The "Fringe" episode "The Boy Must Live" sets everything in motion for a mind-blowing two-part series finale. The truth about why September (Michael Cerveris) became Donald and tried to save the Child Observer (Rowan Longworth) is revealed. The Plan to save the world is revealed. And Walter's (John Noble) place in The Plan is revealed. This series-finale setup doesn't skimp on intrigue and suspense.
Happy Walter, without pants
Walter comes up with an idea to find September. He needs to submerge his drugged self in the "think tank." The team gets to work quickly with a quick stop for humor as Olivia (Anna Torv) is met with Naked Walter, when he decides that free thinking requires a "free" body, as well. In the tank, he remembers where he met with Donald and what Donald's apartment looks like. Astrid (Jasika Nicole) helps locate it based on Walter's description of his view out the window.
As the team prepares to leave, Peter (Joshua Jackson) has a talk with his father. He's surprised that Walter seems so happy, after recently bouncing between anger and despair, with the pieces of his brain he felt were making him evil. Walter explains that his happiness is due to the Child Observer's touch. The boy showed Walter the other timeline that previously only Olivia, Peter, and the Observers had been conscious of. He now has the memories that had made him a good man! He just doesn't remember The Plan.
The happy moment results in some tender PDA (public displays of affection) between Walter and his son. They actually look like they're about to kiss for a moment but wind up with a boyish head-bump and hug.
Hairy old Donald sings in the rain
The team finds Donald in the apartment from Walter's memory. Donald became a normal human, hair and all, as a punishment. After he sided with the Resistance, the other Observers removed his brain-tech to make him fully human. He then took on the name "Donald O'Connor" after having watched "Singin' in the Rain" with Walter.
Feb. 28, 2167
Donald (September) reveals that the boy is "special." He is a hybrid being of tech and emotion. He "was" born hundreds of years in the future and thought to be a mistake. He was to be destroyed, but September couldn't have that. September's DNA was used to grow the boy. He's the proud father of a synthetically grown boy! The thought of losing his biological son compelled him to save the boy by bringing him to the past. After September had saved Peter as a boy and told Walter that "the boy must live," he wasn't talking about Peter. He was talking about his own son, the Child Observer.
Donald explains that Observer tech was invented on Feb. 28, 2167. That is the day humans decided that emotion should be sacrificed in favor of intelligence. The Plan was to send the Child Observer to that date, to convince them that a hybrid of tech and emotion is better. Donald's son is capable of much more than the Observers can fathom.
Windmark is the devil, with or without tech
Windmark (Michael Kopsa) reveals his true nature when he explains a new feeling emerging that he is not familiar with. Basically, the idea of killing people and destroying anything good that is left in the world consumes him. He also believes that the boy is an anomaly that should not exist. Windmark's compulsion toward evil is a sign that he would be that way with or without Observer tech in his brain. He would probably seem worse without it, showing his true nature on his face. With the tech, however, he is powerful enough to actually follow through with the evil deeds, which he wishes to subject the world.
Will there be a "sacrifice"?
Donald and Walter talk in private about the one thing the boy revealed that Walter had kept a secret. Part of Walter's Plan involved sacrificing himself. He believes the boy must have shown him all the things that made him a happy, better person, so he would be willing to make the sacrifice. He swallows hard as the team sets The Plan in motion.
Unfortunately, Windmark is on their heels and sets up a perimeter around their location. Astrid helps them find a way to punch through it to escape by monorail, but Loyalists are closeby. Just as the Loyalists are about to inspect the train, the boy pops out of the train car and hands himself over to them. They take him to Windmark, who appears to have an eerily evil grin on his face.
Meanwhile, Olivia, Peter, and Walter escape on the monorail. Donald had stayed behind, seeming to have other plans he did not reveal. How are they going to save the world now, without the key piece of Walter and Donald's Plan? We'll have to wait for the series finale to find out!
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