Fringe Observations: 2.20 Northwest Passage

Welcome to Fringe Observation Weekly: the comprehensive Clues and Eastereggs Round-up. episode 20 of season 2 – “Northwest Passage”.

Below the jump we dig deep into the mythology, make connections and attempt to unlock the secrets of Fringe, as we explore the various clues and eastereggs from the episode.

Note: This column deals heavy in perception.

Shift Perspective

At the very start of the episode we see a truck driving towards the Hill Top Cafe where Peter has stopped for some pie. Notice the slanted lights coming from the truck. In my opinion, this lighting style represents shape-shifter activity, and is further evidence that Newton was present in this episode – Peter wasn’t simply hallucinating, although the questioning of Peter’s perception was part of this episode’s objective.

I’ve noticed this slanted lighting thematic throughout Season 2, in episodes which have featured the shape-shifters and/or alternate reality focus – have a look:

The slanted lights were visible in episode 2.04 “Momentum Deferred”. The above capture shows shape-shifter Smith pulling up at a cryonics facility in search of Newton’s frozen head.

We also see the same light effect in 2.10 “Grey Matters” – another episode with heavy shape-shifter involvement (in fact it was the pre-curser to Northwest Passage and the temporal lobe removal). The above evidence features Newton and his buddy extracting the temporal lobe from Joseph Slater who had pieces of Walter’s memories of how to build the DOOR to the AU implanted into his brain (by William Bell, as it goes).

Once again, we see the slanted lights in 2.14 “Jacksonville” – an episode light on shape-shifter involvement (although we do see a photograph confirming that Newton had been at this location) but one that was nonetheless predicated on Newton’s attempt to move objects between the two worlds.

For me, there is little doubt that this is intentional styling used to signpost shape-shifter activity. The lights could be slanted – or skewed – because we, the audience (the characters don’t appear to notice them) have a different perspective on events than those ‘inside the show’. We are effectively observing their world from a different dimension.

We could also run with the idea that the fabric between the worlds is made to seem even more porous by the presence (energy?) of those who have crossed over from the Other Side – in this instance, shape-shifters. This may cause the lights to take on this slanted appearance from our perspective. I have to believe that this is also a marker to the perception theme, as well as subtle evidence that Newton was actively interacting with Peter, in some form, throughout Northwest Passage:

For instance, we also see these slanted lights at the Dairy Killer’s lair. Why would we see this thematic – which has been so consistent throughout the season – unless Newton had something to do with Craig’s killings? This could be further evidence that Craig wasn’t working independently, or that he was in some way being controlled by Newton (we know that both the shape-shifters and the Observers have ‘human’ operatives). This seems to add weight to the idea that Peter wasn’t simply hallucinating Newton.

Although, it’s worth noting that Newton’s previous brain extractions left the subjects alive – whereas Krista and the other victim were killed after their temporal lobes were removed. This could simply suggest that Craig performed the operations and not Newton. There is still a plot contrivance to be found in all of that, but this would at least make more sense than Craig coincidentally removing temporal lobes independently of Newton. (unless, the universe – or some sentient force – was forcing Peter into a situation that mirrored his past (“Grey Matters”) and foreshadowed his future).

Red-y To Go

Red is an important color in Fringe and has gained further prominence in season 2, particularly recently with motor vehicles. In Northwest we see a red tractor at the dairy farm. Krista also drove a red car (inset).

The prominent use of red thematically ties in with Mrs. Peck’s red car and Alistair’s epiphany balloon in White Tulip and Walter’s toy car from TMFTOS.

Wake Me Before I Leave

Speaking of Red, I found the sight of Peter waking up beside a red cushion both subtle and clever because it thematically and emotionally provides a connection to his last moments before the curtains on his real world were drawn:

Notice the red cushion with the word “HOME” beside young Peter. As I said, thematically there’s a connection there. This connection is heightened by the idea that these were Peter’s final moments, being truly AWAKE, in his real home. So I find it relevant that in the Northwest motel lobby, adult Peter is waking up. He’s waking up to a series of events that are, perhaps, forcing him to go beyond questioning where he belongs, to the point of making him question his own mind and where he exists in it all.

This fits neatly into the episode and its absorbing mix of perception, dreams and consciousness. I would also suggest this to be more evidence that Peter’s mind is not necessarily making him see things that aren’t there, but rather, he is gaining extra perceptual depth.

Bear in mind that when Walter brought him over to our side, the shutters came down in his mind – perhaps not straight away, but with the aid of Walter’s mantras and the course of time, he somehow shut out the truth about Walter taking him from his real world. So upon (re)discovering this truth, it’s bound to open the curtains in his mind, and I believe this goes some way to explaining what actually happened in this episode – in other words, Peter was not wrong in his belief that he saw Newton and received those calls.

Why Did You Let Me Sleep?

A sleep deprived Peter tries to catch a few winks but is interrupted by a mysterious phone call (wouldn’t be the last). Before I go on it should perhaps be suggested that perhaps something or someone doesn’t want Peter to fall asleep again. I say “again” because as mentioned above, it could be argued that ever since he was brought over to our side he’s effectively been asleep, as the truth about his origins lay dormant in his subconscious mind:

Notice how he is sleeping during his recovery on our side after crossing over from the alternate universe. Did crossing over flick a switch in his mind? We’ve seen so many references to Peter and dreams, from his hazy wake up calls, to his poignant “Life Is But A Dream” reference way back in season 1. I’ll say now what I posited at the time – Is Life But A Dream for Peter? What are they trying to tell us about Peter beyond the obvious? What are the physical and actual constructs of the world that we are seeing? How do you define ‘reality’ when dreams and the subconscious take on a world of their own?

Did you catch the lyrics to Band Of Horses’ “Is There A Ghost” that Peter from Boston listens to as he tries once more to get some sleep? It was a well chosen song and perhaps Krista, God bless her soul, read Peter’s aura correctly:

I could sleep
I could sleep
I could sleep
I could sleep
When I lived alone
Is there a ghost in my house?

Those are the only lyrics to the song, but I think they help bring home the point about Peter and dreams/consciousness. Throughout the episode Peter was told that he was seeing ‘ghosts’ – hallucinating. He even seemed to partially resign himself to that point of view in his ‘goodbye’ scene with Mathis. But let’s look at what this song could be telling us in relation to this episode:

“I could sleep when I lived alone. I can’t sleep anymore. Why? Is there a ghost in my house?”

Allowing a little latitude for interpretation, I think it suggests that Peter was not alone (i.e. not seeing things) throughout the episode. As the other clues suggest, he has been awakened – he is no longer sleeping as both the ghosts in his mind (Newton) and his past (Walternate) have found him, and *no coincidence here* they’re working together. He’s no longer alone.

Again, this is only my interpretation and I am more than open to other points of view, but I do feel that despite the episode’s liberties with the story mechanics, it is intersected by a delicate strand.

Observing The Observer

Like all of us, the Observer is a big fan of Krista’s pecan pie so he decided to stop by the Hilltop Cafe. He didn’t count on bumping into Peter Bishop, though, so he kept his distance and lurked in the crowd – like Newton.

Baby Blue

Yet more thematic intent can be seen towards the end of the episode with masses of blue. Not only is Peter now wearing blue, but his lamp, playlist case and even the picture behind him features heavy on the blue.

Why? I believe it’s to subliminally connect our minds to Peter’s kidnapping:

When Walter took him from his real world, Peter was wearing a blue coat. That image and that color has stuck in my mind ever since I saw it, probably because it was such an emotionally absorbing moment seeing young Peter snatched from his home by a deceitful Bishop.

