Fringe Rewatch: 1.04 It Has Arrived


Welcome to the fourth stop on our journey back through the chronicles of Fringe. We arrive at “The Arrival” to gather new perspectives and make fresh connections.

Grab a rootbeer float. A straw. And prepare to suck whatever juice remains from an episode we have re-titled: “It Has Arrived”.

New Perspectives

  • September devours raw meat in a ‘blue’ diner. He must really love our universe. I still adore this opening scene with that silly waitress who thought September was writing in Korean. Anyone would think that Observerish isn’t the prominent language of the world.
  • Interesting to compare September measuring – or observing – how many of the workmen would die upon the beacon’s arrival, to Altstrid’s logic reading of the anomaly data in “Over There – Part 1″. I made this comparison at the time, but it’s even more stark seeing September assessing the human cost. It’s also interesting to contrast the lack of emotion that the Observers and Altstrid both seem to have. Although I detect an undercurrent of emotion in Sparkly Eyes – there’s someone alive under there even if she’s become accustomed to making decisions based on pure logic.
  • The episode sure took me back to the good old days when Peter was still feeling like a third wheel. By good old days I mean bad old days – well, for Peter.
  • Peter: “Anyone can do that, there’s nothing special about me”. Now don’t be silly Peter. If not for you, who would kick down all those doors? Who would we mock for his weird gun obsession? And most of all, who would be used as a device even when the story is about him?
  • Peter says that he doesn’t do well with staying in one place for too long. His nomadism has been well documented, but again I have to wonder whether his natural urge to move around is the intrinsic result of being taken from his original universe at such a young age? Just as Olivia intuitively learned to look after people and gravitate towards law enforcement as a result of her childhood clinical trails, did Peter develop an instinctive desire to find his true place in the world? I just find it interesting to consider what makes the characters do what they do – I’m pretty sure that not all of it is down to a conscious decision.
  • Broyles displays those ‘knowing eyes’ again when talking to Olivia about Colonel Jacobson. Oh Broyles, this is all a game to you, isn’t it?
  • Speaking of Jacobson, it struck me that he might have been somewhat of a father figure to Olivia in the past. I’m not sure that’s actually the case as there were some other ‘weird’ vibes going on there, but it crossed my mind.
  • Look at them – Olivia and Jacobson, indulging in their delicious coffee while the poor saps in the alternate universe have to make do with hot water.

