2.17 White Tulip


THE TEAM INVESTIGATES A POWERFUL CASE WITH DEADLY CONSEQUENCES ON AN ALL-NEW “FRINGE” THURSDAY, APRIL 15, ON FOX

Peter Weller (“RoboCop”) Guest-Stars

When passengers aboard a commuter train appear to have died a still death, it seems that a switch was flipped because all cell phones, mp3 players, laptops, batteries and bodies have been drained of power. As the Fringe team assembles at the bizarre crime scene, Peter remains suspicious that something is amiss with Walter, who is struggling to keep the unimaginable a secret. When the investigation leads them to Alistair Peck (guest star Weller), a very powerful man who has tremendous energy with severe consequences, an ironic set of circumstances surface in the all-new “White Tulip” episode of FRINGE airing Thursday, April 15 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FR 2.17) (TV-14 V)

Cast: Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham; Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop; John Noble as Walter Bishop; Lance Reddick as Phillip Broyles; Blair Brown as Nina Sharp; Jasika Nicole as Astrid Farnsworth

Guest Cast: Peter Weller as Alistair Peck; Laara Sadiq as Carol Bryce; Kristen Ross as Arlette Turling; Andrew McIlroy as Professor Lime

Tonight’s Fringe features a special guest in the shape of Peter Weller (AKA RoboCop). He talks about his experience on the show in this interview via SciFI Wire (spoilers for tonight’s episode):

According to Weller, the character he plays, Alistair Peck, is actually “a romantic. It is a guy who is going back in time, and he’s making some serious sacrifices in terms of other peoples’ livelihood and well-being to get back to save his wife from dying in a ridiculous … mistake that he made,” said Weller during a conference call with journalists yesterday. “So he’s trying to find redemption and go back to the only person that really means anything to him. It is a complete … I don’t know. It’s just tremendously romantic and very moving. That alone was enough to make me want to jump on it.”

“I thought it was fantastic, and it’s just rare,” he said, adding: “I just got to say it is rare that you see episodic television that has, like, a four-page acting scene. It is usually a lot of guns and cars these days, or a lot of police work, but this is different, man, unique and wonderful.”

Weller acknowledged he enjoyed the time-traveling aspect of his character and the way it was handled on the series. “The ‘What if we did this?’, the whole thing outside of our sort of linear experience, and that’s the great gift of science fiction,” he said. “So it’s fun. What I can tell you? It’s just if you have any kind of inventive mind at all you go racing with it. I just think it was great. Also, particularly the way they’re handling time travel, what the electrical field does around the person who is time traveling, sucking the energy out of the physical space where one lands, such as the energy gets re-routed. It is just fabulous to me. I don’t understand science that much, I’m not a scientist, I’m not very good at mathematics, but science fiction is just extraordinarily imaginative trope.”

Since then, he’s become a fan of the show himself. “The reason why I love Fringe, and not just because I was in it, is that it goes past the surface adventure of science and sort of plumbs the responsibility and accountability of science fiction,” he said. “Where the human being goes with it, what he has to suffer and what joy and also misery that he pulls out of messing with, if you will, fate or destiny, as the Greeks say, or a choice or the order of the natural world … that’s what Fringe does. It takes you a little bit deeper. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, a lot deeper than the usual science fiction program. It is all entertainment, but Fringe has an inquiry into what it means to be human along with this, and that’s what really turns me on to this show.”

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  1. MRG says

    WOW! How completely amazing!!! I know it probably wasn’t “myth-y” enough for some people….*ahem Roco* ;) But what amazing science fiction! The back and forth of the time traveling! Can’t wait to get in on the discussions for this one!

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  2. Frobozz says

    Oh it was mythy enough. It doesn’t have to cross-reference everything back to “Pilot” to be relevant. It was great to see TWO fringe scientists crossing paths like this.

    A good episode…two mad scientists violating the laws of nature to follow their heart’s desire. And this time Walter gets the confirmation he needs from “god”, his fellow scientist.

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  3. Bishop Takes Queen says

    I was a little worried about a third of the way through, as I had deja vu of my own when this ep felt exactly like “Monday” from the X-Files (which in turn was just like numerous other “Groundhog Day”-esque plots). But the emotional turmoil/baggage being toted around by Walter, mixed with the meeting of the two minds in the MIT classroom, really brought “White Tulip” around. John Noble was magnificent in this one (as he usually is). I could feel Walter’s pain as he struggled with his decision; it caused me to dwell on the nauseating feelings & the depression involved when you absolutely must tell a truth that will only cause pain. So, mission accomplished.

    Also, it was good to see Officer Murphy again. ;)

    And how can I forget the preview for next week…I CANNOT WAIT!

