Hello Fringe fans!
It is bittersweet to know that so few remain, but also great because we will see the final battle unfold as it should be.
Come January 11, 2013, the final battle will be waged and we will see what Walter has in store and what his plan has been all along. Hopefully by the end, all will be revealed and everyone will be satisfied. I am glad that we found out that question that had been burning on everyone’s mind…who is Donald?
The answer was shocking to say the least, but a wonderful one at that. What else is in store for our beloved team? Only time and Joel Wyman will tell as he did in this appreciation video from December 13, recently re-tweeted by the great team at Fringe on FoxTV.
We also include the latest promotional trailer courtesy of FOX TV below for your enjoyment.
Now…on with the review.
I like the little boy who plays Michael (Rowan Longworth). He is doing a good job at conveying his empathic abilities, which I am sure again will be revealed more as the remaining episodes count down.
It must have been hard for the team to get answers out of him, since he has yet to speak a word. It does also make you wonder what happened to the connection that he had with Olivia in the past. Will it be again or is it lost to time?
Walter (John Noble) plying him with candy is fun, no doubt a desperate plea on his part to try and find out why he is so important to the team. His frustration with Michael’s non verbal communication is evident.
It always cracks me up when John gets outrageous, because he lets Walter’s madness bubble to the surface and just peak out; John always does it to perfection. I also suspect it would be a good excuse for Walter to use more drugs.
John also has the great ability, as we saw with Walternate, to have a sinister side to him. What he feared would happen, when he told Nina (Blair Brown) about becoming the man he used to be is starting to show through. Let’s hope that Walter, the one we know and love will still be intact by the end of the series. His God complex is surely starting to manifest and take over, hopefully Donald and our team can prevent that from happening.
It is so wonderful to see Blair Brown have such an integral part in this episode. She has always been a favorite actress of mine and I am glad that she is finally being utilized the way she should be. Nina’s intentions in this episode are what make this episode so epic. Blair had explained so well about her final decision being one that she had no choice in the matter.
The gadgets that the Observers use harkens back to a past episode, Road not Taken, where Peter (Joshua Jackson) had used an old record player to extract sound waves from a window. I mentioned before that as diabolical and cruel as the Observers are they do have some of the coolest gadgets around.
Windmark will stop at nothing to extract any and all information any way he can. I must give great praise to Michael Kopsa for playing Windmark with such evil intent that he makes it so much fun to hate him. He is truly one of those characters that once his demise comes; cheering will be heard throughout all of Fringe fandom.
I think that Nina, somewhere in the back of her mind, knows the eminent danger she is potentially putting herself and the team in, but the cause and what the outstanding Austalian actress who portrayed Etta (Georgina Haig), died for is more important.
Walter’s snarky comments are abounding in this episode. Again, John manages to make us laugh even during the direst of situations. Having that extraordinary gift is something I as a director and a Fringe fan know is something to cherish. His comment of “I’m cold” reminds me of the countless times he has complained in previous episodes of the lack of warmth or food at crime scenes.
Nina has always been a very mysterious character, never quite knowing if she is on the side of good or bad. She has toed the line a few times and has definitely done some questionable things in her time.
The fact that she is and I suspect always was a part of William Bell’s (Leonard Nimoy) and Walter’s inner circle speaks volumes about why she has always been shrouded in mystery. Why she has always had these weird connections, like Peter used to, to things that are not quite explained. How she knew Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan) and how she happened to mention this black lab that Massive Dynamic has.
Nina’s concern for Walter is evident as shown through the conversation with Peter. They are both worried about him and rightfully should be. The interesting thing is that Nina has seen Walter the way he used to be and knows all too well what reverting back to that state can do harm not only to Walter but the plan and the team.
“Your father understands that anything worth fighting for comes with a cost” is what Nina ultimately tells Peter. How right she is, because this statement not only pertains to this particular episode but every sacrificial episode from every season. The price that they ALL have paid in one shape or form has brought them to this point in time. The picture of Etta plastered on the wall driving home the statement that Nina just told Peter.
The black lab entrance is cool. Leave it to Nina to have a lab underground where all kinds of experiments are taking place. It is of no surprise what they find down there. It explains how Nina has been more than aware of how the Observers work and she has always been one step ahead.
The scene between Peter and Olivia when he asks if she is thinking about Etta is great. Anna has a vulnerability about her that shows in her body language and she also proves how visceral she can be as an actress.
