Fringe Observations: 2.21 Over There – Part 1

Welcome to Fringe Observation Weekly: the comprehensive Fringe Clues and Eastereggs Round-up for episode 21 of season 2 – “Over There”.

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.

Kiss and Wish II

Does spirituality exist on the Other Side? It would seem to have its place as agent Lee kisses a silver liberty dollar coin for luck prior to testing the extent of the anomaly. This is just a small character moment but a valuable one for me as it indicates that faith (or hope) still exists in a world onset with decay, social constraints and an over-reliance on science.

When the curtain went down on a sunbathed Twin Towers in last season’s finale, I reasoned with the idea that things were working out better Over There. As this season has progressed we’ve seen evidence to the contrary. Things are worse. But this isn’t a detached problem – their world is our world. As Lee illustrates by turning the coin over to remind us that both universes represent one side of the same coin.

Probably of more intended significance is the fact that Nixon’s portrait is on their half dollar coin.

Silver coins are also a powerful image due to the Peter storylines and the idea of nature vs nurture, particular seen when young Peter gives his lucky coin to Walter, while Peternate gives his to Eliznate. The Observer also used a similar coin (1.20) as a carrot to help Walter remember what he was ‘supposed to do’ – plug the universe.

Seeing Is Perceiving

Altstrid’s freaky eyes was a small but intriguing part of the episode. In this world she’s apparently a “Looker”, as referenced by Broylnate. Which reminds me of “Watcher”, who is the second cousin of “Observer”. No coincidence there – I’m sure the writers want us to connect the dots so we can see the parallels between Alstrid’s seeming ability to perceive computer calculations and the Observers who are essentially able to do the same thing when it comes to seeing future probabilities and the various outcomes influenced by specific actions.

With that said, is Alstrid an Observer? Not quite (though again, there’s a connection to be made). To my mind she’s a low-level Observer, if you will. She can only perceive the accuracy of computer data and not necessarily predict human outcomes (as far we’ve been shown, although I’m open to the possibilities of her abilities being more extensive). This in itself is interesting to me because it gives me the impression that her role is to make judgements on the accuracy of computers. She’s a bit like an intermediary, the ‘human link’ between technology and logic.

Computers are not good at logic (although my Laptop might disagree) so perhaps Alstrid and the other “Lookers” (modified humans) provide added reassurance for a Department becoming increasingly over-reliant on computers to make high-risk decisions. I don’t know, I could be way off base, but I find that extremely compelling. We’ll see which direction they actually take it.

First People

The red themed title sequence for this episode was a clever deviation from the normal blue-y version. As several of us here have been saying for a while now, red is an important color in Fringe for several reasons, and may very well serve as one of the show’s visual representations of the alternate universe (AU), with blue – perhaps – denoting Our Side. (more on this in a bit).

Aside from the red tint, there was was another interesting variation with the replacement of the fringe science that is “Parallel Universes” with the term “First People”.

Who are these “First People” and why is the term used in the context of this episode of all episodes? My immediate thought was that it refers to our early ancestors, or the first custodians of earth before known human civilisation began – the First People.

This line of thought could tie into what Walter said about humans once having special abilities which were taken from us (or limited to children) at some point in our history. Walter suspects aliens are the culprits. Could these “aliens” have been responsible for taking these abilities from the First People or humanity? Perhaps aliens are the First People? If there is a strand connecting our primal abilities, aliens and the First People, the significance probably depends on our perspective on the term “alien”. I mean, I consider to Observers to be a branch of humanity, but in many respects they are also alien to us with their limited conception of emotion, and whatnot.

Another possibility is that the First People refers to the Other Side – the alternate (or parallel) universe. Given that this term appears on the title sequence for an episode where we’re literally Over There, perhaps the suggestion is that their universe was created, or brought into being, first. Could this be a factor in why the Other Side are slightly ahead of us – not just because of human actions, but also because they were literally here before us? Remember Brandon’s description of how the two universes co-exist:

“In truth, the two universes are overlapping”

If the two universes are essentially occupying the same space, perhaps it’s because one side (ours) was brought into existence by the other. If we do take this route there would be several questions that would be primed for exploration, particularly those involving the nature of God, creation and balance.

Another suggestion: Perhaps the implication is that the focus of Season 3 may shift from one of parallel universes to the exploration of the First People. Not that I can for one minute imagine the AU getting pushed to the side, but with each season we seem to be going deeper into the core of what the show is. At the very least, perhaps the goal of Season 3 will be different?

Additional note: First People may also draw from the First Nations.

Going back to the red-tinted title sequence and the idea that it represents the AU. This is upheld by Olivia’s memory flashes of her visit to the Other Side when she recalls her meeting with William Bell. Her memory of this visit is tinted with red – seemingly because it took place in the AU.

To further establish this idea, at one point during Olivia’s memory flashes her vision of Peter goes from normal (blue)…

To red. This seemed to be her mind’s way of telling her that Peter was from the Other Side. Unfortunately for her, she wouldn’t realize until some 10 episodes later when her abilities tried once more to give her insight into the true nature of the universe.

  • Aside: What color did Sam Weiss tell Olivia would guide her to back to the right path? Yup, you guessed it.

Speaking of memories, notice this jarful of red just as Walter remembers why Peter is so darn important. Coincidence? Intentional thematic? You already know what I think.

So we have a theme of alternate realities and memories being represented with red. This has been a fairly consistent thematic throughout the lifespan of the show, certainly consistent enough in key areas to suggest that there is a measure of intent from the creators – whether that intention is conscious or subconscious, or the result of something more mystical, is an intriguing question all of its own.

And yep, I see the green/ red too.


Interesting thematic choice with Walternate whisking Peter back to the Other Side as they stand by a window. While this is another small moment I found it worthwhile since Windows (like Doors) are powerful images that inform the subtext of the show. Most notably with the Window device that first enabled Walter to see Peter in the alternate universe. A glimpse which ultimately led Peter to Our Side, inflicting several damaging penetrations to Mother Nature’s sheath along the way. This “observation” is not overly important in the grand scheme of things (although importance is subjective) but it’s clear to me that the storytellers are adding substance to the existing themes without spoon-feeding us the connections.

Small point: In the above capture Peter has his coat on, so we can assume he and Walternate had been talking for a while before Walternate gave him another chance to change his mind about going home. I was disappointed by the lack of seeing their early interactions so this tiny aspect at least provides a bit more breadth to the narrative, even if it doesn’t make up for the loss of an emotionally engaging scene. Yeah, I’m bitter.

Also: Walternate tells Peter “They have our coordinates”. Presumably Walternate’s people on the Other Side had a lock on their location and where able to transport them back to the AU with relative ease. Notice the (presumably) blue flash of energy as they disappear. In my mind this is very similar to how Mitchel Loeb teleported David Jones out of the German Prison to Little Hill, and how William Bell transported Olivia to the Other Side moments before a shape-shifter – one of Walternate’s soldiers, let it be remembered – tried to kill her.

It’s also worth noting that Olivia didn’t need 3 days to recover from her journey to and from the Other Side, begging the question of whether Bell’s technology is more sophisticated than Walternate’s, or whether Olivia is just “stronger” than Peter.

Observing The Observer

The Observador wasn’t at the bar for the alcohol. Honest.


