Fringe Observations: 2.04 Momentum Deferred

Fringe Observations - 2.04 Momentum Deferred

Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-up for episode 4 of season 2 – Momentum Deferred.

Below the jump we explore the various clues and eastereggs from the episode and try to figure out what it all means.

Pear Today, Gone Tomorrow




The shapeshifter drops a pear to distract the security guards, and can be seen eating a pear as he watches his leader regenerate. Although pears are not one of the Fringe glyphs, I’m thinking it has some significance:

The ancient Chinese believed that Pears symbolised immortality (pear trees live for a long time) – this would tally with the leader coming back to life. In Chinese the word “li” and “Pear” means SEPERATION, so perhaps the shapeshifter taking bites out of the pear alludes to the two worlds coming apart?

Perhaps the writers are alluding to the idea that in the shapeshifters world, the pear was the forbidden fruit, instead of the apple?

Speaking of apples – this scene was very similar to the one from The Equation, where Mitchell Loeb takes a bite from a red apple after completing his mission:

Fringe 1.08 THE EQUATION Easteregg & Clues

For our thoughts on the symbolism behind Loeb’s apple munching, see our 1.08 Clues and Eastereggs Round-up.





Reflections are often coincidental, but with Fringe dealing with alternate universes it’s probably worth pointing a few of them out from time to time. Above, we see a reflection of Olivia and Phillip on the van, Evil charlie in his rear view mirror and Peter in his mirror. I find each of these interesting as they all spell out the same thing: BEHIND..or BACKWARDS. As in flashback heavy-episode?



Slusho is a fictional beverage that has featured in various Bad Robot productions, such as Alias, Cloverfield, Star Trek and more recently Fringe. We last saw Slusho referenced The Road Not Taken, as well as the season 2 promotional poster (held by Walter).

Flashback Trigger #1











There’s a lot in this so let’s break it down. The basic idea here is that certain triggers (words, sounds, etc) cause Olivia to remember events from her meeting with William Bell.

  • Memories are in red (as we also saw last week).
  • Peter triggers Olivia’s memory of William Bell. This alludes to the possibility that Peter and Bell are connected in some way. Of course, we know from the meeting that Bell instructed Olivia to give Peter a message..the same message that his mother used to say to him: “let him be a better man than his father”. It’s interesting that Bell should know this and hints at a larger connection between the pair.
  • The blue flashes seem to fuse together the real-time vision of Peter and Olivia’s memory of Bell (and the literal bell). As I mentioned last week, I feel that the appearance of the blue flashes here is a big clue as to their ultimate meaning. Previously, I’ve speculated that the blue lights represent either travel, observation or convergence. I placed less importance on the convergence idea, but I’m starting to think that it might carry more weight because we have Olivia’s mind bringing the two realities, and her memories, together.
  • Olivia’s memory also attempts to latch on to the location of the leader’s head – Gaston Laston Hennings Cryogenics. A message that Bell makes no explicit reference to, yet Olivia’s memory is able to latch on to its importance. Now that’s skill.

Flashback Trigger #2




Olivia’s next flashback is triggered when she’s walking down the corridors of Massive Dynamic. This causes her memory to shift back to the last time she was at MD – over in the parallel world during her meeting with Bell. She recalls Bell ringing his bell and taking a puff from his canister.

Flashback Trigger #3



The final flashback is triggered by a great parallel – Peter rings Walter’s bell which causes Olivia’s to collapse and her memory to once again relate the sound and the image to Bell ringing his bell, signifying the end of their meeting.

Peter ringing a bell is another element connecting Peter and William. I should have pointed this out previously, but another foreshadowing clue was the Harvard bell ringing before we visited a scene in the Lab (if memory serves, it was either Desirable Objects or Fracture).