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    • bdp says

      Agreed. It turned out to be a really good episode and Walter was fantastic but I have to say, like you, I can’t wait for next week. In fact for me the best part was the preview for next week…it looks like it’s going to be HUGE!

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    • Page 48 says

      Buffy got caught in an endless loop at the Magic Box in S6’s “Life Serial”. There was also the apparently unloved “Day Break”, (starring X-Filers Mitch Pileggi and Adam Baldwin), which suffered an undeserved (IMO) early cancellation back in 2006.

      This was the 2nd episode in a row, which, but for the generosity of the writers, could have been more of the usual standalone. I’m glad the effort is being made to move the story forward during an otherwise “case of the week” installment. Now, a decision has to be made with regards to coming clean with Peter. A couple more episodes of “will we or won’t we” and “Fringe” will start to smack of “Young & The Restless”.

      Cute of Bad Robot to pull the big red ball in the sky out of mothballs.

      Here it is, a red balloon, I think of you and let it go.

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  4. Anjali says

    What a wonderful episode! Kudos to the writers for this one.. they took a risk, and it paid off!!! Fantastic stuff From Noble and Weller. This was just tooo good.

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  5. says

    Well, I can’t say what Walter shared w/the other “Fringe” scientist, but that scene with the two of them was absolutely outstanding! Then Walter getting an answer to prayer was awesome! Science going along w/spirituality is nice to see.

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    • says

      ;-)
      Exactly this going to together of science and spititually was a pain in the ass for me. Don’t get me wrong the episode was great, very poetic, but still for me science and spirituality just don’t work together.

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      • says

        Oh, Ortography, my ortography: “of science and spititually” –> “of cience and spirituality”.
        I think I shouldn’t write late at night…

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      • JS says

        I would respectfully disagree. Science and spirituality go together very well, especially where the theoretical sciences are concerned. Science actually asks many of the same questions any spiritual or faith-based person would ask.

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        • degnirf says

          its not that they dont go together, its just that its BEEN DONE TO DEATH.

          i got really annoyed with this, oh im goin against gods will!!! nooooo!!!!

          its old hat.

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          • mlj102 says

            It’s been done so many times because it’s a very real issue that is constantly present. People can relate to that. It’s the kind of thing that makes people think. It’s no different than any other theme that has been done over and over again in television shows. Like the whole time travel concept — people have mentioned several different shows (X-Files, Star Trek, etc) that have done episodes surrounding time travel or temporal anomalies, but that didn’t make this episode any less fascinating or effective. Fringe took a very old concept and still managed to make it their own. The concepts aren’t going to change, but the way they are addressed and handled and portrayed is what makes it a success or a failure. And I think Fringe managed to pull off a big success, both with the concept of time travel, and the concept of religion vs. science.

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            • degnirf says

              Yes, but its nearly always done in such a way to suggest that anything that goes wrong with a grand scientific scheme is ALWAYS due to God, or punishment from God, which I think is a pretty damaging way of thinking about the universe, for example – see most of human history.

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              • mlj102 says

                Oh, okay, I understand what you’re saying now, and that makes more sense. I agree that it is rather frustrating and even damaging, as you put it, that often times the first reaction people have is to blame all the bad things that happen on God. Although I must say that, in this case, it was rather logical for Walter to come to this conclusion. He knows deep down that what he did was wrong. Anyone who believes in God — as Walter said he started to after taking Peter — would expect that when you do something wrong, especially something as serious as what Walter did, a punishment will follow. I actually thought it was really neat that he has been seeking God’s forgiveness.

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        • says

          It was just a feeling from my guts, I didn’t want to say that that didn’t work storywise (which absolutely did work). It just doesn’t work in any context with me, because I found the mix of science (rational) and spiritually (irrational) so strange.
          Basically I just wanted to point out that there are people for whom this mix doesn’t work so well as for most people.
          It’s like a cinematographical style, either it works for somebody or it doesn’t.

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          • mlj102 says

            “It just doesn’t work in any context with me, because I found the mix of science (rational) and spiritually (irrational) so strange.”

            That’s actually what I liked about it. Most shows/movies that choose to address the whole science vs. religion theme seem to focus on the idea that the two can’t exist together. You’re either a person of faith or a person of science — you can’t be both. But I believe that it is certainly possible to be both. And I like how this episode (and others, like Unearthed) highlights that. Really, the two ideas go together quite well. I liked the quote from Peck when he pointed out that “God is Science. God is Polio and Flu vaccines, and MRI machines and artificial hearts.” Not necessarily the concept that science itself is God, but that God works through science. All these great things that science allows us to achieve is actually made possible through God. I thought it was quite refreshing that Fringe has shown that science and religion can work together and that there is room for both of them in a person’s life.

