Fringe: The Boy Must Live
by Ashley Binion
After three weeks of hiatus, Fringe was back with a solid episode leading into next week’s series finale. Following a phenomenal episode that revealed that Donald is September and another shocking death, “The Boy Must Live” resolved many mysteries that were raised throughout the season and the series.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The episode began with a nice callback to the pilot. Walter, trying to unlock where Donald/September resided, entered the water tank much like Olivia did in the first episode of the series. There was also a cute comedic moment between her and Walter.
The team, with Michael the boy Observer in tow, headed to Brooklyn. On the way, Peter and Walter exchanged some nice dialogue. He told his son about having memories from the original timeline, the emotions that came with them, and the overwhelming feeling of love he has for his son. With these new memories implanted because of Michael, he became revitalized. Even though I love the mythology aspect of the show, these are some of the scenes I will miss most.
They found September alive and well, and with hair! He told the group that because of his interference with the timeline, they removed his Observer device. To entertain the child, he gave him a music box that played the Christmas carol “What Child Is This?”— an interesting choice of song.
September then told them the history of the boy and origin of the Observers. In 2167, a Nordic scientist sought out to find a way to increase human intelligence. He found that sacrificing jealousy could increase cognitive function. It was successful, but they didn’t stop there. They continued to sacrifice emotions for intelligence, which led to the creation of the Observer, a being that was fundamentally human but void of all emotion.
Michael’s brain developed differently and stopped maturating in their new reproducing process. September’s genetic material was used to create him. With the maturation ending prematurely, he became a hybrid of a regular human and an Observer. He has the same intellect of an Observer, but has all of the emotions of a regular human. September, as Michael’s father, hid him in the past so he would be safe.
After this revelation, September told them of the plan he and Walter concocted before the older Bishop was encased in amber. He wanted to send the boy ahead in time to 2167 and show the scientist that the boy is living proof that emotions do not have to be sacrificed for intelligence. This would reset the timeline and the Observers would never be created.
With this, they all departed and went to find more pieces in order for the plan to work. September informed Walter that he would have to sacrifice himself in order for the plan to be complete. Also, he discussed the sketch of the white tulip. Of course, this was a callback to one of Fringe’s best episodes, “White Tulip.”
While trying to escape the Loyalist soldier’s roadblocks, they planned to meet up on a train. However, Michael was captured after he stepped off right before it left the station, allowing the trio to escape.
Meanwhile, Windmark traveled to the year 2609 to meet with his superior regarding Michael. He discovered September is Michael’s father and began to feel hate. He wanted to eliminate the anomaly along with the Bishop family. I think it is interesting that the more he continues to want to eliminate them, the more emotions he continues to feel.
Another interesting callback in the episode was to “The Equation” when Windmark searched September’s bedroom. When he entered, a light above the door flashed green and red.
I really enjoyed this episode. However, I was somewhat disappointed with the future 2609. I was expecting to see more or maybe more Observer interaction. It was great to see Michael Cerveris play an actual human being, and he did an excellent job.
The glyph code for the episode was, “grace.”
What did you think of the many answers the episode gave? And, what do you want to see in Fringe’s final two hours?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars