Observing the Observers

fringe_ink_aithThe Observer (Michael Cerveris, “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”) has certainly been the most mysterious character on “Fringe” thus far. He’s always there witness and document the strange and important occurrences on the show. The Observer has even shown up off the show with appearances at the Super Bowl and baseball’s All Star Game amongst others. How he knows where to be, what his purpose is and who or what he is working for is still unknown, but “August” does shed some light on this strange character and his ilk.

In the opening scene we are quickly shown that there are more than just one Observer. This time the new Observer, who we later find out is named August (Peter Woodward, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”), does more than just observe and kidnaps a woman. This is really the first time we see an Observer take action, and while this main plot line revels in predictability and doesn’t amount to much in the end, there are some very interesting pieces of information we learn about these Observers.

While following up on the case, Olivia and Peter make their way to Massive Dynamic where they learn more about the Observers’ history. This scene in the episode is by far the best as we’re shown another piece of the “Fringe” mythos that hooked so many fans last year. As this season has gone by, there have been far to few of these types of moments which has assuredly contributed to “Fringe’s” drop in ratings in addition to the competitive time slot.

The entire episode this week moves pretty quickly due to a somewhat intriguing mystery. The introduction to August, as well as two other Observers, shows how expansive “Fringe’s” universe(s) is/are. Even August’s fellow Observers can’t figure out why he kidnapped this seemingly insignificant girl, and they definitely have some sort of code in which they live by. We learn the only time they are allowed to interfere with the world is when they must correct mistakes. This does leave us with the question of how Walter was able to take Peter from an alternate universe without the Observer fixing the irregularity.

Despite the promise this episode, it really wasn’t anything special. The story, as mentioned early, is fairly predictable and the ending cliché and huge let down. It was nice to finally get some idea of who the Observer is, but the story didn’t go anywhere significant and.

Another gripe with this episode are Olivia’s and Walter’s side stories. Both were redundant for their respective characters and were not done as well as they usually are. While Walter always has something strange going on in his mind, this week’s obsession with finding the secret ingredient to a milkshake was a bit lame. All can be forgiven because John Noble is still spectacular as Walter, but it wasn’t the best story for him. Olivia’s set up in this episode was weak as well. Like every other episode, at least it feels like that, Olivia was ready to do something personal, in this case take her niece to an amusement park, only to get a phone call about the kidnapped girl. What are the odds that every single time she has a day off, something happens that draws her back to her work?

Like most weeks with this show, there is so much potential inherent to the story that gets wasted. “August” is not really a standalone episode, but outside of the one revelation about the Observer, there’s nothing here that makes it vital to the bigger picture. Let’s just hope going forward there are more stories about William Bell, about Massive Dynamic, about the ZFT and about the Observers, only with more information than this one.

About Evan Scarola 4 Articles
As an avid doer of nothing, I have dedicated my entire life to knowing every line of Seinfeld as well as most from The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park and Scrubs. I’m not ashamed to admit I was teary eyed during the Scrubs finale, and bawled uncontrollably the first time I saw the Futurama episode “Jurassic Bark.” When not watching obscene amounts of television, and by obscene I mean watching the entire first season of Battlestar Galactica in one day, I’m listening to an ungodly amount music. Classic rock and classic/alternative/underground hip-hop are my genres of choice. I can go from listening to “Stairway To Heaven” from the, well if you don’t know who that’s from that’s your problem, to Big L’s “Devil’s Son” back to “I Am The Walrus.” I also absolutely love movies and video games. The Godfather Parts I and II and Lord of the Rings (a trilogy I have watched in one day) are my favorite movies, while GTA San Andreas, God of War, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Metal Gear Solid 4 are my favorite games. Besides entertainment, I am completely in love with sports. I love both the Jets and Giants, though I lean more towards the Jets, and I unequivocally bleed the Mets’ Blue & Orange. David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are my Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Citi Field is my Vatican. I must say, I look forward to forcing my thoughts and opinions upon you. Don’t worry though, they will soon become your own. And yes, I do have a tendency to overwrite.

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