The Child

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Profession:  Experimental Observer Offspring Portrayed by:
Rowan Longworth (more recently) - Spencer List (originally)
Also Known As:  Michael (by the Science Team), and Anomaly XB-6783746 (by his Observer creators)
Family:  September - mentor and paternal role-model
Connections:  Walter Bishop, Olivia Dunham, Captain Windmark, The Artist, Doctor Winick
First Seen:  Inner Child
Seen In:  Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There, Black Blotter,
Anomaly XB-6783746, The Boy Must Live, Liberty
Last Seen:  An Enemy Of Fate
Status:  Successfully transited the trans-dimensional portal to the year 2167 AD, with Walter
Remarks:  Resolute as he proceeds with the mission to eradicate Observers from the future timeline
Images of The Child    

The Child is a biogenetically-engineered empath from the future that is found living alone in a restricted network of underground tunnels. His presence is directly linked to mankind's destiny and survival in a future that shows little regard for human rights, environmental equity and democratic self-governance.


He is discovered (Inner Child) living alone in an underground catacomb in the last few minutes before the building on the surface above him is scheduled to be demolished with explosives. The tunnel in which the boy is found has been sealed shut for at least seventy years. Walter surmises that the boy ate rats, moss and insects, all high in protein, to survive.
Hey Buddy. You Make My Spidey Senses Tingle. Quick Question. Has Doctor Walter Been Giving You The Red 'Cortexi-Kool-Aid' To Drink?
  • The boy is brought to a hospital and placed in the care of Doctor Winick. He seems to have a problem breathing as he has been living in an oxygen deprived environment for an extended length of time. Although he never speaks after leaving the tunnel, he was able to establish some kind of emotional connection with Olivia, where he can sense, feel and mirror what she is doing. He writes information on a pad corresponding to places or people linked to The Artist, a serial killer that Olivia is in the process of trying to catch.
  • After examination, Walter determines that the lad was probably raised, or maybe even born, in the tunnel where he was found. Walter posits that the child is possibly much older than he looks. Using the neural stimulator and cranial brace from his lab, along with language-translation apparatus, Walter generates communication-like sounds based on the boy's thoughts, but does not decipher what he is attempting to convey.
  • Eliot Michaels, from the CIA Directorate of Science & Technology, is very interested in The Child and wants to move him to another facility. Talking on his cell phone about the child, Michaels says "I think we may have found another one". To prevent the boy from becoming a subject of experimentation, Olivia, with the help of Doctor Winick, get the child covertly transferred to a home where someone will take care of him and his needs. On the way to that home, the car in which the boy is traveling drives by the Observer and the two make eye contact for a brief moment.

In Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There, Walter locates the pocket universe he created to protect The Child in the interim period following the Observer Invasion. Walter uses video Tape #7, that he created, to retrace his steps after being released from Amber. On the tape, he, along with September, are getting the boy settled in a room that should house him for decades, but may only seem like a few weeks in the distorted space-time envelope they are in. Tape #8 will remind them of how to deploy the boy when the time comes to eradicate the Observers.

