Fringe Rewatch: 1.02 Love Blinds


After rediscovering the Pilot, we head once more unto the breach! Our aim is to make new discoveries and forge fresh connections as we tackle “The Same Old Story” – or, as I am now calling it: “Love Blinds”.

New Perspectives

  • Loraine Daisy’s faux name was Amber. Would you look at that – another early “yellow” reference.
  • The actions of Christopher Penrose – or, as I’m now unofficially calling him: Pituitary Perv, puts a new twist on the ethics of cloning. It’s not just a case of right or wrong, but on how the human need to survive is translated by those we clone.
  • It’s interesting to look back at the Oversight Committee in light of what we now know and suspect. Nina all but ridiculed the selection of his new team, while Broyles was quick to defend them (because that’s what family do). As I (and some of you) suggested in the Pilot rewatch, it’s clear that Broyles and Nina knew the importance of our odd little family unit. Their public opposition is a case of vested interests personal philosophies. The key for Broyles is that he had found his leverage – his Golden Ticket, and Nina knew it.
  • Broyles had theorized that Walter’s work was at the root of the Pattern. Again, this implies that Broyles had a handle on Walter’s past, but it’s also interesting to retrospectively compare Walter’s role in the Pattern to the cracks he put in the fabric of the universe. Both storylines are interchangeable, if not one in the same, but it’s funny how the Pattern, as we knew it, has drifted from center stage.
  • Broyles reminds Nina that Walter was never convicted of killing Carla Warren. Good point Big Philly. Good point indeed.
  • In case we need more evidence that Broyles knew more than he let on – did you see his smile when Nina asked him what he was thinking by recruiting Olivia Dunham!? That, ladies and gentlefolk, was the smile of a cat who had got the cream with cherries on top! Broyles never smiles without the aid of a reverse empath, so that really hit home. I’d love to know how much direction Reddick was given on how to play that moment. But damn, if there was still any doubt, that’s the Storage Facility mystery closed and padlocked as far as I’m concerned.
  • The Olivia montage: Man, Scotty boy sure did leave behind a trail of UNSOLVED cases, didn’t he!
  • Is it just me, or did Broyles greet Peter with knowing eyes?
  • Ah, so Olivia has actually spoken more than two words to Astrid over the course of 43 episodes. Observe it well folks, this is rare footage!
  • Olivia’s little torchlight. I WANT ONE!! It would come in handy during my…investigations into…stuff.
  • Oh yes, I remember now – Olivia and John had previously hunted Pituitary Perv (or one of his siblings) some 12 years ago. This gives Olivia another ‘unwitting’ post-clinical trails connection to William Bell. As I’ve said before, it’s as though the universe has guided her towards her destiny.
  • Pituitary Perv was effectively removing a piece of his victims brains – sound familiar?
  • Now, Peter and I don’t always see eye to eye. In fact, sometimes I think he’s from another planet. But I had to laugh our loud at his “Magical Man baby” line! Not bad, Boy Wonder, not bad. :)
  • Charlie really is in the dark at this stage isn’t he.
  • This may not have been intentional, but it’s interesting how the bridge was the last image that Pituitary Chick saw before her death – representing the spiritual ‘crossing over’, and blah.
  • Claus tells Peter that “no one in power should ever learn what (Walter) knows”. How’s Secretary of Defense of the slightly ahead alternate earth suit you? Powerful enough?
  • Walter asks Peter: “When was it you lost your imagination, son?” Oh, I don’t know WALTER, perhaps it was when you ripped him from his mother’s arms, or told him creepy mantras to make him forget things!? Just a hunch though, dude, just a hunch.
  • Olivia says: “I don’t usually lose control“. This seems to foreshadow Olivia’s ability and gives us retrospective insight into how she’s instinctively managed to control her powers (emotions) for so long.
  • I’d actually forgotten that Olivia DID follow-up on John’s suggestion by asking Broyles why he sent her to the storage facility. In fact, she did EXACTLY what John suggested and ASKED HERSELF – by way of a dream. Her powers manifesting in a bid to help her unlock the mysteries. Not that she got an answer, but it’s fascinating to see what the writers actually did here – assuming they meant it, which would be rude of me not to.
  • Sticking with the dream for a moment, I also found it interesting that Olivia put herself in the Loraine’s position by envisaging herself pregnant with a Magical Man Baby. Early powers of perception, dreams taking over, or just a meaningless dream? You know what I think. What do you think?
  • Nina said: “I’ve lost people close to me”. Would this be anyone we know, Nina? Peter, perhaps? Or maybe Carla?
  • “A woman of your talents – oh Nina, you crafty devil! You were telling us all along that Olivia had abilities weren’t you. I can’t remember if I picked up on this before – I feel that I may have, but either way, it’s worth highlighting just how subtle these crafty writers can be. You’ve all witnessed it now, so bear that in mind. ;)
  • The episode makes it clear (to me) that both Broyles and Nina were vying for Olivia’s loyalty. I think that’s an important word, because it’s exactly what Broyles gets once Olivia tells him the truth about Nina’s job offer. I love that interaction and Livvy’s little joke about a pay rise. I think it was the moment I became an underground Broyles and Olivia shipper.
  • I wonder: would Olivia have been better off taking up Nina’s offer and joining Massive Dynamic? By “better off”, I mean, would she have found the answers she was looking for sooner? Bearing in mind that, like Broyles, Nina knew about Olivia’s connections to Bell and Walter – would Red Top have come clean early on, or would she have just kept the intrepid one under her wing until something forced her hand – like Jones stealing the energy cell? I guess we’ll never know, but rest assured that somewhere, in a reality not too far from here, Olivia made that choice to join Massive Dynamic – and all of us blogged about it and wondered what would have happened had she stayed with Team Broyles. Ahh, the roads not taken.
  • What with all the shenanigans of the past season, I had almost forgotten that Walter nearly revealed the truth about Peter’s medical history to Olivia. Walter’s memory is interesting because he recaptures details from his past, only to forget again. Perhaps he decided to block the Peter kidnapping out, even though he subconsciously tries to tell him the truth over the course of two seasons? Alternatively, he might only remember that he did something, and not the full details. I’m happy with either of those explanations, but I didn’t recall Walter looking quite so SINISTER in this scene! And this is the man we all love? How!?
  • I do love Walter in the final scene – so fragile and confused. The man can’t even be sure of his own son’s voice. Peter singing “Row Your Boat” as the scene transitions to the sleeping clones – the words “LIFE IS BUT A DREAM” delivering the message. The same old perspective that I like to take away from this, is the comparison between Peter and the clones. At this stage, both believe in their own existence, their own perception of the world around them. But both are living in a dream world (I mean that figuratively, while leaving room for the literal interpretation) where their reality is only a sheath to be shed.