So we thematically come full-circle from then to now. This is made more poignant by the fact that Peter is wearing blue as he’s disturbed from his SLEEP and woken to be reunited with his real father. Again, I don’t think this is any coincidence.

Follow The Yellowstone Road

We got our, what is fast becoming an episodic, Wizard of Oz reference in the form of Peter’s GPS displaying Yellowstone Road. To me this is a cute reference to the famed Yellowbrick Road that Dorothy and her chums followed on their way to the Emerald City. Northwest Passage (emphasis on the word ‘Passage’) was essentially Peter’s journey of discovery as he winds his way through conviction and self doubt before coming face to face with the other ‘man behind the curtain’, his father, Walternate.

Like Father, Like…

The scene with Peter at the back of the police car with the grill acting as a confessional lattice resembles Walter’s own confessional imagery from White Tulip (inset). Not only is this a thematic callback, but you can imagine that Peter would have a few things that he’d like to confess, including the guilt of being indirectly responsible for the death of Krista – especially if you go with the idea that Newton was involved.

Bubble Burst

Walter finds a Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum wrapper containing a short comic strip. Here’s a description to give you some context:

Bazooka Joe is a comic strip character, featured on small comics included inside individually-wrapped pieces of Bazooka bubblegum. He wears a black eye patch, lending him a distinctive appearance.

Several aspects of this easteregg stand out to me:

  • Notice that Bazooka Joe wears an eye-patch. This helps convey the idea that Peter is undergoing changes in perception. As we see in the episode, he is seeing things (Newton) that appear to conflict with logic and the testimony of others. However, as I’ve mentioned throughout this column and in my episode review, I believe that rather than Peter’s perception diminishing, his sight is widening. You could even say he’s ‘activating’.

Also, look at Joe’s punchline:


The creative team and the Fringe fans often refer to the two worlds in Fringe as “OVER HERE” and “OVER THERE”. So you can see how this ties into Peter’s journey to find out who he really is.

But looking at this a little deeper and I wonder if there’s another aspect to be noticed:

Above is the Bazooka Joe Comic Strip #26, the same issue as the one that Peter found on the bridge. Except, it’s not quite the same. Notice that the Bazooka Joe’s punchline is different:

“Because they just sent me an instant message telling me to get back to my homework”

Now, I don’t know if Topps release slightly different versions of the Bazooka comics, but I have to think this is the show’s way of telling us that the bubblegum wrapper that Peter found was actually from the Other Side – bearing in mind that Over There things are slightly different.

Personally, I reckon this has to be the case as it would give yet more weight to the idea that Newton really was interacting with Peter throughout the entire episode. Did Walternate or one of the shape-shifters bring the bubblegum wrapper over from the Other Side? I think so, yes.

Also, if we take the message at face value, what is it saying, exactly?


Are we to assume that Peter wont be able to go home from “here”? Does this tie into the dream references – is that the real way home, through dreams? Or is it just a general reference to the difficulty of travelling between worlds?

Maybe it just refers to the DOOR having to be opened from OUR SIDE for humans from the Other Side to be able to travel here?

Perception Is A Song Not Seen By Others

Walter picks up his “Seven Suns” vinyl by Violet Sedan Chair, making sure that we can read the writing (thanks John!). Violet Sedan Chair is a made up band featured in the special JJ. Abrams edition of Wired Magazine a few months back.

  • It should be said that the band was also referenced by Walter in 2.10 “Grey Matters”.

It’s purpose here? Hmm, firstly it’s a made up band with ties to JJ. Abrams. Then there’s the claim that the 11th song on the album is ‘missing‘ (kinda like how Johari Window – an episode dealing with Perception – was bumped from being the 11th ‘aired hour’ of Fringe Season 2, by Unearthed – the missing episode from Season 1. OK, I’ve gone too far with that connection).

Then there’s the claim that the song produces “hallucinatory effects when played on multiple turntables”. This ties into the idea that Peter is perceiving things that ‘normal’ people can’t – or that Newton was using some kind of perception altering equipment on him.

I’ve also claimed in previous observations that the frequent references to turntables help illustrate the cyclical nature of the show. Now I’m thinking that they may also represent the different levels of perception (reality) that exist within the world of the show.

Of course, Peter may have been hallucinating in this episode – and I definitely believe that the writers want us to consider this as a possibility, if not a likelihood. I just think there’s more evidence beneath the surface which suggests that Peter’s interactions with Newton and the phone calls were, on some level, ‘real’.

Will 8 Never End?

If you’ve been following our Observations, you’ll know that 8 is a recurring number in Fringe. I believe it to be Olivia’s lucky number since she’s been spotted with it on so many occasions. It made a dual appearance on the Dairy farmer’s map. Two eights leave me thinking ‘double infinity’. And in an episode where we get to see two Walter’s, too.

Wash Away

Interesting. We see Peter literally washing the blood from his hands. This is such strong imagery even though we don’t really get a good shot of the blood. Interesting that we should see this just as Peter has “saved the day”. Something is still weighing on his conscience.

In terms of this episode, it could have numerous possibilities, including the death of Krista (who may or may not have been killed because Newton wanted to mess with Peter), or his new-found guilt over his mother’s ‘suicide’. It may also represent the cleansing of Peter’s (blood) ties with Walter.

Besides that it’s just a sad, sad scene. He looks like a little boy who doesn’t know who he is. He has no belief system to support him (as far as we know), and he’s just lost the family he thought he had. Of course, things were about to change.

Find The Crack

I don’t have much to say about this (Mathis did most of the talking for me, I think), but I do think that FIND THE CRACK will have further significance for Peter in the episodes or seasons to come. Finding the crack could mean several things and like all most good metaphors it’s open to interpretation.

It speaks strongest to me in the sense of Peter finding his ray of light through the cracks – keeping the faith, or the belief. It also conveys the ‘first cracks’ that Walter said he caused by travelling to the alternate universe so he could ‘save’ Peter. And of course, it suggests that Peter will eventually find his place in the world – his crack.

Taking this a bit further – and I doubt this was the intention – it may also reference Peter’s fragmented (cracked) state of mind. His perception is giving him access to things that he wasn’t aware of before. His perception which was once a single sheet of glass (if you will) is now divided up into little cracks of glass, each one telling a different story, and perhaps, allowing him sight into a different ‘reality’ (and not necessarily in the traditional Over Here/Over There sense of the word). For me, this concept fits nicely with what happened (or what was implied) in this episode with the Newton sightings and the phone calls. Were they real? Yes, in my view, but reality is in the eye of the observer.

Sliding Doors

Walternate’s reunion with Peter is very similar to the meeting between Walter and Peter(nate) after he had crossed universes to save him (2.15):

Both Walters greet Peter with “Hello, Son”.

A phrase which is mirrored in the mid-point of Season 2 (2.10) when Walter greets Peter after having his old memories reactivated by Newton. In fact, he says the phrase twice: “Hello son….hello son” as he keels over from Newton’s poison.

Also, notice how both Walters walk through a DOOR to greet Peter – a nod to their respective doors to the respective Other Side (above).

There is also a nice reflection in the scene – bringing attention to the WINDOW – thematically cementing the Window device that Walter built to see into the Other Side:

A device at the root of the story which gave him the perceptual depth to see that there was more than one Peter.

Notice also how the reflection of Peter’s bed shows no Peter. The angles might not be wide enough for us to see him, or the show could be inviting us to question Peter’s existence in this construct – reinforcing, once again: perception, reality, dreams – both in and out of the show’s world.

