Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-upfor episode 16 of season 2 – “Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver”.
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 what the heck it all means.
Look Blues Playing With Us
The opening scene featured blue hues. Not quite the full-on blue flashes that we’re used to looking out for, but they seemed intentional nonetheless – as if someone from another time or place was tweaking the focus on a lens as they peered in on events.
Speaking of ‘blue’, Miranda Greene’s car stuck out somewhat. For one thing it’s pretty much the only primary color in this sea of cars. I also find it interesting that a Cortexiphan subject (noted for their innate preference for black and grey soldier gear) has seemingly bucked that trend, at least in terms of her wheels.
Although the red light appeared larger to Miranda due to the rapid onset of cancer, this type of size distortion reminds me of the Alice In Wonderland references we noted back in Jacksonville.
Observing The Observer
Before she died, Miranda was prepping a case against INtREPUS Pharmaceuticals. INtREPUS is a rival of Massive Dynamic and is owned by David Esterbrook, who was busted by Olivia in The Cure for creating ‘human bombs’. We’ve previously speculated that Esterbrook is part of a secret society with ties to Olivia’s uncle (note Esterbrook’s lapel, the same symbol as on the kayak belonging to Olivia’s uncle). Interesting to see Olivia and Miranda – both Cortexiphan subjects, bringing down the same unethical corporation.
The famous Seahorse Glyph appears on the wall of Lloyd Becker’s abode.
Got A Clue
As we speculated last week, the ‘Clue movie poster’ was indeed the episode clue for “Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver”. The episode not only featured the titular connection, but involved a murder-mystery, included other links in the shape of Clue weapons and contained a direct reference to the game itself (above).
A Weiss Man Once Said..
Olivia asks Sam:“What made you the way you are?”. Sam tells Olivia: “I’m older than I look. I barely remember my childhood”. His first statement about being older than he appears could tie into several ideas explored in previous episodes, such as the ‘Eternal Youth’ theme from The Bishop Revival and the subtle Immortality references. If this is the connection, the natural question is whether Robert Bishop, or perhaps Walter, were involved somehow?
Sam’s mention of not remembering his childhood sounds very similar to the experience of both Olivia and Peter. Could Sam also be a Cortexiphan kid (perhaps from a pre-Jacksonville trial?) – is that how he got his skills and how he came into contact with Nina? Or, could he even be from another universe – perhaps a Cortexiphan subject from the Other Side, who were “slightly ahead” of us, after all. It’s probably worth mentioning that his ability to read people is also somewhat Observerish. I’m not saying he’s an Observer, but perhaps the Observers give certain people certain abilities? I mean, it’s possible that they gave Peter his much speculated powers.
Aside from these possibilities, I think we also have another perception connection. Sam is essentially telling Olivia that he’s not how he appears (he’s older and taller). Again, In our Jacksonville Observations I noted the ‘Alice In Wonderland’ size distortion references, and I think we may have something similar here. Sam has childhood issues and we can read his other comments as relating to his trouble growing up (‘identity’ motif) – he doesn’t get ‘invited to dinner parties’. Is he projecting a specific image which may not be his real identity? That’s basically what I think this could be telling us – that the Sam we see, may not be what he really looks like. I’m also wondering whether that bowling alley of his is really there, or is it just a manifestation/representation of what we think we see? (I know we’ve seen other people in there, but still). This may seem kookie, but it wouldn’t be the first time that people and objects turn out to be different from how they appear from our limited field of vision – just look at the folks from Edina, the Shapeshifters, and even Peter when Olivia has her glimmer detector activated.
Nick Lane’s aunt can be seen completing a puzzle of The Creation Of Adam painting by Michelangelo. This is a neat reference to the episode as the painting depicts Adam receiving the spark of life from God’s outstretched hand.
This not only parallels with the “activation” of the Cortexiphan kids’ dormant ability, but also parallels and contrasts with James Heath’s “touch of death“, where his touch caused fellow Cortexiphan subjects to swap energy with him and die, giving him prolonged life in exchange.
So we have the spark of life reference inversed with the touch of death. This is a theme already established in the show with the mass for mass and duality/balance concepts.
The puzzle can also refer to the ‘puzzle element’ of Fringe, which is how I look at the show – building piece by piece to gain a ‘bigger picture’. While the mirrored positioning of God and Adam is reflected in the mirrored quality of Fringe in general.
Speaking of mirrored qualities, the above scene with Broyles and Nina is a prime example of that. The discussion, positioning and context directly mirrors last season’s “Bad Dreams”:
..Where Broyles and Olivia watch Nick Lane in his drug-induced state from a window of a medical facility painted all white.
It’s likely that Heath and Lane are being kept in-situ in the same facility, possibly Massive Dynamic owned.
Harlem Globe Trotter
This picture of a globe of our world behind Olivia seems somehow poignant. It’s as if Olivia, our protector, is standing in between our world and the consequences of Walter’s actions. But what are the consequences for Olivia? Will she become morally corrupt and one day be in Walter’s shoes?
- Olivia turns to Greek Mythology, referring to the secret about Peter’s origins as a Pandora’s Box. This is a straight forward reference but it also illustrates her anxiety over the “terrible things” that the truth will cause for everyone involved, and not just Walter or Peter.
- The, Lead Pipe, Wrench, Dagger, Revolver and Candlestick – the Clue weapons for this episode, as per the title.
- The Glyphs for this episode spelled ENERGY, as in the energy exchange between Heath and his victims.
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.