Written By: J.H. Wyman & Jeff Pinkner
Synopsis: The Observer (Michael Cerveris) is back, and just as he ominously warned Walter Bishop (John Noble) in last season’s finale, there is more than one of everything — including himself. A renegade Observer named August (Peter Woodward) draws attention from Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and the Fringe team after he abducts a young woman in broad daylight. What is August’s plan? Why is he acting rather than observing? More importantly, where are his eyebrows?
Observations: We sure learned a lot about the Observers, didn’t we? Let’s recount the facts: they have access to crazy weaponry. They can activate sophisticated machinery simply by touching it. They can catch bullets. They aren’t all identical. They write in weird characters that Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) can’t decipher. They know what you are about to say and, worse yet, they say it alongside you. They’ve been around forever, or else they’re simply unrestricted by human perceptions of time. They like to eat spicy food with one another in public restaurants. They rescue people from car wrecks. They feed their hostages. They usually hire pudgy assassins when things go wrong, but sometimes they’ll simply reach out to Dr. Bishop for advice. They can fall in love — and they can also die.
Problem Solving: August used some creative thinking to save young Christine’s life, but he also caused quite the dilemma for the other Observers by interfering with her foretold death in the first place. As the Observer we’re most familiar with aptly noted, these baldheaded creatures are only allowed to correct mistakes of their own making — an interesting comment given the fact that he rescued Walter and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) from a car wreck several years ago. What stake does he have in these two? How will he tie into matters?
Hard Times: The Massive Dynamic techie observed that there have been 26 sightings of the Observers in the last three months, whereas there had only been two dozen or so before this surge. While we don’t know exactly what they’re waiting for by the end of the episode, we do know one thing — according to the Observers themselves, life is about to get very hard for Olivia Dunham. I don’t like the sound of that, but then again, we’re likely to see some awesome “Fringe” episodes derived from Olivia’s turmoil.
Walter’s Weekly Wisdom: “They call it the Strawberry Supreme! The secret ingredient is mundane but, oh, it’s sublime!” — Dr. Walter Bishop
Conclusions: I can see why this week’s episode was one of Anna Torv’s favorite installments of the series. “August” was a touching, sad tale with a healthy mix of mythological advancement. Sure, we don’t know the full nature of the Observers, but we certainly know a lot more about them than we did before. Here’s hoping we’ll see them again before too long.
Next Case: “Fringe” is off the air for the next two weeks. When it returns, an international drug smuggling ring brings some very vicious worms into the picture — with potentially disastrous results for Peter.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!