Previously on Fringe, Olivia told Silver Nina they need her help, which Silver Nina seemed more than happy to provide; Michael the Junior Observer met the Fringe team in the alternate timeline; the current Fringe team tracked him down via the radio signal. Well, that wasn't so much – how complicated could this episode be?
After Peter is able to ascertain that Michael doesn't have an implant in his neck, which may or may not be important later, the Fringe team tries to get Michael to tell them about Walter's lost plan with Donald; when Michael stays silent, Walter wants to put him on a coma and pump him full of drugs, and Olivia is like, "Ixnay," but she does wonder why Michael no longer exhibits his empathic abilities, so she calls Nina for help. Unfortunately, thanks to the Fringe team's recent use of the sublimation device, Windmark and the Observers know that someone in the Ministry of Science has betrayed them, and their money's on Nina, a suspicion they confirm in some kind of C.S.I.: Observers sweep of her office. Nina meets with the team and tells them some equipment she has in a "black" (i.e. off the Observers' grid, somehow) lab may be helpful in communicating with the boy; Peter also takes the opportunity to express his displeasure at Nina's promise to remove the pieces of Walter's brain once the world is saved, to which Nina points out that if the plan isn't completed quickly, Walter may regress completely and no longer want to go through with the procedure. She adds that anything worth fighting for comes with a cost, which is a total throwaway line that will have nothing to do with anything.
Nina takes the crew to the black lab, wherein they see, from the handful of apparently-dead Observers around the place in pods, that the Resistance experimented on Observers to try to find ways to fight them, but their scientists weren't able to extract any useful data. However, Nina theorizes the technology they used in their attempts might be useful in communicating with Michael; they try it, but when it fails, Nina realizes that instead of reading Michael's mind, they need him to try to read theirs, which will require different equipment, which her ally at the Ministry "Hastings" will provide. Unfortunately, this same Hastings is getting mind-probed by Windmark at the moment, and since Hastings has a worse poker face than Homer Simpson, all is soon revealed. The Fringe team breaks into the Ministry anyway and steals the equipment they need just in time to get a bird's-eye view of Hastings being tortured, news that Olivia relays to Nina. The Observers leave Hastings alive for the Fringe team to rescue, and he despairingly tells them that they know where Nina is.
When Nina gets the warning that her time is coming, she goes back underground to the lab, and, presumably moved by the need to say goodbye to someone, tells Michael everything's going to be okay. Perhaps through the force of her feelings, he finally steps forward and touches her face, which seems to impart some knowledge to her. Unfortunately, we don't get to find out what it is – yet -- as the Observers show up (in… a car?) in pursuit. Nina urgently tells Michael to come with her…and when Windmark gets into the lab, he finds only Nina, who, triumphant and unbowed, tells him the fugitives are long gone, and when Windmark sees the evidence of what the Resistance did to the Observers, he expresses cold fury in a way I don't think we've seen before. Windmark also reveals to Nina that Michael is not a child but a "chromosomal mistake" (the episode title is Michael's "anomaly" number) and was scheduled to be destroyed before he went missing. In response, Nina tells him that while the Observers may think they're evolved, their loss of human emotion has made them regress into the use of primitive instincts, making them lizard-like – even the way they tilt their heads is physiological evidence of it. Windmark, looking dark, has a lackey prepare Nina for a Hastings-level mind probe, but she lifts the guard's gun – AND SHOOTS HERSELF RIGHT IN FRONT OF WINDMARK. Oh, man. I hate to lose Nina, but tell me she's not going to get the most high-fives in heaven for that one.
When the Fringe team arrives on the scene, they find Nina's corpse, which threatens to break Walter more than anything that's happened up to this point, not that Olivia handles it much better. The team checks the security footage (nice for the Observers not to have thought of THAT trick) and sees the fateful touch, and also realizes that Nina must have hidden Michael in the lab. When they find him, Michael, seemingly once again moved by the force of strong emotion, this time Walter's, sheds a tear for Nina, so they have reason to hope that a new mind link will work. In the end, Michael touches Walter just as he touched Nina, and Walter learns, via a long montage, presumably, the same thing she did – that Donald was in fact September. And with that "buh?" moment, we take a three-week break, whereupon the show will conclude with three (one on January 11 and then a two-part series finale on January 18) final time-bending episodes.
Previously on Fringe, Olivia told Silver Nina they need her help, which Silver Nina seemed more than happy to provide; Michael the Junior Observer met the Fringe team in the alternate timeline; the current Fringe team tracked him down via the radio signal. Not that I was rooting for the setup to be any more complicated than this, but I have to admit I was hoping for a look at Seth Gabel, just because.
Back at the lab, Peter is examining the back of Michael's neck with a scanning device and concluding that not only does he not have the "tech," but, given his lack of scar tissue, he never did. I wouldn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that Observers heal in the same way humans do, but if I stop to point out every time something about or around the Observers doesn't make sense in this ep, it'll lower my pay per word past the point my pride can take. Walter tries to get Michael to sample some licorice, but Michael looks at it like it's a combination of lima beans, liver and feces, which would only be warranted if it were black licorice. Olivia and Peter both bring up important events from Michael's past in an effort to get some kind of reaction from him, but when all he does is sit impassively, Walter loses his patience and suggests they go into his mind like they did with September. Peter's like, remember how September was in a coma, and Walter replies that it's cool -- he can just put Michael down and then take readings with an electromagnetic probe! While we pump him full of acid! If this were a little game to get Michael to be like "Dude!" I'd be impressed, but no... it's just that Walter is still losing his humanity or whatever, which gives poor Astrid the chance to make concerned faces. Peter tells Walter to chill, at which point he stomps off in frustration, leaving Olivia free to point out that something's wrong -- it seems like Michael's empathic abilities are gone for some reason. Peter's blank stare is perhaps not the most auspicious response...
...so let's go someplace that's more likely to have answers -- the Ministry of Science, in which Nina is examining a holographic representation of... something and while I don't know what it is, the hologram has a touch interface built into it, which means that I would like it now, please. Nina's phone rings and the blonde working the desk outside looks up, probably noting that it's her renegade boss' private line. Nina smiles when she hears Olivia's voice, but when she takes in the errand about which Olivia's calling, she gets a bit agitated, a point that's not lost on the blonde even though she can't hear the conversation. Nina in turn is hip to the blonde watching her and tells Olivia it's not safe for her to talk...