Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive clues and easter eggs round-up for episode 3.16 “Os”.
We dive deep into the mythology, symbolism and resonating factors to explore the meaning and unlock the interconnected mystery of Fringe.
Violet Sedan Chair
A Violet Sedan Chair sticker can be seen on Walter’s bong. A nice little easter egg for those who took part in the hunt for Seven Suns.
Walter notes that the Massive Dynamic security monitors have a rhythm, “each monitor it’s own movement, all blending together in a beautiful sympathy,” he enthuses.
This is an effective way to illustrate different universes moving together within the ‘bigger picture’ of the Multiverse. I’ve suggested in the past that time in Fringe operates in a flux – each monitor could also be viewed as a fragment in time with each moment occurring simultaneously.
The “Subject 13” clue for “Os” was the Os (Osmium) periodic table reference.
I would also speculate the red balloon in Subject 13 also served as a reference point to the ‘balloon men’ in Os (in addition to what I said about it here).
Throughout the episode Walter makes several references to Icarus when referring to the floating men. This is quite apt comparison, wrought with symbolism that relates to the episode:
Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall to his death.
Aside from Dr. Floaty and his subjects playing the roles of Daedalus and Icarus, we’re left to ponder whether the same can (or will) apply to Walter/nate and Peter. Does the Boom-Boom-Machine (BBM) represent Peter’s wings?
Another connection comes in the fact that, according to their website, Massive Dynamic donate to the “Daedalus Fund”. (see “worldwide giving piece chart”).
Observing The Observer
The Observer doing his thing.
Licorice Come Back
The executive producers have often said that Fringe is a bit like licorice in that people who love it really love it. So it was quite interesting to see Astrid tell Walter “I’ve got some bad news, they’re out of licorice, but I’ve got you some mints.”
Inside joke? Double meaning? You decide. (though notice what Walter does with one of the mints).
A poster of the solar system in Michael’s room. Nothing major here, but a similar set up to Max (“..Do Shapeshifters Dream?”) and young Peter’s rooms.
Bad Robot’s less cutesy older brother.
Apollo 11 moon landing parallel.
As a sidenote, it’s quite ‘coincidental’ the way in which ‘weightlessness’ is used as a separate asset at the space set crime scene.
Peter Bishop – the man who fell
to through Earth. Some meaning can possibly be extracted from Peter being as big, if not bigger, than the planets. His connection with the BBM and the role it could play in deciding the fates of the universes spring to mind here.
There’s also a sense, in the above scene, that Peter will ascend into a higher dimension. If not actually, then perhaps it will describe his ‘power’.
It’s also quite fitting that Peter should perform this stunt, as he was a fan of all things spacey when he was little.
Who’s in jail here? Makes me wonder whether one day Walter will find himself on the other side of the bars. Perhaps he already is, in some ways.
Peter looking intently at books in the charity display for a Nepalese library. It’s unusual for Fringe to place such focus (however small, within the larger context) on a scene like this without it having some level of intended significance.
While I don’t expect the answer to the Fringe Universe to be here, it does bring to mind Peter’s past as a man with connections in many scattered regions of the world. He also has a history with books, including the many he’s borrowed from Edward Markham. Of particular note are the First People books.
Alternatively, I wonder whether the intention here is similar to the one provided in Subject 13 where books were a source of imagination for young Olivia? Wish fulfilment may come into play with Peter considering the role he can play in building a better future for the common good. It’s about creation – world building, in more ways than one.
While Nepal may come into play in some form later in the season, I think the scene may simply be there to provide an internal monologue, if you will, for Peter. Personally, I like that kind of subtlety.
Also, we’ve often spoken about Peter’s role as an amplifier, if not a beacon. Here, it seems, he’s a “receiver”, although it may be a case of making coincidence work for a bit of character building. And there’s nothing wrong in that – look at all the spirals that have been effectively employed throughout the series.
On second thought, perhaps Olivia is the intended “receiver” in this scene? After all, she is soon receiving the soul of Bell within her intimate space.
Bell’s Got Moves
If you look closely at the actual footage of this scene, you can see the bell move ever so slightly – as though William is beckoning Walter, letting him know that he’s oh so close.
Bellie certainly planned several steps ahead of the game.
He not only implanted the soul magnets inside Olivia – I suspect during those time-slips when he pulled her over to the alternate universe, possibly putting it in her tea, or by a method she cannot remember – but, he also tuned his ‘energy’ to his bell’s harmonic frequency.
We even saw him ring a different version of the bell when he called time on Olivia’s alternate universe visit in the season 1 finale.
At the time of “Momentum Deferred” I called it a “flashback trigger” because it was Peter ringing a bell “Over Here” during Walter’s experiment to get Olivia to remember that caused her to relive the missing memories of her meeting with Bell. She too, was
You could even go as far as to argue that the bell (or the harmonic frequency of the bell that he gave to Nina) is Bellie’s totem – his tether back to ‘reality’. If we ever see Walter or Peter develop a fondness for a bishop chess piece I think I’ll throw up. In a good way.
The Bell Lols
Nice camera tilt as Bellie enters Olivia. You can even hear the distant ring of the bell, so instant is Bellie’s arrival, as we’re left to reflect where Olivia’s consciousness went in return.
Interesting, though, that Bellie should return just as Peter tells Olivia about the shapeshifters memory disks. Significant because Bellie has the decoder key. As is often the case, everything Olivia needs is inside her locker. In more ways than one this time.
So Fresh, Soul Clean
Another interesting aspect of Bell’s return, for me, relates to how it compares with the ‘unsuccessful’ return of Amanda Walsh’s soul in “Marionette”. I’ve talked about it more here.
- Olivia’s lucky number pops up again when Broyles discovers the 8 wheelchairs belonging to Dr. Floaty’s victims.
- “Os” could have double meaning. Aside from Osmium, it could refer to Bell using O (Olivia) as a host on which to run his OS – Operating System.
- The combining of two rare elements (Osmium and Lutetium) to create a new molecule lends itself to the possible merger between the two universes to create a ‘new reality’, and also William Bell inserting himself inside Olivia. You could go further and say the combining of mythology and standalone fare created one of the finest ‘mythalone’ episodes to date.
- The glyph code for “Os” spelled EARTH. As in the changes to Earth’s fundamental properties as a result of Walter’s crossing. As in Bellie ‘grounding’ Olivia to make way for his return.
You can find our review for Fringe 3.16 “Os” here, which is essentially our first wave dissection of this episode.