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The Observers are hairless pale men that typically wear grey suits and fedora hats. They are quiet, tending to mind their own business and interact only minimally with others.<ref>{{cite web | url =https://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-11-19-fringe19_ST_N.htm |title =Michael Cerveris of 'Fringe' relishes role of the Observer |date=  2009-11-19 |accessdate= 2011-08-13 |work= [[wikipedia:USA Today|USA Today]]|first = Gary|last = Levin}}</ref> Appearing in every episode, they tend to appear before significant events in history.<ref name=opensalonfirefly>{{cite web | url =http://open.salon.com/blog/mad_typist/2011/01/24/fringe_recap_ep_310_the_firefly |title =Fringe recap: Ep 3.10 "The Firefly" |date= 2011-01-24 |accessdate= 2011-08-13 |publisher= [[wikipedia:Open Salon|Open Salon]]|first = |last = }}</ref> They use advanced equipment, such as advanced communication devices and compact binoculars, and they employ an alien written alphabet. A distinguishing trait is their diminished sense of taste, and it is often shown that they can only taste very spicy food. Observers also have diminished emotions.
The Observers are hairless pale men that typically wear grey suits and fedora hats. They are quiet, tending to mind their own business and interact only minimally with others.<ref>{{cite web | url =https://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-11-19-fringe19_ST_N.htm |title =Michael Cerveris of 'Fringe' relishes role of the Observer |date=  2009-11-19 |accessdate= 2011-08-13 |work= [[wikipedia:USA Today|USA Today]]|first = Gary|last = Levin}}</ref> Appearing in every episode, they tend to appear before significant events in history.<ref name=opensalonfirefly>{{cite web | url =http://open.salon.com/blog/mad_typist/2011/01/24/fringe_recap_ep_310_the_firefly |title =Fringe recap: Ep 3.10 "The Firefly" |date= 2011-01-24 |accessdate= 2011-08-13 |publisher= [[wikipedia:Open Salon|Open Salon]]|first = |last = }}</ref> They use advanced equipment, such as advanced communication devices and compact binoculars, and they employ an alien written alphabet. A distinguishing trait is their diminished sense of taste, and it is often shown that they can only taste very spicy food. Observers also have diminished emotions.


The Observers are able to predict future events, and they are able to [[wikipedia:time travel|travel in time]] and across universes without difficulty because of their advanced technology. In "[[wikipedia:The End of All Things|The End of All Things]]", it is revealed that the group of Observers seen in the first four seasons are a team of scientists from the far future, or at least from one of humanity's many possible futures. This group of Observers traveled to their past to observe the events that led to their creation.
The Observers are able to predict future events, and they are able to [[wikipedia:time travel|travel in time]] and across universes without difficulty because of their advanced technology. In "[[wikipedia:The End of All Things|The End of All Things]]" (Season 4 Episode 14), it is revealed that the group of Observers seen in the first four seasons are a team of scientists from the far future, or at least from one of humanity's many possible futures. This group of Observers traveled to their past to observe the events that led to their creation.


The group of Observers seen in the show during the first four seasons had designated code names, with each individual referred to as a month of the year: September ([[wikipedia:Michael Cerveris|Michael Cerveris]]) appears in every episode in the first four seasons, even if only in a cameo shot, while December ([[wikipedia:Eugene Lipinski|Eugene Lipinski]]) and others appear with less frequency. In the episode named "[[wikipedia:August (Fringe episode)|August]]" a rogue Observer named August was shown ([[wikipedia:Peter Woodward|Peter Woodward]]) who sought to try to change the fate of a young woman contrary to the Observers' practice.<ref>{{cite episode |title=August|episodelink=August (Fringe episode)|series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:Dennis Smith (director)|Dennis Smith]] (director), [[wikipedia:J. H. Wyman|J. H. Wyman]] (writer), [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (writer) |network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate=2009-11-19|season=2 |number=8}}</ref>
The group of Observers seen in the show during the first four seasons had designated code names, with each individual referred to as a month of the year: September ([[wikipedia:Michael Cerveris|Michael Cerveris]]) appears in every episode in the first four seasons, even if only in a cameo shot, while December ([[wikipedia:Eugene Lipinski|Eugene Lipinski]]) and others appear with less frequency. In the episode named "[[wikipedia:August (Fringe episode)|August]]" ([[fringe:August_(episode)|Season 2 Episode 8]]) a rogue Observer named August was shown ([[wikipedia:Peter Woodward|Peter Woodward]]) who sought to try to change the fate of a young woman contrary to the Observers' practice.<ref>{{cite episode |title=August|episodelink=August (Fringe episode)|series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:Dennis Smith (director)|Dennis Smith]] (director), [[wikipedia:J. H. Wyman|J. H. Wyman]] (writer), [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (writer) |network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate=2009-11-19|season=2 |number=8}}</ref>


