Fringe Observations: 2.15 Peter


Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-up for episode 15 of season 2 – “Peter”.

Below the jump we dig deep into the mythology, as we explore the various clues and eastereggs from the episode and try to figure out the bigger picture. It’s not just eastereggs, we also deconstruct large and small moments from the episode in a bid to understand the motivation behind scenes, and we attempt to piece it all together with evidence, logic, or failing that, a dollop of interpretation.

Note: For the purposes of this article, I have used the term “Peternate” when referring to the Peter from the alternate universe (where necessary).

Intro-Spective

The 80s Fringe intro can be divided into 5 screens which parallel the modern intro. The general idea is that the Fringe Science of the 80s is now pretty mainstream, contrasting with the modern intro which includes sciences that are still in the land of plausibility.

Here’s more on the 80s Fringe Sciences referenced in the intro:

I’m also intrigued by the fact that the Hand has 5 fingers in the retro intro. This perhaps offers more clarification on the idea behind the 6 fingered hand – are we looking at the next stage of evolution, or perhaps hybridisation? I also like the mirrored/inverse quality of the two intros.

Ticking Time bomb

The clock behind Olivia subtly contributes towards this rather tense scene. For me, it symbolises the ‘ticking time bomb‘ that is Walter’s secret now that Olivia knows the truth about Peter. Will she, or wont she tell Peter the truth? Wonderfully, you can even hear the clock ticking throughout this scene.

Chalk It Up

An Omega symbol can be seen on Walter’s chalk board (C), perhaps alluding to the Omega-ish symbol on the skull of Newton (A, B) – the leader of the Shapeshifters.

Although the symbol isn’t quite the same as Newton’s (could have same meaning), it might imply that Walter actually had something to do with the early design of the Shapeshifters.

Looking Glass

The glasses that appeared towards the end of Jacksonville represented a real head-scratcher. It was clearly an intentional reference to something due to the way the scene played out. While I can’t be certain that this is what they were going for, I would be comfortable with the idea that the glasses foreshadowed Walter’s Window (right) which he used to spy on the Other Side.

Both glasses and The Window extend the field of vision and both played into the alternate universe story, making the glasses a possible candidate for the ‘episode clue’ for this episode.

We’ve often spoken about the “Through The Looking Glass” allusions that Fringe likes to play with, and Walter’s Window is probably the most direct reference yet, what with it providing access to the ‘mirror world’ of the slightly different universe. The question still remains, which world is Wonderland?

The Forgotten

While watching this episode I wondered why Peternate doesn’t remember the events surrounding his kidnapping, especially since he realised that Walter wasn’t his real father moments before stepping through the portal of doom as a young boy. Then I recalled the information given to us in episode 2.05 “Dream Logic“, in which we learned that Walter used to help Peternate forget his dreams by repeating the mantra: “Please don’t dream tonight”, over and over again. It would be logical to assume that these “dreams” were actually Peter’s real memories – memories Walter was obviously eager for Peternate to forget. (The episode Dream Logic actually does a good job at explaining the idea of dreams being made to seem like reality).

This adds another level of deception to Walter’s act. If I’m right in my thinking, Walter intentionally distorted Peternate’s memories as a boy, which would explain why he doesn’t consciously remember his kidnapping, his lucky coin and a host of other things.

It’s interesting though, because Peternate’s suppressed memories do manage to come through every now and then, such as the time he recalled that the scar on his GI Joe toy was “on the other side”. Which also brings us to….

Nightmare on Walternate Street

I find it interesting that Peternate’s subconscious memory of his kidnapping – being ripped from his bed by Walter (“Dream Logic”), is actually a violent representation of what actually happened. This could be put down to the writers not knowing earlier on in the season how they were going to represent the kidnapping, or it could tie into what I put forward earlier – that Walter’s mantra (and goodness knows what else) distorted Peternate’s memory of events.

So why the nightmarish visualization? Dreams and nightmares are often heightened representations of what we feel in our subconscious. I would infer that Peternate KNOWS he was kidnapped, but that knowledge has been buried by Walter’s manipulation, administered to Peternate after kidnapping him. For me, it would make sense that Peternate would harbor nightmarish representations of what actually happened even though he isn’t consciously aware of it..yet. This probably gives us some insight into how Peternate will perceive Walter’s action when he does finally discover the truth. I can imagine we might hear the word “monster” used.

What I really appreciate about the way this is being mapped together is that we’re not only seeing two different realities or universes, we’re seeing THREE, with the third being the subconscious mind and the reality this creates for the bearer.