  • Ah, the beacon. The bloody beacon. Let’s see, the key word that stuck out this time was “vibrations”. Which I assume gave the beacon the resonance to pass between universes. This could tie in with later references to vibrations and harmonic frequencies, notably when Newton brought Walternate over from the other side.
  • With the above point in mind, maybe the beacon is from the oldest reality (the “first”?), or from a future point in time (e.g. the Observers original time, if such a thing exists?). Or perhaps the beacon exists in several realities at the same time. It’s worth considering – since it came from “underground” – whether the beacon is fired from a parallel underground earth, or something of that nature. This could also give us an explanation as to why Observer Boy was found underground in 1.15.
  • Broyles and his knowing eyes gladly note the fact that it took Olivia just 3 months weeks what took the FBI over a year to do: consciously observe the Observer.
  • Oh dear. The dreaded needle moment. Astrid may have forgiven Walter, but I haven’t. I just can’t forget that act of brutality on poor “lamb” Astrid. That’s what kills it, he called her a lamb then slaughtered her. :(
  • Walter to Peter: “Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you because you knew it was the right thing to do?“. Erm. I have a couple of issues with that. For one thing, Walter, you didn’t know it was the right thing to do. When the vial broke, you could have left a message for Walternate with the ‘Make Peter Bettah’ ingredients written on a post-it note stuck to the blender. Instead, the heart wanted what the heart wanted. Secondly, you do realize you’re saying this to the person you stole, don’t you? Of course you do. *sigh*
  • Walter says September is “shy”. Aww! :)
  • Walter gets real cruel: “Don’t be like her, like your mother, questioning my judgement!”. Wow, and this is the Walter we all love? Seriously, I think Elizabeth was right to question his judgement, as was Carla, and Nina, and even Bell. And I’m loathe to mention that man in a good light.
  • Staying with the above for a moment, it’s notable that this was the closest that Peter came to ditching Walter pre-”you’re not my father” revelation. On this occasion the universe contrived to keep them together by having John Mosley kidnap Peter. Funny old universe with its mystic powers of WONDERFUL timing. I wonder what would have happened had Mosley not been in town that day? Perhaps we would have had a Peter spin-off series where he does underhand jobs, earning just enough to pay-off Big Eddie and fix all those broken doors. I think we owe Mosley (via the universe) our deepest gratitude.
  • Just for context: Mosley “abducted” Peter. Medicine. Taste. Of your own. Walter?
  • From Mosley’s thought extractions, can we read that Peter no longer believed that Walter loved him? Poor Peter. No seriously, no joke or pun, just poor Peter.
  • Hmm, let me see. The Dunhamnator vs Mosley in the Forest of Smiling Death. Dunham for the win, every time!
  • Interesting to consider that Peter was one of the first people (no pun intended) in the story to physically observe an Observer.
  • Peter and September: We know that Peter is special. What we don’t quite know is whether he is special because of the Observers, or because of something outside of their jurisdiction. September saving Peter may have amplified his power and enabled him to fire their weaponry and activate The Weapon. OR, Peter’s innate (if you will) ability may simply give him the overriding ability to utilize equipment (“machines”). After all, he can bring anything mechanical back to life.
  • Here’s where things get interesting – Walter explains to Astrid why he attacked her: “I was simply doing what was needed to protect us all“. Those words are like the wind of truth. Not because I support Walter’s viewpoint, but because it perfectly illustrates that the contempt shown towards Walternate is, in my view, slightly misplaced. The difference between Walter and Walternate is not very different. Walter said himself that he’d do “what was needed”..which echoes Walternate’s presumed attempt to destroy the universe that stole his boy.
  • So how is it that we can love, accept and forgive Walter but we struggle to extend the same courtesy to Walternate? I would say that a large part of it is that we haven’t yet had the opportunity to see the full spectrum of Walternate’s character, like we have with Walter. We’ve mostly seen the hard, cold, calculating, upright man who wants to protect his world at any costs, and who has our heroine locked up in a cell. While I don’t condone Walternate’s actions, I believe that his recklessness and his cunning are not too far removed from traits present in Walter. Their circumstances are different, but in essence, they are same man.
  • I think it’s important to consider that while Walternate has suffered loss, he may not have learned the hard lessons in the way that has clearly made Walter a better person. Walternate hasn’t had the benefit of a loving son (for many years). He hasn’t – as far as we know – lost his mind and regained his soul in an institution. And perhaps most significantly, he may not have had pieces of his memory removed to prevent him from becoming the very thing that Walter feared he was becoming. So I wonder, had Walter not had his memories removed and all of the other experiences I just mentioned, would he be any better than Walternate? Again, this doesn’t excuse nefarious acts, but it does perhaps enable us to understand the nature of what we are dealing with. Human nature.
  • One final point on this. When Walternate referred to the alternate universe as “Monsters under our skin”, he was probably being more open-minded than I originally gave him credit for. Because, that’s a pretty accurate description of the murkier side of humanity – the murkier part of our own being. As well as the other interpretations of his comment, he may see them as “monsters” because he is also capable. So While I’m not exactly going to go out and buy a “Waternate Rocks” T-shirt, I’m really glad that Walternate said what he said in the way that he said it, because it reverberates right the way through to the closing scene of 2.22. “I was simply doing what was necessary”, could be the words of either Walter, but they’re the instincts of both.
  • At the hospital, it’s interesting to see Olivia as the cynic and Peter as the wide-eyed believer. This show is like a game of musical chairs at times.
  • And the moment we were all rewatching to see – Peter gets his FBI Consultant badge! I feel like this is a Kodak moment or something. Anyone have any balloons or streamers?
  • Walter’s “Thanksgiving” story was the beginning of the truth. I still wonder just how much he remembered at this stage. I still love his description of the beacon’s vibrations opening an envelope in his mind.
  • It’s also funny (not ha-ha funny) to think that if not for September, Walter would have been responsible for the death of 2nd Peter. Again, I think this illustrates the very fine lines that exists between the two Walters. Walternate may be perceived as the Big Bad right now, but imagine if we only received a narrow view of Walter when he stole away into the night with Peter. If this show exists on the other side, I think they might have been shown a very different perspective in their “Peter” episode. Just something to consider, perhaps.
  • Olivia seeing John Scott: All I could think about was all that wasted cereal! Good thing Livvy is not a big fan of milk.

Mysteries & Answers

  • What is the beacon?
  • My Opinion: A very important device which is somehow needed for the preservation of the universe – or perhaps Multiverse. It may also be an amplifier or a literal beacon, of some sort.
  • Why was Mosley undecided as to whether he was going to kill Peter?
  • My Opinion: Haven’t you heard? Peter is specials.
  • Who is Kyle Richard Beltrane? (birth certificate).

New Clues & Observations

  • None of note recorded.

Possible Retcons

  • None of note recorded.

Theme Tracker

Dreams

  • Peter struggles to sleep while Walter chatters about rootbeer floats. “It occurs to me that it might be easier to sleep in the tub”.
  • Olivia is woken by John Scott attempting to contact her from the beyond.

Evidence of Narrator

  • The early focus on the Observer makes them good candidates. What was in that notepad September was scribbling in. Fringe, Seasons 1-6?

Quote Terrific

  • “Heavenly. Earthly at the same time”

Best Retrospective Performance: Michael Cerveris

Favorite Retrospective Moment: The opening scene with the Observer getting his munch-on.

Retrospective Episode Rating: 7.5/10

Useful Links

Next Rewatch Episode – 1.05 “Power Hungry”, Saturday, July 31st, 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. Elaine says

    I skimmed over this post, but intend to go back to read and comment on it once I get a chance to re-watch ‘The Arrival’ (one of my favorites from S1), but I did want to ask something I’ve been noticing for a while, but hesitated to ask: Roco, correct me if I’m wrong, but your comments regarding Peter suggests (at least to me) that you don’t care much for his character…or perhaps his place in the story. Am I misreading your saracastic laced comments, or are you a wee frustrated with your self-titled boy wonder?

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      Elaine,

      I think that Peter has a fascinating story but I feel that the story happens around him a lot of the time. I find this a shame since his backstory is a huge part of the show. Hopefully they’ll find that sweet spot next season.

      As for my comments regarding Peter. We just don’t always see eye to eye. That said, Molebaby gets it worse than he does. ;)

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • Elaine says

        Now, that is the truth. :-)

        And actually, we do agree regarding how the story seems to happen around Peter rather than through him. ‘NWP’ was the writers first real attempt to delve into Peter as a character, and, imo, it was an epic fail. There’s something to be said for keeping it simple, and I felt like instead of really exploring his background as it related to his current state of mind, they tricked it up needlessly and the only part of the narrative that felt like it related was the final two minutes of the episodes. *sigh* I suppose if there’s a disagreement between us regarding Peter it’s in relation to a romantic entanglement with Olivia. I’m fine with it, even if I didn’t necessary need for there to be one. You feel differently, and I can appreciate that p.o.v. as well.

        Like: Thumb up 0

  2. kittyofdoom says

    “…it took Olivia just 3 months what it took the FBI over a year to do: consciously observe the Observer.”

    I believe that was 3 weeks. So, y’know, even more impressive :P

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. FinChase says

    Great review!

    One small correction, though. I believe Broyles told Olivia that it had taken her only three weeks to spot the Observer.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      While we’re pointing out minor corrections, I’ll also add this one I noticed:

      “Heavenly. Early at the same time”

      I do believe you meant to write “Earthly”…

      And, one other:

      “Next Rewatch Episode – 1.04 “The Arrival”, Saturday, August 1st, 2010.”

      I know you love The Arrival, and could rewatch it over and over again, but if we have any hopes of finishing this rewatch before Season 3, I think it would be best if we moved on to Power Hungry.

      :)

      Like: Thumb up 0

  4. mlj102 says

    “Speaking of Jacobson, it struck me that he might have been somewhat of a father figure to Olivia in the past.”

    I like this connection you’ve suggested… I’ve been intrigued about the nature of the relationship between Olivia and Jacobson since the first time I saw this episode, and your description comes closest to anything else I’ve seen or thought of to capturing that relationship. They always seemed like good friends, but closer than that somehow. I think that him being a sort of father figure to her makes perfect sense, especially considering that she never really had much of a father in her life. The only thing that seems out of place with that assessment is that it seems that she hasn’t been in contact with him much… I would expect she would make more of an effort to stay in contact with a person she viewed as a sort of father figure. Still, I think it could easily be the closest thing she has to a father in her life.

    “For one thing, Walter, you didn’t know it was the right thing to do. When the vial broke, you could have left a message for Walternate with the ‘Make Peter Bettah’ ingredients written on a post-it note stuck to the blender. Instead, the heart wanted what the heart wanted. Secondly, you do realize you’re saying this to the person you stole, don’t you? Of course you do.”

