Fringe Recap: A Sharp Rebuttal

Fringe Season 5 RecapThis week on Fox’s Fringe, as the team labored to communicate with Michael the “child” Observer, Nina had a fierce face-off with Captain Windmark. Also: the true identity of the mysterious Donald was revealed.

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HALO TECHNIQUE | Now that the Fringe team has found Michael, they must determine how he figures into Walter’s grand plan to defeat the Observers. Alas, communicating with the boy is not as simple as it was in the past, as he and Olivia no longer share an empathic connection.

They thus reach out to Nina, who arranges for a rendezvous at the resistance’s “black lab” (aka an off-book laboratory, not a dog). There in the subterranean bunker (secreted away behind multiple Get Smart-like doors), Walter & Co. see the Observers that have been captured and experimented on, yet all for seemingly naught. Nina reveals an “e-cog halo” device that should be able to translate Michael’s neuro-electrical activity into something they can understand — yet it does not work. His noodle apparently is wired differently than your average Observer. They’ll need a second “halo” to link up his brain to one of theirs.

But as Walter, Peter and Olivia set out to break into the Ministry of Science’s warehouse, Windmark and his team follow Nina’s tracks, first “eavesdropping” on Olivia’s call to her by lifting traces off the glass in Sharp’s office, then by interrogating her colleagues and tracking her comm. In fact, Olivia is fetching the halo case off a top shelf as she eyeballs Windmark’s grilling of Hastings, the friendly who hooked them all up with the “rubble displacer” gizmo a few weeks back.

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TALK TO THE ANIMALS | Alerted by Olivia that she has been made, Nina rushes to hide Michael, then awaits Windmark’s arrival. While fighting to keep Windmark from extracting her thoughts and discovering Michael’s whereabouts, Nina manages to serve up some smart sass. “Why does a child worry you so much?” she wonders. Windmark answers, “He is merely a curiosity. And you are mistaken about him; he is no child. He is a chromosomal mistake, an anomaly. He was scheduled to be destroyed but he went missing. He was a great mystery in my time. I would very much like to meet him.”

Windmark is surly enough just knowing that Nina has been acting against his people. But when he peeks under the sheets in the lab, seeing how his comrades have been treated, he deems her and her kind “animals.” Au contraire, Ms. Sharp argues. Noting how Team Fedora members tilt their heads during conversation, she likens the reflex to that of lizards, who despite 300 million years of evolution “form no bonds. Love does not exist for them. They are incapable of contemplating beauty… Not unlike your kind,” she taunts. “For all your evolution, you developed and honed primitive instincts we moved beyond long ago. So in reality, you’re the animals.”

And as Windmark readies to amp up his extraction techniques, Nina grabs a loyalist’s pistol and takes her life, before she can compromise the greater cause.

A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER | Returning to the bunker, Walter et al are distraught to find Nina’s dead body, yet upon reviewing surveillance video realize she died to protect them. They then find Michael hiding beneath one of the exam chambers, and return with him to Walter’s lab. There, Michael interrupts his and Walter’s halo hook-up to remove the device and walk over to touch Walter’s face — as he did with Nina earlier — triggering a “greatest hits” montage of Walter’s life. Within the flurry of images, we see Walter interact with the mysterious “Donald,” who, minus hair and a smile, we discover is September (the Observer who has helped our team on many an occasion, starting with when he saved a young alt-Peter from drowning in Reiden Lake). But why and how (and when?) did he once at one time look like the rest of us, as “Donald”?

Those answers and more to come in Fringe‘s final three hours, kicking off Jan. 11 and wrapping up Jan. 18 with a double bill. For now, what did you think of “Anomaly XB-6783746″? Do you approve of Nina’s swan song? How terrific was Blair Brown in those scenes with Windmark? And how about some props for the rugrat playing odd Michael?