*footnote: The Peternate from 2.05 is a different actor – casting reasons no doubt. It’s interesting though, that they decided to originally depict Peternate as being slightly “rounder”, which tied right into one of Walter’s first memories upon being reunited with Peternate in the Pilot.

Coined

A tremendous piece of continuity. Let do this by way of a timeline of sorts:

  • In 1.20, September takes Walter to his old beach house and shows him a silver Dollar. He asks him if he recognizes it. Walter thinks he does but September tells him that this one is different from the one he remembers and that there’s..wait for it..“more than one of everything”. September stops himself from saying too much. He has given Walter all the clues that he can without interfering too much.
  • Later, Walter finds the clue he was sent to find – the silver Dollar belonging to his original Peter. It’s resting on top of the other object that September wanted him to find – the Universal Plug of Death, so that he can stop David Jones from using Reiden Lake (where Walter brought Peternate over) to cross over the the alternate universe and kill William Bell.
  • On their way to stop Jones, Walter asks Peternate if he remembers the coin, saying he took to collecting them as a child when he was sick to counteract his fear. Peternate inspects it, frowns, does the coin trick and says that he doesn’t remember it. YET, he is able to do the coin trick – the knowledge appears to be there in his subconscious.
  • After stopping Jones from doing his thing, Walter goes to his original son’s grave. As if to say ‘goodbye’ for the last time (and perhaps ‘sorry’ for, you know, replacing him). He places Peter’s coin on top of his grave stone. Walter’s act suggests that he now remembers more details of what he did and realises that this particular coin belonged to his original son – the coin Peter gave to Walter, for “luck”.
  • In 2.15 “Peter”, we see that BOTH Peters have lucky Dollar coins and both of them are able to do the coin trick with a little help from Walter and Elizanate. Peter gives his coin to Walter, while Peternate gives his coin to Elizabeth (Elizanate). Elizanate gives the coin back to Peternate..for luck, which he brings over to Our Side as Walter kidnaps him.

What I love about the journey of the coins, is not just the continuity, but the fact that Peternate innately knows how to do the coin trick even doesn’t remember the coin itself. This could be put down to the fact that he’s good at tricks and sleight of hand (i.e. picking locks), but I would argue that he’s good at tricks BECAUSE of the coin. All of this again ties into what I said above about his subconscious hiding the truth.

I also find it meaningful that this was effectively the last thing that his mother taught him – a bond which is both powerful and invisible. If Elizabeth is dead (as has been hinted), then the story will really take on a new dynamic as Peternate would presumably want to know if he real mother is alive on the Other Side.

Room With A View

The Peters rooms tell us a lot about their interests. As previously revealed in 2.05 “Dream Logic”, Peternate was interested in Space – notice the Solar System mobile and Posters in his room (A.). While it seems Peter was into Geography, notice the map of the world on his wall (B.).

This makes for an interesting contrast – Peternate has a map of the Solar System, Peter has a map of our world. I’d like to think this foreshadows or offers insight into the future paths that the Peters would have taken. I’ll also throw in the fact that, somewhat ironically, Peternate became somewhat of a Nomad, travelling the world.

Also, I think it’s worth pointing out that Peternate has a Dinosaur poster on his wall (C.), which ties in with the clue from last season’s “Ghost Network” when Peternate says: “When I as little, I think I wanted to be a Brontosaurus”. As for Peter, he has some sheet music in his room (D) and a guitar. Which is interesting, because we already know that Peternate is musically inclined as we’ve seen him play the piano. The idea may be that Peternate also played the piano as a child, or this may tie into my speculation on the intrinsic connection between the the Doubles.

The Man In White. The Man In Black.

Throughout the series we’ve commented on the color thematics, and how and why certain colors are used to provide hints or to affect the way the viewers feel about the things we see on the show. This episode reminded me of our speculation that Walter’s thematic color is White (“White for Walter”, as he once said), while Walternate’s thematic color is Black. We once again see Walter wearing a light cream jumper, while rather more subtly, Walternate is wearing a black blazer underneath his white Lab coat.

To my mind White and Black (or rather, light and dark) are two parts of the same whole – echoing the duality and balance of the show’s alternate reality concept.

Seeing Walternate in black possibly adds weight to the idea that one of the photos (of ‘Walter’ in a black jacket) given to September in “Fracture” was actually of Walternate and not Walter. If this is the case, the questions moves to whether those photos were taken Over Here, Over There, or both. Perhaps we should drag Colonel Gordon from his hole and question him!

