1.14 “Ability” – Clues & Easteregg Round-Up

Here’s the FringeBloggers clues and eastereggs round-up for episode 1.14 “Ability:

Belly’s Handy Work?

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

There’s something up with the hands in this episode. David Jones’ right hand is trembling throughout much of it – the initial consequence of his teleporting using Walter’s Diz-Rey. But Nina’s right hand (her bionic one) also has a “glitch”. To my mind, this parallel either alludes to the idea that Nina has also been Diz-Reying about the place (how did she get to London so fast at the end of “Safe” anyways?). Or, perhaps there’s more to this than meets the eye – seeing as we know that Nina’s right arm is bionic, could it be that Jones also has a bionic arm? Does using the Diz-Ray initially affect bionic parts? Is that why both of their right hands were in spasm mode? Do Jones and Nina share the same model of bionic arm, made by William Bell himself? Perhaps Jones IS William Bell. Um, I’ve run out of wild suggestions..carry on..

Actually, here’s some further speculation – seeing as Nina’s hand goes “back to normal” towards the end of the episode (I’m sure Olivia was waiting up for that very news), does that mean that Bell showed up to fix it for her? We didn’t see him do it of course, but as I inferred above..we do know that David Jones made an escape that night. We also know that both Jones and Bell were apparently in Germany near the beginning of the series.

Whatever the deal is, there’s SOMETHING being implied here.

Fast Cars

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

A reflection of the word “FAST” can be seen in Thomas Avery’s mirror. I’m wondering if this is the ‘next episode clue’ for 1.15. If it has something to do with speed or the opposite, then we’ll know.


1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

Thomas Avery references the 1963 movie “Charade” — the parallels between Charade and Fringe can be found in an earlier post here.

Observing the Observer

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

The Observer can be seen looking rather solemn as a terrified Thomas Avery barges past him. It’s almost as if his eyes are weary from seeing so much destruction and despair in our crazy old world. Or maybe he’s indifferent? Yeah, probably indifferent.

Hollywood Star fish

1.14 ABILITY Clues/EE's

As Thomas Avery suffocates to death on the sidewalk from being infected by the deadly $2 bill, the words “JHU” and “DELL” can be seen marked in the concrete beside him. According to our friend’s at FringeTR, JHU/Dell may have the following meaning: “Johns Hopkins University”, this university works with DELL in the IT area. And, all computers we see in episodes are DELL. Particularly, in FBI.

If this is the case then it’s some strange product placement, unless the creators just wanted to give a cryptic shout-out to those who would know what it means?

Thanks to ByRoN at FringeTR for the heads-up on that one.

ZFT Txt Msg

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

Conformation that ZFT was the ‘next episode clue’ for “Ability”. Here’s the ZFT pointer from episode 1.13.

Meta (For) Universe

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

The Land of Laughs by Johnathan Carroll, serves as a fantastic metaphor for the events that transpire in “Ability” – in particular the blurring of realities. See here for the individual post I made on this last week.

Key Lady

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

In the previous episode the old lady sitting next to Marshall Bowman offered an old wives tale about keys and bloody noses. I speculated over the possible meaning, and now I’m wondering whether it was a little shout-out to the key that unlocked Olivia’s ‘Pandoras box’ of tests..? Not sure though – maybe she was just an old lady on a plane. Yeah.

Death by Dollar

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

The slang for a $2 bill is “Deuce“, which is also one of the names for the Devil (or Diablo). The $2 bill is therefore thought by some to represent bad luck. It’s only right therefore that the $2 bills in this episode serve as both a metaphorical and literal bringer of evil – causing those who touch the infected bills to suffocate to death.

Who Blue This Would Happen?

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

Ah, an old favourite. What started off as a phenomenon that was initially difficult to notice, has grown into regular occurrence – the blue lights said a big ‘hello again’ in this episode. Most notably during the agent Kemp resuscitation scene and the light/bomb test towards the end of the episode (although mostly caused by the blue light from the helicopter – serving to create artificial horizontal strobes, like the ones present during many ‘genuine’ blue lights appearances).

