Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fringe Season Five, Episode Eleven: The Boy Must Live

At the lab, Peter continues to work on burning a hole through the amber, when he is interrupted by Walter. Walter tells him Peter that he has an new idea about how to find September from the memory Michael showed them is in his subconscious. Walter goes into the tank, as Olivia, Astrid, and Peter monitor his progress.  Walter's blood pressure starts to spike, as he gets a vision of himself in an apartment. He's with September and remarks that he does not look like himself. Peter instructs him to look outside, so that they can get a sense of where Walter is in this vision.  Walter realises that they are in New York.  Astrid looks at the map and says that Walter was near the Williamsburg bridge.  Walter becomes convinced that this is where September is.

Windmark is in his office when he is approached and told someone is ready to see him.  Windmark walks through a portal and ends up in the year 2069.  Clearly, at this point there are no humans left, only observers.

The Fringe team arrives at the location that Walter saw in the tank. Peter asks how Walter is doing and Walter responds that he is great and that the procedure to remove pieces of his brain is no longer necessary. Walter says that when Michael touched him, he remembered things that he hadn't experienced from the other timeline and that everything he has ever known, is nothing more than a thimble, in comparison to the knowledge out there. Peter asks what Michael is and how he enabled Walter to see a life he never lived and if Michael gave him the plan.  Walter admits that he didn't and that before he met Michael, he didn't think it was possible to love him more, but now knowing everything they have been through from the other timeline he does. The two men hug and Walter comments that Peter never liked public displays of affection.

In the future, Windmark goes to see the commander and reports that Michael has been found and that whoever hid him, did so for a reason. 

The team enters a building and buzzes at a door,which is answered by Donald, who is shocked to see Walter alive. Walter tells him that they were frozen in time for 21 years.  When Donald sees Michael, her removes his hood and kneels before him.  Inside the apartment, the Fringe team tell Donald that they found the radio and from there Michael, who showed them where to find him.  Donald says that he was apprehended before the invasion, for his continued interference in the time line.  As punishment, they removed his tech and experimented on him. It seems now that Donald is no different than the Fringe team. Donald does not see it as a punishment. He chose the name Donald O'Connor from movie Singing in the Rain - the first movie that he saw with Walter.

Donald opens a box on the table and plays Green Sleeves with a musicbox.  This seems to fascinate Michael and so he stands and starts to turn the crank.  Walter asks what Michael is and Donald says that Michael was born hundreds of years from now.  We learn that emotion was abandoned in the pursuit of intellect and so the observers lost the value of all emotion.  It seems that Micheal's brain developed different than the other offspring.  Donald says that he had observed how in the past fathers cared for their sons and protected them, so he took Michael away and hid him in the past.   Donald is Micheal's father.

In the future, Windmark learns about September. They wonder why he has gone to such lengths to protect a genetic defect.  Windmark requests the ability to travel back in time to kill the fugitives but is denied because the observers chose this time in history to being their invasion for a reason.  Windmark points out that the boy had a tiny chance of surviving, yet he did. Windmark admits that the idea of ending the existence of the Fringe team consumes him but he is once again told that they are insignificant. It seems that Windmark has now become Ahab and is experiencing emotion though he won't admit it.

Peter asks how Michael fits into the plan and Donald says that his intellect functions on a level that no one is able to understand and he has emotions.  Donald believes that they should transfer Michael into the future, to the day they made the step in human evolution, so they will see living proof that they don't have to sacrifice emotion for intelligence; therefore they will never go down that path. This will mean that the observers will never exist and then never invade.  Walter realises that this is the plan they were working on together before he was ambered.  Donald asks how far they have come from the tapes, and Donald says that he can help them and the items are a part of a device that they can build. 

Olivia tells Peter that she believes that they are going to see Etta again because the plan is going to reset time.  Peter tells Olivia that he wants to believe that more than anything but they still have a long way to go.

Windmark learns that when September was detained, he was collecting rocks for a purpose they are unaware of.  Windmark demands they find out where September lives.  When they arrive at September's home, no one is there but they do find a scalpel and blood in the sink. They realise September has removed his chip and destroyed it.  Windmark demands that the loyalist review the footage in the area. As Windemark goes through Donald's things, it looks like he is starting to feel emotion.

The fringe team is in the car when Donald gets an alert on a device indicating that the observers are in his home. One of them is tapping his feet to the jazz music Windemark chose to play.  They manage to shift out, just before a bomb that Donald left behind goes off. Loyalists pull up  outside and show Windemark a video of the Fringe team leaving with Donald and Michael fourteen minutes ago.

Donald grabs the equipment from the future and Walter tells him that Michael gave him an awareness of another timeline.  It turns out that when September said, "the boy is important he must live," that he was talking about Michael not Peter. Walter also reveals that Michael said for the plan to work, he would have to sacrifice himself.  Donald asks if Walter is frightened and Walter says yes and asks if Michael showed him all the events of the past, to make it easier for him to come to terms with what he has to do.  Donald replies that he does not know and reminds Walter that it was his decision to sacrifice himself for the plan.  Donald reminds Walter that he saw this as making amends for all of the damage he had done. Donalds asks if Walter remembers getting a white tulip and Walter says yes and that it was a sign from God.  Donald says that he knew the tulip would give him strength, as it had before.  Donald hands Walter an envelop addressed to him.  

Donald and Walter exit the building and Donald says that he is not coming with them because he has a few more things to do before starting on the plan.  He goes on his knees in front of Michael and promises to see him again.  As the Fringe crew are driving, they come into contact with another checkpoint and are forced to turn into an alley.  Olivia calls Astrid and says that they are blocked in and when Astrid checks, it turns out that the observers have set up a perimeter all around them and that there is no way out.

Walter asks Peter if he thinks they found Donald and Peter says that he doesn't know but they have to keep moving.  Astrid advises them to head toward J street because there is a monorail station there.  Olivia suggests that they split up and leaves, hand in hand with Michael, believing that posing as a mother and child that they shouldn't draw too much suspicion. Peter moves to follow but stops when a loyalist humvie drives up.  Olivia and Michael make it to the station safely and Olivia reports back that the observers are searching cars. Just before the doors close, Michael gets off the train and Olivia is forced to watch as he is escorted away by loyalists.  Michael is brought to Windemark.

A lot of this episode was one giant info dump. We learn that all of September's intervention was really all about saving Michael.  This moves us away from Peter as the chosen one, for which  I must admit that I am a little relieved about.   In many ways it explored the cost of advancement and what we as human consider progress.  How much it too much and is moving forward really worth it?

I was mildly amused to see Observers enjoying jazz and glad that they revealed more behind Windmarks motives than simply duty.  

I do however wonder if they manage to reset the timeline if it will mean that Fringe team never existed. Sure, Walter would probably have split the universe but without the observers constant interference in the timeline, would things have escalated the way they have?  Olivia sees this as a chance to get Etta back, but would she even exist in this new timeline?  This does add a few twists to the story but I cannot say that I have been further drawn into this horrible season.  At this point, I am just waiting for Fringe to end and don't believe that this final season gave the series the justice that it deserves.  I would much have preferred if season four had been the ending.