Mysteries & Answers

  • What happened to Broyles’ previous team?
  • My Opinion: They were eaten by Molebabies. It was a brave death.
  • Who were the other people at the Oversight Committee?
  • My Opinion: Just random shirts, presumably representing other companies/individuals with “clearance”.
  • Why did Massive Dynamic want to clone soldiers?
  • My Opinion: More hints are given in 2.07, but have you seen the shapeshifters? If there’s a war coming they could be our first line of defence. That must have been Bell’s thinking.
  • Olivia’s dream – Whaaaa?
  • My Opinion: I’ve posted my views on this above. :o
  • Who deleted Peter’s medical history from Walter’s file?
  • My Opinion: It’s an interesting question. I’d probably go for Bellie, Nina or even Walter himself – you know, before he went all ‘St. Claire’s’.

New Clues & Observations

  • Loraine’s faux name was Amber – in retrospect this is probably a clue for the next episode (“The Ghost Network”), which features our first look at the Amber Toxin.
  • Pituitary Perv took Loraine to the “Scarlet Red Motel” – that’s a new one for the “red” box.
  • Peter tells Walter he can “bring anything mechanical back to life”: Though this is not a new observation, and I’m loathe to go over old ground, I think this is one that is worth highlighting again – in light of Peter being able to operate the “Peter Place Hand Here” Weapon.
  • Claus to Peter: “This didn’t seem like the America I remembered from when I was a boy”. This could be an early clue for Peter’s alternate universe origins. Also, notice Claus’ ‘double-take’ at Peter. It’s almost as though he realizes the context of what he’s saying. I’m not sure whether the double-look was in the script or just something the actor improvised with. Either way, it works in retrospect.

Possible Retcons

  • Olivia pregnant by John Scott / Past Pregnancy. We saw ‘Broyles’ ask Olivia whether she had been “safe” during her and John’s squeaky bed sessions, and in an upcoming episode Olivia’s womb is further put under the spotlight. Then there’s all the subtle (and perhaps non-existent) hints that Ella is in fact Olivia’s. To be honest, it looks like the writers planted this seed, just in case, but decided not to water it.

Theme Tracker

DREAMS & SLEEP

  • Olivia: “Your phone was off the hook”
  • Peter: “That’s because I didn’t want to be woken up“.
  • Walter unable to get to sleep without someone singing him “Row your boat”.
  • Olivia to Peter: “I feel like I’ve been asleep for the past year“.
  • Olivia: “He’d give them a muscle paralyzer, they’d be awake, but unable to move”.
  • Olivia’s dream: I’ve spoken about this above, but in addition, notice that Olivia’s dream pre-empts Nina’s not so subtle suggestion that Olivia and John were in a relationship. (In her dream ‘Broyles’ asks Olivia if she was “safe”).
  • Walter: “You’re awake, Peter. Me too. I was trying to lull myself to sleep“.
  • Peter: “…You think you can do that in your head?”

GOD / FAITH

  • Walter to Peter: “FAITH! Never a bad thing to have”.
  • Walter offers Olivia a clue: “..trying to maintain that distinction between God’s domain and our own“.

Diary: Evidence of Narrator

  • The episode seems to contain a rather neutral narrative standpoint – except, perhaps, during Olivia’s dream and Walter’s remembering of Peter’s medical history. If Walter is the narrator he may well be unreliable. Broyles and Nina’s potential role in the narration needs to be observed. The question of life being a dream also caught the attention of my NarraDar. Conclusion – the narrator’s clues should be taken on board but filtered by a keen eye. Shall remain ever watchful. Until next time.

Quote Terrific

  • “..That was his mistake. But he was blinded… Because he loved me. He loved me..”

Best Retrospective Performance: Lance Reddick

Favorite Retrospective Moment: The reveal of the clones in Massive Dynamic sleeping chambers.

Retrospective Episode Rating: 6/10

Useful Links

[Update] Oops! Almost forgot: Next Rewatch Episode – 1.03 “The Ghost Network”, Sunday, July 25th, 2010.

If you have any comments on the above rewatch, or you have your own rewatch thoughts and observations, feel free to share them in the comments below. While I have personally chosen to tackle new perspectives, feel free to approach this rewatch in whichever way you want.

Comments

  1. gil_cdn says

    “but rest assured that somewhere, in a reality not too far from here, Olivia made that choice to join Massive Dynamic – and all of us blogged about it and wondered what would have happened had she stayed with Team Broyles. Ahh, the roads not taken.”

    LOL Roco, Now, wouldn’t that be a wonderful spin-off serious “Fringe: Corporate Espionage”

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  2. Paulina says

    “Peter tells Walter he can “bring anything mechanical back to life”: Though this is not a new observation, and I’m loathe to go over old ground, I think this is one that is worth highlighting again – in light of Peter being able to operate the “Peter Place Hand Here” Weapon.”

    I had actually never noticed this line before until my rewatch, and it is very intriguing indeed in light of the weapon from the S2 finale.

    Also, I like your interpretation of Nina and Broyles in this episode. I really enjoyed this episode for the themes of dream/sleep, God/faith, and father/son.

    I also didn’t notice until my rewatch how when Peter comes to Olivia at the bench there is a father and son playing with a sailboat in front of her.

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  3. says

    Again Roco, very detailed observations laid out for us here. You deserve a big compliment and recognition for such detailed work.
    I love the yellow items (again), even the picture you used with Olivia and the tulip background is another hint that this color means something.

    Maybe actionwise this episode was not the best by far, but it contained lots and lots of points to tell the story that was building sofar. I would give it 7/10.

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  4. kittyofdoom says

    I’ve always been a bit confused about why this episode is called The Same Old Story. Does it refer to Olivia going back over an old case, or the fact that Magical Man Baby was ‘old’? It’s not really ‘the same old story’ because Olivia’s newly investigating Fringe events, isn’t she? Maybe I’m missing the obvious, but it’s never really made sense to me.