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            • says

              I actually took Peck’s sentence as God would be the “Wonders of The World” kind of things and that science has taken it’s place by explaining them. But I think these sentences were made to talk about them.
              “All these great things that science allows us to achieve is actually made possible through God.” – I would certainly not count polio in that category… ;)

              I have to say that I’m an Atheist; and I generally despise all religions (the religion not the religious) – so my feeling could have originated in that area. Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach is one who I think got it right with religion in his work.
              The whole thing of some scientists being religious is just strange to me. On the one hand believing that everything is explainable and on the other hand believing in something unexplainable just doesn’t work in my mind. I gotta add if you’re a religious scientist this is not meant to attack you…
              Maybe some scientists need religion to get “ethical bordering” of their experiments, or to assure themselves that even if nature is not really empathetic with life, there is some love – again I don’t get it…
              I think you can be both (I’m neither btw), but one can also be a killer and safe somebodies life… – still it would be a strange mix.
              I absolutely know that I’m in the minority with that feeling so I won’t take it very bad on the writers if they build stuff like that in, but I wanted to point out that there are people out there who don’t like it (just for the sake of harmony?).

              Again to get really sure nobody is getting this one wrong: I’m not trying to attack anybody.
              Well, that was long…

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              • mlj102 says

                ““All these great things that science allows us to achieve is actually made possible through God.” – I would certainly not count polio in that category…”

                Actually, if I interpreted the quote correctly, he was referring to vaccines for both polio and the flu, not saying it as two separate things, “polio” and “flu vaccines.”

                “I have to say that I’m an Atheist”
                Actually, that doesn’t really surprise me — I had somewhat suspected that based on your comments…

                And, I agree that discussions like the one between Walter and Peck were meant to generate further discussion. Don’t worry — you presented your opinions in a very respectful manner, and I don’t think anyone could interpret what you said as being hostile or attacking anyone at all. I think you stated your opinions and beliefs, which you’re more than welcome to share.

                “Maybe some scientists need religion to get “ethical bordering” of their experiments”

                I think this is certainly part of it… If you look at Walter, for example, when he didn’t believe in God, he didn’t seem to have had much regard for ethics. Look at the way he dismissed Carla’s protests about his decision to travel to the other side. Without a belief in God, there was no reason for ethics — just like he said: no boundaries, no limitations, because there’s no reason for them — because science gave him the ability to do something, there was no reason not to do it. But faith in a higher being and a higher power would provide that reason for ethics.

                But I don’t think that some scientists decide to believe in God simply because they have to have ethics. I also don’t think scientists choose to believe in God simply so they can use God as a reason for the things they can’t explain or don’t understand.

                I think MRG did a really good job on explaining the balance between science and faith, and I’m actually going to comment on his/her (?) comment, so I’m going to continue this discussion below…

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          • MRG says

            I think its a commen misconception to pitt science against spirituality/religion/faith. Science isn’t always rational, its just ultimately provable, reproducible, and predictable.

            Looking back in scientific history, it wasn’t rational to believe that the earth revolved around the sun, or that there were microscopic particles called germs responsible for illnesses and such. Yet, these concepts were ultimately proved to be true, over and over again, and now we use this knowledge as the basis of other ideas and to predict outcomes. Furthermore, a fair amount of scientific discovery requires faith in basic priniciples, even when you can’t always prove your hypothesis.

            Believing in a higher power or having faith isn’t irrational. We just can’t prove that god exists, or know how the existance of a higher power fits into a world view. God/religion has long been used to explain things that we don’t otherwise have an answer to. Does that mean that there’s no scientific explanation for those things? Or that once we find it, that god ceases to exist?

            mlj- not to sound harsh, I sometimes think the whole ‘god works through science’ thing is a bit of a cop out. At its basis, that idea is still a religious/faith based one. If god didn’t exist then either would science? or science only exists because of god? I don’t know.

            all that being said, I agree with mlj, This very discussion we are having is why this theme is so popular. Its about reconciling god and science, but not in context of the universe, but the context of ourselves. Given its origins in logic, science is without inherent good or evil, morality or ethics. What determines those things is our internal moral compass. Perhaps, that’s where religion, faith, and god really come in….helping each of us determine the difference between right and wrong.

            The question becomes then, what determines each of our moral compass: science or religion?

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            • mlj102 says

              MRG — I really like what you said and I think you did a great job of explaining how science and faith work together.

              “Furthermore, a fair amount of scientific discovery requires faith in basic priniciples, even when you can’t always prove your hypothesis.”

