TFTF – Ep 11, The Boy Must Live

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Fringe, TFTF

Hi Wayne and Dan,

Raul here with my Thoughts From the Fringe for episode 11, The Boy Must Live.

Answers, answers, answers.  We’ve been asking for answers and answers are coming in.  First of all, thank heaven Michael is not yet another time-frame September.  But September’s son?  That caught me completely by surprise.  A new twist on not only “The boy must live,” but also on “It must be very difficult, being a father.”

The view of the future was mighty stark.  Looked mighty PKD*, or at least Blade Runner-ish.  It looks like the only thing doing well is the hatter business.  One wonders if they might be Tom Baker fans in the future, but then where are the 18′ scarves?  It seems Windmark does have a boss.  Interesting that rewriting the timeline is just a “protocol suspension.”  Even more interesting is that the reason he is told no is really only a matter of convenience.  If they are that unconcerned about changing the timeline, I’m surprised they haven’t written themselves out of history yet.

We did finally find out why there are no female Observers.  Turns out that the tank theory was right and without the use of females at all.  Seems that “female” must be considered one of those either undesired or unnecessary traits that have been engineered out, though I’d advise caution in suggesting to your wives that they are genetic anomalies.

So the machine they are building is going to allow them to travel the timelines and interact with the original scientists that resulted in the Observers.  At this late in the game, I have to stick by my “The Machine” theory as a matter of honor, even though I fully expect to be subject to some friendly mockery in a week.  I guess I have little hope of ‘Liv being “cortexi-juiced” as well.  So much for my good record in previous seasons.

We also know now who will be making the sacrifice to fix things.  Or do we?  Are they telling us what will happen and the real story is in the journey to that end?  Or are they misdirecting us?

One thing to consider: if they do rewrite the timeline, then what presumption is there that Etta is restored?  I mean, if there’s no invasion of Observers, then why wouldn’t Walter or Nina have died either.  Walter and Bell wouldn’t have been trying to prepare for a war.  We wouldn’t have had the Red-Blue universe war.  And presumably, that could likely mean that Peter and Olivia have never met.  I’m curious to see how the writers approach this.

Another point to ponder: even though they may be taking a seemingly “gentle” approach of convincing to the scientists in the future to not take the steps to create the Observers, there is nothing kind or humanitarian about this approach.  The bottom line is that the Fringe team is attempting to erase an entire civilization from history.  Just as much as when they thought Peter would have to choose either the Red or Blue universe.  In that case, Peter re-wrote the rules to save both, but what about now?  How do you not save our time without effectively committing genocide?  Rewriting the timeline does not make the Observers “better.”  It makes them non-existent; replaced by something else.  Justifying their actions is a bit of a moral dilemma, unless the writers have some idea on how to get around it.  I wouldn’t put that beyond them, either.

One final question… What possible reason does September have for thinking that seeing Michael would be enough to persuade the originators to change their plans?  Speaking as a scientist and engineer, myself, I fear Joel Wyman is giving my profession far too much credit.

Either way, in one week we will know.

From the Fringe,


* PKD – Philip K. Dick

  1. Sad to think this is the last TFTF before we’ve seen everything! I go back and forth now, but am kind of favoring the possible misdirection you mentioned. They seemed to spell out a Walter sacrifice for a plan “to bend time and space into a Mobius strip.” I wonder if instead September will be the sacrifice somehow and/or Michael will prove to the Invaders that they can embrace human traits?

    However, I would prefer to see the reset to 1985 myself. Fate may still bring Olivia & Peter together. There is still tension between the universes and Olivia would have still had the cortexifan trials. In re-watching White Tulip, one notices that the Fringe team still accomplished each step but just got there slightly differently with each of Peck’s jumps.

    As to not rewriting themselves out of history, I think the beacons prevent that, and they will be very necessary to the plan if executed to avoid the paradoxes people have been mentioning.

    Anyway, I’m melancholy thinking about the end of Fringe, nevertheless hope all enjoy our final Fringe Friday.

    • Raul Ybarra says:

      Melancholy, yes… but in the way you are as you reach the final chapter of a great book. I’m so glad they were able to complete the story in more-or-less their own terms.

      I just hate when a series either drags things along until the show is run into the ground and then gives a schlocky one or two episode “wrap.” Then there’s all the shows that simply get whacked without *any* answers. That’s part of the reason I don’t typically start a new show until season 2 — less chance of frustration.

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