Other Clues

  • Yet another moment illustrating Peter’s ‘special touch’ came when Mathis was about to call the FBI. Peter touching her hand appeared to dissuade her from making the call.
  • At the motel, Peter registered under the name Stewart. Another meaning for that name is Steward – perhaps foreshadowing Peter as the steward, or guardian, of the “gate”.
  • Peter staying at the ‘Northwest Passage’ may also be a reference to Olivia’s Northwestern sweatshirt (also worn by The Child in 1.15).
  • The glyphs for Northwest Passage spelled RETURN as in Peter’s possible return home – to his real world, or perhaps even to Walter and Fringe Division.

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.


  1. inastateoftexas says

    I’ve gotta say, Roco, I’m a fan. There are times when I don’t agree with you (I thought Northwest Passage was better than you did), but I enjoy your reviews and comments more than the multitude of other reviews I read about this show. Thanks for caring enough about the show to think about it and WORK to see what is good bout it and what is not — at least your thoroughness allows those who don’t agree with you to intelligently and civilly rebut your comments. That is much appreciated (after all who wants to get into a nasty over something that’s meant to be fun?). Thanks so much… . And, as always, great observations. Are you sure you’re not an Observer? Maybe November?

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    • rosull says

      Yes I’m sure that Roco qualifies as an honorary Observer. Present at all “Pattern” events (check), takes meticulous notes (check); I’m not sure how he feels about spicy food though…

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    • says


      Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. I try to be as thorough as I can in order to get to the root of the episode and its relation to the broader journey. Like you said, we (our community) may not always agree, but the floor is always open to share and exchange views, ideas, and I’m glad that we can do that.

      I cannot confirm nor deny that I am November. :)

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    • Anya says

      I agree with inastateoftexas. I only got into Fringe a few months ago, and only discovered your reviews/observations a month ago. I too thought Northwest Passage was better, but I am in awe with the observations you’ve made regarding each episode. It’s so much fun to rewatch the episodes with these tidbits in mind.
      Anyway, I wanted to say “thanks” for being such a fan. 😉

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  2. LizW65 says

    “Interesting. We see Peter literally washing the blood from his hands. This is such strong imagery even though we don’t really get a good shot of the blood. Interesting that we should see this just as Peter has “saved the day”. Something is still weighing on his conscience.”

    I noticed that too, though I failed to bring it up ’til now–it made me think of Lady Macbeth, of all things, and leads me to wonder if on some level Peter is feeling guilt for everyone who has died as a result of Walter bringing him over from the Other Side.

    Also, I never realized until I saw the pictures juxtaposed how much the child actor playing young Peter resembled Joshua Jackson. The casting director really did a great job there.

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  3. LizW65 says

    ETA: To further reference Macbeth, The Scottish Play deals heavily in themes of sleep deprivation and how it relates to guilt: “Macbeth has murdered sleep..” and so on. Interesting.

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  4. Me says

    Sorry D-Roc, but I think you really over analyze a lot of stuff in Fringe, especially with the colors. The whole pillow thing was okay but the thing with the tractor was kinda like making something out of nothing. I mean, sure it was RED, but what other color are tractors supposed to be? I’m sorry, but I think you’re going to need to accept that there are things called COINCIDENCES, which as said by one of my favorite authors, are basically just us looking for connections and there are so many connections between people and things that we’re going to find one eventually. Just because one day a set designer decided to put a red mug into a scene at the lab because he or she couldn’t find another color doesn’t mean that that scene symbolizes Peter’s desire to go home or something like that. And it’s not just this episode. I n your observations for TMFTOS, you point out that the one of the buildings in the episode had a yellow roof. ( Sure, maybe the producers of Fringe drove around Canada looking for a building with a yellow roof, so they could have this symbolism. I’m sure if the roof ended up being white or blue, or red, you would have found some other meaning. So I guess what I’m saying is lay off on the really deep symbolism that may or may not be there and you might be able to cut down on these 20 page analyses.
    (Oh, sorry if I seemed a bit rude to you.)

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    • mlj102 says

      You see, with any show not created by J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot, I would completely agree with you. But the fact is that Bad Robot shows like Lost and Fringe purposely include these little Easter Eggs and recurring themes for the observant viewers to find. What would normally be dismissed as a coincidence turns into something very intentional. I have no doubt that they put in a lot of thought into things like costuming and props. So what for any other show would simply be a random choice of color for a prop, on Fringe could very well be something they intentionally included in that particular color for a reason. Of course there are still coincidences, but it also means that there are a lot of things that may seem insignificant that really were done that way on purpose.

      So then the real trick comes in figuring out what is just a coincidence, and what was really meant to be a little more significant. And the truth is that, sometimes we probably do pick up on things that are just a coincidence. But in searching for those things, we also inevitably come across things that were done on purpose, that we would have missed if we hadn’t been looking for them. For example, I love looking for reflections in this show. I think that, more often than not, those reflections are very deliberate and they are included as a sort of Easter Egg, representing the idea that there’s more than one of everything, the existence of the other reality, etc. I think the producers and other people involved include those reflections for viewers to find. And certainly there are probably some reflections that are just a coincidence — reflections show up all over the place and there’s no reason to think that every reflection in the show was included intentionally. And yet, there are some scenes that seem to have been filmed very deliberately so that the reflection is prominently featured in the shot. And so, I look for all reflections, even though I’m bound to find some that are just a coincidence.

      My point is that, yes, some things Roco or others focus on may really be just a coincidence. But with this show, you never can be too sure what is a coincidence and what was done on purpose, so you really can’t rule out anything. For that reason, I don’t think Roco is ever going to “lay off on the really deep symbolism” because that’s part of the fun. And while we may be focusing on things that really are a coincidence, I think a lot of times we also uncover some really neat Easter Eggs and themes that otherwise would have been missed. And finding those things is one of the things I love about Fringe.

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      • LMH says

        Thanks mlj102. The level of detail on the show is mindblowing in my opinion, and the Fringe team has told us on numerous occasions that the show is dripping with clues everywhere and it’s all a matter of how deeply you want to dig into the show. And as Roco pointed out, like all good metaphors (symbols) they are open to interpretation, and that’s why obsessed people like us take the time to read these observations and respond. It’s a damn good show with an amazing level of story depth, clue planting and continuity and we just want to follow it and guess as best we can along the way.

        For the record also, you can see on behind the scenes clips that they paint sets specific colors. If they’ll paint a building exterior/interior for the sake of one scene, I think they can get a red tractor or car. I can’t believe how much work they put into the show, but I sure do appreciate it. There are so many red and green houses/rooms. I’m rewatching season 1 on dvd and a few include: Samantha Loeb’s house, Walter & Peter’s hotel room, Olivia’s bedroom, and this season I remember several crime scenes and other locations that featured red/green walls/trim.
        Or maybe New Yorkers and Canadians just really like those two colors together. hmmmm….

        On that note, let’s find that season 3 clue! ; )

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      • LizW65 says

        As far as reflections go, several people on another site pointed out that when Walternate is reflected in the mirror in the last scene, nobody is reflected on the bed (i.e. Peter doesn’t reflect.) It could simply be a continuity error, or it could mean that there’s only one of Peter as opposed to two Walters, or it could be further evidence that the episode only took place in Peter’s mind, or…or…

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    • says


      You’re completely right, I do over analyze the show – that’s the point of our Fringe Observations column. To dive head first into the clues, themes, symbolism in order to hopefully gain a better understanding of the show.

      That’s not to say my observations are correct all of the time. Rather, they are ‘observations’ – my interpretations of the story. They carry three disclaimers:

      1). They are my genuine observations and interpretations from the episode/show. If I connect with something then I’ll probably mention it. But I always try to back it up with evidence, possibility or my own point of view, where possible.

      2). I may very well be wrong in all that I see. I am very open to the idea that every observation I make could be wrong. But I also believe.

