Saturday, January 12, 2013

'Fringe' recap: 'The Boy Must Live'

Courtesy FOX
BY MELISSA HARKNESS


Note: The Fringe finale airs next week at an earlier time, 8 p.m. EST and both episodes will run back to back!

After last episode's revelations, Walter decides he needs to spend some alone time in the sensory deprivation tank to recover his memories of September. When Olivia checks on him, she finds he has removed his swim trunks. "I need to be free," he says. It must have worked, because they determine the location of Donald/September's apartment and head off to Manhattan to find him. Walter appears to be very chipper and practically skips away. Peter finally asks him what's up. Walter says he feels great.

Ever since Michael touched him, his thoughts are clearer.

He tells Peter things he remembers from timelines he never experienced. He describes the terror he felt when Peter stepped into the machine. And how he told Peter that he had never been very good at letting him go. To which Peter replied, "This time you're going to have to." Foreshadowing anyone? "I didn't think it was possible for me to love you more, but now, knowing what we've been through, I do," Walter tells Peter. They hug and I may have gotten a little something in my eye right there.

Unfortunately, none of these memories include The Plan.

Meanwhile, Capt. Windmark has managed to get a meeting with his superior. He teleports to Manhattan in the year 2609 for a meeting. How convenient it must be to just poof through time and space! Windmark tells the Commander about Michael, aka Anomaly XB-6783746, being hidden in 2036. He goes to great length to try to explain that he must be very important to someone. Trying to make a case for some homicidal plan, I'm sure.

In good 'ol 2036, the Bishops finally find September in apartment 211. A September with hair and wrinkles on his face. He seems amazed to see Walter, and even more amazed to see Michael. The two touch hands and September seems very emotional. They briefly explain the last few months to September and ask for his side of events. He explains that he was punished for the help he had given them.

His "Device" was removed and he underwent Biological Reversion. They considered it a punishment, but September did not. He is essentially no different from a regular human now. He chose the name Donald, after Donald O'Connor from Singing In The Rain. It was the first movie he ever watched, and it was with Walter. Aww! September explains to the team how Observers came about. Essentially, a scientist in Norway was trying to find a way to increase human intelligence. He found a way to remove jealousy on Feb. 20, 2167, essentially sacrificing emotion for intelligence. This led to more and more emotions being abandoned in the pursuit of intellect. Eventually even love was abandoned, and therefore new reproductive technologies had to be made. New Observers were made from the genetic material of older Observers. During this story, we see Windmark doing his own research on Anomaly XB-6783746's origins. September continues his story about having observed Fathers and sons in our time. Discovering that fathers are supposed to protect their children.

And drumroll please ... September is Michael's father. To protect Michael, he removed him before he could be terminated and hid him in our time.

Windmark appears to take great pleasure in telling the Commander about this discovery. Fortunately, the Commander deems the Fugitives inconsequential and denies Windmark's request to eliminate them in the past.

September explains that Michael's intellect is so different that they can't understand it. But more importantly, he has emotions. The Plan is to send Michael to 2167, to show the scientists that they do not have to sacrifice emotion for intelligence. Olivia takes this to mean that she will get Etta back when the timeline resets, though I'm not to sure that will work. If the Observers never exist, then September never saves Walter and Peter from drowning in the lake. Then both Peter's will be dead and Etta will never exist. Right? Oy. My head.

Back in 2036, Windmark has his lackey's track a chip they had implanted in Donald when he was captured at the mine. They all teleport out to his apartment. Only the team had already left to go to his storage unit to retrieve the new equipment. They find a bloody scalpel, indicating that September removed the chip before they left. He also left a nice little bomb too. Sadly, Windmark and his assistant escape in time. Of course, the team was spotted on surveillance feeds and perimeter checkpoints are ordered.

Inside the storage room, Walter asks September about the night he pulled them from the lake. When you said, "the boy is important, he must live" you weren't referring to my son. "You were referring to yours," he says. September simply replies, "Yes." Walter continues that Michael showed him that for the plan to work, he would have to sacrifice himself. He wonders if Michael showed him all of the memories he had to make it easier for him to let go. September looks at him tearfully and says he doesn't know. He tells Walter that it was his decision. That he said he had caused so much ham that he had to do this. "Do you remember the white tulip?" he asks Walter. September kept the tulip. He tells Walter that it was his symbol of hope and absolution. He pulls out a briefcase with the envelope that the tulip was delivered in, but the tulip isn't there.

They gather themselves together and go outside to the others. when they come out with only 2 small cases, Peter asks, "Is that it?" "You say that like we aren't carrying technology that can bend space and time into a Möbius strip," September snarks back. After this brilliant delivery, he tells them he isn't leaving with them. He has other supplies he has to gather. He touches hands with Michael and promises that he will see him again.

As the team tries to get out of Brooklyn, they find themselves trapped by checkpoints. They have to separate to try and get to the monorail. Eventually they all make it into different cars on the train. But guards start to search each car. Just as the car is about to be searched, Michael steps off the train as the doors close, trapping Olivia inside. He waits silently on the platform until a guard finds him. As the train pulls away, they see the guard leading Michael away to Capt. Windmark.

The next (and final) two episodes of Fringe, "Liberty" and "An Enemy of Fate" air in a special two-hour Series Finale, at 8 p.m. EST on FOX.

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