Olivia In Wonderland


Fringe has been making allusions to Alice In Wonderland since season 1. We noticed another allusion in this episode when Olivia suddenly finds herself drinking a cup of tea. This is almost certainly a reference to the Mad Tea Party. In the tale, Alice becomes a guest at a mad tea party with the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Doormouse. The characters give Alice many riddles and stories until Alice becomes insulted and leaves. Alice comes upon a door in a tree and finds herself back in the same place she was in the first chapter.

So the parallels are obvious – the meeting with William Bell was a bit like the tea party, with William giving Olivia a bunch of riddles before sending her back ‘through the door (or window) to the other side.

So has William Bell gone from being the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter? Certainly in this instance. In the tale, the Mad Hatter is sentenced to death for “murdering time” but escapes decapitation (reference to the shapeshifters leader?). The Hatter is stuck at 6:00 forever (rather like Bell being stuck over there). His tea party is also characterized by switching places on the table (just like the “time-slips” that occurred during Olivia’s meeting with Bell).

And in case you want another connection – the term “mad as a hatter” refers hat-makers dying from mercury poisoning, since mercury was used in the making of hats. As we know, the shapeshifters in Fringe ingest mercury.

Here’s a clip from the Mad Tea Party:

Office Gadgets

Momentum Clues

It’s difficult to say what this device is exactly (foreground, left), but it consists of an arrow and measurement markers. I’d take a stab and say it’s some sort of universe meauring tool – perhaps a way of keeping tabs on how close the two worlds are becoming? Heh, I said it was a “stab”. The object has been confirmed as a sundial (thanks to those who sent me the heads-up on this one).

Red + Green


Long-time followers of the Fringe clues will know that red and green (specifically the green, green, green, red sequence) has made several appearances in the show. In the above capture I noticed a similar sequence, although it appears that over there the sequence might be slightly different – red, red, red, green, perhaps? Or maybe red, green, red, green?





The symbol marked on the shapeshifters leader looks a bit like the Greek symbol OMEGA (above middle), which means “Great”. That said, both the version drawn by Bell and etched in the leader’s head has different end points. Which leads me to think that it’s an original symbol for Fringe, and the continuation of the circle beyond the end points represents the impending convergence or collision of the show’s two main worlds. We have been told that the shapeshifters are a first wave sent to destroy “our” world, so perhaps the symbol illustrates that?

The symbol, or mark, could be an allusion to the mark of the best. Perhaps this is also the clue for next week’s episode? If it has anything to do with beasts or demons, I guess we’ll know.





I Found this interesting – Olivia is clearly snapped backwards through the window, yet she is catapulted forwards through the windscreen of the car. (also, interesting use of blue).

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Momentum Clues

Peter asks Olivia is she’s ever seen the Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion. This is a hat-tip filled with irony because, as we know, Peter is from another world and possibly snatched by Walter. And because Peter is referring to the REMAKE, and he is a REPLACEMENT for the original Peter. The other allusion relates to the shapeshifters, who take on people’s identity.

Wait, there’s more! Leonard Nimoy also played the role of Dr. David Kibner in the 1978 remake, and Mrs. Kibner was Rebecca’s surname.

And It Was All Yellow



Loved this moment – we finally get some insight into the glowing yellow orbs that have been seen on the Fringe posters and between the ad-breaks (top cap, above). As well as Rebecca noticing that Peter is glowing (because he’s not from over here), there is also a yellow orb floating around the bridge of his nose (bottom cap, above). I’ve always speculated that the orbs would tie into the show and that they’d allude to an observation device, or something. I guess we can at least mark them down as being an indication of a person being from over there.

It’s also worth noting the yellow light that can be seen under the shapeshifters leader in the final scene. And throughout Olivia’s meeting with Bell, which is used to denote the warm sunlight that was present in the season 1 finale (although it was more orange back then 😉 )

Hey Pauli!



Nina uses two Massive Dynamic snow globes to illustrate the Pauli Exclusion Principle. One of the most important principles in physics which states that no two identical objects can occupy the same space at the same time. This brings into question the idea of our characters meeting their alters. Although I’m sure it WILL happen, we at least know that the writers are setting up some ground rules to help magnify the importance of this storyline.

