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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Nina and Olivia were like mom and daughter, but got 2 little scenes in total, but Walter had plenty with Nina. So sick and tired of Walter whining and angry whenever Noble pleases, over the top acting, I was laughng when he did his crying even more when the boy did his socalled empathy crying with Walter. Who cares that Olivia lost her daughter, who cares that Olivia just lost Nina,
it is Walter Walter Walter, the big me myself and I Walter that needs all the attention. I saw Anna Torv on BTS photos on set with the boy that plays Boy Observer, really having a bond, playing with him and protecting him against the papz. So I hoped that finally Olivia and Anna would get her own storyline, but even the the child Observer, had to go to Walter and John Noble.
On top of that he is going to ruin the tank next week. So Wyman hates Olivia Dunham and has a huge disdain for Anna Torv, that is clear now.
Anna still manages to be brilliant despite that, shows her class. Wyman has managed to make me hate Fringe with this season.

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This for me was one of the best episodes of this season. Nina's death was truly heart-breaking but I also choose to believe that Michael showed her her fondest memories and a glimpse of the future. I am intrigued by Donald being September. So apparently the tech in your head doesn't have to make you a believer in a lizard men's perception of being? But is Donald/ September also Michael?

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'"et, I can't help but feel that for the most part, Fringe Season Five 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." Seriously? You want MORE scenes of Olivia wordlessly grieving and Walter worrying about his humanity and LESS mythology? I think with "Anomaly XB-6783746" Fringe is finally returning to form after a so-far awkward season in which the superfluous scavenger hunt has usurped the story. I've always loved the child observer (or whatever he is) and I'm thrilled that September is back after a 10-episode hiatus. Nina's death was heartbreaking, but amazing, and I like to think Michael showed her the past and the future before she died, so she knew what she was giving up her life for. As for the plan "resetting time" (according to the promo) that's pretty much what we assumed would happen after Etta died.

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Maybe Michael is Donald's (September's) son and September didn't want this 'anomaly' get 'destroyed' as Windmark said.

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