              Well said, and I completely agree! Even scientists occasionally have to take a leap of faith.

              “I sometimes think the whole ‘god works through science’ thing is a bit of a cop out. At its basis, that idea is still a religious/faith based one. If god didn’t exist then either would science?”

              Well, first off, I understand that your explanation focused more on science and how sometimes science requires faith, but I think any explanation for how God and science go together will ultimately be based in religion/faith because belief in God does require faith — you’re not going to be able to talk about God without needing to rely on faith. And, to answer your question, technically it’s true that if God didn’t exist then science would also cease to exist. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that most religions believe that man exists because of God, and if there were no God, then man would cease to exist. So, going back to your question, if God didn’t exist, then man wouldn’t exist, in which case, science wouldn’t exist either… right?

              I think you can say that God works through science because, if you believe in God, you would believe that God makes things possible. Technically, God makes science possible. Perhaps it is because I am a person of faith and I believe in God, but I find it hard to believe that everything would work out just perfectly and everything would just happen to have an answer and make perfect sense on it’s own or by chance. If there was no God to organize the world and everything that science covers, I would think that there would be something that doesn’t make sense, something that doesn’t work right — some amount of chaos, which science would be unable to explain. The very fact that science exists — the fact that we can research and find explanations to questions — is evidence that God exists. So, yes, God and Science are connected. In my opinion.

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              • MRG says

                mlj- great comments as always.

                I too am am spiritual/religious. As you may have gathered from some of my posts, I also am a woman ( ;) since you were wondering) of science. I truely, deeply, believe in both.

                I wouldn’t say I was a creationist though. I don’t necessarily believe that we are all created by god or that god is responsible for scientific discovery. If that were the case then, why would god allow things like nuclear weapons to be invented? I do believe in the big bang, chaos theory, evolution, survival of the fittest; all valid, provable, predictable theories on the creation of the universe and man. But that doesn’t mean that I also don’t believe in god. Furthermore, just to play devil’s advocate…..if you didn’t believe in god, science would still exist. But not believing in science doesn’t mean the laws of physics don’t apply to you.

                I have studied many different religions, and am myself hindu. Perhaps its because of these teachings, I don’t find the idea of science and religion at odds with each other. The thing is, if I only used god’s will to explain the reason why things happen…I would lose the drive for discovery, the reason to try a little harder to cure/save someone. But then again, if I lost my faith….I don’t think I could sleep at night seeing the things one sees, surrounded by tragedy. But that’s just how I feel.

                Scientists can separate religion/faith from science. These ideas can be mutually exclusive and yet, not contradictory. But again, there is no right or wrong. These are just my beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their own belief system. whether its science, god, or rutabegas. :) Mankind has been trying to answer these questions since god created the earth or since the the first two quarks and gluons collided, take your pick. :) We probably won’t ever know the answer, but it sure is fun trying!

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                • mlj102 says

                  You pose some interesting questions, MRG:

                  “If that were the case then, why would god allow things like nuclear weapons to be invented?”

                  I would have to double check the comments to make sure, though I’m pretty sure that you yourself are the one who pointed out that science itself is inherently neutral — it’s how we as humans use it that causes it to be used for good or bad. So God makes science possible, and then we as humans choose to use it, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad.

                  I believe that God has given us the gift of choice and He isn’t going to step in and prevent us from making choices. God allows things like nuclear weapons to be invented because He allows us to choose. So if mankind chooses to use science to help develop things such as nuclear weapons, while that particular use of science is used to create immense destruction, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t come from God. The science itself was neither good or bad, but we made the choice to develop it and use it for bad.

                  “The thing is, if I only used god’s will to explain the reason why things happen…I would lose the drive for discovery, the reason to try a little harder to cure/save someone.”

                  I agree in that I believe that simply attributing everything that happens — good and bad — to “God’s will” is a bit of a cop out and is a bit like the concept of fate — it’s inevitable and bound to happen, no matter what you do. While I believe that God’s will is a very real factor in life, as I’ve said, I also believe that we are given the ability to choose and that God will never take away that ability. So when bad things happen, you can call it God’s will in that He allowed people to make those choices that lead to that bad thing, but ultimately it was the choices of those people that led to those bad results. God can’t be fully blamed for that. Consequently, I think it’s rather foolish (not trying to offend anyone here…) to claim that everything is God’s will, so no matter what you do, things will end up a certain way, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. As you said, that would quickly take away any reason to keep trying and striving to accomplish things because, what’s the point if the result is already set in stone despite what you do? That’s not to say I don’t believe in God’s will — I definitely think it’s a real thing and that God has a plan — but it’s not right to put all the blame/responsibility on God when we individually all have the ability to choose and we are responsible for those choices and, therefore, the consequences.