I should also mention that we do also see Walter wearing a black coat, but that was at Peter’s funeral. I consider the Lab to be the Walters central domain, so having Walter in white and Walternate in black (and white) speaks of intention.

We could also look at Walternate’s black and white attire a different way and say that prior to Peternate being kidnapped he was the embodiment of balance. Did Walter’s act throw him off the reservation?

Tin Man: The Return

There is, what appears to be a Tin Man model behind Walter in the scene pictured above. Could this be another Wizard of Oz reference? There have been quite a few in the series so far, the most recent coming with the Yellow Brick Road and another Tin Man reference in “Jacksonville”. In my “Peter” review I mentioned how “Brave” both Peters were – strong of heart. I know that cowardice is the opposite of bravery so I should reference the Lion here, but since the Tin Man wanted a heart, I think the allusion (if it is one) works.

The Tin Man may also tie into Project Tin Man from episode 2.03 “Fracture“.

Back To The Alternate Future

In the alternate universe Back To The Future Movie, Eric Stoltz played the lead role of Marty McFly. On Our Side, Eric Stoltz ended up declining the role and Michael J. Fox eventually accepted the part. Aside from this difference, it’s interesting to note that in spite of the alternate reality apparently being 30 years ahead of us at this point, the movie still came out the same year that it did on our side – 1985. On the surface this isn’t surprising since Walter said that they are technologically advanced in some areas. But I can’t help but think about what December said as he and August were coming out of the movie theatre about their ‘theories being interesting’. If the Other Side was decades ahead of us in terms of science, isn’t it strange how their theories (albeit entertainment) were still very much aligned with our own pace (I’m assuming the movie is conceptually the same as our version). Once again this ties into the constants that seem to pervade the Multiverse.

There some exceptions, of course. The alternate universe Challenger Mission got to Mission 11 by 1984. On Our Side, we got as far as Mission 10 by 1986.

Another quirk of this movie choice is the fact that it’s about time-travel, and we know that the Observers have appeared throughout history, possibly existing outside of our perception of ‘time’ itself.

Observing The Observers / Slush-O

The Observers were in full view in this episode and they brought a famous Bad Robot beverage with them – Slusho. Because everyone knows you need Slusho to wash the popcorn down. And what happened to ‘not being able to taste much’? Those cups are almost empty!

Double De-Car

I sensed that the wide shot of the Observers was there for a reason, so I was pleasantly surprised by the double decker car! This ties into the double decker car toy (above) that came over from the Other Side as a result of Walter and William’s experiments.

Next Episode..Clue

I think this is the next episode clue due to the fact that I know the title for the next episode. If you don’t want to know what the title is, feel free to skip past this Observation.

Outside the alternate universe movie theatre there is a poster for the 1985 movie, Clue, which is based on the board game of the same name (also called “Cluedo” in some regions). The title of episode 2.16 reads very much like a cue from the game/movie: “Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver”. The premise of Clue is as follows:

In 1954, against a backdrop of McCarthyism, six strangers are invited to a party in a secluded New England mansion. They are met by the house butler, Wadsworth (Tim Curry), who reminds them each that they have been given pseudonyms to protect their true identity. During dinner the seventh guest, Mr. Boddy, arrives. After dinner, Wadsworth reveals the true nature of the party: all of the guests are being blackmailed to hide their secrets.

So we can infer that the next episode will involve a murder/mystery type scenario and the continuation of Walter’s secret about Peter being from the alternate universe. To my mind, and this is not based on any spoilers, the title spells out what may be one of the key moments of the season, in that Olivia will be in the Lab with Peter and she will have to make the choice of whether or not to tell him the truth. The titular “revolver” will be the information she holds. Question is, will she pull the trigger and deliver Peter the Multiverse-shattering bullets of truth?

Of course, I could be wrong, but I have to say this one probably makes too much sense to be wrong.

Distraction Action

This is such a small thing, but I wonder if the writers had this intention?:

When Walter explains to Carla about Walternate missing the cure, he tells her that he was “distracted by the man in the Lab”. Clearly he’s referring to the Observer, but something about the way he said it reminded me of a famous line from Wizard of Oz:

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”

Perhaps it’s just me, but that connection stuck out.

I am Become Death..

When warning Walter of the recklessness of his plan to go breach the alternate universe, Carla delivers a chilling quote from Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project, speaking about the Trinity, the first atomic bomb in 1945:

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita… “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Oppenheimer is quoting Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita, in which Vishnu tries to get Prince Arjuna to understand the true workings of the world. You can do more reading on that here. To me, the parallels between Oppenheimer and Walter are that they both played God. They became “death” by assuming the governance of death. Carla is offering Walter a cautionary tale on how science and power can obliterate if “knowledge is not persued without morality”. To my mind, there was no morality in what Walter did, but clearly there was a higher design. Like Prince Arunja, Walter is seemingly an instrument for this higher need for Peternate to survive. The difference is, Walter acted before he was told this information so that doesn’t excuse his actions.

Walter rejects Carla’s ‘Oppenheimer quote’ but accepts the mantle of “God”. Walter has effectively drawn a line around his Lab, separating his domain from God’s.

Oppenheimer’s quote:

Thematically Yours

Although Massive Dynamic was born in the late 90s, it’s interesting to contrast the darker, almost ‘underbelly’ feel to William Bell’s early corporate dwellings, to the sparse, light feel of the Massive Dynamic building interior. No doubt intentional, and once again echoing the light/dark theme.

Kiss & Wish

Walter may not have been a religious or spiritual man at this time, but rather surprisingly, he seemed to request the help of a higher power as he kissed the vial holding Peter’s cure. You don’t necessarily have to be religious or even faith orientated to that, but considering we had just seen Walter proclaim himself GOD, I find it an interesting character note.

Gone Fishing

I wonder whether the boat imagery in the Alter-Bishop’s home in any way ties into Olivia’s Kayak mystery from season 1?

Window Pain

I just love this imagery of the window. I have to note the sharp contrasts – A mother who won’t see her child again and a father ‘reuinited’ with his; the warm indoors and the freezing outside; the act of taking Peter and the consequences which begun to unfurl.

Then there’s the way that Elizabeth is looking through the window plays into the The Window that gave Walter the ability to pull this whole stunt off.

I do think this was intentional, otherwise they could have just as easily shown her watching from the door (even though the door/portal was a theme, it took a back seat to the Window in this episode)

Below

We’ve often commented on the number of “underground” references that this show has delivered. There are so many. Two of the most famous are probably The Child who was found underground and the Beacon that came through the ground. This episode threw up a couple more subterranean nuggets, most notably in the shape of Peter’s burial and Walter and Peternate falling through the ice after coming through the portal. I’m still not 100% certain that this means anything, but it’s something that I’ll continue to track.

Doors

There’s something about this shot that grabbed my attention. Perhaps its the beam of light shining down on a “resurrected” Peternate, or maybe its those big heavy DOORS which tie into Olivia’s own journey of discovery and Walter’s door to the other side. Actually, I think it’s both of those things.

Other Clues

  • There’s a book titled “Mama’s Boy” in Walter’s office although the author isn’t clear.
  • Nina’s computer, used to communicate with Bell in the alternate reality (2.07), looked similar to the computers at the US Army Research HQ. As mentioned, there’s something special about that era that makes the technology from that period desirable in the modern day mythology of the show.
  • As Walter noted, the Empire State Building‘s Observation Deck was originally designed to be a docking station for air crafts. It looks as though the alternate universe found a way to counteract the impracticalities of the updrafts.
  • When Walter told Elizabeth that “Somewhere Peter will grow up..somewhere, he will lead a proper life, somewhere he will be happy..” it was almost as though he was reciting the song; “Somewhere Over The Rainbow“, which works in several levels, not least being another Oz reference. Probably not intentional but some of the most satisfying references aren’t.
  • In reference to the above – Dorothy’s words: “It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train”, mirror what Walter told Peternate: “We can’t get where we’re going in a car”. Which in turn, echoes Doc Brown from “Back to The Future”: “Where we’re going we don’t need roads“.
  • They wouldn’t dare to suggest that the Other Side has a different Solar System..would they? It’s unclear, but I’ll just leave that out there.
  • Death and resurrection where themes of this episode. Peter died and was brought back to life – in an emotional sense at least, due to Walter kidnapping Peternate from the Other Side. We also see Walter and Peternate avoid certain death as they were saved from the clutches of Reiden Lake by the Observer. It could be argued that this also served as a Baptism analogy. Of course, this episode also took place over the Easter period, adding further weight to these themes.
  • After saving the Bishops, September reads Walter’s thoughts/pre-empted his questions, as we saw him do with Peternate in episode 1.04. I’ll stand by my original theory that this is one way that the Observers tune into people’s frequency. We know they can perceive probabilities, this probably ties into that.
  • Carla said that William had “some thoughts about Nina’s arm”. Although Nina lied about the exact details surrounding her lost limb, I wonder if she did develop cancer as a result of her arm essentially being sliced off by the universe. We’ve already seen what ‘huge amounts of energy’ did to the very special David Jones.
  • The Glyphs for this episode spelled PETERS, in reference to this episode being very much about both Peters.

