The News & Advance, Lynchburg, Va., Casey Gillis column
Jan 17, 2013 (The News & Advance - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
I'm not very good at goodbyes, especially when it comes to my favorite TV shows.
It's pathetic how often I've shed tears when my favorite fictional characters have signed off for good ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Gilmore Girls" are just a couple that have made me weepy over the years).
There have even been times when I've skipped out on watching certain series finales altogether, like ABC Family's "Greek," because I didn't want to acknowledge that it was all actually over.
Now another traumatic goodbye is upon me: Fox's "Fringe" will air its two-hour series finale at 8 p.m. Friday night.
And I'm afraid that not everyone is going to make it.
This final season has focused on an Observer-controlled future, where Olivia, Peter, Walter, Astrid and their allies (R.I.P., Etta and Nina) have spent the majority of the season fighting the bad guys and trying to piece together Walter's plan to ultimately defeat them.
We finally got the details of that plot last week, when former Observer September -- now going by Donald, and with a full head of hair to boot -- showed back up.
He also gave us some key intel on the Observer's history: In 2167, a scientist found a way to rewire the brain and achieve higher intelligence by eliminating emotions like jealousy, anger and even love. The end result The Observers and their robotic personas.
But Michael, the child Observer, was an anomaly. His brain developed differently, so that he was more intelligent than those who came before him, but he also had empathy and could experience real emotions.
The plan, then, is to send Michael, who we also learned is September's son, back to the future (like what I did there ) to show the scientist that emotions are just as important as intelligence.
"They will realize all that he is," September/Donald said. "Living proof that they don't have to sacrifice emotion for intelligence. And they will never go down that path."
Which means that the Observers' existence will never come to be.
This is tricky for several reasons. If the Observers cease to exist, how will September save Peter when, as a child, he and Walter get into that car accident Nobody addressed it when discussing the timeline reboot, but it was the first thing that popped into my head.
The other, just as worrisome, development is that a key part of the plan involves Walter sacrificing himself. And the lovely scene he shared with Peter in last week's episode -- Walter told his son that he remembered everything from all of the series' various timelines and that he didn't think he could love him more, but that he now did -- seemed to point to one of them not surviving.
But I refuse to believe it. If "Fringe" ends with Walter dead, I will be inconsolable. He's the heart and soul of this show, and I just want him -- and Peter, Olivia and Astrid -- to get a happy ending. They deserve it.
Look for my thoughts on the finale in the Jan. 23 Burg. Until then, stock up on tissues.
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