The blue lights (or blue flashes) continue to establish themselves as a by product of travel requiring (and sometimes producing) high amounts of energy. We see this again with Brandon’s demonstration on how objects can pass through the two universes.

We also get confirmation that Walter, Olivia and the Cortexikids journey to the Other Side resulted in a “Blue Flash” (seen by a n eyewitness through a window). Even the most natural means of travelling to the AU produces high amounts of energy.

Whether this is the sole explanation for the blue flashes is another matter. But energy and travel do seem to be the most fitting explanation at this point in time. Although lens flare and “they have no meaning!” supporters should probably reconsider the evidence. :-)

White Rabbit

We were treated to a small Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland reference with James Heath healing a White Rabbit.

Coincidence or intentional? I have to say it was probably intentional, but even if it wasn’t I suspect the show took over and gave us a reference most appropriate for an episode which literally grabbed us by the neck and took us through The Looking Glass to our very own mirror world.

On the significance of Heath healing the White Rabbit? Considering we took a leap of faith with our heroes into an alternate universe struggling with The Blight and other negative (social, environmental, etc) consequences, I find the idea of a Cortexiphan kid healing the rabbit quite fitting. Because damage (like love) is at the heart of this show. The consequences of a broken heart lead (as far as we know) to a broken universe which left two worlds in jeopardy. The ability to heal these two worlds, to find a solution to their problems that doesn’t result in the destruction of one world over the other, is very meaningful.

The White Rabbit is also known to be a metaphor for dreaming/waking. Given the nature of the previous episode (and on-going themes), not to mention the very deliberate scene where Peter wakes from his slumber, and we have another connection there.

The Small Apple

Perhaps the weirdest breadcrumb in the episode – half an apple can be seen in the theatre. We’ve spoken about the use of apples on the show before, so I’ll stick to my belief that half an apple represents one universe, symbolically speaking. This also reminds me of the Apple Glyph.

As You Like It

Walter tells Olivia: All the world’s a stage. (Or in this case, both worlds)”. This is a quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It .

My first thought was to once again question the very nature of the world within the show. Are we seeing a reliable picture? Is it all a stage, an act? To what ends?

The next 3 lines of the quote embellishes this line of thinking:

And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts

The concept of Fringe being a game (or an experiment, if you will) is interesting to me. A game with players each serving a very specific purpose or function – a bit like the preparation of the Cortexikids (just one example of many). The third line really catches my eye with the suggestion of one man in his time playing several parts. This can be incorporated into our multiple reality theme where the characters have doubles on the Other Side essentially playing many parts.

This idea also works on the smaller scale, as seen in the episode when Heath rebuts Lane’s claim that Walter ‘isn’t the same man he remembers’ with, “he’s exactly the same. Again, we have one man playing multiple parts thanks to his experiences and also the experiences (perception) of others. If we’re looking at a game theme here then we’re probably also looking at the game with different levels, or stages. For some reason I feel compelled to quote Walter’s very first words in the series:

“I knew someone would come, eventually”

Of course, the use of As You Like It as a reference may also relate to the question of Who Is The Fringe Narrator?. As I speculated last week, could there perhaps be several narrators (one man – or woman – playing many parts)?

I really find this reference to be quite fascinating as it allows me to explore the macro and micro elements of what it means for the world to be a stage – or an experiment – with players who are able to adapt or change as per the circumstances. Perhaps the overarching question will be to consider whether both worlds are staged, or if one holds more value or tangible “reality” over the other.

Do No Harm-ony

How fitting that Walter should look like an orchestra conductor guiding the Cortexi-kids as they harmonize their way into the alternate universe. How fitting all of this should take place in a music theatre. How fitting given that recent episodes have illustrated the importance of harmonic frequencies for AU travel.

Another description which popped into my head was: Puppet Master.

On the thematics, we also have the Cortexikds standing in a circle – another on-going theme of the show, serving most powerfully to illustrate the cyclical nature of the story.

Notice how the Cortexi-Circle resembles this logo from “The Bishop Revival”. I doubt this is important but it may make you wonder how conscious some of the choices are in constructing the show.

Through The Looking Glass

I can never get tired of the Alice themes or imagery. This one of the skylight was almost too perfect a Through The Looking Glass reference, as the Cortexikids and Walter’s first conscious realisation that they had “made it” was to look through up through the looking glass and see a Zeppelin – something in this world that is no longer in ours.

Also notice that the ‘looking glass’ is in the shape of a circle. Over and over again the story keeps coming back to the circle – imagery which is both powerful and reflective in its symmetry:

What Might Have Been

As we know the two worlds are the same in many ways but with slight differences.

The portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. is on their version of the twenty-dollar bill instead of former President Andrew Jackson. On Our Side the twenty-dollar bill is known as a “Jackson”, while the Other Side call it a “Junior”. Pretty self explanatory but a nice touch.

Possible Significance?: We can infer that the African-American Civil Rights Movement also took place on the Other Side, with King being a key figure in helping to bring about equality. Perhaps King was also President, although there have been non-presidents on US currency.

The are variations between the two side’s Department of Defence symbols. From Our Side’s DOD logo, gone is the bald eagle, golden arrows and olive branch, and in their place is a larger shield, two swords and more stars (among other subtle changes).

Possible Significance: Our version depicts the American Eagle defending the United States, for whatever reason the Other Side have gone for a shield and swords – also defensive imagery but to my mind more robust. The absence of the olive branch representing peace is, for me, the biggest variation. Does this mean they’re more aggressive than us? I wouldn’t like to think so. Rather, I’d say it’s a sign of the (relative) times.

The Other Side also have a bronze Statue of Liberty.

Possible Significance?: Our Side’s Statue of Liberty is made of Copper but turned green over time due to weathering. The Other Side may have made their version out of bronze because it isn’t easily affected by the conditions. Their version also looks newer than ours – which was given to the United States by the people of France in 1986 1896.

It’s also worth noting that our Statue of Liberty originally had a copper-bronze hue, so perhaps the Other Side found a way to keep it looking fresh, or again, it could just be newer.

I suspect members of the Fringe writers room are  fans of The West Wing. 😉 The NBC show was canceled Over Here after it’s seventh season in 2006. Over There it’s been renewed for an eleventh season.

Possible Significance?: Aaron Sorkin might not have left the show, or perhaps Nielsen ratings carry less weight. Tee HEE. :-)

No State of Mine

The Other Side appear to be a totalitarian state, with ID (“show me”) cards required to travel. This is just a glimpse into what I imagine are pretty repressive times Over There.

Possible Significance?: Considering the Other Side are slightly ahead of us, perhaps this is the way to look at it. Do they reflect what we will become, in this instance?

Also, on the issue of “identity” – a major theme of the show, it’s quite ironic that the Other Side has shape-shifters who can take the appearance of ‘humans’. Not to mention the fact that the two-universe theme makes ID cards pretty useless if ever the two worlds merged ‘peacefully’. This one can run and run.

High. Rise.

Gaudi’s Grand Hotel was never built on Our Side, however it clearly was Over There. As Walter said:

“Things that might have been in our world, that weren’t”.

State of Mind

The map of the United States in Walternate’s office reveals that the landscape of the Other Side has been, in some cases, dramatically affected by environmental, historical, scientific and perhaps natural, deviations.