    Well said, Roco, well said. I absolutely love the way you expressed this, and I think you hit the nail on the head with what you said. Completely agree!

    “Walter gets real cruel: “Don’t be like her, like your mother, questioning my judgement!”. Wow, and this is the Walter we all love? Seriously, I think Elizabeth was right to question his judgement, as was Carla, and Nina, and even Bell”

    Again, I agree. This comment stood out a lot in this rewatch and I found myself connecting it with what we learned of the Bishop family in “Peter”. I wonder if, among other things, that comment was meant to imply that Elizabeth ultimately disagreed with Walter’s choice to keep Peter. While the episode Peter leaves the impression that she was as much involved in the decision as Walter was, and she was a key factor in the choice to keep Peter, I’ve always believed the final say was Walter’s, and thus, the full responsibility is his. It’s possible that, while she was reluctant to lose “her” son a second time, she also knew it was wrong to keep him and she later confronted Walter about that decision and “questioned his judgment” in keeping Peter and that in turn influenced her questioning his judgment concerning other issues as well. It’s just interesting to think that Elizabeth could have ultimately come to the conclusion that it was wrong to keep Peter, and in that way, she questioned Walter’s judgment. That kind of conflict/disagreement would certainly be a pretty big wedge in a relationship.

    “I wonder what would have happened had Mosley not been in town that day?”

    I’d never thought of that before, but it’s a valid point… Worst case scenario? Peter would have never returned and Walter would have gone back to St. Claire’s, and Olivia would have been left trying to solve these cases on her own. Not a pretty picture. Best case scenario? A future case would have caused Olivia to seek out Peter again, which would ultimately lead to him giving Walter a second chance, and then staying.

    “At the hospital, it’s interesting to see Olivia as the cynic and Peter as the wide-eyed believer.”

    Interesting assessment. I must say, I never saw it that way before you pointed it out. Personally, I viewed Olivia’s actions as her attempt to not pressure Peter into staying. She knew that Peter was struggling with getting along with Walter, she knew he didn’t want to stay, and she felt bad for trying to make him stay, so she was doing everything she could not to continue to try to persuade him to stay against his will. It wasn’t so much an issue of how she perceived the events, but it was an issue of letting Peter make his own choice, without any interference from her. And the fact that she had his security badge with her would seem to suggest that she entered into that conversation while still holding on to the hope that he would ultimately choose to stay.

    I actually made my own comparison regarding the differences of approaches between Peter and Olivia, though mine was prompted by the scene where they interrogated Walter and Walter mentioned meeting with the Observer. I found it interesting that Olivia was willing to consider the possibility that he really had met with him, and followed up by asking questions, while Peter instantly dismissed the idea as one of Walter’s delusions. I thought this was an interesting insight into the difference between Peter and Olivia and how they view certain situations and how they react to those things.

    “Here’s where things get interesting – Walter explains to Astrid why he attacked her: “I was simply doing what was needed to protect us all“. Those words are like the wind of truth. Not because I support Walter’s viewpoint, but because it perfectly illustrates that the contempt shown towards Walternate is, in my view, slightly misplaced. The difference between Walter and Walternate is not very different…So how is it that we can love, accept and forgive Walter but we struggle to extend the same courtesy to Walternate? I would say that a large part of it is that we haven’t yet had the opportunity to see the full spectrum of Walternate’s character, like we have with Walter.”

    Yes, yes, yes! I can’t tell you how much I agree with what you said here. In fact, I had very similar thoughts after rewatching this episode. Prior to reading your review, I wrote the following comment on this subject:

    It really stood out to me in this rewatch the similarities between Walter’s apology to Astrid and the way he has defended his other actions, like taking Peter, or participating in leading the Cortexiphan Trials. When you think about it, he’s made that exact same apology on numerous occasions: that argument that he knows what he did was wrong, but he was only doing what he thought was best. Once, even twice, I can accept, but as many times as Walter has defended himself with that argument, it starts to become a disturbing pattern, in my opinion. He has a real tendency to hurt a lot of people, all in the name of trying to help people. All too often, he does the wrong thing for the right reasons. As easy as it is to think of Walter as this loveable character, I think we often forget that he has hurt a lot of people, all in the name of doing what he thinks is best. While I won’t dispute the fact that he had good intentions and didn’t want to hurt anyone, it doesn’t change the fact that his actions DID hurt people. He hurt Peter, Walternate and alternate Elizabeth, as well as the entire other side when he took Peter. He hurt Nina when he insisted on ignoring her warnings and crossed to the other side. He hurt Olivia and who knows how many other children when he performed the Cortexiphan Trials. He hurt Astrid in this episode when he injected her so that he could take charge, run away, and hide the beacon. He’s essentially hurt every one of the main characters, along with many, many others. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to attack Walter’s character or say he’s a bad guy or anything. But I think we can’t just overlook all the damage that his good intentions have caused. This is why I think we can’t automatically judge Walternate to be purely evil. If we were to look at what Walter has done, without having a clear understanding of his motivations and the person he is, I think we would be pretty convinced that he is evil. I think there’s a lot more to Walternate and what he has done and what he’s trying to do than we yet understand.

