Fringe Observations: 2.09 Snakehead


Fringe Observations - 2.09 Snakehead

Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-up for episode 2 of season 9 – “Snakehead”.

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

Drag On

Next episode clue for Snakehead

As we speculated in our “August” Observations, the next episode clue for “Snakehead” was the dragon print on the Chinese takeaway bag..

Snakehead clues

..which foreshadowed the ‘China Town’ story-element.

Tangerine Dream

Snakehead clues

In China, Tangerines symbolize luck – not sure if this necessarily ties into the episode but it’s worth establishing the meaning behind it. Since there are 3 tangerines in this scene, it’s probably worth mentioning that the number 3 is also considered a positive number in China.

The ornament [left] is briefly focused upon, so it probably has some minor relevance. Whatever it is, perhaps it serves as a counter-balance to luck? (speculation).

Over The Hill

Snakehead clues

Beacon Hill might be a shout-out the the Observers Beacon from 1.04 Arrival.

Observing The Observer

Snakehead clues

The Observer keeps up appearances as Walter and Astrid exit the herbal medicine shop. (Looks like they computer generated Cerveris into the scene?)

Doctor. Who

Snakehead clues

There’s an etching of a space craft on the phone. Next episode clue, perhaps?


It Eight A Coincidence

Snakehead clues

The house number is more evidence that 8 is Olivia’s lucky number. (See previous Fringe Observations for other “8″ references). Also, 4 + 4 = 8. As we’ve speculated before, the number 8 might relate to the infinity theme which we feel has been a subtle reference in both seasons of the show.

8 is also considered a lucky number in China, so it makes sense that this episode contains quite a few number 8 references, including..

Snakehead clues

The “8″ on the kid’s shirt (and the tower – could be another “next episode clue” candidate), and next to Walter on the bench – although that’s really stretching it.

GGGR

Snakehead clues

The famous green, green, green, red (gggr) sequence made an appearance in the background, as seen from Faye’s window.

Follow Red

Snakehead clues

Snake clues

Snakehead clues

More evidence that red is Olivia’s lucky color as it points the way to the clues. Red is also a lucky color in China.

Toy Story

Snakehead clues

The toy bird belonging to Mei Lin’s kid. As a wild piece of speculation, could the toy be a crane, representing longevity (or wisdom) hence tying into the infinity theme mentioned above? That said, the bird depicted above doesn’t really resemble a crane. Maybe it’s another bird (Phoenix?) that could allude to the next episode?

Raise The Ruf

Snakehead clues

As Peter tries to rescue the trafficked people, Walter sings Van Amburghs Menagerie – a song about a travelling circus which we last heard him sing in last season’s “Unleashed” during his confrontation with a hybrid snake/lion/etc beast. Walter is fond of the song because he used to sing it to his dog, Rufus. Here are the lyrics Walter sang:

“..He goes to all the shows. He steps right into the Lion’s den, and tells them all he knows. He puts his head in the Lion’s mouth..”

This seems to be one of the techniques Walter uses to settle his nerves and perhaps recount better times when he used to sing the song to his pet dog.

Never Leaf Us

Snakehead clues

I thought the scene where Olivia shot Ming Che was a bit clunky, almost purposefully so. It made sense when I watched it again and noticed the leaf glyph planted underneath the fluorescent lights.

Other Clues

  • Some cool reflections alluding to the alternate reality theme, namely here, here and here.
  • The glyphs for this episode spelled HIDDEN. The last thing referred to as being “hidden” on this show was the shape-shifter leader’s head. (although the term could also refer to the manner in which the worms were hidden in the Chinese nationals).

As always if you have any comments on the above, or you feel we have missed something, please feel free to share your views in the comments section.

Comments

  1. Reflection says

    The Beacon Hill location also refers back to Inner Child where Olivia went to the meat packing plant that was called Beacon Hill Meats.

    One other candidate for Next Episode Clue that I noticed was in the first few seconds when the camera is showing Chinatown, there’s a sign in English that says “Ginseng Improves Memory” I thought that was just random enough that it might have some sort of significance. And, considering that next episode is dealing with brain surgeries and Walter, who is known for his unreliable memory, I thought it might be a clue.

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    • says

      Great catches Reflection (I thought “Beacon Hill” was familiar, we even had it in our 1.15 eastereggs :) ) – thanks for the share!

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  2. LZ says

    Ah! In that last alternate-reality-alluding-to picture you linked to, at the far left, there is an instance of the green-green-green-red color sequence with what look like beads!

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  3. says

    When the new year is nearing, usually, Chinese people displays round fruits, such as watermelon, grapes, tangerines… This is because it brings fortunes and as the shape suggests, there’s no “ending” luck… much like a subtle reference to 8. It makes me wonder if 8 is just cloaked in different form. What makes me more curious is that frog. I never saw such thing… so don’t really know the meaning.

    There’s more clue on the “luck”, like what I posted in the fringe-forum, you have a chinese character so obvious at the back of Walter.

    Nice catch with the leaf glyph.

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    • says

      What makes me more curious is that frog. I never saw such thing… so don’t really know the meaning.

      Yeah, I’m not sure what it represents. Is it even a frog? I thought it was a bear..

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      • says

        I would think it is a frog. Chinese culture got a decoration with frog and coin in its mouth, which represents to get luck and prosperity. But I never seen the decoration shown in the episode. I don’t think it’s a bear, coz I don’t think bear is an important figure in Chinese culture.

        I forgot to mention that the drawing in the phone booth could be the genetically engineered hookworm.

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      • says

        I’m not sure if I should take the “reflection” of it, but even if I do it, I can’t make out the chinese character. So, without doing the reflection, the chinese character means “hurry”.

        快 <- not sure if this will show up here.

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  4. Tom C says

    Another great episode, IMO very X-Files-ish, which can only be a good thing.

    My first thought on this episode was about Peter. How come he never shows or more importantly gets asked for ID when he’s with Olivia and says he’s FBI (i’d certainly ask for it)?!?! These bits for me shows he is in a lot more control and could people beleiving and being able to open up/talk to him be possibly some sort of ability??

    Also, I loved the ‘Walter’s tracking device in the neck’ scene. Very funny and i thought it showed just how mad the mad-scientist is.

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    • FlashWriter says

      My wife and I are really into the sport of Figure Skating and we watch it on TV like other people watch the NFL. I, personally, got into checking out all the moves and various spins to make sure the skaters jumped off on the correct edge of the skate and like that. …and I found that it didn’t make any difference in the ENJOYMENT of the sport. Indeed, it actually subtracted from my enjoyment because I was missing all the art in the routine. Now I just sit back and watch and just dig the art, which is what I always liked to begin with.

      Finding the Observer may be something you’re really in to, and, if so, great. But to me, just digging on the rest of the show is fine for me. If I see one of the Observers, great. If not, I never sweat it. Somebody here will point him out to me latter.

      Cheers.

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      • says

        Yeah, FlashWriter I also prefer the enjoyment of the whole ep, but, through the first season i used to spot him AND enjoy the whole at the same time… Maybe I´m getting more wrapped up in the story and the details of the story telling…

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  5. xofringe314 says

    Hey D-roc, to tell you the truth, I don’t think the Beacon Hill thing has anything to do with the beacon from 1.04. Same with the Beacon Hill warehouse from Inner Child. Beacon Hill is just a neighborhood in Boston. If you want more details, it’s a really old and historic neighborhood where all the rich people live. The only thing is that Beacon Hill is smack right in the middle of Boston, yet I see a lot of trees and not a lot of people or buildings there. In fact, I was there today I did not see many trees. Plus, the woman (I can’t remember her name) lived in a house, right? Well it’s only apartments on Beacon Hill. The closest you could come to Beacon Hill with trees is the Boston Common, but it really doesn’t work. I guess that’s filming in Vancouver for you.

    Also, while we’re on that subject, the Vancouver chinatown doesn’t really look like the Boston Chinatown, but that’s nitpicking.

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  6. says

    Thanks for the info xofringe! You’re probably right on that.

    I do think the creators are using it to their advantage though. After all, why not make reference to it since it ties into one of the most curious objects in the show’s mythology?

    But yeah, perhaps that’s a stretch..

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  7. Pedro says

    I can’t tell for sure, but can anyone else tell if that is the normal observer following Walter or if that is one of the new observers we were introduced to in the last episode?

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    • says

      Yep. I found the contrast in Walter’s clothing in this episode, compared to previous episodes, very interesting.

      Although, they played with us a little with Walter choosing to wear white “kicks” – and have Peter actually reference them.

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  8. Kyle says

    Yeah, I’m from Boston, and I really want to love this show. But with some of the locations they seem to not be trying. I gave them a pass for Ep. 1.04 – they have a south station which is one story and square, when the real South Station is huge and circular. But Beacon Hill, my God – there’s no grass, no trees, no yards, and all the buildings are brick townhouses, not million-dollar ranch-style single family homes. I give them a lot of leeway since they aren’t filming here (and in their stories, even though Beacon Hill and Chinatown are about three blocks from one another.) But to be SO off. I just can’t watch it anymore.

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