      3). It’s all in the name of fun. I am constantly intrigued by the irony of Fringe.

      That said, I do believe that the people behind the show incorporate many of these things for us to notice, either consciously or subliminally. I am also a the idea that sometimes there are, shall we say, ‘other forces’ which guide the show, just as there are in all/most forms of entertainment, and indeed life.

      You may call them “coincidences”, and many of the observations I put forward are probably just that. But the idea is to examine these coincidences on our journey to finding the truth. Maybe coincidences exist for a reason, maybe they are nothing but a distraction. Who knows? I guess the important thing from my viewpoint is to acknowledge a good coincidence when I see one, because what if it’s not a coincidence?

      As for the red cushion. Actually, I think this one was interwoven with intent. I could be wrong, you’ll have to ask the powers that be. The “Yellowbrick Roof” observation – yeah, I used some latitude there! Although like I said, I do believe that they look for thematic choices to add depth to the story, and sometimes the thematic choices may even find them. Again, you are free to come to your own conclusions. One thing I don’t do is just throw any old connection together for the sake of it. :) If it speaks to me on a certain level and I feel it has meaning within the context of the episode/show, only then will I mention it.

      All that said, these are interpretations of the story. But I don’t apologize for the “20 page analyses”. You have a choice whether you decide to go down the rabbit hole or not. It’s content which you can ignore if you want. You could simply decide to not press “click to continue” and it wouldn’t exist. Although I’m glad and amazed at the amount of folk who do decide to journey down. The Observations are an invitation for fans of the show to expand, share, agree, disagree with any of the observations put forward, and to help gather together anything that might have been missed. It’s for all of us to share and explore. The comments section has some great ideas which are just as much a part of the journey.

      Anyway, hopefully I’ve given you a better idea on how I approach this? To close, I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me – debate is encouraged as long as it doesn’t get nasty. I mean, what a boring universe it would be if we all saw things in the same way. Likewise, it’s great to connect with like-minds.

      Basically, it’s all good. I accept your dislike for the column (or aspects of it) but it is what it is. :)

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      • jinx1764 says

        Amen, Roco!

        I love good-natured debate and analyzing! My husband enjoys it, too just not to the degree that I do. And a show like Fringe which is intentionally created to be multi-layered and nuanced will have numerous symbols which are preplanned and accidental. We are a result of our environment and culture and the symbols of that which often are subconscious. When one expresses oneself in any medium there will always be levels of both intentional and unintentional symbolism.

        What you will intent to project some will see while others will see something very different. Others will see something that you didn’t intent to project and yet you will agree with the viewpoint once expressed. It’s call art and it’s what makes humans so darn interesting!

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    • jkyarr says

      On the note of color patterns, If you’ve followed the show from the start it become plain to see that some color usages are deliberate. With all the infinite shades of each color it becomes impossible to contribute the re-occurrence of the same RGB number of blue, red, green, and yellow across so many instances in so many episodes, to coincidence. I kept a spreadsheet during season 1 on the color patterns. What they mean may not be clear yet but that doesn’t mean that they’re not there. And just because you don’t personally perceive a pattern doesn’t mean others don’t. And that brings me to the reason for my post…

      I’m beginning to perceive a correlation between the color violet and Astrid…
      As we’ve discussed before, Olivia is yellow, Walter is Red, Peter is Blue, and then there’s a green scene that is crucial to the exposition of the plot of the episode… Now during the last few episodes (or perhaps earlier, as I only began to perceive it during the last few), Astrid has started to wear ‘violet’. Now I’m not an expert on the various shades of purple… maybe she was wearing plum… But watch and re-watch for shades of purple. They (Astrid & purple) seem to correlate. One example is when she and Olivia bring Walter home from his arrest in the supermarket. She wears purple in this scene. She did also in the musical episode if I’m not mistaken. And on that note it’s interesting to observe that purple is a blend of red (walter) and blue (peter)…

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      • mlj102 says

        It’s been a long time since I remember seeing you post something! I was excited to see that you had commented again.

        Remind me again why you think red is Walter’s color? I understand Peter and blue, as well as Olivia and yellow (though I could argue that red is also an important color for her), but I can’t figure out the connection between Walter and red. Also, I have noticed the connection with Astrid and purple, but I also feel she’s been wearing red just as often.

        I’m not completely convinced that colors are meant to represent or be associated with individual characters. I see it more as the colors have a certain meaning or significance, which is emphasized by how prominent it is and how often it shows up. And when the color is associated with a certain character, you can apply that meaning to the character. Of course, I haven’t analyzed it enough to be able to determine what any of those specific meanings are yet, but it just seems that the colors aren’t isolated enough with any one specific character, so I interpret it as the colors being connected with a meaning or theme more than a certain character.

        But it’s still a bit early to rule out anything, and, truthfully, I haven’t spent very much time analyzing the use of colors, so it’s quite possible that you are right about the colors representing certain characters.

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  5. says

    Roco, did you notice the Space Needle figure in the Bishop’s kitchen? I thought it was totally weird, considering Walter hates Seattle, and the episode took place in Washington.

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  6. kittyofdoom says

    The image of Walternate walking through shadow as he enters Peter’s hotel room instantly made me think of the way William Bell was standing in shadow the first time Olivia saw him. (I’m not sure when that was? There’s More Than One of Everything?) I think there are definitely parallels there, too – Bell and Walternate are both from Over There, and their interactions with Olivia and Peter, respectively, have similar aims. I am Canadian and cannot access episodes of Fringe online, so I only saw Momentum Deferred once, but unless I’m remembering wrong, Bell was very much addressing Olivia as a ‘soldier’ and as related to her powers. We can safely assume that Walternate wants Peter for his ‘powers’ as well. Just a thought. (Or several. Heh.)

    Another thing I was reminded of, reading your observation about Peter’s touch – recently I was watching Bad Dreams on the Season 1 DVDs, with commentary by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. During the scene where Olivia is under hypnosis to determine the whereabouts of Nick Lane, she’s agitated and Walter tells Peter to calm her down, and Goldsman and Pinkner commented specifically on the power of Peter’s touch, and how the way he looks at his father suggests that on some level, he KNOWS what he can do, and he’s asking for permission. The fact that Walter would say that suggests that he knows as well. Then Goldsman and Pinkner assured viewers that Peter’s touch would be in episodes to come. (And said, “Mwahaha.”) I found that quite significant. Has anyone else watched the commentary?

    Thanks Roco :) Really enjoy your posts.

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    • LizW65 says

      I’ve watched it! And I get what you’re saying–Peter definitely has some sort of ability related to touch, and both Walter and Peter are aware of it on some level. We’ve seen several examples of it over the course of the show–in Bad Dreams, and again in Ability, when Peter grabs Olivia’s arm shortly before she’s able to turn off Jones’s light box/bomb; in ANDITOT, when Peter’s touch awakens Olivia from her coma; in Jacksonville, and possibly in NWP with the sheriff. Not to mention Walter’s seemingly throwaway comment to Peter in (I think) safe, “You have no idea what you’re capable of.” Lots of interesting clues!

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    • says

      “The image of Walternate walking through shadow as he enters Peter’s hotel room instantly made me think of the way William Bell was standing in shadow the first time Olivia saw him. (I’m not sure when that was? There’s More Than One of Everything?)”

      Nice catch, kittyofdoom. I also noticed that parallel, thanks for mentioning it. I found Bell’s shadow lingering to be quite hockey, but thought Walternate’s was well done.

      (yup, t’was indeed the season 1 finale).