Two of the most obvious differences is the missing chunk of California and the fact that Texas has been divided in two. Not to mention the absence of Hawaii and Alaska, as per the “Interference” clue from TMFTOS. Although wouldn’t this (considering there are other differences I have not detailed) conflict with the 48 Stars reference from that episode? Then there’s the fact that Hawaii-born Obama is still President. As always I’m open to ideas to save this from being a production error.


Both William Bell (inset – “Momentum Deferred”) and Walternate have the same snazzy Sundial in their respective offices.

Sundials measure time from the position of the sun. I’m not sure there’s any real significance here, but it certainly stood out.


I’m not sure whether this is something or noting, but it caught my eye for some reason. This reflection of what appears to be a spiral could tie into the spiral (horn) glyph that we don’t often see much of these days. Again, this is probably nothing but spirals are quite significant in nature so there’s ammunition there if we need it.

Cabbage Patch Kids

The Cabbage Patch Dolls (also known as Cabbage Patch Kids) reference may have some other significance, but for me it connects to the Cortexiphan Kids and their childlike nature.

When Sally sees the dolls she suddenly feels at home:

“look, Nick..these are my favorite. Can I get one? I like it here..maybe we can stay. Nick..I’m gonna stay

My interpretation is that seeing an aspect from her childhood took Sally’s mind back to that early state that Walter so often talks about being important and powerful – the limitless imagination and primal part of the mind. Notice how it is only after this point where she has a semblance of control over her powers, setting ablaze agent Lee. Sure, she may have achieved this control because she was scared or angry (both also viable themes) but I like the idea that regressing back to her child state unlocked her abilities.

  • Sidenote: I also like the subtle way in which impending death was acknowledged by the simple: “I’m gonna stay”, “I think I’m staying here”. Awwwwwww! Neither Nick nor Sally could bring themselves to tell the other they were dying, although I guess the empath thing would make that redundant. Still, it touches the sentimental part of my stone heart.

As for why Lee recognized Nick? The easy answer is that he encountered Alter-Nick at some point. Could Lee also be a Cortexiphan Kid (or the equivalent)? There’s definitely something being hinted at with this character who we’ll hopefully see again at some point. (Go-Go Nanite Regeneration Chamber!)

The Time Travellers Strife

Frank tells Altlivia: “I’m going for a week, not til the end of time”.

Is he a time-traveller? Probably not given how unknowing Altlivia appeared to be about the true nature of the universal rips. Would she be clued in on time-travel? I guess it’s possible, however not likely at this point (though she may yet surprise me).

At the very least we’re supposed to wonder who this man is and where he’s going for a week. Is he working for another agency like John Scott was? If so, does Altliv know? Is she set for heartache?


The love birds have two matching tattoos depicting a strange symbol (a hydra?). Do these denote some kind of rank or status? Perhaps they are both working undercover, or maybe they are clinical test subjects? I’m not going to say the “C” word but Cortexiphan is a possibility, albeit an outside one. I guess Altliv does have powers of sarcasm.

Other Clues

  • Introspective reflection of Olivia, no doubt foreshadowing glimpsing her Double in the alternate universe. (and because drinking for one is just no fun).
  • Lincoln reveals that his father knew Walternate. The implication is that his father his now dead and had a military background. Could his father be someone we know? Is his double alive on Our Side? Lee also appeared open-minded, he knew exactly what Walternate meant when he was describing the existence of something on the other side. This may be important if and when we see him again.
  • AU Fringe Division refer to Walter’s act of breaching the fabric between worlds as the “Zero Event”, as in the first trigger. We know this to be the case, but was it really the case? I ask because I see the show panning back to reveal more pieces to the puzzle in future seasons.
  • ZFT: Natural decay of our world. A ruse. In 1.09 “The Dreamscape”, George Morales told Olivia that ZFT was a “smokescreen” for Massive Dynamic’s true intent. Make of that parallel what you will.
  • Walternate refers to those from Our Side as “invaders”. In an episode where Walter talks about humanity having our natural abilities stripped from us by aliens, it’s interesting language for his Double to use.
  • Peter’s IV contained a redish-brown substance resembling Cortexiphan. We saw a similar-looking substance in Olivia’s IV in “Jacksonville”. The connection is at least implied. It’s also worth mentioning that Peter wakes up as soon as his Temporal Acclimation is complete. This makes me wonder whether he could only wake up once the process was complete? If he was being totted up with Cortexiphan this becomes even more interesting.
  • In my review I said that Altlivia didn’t seem to share too many inherent qualities with Olivia. I’d like to revise that slightly, as I noticed that Altlivia didn’t tell Frank the true nature of the case, claiming it was a “small anomaly”. This is the kind of thing Olivia would say to her sister.
  • There were endless pictures of trees in the episode. Was this to get us to subliminally think of The Blight? Not sure, but probably.
  • In last week’s Observations Column I mentioned the slanted light thematic and how I think they represent shape-shifter activity or persons (energy) from the Other Side. This seems to hold up on the persons from the Other Side angle, since we see Walter (fresh from the Our Side) among lots of slanted lights.
  • The glyphs for “Over There – Part 1” spelled WEAPON as in Peter, as in Peter powering the weapon to destroy Our Side, as in Peter. “The Weapon”. Bishop. BOOM!

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. says

    What about the red and blue paintings in Walternate’s office? (complete with hanging yellow orbs like they used in a lot of the promotional materials).

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    • eveybane says

      There was a yellow painting there, too.

      Red, yellow, and blue seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the episode; in the scene where Peter’s having tea with his mom, they’re using yellow dishware, there’s a small tray with a red bottom, and Peter’s mom is wearing a blue sweater.

      There’s also the balloons in the store window that was showing the dolls, though I’m not sure if that’s significant, since there were pink balloons, too.

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      • says

        Alx, eveybane,

        Interesting. For some reason the red/blue/yellow paintings didn’t appeal to me. I noticed them but I didn’t really consider the significance. I should have at least considered them as it’s not the first time we’ve seen this color combo.

        Alx, nice catch with the orbs – I noticed them after I posted this column.

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      • jinx1764 says

        The antidote to save Walter in “Grey Matter” were the colors red, blue, yellow (don’t remember the order) AND remember these are PRIMARY colors- important??? maybe…

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  2. Sean says

    I always look forward to reading your thoughts on the episodes!
    A few things regarding the map: the upper part of Michigan is missing as well! Also, at least in some promotional photos released by Fox, there’s a “District of Virginia” and a merged “Carolina.”
    Maybe Obama’s still president because since Hawaii was not a state, he was just born elsewhere?

    And also, did you notice the slanted light when Peter was first shown? I saw it and thought of this!

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    • physicsgirl says

      Other states that were merged: the Dakotas, and Oklahoma and Kansas. Though this doesn’t rectify the number of stars vs. the number of states.

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      • says

        Sean, physicsgirl,

        I could have gone deeper on the States section so thanks for providing a more complete observation. I agree that Obama may have been born in another State.

        Sean, nice catch on the slanted lights beside Peter. I noticed them too but somehow forgot to include them when mentioning Walter’s slanted light collapse. It does seem to hold up the theory and imply that Peter was still emitting high amounts of energy after his journey through the portal.

