The Observer

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Profession:  Observes, Reports, Infrequently Interferes Portrayed by:
Michael Cerveris
Also Known As:  Mister Gemini (when fictionalized by Walter),
September (codename among peers),
Donald O'Connor (assumed name after he was drummed from the Observer Corps)
Connections:  Walter and Peter Bishop, Secretive Courier, Observers, Donald Long
Images of The Observer    

The Observer has made many cameo and focal appearances, and is one of several Observers.



In The Arrival, the Observer writes notes in a small black notebook, writing using an unknown set of characters, and, for the first time, speaking. This may be code or another language altogether, but is presumably taking notes on his observations of The Pattern.

The Observer, and possibly the other Observers, seem to have the ability to share thoughts with others telepathically; he can also read and accurately predict the thoughts of others, as he demonstrates during his encounter with Peter Bishop.
High-Tech Binoculars
It is also suggested that they are able to observe time, a suggestion supported by the rogue Observer named August in August after he prevents a girl named Christine Hollis from being on a plane that is destined to crash some hours later.

He appears at many Fringe-related incidents involving Olivia, the Bishops and the Pattern. He does not seem to be involved in the direct cause of the events, but simply observing them.

In Fracture, as he eats in a diner, the Observer receives a briefcase with surveillance images of Walter from a secretive courier. The images contain data much like the images he saw through his binoculars in The Arrival.

He uses a specialized communications device in The Arrival, Brown Betty, and Marionette.

In Walter's tall tale during Brown Betty, he is called Gemini and is referred to as a Watcher.

At the beginning of Neither Here Nor There, his comrade December hands him a small metallic bar and orders him to completely destroy the existence of Peter Bishop. He then collects several items, i.e. a ray cathode tube, to create a device that will completely erase Peter. At the end of the episode he has the device and is about to activate it, but thinks better of it and does not erase Peter.

At the end of Back To Where You've Never Been, he shows up in The Orpheum theater where Olivia is waiting for Peter and Lincoln to return from their mission. He has a gunshot wound in the chest and warns Olivia she has to die in all possible futures.

He appears to Peter and Walter in The End Of All Things, and then collapses with a gunshot injury. Peter used the Synaptic Transfer to enter his mind. He explains to Peter that he and his colleagues are from one of humanities possible countless futures and that their technology has uniquely afforded them the ability to travel within and outside of time so that they may observe their beginnings. Peter is suddenly yanked out and September disappears. In A Short Story About Love, Walter find out that September hid a message in Peter's eye before the other Observers took him from the lab. The message leads Peter to September's apartment and he finds a Beacon which helps September to find his way back to this universe. He tells Peter that the Olivia Dunham of this timeline is Peter's Olivia.

In Brave New World, Part 2, he is captured by Jessica Holt with Stasis Runes. She says that he seems very concerned about Peter and Olivia's lives. She tells them that he is able to move very fast due to his tech, therefore he cannot be shot with a normal gun. She shoots him with a new and faster gun that was developed by William Bell. The Observer is unable to catch the bullets and is injured. When Jessica wants to fire again, Olivia catches the bullets and redirects them at Jessica. After Peter has removed the runes, the Observer leaves to investigate the future. He later appears in Walter's lab and warns him that 'They are coming'.

In Letters Of Transit, Walter says that something 'unexpected' happened to September. In The Boy Must Live, the other Observers remove his tech implant from his neck and experiment on him. Due to this, he became a human with emotions and hair. He assumed the name of Donald O'Connor after watching the movie Singin' In The Rain with Walter. Donald and Walter worked on a plan to defeat the Observers. They want to bring September's offspring, Michael, to 2167 to show the scientists that they don't have to sacrifice emotions for intelligence. If the plan is successful, the Observers will never exist and therefore not invade the planet.