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  7. Me says

    I can tell you were offended by my last post as you did not allow it to be posted. I just wanted you to know that I created a fake email

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    • mlj102 says

      The reason your comment wasn’t immediately posted was because you included a link — all comments with links have to be approved before they actually show up for everyone to see. I don’t think you have to worry too much about offending Roco — from what I’ve seen, it really takes a lot to offend him!

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  8. Me says

    Umm…this is embarrassing, but I accidently pressed submit before I was finished. So anyway, I made up a fake email which some poor guy out there probably has so if you wanted to contact me I created a fake email just for you.

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    • says


      As mlj said, your post got stuck in moderation, it happens sometimes. In such cases I dig them out when I can. You didn’t offend me, you are invited to share your thoughts whether you agree or not. It’s all good.

      I’m confused about the fake email thing though.

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  9. fadorafadares says

    Thanks for giving me so much food for thought.

    I hadn’t stopped to think about “Macbeth,” though “…To sleep, perchance to dream,” was a piece of graffiti in an earlier episode. Both are nice, fringe nods to the Bard! Lack of sleep leads to madness?!!

    Thanks for your hard work.

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  10. rosull says

    Hey Roco, what about the most obvious obersvation? The frozen lake painting behind Peter’s head at the end!

    Talk about referencing a past event. Walter opened the door to the Alt-universe at a frozen lake and brought Peter OVER HERE. Then we have the end of ‘Northwest Passage’ where Walternate shows up to “bring Peter back” and there’s a FROZEN LAKE. Kudos to the set designers for that easter egg :)

    Also, THUMBS UP for finding the observer. I’m glad that they did not leave him out.

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    • Fringefan1991 says

      I think that if the observer was left out of an episode it would mean that the entire multiverse was ready to implode.

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    • says

      Ah, nice connection, rosull. You know, I stared at that painting but couldn’t quite make the connection that was staring back at me. But now that you, and JustForFun, mention it, I guess it could be a reference to Reiden Lake, especially in relation to how you describe Walternate opening the Door to the AU.

      Nice one.

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  11. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    Roco, I liked your sections “Red-y To Go” and Baby Blue”. I too feel the colors are important. Perhaps they have something to do with movement or direction. In Astrophysics, “red shifting” applies to objects moving away from the observer. While “blue shifting” applies to objects moving closer to the observer. The colors red and blue are parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and are applied to light emitting objects and the frequency that is emitted from them as they move through space/time. Thoughts?

    As far as Peter washing his hands I thought of Pontius Pilate. “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it’.” Also see Psalm 26:6

    Keep up the good work brother Roco.

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    • LMH says

      As for blue and red, they were a prominent color pair (you could say used together and in contrast with one another) in season one: most notably (off the top of my head) in activating drugs such as those used on Claire Williams in “The Cure” (“we know that this makes you better, but this will make you special”), and also in opposing vials in Walter’s lab (as we’ve seen with red and green). And again in “Midnight” (I think?) where the cure is a very “blue” compound, which Walter states loud and clear so that we can’t miss it. I’m sure there are some great shots of this in Roco’s observations from season 1.

      IF Olivia’s color is red (as has been suggested here before), and Peter’s color may be blue, what might that tell us about their respective places in the interuniverse conflict?

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    • says


      Thanks for sharing your views, you always have an interesting perspective on the show. I love the idea of ‘red and blue shifting’ and how it could fit in with some of the thematic choices. I’ll have to look into it further!

      I especially love the Pontius Pilate mention. It broadens the question of whether Peter was washing his hands of Walter and his crimes, or his own transgressions. It also allows us to examine the ‘specialness’ of Peter within the context of his actions. Can he help bring peace, or will he be a tool for destruction? It’s a question I also reserve for Olive.

      Thanks again for sharing, Dave.

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  12. mlj102 says

    “Note: This column deals heavy in perception.”

    Wow — you weren’t kidding. I love the theme of perception in Fringe, but I must admit that I had not picked up on nearly half of the perception references that you mentioned in your observations. You certainly caused me to look at this episode in a different way (though I still don’t like it). I’m not sure I completely agree with all of your theories about how certain things tie in to perception… but I do like a lot of the ideas you presented in your observations.

    Slanted lights: I’d never picked up on a pattern with the diagonal lights before you pointed it out. It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure I’m completely convinced of it yet, though I will certainly be paying more attention to that in the future.

    I really like the many parallels you found between this episode when Peter was reunited with Walternate, and Peter, when Walter took Peter from the other side. I hadn’t picked up on those things, but I really like the many things that seem to reflect back on that event. As you said, it represents coming full circle and I think it adds greater depth to certain parts of this episode.

    Question about the Observer: Was the Observer’s concern about Peter at the end of Brown Betty due to the fact that Peter hadn’t returned, or was it that they didn’t know where Peter was? I had kind of thought it was the latter, but the fact that the Observer was watching Peter this episode seems to suggest that wasn’t the case. But then I’m a bit confused as to why it was such a concern to them that Peter hadn’t chosen to return. It would seem that certain things — including Peter’s decision to leave — are happening different than they had expected. Perhaps this is an example of the new probabilities that were introduced when September interfered with Walternate finding the cure. I guess I’m just trying to figure out why the Observers are so concerned about where Peter is — why does it matter?

    The Yellowstone Road: So, I actually looked up the area on Google Maps to get a better idea for where Peter was, and it seems he was supposedly in a large National Forest in Washington, that wasn’t too far out from Seattle. As has been mentioned, Seattle also has the nickname of the Emerald City, so that fits in with your Wizard of Oz observation, as well. It actually would have been neat if, instead of initially choosing Portland as a destination, Peter had named Seattle as his destination. I actually had a question about the locations used in this episode. The location titles, as well as the sheriff’s department, etc., indicated that this episode took place in Noyo County, Washington. But there is no Noyo County in Washington. I’m curious as to why they chose to set this episode in a county that doesn’t actually exist. In every other past episode they have used locations in real life, so why did they decide to make up a county for this episode? Why not use the name of a real county in Washington?

    Comic: When I first read the full comic, I was confused because it wasn’t funny. Then I found the real one and realized that the words had been completely changed — the original comic is actually funny (in a comic sort of way). So this made me think they had changed the comic for the sole purpose of including that phrase: You can’t get there from here. I’m all for discovering things that originate from the other side, but I just find it hard to accept that’s the case with this comic because the way it’s written just doesn’t make sense. I think the purpose was more that they just wanted to be able to convey that message, so they just found one of the comics and changed the words for part of it. If it does come from over there, then they must have a really odd sense of humor…

    Just a couple other minor observations:

    47: Peter’s FBI badge had the number 47 at the end of it. I also noticed that the GPS screen indicated that it was 47 degrees outside… what are the odds that it really was 47 degrees? That would certainly be ironic for a show that likes to include that number.

    8: Another reference to number 8 was when Sheriff Mathis received the radio call about how Krista’s body had been found near mile marker 8.

    Tree: So, I noticed there was a picture of a tree behind the guy at the front desk of the motel when Peter woke up in the Lobby. I thought it stood out quite a bit and seemed rather deliberate. I’m still trying to decide if I think it’s significant or not, but I’ve noticed they seem to be featuring trees more and more frequently, so I thought I’d point it out.

    Boats: I’ve been watching for boats for quite awhile now, and I’ve noticed you’ve started pointing them out, too, so I thought I’d mention that there were a lot of sailboats shown in the scene right before they cut to Olivia and Broyles talking in Broyles’ basement office. I’m not sure what the meaning is, but the more I see boats in the episodes, the more I am convinced that it is intentional.

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    • Jodie says

      I’d have to agree about the comic. Even though I found Roco’s observation to be very intriguing, I too, feel that it was a message to Peter. I think that the universe is trying to tell Peter to stop running. He’ll never get his answers this way. It isn’t until he finally lies down on his bed, relaxes, and falls asleep that his past is able to catch up to him.

