"Anomaly XB-6783746" (5.10)

"Anomaly XB-6783746" is a good episode, especially because of the amazing cliffhanger. I had, however, been hoping that we would finally find out why Michael had been underground prior to "Inner Child" (1.15), but we still do not. It is really interesting how Michael does not have technology in his head because that begs the question of why he is bald. After all, after Peter put the technology in his head, he started to lose his hair, which suggests that the tech is what causes hairlessness. I had been wondering why they didn't find any tech when they examined him back in "Inner Child" and now know why. It's also kind of cool how the Observers pick up sound from the glass around where Nina had been to find out what she had said because this is a callback to science that we see in the season 1 episode "The Road Not Taken" (1.19). We definitely, by the way, see traces of Walternate and the old Walter bleeding through Walter throughout this episode as he, more than once, refers to Michael as the subject, which does not make Peter very happy.

For a few years now, I have been hoping that Nina would finally be held accountable for all that she did - cloning Christopher Penrose and Tyler Carson, more than likely killing Mark Young and George Morales, and so forth. She is not exactly held accountable, but I love how the writers didn't just forget about all of that and addressed it within this episode. Nina admits that Massive Dynamic had black labs, and when Olivia says that he hadn't known that, Nina says that she is glad that she can still manage to surprise her. Olivia does not look happy about this at all. It is kind of annoying that Astrid is left all alone in the lab yet again. One would think that they would have learned their lesson after she was attacked near the end of "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" (5.06), but I am starting to sound like a broken record because I always complain when Astrid is left alone in the lab; it just doesn't make sense to me.

I figured early on in the episode that Nina might be in trouble, and sure enough, she definitely is, and Windmark is onto her. When she and the team go to the Massive Dynamic black lab, we see that an Observer's corpse is there and has been experimented on so that they would better understand Observers. I'm not 100% sure, but I think that that is the same Observer that Peter killed to remove the tech from back near the end of "An Origin Story" (5.05). Michael communicates with Nina after the team leaves and holds one of his hands to her face. I'm not completely sure what he told her, but considering what she eventually does, he probably told her that she would have to sacrifice herself, which she does. To avoid being read, Nina grabs a gun from a Loyalist and shoots herself in the head right in front of Windmark, after Michael had hidden himself in the container in which the Observer corpse is, in a compartment underneath the Observer.

This definitely came as a shock to me, and the team, especially Walter, doesn't take it very well, either. Walter really loses it. The team sees that Nina understood that she would have to kill herself in order for their victory against the Observers, and it is quite apparent that they appreciate her sacrifice. I think that this further supported my theory that Walter would die by the end of the series because not only does she, herself, sacrifice herself, but she says to Peter earlier in the episode that Walter understands that sometimes, one must make a sacrifice for something important. I have been saying all season long that Walter would probably die; in fact, I think that I have been saying that even longer than that, and this episode definitely helps give support to that idea. Blair Brown said shortly after this episode aired that she was very happy with how Nina's story ended. She certainly went out with a bang; that's for sure, and having her in this episode was very beneficial.

There is great dialogue between Nina and Windmark. After Windmark sees the Observer corpse, he says, "You... animals," and this really reminds me of how he called the sealant from "The Bullet That Saved the World" (5.04) "barbaric" as if he, himself, is not barbaric at all. It's not a major answer, but we do learn from this episode why it is that the Observers cock their head the way that they do. The angle allows in more stimuli, like a lizard. She says, though, that even after all of the evolution that lizards have gone through, they still are unable to form bonds, unable to love someone else, unable to understand something greater than themselves, much like the Observers. I love this, and we also learn a little bit about Michael. We learn that he was, more or less, a mistake that was designated as Anomaly XB-6783746, and that he was scheduled for termination but, for some reason, went missing. That's as much as we learn about Michael from this episode, but it's something, at least.

Throughout the episode, I kept hoping that Hastings would be okay and that he wouldn't die. We don't know him all that well, but he was definitely really scared, and I felt really sorry for him. Luckily, he ends up being fine, though, because just as a Loyalist comes into the interrogation room in which he is being held and says, "We're going to make an example of you," the team comes in, and Olivia says, "My thoughts, exactly." I love Olivia. It reminds me of when, earlier in the season, she says to an Observer, "Yeah, it's that type of gun." The cliffhanger of this episode is amazing and is why I think that the episode is so good; this is definitely one of the best cliffhangers of the entire series so far. Michael shows Walter that Donald is September, and this is quite the shocker. People had been speculating about this, but I wasn't on board with it because I couldn't understand why September would have hair, but sure enough, it is true, and I was totally taken aback. I give this episode 9 chromosomal mistakes, the ending being enough to support the high rating.

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