  • He was part of a scientific team that was sent to the past to observe their beginnings. His code designation was 'September'.
  • He was the donor of genetic material for another Observer. When scientists realized that the boy's brain developed differently, they stopped his maturation and labeled him "Anomaly XB-6783746". The Observer hid the boy in the past to protect from the other Observers and he was later found by the Fringe team in Inner Child. Some time later, the Observer brought the boy to a couple who called him Michael.
  • In the alternate universe 1985, The Observer enters Secretary Bishop's lab and distracts him just as the cure to Peter's genetic ailment is discovered, and lost.
  • In the alternate universe 1985, The Observer confesses to fellow Observers that he interfered in Secretary Bishop's experiment to cure his son.
  • In 1985, The Observer saved Peter and Walter Bishop from drowning after falling through frozen Lake Reiden, just after Walter abducted young Peter from the alternate universe.
  • He was on-hand at the first documented arrival of the Beacon at Quantico MB in 1987.
  • In 2011, following the timeline reset, Walter and the Fringe team have no idea who 'Observers' are. The man claiming to be Peter Bishop (Novation) learns from Walter that his son Peter died, and that the Peter Bishop from the alternate universe that Walter tried to cure never survived the trip. He drowned in Reiden Lake when The Observer did not intevene in the mishap.
  • Before the Observer invasion in 2015, the Observer was punished for his interference in the timeline. His device was removed.
  • In 2036, he lives under the name of Donald O'Connor.
  • In 2036, he planned to bring Michael to the year 2167 to show the scientists that they do not have to sacrifice human emotion to increase intelligence. However, the Observer was killed and Walter took Michael to the future for him.


"Thank you for hiding the Beacon. I can't touch it myself. I know you have questions. Soon you will have answers." - to Walter, (after Astrid is drugged and the Beacon is hidden from Mosley) (The Arrival)

"This coin looks similar to the one you're thinking of. But it is from another place. There is more than one of everything. I have said too much, I am not supposed to get involved. I have taken you as far as I can." - to Walter, (encouraging him to search his old beach house to find the device hidden there that can seal the gap between the parallel universes) (There's More Than One Of Everything)

"They are all unique. That is not reason to interfere with the course her life was meant to take" - to August, (about his singular fixation with Christine Hollis) (August)

"How could they? He never existed. He served his purpose." - to December, (about the Science Teams from both universes and the fact that Peter just erased himself from all current timelines when he entered the Wave Sink Device on Liberty Island in order to establish the bridge between universes that would prevent their mutual assured destruction) (The Day We Died)

"It is impossible. The timeline has been rewritten. He was erased. And yet traces of him continue to bleed through" - to December, (in disbelief that Peter transcended the very timeline that he erased himself from) (Neither Here Nor There)

"Olivia...I came to tell you... I have looked at all possible futures... and in every one, the result is the same. You have to die." - to Agent Dunham, (as he sits in the Orpheum Theater with a substantial gunshot wound to the chest} (Back To Where You've Never Been)

"I did not. Or I have not yet. I suspect I understand now. The conversation you are referring to has not yet happened for me. I must investigate the future and find out what I meant. I hope... I get back to you in time." - to Olivia, (wounded and under her protection in the adjusted timeline, he responds to her remembrance of his previous statement about her death in all possible futures} (Back To Where You've Never Been)

v"You have been home all along... ...there is no scientific explanation. But... I have a theory based on a uniquely human principle. I believe you could not be fully erased because the people who care about you would not let you go. And you... would not let them go. I believe you call it 'love'. She is - - Your Olivia." - to Peter, (pitching, and defaulting to, the one variable Observers are unable to explain on various planes of reality... the ability of love to traverse those planes without explanation) (A Short Story About Love)

"If we can send the boy into the future to that moment, he can demonstrate to those scientists a different kind of intelligence, an enlightenment that goes beyond knowledge or cognition to something greater, and when they see what he is, when they study him, they will realize all that he is: Living proof that they don't have to sacrifice emotion for intelligence, and they will never go down that path." - to the Science Team, (summarizing the main concept behind the team's effort to redact all of Observer-dom from any timeline in all possible universes} (The Boy Must Live)

"The tulip was important. I took it from the other timeline, and kept it. When we devised the plan to stop The Invasion, you didn't think we could succeed. You doubted yourself. I knew the tulip would give you strength, as it had before. It was your symbol of hope and absolution. It gave you the courage to push on. At that time, I needed to give you back the hope that we could win." - to Walter, (bolstering his confidence as he is about to transit the singularity event horizon to the future, with the Observer, child to complete the mission against the invading Observers} (The Boy Must Live)

"Walter, twenty years ago when I agreed to let you be the one to take him, I didn't have the feelings I have now. Later, when I began to realize the height of his intellect and what you call the depths of his emotion, still, I couldn't understand what it was that I meant to him. And I was unable to reciprocate. When I saw you. When I saw Peter, and saw what he meant to you... then I understood what my feelings were. And why they were important. I can't communicate with him in the traditional ways. When I take his hand and I lead him... he'll know that I love him." - to Doctor Bishop, (about the anomalous Child Observer, the paternal bond they share, and the role model Walter has been for him in the aftermath of Peter's tumultuous return to existence} (An Enemy Of Fate)


(See images here).

