Fringe Observations: 2.06 Earthling

Fringe Observations - 2.06 Earthling

Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-up for episode 2 of season 6 – Earthling.

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


Earthling Clues and Eastereggs

The opening shot of this Gargoyle could well be the clue for the next episode. Historically, Gargoyles are said to ward off and protect from evil spirits. I guess we’ll have to see whether this ties into the next episode.


The song at the beginning of the episode is called “Freezing” by MoZella. My interpretation is that the song relates mostly to Phillip Broyles’ state of loneliness after the break-up of his marriage, and his often lonely battle to keep Fringe Division afloat:

Lyrics: The clouds in the sky have covered up my life
And the day just stays gray ’till it’s night
And the dark ness out side is a mirror to my eyes
‘Cause my soul won’t reflect any light

Oh, I can’t lie, I’m so lonely
Oh, make it right and just hold me

‘Cause I’m freez ing, there’s no way to stay warm
Don’t you need me?
Left me out in the storm
How could you for get me
My sun shine has left me alone
You’re so cold

The song may also relate to Tomas, his brother or even the shadow itself – seemingly trapped down here on earth. And for those of you who have been observing the plethora of ‘cold’ references throughout Fringe, this song – “Freezing” – is another possible clue.

The Ring


In the Dream Logic episode observations, we suggested that the many references to the ring or infinity might hold some meaning (example above). Well, we got several ‘ring references’ in this episode suggesting that this was indeed a clue. We got a glimpse at of the following ring-shaped object:

Earthling Clues and Eastereggs

..And the Dancik’s wedding rings:

Earthling clues and eastereggs

We also had several TV-moments with imagery reminiscent of the classic horror film, Ring or “The Ring” (minus Samara crawling from the TV, of course):

Earthling Clues and Eastereggs

Earthling clues and eastereggs

The Space Between Us

Earthling clues and eastereggs

Another potential clue for THIS episode may have been the young Peter’s Shuttle Challenger poster and space toys from “Dream Logic”. Whilst it was a clue in itself for Peter’s origins, it also alluded to the heavy ‘space’ theme for “Earthling”.

Dust Devil

Earthling clues and eastereggs

Walter tells Peter that he needs several Dust Devil’s to transport the remains back to his lab. While he’s referring to the vacuum cleaner, this could also be a cute reference to the movie “The Dust Devil”, in which a shape-shifter “comes from the desert in search of its victims, a spirit the locals call The Dust Devil”. You can take your pick at the number of allusions here, from the shape-shifting soldiers, to the “spirit” (the shadow), to the desert/ash analogy. One could even take a giant leap and say that this is a clue for alter-Walter being the creator of the shape-shifters, since our Walter said it with such..intent.



Walter suggests that the organism is capable of “projecting” itself without ever really leaving its host. One thought crossed my mind when I heard this – the Alter-Walter who visited Walter in st.Claire’s. I have to believe that this was a clue since most of the cases do tie into the larger arc, and it seems possible that Walter’s visitor back in episode 1.08 was a projection of some kind, and not just an hallucination. Perhaps the real Alter-Walter used this method to communicate with our Walter whilst he was in St. Claire’s?

As Walter was explaining his theory on the shadow, I also noticed that the camera remained on Peter for a split second longer than it probably should have – it was as if he were digesting the information and finding it remarkably relevant. I’m wondering whether this “projection” idea could also tie into Peter’s story? We know that Walter’s Peter is dead, and that this Peter is from the other side, but what if there’s more to it than that? I just have a sneaking suspicion that the writers are giving us more subtle clues that might become clearer later on down the line. Watch this space.

Observing The Observer

Earthling clues and eastereggs

The Observer made his usual appearance, this time exiting gate 43 (further suggesting that he travels by normal least sometimes). It’s interesting to see him observing Phillip for a change. Unless, there’s more than one of everything.

Green for Earth (2), Red for Mars

Earthling clues and eastereggs

The famous green and red color sequence made another appearance, this time when Tomas was trying to contain the shadow. My out-there theory on this color sequence is that it has something to do with space. When I mentioned it a few weeks ago I was half joking, now I’m thinking it could actually be on the right lines. I mean, inspiration for brands or symbols come from all kinds of places.

Stuck on You

Earthling clues and observationsProbably the most intriguing clue of the entire episode – if indeed it was meant as a clue. Firstly we have Walter attempted to think “less linearly” by using tinker toys to create a 3-dimensional representation of the formula. For a show dealing with different dimensions and realities, I found this to be a suitable shout-out to how a higher plain of reality can exist within another.