September is seen in both universes during the episode "Peter", both to cause Walternate to miss a critical observation for the cure for Peter's illness in the parallel universe, and to rescue Walter and Peter after they fell through the ice in the prime one.<ref>{{cite episode |title=Peter|episodelink=Peter (Fringe episode) |series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:David Straiton|David Straiton]] (director), [[wikipedia:Akiva Goldsman|Akiva Goldsman]] (story), [[wikipedia:J. H. Wyman|J. H. Wyman]] (story and teleplay) [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (story and teleplay) [[wikipedia:Josh Singer|Josh Singer]] (story and teleplay)|network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate=2010-04-01 |season=2 |number=16}}</ref>
September is seen in both universes during the episode "Peter", both to cause Walternate to miss a critical observation for the cure for Peter's illness in the parallel universe, and to rescue Walter and Peter after they fell through the ice in the prime one.<ref>{{cite episode |title=Peter|episodelink=Peter (Fringe episode) |series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:David Straiton|David Straiton]] (director), [[wikipedia:Akiva Goldsman|Akiva Goldsman]] (story), [[wikipedia:J. H. Wyman|J. H. Wyman]] (story and teleplay) [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (story and teleplay) [[wikipedia:Josh Singer|Josh Singer]] (story and teleplay)|network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate=2010-04-01 |season=2 |number=16}}</ref>


The episode "[[wikipedia:The Firefly (Fringe)|The Firefly]]" involves a series of events temporally engineered by September to force Walter to make a choice regarding Peter's safety as to prepare him for a future event. These events included bringing the son of Walter's favorite musician into the present to draw Walter's attention.<ref name=opensalonfirefly/><ref>{{cite episode |title=The Firefly|episodelink=The Firefly (Fringe)|series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:Charles Beeson (director)|Charles Beeson]] (director), [[wikipedia:J.H. Wyman|J.H. Wyman]] (writer), [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (writer) |network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate= 2011-01-21|season=3 |number=10}}</ref>
The episode "[[wikipedia:The Firefly (Fringe)|The Firefly]]" ([[fringe:The Firefly|Season 3 Episode 10]]) involves a series of events temporally engineered by September to force Walter to make a choice regarding Peter's safety as to prepare him for a future event. These events included bringing the son of Walter's favorite musician into the present to draw Walter's attention.<ref name=opensalonfirefly/><ref>{{cite episode |title=The Firefly|episodelink=The Firefly (Fringe)|series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:Charles Beeson (director)|Charles Beeson]] (director), [[wikipedia:J.H. Wyman|J.H. Wyman]] (writer), [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (writer) |network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate= 2011-01-21|season=3 |number=10}}</ref>