    It’s good to see that we’re on the same side with this one, Roco!

    Other thoughts:

    This is quite possibly the only episode from Season 1 – even both seasons – that doesn’t actually resolve the case that is presented in the beginning. From beginning to end, the episode centers around the beacon, but in the end, we really don’t know anything more about the beacon than we did at the beginning. It is one of the most intriguing mysteries of Fringe, in my opinion. What prompts the beacon to show up? What happened in 1987, and what happened now in 2008 to cause it to appear? What does it do while it’s here? So many questions! Hopefully there will be some satisfying answers.

    I love how Walter instantly perks up when he hears Olivia mention “the bald guy”. It’s a subtle detail, but I think it’s further evidence that, while Walter has forgotten a lot, one thing he hasn’t forgotten is Peter being from the other side, and everything surrounding that fact, including the Observer. There’s a lot that I think Walter has chosen to keep to himself.

    One of the lines in this episode that has always stood out to me as significant is when the Observer sits down with Walter at the diner and, after a few minutes of random conversation, he comments that seventeen years is a long time to go without something you love. On the surface, this is a filler sort of comment about root beer floats. But I don’t know if anything the Observer says can be considered “filler.” I’ve always thought it held a deeper meaning, referring back to the fact that Walter was separated from Peter for 17 years. I think that’s an interesting insight and perspective into the relationship between Walter and Peter, and how much that means to Walter.

    One thing I’ve noticed about Walter is that, he may be crazy, but he is also surprisingly capable of getting what he wants. When he makes up his mind that he needs something to be a certain way, he stubbornly demands it in such a way that those around him really can’t argue with him. We saw that in this episode when he insisted on getting the beacon taken back to the lab, and again when he convinced Peter to go get aluminum foil. Another instance that stands out in my memory is in the finale when Broyles wasn’t going to let him travel to the other side with Olivia and the others, but he adamantly insisted on it. It’s a strange contrast because he can be incredibly clear-minded and forceful when he chooses to be.

    Favorite moment: As simple as it is, I think my favorite moment of this episode is the very opening scene with the Observer at the diner. Everything about it – the atmosphere, the acting, the story, the props – is perfect. It’s the first time we’ve focused on the Observer, so it’s the first time we really get to learn anything about him… and he sure made a strong first impression. It’s classic. And they did an amazing job casting those waitresses… Their facial expressions say it all and surely reflect the exact same thing viewers were feeling at that moment. It’s a classic Fringe moment and I love it.

    Funniest moment: Again, probably the opening scene with the Observer and his unusual sandwich…

    My rating for the episode: 8.0 (it’s a classic episode and extremely well done and full of significant moments, though for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to have the same sort of rewatch value for me…)

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      “I wonder if, among other things, that comment was meant to imply that Elizabeth ultimately disagreed with Walter’s choice to keep Peter. While the episode Peter leaves the impression that she was as much involved in the decision as Walter was, and she was a key factor in the choice to keep Peter, I’ve always believed the final say was Walter’s, and thus, the full responsibility is his. It’s possible that, while she was reluctant to lose “her” son a second time, she also knew it was wrong to keep him and she later confronted Walter about that decision and “questioned his judgment” in keeping Peter and that in turn influenced her questioning his judgment concerning other issues as well. It’s just interesting to think that Elizabeth could have ultimately come to the conclusion that it was wrong to keep Peter, and in that way, she questioned Walter’s judgment.”

      That’s a very intriguing thought, mlj. Her change of heart, and the festering guilt, may have been the root that led all the way to her taking her own life after Peter left town. I like the way you explained your thoughts here – it paints a picture of the broken ‘trust’ that may have occurred between Elizabeth and Walter. The constant questioning of his judgement may have represented the severing of their relationship. Walter may even have felt that he was fighting the battle that they waged together, alone.