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    • says

      The clue might be, that all of this happened before. Maybe from an Observer’s point of view.
      Like for instance: Peter is dead. Peternate will die eventally. But if it is the same Peter, than isn’t it ‘the same old story’? Okay, bad comparisson, but you get my meaning.

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    • Jodie says

      I’ve always thought this title referred back to the Walter and Peter situation. Penrose cloned a son he shouldn’t have while Walter took a son he shouldn’t have. Both kept them out of love.

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      • SF says

        I thought it referred back to the fact that Olivia was now going back over the old case she had investigated with John to see what she had missed (that he had maybe purposely hidden too, I’d guess), as well as referring to the team revolving around Walter’s old experiments – going back to his old ground to find the answers. And then, the beginning of the fathers and sons theme that runs through Fringe. I’d never caught the last one until now, though, so excellent catch, Roco. And Jodie! :-)

        but if we were to ask what The Same Old Story means, well, isn’t this about science gone wrong, and trying to fix it only making it worse? As Roco says, blinded by love – Penrose is blinded and trying to get it right with his son. It directly ties to Walter’s guilt over Peter, which we know is now trying to fix his mistake of taking Peter so long ago. I don’t think this episode has the depth it could have done with this kind of layering it has in later episodes, but certainly the groundwork for these ideas is laid out in this episode.

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  5. Bishop Takes Queen says

    I’m curious as to the theory that Ella could possibly be Olivia’s child. What has led you all (that support the idea) to believe this? I’m not saying you are wrong in your thinking, I am just curious if I missed some clues pointing to such a possibility.

    I mean, I guess it could have happened. Maybe Olivia was a surrogate mother or provided the egg for Rachel to use? It would contrast the development that Alt-Rachel died during her delivery of Alt-Ella…

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    • LizW65 says

      “I’m curious as to the theory that Ella could possibly be Olivia’s child. What has led you all (that support the idea) to believe this? I’m not saying you are wrong in your thinking, I am just curious if I missed some clues pointing to such a possibility…”
      Personally, I’ve never seen this either. I don’t believe there’s any evidence for it per se, but there’s no denying that Olivia (and for that matter, Peter) have more chemistry with Ella than Rachel does. I think it’s just an acting thing–and possible wishful thinking on the part of some of the fans. However, what we learned in the season finale pretty much laid that theory to rest.

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      • Bishop Takes Queen says

        Yeah, I’ve never seen any indication that Ella is anything more than Olivia’s niece (and quite possibly favorite little person in the world).

        Any sort of reveal that Ella is Olivia’s child would be ridiculous IMO, as it would seem like something lifted straight out of the Scully/Emily storyline.

        Still, I’m hoping that some of the folks that believe in the Ella-is-Olivia’s-kid thing will shed some light on the clues that cause them to believe it.

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  6. Xochitl says

    i really don’t think that Ella is Olivia’s daughter, it would be weird, i don’t know, maybe she is, but recently I put this together with what Walter told Olivia in “PEter”, “you don’t know what is to lose a child” or something like that, i have thought more around the lines of maybe Olivia was pregnant with Jhon but she lost the baby, i know, it sounds even weirder than Ella being Olivia’s daugter.

    As i came late to the show last year i was also intrigued by Walter’s revelation, by the time I watched this episode I had already seen the season finale, what intrigues me the more is that if you look to the original script of the pilot OLIVIA WAS SUPPOUSED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO PETER, i mean since the pilot, i have wondered since then what kind of show will we have with that drastic change and why did they writers decided to change it? I’m not saying is good or bad, I really don’t know, just saying.

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  7. mlj102 says

    As usual, you have put forth some amazing thoughts and observations. And, as usual, I have written a response that is entirely too long…

    This is one of those episodes that, when I think about it, I think I don’t like it very much, but when I watch it, I find it’s actually a lot better than I remember. It’s really well done, a great follow up to the Pilot, and it has some great themes running through it. As I was watching it, I found that it was a great plot that was eerie and creepy and intriguing and just plain classic Fringe. I thought it was a smart choice to do this kind of a case as it made it clear what kinds of stories fans could expect from Fringe. I was also amazed by how many themes were covered in this episode. The story itself may seem somewhat of a standalone and unimportant, but the themes were definitely present and they explored those themes really well.

    “Ah, so Olivia has actually spoken more than two words to Astrid over the course of 43 episodes. Observe it well folks, this is rare footage!”

    I still don’t fully understand where you got this idea that there’s a strain in the relationship between Astrid and Olivia. Sure, they’re not like best friends or anything, and the writers could include a bit more interaction between them, but there’s never been any indication from either one of them that shows they dislike working together. I just find it amusing that that has become one of the things you focus on.

    “The episode makes it clear (to me) that both Broyles and Nina were vying for Olivia’s loyalty…I love that interaction and Livvy’s little joke about a pay rise.”

    I like how you described this as Broyles and Nina vying for Olivia’s loyalty and I think that’s a very accurate analysis of it. One of the most fascinating things I’ve been focusing on so far during this rewatch has been the interactions between those three… it’s all very odd and quite different from what we’ve gotten used to seeing. A lot of it could be that the writers and producers were still figuring out exactly where they were going with those relationships. But I also think it was done like that intentionally to show the characters getting to know each other and establishing such a unique relationship.

    It’s interesting to me to see Nina and Broyles and how they sometimes appear to be cooperating and working together, and at other times they seem to be working against each other. I think that, in a lot of ways, Nina was playing Devil’s advocate during that meeting while she was challenging Broyles’ decision to hire Olivia and the Bishops. Or, perhaps it was her own way of testing Broyles and his conviction and commitment to those he’d hired. I have always thought Nina offering Olivia a job was somewhat odd and I’m curious what her reasoning was for that. Given the way Fringe Division, through Broyles, seems to be doing a lot of Nina’s work, it seems she wins either way, so I don’t know why she was so persistent in trying to get Olivia to go work for Massive Dynamic. But that’s why I liked what you pointed out about Nina and Broyles competing for Olivia’s loyalty. I think that goes a long way in explaining that story line.

    However, I must say that I never viewed the discussion between Olivia and Broyles at the end in quite the same way that you seem to… quite the opposite, actually. Personally, I’ve always found that scene and their interaction to be rather odd, even distracting. It never really made sense and has always sort of bothered me about the episode. While I like your interpretation, and I think you make some good points about it, I’m still not sure that it changes my opinion of that scene. But maybe that’s just me.