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  3. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    Hey Roco,
    Like you, I’m beginning to think that Walters passage “over there” was not the “zero event” after all. We are getting hints that there is a deeper history to everything. One of which is the ZFT is just a pretext to cover up all the ills suffered by the AU. This could all be “Walternates” doing. Knowing of both Walters proclivity for experimenting on kids perhaps Walternate starting experimenting on Peternate early on. I think Walternate may have been trying to “weaponize” Peternate because he is special. And because Peternate did not have the stamina to resist this manipulation he became ill and Walternate was desperate to save his ultimate weapon. (Maybe that is why the Observers distracted him from the cure.) Yes I’m a cynic or stonehearted as you accused yourself of being. (And I don’t believe that of you.)

    If Walter is going to continue to quote Shakespeare perhaps they can work in “Et Tu Brute” as Walter looks to be confronting Bell in the previews to part two. In other words stabbing him in the back and betraying the trust Walter had in Bell.

    I really dug the AU Fringe logo also. Although I’m trying to reconcile the meaning of the reverse F’s. The AU Fringe team thought they were resolving natural phenomena not alternate universe doings. So why the reverse F? Still, pretty cool.

    My crack pot theory: Walternate is the shape shifting Bell from the other side. It explains so much! (I think.)

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    • LizW65 says

      Re: the Statue of Liberty:
      “Their version also looks newer than ours – which was given to the United States by the people of France in 1986.”
      Yeah, I guess it would look fairly new if it was only 24 years old. 😀

      “Like you, I’m beginning to think that Walters passage “over there” was not the “zero event” after all.”
      I’ve thought the same for some time–after all, we know that Rebecca Kibner began seeing the shapeshifters when Peter was a “baby”–suggesting she’d met Peter Prime, rather than Peternate, and that the shapeshifters had been infiltrating our world since the late 1970’s, at least. My latest theory is that something done by Robert Bishop may have been the trigger for the rift between the worlds, although Walter’s actions certainly exacerbated it.

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    • Frobozz says

      At the end of Season 1, it was stated that Fringe events (centering on Reiden Lake) had been going on for over 40 years. Make of that what you will…they’ll either ignore it, or it may pop up again.

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      • mlj102 says

        When does it say that? In There’s More Than One of Everything, Olivia tells Nina Sharp that some of the pattern cases she recorded on the map go back twenty years, and Broyles later points out several locations which he claims go back more than 15 years, but I couldn’t find anything that indicated they went back for over 40 years… So as far as I can tell, it looks like everything is consistent with the pattern events starting about twenty years ago — which would be around 1985, when Walter took Peter. Or are you referring to another episode?

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        • Jodie says

          Actually, I think that Frobozz is referring to the S2 opener when Broyles is having that meeting to try to prevent funding from being pulled from the Fringe division. They talk about pattern events going back to the fifties. This I find interesting because the Observers have tried to blend into our society by dressing themselves in this period time frame, but what is so funny is that they haven’t seemed to notice that fashion has changed since then.

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    • says


      I agree, as we get closer to the root of the story, surely we’ll have to find out that Walter’s mistake wasn’t the first. That’s not to diminish Walter’s responsibility (and I don’t think the writers would want to do that). But like so many things the root cause is often buried deep within. Perhaps Walter’s “zero event” was the straw that broke the camels back, rather than the boulder.

      I’m also intrigued by the question of “why?”. Why was Peternate sick in the first place? (and for that matter, why was Peter sick?). The idea that it was Walternate’s fault that Peternate got sick is interesting for many reasons, but also because it makes me wonder whether the sheer fact of Peternate becoming sick meant that his Double ‘had’ to follow suit by some intrinsic design. Thus making Walternate in some way responsible for the death of Peter and the consequences that followed. Of course, we have the suggestion that it was all down to genetics, but even so, I find it interesting to question the role of fate vs freewill and how they intermingle.

      Re: The Observers distracting Walternate from the cure. I was under the impression September made a mistake – he wanted to observe the important event but in doing so, naively prevented Walternate from observing the cure himself. I’ll have to double check on that though, I could be wrong.

      Interesting thoughts as always, Dave. Plenty to chew on going into the finale!

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      • jinx1764 says

        “I’m also intrigued by the question of “why?”. Why was Peternate sick in the first place? (and for that matter, why was Peter sick?). The idea that it was Walternate’s fault that Peternate got sick is interesting for many reasons, but also because it makes me wonder whether the sheer fact of Peternate becoming sick meant that his Double ‘had’ to follow suit by some intrinsic design. Thus making Walternate in some way responsible for the death of Peter and the consequences that followed.”

        OOOOOhhhhh~I like that idea! While Walter would still be guilty since 2 wrongs don’t make a right, etc, etc and he would’ve known about the connection anyhow to be vengeful~ still it would cast Walternate into a much worst light even he likely didn’t mean to cause the death of both Peter’s let alone his own.

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        • Pwnsauce says

          i’m pretty sure September did make a mistake. he said he did. possibly it was reacquiring the knowledge that the one scientist had who cured someone of the same disease back in like the 1930s or whatever Walter said in ‘Safe’ in season 1, which September wanted to witness. I guess September couldn’t say anything to Walternate since that’s not what he’s supposed to do. What if the disease goes back to Walter’s father and the Nazi times? I’m still not clear on why Peter was important before he crossed over and I can’t remember when exactly September says something about his importance in ‘Peter’.

          Maybe after Peter was stolen from Walternate, he declared revenge on Walter, and possibly September was able to see this and know of his intentions, leading him to tell Walter to never let Peter get back to the Other Side or there would be catastrophic consequences.

          just under 3 hours!

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  4. fedorafadares says

    Incredible observations, here. It’s a lot of work and you’ve done it brilliantly.

    I’ve been thinking about that tattoo and relating it to the scene in “Brown Betty” in which Olivia hands Broyles a strange drawing and Broyles fills in a few seemingly random lines and voila! — it’s a Massive Dynamic logo. (Peter played the same trick when identifying “Little Hill” in a season 1 episode, incidentally.)

    Are there missing artistic elements that would turn that tattoo into something of a deeper meaning? It’s been fun to look at that screen cap and turn my laptop left, right, upside down…

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    • says


      Thanks for your comments.

      I like you idea, it’s very clever and would tie into the perception theme again.

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  5. Michelle says

    An observation about that silver dollar with Nixon on it– over here the Liberty Bell in front of the moon is on the bicentennial version of that coin (with Eisenhower on the front) and was only minted in ’75 and ’76 and only dated 1976. If it’s over there’s bicentennial coin, it could be their bicentennial occurred in 1983 which is the date shown on that coin. Just a thought.

    Also I found it interesting that the paper the Observer gave Olivia is very similar to Walter’s lab notes for “IWWMMJ”– I’m hoping we get to see David Robert Jones either in the finale or next season… Fingers crossed!

    Thanks for the blog, Roco! I don’t post much, but I never miss your articles. You’ve made Fringe all the more enjoyable.

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    • says


      Good point. This again begs the question of how ‘relative’ the timelines are and whether the gap is closing or widening as The Blight (etc) gets worse. In some ways I imagine their world would continue to scientifically advance more quickly than ours because of the scientific developments dictated by their ‘environmental’ problems. On the other hand what impact would this have on other systems such as faith. Should be interesting to explore this world in more detail.

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  6. Bishop Takes Queen says

    Roco, I love all the little details that you pick up on. It really shows just how much care the producers put into each piece of their mythology along the way.