  • In Pilot, he walks past the Massive Dynamic building.
  • In The Same Old Story, he stands at the hospital desk where the rapid-aging "man-baby" lies dead.
  • In The Ghost Network, Olivia passes by him at the South Station rail terminal.
  • In The Arrival, he has a lead role throughout the episode.
  • In Power Hungry, he exits the doomed elevator seconds before it crashes.
  • In The Cure, he passes behind David Esterbrook and Olivia at the humanitarian fund-raiser.
  • In In Which We Meet Mr. Jones, he is at Frankfurt International walking away from the arrival gate.
  • In The Equation, he is near Olivia and Charlie as they are searching for Ben Stockton.
  • In The Dreamscape, he is behind Mark Young in the hallway after exiting the elevator.
  • In Safe, he is on live security camera footage outside of the bank.
  • In Bound, he is walking just behind Olivia as she parks outside of Walter's Lab.
  • In The No-Brainer, he stands on a corner while Olivia is driving to save Ella.
  • In The Transformation, he is standing on the soccer field just before the plane crash.
  • In Ability, he is ducking out of the way of the newsstand vendor's grasp as the vendor stumbles down the street.
  • In Inner Child, he is walking along a snowy sidewalk, as The Child is driven away in the opposite direction.
  • In Unleashed, he walks behind an on-air TV news reporter as she tells of the recent animal attacks. Charlie's wife is watching.
  • In Bad Dreams, he crosses the street as Olivia and Peter arrive at the scene where Nick Lane is threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a building roof.
  • In Midnight, he passes behind Bob Dunn in The Cavern, just after the ladies man arrives and is poised to begin introducing himself.
  • In The Road Not Taken, he arrives to collect Walter from the Lab, speaking for the first time since The Arrival.
  • In There's More Than One Of Everything, he escorts Walter to the old Bishop beach house and prompts him to find the device that is needed to plug the opening between parallel universes. He also accompanies Walter to an old graveyard.
  • In A New Day In The Old Town, he crosses the blocked street in front of the empty vehicles from Olivia's crash.
  • In Night Of Desirable Objects, he stands in the field near the Hughes' house, around the time Agent Jessup shows up to investigate.
  • In Fracture, receives and reviews photographs of Walter that were delivered by a secretive courier.
  • In Momentum Deferred, he is seen observing Olivia and Charlie's conversation outside of Massive Dynamic Headquarters.
  • In Dream Logic, he is seen walking down the stairs in Dr. Nayak's Clinic as Olivia is interviewing the nurse.
  • In Earthling, he walks behind Broyles at the airport, while the agent is on the phone to Olivia.
  • In Of Human Action, he is seen observing the police car enter the multi-level parking structure.
  • In August, he is seen in company of other Observers and watching Olivia in an amusement park.
  • In Snakehead, he walks on Ping-On Street as the triad thug is called to follow Astrid to the lab.
  • In Grey Matters, he stands across the street as the tactical team attempts to locate Walter's tracking device.
  • In Unearthed, he walks behind Agent Dunham as she talks to Maureen Donovan outside of St. Brigid's Church.
  • In Johari Window, he is seen standing in the background as the sheriff walks out of his office and the locals from the town are gathered outside concerned.
  • In What Lies Below, he walks behind CDC Field Director McFadden in the tent compound when Level-6 Eradication is being coordinated.
  • In The Bishop Revival, he walks past the window of the diner just before the attack there.
  • In Jacksonville, he walks in front of a large fire truck just as Broyles and the science team are arriving in front of the building from the alternate universe.
  • In Peter, he accidentally distracts Walternate from discovering a cure for the other Peter's illness (in the alternate universe) and subsequently must save Walter and the other Peter from drowning in Reiden Lake (in this universe).
  • In Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver., he crosses the street in front of Miranda Greene's car, just before she dies of cancerous tumors.
  • In White Tulip, he stands in a doorway near the accident that kills the time-travelling astrophysicist and his fiancee.
  • In The Man From The Other Side, he is standing in line at the bank when Thomas Newton walks up to the teller.
  • In Brown Betty, he is standing down the street from Walter's house as Walter comes home, concerned that Peter has not returned.
  • In Northwest Passage, he is standing behind the police tape with the crowd as Peter meets Sheriff Mathis.
  • In Over There, Part 1, he passes behind Olivia in a bar and drops a file for her to read on the seat next to her.
  • In Over There, Part 2, he passes behind Olivia, Walter and William Bell as they sit and talk at a fast food restaurant in the alternate universe.
  • In Olivia, he passes next to Henry's taxicab shortly after Olivia enters the park where she expected to find the parallel universe's version of Massive Dynamic .
  • In The Box, he enters the subway station just as Thomas Newton abandons the box in order to visit the lavatory.
  • In The Plateau, he stands on the pedestrian overpass near Milo Stanfield as Milo throws a bicycle from it.
  • In Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?, he transits the elevator lobby at Massive Dynamic while the science team meets nearby.
  • In Amber 31422, he lingers fifteen feet to the left of Olivia's parked vehicle when Agent Francis informs Colonel Broyles that her car is parked near the Riverdale Mutual quarantine site.
  • In 6955 kHz, he stands with the crowd behind the crime scene tape after Peter discovers that the shapeshifter's dorsal memory chip is broken.
  • In The Abducted, he stands across the street from the diner as Olivia and Henry Higgins wait for breakfast and talk.