    “Walter’s memory is interesting because he recaptures details from his past, only to forget again. Perhaps he decided to block the Peter kidnapping out, even though he subconsciously tries to tell him the truth over the course of two seasons?”

    It’s interesting to theorize regarding what exactly Walter thought Olivia would find out from Peter’s file. Did he think the file told about how Peter had been sick? Did he think it included the details of his actual death? Did he expect it to include the full truth about how Peter is actually from the other side? Or is it something completely unrelated to all that? There have been other subtle hints suggesting that there’s still more about Peter that we still don’t know, and it could be that that’s what he was expecting to be included in Peter’s file. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to think that Walter could still be keeping additional secrets about Peter.

    Personally, I think Walter has been well aware of the fact that Peter was from the other side ever since the Pilot. I don’t think he ever forgot that. I think he often confuses the two Peters, which is why he often gets the memories of the two mixed up, but I think he remembered very clearly, ever since the beginning, that Peter wasn’t his Peter. I’m not quite sure what makes you suggest that Walter has been subconsciously trying to tell Peter the truth for the past two years. I was always under the impression that he never wanted the truth to come out, and he would keep it a secret at all costs. He couldn’t bear the thought of Peter learning the truth and he did everything he could to keep it a secret. It wasn’t until Olivia learned the truth that he ultimately accepted and acknowledged the fact that Peter needed to know.

    Just a few other thoughts:

    I was intrigued by the committee meeting at the beginning. I think it’s further evidence that Broyles is far more involved and he knows a lot more than he lets on. I wonder if we’ll ever see that committee again…

    I know you’ve covered it several times, but I still haven’t come across any satisfactory explanation for Olivia’s dream. In my opinion, it makes no sense. It seems so odd and out of place in the episode. It’s like they brought it up, but then they never did anything with it… there was never any attempt to explain it or to tie it in to anything. I can appreciate the symbolic reference and how it is part of the dream theme running through the show, and I can understand that Olivia was in the middle of this random case and it’s normal to think some of the details of that case would manifest in her subconscious thoughts. But it just seems like they went out of their way to include this random dream, only to drop it and not go anywhere with it. They never followed up with it, so instead of being significant, it just seems odd and irrelevant and it disrupts the episode for me.

    That said, I do want to mention that I thought it was a really neat effect to have the background changing colors throughout that scene. That really added to the tone and feel of the whole scene, and I really liked watching the changing colors behind both Olivia and Broyles as they were interacting in that scene.

    Along those same lines, I also thought they did a great job with the lighting at the end when Olivia was out looking for Christopher. She finds him and as he’s explaining things to her, there’s this odd lighting that fades in and out as the scene progresses. I thought that was really neat and gave a unique, creepy feeling to the whole setting.

    I really liked the parallels between Walter/Peter and Penrose/Christopher and I think I appreciated that a lot more now that we know the “full” story of what happened to Peter and how Walter brought him from the other side. I love the whole parallel of how they each loved their son so much that they were willing to disregard all morals and ethics and risks if it meant being able to save their son.

    I’m curious how the cloning of the supersoldiers from this episode compares with the cloning of the Tylers that we saw in Of Human Action. Looking at the timeline, it would appear that they both happened around the same time: it’s implied that the Tyler cloning took place 14-15 years ago (from 2009 makes it between 1994-1995) and the Christopher cloning was at least 12 years ago (from 2008, meaning it would be around 1996). So are they separate experiments, or are they both working towards a common goal of creating supersoldiers? The Christopher clones were the ones that experimented with rapid aging, so do we assume the Tyler clones were just normal clones? What was the purpose of the two groups of clones?

    Of course, the timing of the Christopher cloning baffles me. All we know is that Olivia and John worked on the case together, though I doubt they were the first ones to work on it as Charlie put it at 12 years old, which would make Olivia around 18… too young to be an FBI agent. Adding to that, I was looking at the papers Olivia is looking at from the case files, and the first one is a handwritten police report that is dated 1941. That not only predates Olivia, but also Walter and Penrose. So I’m not sure how that particular document fits in with the rest of the case…

    Themes: You already covered the themes of dreams/sleep and religion (which I thought were both covered really well in this episode), so I’ll just add a quick comment for the “things you do for love” theme that I’ve been following. You referred to it indirectly, but I thought this theme was very prominent in this episode. In fact, I like how you titled this rewatch “love blinds” because I think that is such an accurate way of describing the main theme in this episode. We saw the way love blinded Olivia from seeing what John was really doing, as well as how love blinded Penrose from the fact that his son shouldn’t be alive. But because he loved his son so much, he went to considerable lengths to save him, even though Christopher pointed out that he should have let him die a long time ago. I think this story is such a powerful way of continuing with this theme. This theme also ties in closely with the theme of perception. I really liked Olivia’s discussion with Charlie when she opened up about how she is reacting to what she has learned about John, and how she feels like she should have been able to see him for who he really was. But her love — her emotions — distorted her perception and prevented her from seeing reality. In fact, all these themes (sleep/dreams, perception, things you do for love) all blend together and support each other, which I really like. There’s been some discussion in another topic about how fans really criticized Olivia, especially in the beginning of the series. Like others have pointed out, I just don’t understand those criticisms, and this episode is a perfect example of why I don’t get it. I think they did a brilliant job of showing how she is struggling to come to terms with the knowledge that the man she loved was a traitor, and she hadn’t seen that, and he betrayed her. She wasn’t cold or stoic at all… I thought there was a lot of emotion from her in this episode, and it was all completely understandable.

    Anyway, I sort of got off topic there. I’ve also been looking for appearances of various recurring observations (much in the same way I look for reflections in each episode). This episode included a couple of different glyph references, including the girl being named Daisy, as well as the random hand in a jar that Walter found in the car. Boats are another thing that I suspect has some significance and is intentionally recurring over the two seasons. With the kayak from the Pilot, and the focus on the father/son preparing to sail their toy boat, I have to think there’s a reason for it.

