Fringe Observations: 3.08 Entrada


Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive clues and eastereggs round-up for episode 3.08 “Entrada”.

We dive deep into the mythology, symbolism and resonating factors to explore the meaning and unlock the interconnected mystery of Fringe.

Circle Blue

Peter’s reflection isn’t the only thing projecting all over this scene. Time would also play an important role in Altlivia’s escape and Olivia’s re-entry.

Kodak Moment

A couple of episodes ago I said:

“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.”

In the previous episode this theme continued to manifest with dozens of photos covering young Maxwell’s wall. Now in “Entrada” we have prominent focus on Peter and Altlivia’s snaps – and again the words: “One day all you will have left are pictures”, spring to mind.

While a picture is a picture, it also speaks a thousand words. It’s evident that the creators were – consciously, or subconsciously – projecting their story-building intent a few episodes in advance. Not a major clue or anything, but the mechanics are quite interesting.

I also take interest with the fact that the Peter/Altlivia pictures are in black and white. This conveys a sense of something that has been washed away – faded love, if you will.

There’s also the sense that pictures, like dreams, are themselves representations of reality. Above, Peter’s ideal reality is looking him in the face, and yet it’s not quite right. It fits like a glove, but it’s not quite right.

This idealized reality is captured, suspended in time – just as he soon will be once Altlivia gets him to self-administer the ‘Sleep Me’ paralytic.

Monsters Minx

Are there any monsters under Altlivia’s bed? Nope, the monster is in the bed. And I say that not to be mean, but to highlight the continuation of the theme of how ‘monsters’ in Fringe largely represent that which is ‘under our skin’. Altlivia not only wears Olivia’s skin, but she’s under her sheets. And with SLEEP comes vulnerability, as Peter tinkers beyond the door.

Pour Olivia

The very moment that Altlivia’s is rumbled by Peter, she is pouring a glass of water. We know that water represents the subconscious and so it’s as though she is pouring the ‘Olivia’ out of her. The mask has slipped, her own subconscious knows that the game is up and she’s automatically acting out those emotions on the surface. And she’s probably a wee bit thirsty from watching all those movies. ;)

I also find it interesting that even from the grave Peter’s mom is providing him with the tools to see more clearly. A phrase that has travelled through the mouths of Elizabeth, William Bell, and a half-comatose Olivia. It’s funny how some words never leave us.

Just as the Greek phrase proved to be Olivia’s ‘Wake Me’ (“Momentum Deferred”), it also turned out to be Peter’s.

Sleep Me

Altlivia hid the ‘Sleep Me’ kit behind the clock. Her venom would soon hold Peter in time long enough for her to make an escape. But what was in the venom – a singular plot device, or will it turn out to be something more? But Walternate wouldn’t do anything to harm his boy, would he?

The fact that it left Peter with a bit of a ‘tequila hangover sized headache’ could be a detail that comes back as a seed.

Haze You Seen It?

Ah, the haze! The blurry haze so often seen through our heroes eyes. Emotional context aside, these classic shots are one of the few times we actually get to experience life from their point of view. Sure, this is a storytelling device, but what does it say that so often these experiences are ones of waking or sleeping?

Bricks and Alter

The alternate universe embassy is painted red. Who would have thunk it?

An interesting ariel shot. But why? To give the allusion of this place being important for those living in a perceived (if not actual) ‘higher dimension’, perhaps? Works for me.

She Reflects

This is a particularly nice image because it’s not just a solid reflection – it represents the transparency of Altlivia, her exit home, and the fact that Peter can now ‘see right through her’.

Mirror Mirror

Altlivia makes eye contact with the audience (gathered round the camp fire in another dimension) as she looks into her now fully formed reflection. The circular mirror imitating the near completeness of her mission, and the distorted inner rim reflecting through time like a plateau:

The Scene of The Dream

Like Mother Nature herself, the Fringe intro sequence didn’t recognize just one side or the other. No, she dressed up in her finest red and blue for an episode that fully went back and forth between worlds. She aims to please.