Aside from the jargon, what I find really interesting is what Nina does to the snow globes, or rather, the fact that only one of the globes shatters. This ties into the idea that the war is a battle for of necessity in which only one world will survive.

Looking even deeper into this, I also find it interesting to see which snow globe Nina is holding with her robotic hand (her right hand). Notice how it is also this snow globe that doesn’t shatter – does this foreshadow which world will survive? Or perhaps it alludes to which world Nina is batting for..

Observing The Observer


The Observer left his appearance late this week, but he gave us something new with a foreground sighting. This over the shoulder angle was used frequently throughout the episode (specifically during the Olivia/Bell meeting), so it’s interesting to see them adopting the same angle for the Observer’s appearance.

It’s also worth noting that he’s observing Olivia this week – she seems to be his main priority. Looks like her prefers to send his scouts (couriers) to observe Walter, unless it’s critical enough to pay him a personal visit (ALA Arrival, More Than One). Also, the last time we saw the Observer outside the Massive Dynamic building was the Pilot episode – I’m just mentioning that because this episode is littered with parallels.

Just another quick observation – is that a yellow orb near Olivia? I’ve highlighted it in the cap below:

Momentum Clues

This could be a coincidence. It’s not as intentinal as the one in the Peter scene. That said, you never know.

Fruits of One’s Labor




We revisit the graffiti wall again. The above captures highlight the sneaky clues that the creators embedded into the art – specifically, the apple, seahorse, daisy, frog and leaf glyphs which are part of the show’s promotional movement and ad-breaks.

Van The Man



As we speculated in 2.02 and confirmed in 2.03, the next episode clue for Fracture was the Vincent Van Gogh impression. We got another look at it this week and the they even managed to throw in the word “VAN”, alluding to Van Gogh, I presume.

They seem to like putting clues in graffiti – in season 1 they used the same trick to tell us where William Bell was.


This could be a clue or foreshadowing – there’s a drawing of a compass with the emphasis on NORTH in the art behind Evil Charlie. There’s also an illustration of a face – if he turns up in a future episode then we’ll know who it is.

Shaken, Not Stirred


The words “To Sleep, Perchance, To Dream” are written on the wall (top right). This is a William Shakespeare quote from Hamlet. it describes Hamlet’s thoughts of suicide, but he is ponders the possibility that even in death (enternal sleep) there may be no peace (happy dreams) – “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come”.

This could well be another candidate for the next episode clue.

As an aside, Amy Jessup recently quoted Shakespeare in the season 2 premiere [see here for details]. Could this also foreshadow her return?

Other Clues

  • Elias Cryogenics. The name Elias means “My God” or “Jehovah is God”. Seeing as the shapeshifters were looking for the leader in cryogenics facilities, this could be what the name refers to in Fringe-terms.
  • More color symbolism throughout the episode – if you’ve been following you’ll know about the black and gray clothing and our previous observations on what the creators might be alluding to by putting our characters in specific colors. Most of the main characters in this episode wore black and gray. Walter once again wore white (both in and outside the Lab). In fact I don’t think we’ve ever seen him in black, except..and this could be significant, in one of the photos that the courier delivered to the Observer in 2.03. Perhaps, as some people have speculated, those pictures weren’t only of OUR Walter, after all?
  • After Nina has explained William Bell’s reference to the “last great storm”, it starts to thunder and rain. A fitting precursor to Olivia’s face-off with first-wave soldier, Evil Charlie.
  • The 2.03 ‘next episode clue’ for this episode may well have been the flash of Bell using his breathing aperatus or the bell, as included in our 2.03 Fringe Observations.
  • William Bell said that Olivia’s disorientation was due to “timeslips”. Here’s some more information on timeslips, adding more fuel to the fire that time-travel will be involved in Fringe. In fact, I think it’s a certainty that Bell has not just travelled between realities, but also time. Could further explain what he meant about seeing “history repeat itself”.
  • The glyphs for the episode spelled MEMORY (thanks Chan for the heads-up!).
  • The newly-introduced shapeshifter could be seen tossing frozen heads down a hill – could be a reference to the Coopers Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, in which a bunch of contestants apparently roll cheese from the top of a hill and chase down after it. The winner gets to keep the cheese as a prize. Perhaps the shapeshifter who finds their leader’s head will also get a prize? Although there didn’t seem much competition between them, so perhaps not. 😉

