In the Season 5 and series finale:

Walter takes Micheal (the child observer) into the future so that the scientist realizes that superior intelligence and emotions can coexist, and the observers are never created.

Earlier on in the series we learn that:

Walter loses his Peter in the primary timeline, and then watches as September distracts Walternate and unintentionally prevents him from curing Peter. Due to this, Walter crosses over and brings Peter to the primary timeline. However, they fall into the lake and are rescued by September.

So wouldn't all this not happen when the Observers no longer exist?

Wouldn't Walternate discover the cure, and hence cure Peter in the alternate timeline, making sure that Walter never crosses over, and Peter never comes to our timeline?

This would mean that Olivia and Peter never meet, and Etta is never born. So how is it possible for the time reset version of our Universe to still show them as a family?

5 Answers 5


First, remember that Peter didn't come from the time-line where Season 5 takes place, he come from the time-line of season 1-3. In the season 4-5 time-line, he dies from his disease, but reappeared in the season 4 time-line somehow (see almost all the season 4 for the how and why).

The events of the Season 5 finale created a third time-line that originate from later in the second time-line. Despite the fact that, December tell September that "If your plan is successful, we will cease to exist." The observers still exist, but they are different from the ones we know and more like Michael (Anomaly XB-6783746). This difference doesn't forbid the existence of the original twelve science team that traveled back in time to observe primitive humanity. So, it didn't changes the events that occurred in the first time-line, like the recovery/kidnapping of Peter and the crossing of Peter from the first time-line to the second one (and the third one).

Walter hinted that the point where the time lines move apart is the invasion of the Observers.

Because, Peter, the boy and I, we will become a paradox. Nature abhors a paradox. It has to heal itself. It does so by deleting me and the boy at the moment of the invasion. The boy and I will disappear after 2015.

-Walter Bishop, explaining to Peter why he must goes in the season 5 episode 13 (series finale).

The plan seems to only have prevented The Observers from invading our era without altering the previous history.

  • 2
    This was hinted at by Walter in the finale, when he said the paradox would happen at the moment of the invasion, not earlier
    – Izkata
    Jan 19, 2013 at 21:54
  • @Izkata updated.
    – DavRob60
    Jan 22, 2013 at 13:31
  • It was spooky how much Walter's explanation sounds like my answer to scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/24263/… ... should I be worried?
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 22, 2013 at 21:16
  • 1
    @MichaelEdenfield Check for you name in the credits.
    – DavRob60
    Jan 23, 2013 at 1:57
  • "The observers still exist, but they are different from the ones we know" - and yet, the original twelve science team would have acted exactly the same (say, on a per-atom level of their bodies) on every single occasion that they showed up on? Not a single time where, for example, one of them would be showing a mild smile? That is hard to believe; it seems like "The observers still exist, but they are different from the ones we know" implies that the timelines would diverge as soon as on the observers' first arrival (i.e. at the big bang, as per 4x14?). Jan 6, 2014 at 9:11

You guys are overthinking this. I believe the simple explanation is this:

In a world where even the inexplicable is eventually unexplained (by the Fringe team, in this case), there is one thing of great power that exists which cannot be fully understood: Love.

If it was love that brought Peter back from complete non-existence, and love that gave Season 4 Olivia (who had never met Peter) the memories of "Peter's Olivia", then why wouldn't the same inexplicable thing happen when the timeline was reset?

In other words, sometimes things are, because they are.

Sometimes a tulip is a tulip.


Remember, In the final timeline from Season 5, Peter technically never existed. September already went back and never pulled Peter from the water... but Peter's mind traveled through time and his body somehow physically manifested in the third timeline, where he should have never existed. So, that's why Peter is able to stay in the third timeline even if the observers "never" existed, because Peter successfully traveled from one timeline to another. Remember the episode where September says he does not understand how it was possible except through the love Peter had for Olivia.


In season 4, Peter was erased and the timeline was reset; September never pulled Peter from the lake, so Peter died. When he somehow found his way back no one knew who he was. Even if Walter took the observer child to the future and the observers were never made, Peter would still be alive; technically he died in that timeline because no one saved him the lake.


In Season 5, Peter and the fringe team technically was never there they was only two people that were there Walter and The boy that was brought to the future through a Shipping lane that was technically never made so how did Walter go to the future? so Peter was saved by Observer but this was September if the Observer could survive throughout time it is safe to say that one observer made it out (Captain Whitlock) and could make the Observers himself and invade more towards the Future a second chance

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