Fringe Review: About a Boy

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The world may not be coming to an end, but the final season of Fringe draws closer to its own dramatic conclusion.

"Anomaly XB-6783746" was another chapter in the search for answers and hunt for clues, as Olivia, Peter and Walter sought out Nina Sharp in an effort to figure out why Michael was integral to the big plan of saving the world.

Help from Nina

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see how it all finishes it out, whether it be a mind-bending reveal, explosive showdown, or a quiet human moment. The possibilities still feel endless, and I have high hopes.

Yet, I can't help but feel that for the most part, Fringe Season 5 has been more focused on closing the chapter to its super saga with a bang and less about the journey to get there.

Sure, we've had good scenes that have touched on Walter's moral dilemmas and identity, Peter's grief, and even Olivia's ability to be the stable and supporting member to her love, to her daughter, to her team.

Except, even amongst the character moments, it all feels secondary to the connecting of the puzzle pieces. The Fringe team seems to be along for the ride.

This time around, it was everyone trying to communicate with the child Observer, meaning a good portion of the episode was postulating theories on how to do so and trying to get the tech that could even attempt to do so.

Of course, Captain Windmark was on the trail, sniffing out his enemies like a determined bloodhound.

I do find Windmark to be a fantastic bad guy. The Observers have a way of making their emotionless and cold demeanor to be utterly creepy, but Windmark tops the others. There's a ruthless and scary villain behind that bald head, and his stares are so piercing that I believe he's mind interrogating the people across from him.

His confrontation with Nina seemed inevitable. It was her remarks about the Observers being animals that was the perfect slap in the face though. The words clearly cut deep and if anything, it was a great last remark for her.

Although, when it came down to it, I wasn't shocked that Nina made a sacrifice by killing herself. It was an unfortunate turn of events, but to her it was necessary to save Michael.

In reality, a lot of the hour felt predictable. I wasn't surprised that it wouldn't be until the final minutes of the episode that something significant would happen.

And that's not to say that there weren't significant moments like Olivia connecting with Michael, or Olivia and Peter working together as a solid team, or Nina helping the Fringe team get to the next step. It's just that to me it felt as if most of the time was all about leading up to the shocking final moment.

But it was a surprising and wonderful finish for the simply okay episode.

Firstly, Michael was able to communicate with Walter, but it was the glorious dose of fast cut flashbacks of Fringe Season 1 up until now that was the perfect nostalgia bomb. It was nice to see that the show hasn't forget about its early years while implying that every single moment has been important.

On top of that, was the discovery that the mysterious Donald was none other than September.

That's right Donald is September, but with far more follicles on his head. And he smiles!

It really has me wondering about his connection to Michael and what Observers feeling emotion means? I've always been under the impression that Walter's plan has been about defeating the Observers, but perhaps, it is about "fixing" them and helping them become human, or something along those lines?

The whole concept really does make me think back to Nina's notion of love. It is something the Observers don't have, yet we've seen boatloads of it from Walter, Peter, and Olivia. Can love truly conquer all?

There's still plenty of questions to think about, which in terms of Fringe, has always been a positive. I just hope that the final batch of episodes delivers both a satisfying end to the story, as well as its characters. I'd love to see Peter, Olivia, Walter and even Astrid, get a chance to shine with equally meaningful contributions and kick-ass moves, while receiving the fulfilling closure that they all deserve.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (275 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I just found a reference to Donald. Season 2 episode 8-August. the observers call a man named "donald" but he isnt like what they have recently explained

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Fantastic episode, only 3 left. I felt bad for Nina, but she gave Windmark nothing. After this episode, for the first time, I became a real fan of Nina's character. No need to "guess" where they may go to end the series, just will sit back and enjoy the ride. Happy Holidays

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Olivia Dunham.............ummmmmmm.... Its a TV Show.

Fortyseven

Michael is half-human I guess.

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Oliva Dunham. Maybe you you should stop watching fringe and urge the networks to make the Anna Torv show. You don't seem to understand the point of an ensemble cast and also you blatantly did not understand any of the time line changes for example 'Nina and Olivia were like mom and daughter' they were before Olivia made the choice to join Peters timeline therefore her memories of Nina would only be Pre season 4. So of course Walter would be more upset he was close freinds with Nina for + 40 years. Just a suggestion but maybe you should see a Psychiatrist because you seem to have unhealthy obsession for Anna Torv maybe only a few steps away from being a stalker. Sorry for the rant but I see you silly childist comments on here and screenrant everyweek and its got a bit boring.

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@MiaRose, I don't think that it is possible for Michael to be September and Donald (unless Doofensmirtz used a Combininator on him/them.... oh wait, that's Phineas and Ferb, not Fringe). Donald/September brought "Michael" (he didn't provide a name for him) to the couple that have been watching him all these years. I mean, it's possible for an Observer to bring someone from a different time, but 1) Donald wasn't an Observer when he arrived with Michael (I think the couple would have mentioned that!) and 2) Transporting a version of yourself from another part of the timeline seems way too paradox-y, even for Fringe. Or maybe not. Oh, and Dr. Hastings is Sneezy.

Snakethecritic

★★★★★TV Nina Sharp NO! #StupidLizards I was at the edge of myself throughout this episode. I'm missing some finger nails to prove it. The sounds and music were eerie and I love it. So congrats to the supervisor, as it work on me. AmazingTV

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Well one big thing...I have been assuming Donald was September since well we bothe mentioned Donald that Walter mentioned he worked on this plan with September (back in Letters of Transit) and also...where the heck was September in all of this. i loved nina's confrontation with windmark I am curious about how one of windmark's henchmen looked freaked out when she was saying they had basically unevolved themselves. i wonder if Michael and the children like him that the obsevers destroy are pure emotion and work on feelings and do not need to communicate (or maybe are just what we were supposed to naturally evolve into without observer interference).

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I'm liking the season. This ep was super. My final prediction still is Walter has to go back to how the whole mess started. I'm predicting Walter (the old arrogant version) will have to go back in time and close the portal, thus preventing Peter from ever going into the alt universe. Peter will appear lost to the current time line, when out of nowhere, the show ends, in the park, with Oliva, Peter, and Etta, who runs to her mom and dad, jumps into her dad's arms, while Olivia says, "Peter, lets go home."

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to finish from below: Wyman has managed to make me hate Fringe. He is doing everything to prove that Olivia has no value to Fringe, and with that he humiliates Anna Torv in each episode. Everything Anna has contributed he wipes away, even the little bit of storylines Olivia got in S1, child onserver, tank. Prediction":
Olivia is dead early 5.13 in 2036, so that Jackson and Noble get the entire finale together,
and we end in the parc with Olivia being pregnant.

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