      “It really stood out to me in this rewatch the similarities between Walter’s apology to Astrid and the way he has defended his other actions, like taking Peter, or participating in leading the Cortexiphan Trials. When you think about it, he’s made that exact same apology on numerous occasions: that argument that he knows what he did was wrong, but he was only doing what he thought was best. Once, even twice, I can accept, but as many times as Walter has defended himself with that argument, it starts to become a disturbing pattern, in my opinion. He has a real tendency to hurt a lot of people, all in the name of trying to help people. All too often, he does the wrong thing for the right reasons. As easy as it is to think of Walter as this loveable character, I think we often forget that he has hurt a lot of people, all in the name of doing what he thinks is best. While I won’t dispute the fact that he had good intentions and didn’t want to hurt anyone, it doesn’t change the fact that his actions DID hurt people. He hurt Peter, Walternate and alternate Elizabeth, as well as the entire other side when he took Peter. He hurt Nina when he insisted on ignoring her warnings and crossed to the other side. He hurt Olivia and who knows how many other children when he performed the Cortexiphan Trials. He hurt Astrid in this episode when he injected her so that he could take charge, run away, and hide the beacon. He’s essentially hurt every one of the main characters, along with many, many others. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to attack Walter’s character or say he’s a bad guy or anything. But I think we can’t just overlook all the damage that his good intentions have caused. This is why I think we can’t automatically judge Walternate to be purely evil. If we were to look at what Walter has done, without having a clear understanding of his motivations and the person he is, I think we would be pretty convinced that he is evil. I think there’s a lot more to Walternate and what he has done and what he’s trying to do than we yet understand.”

      Love it, mlj! I liked the way you conveyed your thoughts, particularly the fact that Walter has hurt so many people, even though he may not have intended to do so. You’re right to point out that the fact that he keeps repeating his mistakes represents a rather disturbing pattern. Walter was the problem, but can he really be the solution if he stomps all over people to mend the universes? Or does that just defeat his own personal redemption? Is it possible to save two universes without getting blood on your hands? I guess Walter has to look at what it is he wants to achieve and lay down a code of ethics.

      What your comment also conveys to me is that Walter really *needs* the likes of Peter, Astrid and Olivia by his side. If he’s still a wild card with them by his side, imagine what he would be like without their guidance, without them to reign him in. Particularly in the early days of season 1 when he saw almost everyone as a test subject rather than a human-being.

      I agree, it’s great to see us on a similar wavelength on this one. And to think, the universe didn’t implode! ;)

      “One of the lines in this episode that has always stood out to me as significant is when the Observer sits down with Walter at the diner and, after a few minutes of random conversation, he comments that seventeen years is a long time to go without something you love. On the surface, this is a filler sort of comment about root beer floats. But I don’t know if anything the Observer says can be considered “filler.” I’ve always thought it held a deeper meaning, referring back to the fact that Walter was separated from Peter for 17 years. I think that’s an interesting insight and perspective into the relationship between Walter and Peter, and how much that means to Walter.”

      I agree, and very well said! I also found it interesting to consider the way in which September was, seemingly, relating to Walter – commenting on his endurance, even though time for him must work on a very different level, at least consciously. I always find it interesting when the Observers comment on the condition of those they observe. September, in particular, seems to have a fondness for people even though he has an emotional buffer.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • mlj102 says

        “What your comment also conveys to me is that Walter really *needs* the likes of Peter, Astrid and Olivia by his side. If he’s still a wild card with them by his side, imagine what he would be like without their guidance, without them to reign him in.”

        Perhaps that’s why Walternate has become rather extreme and out of control in his reactions and his attempts to address the problems Walter created… he never had people like Peter, Olivia, and Astrid to surround him and keep him under control… And once his son was kidnapped, I imagine he would have needed a lot of those influences around him to keep him from doing just that.

        “I agree, it’s great to see us on a similar wavelength on this one. And to think, the universe didn’t implode!”

        You’re right… this is truly a momentous occasion! What next? We’ll come to an agreement on the endless mythology vs. standalone debate? It could happen… maybe… maybe not…

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • SF says

          “What your comment also conveys to me is that Walter really *needs* the likes of Peter, Astrid and Olivia by his side. If he’s still a wild card with them by his side, imagine what he would be like without their guidance, without them to reign him in.”

          “Perhaps that’s why Walternate has become rather extreme and out of control in his reactions and his attempts to address the problems Walter created… he never had people like Peter, Olivia, and Astrid to surround him and keep him under control… And once his son was kidnapped, I imagine he would have needed a lot of those influences around him to keep him from doing just that.”