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    • says


      Re the Observer: Interesting – I had always figured that he was concerned because Peter hadn’t returned and things weren’t going the way they needed them to go in relation to his ‘agreement’ with Walter. Like you say, it’s possible that he’s now perceiving a different set of outcomes than he did when he saved Peter from the lake of doom. It would appear that somewhere along the line something has caused Peter’s path to change. Something has seemingly come from left-field and caused him to branch off into a new direction. I’m thinking it was him discovering the truth about his origins, and specifically it could be related to Walternate managing to pass through the gate.

      This would seem to make sense because the last time (as far as we know) that Peter’s future path changed to such an Observer alarming degree was when Walter brought him to our side resulting in September saving his life (and prior to that when Walternate missed the cure). Does the crossing of people into an alternate universe blind-side the Observers to a degree? Is this also one of the reasons why September was so keen to prevent Jones from breaching the fabric of the universe?

      Re Yellowstone Road – great catch with the Seattle/Emerald City link, I actually forgot all about that. I agree that it would have been neato had Peter chosen Seattle as a destination rather than Portland. I wonder if Portland was another nod to Lost?

      Re: the comic. I like your take on it. In some ways, it’s an unusual clue as it doesn’t make sense in terms of the joke. I think it’s one of those occasions when they wanted to convey a breadcrumb to both the characters (Peter) and the audience simultaneously. Usually the characters don’t notice the eastereggs, so it was an interesting approach to essentially do two things with one reference.

      Thanks for the other 47 reference – I missed the one of Peter’s badge, which is ironic considering I mentioned the badge in the review. Nice catch on the other 8 reference also.

      They do seem to be including a lot of boat references lately. I still think it’s all building towards revelations on the Zeno Kayak, whenever they decide to come back to it.

      Great contributions as always, mlj, thanks for sharing!

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  13. modulegirl says

    The thing that struck me was that the only place Peter actually slept was on the lobby couch at the first hotel. While Peter has a room upstairs in the house, we’ve only ever seen him sleep on the couch in the living room opposite Walter’s bed in the dining room, much the same position that he slept in when they were living in the hotel. He had a hard time falling asleep in both hotels (and to be fair he *was* rudely awakened both times) but managed to fall asleep on the couch, waiting in the lobby. I’ve been noticing the couch sleeping as I watch S1 and S2 and finding it charming that even though he now has a bedroom, he still sleeps at least sometimes on the couch, whether for Walter’s benefit or his own, I don’t know. mlj102 looks for reflections, Roco looks for symbolism, I look for Peter asleep on the couch.

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    • Jodie says

      I’ve also noted that we never see Peter sleeping in a bed and found that joke to be really funny. I thought that it was another nod to the X-files.

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      • LMH says

        Maybe just a reflection on men who aren’t too concerned with creature comforts, or just bachelor types who fall asleep wherever their eyes start getting heavy. I loved Mulder with his bedroom as floor to ceiling storage for file boxes. “I didn’t even know you had a bedroom.” lol. Peter was treated like Mulder in that he was thought to be “off his rocker,” needs his answers in a Mulder-like way. But also for Walter (and Liv!) to stop waking him up all the time. The couch is closer to the door and kitchen too for when the inevitable 3am wakeup the world is ending phone call comes, logistics.

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  14. eveybane says

    Did anybody find the clue for the next episode? Is it possible that it’s the Bazooka bubble gum wrapper?

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  15. Frobozz says

    The brain surgery question certainly was left open wasn’t it? Was it Newton doing it, or was it the local recluse? Newton’s brain surgeries were done cleanly, with no mess (except to that poor guy who’s head was left open, but Newton even apologized for that). The brain surgeries done here were messy and resulted in death.

    I LOVED the creepy phone calls. VERY much like the phenomenon of “instrumental trans-communication” (google “ITC” if you want to know about it, it does deal with communication with other dimensions).

    But Newton in the forest…what was the point of the green-goo filled dart? How did they have the time to collect it from the tree with Peter running around with a gun? Was it all a dream?

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  16. jinx1764 says

    I liked your catch about the slighted lights indicating shapeshifter activity for the viewers. But as with the episode Jacksonville the shapeshifters themselves don’t have to make an appearance for the lights to be present. So while I agree that Newton was present and was tracking Peter I’m still not completely sold that he was 100% present throughout the episode and causing all the mayhem.

    The phone calls (assuming they were real) could’ve been from the observers warning each other and Peter accidentally picked them up. He still could’ve hallucinated them since he’s hypersensitive regarding Newton, etc.

    Again I think it plays into the writers’ intent that this entire episode messes with the viewers minds just like it’s messing with Peter’s mind. What’s real? What isn’t? Where do I belong? What’s connected? Etc…..I suspect that most if not all of these questions might never be answered. Not unless Peter is able to find the answers himself because that was the intent of this episode; to illustrate the mass confusion that is Peter’s mind/reality at the present.

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    • says


      The thing about Jacksonville is that Newton and pals
      were at the building site
      hours before he sent the building from the AU over. I can’t help but think that their ‘energy’ may still have been present in the area, hence the appearance of the slanted lights. I agree that this one may not be as solid as some of the other slanted light appearances, but it would be great attention to detail if this was the intention of the powers that be.

      Interesting suggestion re: Peter possibly intercepting calls from the Observers. He’s already displayed a precedent for reading his fathers mind (1.04), perhaps his powers extend beyond that? I personally believe the calls were from Newton & Co., but it’s good to consider the other possibilities.

      It’s actually interesting to consider whether or not the writers/producers will resolve the questions we have about this episode. I’d like to think that they will at some point – especially if the show goes where I think it will. If not in the narrative itself, perhaps they will give us some clues in one of their interviews, if such details don’t harm future storylines.

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      • jinx1764 says

        I agree that the shapeshifters were present during ‘Jacksonville’, I just meant that they were unseen by the audience. It the slanted lights do mean shapeshifter activity during an episode then yes, it would be a great continuity device. I just meant that even with the slated lights we can’t be entirely sure that everything that Peter saw was 100% real when dealing with Newton since other characters (Mathis) didn’t witness anything.

        As an interesting note…as I’m rewatching season 2…Molebaby episode has slated lights as they explore with their flashlights at night in the graveyard, etc and we all know that Charlie as a shapeshifter by then. Hmmmm….you may be on to something, Roco!

        It may be that slighted lights are a guidepost to shapeshifter in the episode either seen or unseen and that’s all.

        As far as questions being answered about the episode, I really hope I’m wrong about this one. I would LOVE more clarity about what was really happening, what Newton’s real objective was in they way he captured Peter, etc. But I’ve been a JJ. Abrams fan from way back and I’ve learned to accept that not every question gets a solid answer. He’s good about answering the important ones but smaller ones and subjective ones…no so much. I’m also guilty of getting my husband addicted to Abrams, *snicker*. He loved Alias and we’re finishing Lost! Our social life is non existent on any Abrams show night and he’s dead if he forgets to record it when I’m on EMS duty, lol!

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  17. Jodie says

    Rocco, I have just two things to say about your observations.

