As Fringe gallops towards its final breathtaking jumps, the show brings Peter, Walter and the tank together in truly emotional moments (including some unexpected but tear-worthy talk between the two main men) and tries to decipher the important impact of young Michael on the saving of the world(s).
Bug-Eyed Goggles and Skinny-Dipping
Looking like he's about to fly a biplane in a turn-of-the-century airshow, a bug-goggled Peter is startled by Walter who claims he can find September. Walter takes to the water tank, sans briefs, in order to "feel free" and go back in his mind in an attempt to remember September's whereabouts.
Walter flashes to an apartment where Donald is standing at a sink. Peter looks outside and realizes that the water and skyscrapers he sees place him in Brooklyn.
Olivia, Peter, Walter and the boy travel there.
Meanwhile, Windmark leaves his office, where he was listening to Nina on tape talking about the Observer child.
As they track Donald's apartment, Peter is shocked at how jaunty Walter is feeling - "What's changed?" Peter asks. "When the boy touched me... it was freeing, Peter. I understood everything I thought I knew could fit in a thimble." He falls into a sweet, heartfelt ramble about remembering things, like the joy he felt at being called "Dad" and how terrifying it was to let Peter go into the tank.
Peter wants to know what this boy has done for Walter. Walter can't remember the plan but he knows that all the memories the boy has given back to him have enabled him to love Peter more and appreciate all the truly important things they have been through together. "You never liked public displays of affection... or going number two in a public restroom," Walter tells Peter, acting every inch the embarrassing old father.
Cut to Windmark. He knows that the child has been taken to the year 2036 and that someone ensured his survival because they thought he was important.
Meanwhile, the four intrepids go to Donald's apartment, number 211. "Walter Bishop!" the man who answers exclaims. "You're alive!" This is Donald, alive and well..
Donald approaches the boy and touches his face, looks at him closely. The boy raises his hand and joins it to Donald's and they gaze meaningfully into each other's eyes. A meeting of hearts and minds all around.
Explaining the radio and tapes to Donald, everyone gives the boy credit for finding him. Donald tells them that he was apprehended before the invasion because of his interaction with Walter and that his device was removed. No longer able to move through time, Donald said they experimented on him - Biological Reinversion. He said he named himself after Donald O'Connor after he and Walter watched Singin' in the Rain.
Love: Keeping Brains from Reaching Their Full Potential for Thousands of Years
The boy comes to sit at Donald's side. Donald opens a box and extracts a music box player which sings a tinny "Greensleeves." The boy winds it himself and Donald strokes his head kindly.
Walter asks what the boy is. "He was born hundreds of years from now," Donald says, "created in a lab." By rewiring the portion of the human brain that houses jealousy, it was discovered that sacrificed emotions leave room for much greater intelligence.
That is where the "Observers" came from. Emotions were seen as roadblocks to human intelligence and abandoned in the pursuit of intellect. Finally, the humans lost perspective on emotions, both good and bad, with love and other things becoming messy distractions. Without romantic love, they had to create new ways of reproducing.
Just Say No
Windmark is looking up information on Michael. As Donald talks to Walter and the gang, Windmark discovers that this boy's development seemed to be halted so that his emotions were more or less intact. Donald took the boy away and hid him in the past to keep him safe, claiming fatherly feelings for him.
Windmark wants to find the boy with the genetic defect, asking to find September who kept the boy from being destroyed. Windmark is told that the fugitives are inconsequential and not worth the risk to find them.
There is a lot of talk about probabilities and Windmark is asked if he's feeling all right. "I am experiencing something I do not understand," Windmark says sadly. Ending the fugitives' existence "consumes" him, but his request to find them is denied.
Donald explains that the boy has compassion, empathy, all the emotions humans have, so he is a hybrid. An important date is 20th of February, 2167. If the boy can go forward in time to that day, he can prove that he is living proof that emotion need not be sacrificed for intellect. The Observers will then have no need to invade, proving the worth of Donald and Walter's plan.
Donald asks what was extracted from the amber and Walter asks how they can be used for time travel. They are part of the technology to make the machine for traveling. In Donald's time, there are specific materials they need.
Olivia thinks that, if the plan resets time, they can get Etta back. Peter isn't too sure about that. "I want to believe that more than anything," he claims, "but we still have a long way."
September was detained in a mine in Pennsylvania, Windmark discovers. He was questioned and released. Windmark wants to find him.
The Observers find Donald's tech lying in a puddle of blood in the sink. Since he has no chip, they can't track him. It's still warm, Windmark says. He asks that the Loyalists look at their video to find out where he is.
Windmark looks through Donald's stuff and finds a waterglobe of the state of Liberty. .
The van with Walter and company arrives at the apartment where Donald's tech had been left. He finds out that the Observers are there. "You can't go back there," Walter tells him. Donald claims "there is no back there."
Windmark is still in the apartment listening to jazz and his Observer helper taps his foot to the music's beat. They skedaddle out of there when they see the flashing light above the molding, leaving a huge black burned hole in the side of the building.
Windmark gets word that the van was spotted 14minutes ago. Set up a perimeter, he demands.
The White Tulip
In a storage space, Walter tells Donald that the boy gave Walter an awareness of another timeline when he and Peter were pulled from the lake. Donald was referring at that time to his own son, not Walter's. He showed Walter, also, that in order for the plan to work, he would have to sacrifice himself. Donald admits that that is what is needed.
Walter, although frightened, thinks that the boy showed him all those memories in order to realize that he had incredible moments and connections to be grateful for. Donald is teary-eyed and says he doesn't know why the boy did it. "It was your decision to sacrifice yourself," Donald asks. "You said you caused so much unintended damage... and you would not have it any other way." he then asks Walter about the white tulip. Walter remembers it and said it was a sign from God. Donald says that the drawing of the white tulip proved to Walter that the plan to stop the Observers was a solid one and that this tulip was Walter's sign of hope and courage to "push on."
Donald and Walter say their good-byes. Donald and the boy touch hands again and Donald says, "I will see you again. I promise." As they drive off, the van hits checkpoints. Hiding in an alleyway, Olivia asks Astrid to help them and she tells them they have no egress -- they are surrounded. Walter worries that Donald may be caught.
On foot, they begin to walk to the monorail station on Jay Street. Peter sees the police setting up another checkpoint. Olivia and Michael go one way and Peter follows with Walter. A tank makes its way down the street, stops, then continues on after a gunman surveys the crowd.
In the station, Olivia tells Peter the police are searching for him. Gunned guards surround the train. Police come to Olivia's car and suddenly Michael walks off the train. Olivia watches helplessly from the moving monorail as the boy walks away with the police..
The boy is brought to Windmark. Ominously, he speaks to Michael, the single word "Hello."
(Image courtesy of FOX)