Fringe / Television

Fringe “The Boy Must Live” Review

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I took off from reviewing the last couple of Fringe episodes because I was prepping my year end blogs, but you better believe I will be talking about these last couple episodes. Last night’s “The Boy Must Live” was a very informative episode and does a great job of setting us up for the series finale.

The episode opens up in an awesome way. No not Peter digging another tape out (though his goggles were great), but Walter hopping in the good old sensory deprivation tank to try and remember where September is. It’s a great opening because it gives us a chance to see that tank one more time (plus a dream state) and gives us a good dose of Walter humor as he takes off his swim trunks to be as free as possible much to Olivia’s dismay. This leads to them tracking down September who last episode was revealed to be the much talked about, never quite revealed Donald. It really makes perfect sense given that we knew they were both helping Walter with the plan. Well except for the whole September looking a lot less bald thing. But that and a few other mysteries were explained during a conversation between everyone at September’s place and it all sits well with me. I was hoping that Donald was September after he was an Observer which was the case. We find out about how the Observers came to be, how the child Observer Michael is basically his son and how he was punished so to speak by meddling too much in the timeline and allying himself with our Fringe team. It all works well for me.

We also find out a lot about the much discussed plan. Like a lot of speculation had predicted it seems to be a reset of sorts. They will send the child observer forward in time to show the person who started humans on the path to becoming the highly intellectual but emotionally lacking Observers, that basically that is not the way to go. I don’t even know where to start with the kind of time paradoxes this would create, but Fringe has kind of been a mess with those for a while. I think the more important thing to think about is where will this reset take us to or leave us at. I mean one line of thinking could say that the Observers never existing means September never distracts Walternate from discovering the cure for Peter and all the changes that would make. I  don’t think they would go that route since everyone is so entrenched in the relationships of the core three characters (seriously if Peter and Olivia didn’t end up together… that would be bad), but I am just using it to make the point of the many ways in which this could go. And how does Walter’s sacrifice play into it? And will it bring Etta back like Olivia thinks? Or does the fact that they so plainly mentioned these two things this week mean it will go in a different unexpected direction? I will spend much of my week thinking about all of this, but will say that this episode sold me on the idea of a reset potentially being a good way to end this show in a way I hadn’t been sold on it before. Like any ending it would still need to be done right, but something about how they presented it here made me feel better than I did before.

The Boy Must Live 1

Another part of this side of the episode that I need to mention is that Walter got his original timeline memories back!!! If you have read any of my previous reviews over the past year or so, you have heard me mentioning here and there that I hated him not having those memories. And how it hurt the Walter/Peter relationship to at least some degree because their current relationship from Walter’s perspective wasn’t built during those first three seasons like it should be. But to see Walter’s reaction to getting these memories back and how it makes him love Peter even more is just so wonderful. I am just so happy they did this and it led to a fanastic scene between father and son. They still probably should have done it a lot sooner though!

There was another storyline running alongside this one that involved Windmark. I think my favorite part of this was just the initial reveal that we’d be seeing some of that far off Observer future in 2609. I mean how cool was it when he just walked from a building in 2036… into 2609. So we get to see him in 2609. We get to see that he is catching a bad case of feelings of the anger, rage-y kind. I am imagining his vendetta against our team will somehow help the plan go right or somehow give it a happier ending maybe for our Fringe team just by the way his commander is advising him against it. We shall see.

Finally the episode ends with the team trying to get out of the area along with the child Observer. It’s a pretty tense sequence. Probably because with only one episode left, it feels like something could definitely go wrong. And how does it end, with the child Observer seemingly giving himself up to the baldies and their loyalists as our team gets away on the monorail. It’s just one more thing to wonder about as we head into next week’s two-hour finale.

A few more things:

  • White Tulip reference… awesome!
  • I mentioned this in one of my early Season 5 reviews, but I’d love to see a more classic-style opening sequence with the glyphs and all that good stuff for the finale. Not sure if it would make sense, but who cares. I’d love to see it again.
  • Like so many times before in this show, the September/Michael (child Observer) relationship shows another father doing whatever it takes to save his child. Such a big part of this series and three of these relationships will likely play into the finale in some way (Walter/Peter, Olivia and Peter/Etta, and September/Michael).
  • Fun getting to see Michael Cerveris play September in a totally different way. Such a good actor.

I can’t believe Fringe will be over in a week. This episode sets up for the finale so well and I have never been as excited for an episode of television as I am for this final two hours of Fringe. There are still a lot of possibilities for how this plays out and I can’t wait to see which direction it goes.

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