After Peter's disappearance in the third season's finale, "The Day We Died", the Observers remain aware that Peter has vanished, claiming he has been erased from existence.<ref name=daywedied>{{cite episode |title=The Day We Died |episodelink=The Day We Died |series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:Joe Chappelle|Joe Chappelle]] (director), [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (teleplay and story), [[wikipedia:J. H. Wyman|J. H. Wyman]] (teleplay and story), [[wikipedia:Akiva Goldsman|Akiva Goldsman]] (story) |network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate=2011-05-06 |season=3 |number=22}}</ref>
After Peter's disappearance in the third season's finale, "[[fringe:The Day We Died|The Day We Died]]" (Season 3 Episode 22), the Observers remain aware that Peter has vanished, claiming he has been erased from existence.<ref name=daywedied>{{cite episode |title=The Day We Died |episodelink=The Day We Died |series=Fringe |serieslink=Fringe (TV series) |credits=[[wikipedia:Joe Chappelle|Joe Chappelle]] (director), [[wikipedia:Jeff Pinkner|Jeff Pinkner]] (teleplay and story), [[wikipedia:J. H. Wyman|J. H. Wyman]] (teleplay and story), [[wikipedia:Akiva Goldsman|Akiva Goldsman]] (story) |network=[[wikipedia:Fox Broadcasting Company|Fox]] |airdate=2011-05-06 |season=3 |number=22}}</ref>


The episode "[[wikipedia:Letters of Transit|Letters of Transit]]" reveals that by the year 2609, the Observers had wreaked environmental havoc on the Earth - to the point that they decided to simply travel back in time to the early 21st century and colonize the planet before the environmental destruction occurred.  In the year 2015, the Observers invaded from the future, instituting "The Purge" and killing many humans. Although humans continued to resist well into the year 2036, the Observers largely succeeded in conquering the planet. The fifth season focuses on events in this future, where the Observers, run by Captain Windmark, maintain control on the remaining humans through their own abilities and the assistance of human Loyalists. A rogue group of humans, the Resistance, fight against the Observers, and have come to learn much about the Observers' abilities, including that many extend from an implant in the back of their neck that expands their mental processing power at the cost of emotions.  Due to coming from a much more polluted Earth from six centuries in the future, the unpolluted atmosphere of 21st century Earth is too "clean" for Observers to live in for prolonged periods of time (or perhaps, simply uncomfortable):  thus after conquering present-day Earth, the Observers set up terraforming factories to increase the level of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, which will cut short the life expectancy of regular humans by decades.
The episode "[[wikipedia:Letters of Transit|Letters of Transit]]" ([[fringe:Letters of Transit|Season 4 Episode 19]]) reveals that by the year 2609, the Observers had wreaked environmental havoc on the Earth - to the point that they decided to simply travel back in time to the early 21st century and colonize the planet before the environmental destruction occurred.  In the year 2015, the Observers invaded from the future, instituting "The Purge" and killing many humans. Although humans continued to resist well into the year 2036, the Observers largely succeeded in conquering the planet. The fifth season focuses on events in this future, where the Observers, run by Captain Windmark, maintain control on the remaining humans through their own abilities and the assistance of human Loyalists. A rogue group of humans, the Resistance, fight against the Observers, and have come to learn much about the Observers' abilities, including that many extend from an implant in the back of their neck that expands their mental processing power at the cost of emotions.  Due to coming from a much more polluted Earth from six centuries in the future, the unpolluted atmosphere of 21st century Earth is too "clean" for Observers to live in for prolonged periods of time (or perhaps, simply uncomfortable):  thus after conquering present-day Earth, the Observers set up terraforming factories to increase the level of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, which will cut short the life expectancy of regular humans by decades.


In the episode "[[wikipedia:The Boy Must Live|The Boy Must Live]]", September explains that the final emotionless version of the Observers were "born" out of an experiment performed by a Norwegian scientist in 2167.  That scientist was the first scientist to replace space in the brain usually designated for negative human emotions, such as rage, with brain cells tuned to increase intellect.  Many generations of humanity later, brain cells currently tuned for emotions (not just the bad ones but the good ones as well) were engineered to be intellectual brain cells.  Higher and higher intelligence was the ultimate goal.
In the episode "[[wikipedia:The Boy Must Live|The Boy Must Live]]" ([[fringe:The Boy Must Live|Season 5 Episode 11]]), September explains that the final emotionless version of the Observers were "born" out of an experiment performed by a Norwegian scientist in 2167.  That scientist was the first scientist to replace space in the brain usually designated for negative human emotions, such as rage, with brain cells tuned to increase intellect.  Many generations of humanity later, brain cells currently tuned for emotions (not just the bad ones but the good ones as well) were engineered to be intellectual brain cells.  Higher and higher intelligence was the ultimate goal.