          You both, mlj and Roco, made some interesting points about Walter and Walternate. I especially like the arguments about what Walter/Walternnate needs to keep him ‘sane’ or in contact with normal life, which would be Peter, Olivia, and Astrid, and I agree. I also agree that Walter did many things that have had repercussions he didn’t consider, including of course kidnapping Peter. I think this leads me to wonder though, is Fringe making us think through when an act is good and when it is evil? Because if the only different between Walter and Walternate is the removal of his memories/brain pieces, then what does that mean for the personality and free will? I think we are meant to look below the surface of our characters and their actions, and even the results of the actions, and look to what their motives were. So, for me, Walter is innocent because his intention is not to destroy, but to understand and heal. Walternate, though, when I look at what we know about him, I think is evil. He has taken a different path from Walter, and what I’m curious about is, was that path taken before Peter was taken, or after? We’ve already seen little differences between Walter and Walternate in “Peter”, up to including Walternate finding the cure, but the Observer interfered and only Walter saw the formula. So, since we are on the episode about the Observers too, one question you haven’t asked is, why are the Observers so interested in Walter and Peter? Why did they let Walter keep Peter – why did they interfere back in Walternate’s lab? I know that September has said it was an accident, but hey, this is Fringe, and there are no accidents, especially not in an important plot device like the accidental discovery of the formula to cure Peter. The Observers wanted Walter to take Peter. That’s the conclusion I’ve come up with. So I think this means that already something was ‘wrong’ in Walternate’s character, a flaw that Walter didn’t develop in this world. I think it has to do with consciousness. Walter knew what he was capable of becoming and wanted stop himself, so asked Bell to help. Walternate didn’t, and I think we are seeing what Walter could have become if he hadn’t asked for help. That’s the origin of the difference between the two men, so far, that I can pinpoint. Walter, despite all his errors, is willing to admit he makes them, and even, once in a while, learn from them. That’s incredible for a man of science and extraordinary genius like he is, and why I can forgive him and like him so much. Walternate, as far as we know, doesn’t admit to errors, and instead of being incredibly grateful his son is alive somewhere in the universe, has instead designed a machine that using his son as a weapon, will destroy a universe. So no matter how much I try to find good in Walternate, his hatred and desire to destroy outweighs any good so far. Of course, knowing Fringe, they have set him up as a monster (and wasn’t that clever to have Walternate say that line, that is really about him too?) so that when they reveal his goodness, we are astonished. :-) Do you think I’m putting the Fringe writers on too high a pedestal right now??

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • mlj102 says

            “The Observers wanted Walter to take Peter. That’s the conclusion I’ve come up with.”

            Wow… that’s a pretty bold theory. I’ll admit it’s possible, but personally, I don’t see them going that route. It just doesn’t fit.

            If we had only seen the Observer standing in the lab, preventing Walternate from seeing the cure, then I might be more inclined to agree. But they also included the scene where September approached the other Observers and told them of his mistake. And they all seemed genuine in their reactions. I don’t think Observers are the types of people who are capable of lying and deception. Thus, I think we can believe them in that scene (and, by the way, that was something that Walter couldn’t have known about, so it can’t be part of the story he told Olivia, meaning that scene was included fully for our benefit, to clarify the Observer’s actions and motivations).

            The whole nature of the Observers is conveyed through their name… they observe. And that’s all they do. They don’t interfere. We’ve seen them interfere on two separate occasions: once when they became emotionally invested (August) and once when they needed to correct a mistake of their own making (Peter). As far as I can tell, there was no emotional reason for taking Peter away from Walternate and the other side. Which means it was the second reason, that they had to correct a mistake. September made a mistake and interfered with Walternate finding a cure. Consequently, he had to fix the mistake by saving Walter and Peter when Walter brought Peter back over here so he could cure him. If he were to interfere as little as possible, that would require him to save them. No more, no less. So letting Walter keep Peter was simply a matter of not interfering any more than was necessary. And, it could be that they figured that it didn’t matter where Peter grew up, as long as he grew up.

            “I think we are meant to look below the surface of our characters and their actions, and even the results of the actions, and look to what their motives were. So, for me, Walter is innocent because his intention is not to destroy, but to understand and heal…Walternate, as far as we know, doesn’t admit to errors, and instead of being incredibly grateful his son is alive somewhere in the universe, has instead designed a machine that using his son as a weapon, will destroy a universe.”