Hands Down

This wont unlock the key to the universe, but it’s a splendid little detail – Walter holding Peter’s hand, guiding him back to the land of the living. He will later spring to Peter’s defence. This wont ease the pain, nor will it remove the angst that still exists between them, but it’s in moments of crisis when you know who is REAL and who has a vagenda resting beneath their affection.

Hour World

Time is of the essence. You’ll notice that it also spins one way, then the other (difficult to tell via screencap, but it’s there). For me, this manifestation symbolizes the storytelling format transitioning from one universe to the other, as well as the inherent themes of balance and cause and effect.

This clock is also encased in glass, perhaps representative of the need to preserve both worlds, if not the fabric of time itself. It’s also a very pretty clock.

You Bluety!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no..it’s the blue lights – faster than Superman and not bound by human form!

Their function this season is simple – to serve as a thematic marker as we transition from one world to the other. Call it travel, with a hint of observation, a dash of energy, and a touch of convergence.

F Is For Friendly

Broylnate fiddles with the backwards “FFs” on his Fringe Division cap. Lost in his thoughts, he’s unknowingly projecting the fact that he will soon come face to face with his double on the other side.

That Sucks

Out of all the choices the writers could have made to symbolize this significant anomaly, they went for a vortex. Why? What is going on under the surface of this decision?

Once again this is another of the many UNDERGROUND or DOWN BELOW references which allude to the subconscious. You’ll also know that WATER is a strong subconscious metaphor. So we have two incredibly powerful representations of the INTERNAL, within a world that itself could be viewed as a subconscious construct.

It’s the fear. The alternates worry about the prospect of their world going down the drain, of losing their hold on reality and all that it contains. And as humans, we all fear, at times, that who we are on the inside will be sucked away – be it our creativity, freedom, expression, beliefs, identity, you name it.

The vortex manifested two weeks into Broylnate’s job. Since then he’s seen the repeated pattern of loss and devastation. When you’re caught in negative cycle, it’s time to look for a change. Some twenty years later, change came knocking at Broylnate’s door. He answered.

Olivia In AUland

This reflective spoon imagery reminded me of the Alice tales. It’s the mirror and the distortion that does it. All we need now is a rabbit hole.

It’s also neat because it’s one of the examples of the Olivias manifesting through one another – unknowingly mimicking each others actions with the moment above being the bleed-through from this:

Speaking of cyclical manifestations…

Loop for Loop

“..This all began because a man came over here to save a boy, and 25 years later I came back to save that same boy”

It strikes me that the fact that both universes are so deeply entangled means that they both inherently want to survive.

Haze You Seen It? II

The blurry haze manifests itself through universes, as Peter’s ‘Sleep Me’ drug trickles upwards to Olivia’s own version of stasis. Again, it’s the story’s ability to REFLECT itself even without smoke and mirrors that helps create internal balance and meaning.

Your mind is probably cast back to episodes such as “Bound” and “Amber 31422″. And if Dunham looks slightly packaged it’s because she’s illustrating the notion that she can be duplicated and mass produced, like a doll. This fear is realized in the shape of Altlivia – who Peter thought was his Olivia, and her Cortexiphan – which Walternate has reproduced, seemingly with the intent to give Olivia-like powers to wannabe warriors.

Manifest-O

The parallels continue to manifest themselves, this time in three directions:

Broylnate administering the adrenaline kick to Olivia is a direct echo….

..of Peter delivering a similar adrenaline-fueled kick to bring Olivia back from her alternate universe memories (“Momentum Deferred”).

The premise is the same – in both instances Olivia is trapped in both an alternate universe, and what could be considered to be a dream.

Of course, we live in a story of cause and effect, meaning that Olivia’s adrena-pain feels it’s way to the other side where her double is given her own approximated version of the kick.

And in working out this balance, the universe goes to great lengths to include detail. Anyone for spinal tap?

Level-Up

Coming back up through the levels of her subconscious.

Cortexi-Red

Red. The thematic marker for the alternate universe and memories. It’s no wonder that the Cortexiphan produced from her chemistry is also that color.

