Fringe

2008, TV Show

Fringe Episode: "August"

Season 2, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: An unusual abduction in Boston reveals information about the Observer and bizarre evidence that Walter, Peter and Astrid must sort out in the lab---in between Walter's constant cravings for a milkshake.
Original Air Date: Nov 19, 2009
Guest Cast Paul Rae: Donald Long Lily Pilblad: Ella Blake Peter Woodward: August Michael Cerveris: The Observer Eugene Lipinski: December Ryan McDonald: Brandon Fayette
Full Episode
click to playclick to play
Season 2, Episode 8
Paid | iTunes
Length: 44:04
Aired: 11/19/2009
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
play more info

Fringe Episode Recap: "August" Season 2, Episode 8

After a few weeks of less-than-stellar self-contained episodes, Fringe turned its attention to one of the most interesting aspects of its mythology: The Observer. Or as it turns out, the Observers. When a rogue Observer kidnaps a young woman, the Fringe team and the other Observers try to figure out why and Walter worries that they've come to collect a debt.

The last couple of weeks I've been a little rough on Fringe. I don't enjoy it. I love this show, but it just hasn't been delivering what I've come to expect from it: weird sci-fi cases mixed with humor and, if we're lucky, a little character insight. Fortunately "August" was exactly that kind of episode. It started off with an Observer, who we would come to learn is named August, kidnapping Christine, a young art student, and causing quite a scene in the process. The team is quickly on the case and Peter in particular becomes extremely invested. It was in last season's episode "The Arrival" where The Observer first appeared and Peter really became invested in joining the Fringe division, so it makes sense for him to be more interested than normal. We also saw Walter more subdued and secretive than usual, after all The Observer saved Walter and Peter when their car crashed into a lake... though we all know there's more to that story. We didn't learn what that whole story was, but it was still satisfying to see this particular story thread brought up.

Peter and Olivia, meanwhile, visit Massive Dynamic's resident geek (What is his name? They didn't even say it in this episode) to learn that The Observers have been present all throughout time; at the Boston Massacre, the beheading of Marie Antoinette, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The geek then explained that they may not necessarily have been alive for 300 years, but that they are moving through time. I quite liked this expansion of The Observers' mythos. They observe disasters and death; almost, it seems, to make sure that these disasters occur as they're supposed to. Perhaps they're attempting to make sure that no one from another dimension or time intervenes in these disasters, they may be terrible but the change they spark is a part of our history, without them who knows what the world would be like. That's a heady and extremely fascinating concept that I hope gets explored more as the series moves forward.

Back to this episode; we learn that August didn't exactly kidnap Christine per se but saved her from boarding a flight to Rome that eventually crashed, killing everyone onboard. Furthermore, we learn that August was present when Christine and her parents were caught in the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco. Her parents died in the quake but Christine survived and August has been watching her ever since. The other Observers learn of August's intervention and do not approve, sending in a hitman to correct the "irregularity."

August eventually comes to seek Walter's help in order to prevent Christine's death. He tells Walter that he in particular can help him because he had solved a similar problem. "Not really, I just missed my son," Walter replies. Once again we got little pieces of this particular backstory; and while it's one that needs to be addressed head-on sooner than later, the information we got in this episode did enough to satisfy me. We did learn after all that Walter made a deal with one of The Observers for Peter; a deal perhaps Walter hasn't fully lived up to.

August goes back to Christine and sets her free before confronting the hitman hired to take care of her. He fights the hitman off but appears to let the hitman shoot him right as Olivia and Peter arrive. He gives Peter his cool pulse gun and Peter and Olivia take care of the hitman. When they return to get August, however, he's gone; taken by the other Observer we've gotten to know over the series. He informs the Observer that he developed feelings for Christine, that he loved her in fact, and then dies. Apparently his sacrificing himself for her was a significant enough event that she deserves to live (some sort of Observer code?). It was a beautiful scene that showed that perhaps the Observers aren't just bald automatons; there is a capacity of feeling in them.

The episode ended with Olivia taking her niece Ella on a rollercoaster as two of the Observers watch on. They let Olivia have her happy moment; things are going to get very hard for her after all. What did you guys think? Best of the season so far? I'm inclined to think so. It didn't have the energy of the premiere or "Momentum Deferred" but deepened the shows mythology while being quite moving at times. Post your thoughts below!

Random Thoughts:

- I didn't even get to mention Olivia much, despite her being way more present than in recent episodes. Her story about her first trip to the movies was particularly well written and acted by Anna Torv.

-  I could honestly watch Walter and Astrid interact all day long, they're adorable together.

- The Ford product placement was awful, "This voice-dial feature is so useful for when I'm on a manhunt!"

- Broyles said the pulse gun wouldn't fire and that Peter must have gotten off the last shot. I'm more inclined to think the gun can only be fired after you've taken a trip through dimensions.

show less

After a few weeks of less-than-stellar self-contained episodes, Fringe turned its attention to one of the most interesting aspects of its mythology: The Observer. Or as it turns out, the Observers. When a rogue Observer kidnaps a young woman, the Fringe team and the other Observers try to figure out why and Walter worries that they've come to collect a debt.

read more

Related Links

Other Links:
Fringe
Tags:
FOX

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: September 09, 2008, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (5,449 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Premise: A drama with sci-fi elements following the FBI probe of mysterious deaths aboard an airplane that landed at Boston's Logan Airport. But the deaths aboard Flight 627 are only the beginning of the story. Executive producers include J.J. Abrams ('Lost') and his 'Mission: Impossible III' co-screenwriters, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

Cast

Shop

Exploitation Retrospect 52: The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Buy Exploitation Retrospect 52: The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media from Amazon.com
From CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Paperback)
Usually ships in 2 days
Buy New: $6.00 (as of 9:46 AM EST - more info)
The Fringe of Hollywood: The Art of Making a Western
Buy The Fringe of Hollywood: The Art of Making a Western from Amazon.com
From CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Paperback)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $44.55 (as of 9:46 AM EST - more info)

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular