'Fringe' series finale recap, reactions: Saying goodbye amid chaos

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The two-part "Fringe" series finale might have been a couple hours long, but it went by in an appropriately time-bending flash. Too fast for some fans, who are not yet ready to let it go. The final installments, "Liberty" and "An Enemy of Fate," were action-packed and suspenseful, despite a few slow-moving, tender scenes. Both episodes tied together seamlessly into a movie-like experience.

"Liberty": What is "it"?

In the previous episode, "The Boy Must Live," the Child Observer, Michael (Rowan Longworth), had stepped off the train and into the hands of the Observers. Now why would he go and do a thing like that? He has his reasons, which we mere humans will never fully understand. To Michael, born hundreds of years in the future, we seem ancient.

Actually, most of the Observers may as well be ancient. Michael is much more powerful than any of them, with a highly advanced intellect, as well as much deeper and more profound emotion than humans are capable of. This knowledge seems to frighten Windmark (Michael Kopsa), causing him to want to kill and study "it" (Michael) rather than learn a lesson. He can't handle being around Michael, however, as Michael has the ability to give him a bloody nose and pop blood vessels in his eyes.

"Liberty": Cortexiphaned to Liberty Island

Broyles (Lance Reddick) learns that the boy is being held on Liberty Island. The problem is that there are five layers of security with redundant alarm systems. Olivia (Anna Torv) realizes that the only way to get Michael is through a trip to the other side, bypassing security altogether. The only way to do that is with four nice big doses of Cortexiphan.

Olivia takes her "medicine" with an eye toward resetting the timeline and forgetting any of this ever happened. Peter (Joshua Jackson) takes some convincing, but it's their only option. She goes to the other side, meets up with Fauxlivia and Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel), and tells them the whole story. She then breaks into the Liberty Island facility and grabs the boy, but not before being spotted by Observers. The Observers begin following Olivia back to the other side, but Fauxlivia and Lincoln are there to head them off. Olivia and Michael make it back intact.

"Liberty": Donald works alone

Meanwhile, Donald (Michael Cerveris) makes his way to the lab and begins working on the time travel device, while the others are off saving Michael. He had been gathering supplies and had no idea Michael had to be saved in the first place. He completes the device, but one component is faulty: the initiating reactor. Donald (aka September) goes to his friend December (Eugene Lipinski) for help.

"An Enemy of Fate": Broyles caught in Windmark's creepy stare

Unfortunately, the Loyalist who gave Broyles Michael's location tattles on Broyles to Windmark. Consequently, Broyles gets the evil eye from Windmark, who says in his creepiest tone, "Agent Broyles, I would like a word with you." That can't be good. It's like being called to the principal's office in hell. Luckily, Broyles is able to hold off being tortured until after he leads the Observers on a wild goose chase in the wrong direction.

"An Enemy of Fate": Shipping cube as initiating reactor

Olivia and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) go to December's place to pick up a new initiating reactor, but the Observers have already gotten to him. He's dead, and the reactor is now in Windmark's hands. Windmark has been keeping an eye on all of the original 12 the Observers had sent back, who had been "infected" by human emotion. Windmark is also "infected," but with hate. He is the evil that the good must overcome.

Olivia asks the boy what they should do, since he seems to know everything anyway. He gives Olivia the universal symbol for "shh," and Astrid comes up with a solution soon after: Use one of the cubes from an Observer "shipping lane." Walter (John Noble) calls her a genius, but whether Astrid came up with that idea on her own or was fed the idea by Michael is up for debate. Either way, Walter and Astrid share a tender moment with Gene, the ambered cow.

"An Enemy of Fate": Saying goodbye amid chaos

Walter had planned to take the boy to the year 2167 in order to stop future humans from making the decision to sacrifice emotions for intelligence. Michael is proof that a combination of both is much more powerful. But Michael is basically Donald's son, and Donald overrides Walter. He wants to be with his son and have what Walter has with Peter.

Everything goes more or less according to plan, with an abundance of gunfire (including bullets that make the bad guys float away because it's "cool") in between. They also save Broyles so he can help fight the bad guys before they reset time, causing the whole scene to never have taken place.

The saddest part is losing Donald. True, Donald will never exist after time is reset, but it was sad to see him shot down while leading his son to the "promised land" of 2167. Of course, Walter must take his place, and he and Michael must live out their existence in 2167, as two paradoxes of time.

As expected (and hoped by many fans), time is reset. Peter and Olivia are in the park, living "happily ever after" with Etta. It's a perfect end for anyone who loves things tied up neatly and sweetly. You can't please everyone, but it definitely satisfied many and was a positive way to sign off.

Check out what "Fringe" fans tweeted about the finale, and then sound off in the comments below:

Am I the only one who felt bad for the Observers, and what they'd done to themselves? What they had become was so sad... :(

Omg I need to see that fringe finale again. It went by too quick. I need to process it more. #wecrossedtheline

Fringe's ending keeps hitting me in waves. One minute happy, next minute watery eyes. #WeCrossedtheLine

Have just finished watching the #Fringe series finale & if I'm honest I was disappointed & underwhelmed.

Best finale of a tv show since The Sopranos #Fringe #KeepLookingUp

To the #Fringe cast: @cerveris, @lancereddick, @SethGabel, @VancityJax, @FringeLabRat, @johnnob58004412, @kirkacevedo Thanks for all ur work

More from this contributor:

'Fringe' series finale: Fans want a happy ending, but what does that really mean?

'Fringe' recap: 'The Boy Must Live' and save the world

'Fringe' recap: 'Anomaly XB-6783746' returns to humanity

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