                  I’ll humor you as you play devil’s advocate… :)

                  First: “if you didn’t believe in god, science would still exist.”

                  That’s true, but just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist, so that line of reasoning doesn’t really prove anything. Which then leads to:

                  “But not believing in science doesn’t mean the laws of physics don’t apply to you.”

                  And not believing in God doesn’t mean that God’s laws don’t apply to you — you just choose to ignore them and dismiss them and find other things to explain those things that happen. Just like if you didn’t believe in science, you would find other things to explain the laws of physics that you experience.

                  Whether or not you believe in God or science isn’t really the issue. Just because you don’t believe in God is no guarantee that He doesn’t exist and is no longer a factor to be considered. What it all comes down to is whether or not God actually exists. And since that is all a matter of faith, it will continue to be a topic which people debate about indefinitely.

                  Certainly I respect you and your beliefs and I appreciate you sharing your perspective on the matter — this has certainly been a fascinating discussion!

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                  • says

                    As everybody is laying out their beliefs to public, as I’m the one who kinda caused the discussion, I should also say what I think:
                    I’m neither a man of science nor a man of religion/faith or whatever you wanna call it. Well, what am I then? I’m a nihilist, as I looked to the world for years I don’t see any reason in it. I really think (call it believe if you want) that there is no reason, no sense, no “greater will”, no final explanation. Still I can sleep pretty well, and most other nihilists can do that too.
                    What led me too this thinking are the typical points. But also the thought: If I can never know if a god exists, why spent time thinking about it? So I’m thinking there is no reason (99.9% to throw a number out there) but I don’t completely denie the possibility that a god esxists. But I also think that if he exists and wants people to belief in him, he would be throwing signs (e.g. like in Lost) all over the place – but I don’t see any, so there probably is no god…
                    Reading what you wrote, you both seem to think that religion is required to have ethics – if that would be true I would be running around acting completely egoistical. But I’m still trying to do good things (=helping people as there wishes go, as far as other wishes are not denied) and my reasoning for that is compassion because I know/can imagine what it’s like without help. I also think that the cause can not be greater then the goal – for example not killing two people to save one (if those are not trying to hurt that one).
                    “Believing in a higher power or having faith isn’t irrational.” – I think that believing in something nobody can and will never be able to proove is very irrational. But irrational is not to be considered bad for all. Also I think that science is very rational as you only operate on logic and not on compassion in the actual scientific act.
                    My ciritic on faith+science goes so far as mixing both of theme together will ultimately lead to the end of one of them. Because you either reach a state where you explain pretty everything and there’s only this tiny room for religion which leads to the deconstruction of it’s basics or you reach the border of science and “preach” that there is only religion as the explanation, so in my mind they are on a course of crash.

                    “God/religion has long been used to explain things that we don’t otherwise have an answer to.” – So my question is: Why do we need to have an answer? I don’t need one necessarily… In my mind people are kind of addicted to answers, where they are not necessarily needed (meaning not helping them with there lifes). Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t care about the answers – I just don’t need them.

                    I hope this makes some things more understandable then before, even if it went really long.

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                    • mlj102 says

                      I really don’t want to turn this into a religious discussion, so forgive me if that’s what it sounds like, but you made a couple of comments that I want to address briefly…

                      “But I also think that if he exists and wants people to belief in him, he would be throwing signs (e.g. like in Lost) all over the place”

                      Signs or sure proof that God exists would take away the need for faith, and kind of the whole purpose is that we do need to act on faith. We need to make choices based on faith — that’s how we gain experience. If we knew for a fact that God existed, that would essentially make our choices for us and take away from the whole opportunity to learn by having to act on faith.

                      I believe that there are signs that God exists, but they are subtle — meaning they still require faith — and so many people just dismiss them. For example, scriptures, such as the Bible, if true, would be proof that God exists. But it’s still a matter of faith for a person to believe that those scriptures are true. But someone who doesn’t believe the Bible to be legitimate scripture would not consider it a sign that God exists.

                      “you both seem to think that religion is required to have ethics…and my reasoning for that is compassion because I know/can imagine what it’s like without help.”

