6 Things I Discovered During the Season 2 Premiere

In this article I take a look back at last night’s season 2 premiere of Fringe with 6 things I learned from A New Day In The Old Town. These are my immediate thoughts upon watching the episode:

5 Things I Learned from ANDITOT

1. Peter is rocking the “black and gray” clothing

First revealed  in “Bad Dreams” as the attire of soldiers in the coming war, the season premiere told me that our Peter is getting his swag on and unknowingly preparing for battle. Proactive Peter – I like it.

2. The hunt is on!

As I speculated in our recent “Fringe Observations” article, Olivia’s “near miss” in the finale was not such a near miss – she travelled to the parallel world prior to the elevator ride. The shapeshifter was lying in wait, an attempt to intercept her meeting with Bell. However Olivia transported to the parallel reality before impact. The shapeshifters are in search of a hidden item, something so important that it would bring one of them to the verge of tears!

This item could turn out to be a “Holy Grail” of sorts, something with religious, possibly multiversal, consequence.

3. Advanced technology – more than two realities

The type-writer and the ‘mouth-plug’: these objects do not seem advanced in appearance, but similar to the Observer and Mosley’s high-tech/low-design gear in “Arrival”, they are literally out of this world. My instinct tells me that the shapeshifters are from a third reality, one more advanced than the two main worlds of the show. But thinking about it, we also saw some pretty ‘out-there’ events in the first season, such as hybrid monsters and teleportation – right here in ‘our’ world. So not only are we looking at the impact of people crossing between worlds, but perhaps more significantly, technology. Where do these items originally come from? I’ve referenced the Prometheus/Massive Dynamic connection many times on FB, this episode is another example of how it might apply.

Phil and Nina

4. Phillip and Nina have ‘knocked boots’

I raised the question during our Fringe rewatch, the relationship between Phillip and Nina is professional but they have history. Their smooch was one of familiarity, tenderness and further instructions. Nina, despite her flirtation (wonderfully portrayed by the awesome Blair Brown), has a measure of influence over Phillip – she has steely determination and knows what makes him tick – “do what you always used to do Phillip..save the day”. Well, if that isn’t motivation for Phillip to put the “S” back on his chest then I don’t know what is.

5. Agent Jessup is one to watch

I’m not going to lie, Meghan Markle is exceptionally gifted. And she can act too. OK, it’s not a breakout performance by any means, but considering the unfair response to her casting from some quarters, I enjoyed what Amy Jessup brought to the game. Back in my 5 Things I Learnt From the Season 2 Sneak Peek article I suggested that Peter would have his sights set on her. Whilst Peter WILL no doubt still be looking, I now see that Jessup’s introduction is more than just a romantic diversion. She’s open-minded, determined and intrepid. She kinda reminds me of Dunham, only more spiritually inclined – and that’s what I like most about her. That she went about connecting “pattern events” to texts from the Bible was one of those ‘where is this going?’ moments for me, and further brings into question the nature of the manifest.

“Deal or no deal?” – you’re kidding, right? DEAL!

6. Move over “Dollhouse“, Fringe explores identity issues much better.

It’s been building for a while now – the exploration of identity and our place in an ever changing world.“A New Day In An Old Town”, told me that the wider illustrations of  technology and identity are also worth watching. Alongside the more intimate, overarching issues concerning Peter, Walter and Olivia. The shapeshifters – identity thieves, Decepticons, “Bros”, call them what you want, have reaffirmed that technology not only opens the world, but changes who we are, or who we can be. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but obviously for dear Charlie, it kinda was.

We’ll post our review of this episode on Saturday.


  1. e says

    I thought it was obvious that Olivia was sent back with a message for Peter, and that what she has to look for is *him*. Dunno why though because people seem to be able to cross the border, so just one person out of universe isn’t too spectacular or unique.

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    • says

      That’s an interesting suggestion – I never thought of that until you mentioned it. The fact that people seem able to cross over with relative ease does seem to negate the possibility. Although, the last time something so seemingly important was “hidden” we ended up at Robert Bishop’s grave. So perhaps there’s some merit in your line of thinking?

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  2. Ric says

    I most notices the first red flash!
    about 5 minutes into the episode, Peter talks to Jessup. Flash appears on the right side.

    I put a screen dump here:

    So maybe that supports your idea of a third reality. Blue being signs from the main parallel universe and red being a sign Planet of the Shape Shifters.

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    • says

      Thanks Ric, that’s interesting. Looks like it’s from the siren, but it’s worth keeping tabs on any changes.

      I like how we got another blue flash when we first meet our new villain.

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  3. David Finlayson says

    No need to have a go at Dollhouse, i dare say Epitaph One is a better episode than Fringe will ever do, and i watched every episode from Fringe last year.

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    • says

      Hi David – I’m Not having a go at Dollhouse, I just think that Fringe has a more effective way of exploring the identity theme. I really hope Dollhouse can kick on this season.