As always, if you have any comments on the above article, or you feel that we’ve missed anything out, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. Bishop Takes Queen says

    Why are the Observers drinking cold slushos in the alter-verse? Do they favor cold there as opposed to spicy/hot on “our” side? A minute (and more than likely insignificant) detail, but something that occurred to me.

    Fantastic post though, Roco. Thanks for the insight.

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    • Jodie says

      September was eating a popsicle at the end of “August” when Olivia and Ella were at the amusement park. This was on our side. I think that hot and cold are sensations that they can feel easily. Drinking the slusho would fit right in with this. The observers are the same individuals on either side.

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      • Bishop Takes Queen says

        Thanks for the clarification, Jodie. I missed that clue at the end of “August.” But your observations (of the observers) are spot-on, I believe.

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      • says

        I agree Jodie. Throw in the Root beer float that September turned down in 1.04 and we can assume that hot/cold extremes offer the Observers at least some sensation of taste.

        Although, since Slushos are not much colder than Root beer floats, I have to assume that December and August were mostly drinking them to fit in, or for a mild ‘pick me up’. Unless their sensations were greater back in the 80s..

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  2. mlj102 says

    This is a great summary of all the clues and other important references from this episode — awesome job, Roco!

    I don’t have much time to write a full response right now, though I did want to quickly point something out. You compared Peter’s room and Peternate’s room, which I think is a great concept, except there’s a slight problem. Peternate’s room that you used is actually his room at the lake house, not the equivalent of his room at the house in Cambridge, where Peter was. So you’re actually using two separate rooms. For a more accurate comparison, you should use pictures from when Walter showed Peternate to Elizabeth through the window — that would be the same room.

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    • says

      Ah, excellent catch mlj!

      I’ll have to go back and compare Peternate’s Cambridge room at some point.

      I believe the general concept still stands in terms of Peternate’s early interests, but it would indeed provide a more rounded interpretation if I compare his room in Cambridge. Off the top of my head, I believe there was also a Dinosaur reference in Peternate’s Cambridge room, in the form of a miniature on his desk. That would corroborate my point above, but I’ll have to double check.

      Thanks again!

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  3. Organized Mess says

    i also thought i spotted one of Nina’s retro computers on the lake when the portal was opened…

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  4. alerys says

    i think that olivia won’t peter he’s from the alternate world because the is a hint in the describtion of the episode “white tulip” (that is coming soon) that says that peter was acting curiusly around walter because he thought walter was hidding something.

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  5. edgesight says

    The coin must be very lucky. As soon as Peter gave it away he died. When Peternate got the coin back from his mother he survived traveling between universes, surviving a fall into an ice lake and then being cured of his illness by Walter.

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    • says

      edgesight, very good point. I took the “luck” of the coin for granted in that respect. Whether or not the coin itself actually played a role in their respective fates, I agree that the writers were probably going for that idea.

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  6. mlj102 says

    Okay, I’m back and I have lots I want to say. So hopefully this won’t be too long…

    Ticking Time Bomb: I had also noticed the clock behind Olivia in that scene and I thought it looked awfully intentional the way it was positioned directly behind her, but I couldn’t figure out what the significance would be. I really like your explanation of it and I think it’s very possible that’s what their purpose was in putting the clock there. So thanks for addressing it!

    Chalk it up: It could be they just wanted to include the symbol (or something very similar to it) in this episode — I haven’t ruled out that it could also be a sort of next episode clue or something if Newton is somehow connected to the events of the next episode. But it’s also possible that 1985 was the beginning of Newton. We don’t know much at all about Newton — who he is, how he lost his head, where he came from — it could be that Walter helped develop him… maybe Newton was the first shapeshifter, and the symbol on the chalkboard was part of Walter’s early stages in that experiment?

    Looking glass: Interesting interpretation. I still think that the significance of that moment is more in the person who was wearing the glasses before they dropped — maybe that person is someone of importance, someone who came from the other side, a shapeshifter, etc.

