olivia kick their asses. Poor Hastings. He brokenly tells them that they tracked Nina and know where she is. That's where they went of course. After Nina.
Back at the black lab, Michael stares at Nina as she enters the room. As she reassures him that there is nothing for HIM to worry about, he lays his hand on her face. She looks immensely startled and then amazed. Michael steps away from her and looks at the security monitors. Outside, Capt. Windmark has arrived. He slowly and creepily makes his way to the lab, where he finds Nina waiting for him. He wonders what it is about The Fugitives that inspires such loyalty. He finds that Nina is trying to block her thoughts. He assures her that it will not last. His lackeys proceed to search the lab, finding the dead Observer subjects. He accuses Nina of being an animal before sitting down to start picking her brain apart. He wants to know why the child is so important to them. Nina replies back why is he so worried? "He is merely a curiosity" Windmark says. He says he is just a chromosomal mistake. He is an anomaly designated XB-6783746. He was scheduled to be destroyed but went missing. "It was a great mystery in my time. I would very much like to meet him" he says. One of the guards interrupts this soliloquy with the info that no one else is in the lab. This necessitates a deeper extraction he tells Nina. She looks back at him unafraid. Curious, he asks why. She smugly asks him if he knows why he tilts his head that way, like a lizard. She tells him how lizards can't form bonds with others, will never know love or anything higher than themselves. She tells him how his advanced evolution has reinforced these primitive areas of the brain, making HIM the animal. Not humanity. Windmark does not appear to like this speech. As his guards move in to restrain her for the extraction, she pulls out a gun. Windmark smirks at this and says "you cannot hurt me with that". "I know" Nina says as she puts the gun to her temple and pulls the trigger. Well that wiped that smirk off his face.
By the time our Fugitives get back to the lab, Windmark and his cohorts are gone. All they find is Nina. Walter rushes to her, taking her hand. He looks devastated as Olivia covers her sometimes mother with a sheet. Walter tearfully assumes the Observers have the boy. "No telling what they'll do to him" he exclaims. This prompts Peter to look around. He plays back the security feed and they see Nina's sacrifice, but no Michael. He must still be in the lab somewhere. After a rushed search, they find him hidden in one of the pods underneath one of the Observer corpses. He immediately walks over to Nina's shrouded form and a tear slides down his face. This sign of grief seems to comfort them all a little.
Back at the Boston lab, Walter puts on the halo and asks Michael if he remembers him. He does. He asks if he can tell them why he's important to the plan. To this question, Michael removes his halo and walks up to Walter and touches his face. Walter flashes through his past, finally coming to rest on the face of Donald. Have you guessed it yet? I'll tell you. Donald, my friends, is September, who is also possibly Michael. And the boy who September always said was so important? We always thought it was Peter, but maybe it was Michael...
With the plan finally revealed, are you prepared for the final three episodes?
The next episode of Fringe, "The Boy Must Live," airs Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.