    Finally, just a completely random observation: in the scene where Olivia is looking through her old files, and Walter and Peter drive up in the car that Peter managed to fix, I noticed that there’s something written on the window in the upper corner of the building that’s in the background. It looks like it says “radio”… Like I said, completely random, and it’s very possible that it’s unintentional and means nothing, but I’d never noticed it before and it seemed odd, so I though I’d see what everyone else thought.

    Funniest moment: I always laugh in the scene where Olivia describes the kinds of cases she needs Charlie to look for and he says “you say the sweetest things” and she responds “Only to you, Charlie”. It’s subtle, but so funny, in my opinion. And I miss Charlie.

    Most outstanding moment: It doesn’t really qualify as “outstanding moment” but one of my favorite parts of this entire episode is when Nina challenges Broyles and asks him what he was thinking when he recruited Olivia to Fringe Division, and he responds by saying “I was thinking that a woman who didn’t hesitate to follow the evidence and expose the man she loved at the cost of great personal pain and embarrassment – must surely be worthy of our trust.” I love this for so many reasons. I love the way that scene plays out, going from this official, late night meeting to show Olivia searching through the files of John’s old cases. I love that it shows the depth of Broyles’ trust in Olivia — such a contrast from his attitude in the Pilot, and it reaffirms what he told her in that episode that if she managed to find something concrete, then he would have her back. And I think it is such an accurate, effective description of Olivia. I love how it so clearly summarized the events and Olivia’s actions in the Pilot, and it left no room for alternate interpretations. I love the concept of trust and loyalty, and this quote and that scene was full of both qualities.

    My rating for the episode: 7.5 (it was somewhat choppy at times, but it was still a solid, relevant episode that I don’t mind rewatching)

    You didn’t mention when we can expect the rewatch for Ghost Network… Sometime around Sunday?

    Final random question: So, is it some personal goal of yours to include a joke about molebaby in each of the rewatches?

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    • Bishop Takes Queen says

      mlj said: “I still don’t fully understand where you got this idea that there’s a strain in the relationship between Astrid and Olivia. Sure, they’re not like best friends or anything, and the writers could include a bit more interaction between them, but there’s never been any indication from either one of them that shows they dislike working together.”

      – Agreed. Especially since Olivia entrusts Astrid to not only look after Walter, but also to babysit her precious niece (as recently as “Brown Betty.”)

      mlj also said: “Personally, I think Walter has been well aware of the fact that Peter was from the other side ever since the Pilot.”

      – Yup, hence the reason for Walter’s first action upon seeing Peter being to lunge forward and check Peter’s eye/ inner eyelid. :)

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    • Michelle says

      Regarding the word “radio” written in the window, mlj… I think that may have been an extra next episode clue put in by the writers in case “voces videos” wasn’t found. It makes sense to me anyway– Roy heard the voices in the Ghost Network episode after he got his antenna headgear on and no longer needed to draw pictures to make sense of the stimuli. Just my opinion.

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    • says

      Excellent thoughts as always, mlj!

      Just touching on a few of your points:

      “I still don’t fully understand where you got this idea that there’s a strain in the relationship between Astrid and Olivia. Sure, they’re not like best friends or anything, and the writers could include a bit more interaction between them, but there’s never been any indication from either one of them that shows they dislike working together. I just find it amusing that that has become one of the things you focus on.”

      I just find it strange that in a show that has so far spanned 43 episodes, Olivia and her assistant have said so few words to one another. Then there’s the dirrrrrty looks that Olivia gives Astrid from time to time. ;)

      “It’s interesting to theorize regarding what exactly Walter thought Olivia would find out from Peter’s file. Did he think the file told about how Peter had been sick? Did he think it included the details of his actual death? Did he expect it to include the full truth about how Peter is actually from the other side? Or is it something completely unrelated to all that? There have been other subtle hints suggesting that there’s still more about Peter that we still don’t know, and it could be that that’s what he was expecting to be included in Peter’s file. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to think that Walter could still be keeping additional secrets about Peter.”

      Good points. Like you, I think that Peter’s medical file may have contained details of his death, or perhaps a history of illness which Walter feared may have eventually led Olivia to ask Peter about. I agree, it’s totally possible that there is yet more we don’t know about Peter – Is Walter consciously withholding information, or does the full truth only come to him in flashes? It’ll be interesting to find out.

      “I’m curious how the cloning of the supersoldiers from this episode compares with the cloning of the Tylers that we saw in Of Human Action. Looking at the timeline, it would appear that they both happened around the same time: it’s implied that the Tyler cloning took place 14-15 years ago (from 2009 makes it between 1994-1995) and the Christopher cloning was at least 12 years ago (from 2008, meaning it would be around 1996). So are they separate experiments, or are they both working towards a common goal of creating supersoldiers? The Christopher clones were the ones that experimented with rapid aging, so do we assume the Tyler clones were just normal clones? What was the purpose of the two groups of clones?”

      Since both sets of clones Claus Penrose’s fingerprints all over them, I figured that they were part of the same goal of growing different types of soldiers for the different kinds of conflict. I guess I’d compare it to having tanks and submarines and jets, instead of just tanks. Perhaps Bellie planned to one day assimilate them into one ‘super-super’ set of clones? Nice work on pinning down the dates, that’s really helpful as it indicates that MD had the scope to run simultaneous experiments of this nature – experiments no doubt moulded by the information Bell gave them on the so-called ‘enemy’. The ability to cultivate soldiers, with different skills such as mind control, in almost no time at all may well have been an effective counter measure to the First Wave, et al. There’s also the question of whether the shapeshifters would be able to take on the identity of a clone.

      “Final random question: So, is it some personal goal of yours to include a joke about molebaby in each of the rewatches?”

      Damn! You have me all figured out. :P

      Thanks for sharing – it’s really interesting to get your take on the episodes. I am surprised that you still rank TSOS so highly, but then again I imagine that we will disagree quite a bit in that regard. Still, great fun. Thanks!

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  8. Shar says

    “I also didn’t notice until my rewatch how when Peter comes to Olivia at the bench there is a father and son playing with a sailboat in front of her.”
    I noticed that this time too.
    I saw the observer this episode. This was of course before you had to freeze frame and look in the background to find him. Was he in the pilot episode? If so I missed him.
    I’m also wondering if Walter remembers, at this point in the show, that he did experiments on Olivia when she was a kid?
    Thanks Roco for doing this. I’m really enjoying watching these episodes again and your insights.