    Oh yeah…your article says that the USA got the Statue of Liberty in 1986, but I think you overshot by a century. :)

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  7. mlj102 says

    Red: I completely agree that red is meant to represent the other side — when I saw the opening credits, I instantly thought back to how Olivia’s flashbacks were shown in red, and I thought how silly I was not to think of it back then. It’s one of those things that I think shows how much we see is out of context, and it takes on a whole new meaning once we get more information. However, I thought I’d point out that, if we’re going on the assumption that the other side is represented by red, it’s rather odd that Olivia’s glimpses to the other side in The Road Not Taken were characterized by a slightly blue tone. Maybe that’s because she was actually seeing glimpses of the other side, not just flashbacks/memories… It was a matter of perspective. Or, maybe they just hadn’t thought far enough in advance to plan out the red theme at that point.

    The apple: I was so excited when I spotted that, but I had no idea what significance it could have, other than being a glyph reference. So I’m glad that you addressed it, though it looks like you don’t have any solid theories about it at this point, either, aside from your previous observations about apples. I’m actually beginning to wonder if there’s a deeper significance behind the particular glyph they choose to highlight in a specific episode (the apple in this one, the butterfly in White Tulip, etc.) or if there are other episodes which have hidden glyphs that we haven’t found because they have been so subtle (like this one, which I thought was very hard to find).

    “Still, it touches the sentimental part of my stone heart.”

    You with a stone heart?! I don’t believe it…

    “Is he a time-traveller? Probably not given how unknowing Altlivia appeared to be about the true nature of the universal rips.”

    You make a good point here and it made me start to wonder if there is another parallel between Olivia and alternate Olivia being established. In the Pilot, Olivia seemed to think she understood her world and that she had it mostly under control, only to have that all turned upside down and to find out that the man she loved was involved in a lot more than she had been aware of. Whether or not John Scott was a good guy, he was definitely aware of a lot about ZFT and the Pattern events and things that she didn’t know about at the time. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the same general thing happened between alternate Olivia and Frank, and she discovers that there’s a lot that he’s not telling her, and he has known about these things that she’s just discovering? It has been mentioned that alternate Olivia is much more carefree and relaxed than our Olivia — but maybe that’s because her life hasn’t been turned upside down yet. On our side, Olivia was pretty happy and naiive before the events of the Pilot — certainly she wasn’t as confident and outgoing as alternate Olivia is and she’s always been rather serious and someone who keeps to herself — but she was definitely more like alternate Olivia then than she is now. Maybe what’s going on now with alternate Olivia learning of the existence of our side and the true nature of the events they’ve been taking care of at work is going to be her turning point — the moment where her life turns upside down, and, like our Olivia, she becomes a little more damaged. Of course this is all speculation and we currently have no reason to expect anything from Frank. But at the same time, he does seem rather suspicious and it’s likely that he was introduced for a deeper reason. It’s certainly possible and I think it would be an interesting way to show Olivia and alternate Olivia traveling down similar, yet different paths.

    I loved the reflection of Olivia at the beginning of the episode. It’s those kinds of reflections that seem very thought out and deliberate that make me convinced that reflections are an important theme. Anyway, if anyone’s wondering, there was also a reflection of alternate Astrid and alternate Broyles in the table when they were calculating (Speaking of which, Roco, are you still calculating? I’m not going to let this one go until I get an answer!) and there was also a reflection of the alternate Fringe team in the floor of Walternate’s office when they went in to meet him.

    “AU Fringe Division refer to Walter’s act of breaching the fabric between worlds as the “Zero Event”, as in the first trigger. We know this to be the case, but was it really the case? I ask because I see the show panning back to reveal more pieces to the puzzle in future seasons.”

    I understand this idea, and I agree that there might be earlier events that contributed to the way things are now between the two universes, but I still think it’s pretty clear that it was Walter’s act of crossing over that set everything in motion. I see it kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s back: there may have been previous events that added weight to it and set the stage for the destruction, but it was Walter’s act of crossing over that was the last straw and finally caused things to start falling apart. There has just been so much that has pointed to that being the case, including Carla’s warnings about what could happen if he crossed over, the fact that the other side seems to agree that the destruction on their side started after Walter crossed over in 1985 (if they had been experiencing odd things before that, I think they would have realized it and would know that everything couldn’t be attributed to Reiden Lake), and the fact that Walter himself seems to have concluded that his crossing over was the event that was the first crack that weakened the fabric of the universe. I don’t think he would have concluded that without having some reason to back it up. They are definitely putting a lot of emphasis on the idea that Walter is largely responsible for this. And, personally, as much as I like Walter, I think it would be rather cheap and disappointing for them to redeem him so much as to reveal that him crossing over didn’t actually cause all this, after all. Walter chose to ignore the risks involved and to cross over, and now he has to accept the consequences of that. It wouldn’t feel right if they just removed all those consequences and placed them on someone or something else.

    Peter being given Cortexiphan: But if Peter was being given Cortexiphan, wouldn’t he have had an experience similar to Olivia’s? I thought that Cortexiphan produces a kind of “obstacle” similar to what Olivia experienced in Jacksonville. Yet Peter seemed completely calm and there was nothing to suggest he had just experienced anything like that…

    Other observations:

    Another Bridge: Fringe really seems to like using bridges lately, and this episode continued with that, when Olivia and team made plans to meet Bell at a Bridge at the park.

    Religion: This one is obvious, but I thought it deserved a mention — they continued the religion theme with the necklace Olivia gave to Ella.

    Red, Yellow, Blue: Someone else pointed this out, so I’ll just add that I felt like the color squares in Walternate’s office were deliberate and significant.

    Globe: I think I’ve mentioned that I like to keep a lookout for appearances of globes, so I was really excited to see a neat globe off to the side (near Walter) in the Massive Dynamic demonstration room. I liked that this one wasn’t just your typical blue and green globe, but it seemed to fit in with the Massive Dynamic surroundings. It made it feel more intentional that they included it and I’m convinced that globes are a continuing Easter Egg in Fringe.

    As usual, wonderful observations, Roco! Thanks for taking the time to provide these each week!

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    • LizW65 says

      “Peter being given Cortexiphan: But if Peter was being given Cortexiphan, wouldn’t he have had an experience similar to Olivia’s? I thought that Cortexiphan produces a kind of “obstacle” similar to what Olivia experienced in Jacksonville. Yet Peter seemed completely calm and there was nothing to suggest he had just experienced anything like that…”

      Yeah, everyone seems to be assuming it was Cortexiphan, but I didn’t make that connection myself. It may also have been a precaution, not unlike the barometric chamber (or whatever it was) that Newton placed Walternate in after he crossed over, or it may have been some other drug designed to keep him passive and incurious, so he’d be more willing to play along with his role in Walternate’s Doomsday Machine.

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    • Maggie says

      Re. Olivia

      Alt Olivia didnt seem very concerned when she found out about our universe in Walternates office. She didnt seem concerned/preoccupied when she came home. The news didnt seem to effect her much at all. Even in the pilot–the very beginning–Olivia is asking questions, talking back to Broyles. She wants/needs to find the truth/to (help) solve the case. Obviously, after Scott’s problem she gets more involved–but like I said, its there from the beginning. Another one of thoes our/alt character differenecs…

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      • fedorafadares says

        I noticed that too, Maggie. I’m wondering if instead of the alts being “duplicates,” I wonder if they’re opposites. Mirror images and opposite attitudes.