    I was thrilled to read that you too think that Peter has been sleepwalking through his life. He is also totally unaware that he has special abilities. I often wonder if he actually has memories of Walternate and his mother. I feel that Peter has actively blocked much of his memories from his early childhood – that it is more than his simply remembering things as being different from Walter’s memories. As a small child, he could do nothing to get back to his real parents and it would make sense that in order to protect himself, he would go along with Walter and Elizabeth and pretend that he was their son. There have been several times where Peter has been confronted with the fact that his memories are differed from Walters, but in stead of confronting Walter, he simply ignores the situation. I thought that that made sense: why confront the obviously crazy Walter. But he actually did this same thing with Nina Sharp in “the Cure.” That scene has always stood out in my mind. After Nina tells Peter that she was very close to his father at one time and had actually spent a lot of time with Peter as a child; Peter gets this puzzled look on his face, there is a long pause, and then he changes the subject. I couldn’t believe that he would pass up the opportunity to find out more information, but he didn’t take the opportunity. At the time, I just thought that the writers were going to make us wait for that information, but I think that they were showing us that Peter didn’t want to know. That this information was too dangerous for Peter: Peter runs away from difficult situations whether it’s from a specific location or from a dangerous memory.

    Second thing, just as Frobozz mentions above, the brain surgeries that happened in “Grey Matters” and in “Northwest” were just too different to have been done by Newton or I think even instigated by him. I feel the only monster that we saw doing brain surgeries in “Grey Matters” was William Bell. William Bell not only violated Walter, but he also violated those other three individuals. He stole years from their lives. I saw Newton make them whole again. He was gentle and compassionate. The scene with Krista was horrible. It was ugly and frightening, and I simply feel very strongly that Newton had nothing to do with it. In fact, I think if the writers let us see more of Newton, that we will see a comparison between Newton and Walternate further into the series. Even though Newton is some kind of a hybrid human, I think that we’ll be shown that he has more humanity than Walternate.

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    • mlj102 says

      “William Bell not only violated Walter, but he also violated those other three individuals. He stole years from their lives. I saw Newton make them whole again. He was gentle and compassionate. The scene with Krista was horrible. It was ugly and frightening”

      I think we have to be careful in trying to compare the various brain surgeries we’ve witnessed so far on Fringe. In a way, it’s like comparing apples and oranges because they’re all slightly different situations and we only see certain aspects of it. Yes, Newton was “gentle and compassionate” which shows he’s not trying to hurt people unnecessarily, but he also had a purpose. He wanted to get those memories back, and it was just a nice side effect that removing those pieces of brain also allowed the person to regain their sanity. If removing the pieces of brain would have had the result of killing the person, he still would have done it because that was his mission. So I don’t think we can read too much into his actions or his behavior in that process.

      For that reason, he’s really not that different from William Bell who took the memories and hid them in the patients in the first place. Yes, it was a terrible thing for him to do, to take Walter’s memories and ruin the lives of three other people so they could store those memories. But as far as he was concerned, that’s what was necessary. In that way, he and Newton were doing the same kind of thing — the only difference is Bell was inserting the memories into the hosts while Newton was removing them. Both of them were doing what they felt was necessary and the consequences of their actions, whether good or bad, were unavoidable. As for approach, I felt that William Bell was just as “gentle and compassionate” towards Walter as Newton was with Joseph Slater. So, again, I don’t think we can compare the results of the actions and claim that Bell was an evil man while Newton was doing them all a favor.

      As for the surgeries in Northwest Passage, again, I’m not convinced that we can compare what we saw with Krista and claim that it couldn’t have been Newton. Most of the horror in the scene with Krista came from Krista herself — she woke up and was disoriented and frightened, leading to her reacting the way she did. But we can’t really say that her procedure was less careful and more painful. I think it’s important to remember that Newton was working on a patient who was crazy. It’s quite possible that Joseph Slater and the others had no idea what was happening to them — they weren’t fully aware of what was going on. Krista, on the other hand, wasn’t crazy, so she would be more aware and, therefore, more frightened. It’s very possible that the difference we saw between the two surgeries is simply a result of the fact that Krista was scared. So I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that Newton was in fact responsible for the surgeries on Krista and the other girl. It just seems like too much of a coincidence that this psychotic Dairy Farmer happened to perform the same kind of brain surgery that Newton did. Maybe Newton had some arrangement with Dairy Farmer that he could do his brain surgery, then let Dairy Farmer have the girl? I don’t know… it still doesn’t make sense, but I’m just saying we can’t necessarily rule out the possibility that Newton was involved in that.

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      • Jodie says

        “Krista, on the other hand, wasn’t crazy, so she would be more aware and, therefore, more frightened. It’s very possible that the difference we saw between the two surgeries is simply a result of the fact that Krista was scared.”

        I’m kind of thinking that the difference was some form of anesthesia. As in Newton was using it and Farmer Craig wasn’t. I think that even if your crazy, you can feel pain. And as far as I’m concerned, William Bell has done nothing but leave a trail of pain and destruction in his wake.

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    • says


      The idea that Peter has subconsciously prevented himself from dealing with the truth (along with Walter placing mental blocks in his mind early on) is really believable to me too. I can see why Peter would want to bury such information. It actually reminds me a bit of Olivia, and how she seems able to protect herself from harmful situations. In many ways they are both closed off individuals, but while Olivia has actively sought answers, Peter seems to have run away from them. This seems to be changing now though.

      I touched on the difference in the brain surgeries above but I essentially agree that this particular piece of evidence does seem to point to Craig and not Newton. That said, perhaps Walternate performed the ops? (what would this say about his humanity). Or maybe Newton just let Craig do the extractions his way? I just feel that it’s at least possible that Newton instigated the surgeries, assuming the writers don’t go down the ‘coincidence’ route.

      I like your point about seeing a comparison between Newton and Walternate in future. It’s something that crossed my mind, especially in thinking about the shape-shifters and whether they have goals and objectives of their own. Do they dream? Do they have ‘real’ opinions of their own? Are they more than tools for an end? Is their an innate quality that stays with them when they change identity? As you suggest, I think we can gain some really intriguing insights into the nature of humanity when a ‘human’ is contrasted with a shape-shifter. I really hope the show explores the themes of the soul, identity, compassion, humanity, etc, through Newton & Co.

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      • jinx1764 says

        I agree Jodie, I think Peter repressed a lot of memories from the very beginning. Remember during the episode “Peter” before Walter crosses back over with Peter- Peter says very determinedly “You’re not my father are you?” How exactly he figured it out, what differences he noticed so quickly I hope we figure out as Peter remembers things. But obviously Peter knew something was wrong immediately and had to repress this memories in order to function in his family unit.

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  18. JustForFun says

    I don’t know if this was noticed, but about the blue colors in the hotel scene, it seems the painting behind Peter is a frozen lake.

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  19. Gil_Cdn says

    “Although, it’s worth noting that Newton’s previous brain extractions left the subjects alive – whereas Krista and the other victim were killed after their temporal lobes were removed. This could simply suggest that Craig performed the operations and not Newton. There is still a plot contrivance to be found in all of that, but this would at least make more sense than Craig coincidentally removing temporal lobes independently of Newton.”

    This got me thinking back to ep.2.10 GREY MATTERS, those victims all became agressive compulsive with either a girl in red dress, the number 2828 or Sydney Greenstreet, all becuase a piece of Walter’s brain with these memory got implanted into their brain (as a safe storage).
    Maybe, just maybe, Newton implanted a piece of some brain with the memory & technique of removing temporal lobes into the Dairy-farmer’s head, combine with the Craig’s own obsession on women, it propelled him into becoming a agressive compulsive psycho ‘brain surgeon’ killer.

    Here is what Walter and Peter theories behind the madness in ep.2.10:
    WALTER: “And my hypothesis explains the patients’ madness. Putting the tissue of one person into the brain of another is — It’s like putting a motorcycle engine into a car. It’s simply incompatible.”
    PETER: “Of course, because the host mind would have no way to process the new information. Thus, the mental distress. The false memories, delusions. But as soon as you remove the foreign tissue, then they’re fine. “

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    • says

      Interesting thought Gil,

      Did they ever check Craig’s head for a scar once they fixed his broken nose?

