Here are the FringeBloggers clues and eastereggs round-up for episode 1.15 – “Inner Child”.
When the Child is first discovered by the demolition guys, his eyes are a shade of bright blue. Later in the episode, once he has started to adapt to his new surroundings, his eyes settle on a deep brown color. The adaptability of the Observers could offer some insight into how they are able to exist in our reality.
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
There were copious amounts of yellow in this episode – dynamite, tubes, wires, hard-hats, jumpers, M&M’s, air fresheners. Color has played a big part in the “Fringe” thematic so far, in particular, the ‘green, green, green, red’ sequence. In this episode we learn that Olivia hated the color yellow as a child because it reminded her of medicine — it’s possible that yellow was the color of her Cortexiphan tablets. Yellow is a color with plenty of symbolism in Western and Eastern culture. It is believed to have both positive and negative connotations — much like Olivia’s ability, perhaps?
Close-up eye shots are are big thematic of JJ. Abrams other TV Series “Lost” – particularly at the start of episodes, or prior to moments of exploration. The close-up of Olivia’s initially closed right eye is no doubt a homage to “Lost”. Usually these eye-shots allude to an introspective journey for the character involved. There’s little doubt that “Inner Child” featured such a journey for Agent Dunham. Here’s a list of the eye-shots in “Lost” — depending on how things play out, we might have to start compiling one for Fringe.
Continues after the jump..
As the above picture illustrates, Olivia gave the Child her “NorthWestern” sweatshirt to wear. To my mind, this reinforces the idea that the Child is also a metaphor for Olivia’s own ‘inner child’. It’s also worth mentioning that Massive Dynamic’s Nina Sharp graduated from NorthWestern. Dun, dun, dun-ham.
The Artist’s first victim had a Griffin tattoo on her left arm. Griffin‘s are fantastical creatures comprising an Eagle and Lion. Griffin’s are usually known for guarding treasure, and are symbols of divine power. This could tells us something about “the Child” — perhaps he’s part of a holy bloodline from another verse’ – Walter putting the ‘Halo’ device on him could also be a subtle hint? But the Griffin may also be the clue for the next episode. If we get any hybrid beasty things in 1.16, we’ll surely know.
Peter seemed somewhat distracted in this episode, particularly when he received a mysterious text message. Rachel has decided to stay in Boston and has also been apartment hunting (so that’s what she’s been doing with her days, whilst sis has been risking life and limb). She also looked quite sheepish, and wanted to tell Olivia something before Charlie interrupted their convo. All of which leads me to speculate that the Peter/Rachel vibe from earlier in the season — it wasn’t just a vibe, they’re up to something. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re seeing one another behind Olivia’s back..or maybe Peter’s just helping Rachel out in her personal life? Yeah, “that’s what she said”.
It has been argued by fans that the Child writes upside down – whilst this ‘may’ be true, it’s not necessarily correct. It could just be that the Child accommodated for Olivia’s perspective, because from her angle, the writing was the right side up. Talk about consideration!
I think it’s probably worth considering that the Child is unable to ‘talk’ yet. Because if he could, he surely would have spoken, since he was so helpful in other ways. I don’t think he was just being shy. That said, there’s so much we are yet to learn about communication in the Fringeverse.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
The scene when Elliot Michaels came to visit the Child features a mirrored effect. When Mr. Michaels first enters the room, Olivia’s notepad can be seen on the Child’s left-hand side, whilst the monitor and wires can be seen on his right-hand side. However, whilst Olivia and Mr. Michaels are standing outside of the boy’s room, the mirrored effect kicks in, and the notepad is now on the Child’s right-hand side, whilst the wires, medical equipment (etc) have shifted to his left. The Child’s posture also shifts, although his scar remains constant. This may tie into Peter’s later mention about remembering the toy’s scar being on the “other side” – maybe the fact that the Child’s scar remains on the same side during the mirrored effect is supposed to tell us something?
Ultimately though, I feel that the mirrored effect is the writers dropping further hints of multiple realities existing in the world of the show — a mirrored Universe, where the Child could be from. This would further give credence to my earlier theories, and back-up some of the references to the ‘Multiverse’, made in the ZFT Manuscript.