  • As an aside, Olivia’s D.O.B continues to alter.

Pants!

In recent reviews I’ve spoken of Walternate’s possible lack of hope. It seems to be illustrated here with the empty Bra & Panties Tank™. I guess he’s a B&P Tank™ all empty kind of guy.

Semi Observer

As you can see from this Over There/Over Here visual capture of the universe transfer, the Observer does not appear to be in two worlds at the same time.

It looks like he’s more interested in seeing how the whole Peter/Altlivia thing goes down than keeping tabs on Olivia. Though I’m sure that’s not true.

Aside: Green Taxis.

North Westerner

Peter radios that Altlivia is in the “North West bathroom”.

Had he been more in touch with his inner child, he would have known exactly where Altlivia would be right from the start. I mean, it was written all over her.

Again we see how a character can project their internal thoughts, feelings, and even future movements. And given that the subconscious is murky territory, being both the hero and the villain (did it betray Altliv?), it could also be argued that it was somehow Olivia projecting this clue to Peter. After all, it is her shirt. Which she once lent to the little Observer – who brought out her own problem-solving inner child.

Peter should also be more aware of Northwest hidey-holes, since he recently spent a few days sleep walking through one.

  • As an aside, how ironic is it that one of Altlivia’s most vulnerable moments came in a bathroom (“Do Shapeshifters Dream..”) and she gets captured outside of one?

Seeker

Peter walks into the light. He can see clearly now the rain has gone. Or can he?

Clearly he fell for Altlivia in more ways than one. He went to different places (physical, emotional) with her, places he enjoyed. How does one separate that from the feelings he has for the person he thought she was? It’s impossible – because Olivia does not have those qualities in quite the same degrees. She has others, of course. But that’s the point.

Peter, if he’s really honest, will concede that his feelings for Altlivia are genuine. If they weren’t then he would never have fallen DEEPER. In short, he now has feelings (varying degrees) for two Olivias.

But I digress. Onwards and upwards.

Bra & Panties Concept

The Bra & Panties Tank™ has never been more welcome. Sometimes you have to DOWNgrade before you can UPgrade. Olivia takes hold of the cyclical nature of the story by its tail, with Walternate’s attempts to thwart her once again playing into the hands of her internal guide.

The story began with her jumping down the rusty rabbit hole for love and so this must be her way back. But it’s more layered than that.

To get to where she is now, Olivia had to jump down through the floors of her subconscious. Not once, not twice, not three times, but (to my estimation) four Bra & Panties Tank™ trips opened her mind to the alternate universe.

So it’s no coincidence (well, it might be) that over the course of this season it has taken not one, not two, not three, but four Bra & Panties Tank™ trips to get back home.

The parallel is framed, all that’s needed now is for the egg to hatch.

And that egg hatches. Olivia exits the rusty rabbit hole. While there’s no snow globe as there was in her first two attempts back – there’s still the shattering of glass thanks to Astrid.

It could be coincidence, but Mother Nature has ways of delivering reminders. If Olivia breaks her promise both worlds wont survive.

Dead Drop

And in case that final frame of Olivia looked somewhat familiar to you, it’s because nature is still untangling its strings from the last time Olivia perma-returned from the alternate universe:

Yep, there was a lot of shattered glass then too. Call it a precursor:

Three Fifty Nine


“The Plateau” (inset) and now “Entrada” – be vigilant for 3:59.

To Love & Project

As we predicted, the Blue Marble Road symbolized that a member of AU Fringe Division would help Olivia find her way home to her Blue Universe. But the sight of it here also carries weight for Altlivia, who may have lost her Tin Man, for now, but it doesn’t mean she’s not feeling blue (shirt, inset).

Dream Whirled

It’s worth noting that almost as soon as Altlivia touches down in AUville, Lincoln reports that he is fully healed from Sally Lane’s inferno. He says it’s “as if nothing ever happened”, you could also call it “Bad Dreams”. Because, on some level, that’s what this ‘reset’ (if you will) represents – the awakening from a bad dream. A subtle point but it goes a long way to capturing the themes beneath the themes.

