Synopsis: Olivia, Walter and Peter are called in to investigate the death of a car salesman who was found in a pool of “goo,” exactly like another man across the country. When Walter discovers that the “goo” is brain matter, the trio tries to figure out how the killer can liquefy human brains. As the deaths pile up, the investigation reveals a common thread linking the victims together in an unthinkable manner. Meanwhile, Olivia is horrified when the case places a loved one in harm’s way.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “The No Brainer”.
Remember those gross-out scenes from episode 1.12 “The No Brainer“, when a computer virus liquefied the brains of several unwitting Internet users? Well, it seems that life might be imitating art (at least in theory), as a killer text message is rumoured to be running amock in Egypt. Don’t worry though, there’s no need to throw away all of your mobile devices just yet — it’s only a rumour. Here’s more:
The Egyptian government has sought to dispel rumours that a mobile phone text message “from unknown foreign quarters” is spreading around the country and killing those who receive it.
The extraordinary move by Egypt’s health and interior ministries follows press reports that an SMS containing a special combination of numbers killed a man in the town of Mallawi south of Cairo.
“He died vomiting blood,followed by stroke, shortly after he received a message from an unknownphone number,” the Egyptian Gazette reported on Wednesday.
“The number begins with the symbol (+) and ends with (111),” it said.
An “official security source” was quoted by the official MENA news agency as denying that those who receive the SMS “get splitting headaches followed by brain haemorrhage that leads to death.”
A statement from the health ministry quoted health officials in several regions as saying that they had “received no cases with such symptoms”
“These rumours contradict all scientific facts,” the statement said.
Egypt’s interior ministry has detained three workers at an oil company for allegedly starting the rumours “and they are now being interrogated,” MENA said.
Here’s our Clues and Eastereggs round-up for episode 1.12, “The No Brainer”:
It’s “A” Sign of Things To Come
This could be something or nothing, eitherway the golden-red object illustrated above, looks eerily similar to the Aleph that we have previously seen on the kayak from Olivia’s dream-state, and also being worn as a lapel by INtREPUS leader, David Esterbrook, in “The Cure”. I’ve dug up that previous investigation below for comparison:
I think that it is the same symbol. The question is, what on earth was the same aleph symbol doing in Brian Demsey’s computer virus?? A virus that was seemingly abstract from the “Pattern”. Perhaps there is more over-arching mythology hidden in “The No Brainer” than first meets the eye?
One of the most meaningful aspects of “The No Brainer” was the re-defining of the father/son relationship between Walter and Peter. Whilst absent fathers is a tragic theme on “Lost”, so far, it seems to be a more hopeful portrayal on “Fringe”. We saw glimpses of this as Peter put his trust in Walter’s capacity to deal with difficult situations, by allowing Jessica Warren – the mother of the dead lab assistant – to speak to him.
In many ways the humanity of this episode was easy to miss amongst the synthetic ‘surface story’. But then, Walter once said that computers are comparable to the human brain; and the struggle between creator and creation is constantly changing.
After reading Walter’s 1.12 Lab Notes, I’m wondering whether the ‘computer virus’ can also offer a metaphorical explanation for Walter’s mirror image (or “Alter Walter” as he’s come to be known), who we saw during his venture back inside the walls of St. Claire’s in “The Equation”? Walter refers to his mirror twin as a “Ghost in the Machine”, coined from the 1967 work by Arthur Koestler. This description leads me to believe that the “Alter-Walter” is a manifestation of an earlier version of Walter Bishop; a sinister part of himself who he somehow managed to banish to the confines of his memory – a memory which is, thankfully, fragmented. Once again, this hints at the duality of Walter and makes me wonder; just what was he like in his earlier days, and does he deserve the forgiveness of Jessica Warren for the death of Carla Warren? What if it wasn’t an ‘accident’?
Here’s the FringeBloggers review for episode 1.12 “The No Brainer”.
The “What’s That Noise?” opening. As usual Fringe delivers with the high concept hook. The subliminal messages and the cyber hand were way cool, and the whole thing reminds me of The Ring, amongst other pop-culture references.
Both Peter and Walter came out of the episode with a lot of credit. Peter was very over-protective towards his father but it’s endearing and understandable. Walter was very compassionate towards Jessica Warren, in a scene which stole many hearts. This episode did a subtle job of showing the growth in the father/son relationship, and it’s all thanks to Olivia. Seriously, isn’t she just the bestest FBI agent/relationship councillor/sister/auntie you ever did saw?
Joshua Jackson was very enjoyable to watch in this episode. His portrayal of the over-protective son/love interest was very believable. I’ll tell you why this is important for me; I wasn’t a Dawson’s Creek fan and I wasn’t blown away by his performance in the Pilot episode. But since then he’s gotten progressively better and I couldn’t imagine another actor in his role. Well, I probably could, but you know what I mean; dude is doing a fine job.
This in from one of our readers, Erca, who noticed a possible tie-in between the car dealership featured in “The No Brainer” and Abrams Auto from the audio spot that went out last summer.:
The car salesman who died, not sure of his name (Charlie, I think.), may have been in the “Radio Spot” about the car dealership that is interrupted by a mans voice saying “Find the Pattern.” – Erca
Our original post containing the aforementioned ad spot can be found here. I’ve also posted the audio ad spots below; the first one contains the normal advertisement, the second audio contains a piece of the original audio in reverse; revealing the words “and you know what that means”:
Whilst we can confirm that the deceased General Manager’s name was ‘Antoine’ and not ‘Charlie’ like the guy on the ad spot, we don’t know the name of the employee who speaks to Olivia (pictured above) – could his name be Charlie, perhaps? We also don’t know the name of the car dealership featured in ‘No brainer’. The dealership from the ad spot is called “Abrams Auto” (also referred to as “Franklin Autos” at other times).
Whilst the connections between the two dealerships are unlikely, it is perhaps interesting to be reminded of the ominous words “Find the Pattern” in an episode which many believe to be pattern-less. It’s almost as if this ad spot from way back last year is trying to tell us something..
The lastest episode may have focused on the brains but who stole your heart? Which Fringie do you think shone the brightest in “The No Brainer”?
1.12 "The No Brainer" - Fringie of the Week
Peter Bishop (36%, 29 Votes)
Olivia Dunham (16%, 13 Votes)
Walter Bishop (15%, 12 Votes)
Ella Dunham (11%, 9 Votes)
Phillip Broyles (6%, 5 Votes)
The Observer (6%, 5 Votes)
Rachel Dunham (3%, 2 Votes)
Astrid Farnsworth (3%, 2 Votes)
Akim (1%, 1 Votes)
Charlie Francis (1%, 1 Votes)
Jessica Warren (1%, 1 Votes)
Luke Dempsey (0%, 0 Votes)
Brian Dempsey (0%, 0 Votes)
Sanford Harris (1%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 80
*The 1.11 “Bound” Fringie of the week was Olivia Dunhamwith 38% of the total vote – only her 2nd victory of the season and moves her up to out-right 2nd place, with Walter and Peter still tying in pole position.
*Standings prior 1.13: Walter & Peter 5 wins each, Olivia 2 wins, The Observer & Meegar’s mom 1 win each