Well, with all the hype surrounding this episode, you'd think it would've been some major milestone in the Fringe storyline. But, although it is an interesting look into the lives of the Observers, for the most part this episode was just plain average.
The story opens with an Observer...observing. But it's not the Observer we're familiar with, it's the same make, different model. And he's not just observing, he's into kidnapping...or so it appears. As the story unfolds, we learn that he was just binding and gagging the girl for her own good (we've all heard that one before, right?). This particular Observer (whose name is August, as we learn) actually learns to love, an event remarkable enough to get the Observers to forgive his meddling with the time continuum.
The "non-human learns the power of human emotions" story has been done to death, and ordinarily I'd call this kind of story trite and clichÃ©. Although this episode certainly fits in those categories, it has enough other stuff going for it that the triteness doesn't really dominate the overall story. There are a lot of small, interesting pieces in this story. Olivia's niece reappears, a reminder of the stability she's always wanted, and that she will certainly not get in the near future. She also talks about her mother for the first time since way back in early season one, which kind of connects to her moments with her niece, and makes you wonder if motherhood is something Olivia desires but feels she'll never have (especially since her love life is pretty much non-existent at the moment). Meanwhile, Walter is having a milkshake obsession and Brandon, the Massive Dynamic lab guy, is becoming a minor but entertaining recurring character with his humorous little quirks.
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