Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 11 Season 5 The Boy Must Live
Posted by Karl Withakay on January 11, 2013
A Dreary Blue Episode
There won’t be a plot synopsis of this episode over at Polite Dissent this week. The odds of there ever being one for this episode are asymptotically approaching the odds of winning the lottery, getting hit by lightning, or being bitten by a shark.
Are Those Hebrew Instruments?
Did anybody else notice that the readouts on the heart rate and other vitals on the setup monitoring Walter were going from right to left instead of left to right?
Can you Hear Me Now?
Technically, talking to someone in a sensory deprivation tank kind of defeats the whole sensory deprivation thing since you’re not depriving them of the sensation of hearing.
Person of Interest
Seeing as September was known to have previously sympathized with Walter and the Fringe team and was banished for it, you would think they might keep an eye on him with Walter at learge.
Possible Justification For Lax Effort of Observers and Loyalists?
Windmark’s superior told him that the anomaly and the Fringe team were inconsequential and that The Observers chose this time (2036) because it presented a 99.9999% probability of success. Perhaps this is the explanation for not monitoring wireless communications, having no satellite or airborne surveillance, and all the other things I have been complaining about regarding their inept handling of the Fringe team being at large. Windmark’s superior considers the odds of failure so remote that he is not approving sufficient resources for Windmark to properly run the occupation.
For the Search Engines
Feb 20, 2167 in Oslo Norway is the day of a discovery that eventually leads to the creation of The Observers. A researcher discovered how to improve cognitive function by rewiring the part of the brain responsible for jealousy, sacrificing emotion for improved intelligence.
Retcon Point One
It is implied in this episode that the reason the Observers were observing the various points in Earth’s history was to determine the point in time in which their plan was most likely to succeed. I actually think this was nicely done.
The Vulcans Would Be Jealous If They Expressed Emotions
Donald/September tells the Fringe team that emotions like passion and love were considered messy distractions and were machined out of the human race. Without romantic love, other technologies for reproduction had to be developed. I’m guessing the Vulcans would prefer the Observers’ method of reproduction to the embarrassment of having to endure Pon Farr.
Donald/September’s son isn’t really a hybrid. Hybrids are the result of sexual reproduction between different species, subspecies, or populations/ breeds/ cultivars. His son is either mutant, if the changes are genetic and can be passed on to his progeny, or he is the result of a congenital abnormality, if the change is developmental and not genetic. Technically, The Observers might consider him a regressive mutant, having recovered or re-developed features they previously intentionally eliminated form their species.
Setting Up the Grandfather Paradox
If they send The Boy forward in time to Feb 20, 2167 to prevent the eventual creation of the Observers, thus eliminating the invasion of the present, then the future will change, The Boy won’t be sent back in time, and can’t be sent forward in time to prevent The Observers from developing, thus ensuring The Observers will develop.
Tag, You’re It
If The Observers have the ability to tag someone so that they can track them, shouldn’t the first thing they do when taking someone prisoner (like they did Walter in a previous episode) be to tag them?
Booby Traps by ACME
Always make sure to put blinking lights on your booby traps to be fair to your enemy and give them a chance to survive.
Wait a minute, they have traffic cameras and only now have started checking them to see if they can find any sign of the resistance?
Retcon Point Two
Walter now realizes that September was speaking (totally out of context*) about his own son and not Peter when he told Walter, “The boy is important, he must live.” Sorry, but I don’t buy it; this is clearly (in my opinion) a retcon. There are at least one or two other times where Peter is specifically mentioned by Observers as being special.
* That could be forgiven as anyone who is in the habit of not experiencing time lineally could be forgiven for mentioning things out of context.
Quote of the Show
“Is that it?”
“You say that as if we’re not carrying technology that can bend space and time into a Möbius strip.”
Olivia Dunham: Super Genius
Olivia mentions that a woman and her son shouldn’t draw too much attention when trying to slip past the blockade and check points. Sure Olivia, unless they’re looking for a young boy, in which case that’s exactly what would draw the most attention.