      Actually, I kinda like your possibility – it would at least give Craig a motive beyond him being a creep/murderer and connect him to Newton. There are probably a few holes in the idea, but it’s a possibility.

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  20. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    I don’t think we are reading too much into all of these things at all, it’s a very smart show that has all these little clues we can follow and get the viewer involved in putting together the pieces of the puzzle along with the characters. It’s one of the reasons I love Fringe.

    So on that note, I have a comment on the skewed lights that Roco pointed out straight away. I think it’s a specific filter they are using to achieve that effect so it’s not random. As I interpret it, the effect is a subtle hint that there are the two universes here that are always parallel to each other and they should never ever cross unless something drastic and unnatural is done to them. They were parallel in nature at one point in time and the two should never meet, unless something drastic and unnatural happens, which would be Walter and Bell opening doors into the other reality and upsetting the balance of nature.

    i loved the juxtaposition of the two ‘kidnapping’ scenes and how they mirrored each other. Maybe it is Peter’s childhood nightmare surfacing, awakening, in the present.

    And yes, there are green tractors out there.

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    • says

      Nice, Rahil. I knew there was something drawing me to that image other than Peter’s dreamy eyelids. 😛 I’m not convinced that it’s intentional (although it could well be), but then perhaps the ‘forces’ are actively assisting the powers that be in their subconscious decisions.

      Thanks for the share.

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      • LMH says

        In the scene at the end, it is a different pillow, swapped for eights/infinity symbols for when our two visitors from the other side show up? Maybe it is intentional, but yes, could be our minds creating these connections.
        Regardless, a changed pillow can support the idea that Peter’s experiences (or at least the time lapse) occurred. Housekeeping, moved room, or Fringe prop team sticking those 8’s there, all would show that Peter has not slept through the whole ep. Unless they are totally f’in with us.

        We as observers make the show even better by pointing out what may be coincidental connections that actually work very well as links between the event and corresponding mythology. If you can dream a better show, you can make a better show ; )

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  21. Count Screwloose says

    In an episode filled with references to “Twin Peaks” and “The X-Files,” it seems like it would be worth a mention that the story seemed designed as a pastiche of those shows.

    As for “Noyo County,” I think it means Peter is nowhere. As he tells the waitress, “(No)where (yo)u’ve ever heard of.”

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    • says

      Count Screwloose,

      Thanks for the Noyo suggestion. I don’t think I would have thought of that. I’m not sold on the idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right either.

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    • NappyP says

      I loved the obvious Twin Peaks references “best damn coffee”.

      The X Files stuff was a bit more obvious. The skeptical female cop with beveling partner. (on the flip side). Peter used to find it hard to believe (like Skully), but eventually gave in like Peter who did an autopsy in this episode.

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        • LMH says

          I didn’t realize this because I’ve just started watching “Twin Peaks,” but in case it hasn’t been mentioned, the title “Northwest Passage” was the original show title for “Twin Peaks.” Thought that was a cool little tidbit! So there you go, connections are even more obvious.

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  22. says

    “Notice also how the reflection of Peter’s bed shows no Peter.”

    I was falling asleep in bed last night and I literally sat up with this sudden link (or what I think may be a link). I somehow think that Peter’s lack of reflection has to be related to the mirror in that old shop in season 1 that showed the typewriter typing with no one there. Is there a connection between not seeing Peter’s reflection here and that non-reflection?? I don’t know why it would show Walternat’s reflection though. And they definitely wanted us to see the lack of reflection of Peter because they made sure to leave plenty of screen space to the right of Walternate to be sure it was included. Does Peter give off a different kind of reflective light than others from over there? I’m not sure if we’ve seen lots of other reflections of Peter in the past. I guess this is in your territory, mlj, being the reflective authority here. Any thoughts? Roco?

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    • says

      Woah, magic mirror reboot!

      I’m not sure there’s an exact correlation to the MM from earlier this season, but I do like your thinking on this.

      I’m sure I’ll have some more crazy thoughts later, but for now the only possibility that I can think of (in relation to this idea) is that perhaps Walternate’s presence is somehow canceling out Peter’s reflection. I only say this because we have definitely seen Peter’s reflection before (I’m sure mlj can confirm), so the only explanation I have for his possible lack of reflection in this particular scene (other than the powers that be screwing with us) is because we have two objects from the other side in the room. Although I’m not sure why Walternate would still have a reflection in this instance?

      Anyway, interesting recall Schwakamole.

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    • mlj102 says

      “I guess this is in your territory, mlj, being the reflective authority here.”

      Ha, ha! Well, I don’t know if I’m that good, even with the reflections, but I appreciate the compliment, nonetheless! :)

      It’s an interesting theory, though I’m inclined to agree with Roco that I’m not sure it has any connections to the typewriter mirror from earlier in the season. Peter has indeed been seen in various reflections in past episodes, though I should point out he’s been featured in less reflections than either Olivia or Walter (as an additional note, Olivia has, without a doubt, been featured in reflections more often than anyone else — I wonder if that’s at all significant).

      Personally, my initial interpretation of it is simply that it’s a goof in the production and we don’t see Peter there because the actor really wasn’t there when they filmed Walternate’s entrance. It could be a very innocent mistake that we shouldn’t overanalyze too much. Another possibility is simply that Peter was sitting on the far end of the bed, which would put him in the darker portion of the room, so there wouldn’t have been a visible reflection.

      Of course, as you mention, the scene does seem very deliberate, so it is still very possible that they did it like that on purpose. It makes me think of the promo picture of Peter that was released a month or so ago, where Peter has his hand up to the mirror, effectively blocking the view of his reflection, and he’s looking away from the reflection. I think that picture conveys a great deal of symbolism. So, in a similar way, they could have set up this scene as a way of symbolically showing that there is no alternate Peter — he’s the only one left. Or, it could have something to do with identity and the fact that Peter is feeling like he doesn’t know who he is. In a way, the person he thought he was — the person he would see in his reflection — is lost. It could also be that they simply wanted to make the reflected window the focus of that particular shot — I thought it was pretty neat to see Walternate reflected, with this large window behind him, representing the way Walter had developed the window to see the other side, which is essentially the whole reason all this happened in the first place. If Walter hadn’t had the ability to spy on the other side, he never would have seen the cure or seen that Walternate had missed it, and, therefore, he never would have crossed to the other side.

      So, for what it’s worth, that’s my interpretation of the lack of a Peter reflection in that scene. Of course, both you and Roco present great theories about how it could also be something more than just a mistake or a type of symbolism. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for reflections in the future, as well as any instances where there should be a reflection, but it’s missing. It would be a really neat concept for them to follow up with.

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  23. edgesight says

    When Peter gave the cops his name he was staying under at the Northwest Passage hotel was Gene Cowen…in reference to Gene the Cow.

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  24. LMH says

    Another glyph sighting: The daisies are on the sign above a door for The Drakes Bay Motel right before we see Peter sleeping on the lobby couch.
    I LOVE the Gene Cowen line and Peter’s smile about it. Shows there is still a fondness about aspects of his life that took place in Walter’s lab, or could just Peter enjoying his own cleverness.

    And in case it just got lost above, since I posted it under older posts, the original show title for “Twin Peaks” was “Northwest Passage.”

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  25. A G Hill says

    I thought “Find the Crack” (Northwest Passage) was a reference to Leonard Cohen’s song, Anthem, which contains these lyrics:

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.

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  26. camiloAndres says

    About the Bazooka Joe comic strip, you need to read, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! one of the quotes in the book is “You can’t get there from here, and besides, there’s no place else to go”…

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