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    • fedorafadares says

      Another subtlety of the scene on the park bench: Peter touches Olivia’s hand — unnecessarily, in my opinion, given the conversation — and Olivia’s reaction is interesting. She stops looking at Peter and looks at their hands quite pointedly. It’s like the touch itself is so strange it takes her out of her conversation with him and her attention is drawn to it.

      I don’t think this is a romantic thing — I think it’s a small reaction that indicates Peter’s touch is somehow significant.

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      • LizW65 says

        It also suggests that Peter is aware, on some level, of the effect that his touch has on people. Possibly it influences Olivia to go along with Walter’s seemingly insane scheme?

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      • Paulina says

        “I don’t think this is a romantic thing — I think it’s a small reaction that indicates Peter’s touch is somehow significant.”

        Oh! Nice catch. It ties in nicely with Bad Dreams, where he calms her down by taking her hands. I do hope we see more of this in S3, with maybe some more explanation of why…

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        • SF says

          I thought and have always thought that he was trying to comfort her, but also remind her physically that she wasn’t alone. I think he is interested in her, and that touch was a bunch of everything in it. And when she pauses and looks, he withdraws. Even if his touch has calmed her (and it appears to even here), she has noticed the touch, which if I recall, no one else really does over the two seasons. It’s like he can calm her, but is it unconscious? I want to say it’s not, she lets him, then i think of Bad Dreams, like Paulina says, and she is under hypnosis and she instantly calms down at his touch. Maybe he calms her unconsciously, but consciously she fights his influence on her. Does that sound strange? It’s an odd moment that only makes sense over the two seasons we’ve seen so far.

          I often think that Peter would touch her more if she would let him, but she doesn’t – she’s not that kind of person and has lots of personal space around her, which I relate to so well! I like her for it too, and in light of the cortexiphan trials, it makes sense. Almost no one gets close to Olivia unless she lets them. Even if I want to see them together, I really like that he withdraws after that touch and doesn’t try to touch her again, though in the Cure they both come close again. On yet another bench…..given our complaints that most of S2 was outside of the office (and it was) there are a lot of scenes already in these first two episodes that take place on benches in and around the lab and outside!

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    • says

      Shar,

      Yep, September was also in the Pilot. He’s been in every episode so far. Check out our Observer Files to catch his every appearance!

      “I’m also wondering if Walter remembers, at this point in the show, that he did experiments on Olivia when she was a kid?”

      Interesting question! Personally, I don’t think Walter remembered Olivia as Olive from the Cortexiphan trails at this stage, although I’d say that intuitively he was already very fond of her.

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  9. says

    Interesting that you mention Pituitary Chick seeing a bridge right before she died. It calls to mind Walternate crossing into our reality on a bridge that Thomas Jerome Newton conjured out of thin air. Is that intentional? The obvious answer is “Of course not, what a stupid question!” But the thing about art is that it’s more intuitive than rational. Again, no one would have to think about this. It’s just what makes Fringe Fringe.

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    • SF says

      In Bad Dreams, Nick lives near a bridge. And a bridge is in TMTOOE, when Jones is first trying to open the door to the other side. Bridges are transition places too, not just for death but also for healing and change – getting to another side (lol not an intentional pun but now that I’ve written it!!…) you’re right, whether intentional or not, it certainly adds to the continuity at important times in Fringe, and another continuous image.

      A bridge is also joining two different perceptions or places, so we could take it that so many themes and ideas are being bridged together, being crossed into – back and forth, changing consciousness which I think is what bridges really mean. So as Pit-chick sees the bridge and dies, it’s also the way the Fringe team find the next girl and save her – time and space are bridged by that camera……the more I look at this episode, the more layered it is, just not as finely as it gets later.

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    • says

      Ben,

      I agree. It’s especially interesting to see evidence of this while rewatching these early episodes. There’s a lot more of these intuitive instances coming up so it should be good fun picking them out.

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  10. Elaine says

    Wow, Roco, so many great observations and new thoughts. You never cease to amaze me with the insight you place within these reviews.

    That being said, I’m limited on time, but I wanted to comment on this portion of your review:

    GOD / FAITH

    Walter to Peter: “FAITH! Never a bad thing to have”.

    Walter offers Olivia a clue: “..trying to maintain that distinction between God’s domain and our own“.

    Actually, I believe he was referring to Astrid inquiring if this experiment was going to work, but it hardly matter whom he was speaking to but more what he said. As many times as I’ve viewed this episode, I never picked p on either of these lines from Walter. How telling of the tremendous amount of guilt and incredible need for forgiveness Walter carried/carries within him. I actually got tickles at the latter comment because Walter inquiring about what he assumed Olivia knew, the writers were indirectly revealing his secret and a major key to what is going on with this story in plain sight…the audiences lack of knowledge.

    There’s other comments I’d like to touch on, but again, I’m limited in my time today. Great review, dude. ;-)

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    • says

      Elaine,

      Thanks for the correction, and my apologies to Astrid – she needs all the exposure she can get at this stage. :)

      I agree – it’s interesting to see the early indications of Walter’s internal battle between guilt and redemption. Which one will win out, may well depend on those around him.

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  11. FinChase says

    Great review, as usual.

    I am curious as to what clues I might be missing that prompt some to think Ella is actually Olivia’s child. I never got that sense. It’s obvious that Olivia loves her deeply, but this is her only niece, Ella lives with her (at least we think she does), and she’s only child in Olivia’s life at the moment, so the caring seems natural to me. Nor does it seem that Olivia and Rachel are hiding some sort of guilty secret between them–and this would be a huge family drama if it were true. I hope the writers don’t go that route.

    I loved the scene between Olivia and Charlie. I loved Charlie when he admitted that he had known about Liv and John (just as Olivia suspected) but that he said nothing because he “hadn’t seen her that happy in a long time.” I knew Charlie was going to be a good guy then. I miss Charlie. Hope Alt-Charlie sticks around, arachnids and all.

    Idle thought: Did the production team deliberately set out to give Astrid and Olivia the biggest pairs of goggles they could find?

