Mark Watches ‘Fringe’: S05E11 – The Boy Must Live

In the eleventh episode of the fifth season of Fringe, FEELINGS FOREVER. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Fringe.

Oh god, I just finished watching this, and I’m just so pleased with this show, y’all.

  • For such an exposition-heavy episode, this was still frightening and suspenseful. The writers never ignore the emotional impact this all has on the other characters, either, and I love it. This episode has everything! Drama! Tears! Man hugs! Hope! Terror! Tons of answers! Astrid for like three minutes!
  • I can’t believe this show is done NEXT WEEK. It’s not fair. IT REALLY ISN’T.
  • Okay, some praise right off the bat: It is incredible to see Michael Cerveris as September/Donald. The man has played such a specific version of his character for years, and now we get to see a new side to him. September is now human. He has hair. And facial hair! He speaks as we do, but it’s also easy to see him lapse into Observer-specific tics and behaviors. Watch the way he talks. He even tilts his head like an Observer when he looks at his son.
  • ;SADJKFS MICHAEL IS SEPTEMBER’S SON H E L P. Can we seriously note that now September’s life parallels Walter’s? They both bent time and space to save their sons. Wave of feelings oncoming.
  • I adore the way season five has found methods of bringing back countless objects and images from the previous four seasons. Bless you, Fringe.
  • We finally get a concrete explanation for how the Observers came in existence. So much of this show has been about how the development of science can be this terrible thing. (Which is to not to deny how many times science has saved these people, either, but that’s a separate point.) Walter’s strict adherence to the idea that knowledge should be pursued via the scientific method, no matter the cost, is what ripped two universes apart and nearly ruined Olivia’s life because of the Cortexiphan tests she went through. That’s reductive, obviously, because I could probably write an entire 2,500 word list just on things that science has done wrong in this show. The point is this: This relentless pursuit of knowledge without an ethical consideration of any sort will always lead to some sort of terror, often one that doesn’t ever affect the person conducting the experimentation. It is this same desire to give humans superhuman intelligence that created the Observers and wiped out humanity as we know it.
  • It’s not ever brought up, but I’m kind of fascinated in a horrified way that the future of the human race involves widescale genocide. Think about it: Once human emotions are stripped away, what do these scientists create? The Master Race. It’s a group of emotionless, hyperintelligent white men who do not need anyone to reproduce. Like, IT’S MY OWN PERSONAL NIGHTMARE. Now I’m kind of wishing this was addressed.
  • So, we finally find out what Walter and September’s plan was: send Michael to 2167 in an attempt to convince the scientists then not to strip away human emotions, thereby ERASING THE OBSERVERS FROM ALL OF SPACE AND TIME.
  • And what we’ve got here is a classic time paradox, and it’s so simplistic that it’s kind of fucking brilliant. Like, everyone in that room had this expression on their face that said, “Wait, how has no one thought of this?” Still, there’s obviously a lot of room for error on multiple levels. What if they can’t convince the scientists to abandon their work? What if they can’t make it to 2167? If they succeed, at which point in human history do the repercussions of Observer interaction begin to disappear? Are we talking as far back as September’s intervention at Reiden Lake, or have the Observers infiltrated even further back? Or will the invasion be the only thing to disappear? These are questions I want addressed in these last two episodes.
  • Oh god, we didn’t see much of 2609, BUT WE GOT TO SEE 2609, HOLY SHIT.
  • So, what’s happening to Windmark? He developed an obsession, a distinctly human behavioral pattern. That other Observer was tapping his foot to jazz, recognizing the rhythm in music. I do not think this was a throwaway detail at all.
  • Like, okay. The almost casual revelation from Walter that Michael essentially showed him that he’d have to sacrifice himself to make his plan work was like a punch in the gut. I really wanted the core four to make it to the end of this show, and now it’s not going to happen. At the same time, I appreciate that Michael may have given Walter visions of his life and future to show him that he is a good person, that he loved, that he was loved, and that he changed. It hurts, I know, but god, it’s such a touching scene. Also, I can’t handle September crying????
  • Bringing the white tulip back was just… my god. I love it. At the end, Walter is willing to give up his life if he knows he’s worked towards redemption, and finding that letter will mean he has found it. I am going to cry like a baby when that appears. Oh god.
  • I am super worried about September staying behind. He has an ulterior motive.
  • Which is the only reason I can possibly come up with for why Michael purposely turns himself in. September had to have told him to do it. BUT WHY? I DON’T KNOW. I DON’T LIKE IT.

The finale is next week. I’ll write two reviews for each “episode,” and there are videos attached to them as well. One will go up on Saturday, and then the second will go up on Sunday. I really wish this show wasn’t ending. I’ll miss it a lot.

Mark Links Stuff

I am going on tour in 2013! I have some dates already posted, but help plot out more and figure out how to support me coming to your city!
– You can follow me on Twitter for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
– You should read this very important post about supporting Mark Does Stuff!
– Video commissions are just $25! You can commission me to read, watch, or play anything for current, past, or upcoming projects right here!
– The glorious Mark Watches Doctor Who: Series 4 ebook is now out and available for only $3.99!
– Both Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince are now available in paperback form!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Fringe and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.