    Nightmare on Walternate Street: The way I see it, Peter turned the events of the night he was taken into a nightmare because that’s how his 7 year old self interpreted it. It’s a combination of the fact that he only remembers bits and pieces of it, and the fact that it was admittedly a traumatic event for him. That being the case, he took what he remembered, combined it with the scared feelings, and his mind filled in the rest, which resulted in the nightmare that we saw. It’s kind of like what Walter explained in Ghost Network, that “it illustrates the brain’s need to take random sensory input and construct it into a meaningful whole” I think that’s essentially what you were saying, but I thought I’d throw out my thoughts on it, anyway. Also, I really liked how you suggested that the subconscious reality represents the third reality depicted in the show.

    Coined: I also really liked the continuity of the coin and showing how it was significant. And I like how you pointed out that the coin trick is essentially the last thing alternate Elizabeth taught Peternate. I hadn’t considered that, but it’s an important point.

    Back to the Alternate Future: Just a point of clarification: from what I had understood, the producers of the movie originally wanted Michael J. Fox for the role, but he was initially unavailable due to another project he was working on, so they went with Eric Stoltz. But after a short time of filming, they realized he wasn’t working out in the role, so they approached Michael J. Fox again, and they were able to make an arrangement that would allow him to take on the role in the movie. Whatever the case, the concept is the same, and I thought it was a genius thing to include — it’s things like that that make me love Fringe. Also, I thought the reference to Back to the Future was particularly appropriate considering that that movie is all about Marty ending up in the past and in this episode, while Walter wasn’t officially traveling through time, it was as if he was traveling in time since this episode was pretty much about revisiting the past and what happened.

    Next Episode Clue: I agree that the Clue poster is likely to serve as the next episode clue for this week’s episode. However, the summary of the movie that you included made me think of another way in which it could tie in to the episode. The summary says that the guests are being blackmailed in order to keep their secrets. So it could also be referring to the way Olivia now has a secret and has to determine if it’s more appropriate to keep the secret, or to tell Peter about it, all while Walter is insisting she keep the secret. Or, you could look at it the other way around that Walter has a secret, and Olivia is pressuring him to tell Peter. Either way, the concept of secrets connects this next episode and the reference to Clue. Of course, your interpretation also makes sense.

    Gone Fishing: I have been keeping track of boat/sailing references for quite a while now, and it surprises me how frequently they show up. For example, in Grey Matters when they were watching the video footage of Joseph Slater, the room they were in had two or three model ships. So I definitely think that boats/sailing are themes that are somehow significant, though I’m not sure what that significance would be.

    Other: I like how you pointed out the similarity between when Walter said “We can’t get where we’re going in a car” and the line from Back to the Future where Doc says “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who made that connection when I heard Walter say that!

    Just a couple of other minor observations:

    Since I like to follow appearances of reflections, I thought I’d point out that there were a couple of really good ones in this episode. My favorite was when Walter was showing Elizabeth the window so she could see Peternate on the other side, and there’s this one shot where you can see Peternate, Elizabeth watching him through the window, and Walter’s reflection in the window.

    Another thing I keep an eye out for is globes and there were several globes in this particular episode. There was a globe in Olivia’s apartment, easily visible in the more distant shots of her and Walter. And there were several globes in Peter/Peternate’s room — one on his nightstand, and one on the shelf above his bed.

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  7. says

    Finally, good things come to those who wait… ;)
    Ticking Time Bomb: What time is it on that clock? 10:13 pm or 2:50 am?
    Chalk It Up: Anybody noticed that the first letter is Α and the last is Ω? The old Greek proverb pops into my head: From Alpha to Omega (A is the same in Greek and Latin wirttings), which means something like from A to Z meaning everthing everything. Also A stands for (re)birth – and the highest – while Ω stands for death – and the lowest. I don’t see this letter as the Omega symbol known from Newton but as the actual letter Omega.
    Tin Man: The Return: I actually don’t see Walter or Peter as one specific chatacter of Oz but as the whole group of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion – both have splashes of the three characters sometimes turning up.
    Back To The Alternate Future: As this whole thing was Walters telling he may has just watched this movie a few days before – probably together with Peter – who is somekind of a geek. And we have seen that Olivia is also a bit geeky (A scene from the first season pops into my head: Peter asks Olivia if she knows a certain movie, thinks she doesn’t know but Olivia asks him if he means the classiv version or the remake). Maybe Walter just throw that in there to make Olivia smile for a second. And also it was Walter telling the story so maybe te slusho thingy was brought in by him (On the promotional posters he’s drinking a slusho I think).
    The lines of the observers:
    “DECEMBER: Their theories are fascinating.
    AUGUST: They are not theories. They are entertainment. ”
    could be a shout-out to the science nerds from the writers saying the show is unrealistic (or jumped the shark within the first episodes), so they might just shut up and go with it – because at the end of the day, Fringe is also just entertainment.
    Window Pain: This is could also be a part of the “from outside looking in” thing which was so massively used in “Jacksonville” – still the metaphor with cold outside, warm inside is a great catch.
    I wrote something about the Empire State Building possibilities on my own blog – so I’m not going to repeat it over her.
    The whole solar system thingy has something to do with balance as I know: It’s the mass of the sun balancing out the planets masses and their velocity – and vice versa, so that the system is stable enogh to exist.