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    • SF says

      I don’t think and have never thought that Ella was Olivia’s baby! I don’t know what Olivia’s dream means, but it’s not about Ella. Maybe the writers were wondering if Olivia would be pregnant (thus another play on ‘the same old story’); I think it has to do with fear. Olivia is afraid – and is there any woman who can watch Amber/Loraine as she screams as her belly expands, and not shudder? Maybe Olivia is getting in the head of Amber then. Of course, it’s also the only time we ever see a dream of Olivia’s, and maybe this is a key to why she is so sleepless: when she does dream, they are so vivid and strange and bewildering and true that she almost can’t handle it. So she blocks them like Peter has blocked his dreams since Walter taught him how. In a show that is about dreams and perceptions and sleep and awake, its’ interesting that our heroine is afraid to sleep, can’t sleep, and as this season especially goes on, characters comment on her sleeplessness. What does that say about Olivia, then? And what Fringe is saying about the nature of dreams and wakefulness, and perception? Is Olivia’s perceptions altered because she can’t sleep? Is she more awake than everyone else around her? What would Sam say if he knew how much she couldn’t sleep?

      Good points, Fin. I also really hope that Ella is Rachel’s daughter, it would be too weird and convoluted and soap opera-y and not necessary to make her Olivia’s. Ugh. I like the niece/aunt relationship, and they are so close. It really is a wonderful relationship on Fringe.

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      • SF says

        and now that I’m thinking about it, even though I still don’t understand NWP – thinking about Olivia’s fear of sleeping and how this might affect her perceptions – though I think cortexiphan gives her protection here – I wonder if we can ask the same questions of Peter in NWP too? How does his sleeplessness affect him? His refusal/fear/inability to sleep after his shock? I’d think we could draw parallels to Olivia’s discovery of John’s betrayal and of the Pattern, that she is deeply afraid,too. So if Olivia is making sense of things even though she can’t sleep, then is that her natural ability, or cortexiphan enhancing her perceptions, so she doesn’t need sleep like normal people – like Peter – do? She would be like a soldier then, not needing as much sleep as others would. Even though we don’t know it, already we are being prepared to accept Olivia as part of the army Walter and Bell were creating with the cortexiphan trials.

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        • FinChase says

          Now that’s an interesting thought, that Cortexiphan has made Olivia not need as much sleep as other people. That bears watching.

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        • Jodie says

          “In a show that is about dreams and perceptions and sleep and awake, its’ interesting that our heroine is afraid to sleep, can’t sleep, and as this season especially goes on, characters comment on her sleeplessness. What does that say about Olivia, then?”

          This is a good insight especially with regards to Peter and Olivia. I’ve often liked to watch how Olivia responds to a situation as compared to Peter. Olivia jumps in (I always think of her downing those chopped up worms in Momentum Deferred) where Peter observes and then acts. They are foils of each other. The sleep differences really tie in well with this: Olivia has a problem letting go and relaxing which leads to not sleeping while Peter doesn’t seem to want to wake up. We see Peter sleeping while we see Olivia trying to deal with insomnia. In NWP, Peter is forced awake which leads him to experience a nightmare situation.

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          • SF says

            “The sleep differences really tie in well with this: Olivia has a problem letting go and relaxing which leads to not sleeping while Peter doesn’t seem to want to wake up. We see Peter sleeping while we see Olivia trying to deal with insomnia.”

            Yes, you’re right, Jodie. Olivia is always waking Peter up, isn’t she? I didn’t think of them as contrasting, but of course they are. He’s kind of like Sleeping Beauty, isn’t he? Sleeping until someone comes along to wake him, and I think that was Olivia – that she is his destiny. I’m not talking the romantic one only, more that his destiny is to fight alongside her to save both worlds from the damage his father caused. I was just thinking that it would have been so cool if he had stolen the genomes markers or squares from the machine his father had, to study and build an alternate machine on our side that would close the breach without destroying both worlds. He has the capability, if not the knowledge yet, and we’ve seen him building things before (TRNT), as well as the comment in this episode that there isn’t anything mechanical that he can’t fix.

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            • Elaine says

              Oh, now that would have been interesting. Something we come to realize that Peter is working on aside from Fringe cases or in the lab with Walter. A nice lee-way into his sorted past, people and other countries he had dealings with.

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  12. number six says

    With Walter I have too many conflicting ideas regarding his memories and Peter. What I know for sure is that he gets to know and love adult Peter and that he loved his real son. The rest is a mixed bag of compelling but messy information, no doubt reflecting the state of Walter’s mind. In this episode, he sounded lucid enough, when talking about Peter’s file and “god’s domain”, which makes me believe he had a moment of clarity. He also says this to Peter at the hospital, when he’s examining the old newborn: “Ninety-two percent of Caucasian newborns have blue eyes. Yours were green” and then he looks shifty, because, obviously, Peter’s eyes are blue. However, in this very scene he forgets his lab has been reopened. It’s too confusing.

    In retrospect, I think that Nina and Broyles already had a deal. Besides serving as exposition fairy, Nina had to ask the hard questions to convince the other members present in the meeting. Also, Nina was testing Olivia’s loyalty with her offer and I wouldn’t be surprised if Broyles knew about it.

    I did notice Peter’s “I can bring anything mechanical back to life” the first time and thought it would be important, but I didn’t know to what extent.

    I didn’t like this episode much, but it does have one of my favorite scenes: Peter curbing his annoyance at his father and singing “Row, row, row your boat”.

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    • Jodie says

      “In retrospect, I think that Nina and Broyles already had a deal. Besides serving as exposition fairy, Nina had to ask the hard questions to convince the other members present in the meeting.”

      I also think that neither she nor Broyles would want the committee to know about their true relationship. Maybe she was simply “acting tough” to throw them off. Why wouldn’t she want them on the team? After all, she, more than anyone, knows all about them.

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  13. TracyW says

    Roco – thank you for the Re-Watch. I must say this has bothered me from the very begining of the series….

    Your reference:
    Oh yes, I remember now – Olivia and John had previously hunted Pituitary Perv (or one of his siblings) some 12 years ago. This gives Olivia another ‘unwitting’ post-clinical trails connection to William Bell. As I’ve said before, it’s as though the universe has guided her towards her destiny.

    What we know:
    1. Olivia served her country as a Military prosecutor BEFORE the FBI
    2. Olivia and John as FBI Agents – worked a case 12 years ago hunting the Perv above
    3. Olivia was born in 1978 – age in 2008=30, 2009=31

    Lets do the math:
    Olivia was the ripe old age of 18 years old when she was John Scott’s partner working the perv case 12 years ago.
    Given that time frame – and assuming she is a genius and could wrap up college + four years of law school in 6 years , she must have started college at 12 years old????