In Black Blotter, Peter and Olivia find a radio relay station that points to a small, coastal Connecticut island. The science team rallies and heads offshore to Thimble Island and find that Carolyn and Richard have been harboring the boy since shortly after the invasion two decades earlier. They have been raising him in isolation and have dubbed him 'Michael'.
Nobody Move! This Is Thimble Island And We Protect Our Creepy Bald Kids Here With A Passion
  • Michael's adoptive parents are reluctant to release him to the science team because Walter doesn't have the password that was established when Donald deposited the boy with them so long ago. Walter finally retrieves the code from his drug-addled memories and Michael's guardians reluctantly turn him over to pursue the intended mission he had been held in check for. In their house, as they prepare to release Michael, Richard and Carolyn explain that they were part of the early Resistance forces that challenged the Observer oppression. They gained the trust of many of their colleagues, so Donald trusted them enough to raise Michael in his absence, and to keep the larger secret - that Michael was part of an important plan to defeat the Invaders.
  • Clear of Thimble Island, the team takes Michael back to Walter's Lab and gets him settled in with some cocoa. Even though they have never crossed paths in the current timeline, Olivia asks Michael if he is familiar with her. He may experience time differently - as Observers are said to do. And he does - he remembers her.
In Anomaly XB-6783746, Walter thoroughly examines Michael and finds that there is no tech device implanted in the boys brain stem, as one would expect with a typical Observer. Olivia makes Michael feel more comfortable in his new surroundings by recalling the way in which he helped her in the original timeline they shared. Peter politely quizzes Michael about Donald while Walter frazzles with impatience. Aggressively intimidating the boy, Walter announces that he wants to load Michael up with drugs, and maybe induce a coma, to gain the Donald-related data he needs to combat the Observers. Olivia has a potential solution - with a quick call, maybe Nina can access the resources they need to communicate with Michael.
Olive. Please. Stop Referring To Me As 'The Child'. I'll Be A Hundred Years Old Soon. Pick A Name For Me. But Just Not A 'Hipster' Name
  • Nina slips away from work at the Ministry of Science and meets the science team and Michael. She has a secure underground lab not far away in a nearby Brooklyn neighborhood that should have the equipment Walter needs to communicate with Michael. The entire group sets out on foot, maintaining distance from one another to avoid drawing attention, and reaches the former Massive Dynamic lab safely. Michael isn't allowed into parts of the lab until all of the Observer corpses there, that were experimented on, are covered.
  • In Nina's secret laboratory, the team finds what it needs to communicate with Michael - the ECog, or Electro-Cognitive translator. When fitted with the cranial monitor, the readings from Michael are way beyond any readings Nina had gathered from the Observers that had been captured over the previous decades. Michael can't be communicated with. By Nina's reasoning, the only other way to establish communication is to smuggle a second ECog and neural adaptor out of the Science Ministry so someone on the Science Team can wear it, and let Michael communicate with them. Walter agrees and the team leaves the underground bunker to retrieve the equipment, leaving Michael and Nina alone to prepare for their return.
  • Nina leaves Michael alone for a few minutes in the lab and takes the access elevator to the service for a quick phone call to determine the status of the team. Olivia shares that Nina's confidante has been compromised by Windmark's crew: Nina suddenly realizes that this very call has just compromised her location and Michael's. She quickly returns to the subsurface facility and shares the bad news with Michael. They need to hide him quickly before the Observers start pouring in through trans-dimensional portals. He understands the gravity of their situation and gently touches her face and sharing an empathic vision. In a few seconds, Nina receives from Michael everything she needs to resist the pending menace and to understand her larger role in the grand scheme to reset the timeline - making what is about to happen... never happen.
  • Satisfied with the knowledge of what she must do, Nina confronts Windmark with the appropriate amount of hostility his kind deserves, when he arrives a few minutes later. He aggressively attempts to read her thoughts and gather the intel he needs to proceed against the anomalous child Observer. Nina employs the techniques she has mastered to prevent Windmark from accessing what she knows, but, when she grows weak, she snags a pistol from a nearby holster and fatally shoots herself in the skull to protect the boy. Windmark and his posse leave the lab empty-handed. When the science team returns, they find Nina's corpse and assume that they have lost Michael. A quick check of security footage shows that they did not take the boy. Olivia finds Michael hidden under a panel in one of the chambers holding a dead Observer. Michael is alright but sheds a tear when he sees Nina's fate.
  • Michael returns to Walter's Lab in Boston with the team as they rejoin Astrid. The ECog equipment is configured and Michael attempts to make cognitive contact with Walter. They face one another with the cranial halos on and operating. Michael understands Walter just fine - and he remembers meeting Walter and Donald years ago. Unable to express all that he knows, Michael removes his halo, walks over to Walter and touches the nonagenarian's cheek like he touched Nina's; passing his visions and understanding to Walter. Walter bolts as images from timelines gone-by start flooding in. Walter revels in the incredible lightness of being Michael is giving to him. The final vision Michael passes is from Walter's old campus home in Cambridge. Trusted colleague Donald stands near the window. Well-groomed and dapper with a full head of dark hair - Donald and September are one and the same.
In The Boy Must Live,
They May Have Called You Michael, But I Will Call You 'Mini-Me'

In Liberty,
Captain Windmark. Look At These Brains! Can I Feed Them To My Pet Zombie?
Oh Come On Guys. I've Been Eating Moss, Insects And Rodents For Decades. Of Course My Lungs And Digestive Tract Are Green, And Not Pink

In An Enemy Of Fate,
Everybody Hold Up! When I Step Through This Portal - EVERYTHING Changes. 'Star Wars' Never Happens. 'LOST' Is Understandable. Ella & I...

—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on The Child/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • Did he, along with Walter, succeed in eradicating the timeline with the oppressive Observers that were returning to the present to manipulate mankind's destiny?
  • A product of Observer technology and experimentation, did he evaporate from the future timeline, when the Observers were eradicated? (assuming they were)
  • It appears the Observer invasion was abated. Did he succeed in eliminating them completely, simply slow them down by some period of time, or divert them down a separate, more benign path?


Central Characters: Olivia DunhamPeter BishopWalter BishopPhillip BroylesAstrid FarnsworthNina Sharp
Central Characters (alt): Bolivia DunhamSecretary BishopColonel BroylesLincoln LeeAgent FrancisAgent FarnsworthBrandon Fayette
Recurring Characters: The ObserverAgent LeeHenrietta BishopEllaBellCaptain WindmarkRachelBrandonSam WeissDavid Jones(alt) Nina SharpCharlieHenry HigginsSanford HarrisMitchell LoebJohn Scott
Additional Characters: Episodic CharactersMinor Characters