As always, if you have any thoughts on the above, or think we’ve overlooked a clue or easteregg, feel free to let us know in the comments.


  1. says

    As usual, great work covering the show!
    Just another “reference” regarding “Elias Cryogenics”:
    Elias is the middle name of Walt Disney (who, according to urban legend, had his body cryogenically frozen).

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  2. says

    Great work, lots of things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I love the extra things they add to the show, even if I can’t recognize a lot of them while watching. :)

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  3. Jeff Sauzek says

    Elias could also be mean Elias Corey. He is an American organic chemist. In 1990 he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis”, specifically retrosynthetic analysis. Regarded by many as one of the greatest living chemists, he has developed numerous synthetic reagents, methodologies, and has advanced the science of organic synthesis considerably.

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  4. Apone says

    It was Laston-Hennings Cryogenics, not ‘Gaston’..and the “universe measuring tool” you think you saw in Bell’s office, I’m pretty sure it’s a gyroscope of some kind, or maybe even a fancy sundial..who knows

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  5. mlj102 says

    Great recap! You pointed out a lot of interesting observations. Here are a couple additional thoughts I had:

    I loved the reflections in this episode! There were some wonderful ones. I don’t know if you were just pointing out a couple of the reflections in this post, or if you missed some, so just in case, I thought I’d mention the other ones. There was a great reflection of Olivia as she was looking out of Bell’s office window. There was also a reflection of Olivia in a window the first time she was at Massive Dynamic with Nina and they were talking to Brandon. And there was also a reflection of Rebecca in the top of the car as she was waiting for Walter.

    Also, since you mentioned the whole backwards thing, I thought I’d mention that in some of Olivia’s flashbacks, the scenes appeared to be upside down, backwards, or mirror reflections of what was actually seen (examples include the floor numbers on the elevator, William Bell, and the note that said Laston-Hennings Cryonics… I thought it was very interesting that that last one was both upside down and a mirror reflection). I think it’s definitely significant that as she was trying to remember what happened, she was seeing these flashes, some of which were like looking through a mirror.

    You also mentioned that you believe Olivia was “snapped backwards” through the window in Bell’s office when she returned to the car crash. I agree that it doesn’t look too clear in the picture you have there, but from other pictures I’ve seen, as well as the other promos that showed the scene from other angles, it appears to me that she did indeed go through the window head first. That’s part of what I thought was so neat about that scene — that she went crashing through Bell’s office window in the same way she went crashing through the windshield of her car.

    You mentioned several of the glyphs that were shown on the wall in the alley, and I thought I’d point out that the butterfly was also on the wall. It’s in the same shot as the leaf and the apple. In the picture you’ve got, you can barely see it above her arm.

    Finally, technically, Bell didn’t only ring the bell to signify the end of their meeting, but he also rang it at the beginning of the meeting as well. I think I mentioned this somewhere else here, but on the DVD there is a hidden easter egg that shows a slightly different ending to the finale where Bell greets Olivia, then rings the bell as Olivia turns to look out the window. Given all the ringing bells and Bell himself, it’s no wonder that a ringing Bell is ultimately what triggered her flashback. I thought the way they did that was brilliant.

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  6. Helen says

    Thankyou sooo much i read every week and i am never ceased to be amazed at all the clues they pack into each episode and the detail in which you analyze them although this week i’am appauled at how many i missed especailly the Graffiti Glyphs and the startling comparisons to Alice in Wonderland amazing job :) !!!! … as always.