      I appreciate your opinion, although in my eyes Fringe can and has reached greater heights than Dollhouse. I guess it’s a game of opinions really.

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  4. Elliot says

    Orci says they are just going to do two universes, so I’m skeptical of third-reality folks–and they have said that Over There is slightly ahead–in technology, could be ahead that way and not time-wise (as they’ve also said it’s not time travel.)

    And I too love Peter in the blacks and greys, and finally jumping in with both feet–he knows now nothing is too weird to be true.

    Odd how you missed the P/O tint to the episode–Markle’s talents are that mesmerizing??

    Olivia’s father wouldn’t tell her to be a better man than him; nor would her mother—but if Peter was thinking about becoming a better man, seeing her lying there, she might have heard that—-or, it might be a thing Bell was trying to communicate, that he knew Peter would understand.

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    • e says

      For someone wearing “blacks and grays”, those bluejeans were pretty…blue. They’ve already established Olivia as the soldier. Makes sense that Peter has a different story

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      • mlj102 says

        I don’t see why Peter couldn’t be a soldier as well. I know some people are really against the theory that Peter was a cortexiphan kid as well, but I don’t see why that would be so unreasonable. His father was one of the two men conducting those tests — it makes sense to me that he would have been one of the test subjects.

        As for the Blacks and Grays, Peter and Olivia have both been pretty consistent in wearing black, grey, and white since the very first episode, though occasionally they do wear very dark colors. I think the concept of the blacks and grays isn’t that they only ever wear black and gray, but that it’s obviously very frequently and very dominant in their styles — that subconciously it seems to be their preference, which it is.

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      • says

        I agree – Peter’s story will probably have a life of its own. But I think they made an effort to make his clothing more prominent in this episode. I think Peter could be a soldier in his own right, if he’s on the front line with Olivia, he’s going to have to soldier-up. But I could be completely wrong.

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    • says

      Odd how you missed the P/O tint to the episode–Markle’s talents are that mesmerizing??

      So far so good for me.

      Olivia’s father wouldn’t tell her to be a better man than him; nor would her mother—but if Peter was thinking about becoming a better man, seeing her lying there, she might have heard that

      I’d agree with that.

      Do we know what happened to Peter’s mom? I get the impression that she’s still alive, but perhaps seeing Olivia in that state made Peter think about his mom, and in turn, subconsciously relay her “code” to Olivia..

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  5. David F says

    I just think its great the way you responded to my last post regarding D/H. It would have been easy to be snide and dismissive but well done, respect levels went way up on that one. I don’t know if you have seen Epitaph One but i still think youre too harsh on D/H sure the first five sucked a little and sometimes a lot(Stage Fright) but from 6 to 13 i think it was as good as just about antthing last year. Anyway Fringe is a great show, Bad Robot is awesome and this is a great fansite. Keep up the good work.

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    • jkyarr says

      maybe I’ll have to give dollhouse a 2nd look. I watched the first 2 episodes and while I found it plenty eyegasmic the overall manufacturing of the show felt more like something from scyfy than Fox. I prefer more meat and less cheddar i suppose. You mentioning that things picked up for dollhouse after 6 or so episodes makes me consider taking another glance.

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  6. says

    Hey, not a problem. Sometimes I’m a little hard on Dollhouse, but I do want the show to do well. I have my reservations on certain aspects of the show, but the potential is still there, so fingers crossed for Friday!

    I’ve seen EO – I wish I had time to blog my thoughts on it, but I did enjoy the episode.

    Thanks for the comments on the site, I appreciate it!

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  7. Mr.Floppy says

    Yeah, sure.
    Maybe you’re reading too much into the “identity issues” from Fringe. I don’t know why you should mention “Dollhouse” here.

    And don’t get me wrong, I love Fringe (that’s why I’m here reading this blog).

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    • says

      It’s possible that I am – I guess it depends on your perspective, as much as mine. I simply put ‘out there’ what I perceive and try to be as honest as I can.

      What I specifically meant was, Fringe (in my opinion) is more effective..more adept at exploring the issue of identity i.e. Peter being from another world and not knowing it, Walter slowly remembering the man he used to be, Olivia discovering her Cortexiphan past, the idea of technology forcing us into an “us or them” situation. I think that these themes are being played out with a great degree of skill and fun. But like you said, perhaps I’m reading too much into it.

      I mention Dollhouse because this episode made me think: ‘why can’t Dollhouse be as fun at exploring its central themes?’. It was something I felt I learned about Fringe during episode 2.01.

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  8. Rich says

    I think the whole “space alien route” is a big disappointment.
    Give me bioweapons, espionage and Walter’s old experiments gone awry resurfacing as groundwork for all of the mayhem.

    I turned it off when I saw the leg eating alien crawling around in the cave…


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