                      I should rephrase — religion isn’t ESSENTIAL for ethics to exist, but I think it certainly contributes more reason for ethics to exist. As you pointed out, a person without religion can still have ethics. But I think having faith and religion would make those ethics stronger. I’m not trying to say you have weak ethics because you aren’t necessarily religious, but just that without religion — without a purpose — it’s left more up to the individual. A person without religion could respond like you do, and still have compassion and be practical in making decisions so as not to hurt people, or a person without religion could respond like Walter did and show very little regard for ethics at certain moments. I think religion gives greater reason for ethics. Like you said, you don’t see any reason or sense in the world. If you don’t believe in any “greater purpose” to life and the world, then can’t you see how that way of thought could make it easier for a person to justify that it doesn’t matter what they do or what consequences arise, because there’s no purpose in life to begin with? If I thought that there was no purpose in life, what’s to stop me from doing whatever I wanted to do, regardless of who it may hurt? Compassion, yes. But selfishness and arrogance tend to overrule compassion. And those things tend to vary among individual people, how they were raised, etc. But religion would give additional reason to limit my actions and not do certain things. If you believe in a higher purpose, then that could cause you to rethink your actions despite your arrogance or selfishness.

                      “So my question is: Why do we need to have an answer?”

                      If you don’t have an answer, you’re acting on faith. You just believe that for some reason or another, it works out. I don’t want to offend you here, so hopefully this won’t come across the wrong way, but essentially, you’re contradicting yourself. You want a sure sign — a sure answer — that God exists, and without that proof, you’re not willing to believe there is a God. But at the same time, you are willing to accept that things in life don’t always have an answer or a reason – or at least not one that you are aware of. You can still go on with your life, believing that things are a certain way, even if you don’t have an answer for it. So why do you require an answer for some things (God exists) but not other things? Why are you willing to have faith in some things, but not willing to have faith in God? Why is it any more necessary for you to have an answer that God exists than it is necessary for you to have an answer about some deep scientific issue?

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                  • MRG says

                    This has been a fantastic philisophical discussion! I just want to make sure that both you and Stefan know that my comments etc in no way shape or form are meant to try and persuade people to my views, or try and dismiss anyone else’s views. Some of my comments are things I believe, some of them are me just proffering another side of an argument and positing a new scenario.

                    It has been a great discussion all around though, so thank you both for all your thoughts!!! :)

                    And THAT folks, is why Fringe continues to be so great.

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                    • mlj102 says

                      I could rephrase everything you just said in my own comment, but since that would be unnecessary, I’ll just say I completely agree with everything you said in this last comment. It’s been a fascinating discussion and thanks to everyone who participated!

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                    • says

                      First things first: My comment was only meant to tell you how I think, not to object anything you said.

                      Sorry that I got both of you wrong on the ethics thingy, came over the wrong way to me.

                      mlj, there seems to be a basic misunderstanding. You seem to think I want to be believe in god, but I fundemantaly don’t want to. What I wrote down was the “if”s that would make me want to believe even though I probably couldn’t. Look at me like Olivia: I would have to become willing before I even could.
                      This is not meant to offend anyone even if it may sound harsh: The idea of a god in the abrahamistic sense (all-mighty, all-knowing and basically good) just appears extreme silly to me – just like out of bed tale for a child, who is tried to sleep well. Before I would belief in a god in this sense I’m going out to search for the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and a Scarecrow. Again: Sounded harsh but wasn’t meant to offend anyone.

                      The only thing I have faith in is common sense, that in the interest of all people on this earth, by acting through compassion we act selfish all along (Ethics of Zen go a similiar path).
                      Christian ethics isn’t that different: One believes in god, god dictates certain commands how to act, and through the love for god and the persude of paradise, Christians do as ordered, to get to a better place after life is over. In my mind that’s even more selfish. ;)
                      I would write something here about hindu ethics but I basically have no idea about them…

                      I don’t have an answer, no, absolutly not. But I think I’m able to life unquestioning and knowing that there either is no reason or a good one. For example I would need good reason for social order of any kind. As I know that there even is a question. But in a made-up environment of ‘What is the meaning of life?’ and ‘Why does all this exist?’ I’m not sure it is usefull to raise the question in the first place. Because I know by asking them, that I won’t get an answer through nature (otherwise we would allready have it), so to answer them I have to create something that I can’t proof. Such questions are raised to make the world a bit more comfortable. But: I don’t need comfortable anymore, I don’t need such questions and because of that no answers.
                      The only thing I have faith in is that mankind can build great things together – and that’s not faith because if I look in the history books I have evidence.
                      So not only the search for answers (and what they lead) is silly and useless, but also raising the question is.

                      Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to offend anybody or make anybody switch on my worldview, I’m just trying to make you understand what is a complex philosophical idea. (Your not a philosopher right?)

                      I completely agree with MRG: It’s a great discussion, “And THAT folks, is why Fringe continues to be so great.”
                      mlj, with you I had some of the best discussion on the web in my life, I wouldn’t wanna miss your different opinions and openess no matter how ridiculous I sound, it’s always a lot of fun!