  • In Entrada, he stands outside of Penn Station, next to a taxicab, while Bolivia Dunham meets a shapeshifter to receive harmonic implants.
  • In Marionette, he stands across the street and reports on the Bishops as they enter Peggy's Malt Shop for a late night treat.
  • In The Firefly, he sets things in motion to prove to December that Walter has changed and would be willing to let Peter die when time comes.
  • In Reciprocity, he stands behind the crowd at the Port Authority as disabled shapeshifter Michael Baird is extracted from the pond.
  • In Concentrate And Ask Again, he saunters into Congressman Thorn's gala fundraiser just before Olivia intercepts the final assassin.
  • In Immortality, he looks out the window at the Empire Docking Station while Bolivia waits for Frank to return home.
  • In 6B, he walks past Chris and Sylvia en route to the Kimball's party.
  • In Subject 13, he walks into the lobby at Bishop Dynamic in the alternate universe, while Walter Bishop makes his way to his office.
  • In Os, he watches the crime scene with the gathered crowd outside the Metal Depository.
  • In Stowaway, he stands across the street from the science team as they begin to investigate Jim's suicide and Dana's survival.
  • In Bloodline, he watches Brandon intercept a blood sample in the hospital stairwell.
  • In Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, he strolls through the halls of the hospital after Bell/Olivia are wheeled in for treatment.
  • In 6:02 AM EST, he walks behind Bolivia and her nanny as they examine Bolivia's child in a square.
  • In The Last Sam Weiss, he walks on the sidewalk behind Peter after his expensive taxicab ride to New York.
  • In The Day We Died, he stands with his colleagues on the grounds of Liberty Island in this universe after Secretary Bishop, Bolivia Dunham and Brandon Fayette crossover from the alternate universe.
  • In Neither Here Nor There, he meets with his colleagues about the problem they created when they eliminated Peter from the timeline. He creates an electronic device from various components to influence Walter's memory. He is with a colleague near the crime scene following Danzig's murder.
  • In One Night In October, he enters the hospital recovery ward after Olivia chats with the disoriented Professor McClennan.
  • In Alone In The World, he walks in front of Walter's lab building as Olivia and Agent Lee begin to interview young Aaron Sneddon.
  • In Subject 9, he loiters at Reiden Lake as Peter returns to the current timeline from the bottom of the lake.
  • In Novation, he waits behind the crime scene perimeter outside of Karen Truss' house when Olivia arrives to join Agent Lee.
  • In And Those We've Left Behind, he walks past the front entrance of Ann's apartment building in Central Village just a few moments before the flash-fire time anomaly reverts five year-old Samantha back into an infant.
  • In Wallflower, he stands in the crowd behind the police tape when Olivia tells Broyles that she and the canine unit failed to locate Eugene.
  • In Back To Where You've Never Been, he gives Olivia a message while she waits at the opera house. He disappears before Olivia can get him to a hospital to treat the bloody wound in his chest.
  • Not sighted in Enemy Of My Enemy. His colleague walks behind Agent Lee in the plaza as the crowd hurries to collect the money that Jones is distributing during his evasion.
  • Not sighted in Forced Perspective. His colleague stands across the street from Olivia's apartment while Nina tends to Olivia inside.
  • Not sighted in Making Angels. His colleagues are covering his terrritory. They discover the device "September" lost at Reiden Lake, and recovered by Neil Chung.
  • In Welcome To Westfield, he watches Atlantic Flight 591 crash with the stranded motorists near Westfield, Vermont.
  • In A Better Human Being, he walks past the cashier's window at the gas station when Peter enters, looking for Olivia.
  • In The End Of All Things, he appears in Walter's Lab and collapses from his injury. Peter establishes a synaptic link with him and learns about the role both of them play in the future of mankind.
  • In A Short Story About Love, he reappears to Peter after Peter activates the Beacon device he recovered with clues left for him.
  • In Nothing As It Seems, he walks along the sidewalk behind Peter and Lee as they arrive at the home of the transmogrified Daniel Hicks.
  • In Everything In Its Right Place, he watches Captain Lee escorting Canaan to the secure transport vehicle seconds before the sniper attacks them.
  • In The Consultant, he climbs the stairs behind Jones when Broyles meets him to take the device for Liberty Island.
  • Not sighted in Letters Of Transit. Many other Observers appear as they have invaded the planet. Walter states that something 'unexpected' happened to September.
  • In Worlds Apart, he walks near Sally Clark on the shore of Sydney Harbor in New South Wales, one of Jones' planned seismic epicenters.
  • In Brave New World, Part 1, he watches the emergency response outside of the Clane Center from a semi-restricted view behind the ambulance.
  • In Brave New World, Part 2, he is lured and captured, then later shot by Jessica Holt in the shoulder.
  • In The Recordist, he appears as Donald in Massey's records. A photo shows him being taken away by two Observers.
  • In Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There, he appears as Donald in Walter's tape. He can be seen opening an apartment door and later making preparations in a room of the pocket universe while Walter talks to Michael.
  • In Anomaly XB-6783746, Walter is given the memories he lost of him by the Observer progeny. He was Donald in the days after The Invasion.
  • In The Boy Must Live, Walter, Peter, Olivia and Michael visit Donald in his apartment.
  • In Liberty, he is assembling the device that will defeat the Observers.
  • In An Enemy Of Fate, he visits December. Later, he wants to escort Michael to the year 2167 AD, but he is shot.


