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Friday, January 11, 2013

Fringe 5.11: September with Hair and the Jumping Ropes of Paradox

In many ways it's the least significant part of the story.  But it speaks to how much Fringe has pivoted to its two-hour series finale next week - a finale in which Walter's plan to end the Observers will be put to the test.   We find out this plan tonight, and what it entails, in episode 5.11, from September with hair.

Michael Cerveris, who plays September, looks much better with hair.  It both symbolizes and is a literal outgrowth of his reclaimed humanity.  The Observers, seeking to punish him for his disloyalty and help of the humans, removed the chip from his head.  But the punishment was a blessing, because even though it took away his time traveling and teleportation powers, it made September the human being he always wanted to be.

September is Michael's - the boy Observer's - father.  But the boy Observer is more than an Observer. He is in effect, as Peter realizes, an Observer-human hybrid, who has far more intelligence than the Observers, but without the need for sacrifice of human emotions.   As became clear in the previous episode, Michael is essential to the plan.  Tonight we learn he's in fact the spearhead of the plan.  His example, shown to the human scientists in the future whose genetic engineering created the Observers by suppressing human emotion, will show those scientists that intelligence can be boosted without removing emotion.   The result would be that these scientists will create a different kind of super race, one which will not go back to 2015 and scourge the Earth, and some cruel years later kill Etta.

But this changing of the future to change the past - this classic, exquisite time travel gambit - is a tricky business indeed.   Olivia thinks this will save Etta.  Peter says that won't be easy.  But neither one raises a crucial question:  If the Observers don't exist, then will our Peter be saved in the first place, to go on to love and be with Olivia and see their Etta in the sunlight?

I guess all that is necessary for Peter, Olivia, and Etta to happen as we know them is for September in some way to exist so that he can go back to Reiden Lake - but is not September a product of the bad Observers?   Maybe there's a way out, maybe the scientists can create an alternate September who will go back to Reiden Lake - but it's going to take some pretty smooth jump-roping - that is, jump-looping of time.

When Fringe started, it was let known that there would be no time travel in the series.  Fringe has long since departed from that vow, but now at the end it looks as if the entire story will hinge upon time travel and its paradoxical complexities.  Good - those are the best kinds of stories.

And I haven't even said a word about the fate of Walter.  Or about the fact that Windmark now has Michael in his clutches.  See you all next week right after the grand finale.

See also Fringe 5.1: Paved Park and Shattered Memories ... Fringe 5.2: Saving Our Humanity ...Fringe 5.4: Ghosts of Fringes Past ... Fringe 5.5: "You Don't Even Know What You Don't Know ... Fringe 5.6: "Dad" ... Fringe 5.7: Father and Son ... Fringe 5.8: Love Triumphant ...Fringe 5.9: The Boy Observer in the Age of Aquarius ... Fringe 5.10: Montage Revelation

See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17:  Second Chances ... Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides ... Future Fringe 4.19 ... Fringe 4.20: Bridge ... Fringe 4.21: Shocks ... Fringe Season 4 Finale: Death and Life

See also
 Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ...Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened
 ... Death Not Death in Fringe  

See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ... New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ...17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ...Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best


"As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

"A thinking person's time travel story... I felt like I was there." - SF Signal

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