I still think that they signify the convergence of dimensions (or the multiverse, as we’re now calling it), or the effect of observation from a far (observation which consequently changes ‘our’ reality)..or both!

Religious Imagery

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

Initially I thought this was just cool imagery – as a man of faith, it spoke to me, but I couldn’t figure out why. And then I saw it, the halo behind Olivia’s head, created by the Ferris wheel. Typically, Halo’s are used to depict sacred or holy figures. Considering the revelation of Olivia’s importance as a ‘saviour’, I’m convinced that this effect was intentional on the part of the shows creators. Subtle, but intentional. Continued below..

Jesus Christ - Halo

Of course, Olivia is not Jesus Christ. However the halo metaphor is one that fits right in line with Olivia’s seeming importance, and the spiritual themes which are rooted in this episode.

Interestingly, the Ferris wheel, also goes by another name: ‘Observation’ Wheel. Oh yes.

Box of Tricks

1.14 ABILITY - Clues/EE's

Well, we know what Olivia will be doing during the hiatus! She’s got another 9 tests to complete. You can find some of them online here. If you discover that you have an ability, you might want to check yourself for Cortexiphan..that is if Jones doesn’t get to you first.

Lines Blurs Reality

The above gallery contains a few screens of the lines from the ZFT manuscript that triggered Walter’s connection between his old typewriter and the elevated y. We posted a transcript of the page that Peter read, which can be found here.

As for Bad Robot shout-outs? There were 47 lights on both of the ‘light tests’. 47 being a reference to Page 47 from “Alias”. And was it just me, or did all the talk or Cortexiphan and special children remind anyone else of “Lost”?

We have a few more eastereggs that we’ll be posting between now and the April 7 return of Fringe. But we’re wanted back in the other universe..one that is slightly ahead of this one, yet oh so similar.

“FringeBloggers Are Here..and There

Til next time.


  1. MsDee says

    My daughter and I were watching the episode and she noticed numbers written on the table in the warehouse that contained the 2 dollar bill. It looks as if it is written in dust. The numbers were 14627. Is there a screencap of this out there somewhere and do the numbers incite any theories?

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    • says

      Nice spot MsDee.

      This was one of the eastereggs that we were going to include in another round-up, but here’s the screencap:

      The last 3 digits possibly refer to the flight number of the doomed plane from the Pilot episode – Flight 627.

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  2. Phaeton says

    I don’t think Jones is Bell simply because he appeared far more in awe of Walter than someone who had worked with him for years would be. As for Bell’s identity, I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly left-field revelation (if it ever happens!) simply because he has been too involved in both Walter’s work and Massive Dynamic to be a complete mystery.

    As for the ZFT manuscript, is there any indication that the typewriter was Walter’s or whether it was just left lying about the lab. If it’s the latter, surely if could have been writted by anyone who had access to the lab in its heyday?

    Finally, one other bit of idle speculation, although Walter’s nickname for Bell appears just to be a diminutive, Belli is the genitive case of the Latin for war (ie. “Of War)…

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    • says

      You make valid points, and I agree that my Belly/Jones speculation is convoluted as I haven’t worked out all of the pieces yet.

      One possible way that Jones could turn out to be Belly, is if he’s Belly from another universe/dimension. We can at least speculate that this is possible, since we know that the show will dabble in that area, and we know that “visitors” have travelled between the 2 (or more?) ‘worlds’.

      If we are to assume that there is also a “Little Hill” in the ‘other world’ (which would possible make the questions of “where does the gentleman live?” make a lot more sense), then maybe there are also parallel Bells, or Dunhams, or Bishop’s, in this other world. Maybe Jones is Bell from the world much like our own? Again, it’s only a working theory at this stage.

      You’re right, there is no solid evidence to suggest that the typewriters was Walter’s (although the implication that it is his is strong). My personal ‘wild card’ theory is that the typewriter actually belonged to his father (who I’m assuming is Robert Bishop, who’s grave we saw in 1.04), and that Robert could in fact be the autho, making Walter the heir to the throne, so to speak.

      Interesting line of speculation there – if “Belli” means “War” in Latin, do you think this could give us any further indication as to his identity? Perhaps if we add this to the original name given to Massive Dynamic; “Prometheus”, we can garnish further insight? Then again, William Bell has also been referred to as “the devil” by George Morales, so perhaps it just depends on the perspective of the characters in play?

