Remember when I said Michael probably stepped off the train as part of some larger plan that he couldn't communicate to the Fringers? Yeah, never mind. It turns out he was just being a stupid kid, essentially, causing a headache for our heroes. Or maybe he did just to mess with Windmark, who gets a nosebleed and a bloody eye for his efforts to read Michael.
He's being held at Liberty Island, which they find out with the help of ol' Broyles. You know, where the Statue of Liberty used to be? So how do they get him back? Well, Walter's got some old Cortexiphan lying around, and its best-before date is years into the future, so Olivia's going to snort some and shift over to the other side, make her way to the presumably easier-to-get-to Liberty Island on the other side with the presumably still-alive Bolivia and Lincoln Lee, get to the exact corresponding spot where Michael is being held, pop back to our side, grab Michael, pop back the other side and get back to a safe spot, and come back to our side.
It takes some buildup to get to the stage, though, with Olivia having a hard time readjusting to the Cortexiphan reentering her system. But it works, naturally, finally leading to some action in what is mostly a slow first half-hour. She meets up with older Lincoln Lee (who looks exactly the same but with a little more grey, curse that handsome genetic anomaly) and Bolivia (who is obviously a total BILF), doesn't notice that Chelsea Clinton is leading the polls, and rescues Michael (in the nick of time, since Windmark's supervisor had ordered him "disassembled," ugh), and all the while Donald/September ("Septembald"? "Dontember"?) is assembling the device (I'm just going to call it a "flux capacitor") that's going to open the wormhole to send Michael and Walter to the future. This necessitates a visit to December for the final trigger. December is reluctant, but finally convinced by Dontember of the importance of what he's doing. It does not go well for him.
Yep, Peter discovers -- via one more tape found in the amber -- that the plan is for Walter to accompany Michael to the future (otherwise how will Michael find the scientist?) and what that means, because nature abhors a paradox, is Walter will disappear from 2015. Oh, you guys are aware of paradoxes? Because I don't think the internal logic of the time-travelling plan makes any sense at all, but after five years and a hundred mostly really good episodes and an ever-declining audience, I'm not sure it matters at this point. Anyway, Peter is a little bummed about saving the world and losing his dad, but Dontember steps in anyway, and says he's going to go with Michael. Walter tries to argue, but Dontember points out that when they agreed Walter would go, it was when Dontember didn't have the feelings he does now (or any feelings). Oh, and also? MICHAEL IS HIS SON, so that's a bit of a trump card.
The action and tension ramp up in the second half, as Windmark discovers who "the dove" is, ol' Broyles. (I do wonder if Lance Reddick wonders why the hell Bolivia and Lincoln Lee got to age so well while he looks like his face is going to break off in chunks.) Windmark allows Broyles to think he fooled the Observers in order to let Broyles lead them to the fugitives. Fortunately, Broyles figures that out and leads the Loyalists/Observers on a merry wild goose chase. And then he gets captured and is probably gonna die.
Finally, then, the plan they've been working towards all season is set in motion, with an assault on Observer HQ to get the trigger (and the happy byproduct of rescuing the captured Broyles), an assault that employs a greatest-hits package of weaponized evil -- sealed orifices, imaginary killer butterflies, translucent bodies and violent stomach flukes.
There's a firefight and a satisfying climactic battle with Windmark that ends with Olivia marshalling whatever's left of the Cortexiphan in her system by turning out the lights in New York and telekinetically slamming a car into him, leaving him a bloody smear on a window.
Walter winds up going through the wormhole with Michael anyway, since Dontember gets killed in the final battle. Peter mouths an "I love you, dad" at his father, and the two of them step through … and we're transported back to that day in the field (I'm sure everyone saw that coming) when the Observers arrived. Except they don't arrive, and Peter, Olivia and Etta go home, and Peter finds in the mail an envelope from his father, containing the picture of the white tulip. He looks up, startled -- and then cut to black.
My theory is that the guy in the Members Only jacket shot him, but I'm open to alternative theories.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He supposes he's going to have to actually talk to them on Friday nights from now. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following Michael bafflingly stepping off the train and into the hands of Windmark, the team has retreated to Formerly Harvard University, where they make contact with Anil at the Resistance, who reports that no one has heard any chatter about a child Observer. Astrid was tracking the convoy that was transporting him, but even that dropped off the grid so they're stuck and have no idea how to get in touch with Dontember to see if he's got some freaky magic Observer way of getting in touch with him, but they'll find out when he gets back from doing whatever it is he's doing.
"Try him again," Peter urges Olivia, and she calls... ol' Broyles! You're damn right there wasn't going to be a series finale without him! He ignores the beeping phone, but stops a brusque Loyalist lieutenant in the hall and asks about the "high-value detainee" who was taken custody into custody last night; Broyles needs to know where he's being held. The lieutenant says he's under strict orders not to disclose that, and Broyles says he just got word Fringe division is supposed to provide reinforced security. He then reminds him there's supposed to be a "measure of cooperation" between their divisions, but the Loyalist says there's been a change in protocol after the security breaches from within. Broyles boldly asks if the lieutenant is suggesting Broyles is the dove. "I'm really more of a raven, don't you think?" he says. Even human turncoats in 2036 don't want to appear racist, so the lieutenant tells Broyles that the detainee is being held in Detention Camp 17, East Wing, of Liberty Island. Broyles walks away, and the lieutenant asks who the detainee is. "Hell if I know," says Broyles, not even bothering to look back. Broyles! Cooperation!
Over to Liberty Island now, which is where the Statue of Liberty used to be, but now is just home to Lady Liberty's feet and a little robe and not much else. Presumably the rest of it is washed up on a beach somewhere, waiting for Charlton Heston. Windmark and a couple of Observers enter the brightly-lit room where Michael is strapped to a chair. "I am intrigued by you, Anomaly XB-6784746," says Windmark, who sits down across from him. I hate it when he gets all gushy like this.
Windmark tells Michael it's in his interest to communicate with him and then that light buzzing noise starts up that means he's probing the kid's mind. He asks Michael what the people he was with want with him, what his significance is to them, but all he gets back are echoes of his own questions and he starts to strain while Michael calmly stares at him. "Tell me about September. The one who hid you. Why did he hide you? To what end?" says Windmark, visibly struggling . The buzzing gets louder -- and then Windmark has a nosebleed. He looks a little astonished -- you made him bleed his own blood! -- but he wipes it away with a handkerchief and keeps trying, asking what the fugitives' plan is and how it involves Michael.