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    • says


      Good point about Olivia’s glimpses into the AU in TRNT. I’d put that down to the creators not thematically putting down that marker at that point, as you suggest. But it might also be an inconsistency, or I may be wrong in my observation.

      I agree, that reflection was very thought out and intentional.

      (I’ve finished calculating and I’m afraid we’re going to have to quarantine. mistake, still calculating! 😛 ).

      I totally agree with you about Walter’s act being the straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t think the writers can afford to retroactively diminish Walter’s culpability to the extent that it becomes meaningless. However I do feel that there is room for more ‘history’ to be applied to the breaches between the two worlds, without ‘redeeming’ Walter. Admirable though Walter taking responsibility is, I’m not sure how he could know that his crack was the first – unless he has good evidence to back it up, or September told him, or something. All possible, of course.

      Interesting point about Cortexiphan and producing an ‘obstacle’. Are we sure that the drug works the same in everyone, or is only used in this one way? I guess it’s possible Cortexipan could be slightly different over there, or it might just work differently on Peter for one reason or another. That said, it might just be Coca-Cola.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts/observations mlj, always good fun to read your thoughts!

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      • mlj102 says

        “I’ve finished calculating and I’m afraid we’re going to have to quarantine. mistake, still calculating!”


        I regret to inform you that, while you’ve been calculating this question, I’ve been calculating a question of my own. And, unlike you, I’ve arrived at a conclusion. My recommendation is that, despite your many talents, you’re never going to cut it as a Looker! You gave it a good effort, but it’s just not going to work. However, you make a pretty convincing Observer, so perhaps you should stick with that… :)

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  8. Jarv says


    Great observations. I look forward to your posts after every episode.

    How about the DNA sequences that appear in the piece of paper left by the observer (right behind Peter’s head).

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    • says


      Interesting. I haven’t given much thought to the paper. I noticed the writing resembled the Observers language/code, but DNA sequences – that’s interesting. I’ll have to look into it.

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      • Techman9 says

        No. thats definitely DNA. i’m working on decoding now, even though with part 2 we know what happened, it could still hold a clue to next season.

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  9. Xochitl says

    “The glyphs for “Over There – Part 1″ spelled WEAPON as in Peter, as in Peter powering the weapon to destroy Our Side, as in Peter. “The Weapon”. Bishop. BOOM! ! I just love your humor Rocco! :)

    About Lee’s father: he was a jurist.

    I’ve been thinking really hard about the clue the writters said would be on the season finales, granted it could be on the other episode but two things are calling for my attention:

    Trees: they were everywhere in the episode, I noticed the most the ones in pictures, it might be nothing, but apart from that the wood references on Brown Betty, and maybe I hadn’t noticed this before but I saw pictures (framed liked the one’s on olivia’s rooms) everywhere! maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before.

    and my biggest bet on the clue: the colors! through the whole episode there were three predominant colors: blue, red and yellow, on the paintins behind alt!fringe on Walter’s office, on alt!livia’s house: on the courtains, paintings, in fact her top was blue and on the next episode she is wearing a red top, there are objects on this colors all over the episode; balloons on the toy’s display, the yellos taxi, a red umbrella, a red box behind Alstrid. I rewatched Brown Betty last night, they finally transmited it in my country, and since my first watch something that atrracked my attention was Gene, why did they painted her and why in those colors? it brings me back to this episode, and call me crazy (i’m really making a big jump here, right?) but the same three colors have been apearing in the episodes,again in Brown Betty when Astrid is taking WAlter home a blue car and then a red car pass throught the street after we see a big yellos stain on a wall, I mean I know read is a very important color, anyway it might be that i just want to see something that it isn’t there.

    scifiwier has a detailed analysis on the u.s. map differences.

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    • says


      He he, gotta love Peter “The Weapon” Bishop. :)

      Thanks for the detail about Lee’s father, I must have missed that.

      You know, I never paid much attention to spotted Gene. I put it down as being something to make Gene look ‘different’ – perhaps how Walter sees Gene in his fantasy world. That said, it may have been a marker. I’ll have to go back and check that out.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Xochitl says

    Forgot to say, fringe latino has a video of the promotion of jhon noble in Mexico, I’m so hating myself becasuse I didn’t know, (hits herself againt the wall several times) the review is in spanish but the video is in english, by the way Rocco, where can I post the translation of the jhon noble’s chat at warner latino? it doesn’t have like a lot of information but maybe somebody wants to read, well it does have a nice piece of information. :)

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    • says

      Sorry for the late reply. If it’s a spoiler you can post it in the comments section of one of the spoiler posts.

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  11. Paulina says

    Thanks so much for this. I LOVE reading your observations. Good point about Peter wearing a jacket. There definitely must’ve been alot more to their conversation that we missed and like you I feel cheated out of a good emotional moment.

    “It’s also worth noting that Olivia didn’t need 3 days to recover from her journey to and from the Other Side, begging the question of whether Bell’s technology is more sophisticated than Walternate’s, or whether Olivia is just “stronger” than Peter.”

    See, I believe that Olivia’s quicker recovery might be explained by the fact that she wasn’t on the Other Side as long as Peter was on our side. So decades of living in the wrong universe made Peter’s “temporal acclimation” period of 3 days necessary since he’d been gone from his side for so long. Then there’s the fact that he didn’t feel dizzy upon waking and didn’t experience the headaches, etc. that Olivia did, implying that maybe if Olivia had undergone some kind of “temporal acclimation” too she might’ve been spared from suffering those those side-effects.

    Also, it seems to me that Walternate’s way of bringing Peter and him over to the other side was more sophisticated but that Bell’s method was less sophisticated not because Bell lacked the technology but because of the particular circumstances surrounding his need to meet with Olivia. As he says in Momentum Deferred, “The method by which I brought you over here was crude, and I’m sorry for that, but there were people who were trying to prevent our meeting. This is not at all the kind of reunion I had always envisioned.”

    So perhaps Bell could’ve taken Olivia through similar means of the coordinates but since Walternate and his shapeshifters were trying to prevent their meeting, he had to pull her out of a moving car instead to ensure she crossed over.

    Then, as I stated previously in my comment on your review, I still think that Peter sleeping for 3 days and then not having Walternate there when he woke up was a deliberate parallel to Walter refusing to leave the hospital until Peter woke up in TMFTOS. That and I’m thinking the 3 days Biblical connection to Christ might still have some merit but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night when we figure out Peter’s special role in relation to this device.

    Also, I’m still thinking it was Cortexiphan in Peter’s IV because it’s just played such a significant role in the series so far and if ZFT exists on the other side too (although it seems to be a different manuscript than ours?) than something at least similar to Cortexiphan must exist in the AU. Plus, if Peter was being treated with Cortexiphan than it might help answer some of my lingering questions about a) Peter’s presence in “Ability” when Olivia was turning off the lights in that box and b) Peter’s ability to calm Olivia down in Bad Dreams through mere touch when she was under and in Nick Lane’s mind

    Thanks for going over the significance of red again too, because I haven’t been keeping up with all your observations and I needed that refresher to remember why red was associated with the AU.

