As Fringe wraps up its universe- and timeline-jumping saga in Observer-controlled 2036 tonight, the show’s first Observer has become far more important than fans – and likely even the writers – ever imagined when he first appeared on the Fox show in 2008.
September, the once-mysterious bald man the Fringe team dubbed the Observer, played by Broadway alum Michael Cerveris, has developed into the rebel who has brushed aside his natural coding for emotionless logic in favor of the well-being of the man he now calls a friend, Walter Bishop.
Last week, after being absent for much of season 5, Cerveris returned as a September somewhat de-Observer-fied. The Fringe team learned about the part he plays in Walter’s plan to take the world back from the Observers, and they also learned about the connection between September (now known as Donald, thanks to his fondness for Singin’ in the Rain) and the Observer boy – turns out that Donald and Michael are now another of the show’s central father-son pairs.
Ahead of tonight’s series finale, Cerveris talked to EW about crafting that performance for the new, follicly blessed version of September, saying his goodbyes on the final day of shooting and how working on Fringe has more than made up for never getting to appear on The X-Files.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is it wild to think about how much your role has grown from what was originally intended to be a one-off?
MICHAEL CERVERIS: Yeah, it’s been kind of astounding. It’s true that in the very beginning I understood it as just being a one-off. Almost before I started working actually, they had already started to feel differently. Both [executive producers] Jeff Pinkner and J.J. [Abrams] – they saw September as having a crucial role to play, a role that was going to continue to play out throughout the series as long as it lasted. But you never know when people say that – no matter how well-intentioned, how much they believe it themselves – you never know if that’s how things are actually gonna play out. I certainly never could have imagined that the fate of universes and the existence of humanity was going to be in September’s, Donald’s hands at the conclusion. READ FULL STORY