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  7. EM says

    Another possibility for the next episode clue besides the Harvard bell– there is a headless body shown twice during the scene at the station in Philadelphia when Peter and Olivia arrive. Considering that Momentum Deferred was mostly about a search for a missing head (and that this body missing a head was shown twice), it seems worth a mention as a clue.

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  8. Pedro says

    On the wall when ECharlie and Olivia fight. When she is first knocked against the wall there is a sea horse glyph in plain view when she’s lying on the ground and if you look closely there is a Pi Frog Glyph there as well.

    When she kills ECharlie the shot pulls out and there is something written upper right of Van Gogh, but I can’t make it out, something about To… To Dream.

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  9. Pedro says

    I looked it up. Leonard Nimoy played David Kibner in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The character’s name was Rebecca “Kibner.”

    When ECharlie and Olivia are fighting she kills him in front of the picture of Van Gogh. I think it was night of desirable objects that he was standing in front of the same picture. When he was on the phone with Olivia. So am I understanding correctly that, that wall is outside of Massive Dynamics? If so, does that mean that the ECharlie had been hanging outside of Massive Dynamics just waiting for Olivia’s epiphany and if so can we draw the conclusion that the typewriter shop is near Massive Dynamics?

    (sorry for the cross post, I initially posted this in the wrong place)

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  10. Egdesight says

    Red + Green
    Check out the security panel on the back of the freezer truck in the beginning after they close the door.
    1 green light = disarmed
    3 red lights = armed

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  11. says

    I am really thinking now that maybe Peter isn’t “other Walter’s” son but “other William’s” son, and maybe Other Willliam ended up in an insane asylum and Other Walter is in our William’s place. Or something.

    It’s somewhat telling that William and Walter both have “W” first names – it’s a common principle in storytelling to differ names extremely. They share a connection far deeper than what we have seen thus far and I am hoping we meet their “others” at some point.

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  12. says

    Don’t know how to edit, sorry to post again,

    But I think the Pear=Apple thing is a sound theory. It fits so nicely that I hope its true – not that it’s terribly important to the overall story, but it’s nice to get an edge piece when you can’t even find the blue sky pieces.

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    • says

      No problem mitch! Between the posts and the comments we hope to get closer to what the writers are trying to tell us (and what they’re trying to conceal).

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  13. Raifer H. says

    Roco, the office gadget that turned out to be a sundial reminds me of some of the Prometheus images you have included in other articles. I’ve been trying to find the specific article again but now I can’t remember which one I saw those pictures in. That might be a visual tie-in to the earlier name for Massive Dynamic.

    This blog site is superb! Fantastic work everybody!

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    • says

      Raifer, thanks for the kind words.

      Is this is the article you’re referring to?

      The symbol might be more of an infinity reference, but it does have some similarities with Bell’s sundial. Also, “sundials”..”fire from the Gods” could be on to something.

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  14. David D says

    Am I the only one who thinks the face [with black hair] on the wall with grafitti looks a little like John Scott.



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  15. fedorafadares says

    I love this episode. It’s one of my favorites.

    I loved parsing that graffiti. It looks to me like there’s an suggestion of the Twin Towers to the upper left of VanGogh’s head and possibly a Harvard crimson and gold scarf weaving its way throughout the “words” to the left, as well. There are two skulls resting on that scrarf…interesting.

    But if I HAD to call whose face that is all the way to the right, I’d say Sam Weiss. Black hair, beardy…If you look at the first screencap Roco posted under Van the Man, this disembodied head is almost floating like the Great and Mighty Oz at the end of “Wizard of Oz.” There’s even a narrow, yellow like painted under the head that’s reminiscient of the yellow brick road. He’s floating above the fray and is depicted just northwest (passage?) of a very traditional compass rose. Sam Weiss is a guide, of sorts.

    Funny what you can come up with if you stare at something long enough!!

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