    The absence of the olive branch was interesting to me too and begs further questions of Olivia versus Alter-Olivia and whether Alter-Olivia is — if not less peaceful — than less “special” than our Olivia. Again, there’s the fact that she doesn’t seem to be particularly high-ranking in their Fringe Division just another agent under Lincoln Lee while Olivia is the lead agent in ours.

    Also, did Lincoln Lee’s father have a military background? I thought Walternate said his father was a great jurist? Either way, Lincoln Lee seems like he’s going to be very important in later episodes especially given that he’s burnt to a crisp but he’s able to survive thanks to their advanced technology. I really have no idea why he recognized Nick besides him knowing Alter-Nick, but I really enjoyed his character and hope to see more of him.

    Also, you bring up some great points about the “First People” thing…I definitely feel there’s an implication that they came before us which could help explain their advanced technology.

    And I loved how you connected the Cabbage Patch dolls which I hadn’t even thought about. I think it makes alot of sense that it was another suggestion of how being like a little kid with a big imagination is key to unlocking these special abilities.

    And I love the connections you made using the As You Like It quote…thanks so much for sharing all these observations.

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    • says


      Good point about Peter needing longer to recover because of the length of time his was Over Here. I could buy that.

      Nice catch on Bell calling his method “crude”. I guess Walternate might also deem his method rather crude, but it’s a worthwhile point. I do agree that Bell’s method was more complicated. It also seemed to involve several stages.

      Excellent food for thought – thanks for the share.

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  12. Techman9 says

    Where is Alter-Bell in all of this. By know we obviously know that there’s more than one of everything and based on Nina’s description, the bell that olivia met is actually the bell from our side. This prompts the question, Where is Alter-Bell Anybody have any thoughts? I suspect aliens.

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  13. kittyofdoom says

    Did anyone else happen to notice that Broyles and Olivia are reflected in a mirror on the other side of the room as they have a conversation before the Cortexikids cross to the other side? I’ve only seen the episode once but I’m pretty sure they were reflected, and the shot seemed as though it were set up specifically to get that effect.

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    • mlj102 says

      I can definitely see why you think that’s a reflection, but unless I’m mistaken, that’s really just a couple of random agents in the background. But nonetheless, it was a good catch — I hadn’t even noticed that and had to go back to see what you were talking about.

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      • kittyofdoom says

        You know, I thought it was random agents for a second initially before I jumped on the possibility of another reflection. Perhaps I am in slightly hyper-Fringe-observant mode. Thanks for looking :)

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  14. says

    Roco, great review as always. You always see things I would never pick up on!

    Two things I wanted to mention that stood out to me:

    When I saw your picture of the wave sink, I noticed how it says “mC Wave Sink No. 3) at the bottom. Is the mc part of the E=mC^2 equation which is all about energy equilibrium with m=mass and C=velocity of light?? I have to think that it’s involved somehow.

    As Xochitl mentioned earlier, I too saw a lot of red, blue and yellow. Over here = blue, Over there = red, Yellow=?. I think yellow is a third universe and is where the observers are from. Just as the AU is slightly ahead of us, perhaps the third universe is far, far ahead of us! If so, how sad, that all our striving just leads us to an emotionless existence.

    Oh, and I also noted all the trees. I agree that they have to be important. While they may indicate the blight, I see trees as showing the passage of time and the cyclical nature of life. In pictures, you usually see a series of trees showing the different seasons. Are the trees indicating where these universes are in their lifecycle??

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    • Cindy says

      Also remember the two universes are not in sync all the time. What if this wave sync device allows them to keep a stable door open to the other side, Then the alternates can do almost anything to the universe. Send more soldiers, fire a weapon, etc.

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    • says

      “When I saw your picture of the wave sink, I noticed how it says “mC Wave Sink No. 3) at the bottom. Is the mc part of the E=mC^2 equation which is all about energy equilibrium with m=mass and C=velocity of light?? I have to think that it’s involved somehow.”


      Great point. I think you could be onto something..

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  15. Fringefan1991 says

    A random thought about the alter DOD logo. The eagle could be missing because the animal is extinct (due to the blight) or it was never chosen as the national animal.

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  16. Zee says

    Hi Roco,
    Thanks as always for the insights! I look forward every week to your review and observations, almost as much as I look forward to the episodes themselves!

    I was really intrigued by the “First People” thing too, and by Walter’s comment that aliens are somehow responsible for the squelching of human paranormal abilities. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Observers are alien.

    I have a thought I’ve been chewing on the last few episodes that I want to throw out there. If this is not the appropriate thread feel free to move my comment elsewhere. Seems like there is an assumption in your review and observations for this episode that Walternate is a basically good person who has been terribly wronged and is motivated by revenge and a desire to be reunited with his son. But we don’t know what his relationship was like with Peter, and whether he was a good father or a good man. I have a sneaking suspicion that Walternate was working on something sinister, perhaps involving Peter, even before Peter was taken by the other Walter. Could this perhaps be the explanation for why Peter is closer to his mother in the AU? Could it be why Walter realized (in the episode “Peter”) that the compound Walternate was using in his attempt at a cure was “not random.” Could Walternate have actually caused the Peter’s sicknesses? Could he have known that the Peters were important in some way, as the Observers believe, even way back then? Was he planning on using Peter for something sinister all along? I don’t know – I just get an evil vibe from Walternate.

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    • jinx1764 says

      @Zee- I’ve been thinking along the same lines. While I don’t necessarily want the good and evil lines to be so easily drawn I’ve been having a sneaking suspicion lately that Walternate was more evil that Walter before the abduction. The memory/dream that Peter has of his ‘dad’ snatching him from his bed- I’ve just got this feeling that it’s his real father that he’s remembering doing some late night experiments under Elizanate’s nose.

      Remember that when Walter was watching Walternate look for the cure and he figured out that it wasn’t random choices; Walter said something like, “You’re very, very smart…” He might just be smarter that Walter.

      Walter also said to the military in the beginning of “Peter” that science should have no boundaries or limits (something to that effect) then his son’s death changed his goal. What if a slighter more devious, smarter Walter who not only was trying to ‘sell’ to the military but was already working for the military/politics and was ahead in tech became more evil? Hmmmm….

      Unfortunately for Peter he’s got to somehow figure out who’s who’s in all this mess.

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    • says


      That’s certainly an interesting suggestion. I wouldn’t rule it out since back in season 1 it was implied (albeit by Peter) that Walter used to experiment on Peter for ulterior reasons.

      I definitely believe that Walternate and Peternate were not as close as Walter and Peter were, but I wouldn’t like to think that this would mean that he didn’t/doesn’t love his son. In many ways, Walter wasn’t a very good father to Peternate in the years after Peter’s death, so it’s interesting to consider how the two Walter’s leanings towards their sons may intersect.

      That said, you’re right, we don’t really know much about Walternate’s root nature. That’s something I’m eager for the show to explore. Who is this man who is not a lover of war, yet is seemingly (on the basis of Part 1) prepared to use his son to destroy Alt-Earth.

      Very interesting thoughts Zee, thanks for bringing them to the table.

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  17. Laura says

    Hi Roco,
    thanks for your really detailed observations. As usual.
    The differences-bewteen-the-two-worlds section was particularly useful for not US living people :)))

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  18. Overkast says

    I seriously think you over think stuff. The through the looking glass, zeppelin, circles connection. Your connecting stuff that’s not there. The easiest way to show that they are in the other side is by showing the zeppelin and the prefect way to show that is through a sunroof. They are in a theater and a dome sunroof fits the setting of a classical theater.