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  8. LizW65 says

    Excellent points, Roco! Just wanted to add one more thing: someone on another site pointed out that the Observers may in fact have been at the movie theatre to watch the two Olivias. If you recall, in an earlier episode this season Olivia told Peter about the first time her mother took her to the movies when she was six years old–and she would have been between six and seven in 1985, so that works out, time-wise. (Of course, they could have just been comparing the two versions of “Back To The Future”.)

    And I too, picked up on Walter’s comment to Peter echoing Doc Brown’s last line from that movie–the Wizard of Oz reference didn’t occur to me as it’s been years since I watched it.

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  9. LizW65 says

    “As Walter noted, the Empire State Building’s Observation Deck was originally designed to be a docking station for air crafts. It looks as though the alternate universe found a way to counteract the impracticalities of the updrafts.”

    Another thought: a few years ago, an episode of the new “Doctor Who” featured a parallel universe which was very like ours in all important respects–except they had zeppelins! And at the end of the story arc the character “Rose” was reunited with her alternate-world father, whose counterpart in this universe had died when she was an infant. Could be coincidence; it’s equally possible that the “Fringe” writers are fans of that show and decided to give a little shout-out…

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    • The Frek says

      I thought that too! Also, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 where zeppelins are common as well – I think the Doctor Who and Fringe episodes might have both actually been referencing Watchmen rather than Fringe referencing DW.

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  10. MikeMike says

    Back to the Future in the alternate universe may have a slightly different story line than the one we have here.

    I’ve cleaned up the picture of the solar system, but I can’t tell for sure if it is the same.

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  11. livnate says

    Just watched the episode and thought it was great.
    I was thinking about how the lab assissant died and walter was charged and thought that walter may in fact have ”got rid of” her as she knew the secret about walter taking peter from the other universe.
    And this makes me wonder what happened to elizabeth.

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  12. Jasmine says

    I have a thought about the solar system. I am 33 and when I was younger pictures and models of the planets changed all the time. I remember when they finally changed models to make Saturn have more than one ring a few years after Voyager I came back in 1980. There was also talk about new planets being discovered, which eventually led to Pluto declared NOT a planet in 2006. The whole thing was a bit crazy and space was all over the news in the late 70s to mid 80s. Anyhow, since the other side is farther advanced in space travel, does it not make it possible that they would know more or have different models? Just a thought…

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  13. MRG says

    Ahhhh finally, back to Fringe and back to obsessing and dissecting…..

    I love the comments and reviews you all have posted, its so fun to read all of your thoughts since to be honest, I tend not to notice clues so much as just more questions. So here are some of my questions…

    One thing that I think is particularly important, is to keep in mind even though we are getting this big chunk in Fringe history, the story we got is such a small, small piece of the events leading up to and surrounding the arrival of Peternate.

    So I don’t know about anyone else, but I was really shocked with the twist of making Peter’s illness a genetic one. So much of our supposition had to do with Walter replacing a sick Peter with a well Peternate. It changed the context of everything immediately, as well as explains why no one was surprised about sick peter–> dead peter –> live peternate –> well peternate. I mean come on. That’s gotta be a pretty hard thing to hide from the neighbors. Plus, what about the nightmare about reclaiming an identity for a person who you have legally declared dead? Maybe that’s why its so easy for Peter to be as shifty (identity rather than shape) as he is. all that aside….

    The opening lab sequences raised a few questions for me:
    1) how come in the advanced alternate universe, Walternate and Bellienate didn’t discover the window to the other universe? What, those guys made the choice not to do any drugs? ever? not even once? ;)

    2) walternate had a bustling lab going, whereas our walter had only a poor lonely post-doc. Plus, given the way Elizabethnate was dressed and her criticism of walter’s coat, walternate seems much more prosperous than our walter. I wonder how that fits in or if it fits in with the story at all.

