Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive clues and eastereggs round-up for episode 3.06 “6955kHz”.
We dive deep into the mythology, symbolism and resonating factors to explore the meaning and unlock the interconnected mystery of Fringe.
The clue for this episode, hidden in the previous episode, was indeed the 6-9-5-5 visual – in reference to the broadcast at 6955 kHz in this episode. Even more clever because the clue literally was a ‘number station’.
Spirals are widely present in nature. Are they the signature of a creator? Thematically speaking, I’ve long considered the spirals emphasized in Fringe to describe both the cyclical nature of the show and the ‘parallel pull’ between the two universes, who seem to travel in similar inward circles.
Petah, I Love U2!
We know from Altlivia’s reaction in “The Box” that Bono is not a famous music artist in the alternate universe. Seemingly U2 did not form. Altlivia did take a shining to Bono when she saw his picture in a magazine, prompting Newton to warn her of all the shiny things Over Here.
We know that Altlivia likes music – has she been catching up with U2’s music since finding out about them? (“I love U2″, she exclaims). Is this what prompted Peter to get her tickets to a U2 concert? Or is Peter just that perceptive. Yep, probably the former.
Walter: “A reel-to-reel. I used to have one exactly like this. I remember hours spent ripped out of my gourd spent listening to Beatles albums backwards for secret messages. They weren’t there”
Walter’s reference about hidden reversed messages and the symbolism of the ‘reel-to’reel’, briefly made me wonder whether we have heard the numbers (or similar hidden messages) previously in “Inner Child”, when the team attempted to translate the thoughts of the mini Observer:
(Warning: the two audio files below are quite loud!).
The Child’s Thoughts:
The Child’s Thoughts Reversed:
But alas, there doesn’t seem to be much in that given that the number broadcasts were in actual languages. That said, there is almost certainly a connection between the Observers and the First People, and it’s worth mentioning that the child was discovered underground, much like the pieces of the device.
Deal Or Mole Deal?
We’ve seen a lot of boxes throughout the seasons and this latest episode continues that trend. With each box we come across we seem to be delving deeper into the story. You can insert your Pandora’s Box symbolism here.
With the discovery of 37 more device locations, has the biggest box of all been opened?
As we’ve seen in the past, Fringe builds it stories in layers, often subtle thematics or references gradually grow into the central messages of the story.
The two waves represented in the image above also seem to play into this idea. As well as representing the number broadcast (top wave) and Walternate’s underlying memory scrubbing pulse (bottom wave), they also illustrate the parallel storytelling.
Reinforcing the idea that the episode (and the show in general) comes attached with an underlying message. Personally speaking, this episode did seem to pull me in two directions. And I think it’s safe to say that Fringe has always come with hidden messages, clues and context.
Whether they intended to elaborate through this visual or not, I think it’s a pretty neat way of illustrating the parallel story that is being told.
Speaking of parallels. I noted in my review how I found it interesting that shapeshifter Joseph should have different colored eyes.
Interestingly, this didn’t seem to represent a dual outlook on his part – rather than seeing the situation with balance and without prejudice, Joseph was very much wired with red-tinted glasses:
“What’s that they say on this side – all’s fair in love and war?”
“If they were in our shoes, they would do exactly what we’re doing”
No doubt this visual/verbal ‘contradiction’ (if you want to call it that) was done intentionally. Perhaps implying that our perspectives are not always changed by walking in someone else’s shoes. Joseph had to shift into his adopted body, meaning his ‘eyes’ were seemingly inherited from the owner. But unlike Ray, the human experience didn’t seem change his perspective.
On a symbolic level I think this works quite well and expands on the shapeshifter story without stopping to break pace. Again, nicely done.
Red Their Memories
As the two Bishops cast their minds back to the machine and what it may entail, traces of red begin to percolate around them (culminating in Astrid and her bright red shirt).
We’ve speculated for a while now that as well as being a marker for the alternate universe, the color red has also been used by the creators to represent memory. This is a nice way to remind us.
And given the memory issues being experienced by Olivia right now, it further begs the question of what the alternate universe is in the grand scheme of things. Is it an echo – a memory, or some kind of construct borne out of memories? What about the ‘blue universe’? The same questions could asked here.
Now, perhaps the show will go on to prove that both universes are ‘real’ in their own right (that also works for me), but I think it adds another level of intrigue to at least consider the ways in which the thematics play into the story.