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                    • mlj102 says

                      Stefan – I could spend a lot of time writing another lengthy response to some of the points you made here, but I’m not going to, because it would likely be a bit repetitive/redundant. But I did want to acknowledge your latest comment.

                      I think it’s quite clear that we all have very separate, different beliefs, and I think we were all careful to emphasize that we weren’t trying to be disrespectful or to change anyone else’s opinions. Thanks both Stefan and MRG for sharing your thoughts — I really enjoyed getting to learn about several different perspectives on this topic. I imagine there will continue to be enlightening discussions like this one as we continue to watch and discuss Fringe, and I look forward to them.

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                    • says

                      Sorry for those lengthy ones, couldn’t make it shorter. ;)
                      I only wanted to make it clear how I think, and philosophers and philosophy students like to express that.
                      But somewhere you get (I think that was you meant) to a point were there are just basics different, and further discussion would be useless.
                      So thanks both of you for your contribution.
                      Again longer then I intended to…

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  6. mlj102 says

    This episode was a spectacular episode, though for different reasons than episodes like, say, Ability or Grey Matters. In many ways, the actual case, the plot, was a bit slow and somewhat hard to follow (at least for me, the first time through). But it didn’t matter. As someone else said, it paid off. If you take the time to look at the story that was being told — the message they conveyed — it was truly brilliant! I’ve got to say, the producers/writers/actors are really following through with the emotional aspect of the show that has been emphasized several times in various interviews. And it makes a big difference. This episode could have fallen rather flat, but because of the emotion it conveyed and the significance to Walter’s current situation, it was a big success as far as I’m concerned. I was willing to overlook various things that could have been annoying simply because everything came together so well and it was so powerful. Yet another wonderful episode in a long line of wonderful episodes.

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  7. Elaine says

    Holy mother of submit this episode for an Emmy, Batman!

    Wow…I don’t even know where to start. If the almost suffocating sadness (as Peter aptly described) that permeated this episode weren’t enough, there were the emotions, regret, barely suppressed grief and sorrow that both Walter and Alistair (what a cool name!) shared over their personal loses…and the lengths they were willing to go to correct their mistakes.

    I was a little disheartened that Walter burned the letter at the end. There was a part of me that actually expected him to either drop it again unknowingly, or place it where he knew Peter would find it. I understand that his fear overrode his actions in the end, but I was disappointed none-the-less.

    Oh, man…there’s just so much to say about this episode, but I’m still trying to process it all. I couldn’t help but think of Roco everytime the blue lights would show up. He’s going to have a field day with this one.

    It’s interesting…Walter’s disray gadget allowed David Robert Jones to teleport out of prison, but there were unadvertised side effects that eventually began a disfiguring to his body. Dr. Alistair horribly disfigured his body in order to envelope the components he’d need to jump through space and time. Nice continuity by the writers.

    I’m sure more things will come to mind later, but I’m headed off to bed for now.

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    • says

      “I couldn’t help but think of Roco everytime the blue lights would show up.” – Same thing over here. Very nerdy, isn’t it?

      Yeah I felt the same thing as you when Walter was throwing the letter in the fire. Maybe he never wanted to give it to Peter (and lied to Olivia), but just wrote it to bring his thoughts in order. Did that myself a few times.

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  8. Chump Force 1 says

    Great episode, Noble and Weller had me riveted. The final travel back to May to save Peck’s fiancee was emotionally powerful, but inconsistent.

    First if Peck jumped/travelled back into the same field where he sat all day, wouldn’t he have a) run into his past self in the field and b) with the energy disbursement, killed his past self thereby ceasing to exist? Also would he have not known precisely how the original accident occurred (her getting hit in her parked car) and instead of getting into her car, grabbing her and pulling her out in time?

    Just didn’t make sense. You’re led to believe he’s spent the past 10 months figuring out how to save her, he would have had a better plan once he arrived back on the day she was killed.

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    • mlj102 says

      Regarding your first point, I really have no explanation. All I can say is that’s the kind of thing I was talking about when I said there were some things that didn’t work, but I’m willing to overlook them because the rest of the episode was more than enough to make up for it.

      As for your second point, I have to say, I kind of thought that was the point. Maybe his initial goal had been to go back in time to save her, but after Walter talked to him and urged him not to go through with it and talked to him all about the consequences, I figured he changed his mind and, therefore, changed his plan. Instead of saving her, he decided to see her one more time, be able to apologize for their argument, tell her he loved her, and die with her. I thought it was a really brilliant way to resolve everything — I definitely hadn’t seen it coming. That’s part of what was so great about it. I can honestly say it was an ending I couldn’t predict — the whole time I was left guessing, wondering what was going to happen next.