Of course, for others, the dream is reality and it’s about to turn into a nightmare.

I guess, even when we wake up it’s only a matter of TIME  before we have to hit the pillow in search of Zs. Maybe Peter and Olivia’s earlier ‘stasis’ held another significant point in that regard?

The Parts We Put To Sleep

Speaking of dreams. What profound impact does it have to put to sleep the part of you that you never knew, but the part who made sacrifices for your survival?

As profound as it must have been for Broyles to RIP his double, I think the weight here should not be lost on each of us who have had to sacrifice different sides to ourselves either out of necessity, external force, or for any other reason. Maybe there’s a message in that – perhaps self-sacrifice has deeper, more internal significance. Who is the hero in you?

We’ve seen how the ‘Internal’ has helped Olivia (Projection Peter, et al) and this is another example of that, just from a differently perceived angle.

As the end of the day, I like to think that no one person is one thing, there’s a multiverse within each of us. ;)

Only One Way To Find Out

The Librarian just loves wearing the Red of the AU. His message to Store Owner Guy (SOG) also turns out to be the reversed message planted in the theatrical trailer for this episode.

“Only one way to find out

Stand and Deliver

As we speculated in the previous episode observations, the “Lingg Eye Group” (L.E.G) reference was indeed a foreshadowing clue for this episode, which featured SOG getting his legs back, not to mention Broylnate losing one. It may also double as a shout-out to Kathy Lingg, a producer on the show.

Note: The other foreshadowing clue for this episode was the “Enter and you shall be Saved!” sign, as we predicted. (see above link for context).

Dream Me Up, Scotty

Quite rightfully, the episode draws its curtains with Olivia ‘waking up’ in her own universe. But how awake is she? With the secrets that lie in wait, this may turn out to be more like a nightmare. Oh well, that’s for tomorrow. Rest up Livvy.

Other Clues

  • More slanted lights, illustrating the slightly off-kilter nature of the AU from certain perspectives, and the high energy presence in the shape of Cortexi-charged Olivia.
  • Not a biggie, but Olivia’s world being turned upside down had shades of Walter’s old flame going the same way – and in an episode (“Momentum Deferred”) which saw Olivia (or rather her memories) return from the alternate universe.
  • The glyphs for this episode spelled C R O S S as in cross over to the other side. As in cross everything that moves. Yes, even that.

Comments

  1. charliefan19 says

    Well, this gets me pumped for 9pm :)

    I like what you said about Peter stepping into the light. In forty minutes, he showed more perception than he has in the previous seven episodes. YAY. The Greek test. The shapeshifter test. And he didn’t even kick down a door.

    I keep going back to the first ep this year, when Peter finishes giving his statement to the feds, and he smooches Alt-Liv. He says something like, “The whole time I was in there, all I could think about was THIS (*smoooooooch.*)” I think this is an example of why P/O really doesn’t work, at least not now. And now he seems to like ALT-Liv more…? Oy. Poor Olivia…

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  2. real1 says

    Well said :)

    just am hating the idea of Peter may has a feeling for Alt-Olivia !! that’s not good at all ! projecting Peter was much more worthy .

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    • ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

      So they both, Peter & Olivia, have fallen in love with projections instead of the real thing…

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  3. edgesight says

    I saw what may be the next episode clue. There is a sign in front of Springsteen station of a ballerina, Mercy Ballerina Conservatory. During the next episode preview there is a picture of a ballerina on what appears to be a fireplace mantle. This may be the girl that is being re-animated. She also looks like she is in a ballerina pose when she is raised up from a table. What is also interesting is that once the universe shifts to Penn Station the Observer is there looking towards where the Mercy Ballerina sign was in the other universe. Your pic above only shows him.

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  4. says

    With the mention of the B & W photos, it reminds me that there is a lot of shades of grey as in not everything is so black or white, right or wrong.

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    • fedorafadares says

      Something about Peter’s lack of expression — and the fact that it is identical in each pic — still strikes me as strange.

