TV Show: Fringe
Episode Title: August
Original Air Date: November 19, 2009
Episode Number: 2×08
A peculiar abduction occurs in Boston, leading the Fringe team to uncover details of the mysterious man known as The Observer. While the bizarre case takes center stage, Walter, Peter, and Astrid hit the lab to analyze unusual evidence and deal with Walter’s insatiable appetite for milkshakes.
I have forgotten what an absolutely beautiful and yet devastating episode August is. It’s definitely one of the best episodes of Fringe and it almost seemed like a love letter to the fans, at least to me. Sit down, guys, because this is going to be a long one.
The fact that we start off the episode and see another Observer is huge so regular viewers were probably atwitter when they first watched this (I sure as hell was). And then to make it even better, we got an Observer meeting at a restaurant which probably ran out of hot sauce at that hour (LOL) and we see three more Observers including the one that we’ve been seeing throughout the show. They’re talking about what August did and that he did something he shouldn’t have done because they don’t see anything special or important about the person he saved.
I find it amusing that they have an assassin for hire and now I kinda want to know if he’s from the future (he has to be, right?) and how exactly he got this job and for how long he’s been their assassin. By the way, I was thrilled when we saw the green-green-green-red pattern again when the assassin opened his briefcase to get out his gun. Continuity is the best.
I was also thrilled to see Brandon again, Massive Dynamic’s scientist, and that he got a pretty meaty scene explaining what he has found out so far about the Observers. He showed Olivia and Peter that the Observers have been spotted throughout history’s biggest and most important moments which is cool as hell. He also explained that for the Observers, time is not linear, that for them, it exists in one plane and they can observe time all at once. They see everything.
August meeting with Walter and asking for his help was so unexpected. Heck, even Walter thought that he was there to take Peter back. “Please don’t take my son. Your friend and I had a deal. We had an arrangement.” Of course, this statement just opened up a can of worms and further confirms or hints that Peter is not from this world. 😱
The last ten minutes of this episode were this show’s finest moments. August telling September why Christine is important practically broke my heart. “She crossed my mind somehow. She never left it…. I think I love her.” And September reassures him just before he dies that Christine is safe now because he made her important. “You made her important. She is responsible for the death of one of us.”
You guys, August sacrificed himself in order to save Christine because this is the only way that he could think of to make her important. I’m not crying, it’s just RAINING ON MY FACE. 😭
And then we see a single tear roll down August’s cheek as he lays there dying. This was all so beautiful and I cannot praise the August actor (Peter Woodward) enough for such an exceptional performance throughout the episode. He perfectly portrayed August’s love for this one person and he also portrayed his utter confusion at what he’s feeling and why he feels this way about her.
I probably would have rolled my eyes at this whole thing boiling down to August having feelings for Christine, but as cynical as I am, this didn’t even cross my mind and it’s because the whole story didn’t feel forced and it was beautifully written and acted. That’s how you elevate a trope-y and predictable “love story” into something so much more meaningful and beautiful. I can’t seem to stop using that word to describe this episode because it really is an embodiment of beauty (not to get cheesy).
I needed a moment after this so I’m glad that we got the scene with Walter, Peter, and Christine next. Walter gave Christine the teddy bear that Christine’s father won for her before he and Christine’s mom died and it was the one that Christine was holding during that accident on the bridge. August kept it all this time and was holding on to it because he wanted to give it to Christine one of these days. So beautiful.
As for the continuing mythology of the show, we got a few more tidbits here and there. In addition to Walter’s conversation with August, we also got:
– Peter firing the gun that August gave him to kill the assassin. Broyles tells Olivia that the gun has malfunctioned since then because the FBI has been unable to make it work. Either that or Peter fired off the last round. I have another theory: that only someone from the other universe can use the gun.
– September and the other Observer watching Olivia enjoying her time with Ella. “Look how happy she is. It’s a shame things are about to get so hard for her.” Now we can’t be too sure who they’re talking about, but it’s most likely Olivia (with a slight change that it’s Ella) and this statement just piqued my interest even more. What do they know is going to happen with Olivia? Ugh, this show, man!
Other random observations:
– Olivia saying she’s scared of rollercoasters is endearing because I hate them, too. Kudos to her for getting on one and not letting her fear take over and stopping her from sharing this moment with Ella. I did crack up at the shots of Anna Torv closing her eyes for almost all of the rollercoaster scenes, lol.
– The story Olivia told Peter about her mom was so sweet. It was about her first time going to the movies and how she clapped after the curtain was pulled and said “This is the best movie ever” without understanding that the movie hasn’t even started yet.
– I cracked up at Brandon telling Peter “You don’t look FBI” when they first met.
To sum up, upon rewatch, this has become one of my favorite Fringe episodes. Definitely right up there with Bad Dreams, There’s More Than One of Everything, and Momentum Deferred (my list of favorite episodes upon this rewatch).