  • He is bald, with no eyebrows and wears a simple dark business suit, shirt, and tie. Outside he typically wears dark sunglasses along and a fedora on his head. He has little sense of taste and consumes extremely spicy-hot food. His demeanor is generally calm and disinterested.
  • He was in attendance at a presentation by Walter Bishop (Fringe Comic #1, 7th page - bottom left).
  • He was spotted during a NFL football game between the Giants and the Eagles, standing on the sidelines observing the game.
  • He was spotted during the episode of American Idol that aired before the episode Inner Child.
  • He was spotted at the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race in Texas, on April 5, 2009.
  • He was spotted in the stands at Yankee Stadium during the bottom of the fourth inning of the Indians/Yankees game on April 18, 2009.
  • He was spotted sitting in the stands at the 2009 MLB All Star Game.
  • Many of the network and studio staff associated with publicizing and distributing FRINGE refer to the Observers' brief, recurring cameo appearances on the show as, "Where's Baldo?" - a play on the title of the popular illustrated books, "Where's Waldo?"
Similarities To Other Fictional Characters

  The Observer shares some commonalities with the Marvel Comics character Uatu the Watcher. Uatu is a member of the alien race known as the Watchers whose people have taken an oath to observe other species but are sworn to never to interfere with their affairs. The Watchers are depicted as being Caucasian and bald. Uatu the Watcher assigned to earth frequently observes alternate realities. The series "What If" revolved around Uatu telling the audience about how events in an alternate reality differed from those of the mainstream Marvel Universe timeline.
  The Observer resembles The G-Man of the Half Life series of first-person shooter video games. Similarities include: Displays abilities beyond that of ordinary humans, does not seem to age, frequently carries a briefcase

—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Theories about these questions should be addressed at the associated episode page 

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

  • Did he exceed his authority at Reiden Lake?
  • What are his responsibilities beyond monitoring pivotal events?
  • Why can't he touch The Beacon (The Arrival)?
  • Do his binoculars have any abnormal/paranormal function?
  • What language is he using when he writes in his notebook?
  • What is his connection with pattern events?
  • Why did he receive photos of Walter in a briefcase from a courier?
  • What is his connection to the child from Inner Child?
  • Who is he reporting to when he uses his handheld communication device?
  • What 'unexpected' event happened to him?
  • Why does he consume large quantities of spicy foods?


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 SharpCharlieNick LaneHenry HigginsThomas NewtonSanford HarrisMitchell LoebJohn Scott
Additional Characters: Episodic CharactersMinor Characters