The experimenter modified human genes to displace certain emotional facilities for improved mental abilities, and the success of the experiment eventually led to the development of near-emotionless humans with high levels of intelligence that became humanity's evolutionary future - aka "the Observers." Without emotions, there was no urge to procreate, and thus the Observers developed technology to artificially grow new Observers using Observer DNA via maturation chambers.
The experimenter modified human genes to displace certain emotional facilities for improved mental abilities, and the success of the experiment eventually led to the development of near-emotionless humans with high levels of intelligence that became humanity's evolutionary future - aka "the Observers." Without emotions, there was no urge to procreate, and thus the Observers developed technology to artificially grow new Observers using Observer DNA via maturation chambers.


During the out of body growth process, Observers were grown from embryo into fully matured adults. Sometimes, the growth process would create genetic anomalies; typically, the Observers would destroy any anomalies.  The Observer September encountered one such anomaly - Anomaly XB-6783746 - and was affected when he learned he was the "genetic parent." September did not destroy his progeny but developed a strong desire to save his son - Anomaly XB-6783746 - after scans revealed that the Observer was even smarter than mature Observers while possessing all of the emotions sacrificed so easily starting in 2167.  His son, later named "Michael" by human caretakers during the initial Earth invasion by the Observers- possessed both human emotions and Observer-level intelligence. September then hid the child in the early 21st century (which was humanity's future but centuries before September's time). The series' finale concluded with Walter's successful effort to transport "Michael" to 2167 to convince the Norwegian scientists to abandon any efforts for reproductive medicine which might involve sacrificing emotions.  These emotions are the backbone of humanity's conscience and moral compass and when humanity loses its collective moral compass in the pursuit of raw intelligence  - we become the cold and calculating husks deemed "the Observers."
During the out of body growth process, Observers were grown from embryo into fully matured adults. Sometimes, the growth process would create genetic anomalies; typically, the Observers would destroy any anomalies.  The Observer September encountered one such anomaly - [[fringe:Michael|Anomaly XB-6783746]] - and was affected when he learned he was the "genetic parent." September did not destroy his progeny but developed a strong desire to save his son - [[fringe:Michael|Anomaly XB-6783746]] - after scans revealed that the Observer was even smarter than mature Observers while possessing all of the emotions sacrificed so easily starting in 2167.  His son, later named "Michael" by human caretakers during the initial Earth invasion by the Observers- possessed both human emotions and Observer-level intelligence. September then hid the child in the early 21st century (which was humanity's future but centuries before September's time). The series' finale concluded with Walter's successful effort to transport "Michael" to 2167 to convince the Norwegian scientists to abandon any efforts for reproductive medicine which might involve sacrificing emotions.  '''These emotions are the backbone of humanity's conscience and moral compass and when humanity loses its collective moral compass in the pursuit of raw intelligence  - we become the cold and calculating husks deemed "the Observers."'''


In the series finale, December explains that all twelve members of the science team had begun to experience varying degrees of human emotion, and that they had all agreed to keep these emerging emotions to themselves, in order to remain undetected by the other Observers in the future. They were also unaware that their mission of observation was also a precursor to the invasion that would see the Observers take over in 2015.
In the series finale, December explains that all twelve members of the science team had begun to experience varying degrees of human emotion, and that they had all agreed to keep these emerging emotions to themselves, in order to remain undetected by the other Observers in the future. They were also unaware that their mission of observation was also a precursor to the invasion that would see the Observers take over in 2015.