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  9. hal says

    i was really impressed with this. and i usually don’t go around saying i’m impressed. not that i’m never impressed.. but i was just like..really fucking impressed. that’s all there is to it.
    and i dont think we’re meant to think too hard on how it was possible, as obviously the writers couldn’t know how time travel is possible..
    crank that robocop.

    oh yea, and this did remind me of that x-files episode.. but it quickly had nothing to do with it. x-files is so camp yo.. anyone who really believes fringe is like x-files has camp-goggles on

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  10. LizW65 says

    Lovely episode. I too thought it was going to be the Bad Robot version of “Groundhog Day”, and was pleased that it turned into so much more–instead of being about time travel/deja vu per se it became a meditation on forgiveness and the consequences of one’s actions. The scenes between Noble and Weller were just perfect, and I agree with everyone else, the trailer for next week looks fantastic.

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  11. LizW65 says

    I just had a look at one of the other sites and someone pointed out that Weller served tea from a “Brown Betty” teapot. I had no idea that kind of teapot had a name other than “Rockingham.”

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  12. Andrew M. says

    Chump Force 1, recall from “Peter” that in the alternate universe the observers came out of “Back to the Future” and talked about how [the movie] wasn’t meant to be logical, it was meant to entertain. (Funny, now.) Clearly this was a next-episode-theme clue — time travel.

    I agree, there were likely inconsistencies, but it was definitely mind-bending fun.

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  13. name edited says

    Great episode, but I have to wonder how Peck’s letter to Bishop stayed around in the time line after he jumped back. He said that jumping back would bring the people he killed the last time back to life, in other words, undo what was done on the last trip – and it didn’t seem that objects moved around in one version of the present stayed there after he changed the past, and the present got back to that point. Am I’m missing something. . .

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    • mlj102 says

      I think he took the letter back in time with him so that it was not “reset” when he changed the past. They likely found it with him when he died, gave it to the colleague it was addressed to, and she followed his directions and sent it to Walter on the specified date. Does that answer your question?

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      • name edited says

        Ah, yes. It definitely answers the question. Other episode summaries thought that Peck went back in time before the train crash to mail the letter, but that wouldn’t make sense either, since the FBI was onto him when he wrote the letter. Your answer puts all the pieces into place. Thanks MLJ

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        • says

          I think they should have shown us that instead of showing us the train scenes a second time – Olivia finding out that all the lights went off is not that important.

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  14. name edited says

    Ah yes, it does answer it! Other episode recaps claim that he went back in time before the train accident to mail the letter, but that doesn’t make sense because the FBI was onto him when he wrote the letter. This explanation puts it all into place. Thanks MJL!

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  15. LMH says

    Just wow. Amazing that a show with such gross moments (Peck’s self-surgery) can have such a beautiful story and dialogue. The scene b/w Walter and Peck of consequences, forgiveness, God was gold. Walter’s asking God for a sign through a White Tulip (saying SO much about him as a person now) and then having that sign be given through Peck and his own attempt at redemption by doing the right thing was just perfect. I honestly don’t care if there are holes in the logic of the events (though I always appreciate thoroughness) because the story was so wonderful.

    Weller summed up pretty well my own reasons for loving Fringe in the interview: for what it says about being human and the depth of the characters that comes with that. Though while reading his words I kept seeing him as hosting a history channel special lol. Think he did Engineering An Empire, or something like that, and he did it very well! Great casting choice.

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  16. LMH says

    I’m sure there were plenty of things I missed, but I did catch one cute and fairly obvious little seahorse in Peck’s medicine cabinet. Nice connection (intentional or not) to Walter’s father, consequences of scientific daring, etc.

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  17. says

    This episode was just all-right until we saw the “bad guy” was not really bad after all, just mis-guided b/c of love; kind of a romantic thing! But very tragic. It goes to show you this goes beyond just pure science fiction, there are some very deep layers here. I love science fiction, but especially when it goes to a place beyond sci-fi, and becomes a dialogue on everything and anything that makes a human.

    Just awesome that Walter was purely a man of science, his way to and through places that he never should have gone; “science bullying”; until he took Peter from the other side. Only after he did that did Walter realize that life was more complex than science alone could ever explain. I love science, especially physics; I have a twin sister who has her Ph.D. in Microbiology, so don’t get me wrong, but there is too much about this world we live in that cannot be explained without acknowledging the existence of God.

    This episode was awesome in that Walter got his sign from God that he was forgiven for what he had done, right before next weeks episode when he is going to have to face the consequences of his action.

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  18. MERLIN says

    that guy’s name was count screwloose!!@!!!!!

    buckaroo bonzai was just on my tv, i thought i should tell someone…..

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