    What the heck?

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    • mlj102 says

      I’ve wondered the same thing. My explanation is that Olivia wasn’t the one working the case from the very beginning. Charlie says it’s a 12 year old case, and Olivia says it’s one of the first cases she worked on with John, but it’s never actually said that it was a new case when they started working on it. So the way I see it, the case had started 12 years earlier, but we know that Christopher only needed to renew his supply of pituitary glands at unknown intervals, so it wasn’t like a constant thing for 12 years. Olivia and John were likely assigned to the case after Christopher went on another killing spree, probably only a few years earlier…

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      • SF says

        That would be like the Toombs character in X-files, surfacing every so often to steal the livers of his victims. Not that I’m looking for comparisons here! but this is one of the few episodes that I saw a bit of similarity in the cases though Fringe did a wonderful job making it all their own. (the X-files one is still one of the creepiest ever). That said, I think Olivia and John, like you say mlj, caught the case when Christopher went on one of his sprees. I wonder if Claus (the father) killed other people when Christopher was young to keep him from aging, and then when Christopher aged enough he did the killing himself? Or did Christopher grow so fast that it was only 12 years ago he was born? Does Penrose say when Christopher came into being?

        Yet another episode where the mother is missing! Absent mothers is a big theme too in this show. Or no need for mothers – was Christopher a test-tube baby, or cloned as hinted at – but the original Christopher, who and where is he? what happened? Not that I really want to know, just it’s so similar to the S2 episode with the Tylers, where again it’s father and son, and the mother is absent/not that important. Just an observation…..

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      • fedorafadares says

        I wonder if Olivia just “thinks” she worked that case. In later episodes (“Safe”) it becomes clear that her mind is holding John Scott’s memories. Maybe the serial killer was John Scott’s case, alone.

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      • says

        @Tracy – Thanks for the mini time-line.

        @mlj – I think you nailed it. I’d be happy to take that as an explanation.

        We got there in the end! We always do. :)

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  14. SF says

    “The same old perspective that I like to take away from this, is the comparison between Peter and the clones. At this stage, both believe in their own existence, their own perception of the world around them. But both are living in a dream world (I mean that figuratively, while leaving room for the literal interpretation) where their reality is only a sheath to be shed.”

    Roco, you could ask if you really think the clones are dreaming. I don’t think they do. Is the difference between a clone and a human is that clones don’t dream, but humans do? We should ask Tyler! lol what do you think? I think that scene where Walter is being sung to by Peter and we go to the clones, is chilling. We all want to be asleep, we all want to be comforted, and put to sleep, but Fringe won’t let us. The Pattern is there, and none of us can go back to sleep. None of the characters are sleeping well, even at this early stage. Something about the Pattern is disturbing their rest. The only ones who are sleeping are the clones! who are probably drugged like everyone else MD is looking after.

    I do know what you mean about how both Peter and the clones don’t live a ‘real’ life, that it’s not real as it is to our perceptions because they don’t belong to this universe. but then I think Fringe asks the deeper question, why? why do we think Peter isn’t living a real life? Can he, if he comes from another universe, live in ours? Of course, I think he can. I do agree with you that Peter is sleepwalking through his life right now, because he is not awake to what is real for him – that he doesn’t belong here. At the end of S2, he finally does belong here, because he chooses it. He’s awake, at last, after he discovers the truth.

    I really like how you put your thoughts, you got me thinking about dreams in Fringe, and perceptions, in a new way.

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    • says

      “Roco, you could ask if you really think the clones are dreaming. I don’t think they do. Is the difference between a clone and a human is that clones don’t dream, but humans do? “

      SF,

      Interesting question!

      Personally, I would say that the clones do dream. If not in the literal sense, then in so much as their reality is a dream – a faux existence, if you will. Perhaps not so much with Christopher, because he knew that he was a clone (although I’m not sure he realized that he wasn’t the only ‘copy’), but with the Tylers.

      I would say that the main difference (if we can call it that) between humans and the clones, in this instance, is that the clones were created by man. We know that the clones are capable of empathy and love. We could argue that they dream and aspire to survive. That leaves few distinctions other than DNA. But even then, if they can feel human, are they not human? I guess it’s a question that could run and run!

      “We all want to be asleep, we all want to be comforted, and put to sleep, but Fringe won’t let us. The Pattern is there, and none of us can go back to sleep. None of the characters are sleeping well, even at this early stage. Something about the Pattern is disturbing their rest.”

      I like it! It’s true that we all want to sleep – to have solace, peace, and perhaps, ignorance. But there’s also something inside us that needs to be awake. Or, as you said, perhaps being “awake” stems from fear – that basic, primal form of protection and self-defence?

      To be honest, I think there are many levels to this – some of which we have already explored on the show, and some yet to come. (I hope).

      “The only ones who are sleeping are the clones!”

      Haha!

      “I do know what you mean about how both Peter and the clones don’t live a ‘real’ life, that it’s not real as it is to our perceptions because they don’t belong to this universe. but then I think Fringe asks the deeper question, why? why do we think Peter isn’t living a real life? Can he, if he comes from another universe, live in ours? Of course, I think he can.”

      By “real life”, I mean that what they believe to be the truth about their existence, is a lie. Peter believed for many years that he was Walter’s son, that he came from Over Here. Now that belief has been shattered. A similar idea exists with the clones – many of whom are unaware that they are clones or that they are ‘copies’.

      Of course, this doesn’t mean that they don’t “belong”. As you said, it’s deeper (and more truthful) than that. The heart belongs where the heart belongs and it’s all about choice and finding that anchor – that reason to belong. Peter has found it with Olivia and his connection to the man who crossed dimensions to save his life.

      I’m kinda leaning on the idea that the truth will set Peter free – that his new outlook will, ultimately (not straight away), make everything that went before make more sense.

      Thanks for the brain sparkage! ;)

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  15. jophan says

    Plenty to think about here.

    One recurring item in the first few episodes is that Walter almost always calls Olivia by her first name. Later, he cuts back so that he almost always calls her Agent Dunham. (I had a chart, but I lost it.)

    Perhaps the “dream” is Olivia’s perception of an accelerated pregnancy in another version of herself, even Altlivia if we accept that such perception may not be anchored in time.

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