      It’s almost like he’s a wooden cut-out of a person…sort of one-dimensional.

      Weird, but is it meaningful?

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  5. FinChase says

    “As an aside, Olivia’s D.O.B continues to alter.”

    I wonder why? It seems like a big continuity error if it is indeed an error. I wonder if it’s yet another clue that time moves a bit differently in the alternate universe?

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  6. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    Brother Roco, in reference to your “Kodak” and “Seeker” sections.

    I’m beginning to think that Peter is harmonically in tune with Altlivia. They are, after all, from the same universe. Maybe this explains why Peter was so easily duped by her. Remember back in the episode, Ability, I think it was, Olivia was trying to decode the box of lights. Many speculated that Olivia was able to decode the box by the mere presence of Peter. That he had some sort of calming influence on her. They were in tune. This harmony was brought about by her cortexiphan heightened abilities. The same abilities that later allowed her to see Peter as out of phase with our universe. Or out of tune. I could get into String Theory and the vibration of particles at a sub atomic level. Or not. I think that simply put, Altlivia and Peter make beautiful music together whether Peter wants to admit that or not. With Olivia perhaps they don’t strike the same chord.
    Speaking of music, one of my favorite little bands is “Say Hi” (formerly Say Hi to Your Mother) they have a song called “Northwestern Girls”. The lyrics go like this…

    Northwestern girls, with their fresh faces.
    Don’t mess it up this time.
    They seem so nice.
    It must be in the air here.
    Northwestern girls, I’m all grown up this time, I swear.
    At least I lie different when you seem so nice.

    Somehow I can hear Peter singing this. Especially the last line.

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    • Inter-dimensional Dave says

      As I often do I re-read your “observations” Brother Roco. There are so many nuggets to enjoy that I sometimes pass over some of the more juicy morsels. “Three Fifty Nine” was one I initially over looked. You encouraged us to be vigilant to 3:59. Then it struck me that it might be a biblical passage. As it turns out 3:59 is from the King James Bible, specifically the book of Lamentations chapter three verse fifty nine which reads, “O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.”
      Could this quote be directly applied to Peter and how he has wronged Olivia or is there a larger purpose? Lamentations in the Hebrew Bible recalls the fall of Jerusalem and or the destruction of the Temple. Maybe 3:59 in the Fringeverse will point to the time where one universe will meet its ultimate fate.

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      • Name says

        I think you’ve hit upon something. This show wastes no words, images, or details, and you may have hit upon why they took the time to introduce Amy Jessup and her Holy Bible.

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  7. santa1563 says

    There was a neat Lost reference early in the episode. When Peter goes to see if Olivia’s weapon is still on the table, there are 3 quarters, 3 dimes, and 3 pennies. $1.08 = 108 (4+8+15+16+23+42). Oh show, how I love thee.

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  8. alt-lex says

    sorry if it were mentioned on a other place or so, but did i get it right that the time isnt in sync. because olivia said to broyles “..This all began because a man came over here to save a boy, and 25 years later I came back to save that same boy” like you sayd under “loop for loop” but in the news the vortex was 20 years ago. so maybe it wasnt a mistake in Over There: Part 1 when the same difference was mentioned…

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  9. mlj102 says

    I think all my persistence in mentioning the reflections in each episode has finally paid off as I am quite pleased to see you are now taking the initiative to mention those on your own. It makes me feel somewhat vindicated to know that you now include those instances as visually significant.

    I was also really glad to see you mention the recurrence of the pictures theme, as that’s something I’ve been thinking about since this episode aired. You brought up the quote from Hoffman about how soon all we’ll have left are pictures, but the quote I keep thinking of is from 6955 kHz where the victim of amnesia tells Walter how she sees all these pictures of her with her family, but she doesn’t know them. I just think that’s really significant, and I think it’s going to be particularly significant to Olivia as she returns back to her life and sees things that have happened and “she” was there, but it wasn’t really her. It makes me think of in Olivia how the psychiatrist showed her pictures, but she insisted that while they looked like her, they weren’t of her. I wonder if, in examining her life and what alternate Olivia did now that she’s back, Olivia will encounter additional pictures, emphasizing the theme of them being her, but not her.