Her maternal instincts are on alert with Michael ever since they found him and in a way he is helping her heal from losing Etta. Peter’s comfort is always ever present, in the way he interacts with her and the way he looks at her. Josh again displays his talent for compassion that Peter has shown since he fell in love with Olivia.
Walter seems to be slowing reverting back to his old self, glimpses we have seen throughout this season. John again being the brilliant one to just give us enough of a shadow to know that something darker looms.
One thing that I found interesting and that no one (at least not in my circle of Fringe friends) has brought up is what Michael represents. What I mean by this is that I cannot help but think of the Michael the Arc angel. If I remember anything of my Catholic schooling, it is that Michael led the armies of heaven against the forces of Satan and defeated them. To me that is what this Michael almost represents, he is the answer and the one that will be the one to ultimately defeat the Observers. It also makes me wonder why he would be so important to Walter if it weren’t for what Michael possesses. Why Donald was sworn to keep him safe, that Michael is indeed the one or dare I say weapon that the team has in their pocket, their ace up their sleeve, in a way.
I maybe reading too much into it, but it was just weird that no one picked up on that. I guess that’s because science and religion do not mix very well, that Michael had to be shrouded (sorry for the pun) in something a little less obvious. I would love to ask David Fury who wrote this episode if that was what Michael represented in this episode or what Michael represents overall. I guess that is a question for Joel as well…his is the maestro after all.
There have been many references to the Observers being like the Nazis and in some ways I can definitely see the correlation. Their methods mirror those that make them look similar to the Nazis, Windmark being the most sinister of them all. It is an eerie sight indeed, frightening to say the least.
Of course Michael’s readings are off the charts, of course he processes things differently than the other Observers, and he IS different, like September (Michael Cerveris). He is the one that is the major cog in Walter’s wheel of a plan, without him the whole thing falls apart. He is an empath; he isn’t the cold, calculating Observers that we have seen (minus September of course). He is the chosen one, the one of great importance, the one that will lead them to the final battle with the Observers…sound familiar? That is where my theory of the arc angel comes in.
The shot of the warehouse made me giggle out loud. It reminded me of the last scene in one of my most favorite movies, Raiders of The Lost Ark. I don’t know if that was intentional to make it look like that, but it was great fun to see. It also made me think that like the warehouse in Raiders, what secrets does this warehouse hold?
The scene with Hastings in the interrogation room with Windmark is very reminiscent of what he did to Walter in episode one of Season 5. It does not matter to Windmark how he gets his answers as long as he is satisfied that is his main goal. By any means necessary.
When Olivia informs Nina that she has been compromised that is when the episode really begins to shine. It is some of the best writing and acting that I have seen in a long time, mostly on Blair Brown’s part. Her decisions from this scene forward are ultimate and when the plan is set in motion there is no stopping her. She knew what she had to do as tough as a decision as it was it is what needed to be done in order to keep the team and Michael safe.
I am so curious what Michael showed Nina when he touches her cheek and she reacts. I suspect it’s the future if they do not defeat the Observers. I hope that we will get a reveal about it so that we the fans are not left in the dark.
The team needs to get back to the lab as soon as possible, especially knowing that Nina has been compromised and possibly put Michael in danger. What they do is brilliant; leave it to Peter, the reformed con man to think up that plan.
Once the lab has been breached this is when one of the best scenes in recent memory takes place. Blair does some of her best work and it is so brilliant that it will be forever remembered for the power, but for also the end result.
Windmark discovering the experimented Observers is what sets him off. He calls Nina an animal…I thought pot calling kettle. When Windmark reads her he points out that she had mentioned the boy Observer, he is important to the fugitives, again my theory goes here. The fact that Windmark says that the boy is a chromosomal mistake leads me to believe that Michael has a power that is still untapped.
That Michael is the one and only thing that Windmark is afraid of even though he lets on that he isn’t. Sometimes it is those mistakes or anomalies that turn out to be the very thing that we have been looking for the whole time.
The ones that will save the universe, kind of like how Superman was an anomaly, a boy wonder and the power he possessed ended up saving the world. So was Jesus in his time, again religion comes into play, but only to make my point.
Nina’s speech to Windmark about why Observers tilt their heads is so freaking brilliant I cheered when she finished. She was so on point that you almost wanted to high five her mechanical hand for the excellent job she did.
