WARNING: Large spoilers for the last few episodes of Fringe.

At the end of "The Boy Must Live", Michael allows himself to be captured by the Observers by stepping off a monorail just as it's leaving the station.

Later, in "An Enemy of Fate", Olivia and September have this conversation:

OLIVIA: Why would he step off the monorail? I mean, why would he do that? He knows too much. He must have known that they wanted to harm him.

SEPTEMBER: Apparently... there was a reason. There always is.

So far as I can tell, this never comes up again. The consequences of Michael's action are:

  • Olivia making a last trip to the Other Side in order to get him back
  • Broyles getting captured by Windmark, and as a result
  • The Fringe team having to execute the plan under time pressure instead of at their leisure.

Once the plan is executed, time resets anyway, so it doesn't much matter how it happened.

Is there any indication given in the show of what Michael's reason for getting captured was? Which of those consequences were necessary in order for things to work out properly, or is there some other one that I'm missing?

  • Child observer, go figure...
    – Aviran
    Sep 30, 2013 at 7:23
  • He was not a child Observer. He was at least 21 years old if not older. He just didn't look older because he didn't age.
    – ike
    Sep 30, 2013 at 14:46

3 Answers 3


Stepping off the monorail causes Olivia to get injected with cortexiphan so that she can travel to the other universe and rescue him. The cortexiphan means that Olivia survives when Windmark attacks her and that she can crush Windmark between the vehicles.

In the final episode there is a scene where Olivia asks Michael why he did what he did and what should she do now. Michael touches his finger to his lips. After Olivia kills Windmark, Michael makes the same gesture.

  • This... makes sense, surprinsingly :P
    – Andres F.
    Nov 30, 2013 at 21:45
  • So it does. Thanks, and welcome to the site!
    – Micah
    Dec 1, 2013 at 0:11

Firstly, it appears that Michael would have far better future-seeing abilities than the Observers have. If you recall, the Observers were about to capture the Fringe team which would have messed up the plan anyway. So, Michael decided to get captured, knowing he would get saved in time, rather than let the whole Fringe team get captured and have no way of escaping. Also keep in mind that Observers don't feel pain.


I think immediate effect - when they get Michael they just leave with him. If he had stayed in monorail they may have entered in monorail and captured olivia

  • The question asked about Michael's reason for stepping off the monorail, though, rather than the effect of it. When posting answers here, please try to answer the specific question asked. Jun 23, 2023 at 5:42

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