      As an aside, the one piece of information that would make this a lot easier for us fans, is whether or not anyone in the ‘show’ has seen Belly since Walter was sent to St. Claire’s? We know that he exists in the comics and we know that he’s the head of the most fore-thinking company in the world, but is he a public figure, or does Nina keep up the appearances on behalf of MD? I guess what I’m getting at is; would it be possible that the Belly Walter and the world knew pre-St. Claire’s has ‘changed’..thus supporting the idea that Jones (or someone else who we have already seen) could infact be Belly.


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      • Phaeton says

        From the excerpt of ZFT that Walter read out where he described the travellers from the other dimension as “Beings much like us” I suspect that the dimensions aren’t going to be Sliders-style worlds where everyone has a doppelganger.

        As for Bell, since he’s obviously a major shareholder and key individual in a public company (Massive Dynamic’s “website” has an investor relations section) I can’t imagine that he’s managed to escape scrutiny completely. My feeling is that his absense to date has been because he’s been occupied with something. What that thing is, of course, open to speculation.

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  3. Alexis says

    I noticed when Peter and Olivia were at the bookstore talking with Marcam(?), behind him ther was a post it note and there’s a name/words and a number too I think. Could that be a clue too?

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  4. qiguai says

    i actually thought that nina’s bionic arm malfunction was perhaps a preliminary result of olivia’s newfound “power.” if her power includes disabling items of electronic nature [ie the lightboard] then it might have affected nina’s bionic arm as well. i seem to recall that olivia was staring pretty intently at nina’s arm…

    this would also explain why later, over the phone, the arm was perfectly fine. olivia wasn’t near nina. also, i don’t think nina explicitly mentioned anything about bell fixing her arm.

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  5. says

    Nice thinking! Certainly possible that Olivia’s “power” was affecting Nina’s arm.

    Although, there are several reasons why I don’t personally think this is the case:

    1. Why didn’t it happen to Olivia’s hand in any of her previous meetings with Olivia?

    2. They showed us David Jones’ hand shaking – we can assume that it was the result of using the Diz-Ray, and not Olivia’s “power”.

    3. No other electronic items went hay-wire. For example, Nina’s hand-held device seemed to work perfectly fine.

    4. Olivia only seemed to stare at Nina’s arm upon noticing it shaking.

    So I think that the hand shaking was a parallel to David Jones’ condition, and not Olivia’s ability itself. I think that Nina’s arm was possibly fixed by William Bell (or David Jones), hence why it was fine later on in the episode (after Jones had escaped).

    True, Nina didn’t mention Bell but the parallels with Jones situation/escape make me wonder – did Jones (Bell?) fix her arm, or, as an alternative idea, did the presumed improvement in Jones’ condition somehow improve her own arm? Are they connected, somehow..

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  6. Pattern Expert says

    hi while we are on the topic of nina sharp’s hands did anyone notice that in the episode “bound” i think it was… nina was in london after she had told olivia that she has a problem flying, because she as ‘robot arms’ earlier in the season… how did she get there? did she use walter’s teleporting machine?

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  7. John says

    Roco, you mentioned that Robert Bishop is Walter’s father…

    Robert died in 1944 per his gravestone…Walter was born 1946.

    Helluva gestation.

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    • says

      Hey John,

      Yeah, I just think it’s possible that Robert is Walter’s father. As you say, the dates don’t match up. However, given the multiple reality angle, I wonder if Robert could infact be from one of these other ‘worlds’ that are ahead of our own reality (thus possibly accounting for the apparent disparity in the dates, and potentially allowing him to be Walter’s father ‘of-sorts’) — especially given the fact that Rogue (who might be from the M-verse) seemed to know him.

      An alternative idea is that the date on the gravestone could, for whatever reason, be a decoy on the part of whoever buried him (I’m assuming Walter)?

      Of course, they could go down the more logical route by portraying Robert as Walter’s uncle, or something like that? I guess we need more to work with, but I would still wonder about Walter’s origins and whether or not he is of this world..

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