Then when Peter and Walter attempted to separate the formula, they found that it couldn’t be separated – the idea being that the only way to destroy the shadow is to kill the cosmonaut. For me, this is an allusion to the two main worlds of the show – “over here” and “over there”. We could be looking at a situation where both worlds are more connected than we think, where the decisions and choices in one world also effect the outcomes in the other (and vice-versa). Of course we’ve also learned from the ZFT Manuscript that for the survival of one world, the other HAS to die – indeed, this is the very reason for the coming war. Survival. (or so they say).

However, this contradicts the above scenario in which the two entities are permanently joined, with the destruction of one resulting in the destruction of the other.

Fringe Twins Symbolism

Like I said, the writers might not have intended this to be a clue, but I think it would make for an intriguing, yet subtle, foreshadowing.

Another possibility is that this relates to Peter and his alter-brother.

Eight No Stopping Us Now

Earthling clues and eastereggs

Remember the other week we suggested that the number 8 was an important number in Fringe, specifically for Olivia? We got another dose of 8 in this episode. At first I wondered why it appeared in a Broyles-centric episode, but then we got some good intentional Olivia positioning (above). I’m more certain than ever that 8 is her ‘number’, if you will.

8 may also refer to infinity, and we kinda get the impression at the end of the episode that the shadow lives on. The imagery is just too intentional, in my opinion, to be coincidence. I’m just waiting for one more solid 8 reference to prove my point beyond all doubt.

One of Us

Earthling clues and eastereggs

I’m not 100% sure on this, but I think the cartoon the little girl was watching was Kimba The White Lion. More important was the specific clip which went:

Off-screen voice: He’s not one of us, get rid of him!”

Kimba(?): “I may have a different color, but I’m still a lion like you!”

I think this is an allusion to Peter being from another universe and the possibility that he will ultimately feel an affinity with our world, despite being from the parallel world. As I’ve been saying for a while now, the journey will severely test the loyalties of many of our Fringies, particularly Peter and Olivia.

The cartoon could also apply to the shadow entity who may be human in a sense we cannot currently comprehend, although they’d need to beef that story up before we could make any real connections there.

Another thought that crossed my mind relates to the belief (in some quarters) that the popular Disney movie The Lion King was a rip-off of Kimba The White Lion. In the other reality, was Lion King ever made? I guess we’ll never know since it’s not that important, but you have to think the creators lace every scene with intent.

Stranger Danger

Earthling clues and eastereggs

Maybe it’s just me, but I get the impression that the lighting in this scene is very intentional. Do we only see half of the CIA agents face (in the shot above) because he’s not from over here? The ‘half-face’ thematic is similar to the lighting technique used in the Peter/Walter beach house scene from the season 1 finale. Is this a clue for a future story arc involving government conspiracy? Belly said that only a few people have successfully crossed over, but he could be wrong, especially if the ‘doorway between worlds’ has been known to man for centuries.

Other clues

  • In some respects, the shadow was a bit like shape-shifters – they need mercury to survive in one body (for long period of time) “over here”, and shadow seemingly needed radiation to survive “down here”.
  • Was the 2009 movie Moon an influence for this episode? Earthling shares some vague similarities.
  • I noticed a continuity error (there were quite a few in this episode actually) when Phillip was in the park with the senator. A guy on a bicycle rides past as they are talking, then when Phillip is standing the same guy rides past again. If the bicycle was any color but red I’d say this was 100% a continuity error, but I’ll leave 2% for it being an intentional allusion.
  • The glyphs for Earthling spelled DEJAVU, referring to Phillip’s old case coming back to haunt him.

As always if you have any thoughts on the above, or any observations you’d like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments below.


  1. says

    I caught that Kimba the White Lion thing – I thought I might be thinking into it too much. But I did think about how the Lion King is the story most people know and it is pretty similar in some ways to Kimba – perhaps It alludes to Peter as you say, filling in the role of the dead Peter.

    Sometimes I wonder if the producers are really screwing with us and certain scenes in certain episodes are actually happening in the alternate universe. Wouldn’t that just flip you out?

    I wish there was more mythos to chew from this episode, despite really enjoying it.

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  2. mlj102 says

    I love reading these observation posts. As usual, you managed to pick up on a lot of things that I hadn’t even noticed.

    The Freezing song lyrics sort of reminded me of the shadow creature. The first verse made me think of what Walter had said after he’d watched the video footage of the creature: “No reflections or highlights. No translucency. This is clearly its own entity.”

    I completely agree with your theory about Walter’s visit from a second Walter at St. Claire’s being some form of projection. I could definitely see them using that as an explanation for it and I applaud you for picking up on that.