    3) Peter was sick and dying. Walternate was trying, but unable to find a cure. Why the hell was Walter just watching Walternate work while eating pudding/jello/ice cream/yogurt (I can’t remember what he was eating actually) How come he wasn’t working along side of walternate, trying different compounds. Maybe they would have come up with a cure twice a fast.

    4) Was it just me, or did anyone else get the sense that despite Carla and Nina not knowing, Walter and Bell already had developed the machinery for trans-universe travel?

    5) Does anyone think Peter’s a genius because he came from the other side, or do we think its because he came from walter?

    Also, it struck me at how nice and caring walter was, and the close relationship he had with Peter. Although we didn’t hear walternate or see him interact with peternate I got the sense they weren’t that close. Now, we don’t know what happened after Peternate arrived here, and how long it was before Walter got thrown into St. Claire’s…but it seems like what Peter/peternate remembers is his life with Walternate, whereas what Walter remembers now is his life with his Peter. It sure would explain the dichotomy in their stories and memories, which has been bothering me for a long time. I know we see flashes of that anger and temper in Walter, now and back then…but you know they are the same person with the same genetic and personality tendancies. I guess it comes down to nature vs. nuture. Although at its core, walter and walternate have the same nature, Walter’s environment lent itself to him being the kind Walter we saw and love, whereas walternate is the angry, overbearing side (that frankly scares me a little).

    Okay, I think that’s enough for now…sorry for the long ramble! :) but soon we will have a new episode to dissect!

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    • mlj102 says

      “but it seems like what Peter/peternate remembers is his life with Walternate”

      While I understand what makes you say that, I don’t agree. There was a significant amount of time between when Peternate arrived over here (1985) and when the fire in the lab occurred, sending Walter to St. Claire’s (1991ish). Peter would have been between 7 and 13 years old — plenty of time and at a good age to establish accurate memories of Walter as his father. Besides that, it seems like most of what he remembers are events that happened after he came over here — his memory of life before he was 8 years old is vague and unclear. Personally, I believe that it’s his experiences with Walter as his father that largely shape his impression of Walter. For example, in Night of Desirable Objects, we had Peter’s story of how he wanted to go fishing with Walter, and he worked hard and saved up his money from his paper route, but Walter was “never really all that available to him,” so he ended up going by himself. He specifically says he was around 10 or 11. I doubt Peter just made up that story based on memories of Walternate neglecting him when he was a little child on the other side. And I’m sure there are other examples, though I can’t remember them at the moment, that confirm that Walter was neglectful of Peternate while he was growing up over here. I think it’s more likely that Walter started to go downhill after bringing Peternate over here. He could have felt guilty every time he saw him. He might have been going crazy. He might have chosen to become more absorbed in his work. Whatever the case, I think that something caused Walter to distance himself from Peter while he was growing up.

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      • MRG says

        I know what you mean MLJ. I thought of that too. its hard to believe Peter doesn’t remember his childhood after his arrival. But I still have a hard time reconciling Walter’s massive personality shifts. I don’t know whats right or whats wrong…..although sometimes, just once in a while, I wonder if it could have been a walter–> walternate switch. :) hence the two sets of memories about the same thing? Its crazy I know. I don’t even really believe it. And I know walter has his mean walter moments now. so i guess I don’t know. Your explanation sounds as good as any. :)

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  14. illusionzzz says

    Is it just me or were the writers trying to draw our attention to the movie board out the front of the cinema?

    On multiple occasions in that scene the cuts are made so that we can clearly see the numbers 700, 915, sat sun 4…. do they mean anything???? If they were purely trying to draw our attention to the actors the establishing shot would have been enough…

    Or surprisingly maybe they’re just movie times hehehehe

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  15. JustForFun says

    Yesterday i watched “Back to The Future” on tv. I havn’t seen this movie since a long time. There is a moment (in 1955) Dr. Brown explain his plan to Marty for using the energy of the thunderbolt. The scene is in the garage/lab of Emmett Brown and we can see there is a kayak hanging on a wall. What a coincidence ! Or probably not… I don’t know if i explain well i’m not speaking inglish very well i’m french sorry lol

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  16. edgesight says

    I’m surprised they didn’t hide/show the “OBSERVERS ARE HERE” message into this intro like it is in the regular intro.

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  17. Image says

    Just typed up a little code table of the different intros so far.

    0 Blue Intro
    1 Red Intro
    2 80′s Intro

    Season 1
    00000000
    00000000
    0000

    Season 2
    00000000
    00000002
    0000011

    Season 3
    1010101

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