Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-up for episode 3 of season 2 – Fracture.
Below the jump we find out why Olivia Dunham is Luke Skywalker, reveal exactly what William Bell told Olivia, and explore the other clues and mysteries like true Observers.
What’s Up Doc?
Sam Weiss tells Olivia that he prefers the “bunny ears method to the one loop wrap”. This could be a reference to William Bell, who has been depicted as the White Rabbit from the Alice In Wonderland tale. This would make sense, seeing as Sam was recommended by Nina, who is Belly’s right hand woman.
Bunny ears also scream out doubles - as in two realities. Of course, this method “requires more co-ordination”, but Olivia will “get there”. I think that’s a subtle reference as to Olivia’s central objectives this (or next) season: to get back to the other side.
As for the “one loop wrap” – I’m thinking that’s a nod to singularity – the preference for there being only one of anything..one time-line, one reality, etc. Of course, this could refer to the apocalypse – the ZFT Manifest warns that only one world will survive..them, or us.
How about another White Rabbit reference?:
As we all know, rabbits love carrots and there’s a stack of them behind our doctor friend. This isn’t the most important observation in the world, but I doubt it’s coincidence – and even if it is, sometimes the producers are not in control of the breadcrumbs that manifest in a show like this.
“Black & Gray” Clothing
There have been previous references to the “black and gray” clothing said to be worn by Cortexiphan kids as part of their instructions whilst awaiting activation (1.17 Bad Dreams”). We already know that Olivia’s wardrobe is predominately made up of black and gray clothing (a subconscious preference?), and this season in particular the writers have gone to greater lengths to show that Peter’s wardrobe is also being populated by the soldier gear. For me, this could foreshadow the future loyalties of our Fringies.
But what about the couriers? They too wore black and gray clothing (above), and come to think of it, so does the Observer. Will Olivia, Peter and the Observers eventually be working on the same side?
More curious is Walter’s choice of gear. The writers have given him this distinctive white jacket which really contrasts with Peter’s gear in this scene:
Coincidence? Not a chance, in my opinion. Though the battles lines are far from clear at the moment, later down the line when the characters discover and remember more, their loyalties will be tested. After all, if Peter is from another world (possibly from the one we call “over there”), then how will this test his loyalties?
As we speculated, the ‘Desirable Objects’ clue for this episode was the Vincent Van Gogh impression (below). In Fracture, Walter picks up Gillespie’s ear (above) much to Olivia’s befuddlement. Van Gogh was famous, in part, for having cut off his ear lobe.
She’s All Red-y Been
Olivia begins to regain her memories from her visitation of the other side. Everything looks the same as we saw it (although I find it odd that she remembers the Twin Towers from OUR perspective, and not her own – no doubt just a storytelling device). The only difference is that she sees everything in red (for danger?) and some of her memories are distorted, upside down and rearranged to illustrate the confusion that she finds herself in.
Some of her memories, like the capture below, are new to us - we clearly didn’t witness all that took place in Belly’s office, so I expect that to be shown to us soon..
This shot is of particular interest to me – as I suggested in our 1.20 rewatch, William Bell had a gas mask and cylinder in his office. Olivia obviously sees him using it during her visit the to other side (above). So the question remains, is Belly dying? Does the death bell toll?
Also, notice those two strobes going across the screencap above? Those are our famous blue flashes (although they appear red because this is Olivia’s distorted memory). There is renewed debate about what these blue flashes mean. My opinion has always been that they represent one or both of two things: Travel, or Observation. We know that the blue lights have appeared during several moments of travel (i.e. David Jones’ teleportation from the Wissenschaft prison and Olivia’s crossing over to the other side to meet William Bell). But these blue flashes have also appeared during moments of observation – leaving open the possibility that they also signify the Observers watching a particular event, or perhaps a significant change between two realities (since there are often two strobes). Either way, I’m sure one of those is the correct answer – I’m just intrigued as to them appearing during a William Bell scene. That has to be important.
William Bell can also be heard saying something in one of the quick flashes of memory that Olivia has. I managed to isolate his voice and found it to be indecipherable. This being Bad Robot, I decided to reverse the same audio and managed to pull out the hidden easteregg – Belly warns Olivia that “A War Is Coming”. Have a listen for yourself:
Here is the original sequence of Olivia crossing over to the other reality, so that you can compare it to the above screencaps:
Cut The Yoda Crap!
Olivia tells Sam to “cut the Yoda crap!”. This is a Star Wars reference comparing Sam to Yoda – considered by many to be the greatest Jedi trainer. If Sam Weiss is Yoda, that would probably make Olivia a Luke Skywalker figure.
Whilst I don’t think Fringe is trying to become StarWars, there are obviously some shared themes (as with all SF). But significantly it looks as though Olivia is showing awareness of her own importance in the grand scheme of things, while the writers are leaving us in no doubt as to just how important she will become.
Observing The Observer
Not an “Observer sighting” as such since our bald buddy was in full shot and not lurking in a corn field or something, but for completeness, here he is.
I loved this little detail – the dials on the Observers briefcase contain odd-looking symbols. Probably the number system of his home world. This is precisely the kind of thing which makes me doubt that the Observer is from “over there”. We know that the other reality is similar to our own so I doubt that briefcase is from the other world.
That said, I am of the opinion that there are several realities that the show will eventually explore – the Observer is surely from one of these other worlds, or possibly from a future version of our own Earth. That would make much more sense to me.
Speaking of Gordon, he reminds me of Emmanuel Grayson from 1.17, who was on to something but also slightly crazy. I think Gordon is right about the Observers gathering data (I think this could also shed some light on the cylinder), but I’m not so sure they are the enemy.
As an aside, I think the writers want us to think that Gordy is slightly crazy – he wore the same stupid smile all throughout the episode.
Surveillance photos of Walter that were in the couriers briefcase. These photos were obviously taken recently as Walter has only been wearing that white jacket in season 2.
It could be argued that the photos are of Alter-Walter, but that wouldn’t make much sense to me – why would the couriers have photos of Alter-Walter in our world? Unless he is over here, which is unlikely.
I’m also wondering whether each of our Fringies have their own courier taking snaps of them? (I guess we wont know for a while, seeing as the other dude got blown up – THANKS Gordon!)
Also of interest are the markings on the photos – these are from the binoculars that the Observer was using in episode 1.04 Arrival (skip to 2.27 on the video below):
This tells us something about the technology
- The couriers have access to the Observers technology (we’re still not sure if they are Observers themselves, they remind me more of worker ants).
- The binoculars are also cameras – not just spying glasses.
They also beg some questions:
- The couriers must have downloaded the photos somewhere to get the printouts. Don’t they have email?
- The markings, particularly the measuring dial, must be important otherwise why would they print over the photos? I guess Gordon explained that they are studying every detail.
- Walter said he “stopped counting at 47 needles” - this being another reference to the number 47, famous in Bad Robot circles. This is the second such reference this season, the other came in New Day.
- A nice reflection of half-crazy-man Gordon – not so much hinting, but adding more thematic symbolism to the multiple reality theme at the heart of the show.
- When Peter covers the fractured body of officer Gillespie, his glance lingers on him for several seconds – possibly suggesting that Peter has lost someone to a bomb blast, or been involved in a bomb plot. There were subtle hints that he needed to wash away some sins – as Ahmed implied, why was he so concerned about stopping Gordon?
- Another candidate for the episode clue for Fracture was the scarecrow from 2.02. Possibly alluding to Project Tin Man.
- East Platform – could mean something*.
As always, if you have anything to add to the above observations, or feel that we’ve missed something out, feel free to let us know in the comments.