    Standing in a circle? How fitting in any other super hero movie/comic book when people are trying to harness power together they stand in a circle.

    Who’s the Narrator… Narrator? Who’s the Narrator of Family Guy? What they hell are you talking about? LOL

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    • Jodie says

      Whenever any story is written, there are three elements that have to be firmly kept in mind: audience (viewer), subject matter (story), and storyteller (narrator). The story tends to fall apart unless the writer has each of these elements totally nailed down. Yes, every story has a view point (narrator) from which the story is told.

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      • LMH says

        Thanks Jodie. These (albeit rare) “reading too far into” posts are proving annoying, as that is the sole purpose of this site. What seemed like far-out overanalyzing of colors, shapes, formations, other “random” props, character quotes etc., have proven to be highly significant to the central mythology.

        I’ll say it again, the clue planting and foreshadowing through seemingly innocuous things done in the show is RIDICULOUS, and the show runners have assured us at every step that if you dig deep you will hit some gold!

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    • says


      You’re right, I do over think these observations, but that’s the point of this column. I think that in a show with “Observers” and “Watchers” and “Lookers” and on-going themes of perception, that it’s worth observing it all. The show is challenging me in that way and I’m seeing connections – some stronger than others.

      As for the Looking Glass. I agree that it was an effective way for them to illustrate that our heroes had made it to the AU. That said, I could not ignore the thematic connection, whether it was coincidental, intentional or the universe reflecting life through art.

      I’ve seen many comic/super hero movies where energy harnessing doesn’t require circle-standing, but I get your point. My point, though, is to reflect the themes that I see. Circles are common in nature and carry powerful symbolism. Often it is this symbolism, or ‘meaning’, behind the observation that attracts me.

      I’m sure Family Guy has a narrator. Perhaps it’s Stewie, he’s always got something to say for himself.

      Don’t get me wrong, I get where you’re coming from and expect most people to not share my point of view. That’s the beauty of life isn’t it – seeing things through other peoples eyes?

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts – now I’ve glimpsed things through your eyes which helps me to further appreciate that there could be nothing more to this show than surface material. Although I hope not! 😉

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      • Overkast says

        Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the column and the site. I wished I would have found it in season 1 because I had no clue how really deep the easter eggs, symbolism and imagery went. I knew there were some but not to the level you have pointed out. It just somethings leave me scratching my head. Like wait what the hell is he talking about. And yet I can’t wait read next weeks column. I guess I need to open my eyes more.

        Narrator…. mmmm… I guess I see Jodie’s point. After thinking about it and reading your other article, I think the narrator is Walter. I’ll leave my thoughts on that on the other post.

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  19. Shayne says

    As always, great observations Roco.

    The “FF” Fringe Division logo reminded me of the Nazi “SS” – mostly in name but a little bit in the Nazi design style too.

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      • LMH says

        Going for that nice imposing and overly-authoritarian look? Fits in with the very paramilitary vibe given off by the alternate Fringe Division’s clothing and operational strategies.

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  20. Shayne says

    The tattoo reminded me of the multiple arm statues/drawings of Hindu dieties – a la Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu etc. or the buddhist dieties, such as Guan Yin (which coincidentally means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”.

    I was reading various explanations of why these dieties were portrayed with multiple arms, and found this: “The portrayal of a deity in human form but with multiple arms is the artist’s attempt to express the deity’s superhuman power.”

    Cortexi-kids definitely are superhuman.

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  21. LMH says

    Roco, Fantastic read here as usual, and great observations made by everyone here. Good warmup for Part 2. Gotta love the democratic nature of FB, very unlike our alternate version perhaps?

    And Roco, I think Peter himself would absolutely love the nickname “Peter ‘The Weapon’ Bishop” if only it didn’t imply what it does! I want my Peter back now Walternate, thank you! = (

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  22. isabelsweet says

    What if the story that walter told us in the episode brown betty wasn’t a story but an half truth?
    Walter didn’t remember about the warning of september but maybe subconsciously he knew something…
    Like the glass heart…he said that this heart was a power source capable of many wonders things and we found out that peter was born with it. So maybe the glass heart is a metaphor for the fact that maybe peter was created with something special that doesn’t belong to human being;
    I thought what about the observers?In brown betty we saw peter opened the case where the glass heart was with his finger like september did when he was turn on the car in august episode…so many coincidences or there’s something else?

    In the conversation between nina sharp and william bell, he said that that heart was able to create a stable door between universe.
    What about the fact that maybe walternate with the machine with the energy of peter want to do this and not destroy our universe?

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    • jinx1764 says

      Isabel-Maybe instead of destroying our universe Walternate wants to use Peter’s ability to open the stable door (maybe Peter has to stay powered up in the Machine for the door to stay open) so that the alternate universe can physically invade our side? Interesting idea…man I can’t wait!!!! 2 more hours!

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  23. Brandoogal says

    Not to mention about the new US map in the AU it looks like north and south dakota joined

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  24. says

    I’m so surprised you didn’t notice the orange ‘CAUTION – FRINGE SCENE’ tape. It’s behind the man Altivia is talking to when he asks if there is going to be a quarantine.

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  25. CH says

    I was just wondering has anyone found a possible Next Episode Clue for Over There Pt. 1 to Over There Pt. 2?

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  26. bluelight30 says

    Hi everyone!

    There’s something that has being bugging me since the 1st season…
    Did the “dead” Olivia’s boyfriend knew something about the AU?
    did he traveled into the AU?
    Because I don’t believe that he didn’t knew about that…
    and why did Massive Dynamic kept the body on their labs?
    and why they don’t talk about him any more? Did Olivia really forgot about him?

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    • says

      Hi bluelight,

      (nice name! :) )

      That’s something I’ll have to look out for during our rewatch, but to be honest I don’t think we were given any real indication that Scott knew about the AU. He definitely knew more than it initially seemed, though the AU might have been beyond his scope. We can only speculate at this point, I wouldn’t rule it out, but he seemed more connected with NSA affairs.

      Massive Dynamic initially kept his body to “question him” and later they tried to decode his encryption disc that stored important information.

      I doubt that Olivia has forgotten about him – the pair bonded more than most seeing as they fused consciousness. In-show talk of Scott was presumably dropped because that particular story arc had run its course. I don’t think it would have hurt to have had Olivia show a little John Scott angst in season 2, but to be fair that arc helped set up the story that we now have, so there’s no real need to have Olivia constantly talk about him. It’s now part of her struggle rather than being the driving force, which is about right, I think.

      I hope that helps. :)

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  27. Dogfish63 says

    I rented this series from Netflix. I just watched the last two eps for season 2.
    I noticed the number 5 coming up alot in these episodes.
    Olivias glass she’s drinking from has 5 sides. There are five sections on the stage behind the five people before they cross over.
    There may be other instances I didn’t observe. I only watched it once.
    I’m not sure of the significance of 5 but I don’t think any one else noticed it.

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  28. Jake says

    You’ve discussed walternate’s black to Walter’s white, but didn’t mention Altlivia being in white while Olivia is always in black. An interesting flip flop.

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