Becky: “I look at the pictures, and I see myself in them, but I don’t know them”
Given the recent photo and memory references, I think it’s worth digging up a quote from the season 2 episode, ‘Bishop Revival':
Alfred: “One day all you will have left are pictures”
Not an earth-shattering quote, nor do I necessarily think there’s an explicit connection there. But the internal logic of the show might be saying something. It may help show how memories are being conveyed in terms of pictures quite a lot – a way of describing the meaning of the story in real world terms. It may also imply that reality is literally being ‘captured’ by the observations made by our little bald friends. Who knows.
Pen-ny For Your Thoughts?
Another piece of Over There technology, we can assume. This device looks a lot like a pen. And what with all the pen references of late..
Sea! It’s a Horse
Seahorse glyph can be spotted on the back of a book. Looks like Markham’s a glyph collector.
Glue – a book by Irvine Welsh. Will Peter be the glue that holds the universe together? What about the First People – will their Vacuum be used to heal the situation or tear fabric apart? In truth, I’m not sure that this is an intentional reference, but hey, the title works!
I’ve already said quite a bit about the First People here. Although it’s worth quickly mentioning that Seamus Wiles (author of the First People book) is an anagram for Samuel Weiss.
Sam has always been an interesting figure. He’s dropped a few clues about his connections to the First People in the past. Here are some of his key quotes, now we have more context to go with them:
“When you’ve been up all night, time is just a matter of semantics” (2.16)
- This episode confirmed that the First People viewed time differently from the current incumbents of earth.
“I detected that you needed company” (2.16)
- Did the First People have the ability to sense how others were feeling?
“I’m older than I look. I barely remember my childhood. I’m also taller than I appear” (2.16)
- Hints at Sam’s age – he could be millions of years old, if he is a First Person. His ‘taller than I appear’ comment also takes on even more intrigue. Just how tall were the First People?
“You’re a good person. One of the few I know. If you agreed to keep this secret I’m sure you had a good reason”
- You could say that Sam has also protected secrets so he knows what it’s like. It’s also interesting to hear him say that Olivia is one of the few good people he knows. If he is indeed a First Person, does he not consider them to have been good people? That being said, I guess most of them were wiped out.
And of course, we shouldn’t forget the “A DEMONS TWIST RUSTS” = “DON’T TRUST SAM WEISS” anagram clue from “Over There – Part 2″.
Walter reminds Astrid that history is full of extinction events, and lists Atlantis as one of them. Interesting, in part, because it’s another reference to underground (or rather, down below).
The legendary (and possibly mythical) island sank into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune,” and was first referenced by Plato in Timaeus and Critias (360 BC). This plays nicely with our First People mythology, certainly in regards to Seamus Wiles’ claim that the ancients were wiped from history by some kind of cataclysmic event.
Alt! Who Goes There!
A nice reflection of Altlivia, illustrating her ever so slightly splintering loyalties. Which path will she ultimately take?
First and foremost, I believe its important for her to realize that she does have a choice. There’s always a choice, as these doors help illustrate:
The Man Who Fell-er To Earth
And he bowed out looking rather ‘angelic’. I’m not sure I buy that given his earlier sentiments, but certainly it seems to be the intention behind the halo imagery.
Observing The Observer
The Observer can be seen getting his observer-on as Altlivia and Broyles watch Peter put his hand up the shapeshifters butt to examine his data storage device. Important moment, observed.
Ah, it warms my heart. The blue lights return to switch our perspective from one universe to the other in the blink of an eye. Their actual significance has been long discussed and speculated (travel, observation, convergence, etc), but I do like their usage here (which could be viewed as travel, I guess).
Reflections have always been powerful symbols, providing a glimpse into the internal world of our heroes. No less so here, as Projection Peter pops up to deliver the magic words, “you have to go home”, to which Olivia turns and looks directly into the mirror – her direction is set, her focus is clear.
The journey home is not just a physical one, but an internal..spiritual one.
- Altlivia begins the day wearing blue.
- Astrid offers to play “The Art of Fugue” by Bach to help Walter think more clearly, but the music that plays is Air on the G string. Continuity error or something more mischievous?
- A well positioned globe as Walter talks about creation and destruction.
- Some decent green-green-green-red thematics going on during Feller’s pulse planting in the tower.
- Number 47. Baaaaad Robot!
- Massive Dynamic logo. Not as ‘eastereggy’ as it used to be given that Walter now owns the company performing the excavation.
- The inscription on the Vacuum part (as per the other piece found in “The Box”) somewhat resembles the Observer writing seen in “The Arrival” and “August”.
- The glyphs for this episode spelled DECAY. As in deteriorate. As in too many Twizlers and Walter’s teeth will rot! As in the decay of the fabric of the universe.