What she pointed out was so true that it was eerie. The fact that the Observers had devolved instead of evolved is a testament to the human spirit and the relationships that we have. The way that we show love and compassion, the way we feel does not make us weak, if anything it is the one thing that defines us as humans.
Her speech is the last hurrah she has before she makes the ultimate sacrifice. She did it for love, for the love of Olivia, love of Walter, Etta and I even suspect love for William Bell. Nina truly gets the last word, in your face Windmark!
When she shoots herself, twitter went crazy! It seems that Nina after all these years had become a character that fans really loved and to see her commit the ultimate sacrifice stunned everyone, but also made her immortal to everyone. It was the second shot heard throughout all of Fringe-dom (the first being the one that killed Etta). Goodbye Nina, you will be missed, in more ways than one.
The scene when the team discovers Nina dead is so heartbreaking, but John and Anna are the two that really shine in this scene. Even though Olivia does not show as much emotion as Walter did, does not mean the loss is not great. I was disappointed to see that fans were saying that Olivia’s reaction was not as powerful as Walter’s. I do believe they were wrong, dead wrong.
Olivia’s reaction was perfect…for Olivia. What they failed to remember is who Olivia really is. She was never one to break down, on rare occasions she has. Olivia never thought herself worthy of love and always kept a distance so as to not get hurt. She had to develop the thick skin that she had in order to survive her life. I do believe that Olivia feels very deeply, probably more so than we do.
Walter’s reaction was perfect as well. John Noble made a great point during one of his many Noble Intentions videos that maybe Walter and Nina’s relationship may have been deeper than we always thought. John always brilliant as usual moves you to tears. I also love what Josh does, how Peter comforts Olivia, but in a very soft, loving way.
I made a point to someone that all the people in Olivia’s life, regardless of time line, whom she loves, always end up dead. That is my point as to why she always has that pain, it will always be behind her eyes, because she has gone through a hell that we can only imagine and never wish on another human being.
Anna Torv’s talent is undeniable; her eyes are so perfect at revealing those emotions, just under the surface. John had made the point that her subtly is brilliant and that is what makes her so good. Olivia has a quiet strength that has always been there. She carries on through unbelievable pain, she is a survivor, and she is the very definition of the word.
Where they find Michael is clever, obviously Nina made damn sure that Windmark could not find him and he was too hell bent on finding the fugitives that he did not bother to look any further. I love that once they find him and pull him out; he sees Nina and reacts as only an empath can. The single tear speaks volumes, bravo little one!
When Walter dons the ECOG it is a great scene because at first the reaction to the questions are just nods. When Walter asks Michael why he was needed for Walter’s plan, and why he was important he does the same thing he did to Nina, touch her cheek and show her.
The montage is beautiful, it is flash back of all past episodes and a virtual zoetrope of memories that Walter had either forgotten or repressed.
The final revelation to the question is what we have all been waiting for…the question that has been on every Fringe fans mind, who is Donald. I must say it was one of those moments when I audibly gasped! It was so wonderful to see Michael Cerveris again; he has been sorely missed in the fifth season. It was a little weird to see him with hair, but great nonetheless.
Okay, well now we know who Donald is, what I want to know (and I am sure every Fringe fan on the planet wants to know) is how did Donald become September? Is the boy Observer possibly September? Was September another anomaly as well that somehow slipped through the cracks?
That would explain a lot about September and the significant role he played not only on the show but in the lives of Olivia, Peter and especially Walter. I know that Michael Cerveris said on twitter that his being Donald was the hardest secret he had to keep, but he loved the reaction of all the fans!
When Walter finally tells the team that Donald is September they are a little perplexed, how that is possible I bet they are thinking. The look on Walter’s face is wonderful, almost like a veil had been lifted from something that was clouding his memory. He almost had a look of relief and nostalgia, as if to say to himself, now it all makes sense.
Beautiful, heartbreaking episode, I am conflicted about the fact that there are only three episodes left. I am happy that we do get to see the final battle between good and evil, but I also do not want to see our team’s story end. I am being selfish when I say that I want Fringe to go on forever.
The good thing is that thanks to other mediums, Fringe WILL go on forever. I do hope that there is going to be more in the way of comic books and possibly a movie or two. Until then, we always have our DVDs and fan fiction to tide us over.
It will be a hell of a final ride and this fan is desperately looking forward to it. Have a Happy New Year Fringe fans, see you in 2013 and remember that “Momentum can be deferred, but it must always be paid back in full!”
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Until next time,