Again, thankfully, this episode picks up just about where the last one left off. But again, I’m going to shift things around to make the recap work better.
One main thread of this episode involves the Observers. At the beginning, several Observers gather. This group doesn’t know where September (the one we know best) is, or why he has still failed to completely erase Peter Bishop from the timeline. December declares that September has continued to intervene on Peter’s behalf. In fact, since he’s been given every chance to comply with his orders and hasn’t, when September surfaces again, he will have to face the consequences.
When he shows up, no one’s expecting it. It happens when Peter is speculating as to how Nina’s probably working with DRJ to activate Olivia’s abilities, although he still doesn’t know why they would be trying to do that. September pops into being, bleeding heavily from the same wound Olivia saw several episodes ago. He says Jones’ purpose is the same as it was before. Then he falls. Peter grabs him and demands to know what he knows about Olivia. “She needs you,” says September, before passing out.
Walter, Peter, and Astrid work to stop the bleeding. Broyles shows up and tells them about what September told Olivia a few weeks ago: that she was going to die in every future. No one is pleased. Broyles wants to know when September’s going to wake up, but Walter says he’s done what he can and the man is still dying. (Nooo!)
So, the only option is for Peter to go into the Observer’s consciousness before he dies. Naturally. Walter is worried that they don’t know what September’s brain is like, and how entering it could affect Peter’s – and, more alarmingly, if he dies, Peter will die, too. But Peter is adamant.
Some time and drugs later, Peter and “Mr. X”, as he’s called on Walter’s computer screen (!) merge their minds. Peter finds himself in a room made of windows of a sort, with what seem to be nebulae and other space things outside. His eyes widen as he watches something that appears to be the Big Bang. September appears. He says they’re privileged to observe the beginning of all things – as he is privileged to observe his own end. Peter asks where Olivia is – but September’s not going to tell him that yet.
Instead, he will answer when asked that he’s called September, although that’s just a code designation from his team of scientists. When Peter asks where he’s from, September counters that a more apt question would be, “From when?” He explains that they are human. They’re one of countless possible futures of humanity, and their technology allows them to travel within and outside time. Cool. That’s basically what I was assuming, although I really hadn’t speculated much. September says this is so they can observe their beginnings. Peter points out that he has done much more than observe.
September looks faintly guilty as he explains that it began with his attempt to rectify his mistake. Peter (and we) watch the scene in Walternate’s lab where September’s interruption makes Walternate miss the revelation that his cure worked. Peter says he knew that story, and asks why the Observer was there anyway. He is told, as we have heard before, that Peter is important. But saving Peter didn’t fix the corrupted timeline, it made it worse. He goes on that the war between the worlds brought about a child that was not meant to be.
Of course he’s talking about Peter’s son that he didn’t know about – Henry. Joshua Jackson wonderfully portrays Peter’s shock and devastation at this. September explains that Henry was born to the wrong Olivia Dunham due to circumstances that never should have happened. (You got that right.) Peter slowly approaches the image of Fauxlivia holding the baby and reaches out a hand to touch him, as September says that Henry’s existence would have irrevocably altered things to come. Peter just whispers, “Henry,” and I die at his adorable smile. “I have a son.”
“Had,” the Observer corrects. You see, when Peter went into the Machine, he wasn’t the only one who ceased to exist. Peter looks gutted. September says he thought that would be the end of it, but he was wrong, for reasons he still doesn’t understand. Since Peter has returned in physical form, though, September thinks this could mean Peter can put things right. A picture of Our Olivia is now on the windows. September says she’s the one from whom their shared future was meant to come – if that happens, things should resolve the way they were supposed to. Then he says the others are coming, and Peter has to go and find a way. The room starts to break down, and all September will tell Peter when he begs to know how to save Olivia is that he needs to go home.