    You also referenced a lot of the appearances of clocks in this episode. There were a lot of them! And it’s been that way all season. It makes me wonder if they’re subtly foreshadowing and building up to some kind of revelation regarding time…

    Another thing possibly worth mentioning is at the beginning when Peter is looking through Olivia’s things and he finds her book where she takes notes, and he flips through a few pages, and the notes that we see go back to last year and the case from Snakehead. Was this a random choice to refer back to that episode, or are we going to see a greater connection to that at some point in the future?

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  10. megan says

    I’ve been reading your site for the last couple of weeks and this is the first time I’ve read your observations. I love them! It definatly helps to read this and see what I missed. I loved the blue/red opening titles that was so cool!

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  11. Owl says

    Thanks, Roco, for the fringe notes…I couldn’t agree more with what you said, and you reminded me of several things I knew looked familiar, but couldn’t tie together. I think Peter had feelings for AltLivia too, which is sad, but she’s just an easier, or less traumatized, person. Lots of sorting out to do. Can hardly wait for tonight (I’m on the west coast…2 1/2 more hours!). Thanks for all the work you put into this blog…I really enjoy it.

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  12. Charlotte says

    Roco, your observations are so amazing that I sat to read them with my morning coffee BEFORE watching the new episode I just downloaded, which says a lot :-)

    With regards to clocks switching from 3:59 to 4:00, I’d like to add that lots of things seem to happen at 4:00 in the series, but that more generally there are about a zillion references to the number 4. From the top of my head:
    – 4:00 was the time estimated as key by Milo in “The Plateau”, it’s also the time Olivia & co were supposed to meet William Bell in Central Park in “Over there part 1″.
    – Several things happened “four years ago”: the first occurence of the Shadow case over here (“Unearthed”), the quarantine in Franklin Street Station (“Amber”), the abduction of Christopher Broyles (“Abducted”), the recording of the number station by Massive Dynamic (“6955 kHz”).
    – Several groups of people come in fours: 4 Cortexiphan kids cross over (OT1), 4 people with a data storage disk embedded in their hand in season 1 (John Scott in “Pilot”, Mendoza in “Ghost Network”, Hicks and Bowman in “Transformation”), 4 veterans are recruited to rob 4 banks (“Safe”), 4 observers (“August”)
    – As you said above, 4 Bra & Panties Tank™ trips to open Olivia’s mind to the alternate universe, four more to get back home.
    – More number 4 references: the 1st shapeshifter we were introduced to was seen in 4 bodies (“A new day…”), the syphilis vampire killed 4 victims (“Midnight”), the chimaera was a hybrid of 4 animals (“Unleashed”), 4 annexes to the AU Pentagon (“Jacksonville”), etc, etc.
    – There was also a game of Connect-4 on display in the classroom in “Jacksonville.”

    What’s up with number 4?

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  13. Alex says

    Just a bit of trivia on the Greek quote: I’m Greek, and the more accurate translation is “He is a better man than his father”. It’s a quote from the Iliad where Hector says he hopes people will one day say this about his own son, long after he himself has passed away.

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  14. Serens says

    4:00 was also the clock change when the guy who could account for any variable started the sequence that ultimately failed to kill Olivia, wasn’t it? Or am I confused?

    BTW- I’ve taken to calling Altilivia “Feauxlivia” as in fake, especially when she was faking being someone else. Also we just put red and blue infront of the person or universe we’re talking about, but that’s just me and my crew.

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  15. Tubz says

    I recently started watching the series from the beginning, and I just came across this episode. The reason I was directed to this page was because I noticed the 3:59 – 4:00 clock in the background..remembering it from the previous episode, I googled it and now I’m here, but with another observation from this episode. To balance out the mass for Feauxlivia’s cross over, they had to remove mass from the alternate broyles’ body…I guess trying to save both worlds literally costs an arm and a leg.

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