    I like your interpretation of the Kimba the lion scene. And, considering the way that scene seemed to have no purpose whatsoever, I imagine they had to have chosen that particular clip for a reason. I think you nailed that one!

    Here are a couple of additional things that I noticed that could be something, or could be nothing at all:

    Remember that poster in the hospital room in Dream Logic that you’d mentioned in the observations for that episode? Well, I thought that might very well be some sort of clue, so I was on the look out for it this whole episode. I was quite surprised when I saw it not once, not twice, but three times. Maybe someone is just really concerned and wants to make sure to relay the message to be careful to avoid the spread of swine flu. Or maybe they’re just really low on props this year, so they’re forced to reuse the same ones multiple times. But I don’t think that’s the case. There were a ton of posters and such hanging up on the walls in the hospital throughout this episode, yet for some reason this particular one showed up multiple times. And, from what I could tell, each time was in a different location. The first one could only be partially seen, but it was definitely the same poster. It was right behind the lady in charge of the hospital right after Olivia and Broyles had given her the warrant and told her that they would essentially be taking over the hospital while investigating the personnel records. The second one was just a short time later, right after Olivia had called Peter for an update, and when the scene shifts back to the hospital and the FBI agents looking through employee records, the poster was seen on the back wall. The third time was a bit later, right after Astrid had commented that she wouldn’t be able to sleep for weeks, and the scene jumped to the hospital where one of the nurses was coming out of the radiation room, and at the end of the hallway behind her was the same poster. Random!

    With this next thing, I could completely be seeing things, so I need another opinion. You can kind of see it on the first picture in this post, the one with the gargoyle statue. Below that, there’s a figurine of some sort. To me, it really looks like a pig with wings. Does anyone else see that? I’m not quite sure how to interpret that (although Wikipedia does have a good explanation of the idiom “when pigs fly”), if that’s really what it is. But if it is indeed a pig with wings, I would have to imagine it had some significance…

    Did you catch the 47 reference in this episode? When the FBI agent gave Broyles the employee records for Tomas Koslov (aka Timur), his home address was listed as ‘4747 Broadway’.

    Another one I like to look for is the appearance of globes. I noticed there were a lot of those in season 1, and I think they, like the reflections, are subtle references to the alternate reality. So, in this episode there was a small globe on the security officer’s desk when she and Olivia were going through the surveillance footage.

    Speaking of reflections, there weren’t too many in this episode, but I did see a couple of them. Most noticeable was a reflection of Randy Dancik in his home when he was looking down the hallway after the lights had just gone off again. There was also a small reflection of Walter in the glass table at the Dancik home as he was examining the remains.

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  3. Count Screwloose says

    The only thing I’d add is the Cronenbergian shout-out about Tomas and his brother being “joined at the molecular level” a la Brundlefly, which probably means that the appearance of the fly in the hospital was meant as a clue to the nature of this relationship.

    And since FRINGE’s producers have affirmed the show’s participation in this week’s “Simpsons Scavenger Hunt,” that means there’ll be a Simpsons reference to discover in this upcoming episode…

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  4. Pedro says

    I am probably the only one, but I feel like the observer sightings are getting mundane. During stand alone episodes it seems odd that he would be watching them. I mean, does he watch them wash their clothes? Why honestly would he give a poo about Moleboy or AshMan? I may be the only one that feels this way, and I am by no means calling for him to be removed, it just seems cheap to see him in some of these episodes.

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    • jkyarr says

      He was observing Broyles at the airport in the Ashman episode right? I think a thorough examination about just what the observer observes is long overdue. Only rarely is he there for the pattern event like in “Arrival” He spends more of his time stalking people (most frequently Olivia). The so called spotting of the observer in the Moleboy episode was the worst. Pointless, negligible, might as well have not been there, and disputably wasn’t there! I’m perfectly fine with his appearance in the Ashman episode because of the tie in to a character that we care about. Not so with moleboy.

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  5. mj says

    not a gargoyle, dust devil, awesome reference/allusion

    cia agent = dust devil, movie tag/description in this very post?

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  6. Jodie says

    That was an interesting observation on the “projection” theory. I hadn’t noticed Peter’s reaction. This reminded me of the body snatching comment that Peter made to Olivia in the 2.04 episode. What if Walter had been able to save his son’s personality and memories and then projected them onto this Peter. This Peter would have a feeling of being snatched. Only it didn’t work as Walter had planned; maybe that’s why he would go to all the trouble to kidnap Peter, but then ignored him in the end.

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  7. Lyn Graziano says

    Earthing: What was that song?? What was that operatic song that Walter Bishop was loudly playing in his lab? Olivia walked in and said “how long has he been like this?” or something to that effect.

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