|Season 5, Episode 10|
|Air date||December 21, 2012|
|Written by||David Fury|
|Directed by||Jeffrey Hunt|
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The Boy Must Live
|Cast | Transcript|
As the countdown to the climactic series finale continues, the Fringe team is running out of time to save the world. As Peter, Olivia, Astrid and Walter scramble to tap into a key piece of the puzzle to defeat the Observers, they enlist the aid of Nina Sharp who conjures up a plan.
The Fringe team tries to communicate with the Observer child, Michael, to learn more about September's plan or the identity of the person they know as "Donald", but find it difficult to make any connection. Walter is frustrated and expresses some "The Walter That Was" tendencies by suggesting putting Michael in a medically-induced coma so he can probe his brain; the others say that is not happening.
Olivia contacts Nina Sharp discreetly, asking for her help; she promises to meet them away from the Ministry of Science. There, Nina takes them to a "black lab" leftover from Massive Dynamics, where they were studying Observers (there are Observer corpses in the lab. Nina attempts to use a mind-computer interface device to read Michael's thoughts but the software cannot cope with Michael's mind. However, they suggest the idea of using a second interface to allow Michael to read their thoughts and then subsequently reply, but this would require another of the interface devices, held at a storage facility at the Ministry of Science. Olivia, Peter, and Walter leave Michael with Nina at the lab while they go to recover the device.
Meanwhile, Captain Windmark of the Observers is investigating the disappearance of the sublimation device from the Ministry of Science storage facility that the Fringe team used to enter William Bell's building (Five-Twenty-Ten). He finds that Nina is not in her office, leaving after a private phone call. He uses Observer technology to read the sound waves from Olivia's call to overhear the words "child Observer". When Nina does not return, they go to the storage facility and start questioning all the workers there, including Dr. Hastings (Gabe Khouth) who had helped with the sublimation device earlier.
The Fringe team arrives at the facility and recovers the devices, and Olivia looks up at a window overhead to see that Dr. Hastings is being probed by Windmark. Along with a trace on Nina's phone, the Fringe team realize that Nina and the black lab have been compromised, and warn her as they race back.
Nina realizes that the Observers will have traced her location and will be there soon. She talks to Michael about hiding him, and he touches her momentarily (from her reaction, apparently imparting some knowledge that amazes and encourages her) before letting her lead him to safety. When Windmark and the Observers arrive, they find Nina waiting for them. Windmark starts to probe her, and explains that the child is really just an anomaly, XB-6783746, from the Observer's time in the future that was to be destroyed before he was taken. Windmark sees the dead Observers in the lab that have been experimented on and says "You animals!" Nina retorts that though the Observers may treat humans as animals, that the Observers have redeveloped involuntary habits that humans have since evolved past (she describes the head tilt they do as lizard-like). Nina is able to block Windmark's probing (thanks to Etta's training). He orders the Loyalists agents to restrain her for him to run a deeper probe, but she grabs one of their guns and commits suicide.By the time Olivia, Peter, and Walter have returned, the lab has been ransacked, and Nina's body remains. Olivia and Walter mourn their loss while Peter realizes from security footage that she committed suicide to prevent her mind being read, and that the Observers left without Michael. They find Michael hiding in a secret compartment under the body of an Observer corpse. Michael sees Nina's body and lets out a tear.
Back at the Harvard lab, Walter attempts to connect with Michael with the devices. After an initial success, Michael takes off his device, walks to Walter, and puts his hand on Walter's face (like he did with Nina). Walter experiences a sudden surge of memories (some from the original timeline), culminating in an image of a middle-aged man, and a re-iteration of September's warning to Walter, "The boy must live" (Peter (episode)). When Walter recovers, he reveals what Michael has shown him: the "Donald" they have been looking for is really September, the Observer.
Windmark: Why are you not frightened?
Nina: Do you know why you tilt your head in that way? It's an involuntary reflex in your physiology. It changes the angle at which sound waves hit the eardrum, allowing in more stimuli. Like a lizard. I've studied them, too. Intriguing characters. Their brains have evolved over 320 million years, yet for all their evolution, they form no bonds. Love does not exist for them. They are incapable of dreaming, of contemplating beauty, of knowing something greater than themselves, not unlike your kind. The experiments we conducted right here in this lab yielded a surprising result, because for all your years of evolution, you inadvertently developed and honed primitive instincts that we moved beyond long ago. So in reality, you're the animal.
- It is revealed that Donald is September.
- Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) is credited as Special Appearance By.
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