Possibly related to the above clue — Peter shows the Child his old G.I. Joe RoadBlock figurine and remarks at how he remembered “the scar being on the other side”. This is almost certainly a shout-out to the multiple reality theme that is seeping throughout the show. As I speculated here, before “Ability” aired — it’s possible that there are multiple “Little Hills”, just as it’s possible that there are other Peter‘s or Walter’s in some of these other realities. This could help explain Peter’s origins — maybe in another reality Peter’s toy did have the scar on the other side..
It’s also possible that the ‘scar’ mention was in reference to the Child’s forehead scar. Going back to the previous clue, it’s clear to see that although the shot was mirrored, the scar remained on the left side of his head. This ‘constant’, if you will, could allude to something that is ‘fixed’ between the his original reality and ours — perhaps it metaphorically denotes the ‘passageway’ between our worlds. A literal gash that wont heal over properly, thus allowing for the visitations and the ‘negative consequences’ of these visitations, as mentioned in the ZFT manifesto. Indeed, a “Roadblock” between verses is kinda what the ZFTees are advocating. Just food for thought.
What’s Up Doc?
Astrid is shows the Child what she really gets up to all day – a “vintage” episode of the Looney Toons cartoon series, Bugs Bunny. She says “it doesn’t get any better than this, right?” From what I can make out, this episode of Bugs Bunny is called Operation Rabbit (1952). There doesn’t appear to be many parallels between “Operation Rabbit” and “Fringe”, but I guess there are similarities between Bugs’ antagonist, Wile E. Coyote, and Walter Bishop. In so much as both characters are self professed ‘geniuses’ who cook up experiment after experiment, and are fanatical in their approach at capturing that elusive ‘white rabbit‘, regardless of how many times they have to go back to the drawing board. You can watch ‘Operation Rabbit’ here, if you really want. Go on, it doesn’t get any better than that, right?
Bye Bye Pluto
Whilst trying to remember how to correctly wire the halo using mnemonics, Walter mentions that there are 9 planets in the Solar System..”or at least there was”. It was only a few years ago that Pluto was deemed not good enough to be a ‘planet’, meaning that the Solar System only has 8 planets instead. It comes as no surprise that Walter would momentarily think that there were 9 planets, because Pluto’s de-planeting happened whilst he was in St. Claire’s. I doubt that Sumner let them stay abreast of developments in there.
On a wider note, this reference to our solar system might allude to how realities are governed. I mean, what are the “rules” for the Multiverse? At which point does a Universe become a reality within the Multiverse? We have real-world answers to this, of course, but the Multiverse is itself a relatively ‘new’ concept. So, in the world of the show it will be interesting to learn where our reality stands in relation to others.
Oh, and Pluto is also the Roman God of the Underworld. Since this episode deals with ‘underground’ chambers and ‘inner’ child’s, I think it’s worth mentioning.
Another candidate for the next episode clue — the meat packers that Olivia went to was called “Beacon Hill Meats”. This is possibly an allusion to the ‘Beacon’ (AKA cylinder) that appeared and disappeared in episode 1.04 “The Arrival”. Could we be seeing the Observer’s beacon blasting through the under-surface of a hill at some point soon?
I Can See Your Halo, Halo, Halo
I don’t know about you, but I can hear Walter saying “And They’re Watching” in the reversed audio. There’s some speculation on the language of the Child’s thoughts here, although it’s worth bearing in mind that the computer is merely translating the signals from the Child’s brain using a ‘set voice’. So it’s difficult to gain anything worthwhile from the accent. It’s also worth considering that the Child might not be thinking in an earthly language, but rather, ‘Observerish’. Or is it Obervserican? Hmm..
As the Child leaves Walter’s lab with Dr. Winick, his silhouette gradually gets bigger, whilst Winick’s disappears. This is a nice effect — reinforcing the idea that Lil’ Observer will one day become a big Observer. It might also allude to the ‘reality war’ mentioned by the ZFT book. Are we set to be obliterated in the ‘us vs them’ battle?
One Of Us. One Of Them
I do wonder though — what did they say feel to each other? Words were not spoken, but I’m guessing that A LOT was said. The music was kinda ominous as a rather determined-looking Observer strode purposefully to his next destination. Funny how both Walter and Olivia have bonded with their own respective Observers.
BTW, something tells me he hasn’t got M&M’s in that briefcase.