            But can we really say that we know what Walternate’s motivations and intentions are? Yes, it looks pretty clear that his only goal is to get revenge and destroy our side, and that’s as evil as it gets. But we only have a limited perspective of him and his actions. Do we really know what he is striving for? Do we know what he feels and why he is doing what he’s doing? I don’t think so. We don’t know him well enough at this point. We don’t see the whole picture.

            It’s easy to say that we can see that Walter’s motivations were good and he only wanted to help. We have a pretty good idea of who Walter is and how he feels and what has prompted him to do what he has done. But pretend that we didn’t have any of that background, and we saw the scene in Peter when he stubbornly and arrogantly ignored Carla and Nina, crossing over to the other side, risking the fate of both sides. If I saw just that, without understanding Walter, his motivations, the grief he felt over Peter’s death, etc., I would think him to be quite evil. It’s the same thing with other things he’s done, including injecting Astrid in this episode, or killing Hoffman in Bishop Revival. Without understanding him as a person, his actions look pretty bad. And that’s all Walternate knows about Walter, and our side in general. It’s no wonder he considers us as “monsters.”

            Right now Walternate looks pretty bad. He wants to destroy our side. He didn’t seem too overcome with emotion when his son was returned to him. He has Olivia trapped and gives her the most evil glares. But I think that impression of him is largely because we don’t know him. We only have a limited perspective — we really only know one side of the story. I’m not saying that excuses what Walternate has done or is doing. But in all fairness, knowing more about Walter doesn’t really excuse what he has done, either… it only makes it easier to accept and to sympathize for him. I think they are setting things up for a very rewarding season as we prepare to explore the other side and likely come to find that all is not as it seems.

            Like: Thumb up 0

            • SF says

              ” And, it could be that they figured that it didn’t matter where Peter grew up, as long as he grew up.”

              What exactly are the Observers observing, and why? to what end? I’d like to think that all they are doing is observing, but they aren’t. I think they are changing events ever so slightly through observation, like the science theory now holds that by observing something, its nature is changed. I also think we have to clarify what we mean by the Observers not interfering, because at the beginning of Part One, they give the sheet to Olivia. They are now directly influencing what will happen next, by triggering Walter’s memories of what they told him years ago – and even telling him that, was interfering. “Don’t let Peter go to the other side.” Why can’t Peter go back to the AU?

              I also want to explain that I don’t think of Walter as ‘good’ and pure only, he’s also ignored his family, and hurt so many people during his experiments, as you point out. Which Walternate is also doing. What I wanted to show was there is a difference between our Walter and Walternate that neither you or Roco touched on, which is their intentions, their motivations. I agree that we don’t know much about Walternate, and that Walter could have been like him if things had been different. It’s those differences, where they come into play in each of their lives, the choices they made and how it made them different, that I am interested and hoping Fringe will show more of – for all of our double characters, too. I’ve been asking myself, how is Walternate different from Walter, and how are they the same? And for all the doubles characters so far. I think of course that Walternate is capable of great good and sacrifice, as Walter has shown already, but whether he will choose it in the end – that’s the question. The Observers don’t want Peter in the AU. That we do know. And Walternate’s machine is built only for Peter to use. That speaks of incredible malice, that he would use Peter to destroy the universe and people that took him. It also suggests that there is something, some ability, that Peter has, that the machine could only be built for him, and not for someone else to use in the AU.

              Both Walters are arrogant. They are a lot alike. But I don’t Walter has ever stared at a person the way Walternate has stared at Olivia, and even if he blames her for keeping Peter on the other side, he has caged her, which Walter (as far as we know) also has never done. There is a great deal of choice involved around Walter, that Walternate does not give to the people around him, including lying about the existence of the AU (our world), and to his entire world about the threat they face from the barrier between worlds being breached. Our Walter is guilty of withholding all the facts also – especially concerning Peter, but also about the Observers – when it suits him, and I completely agree with you about how Walter gets his own way all the time – I’ve noticed that from when we meet him in St Clair’s and he craftily gets them to get him out. Oh yes, Walter is extremely intelligent and determined. But if I had to have him on my side, or Walternate, I’d pick Walter. At least I’d get some pancakes (or worm milkshakes!) out of it!! lol and could play Monopoly with him. With Walternate, who knows? some dangerous mission, for sure…..

              Like: Thumb up 0

              • mlj102 says

                Regarding the Observers: You’re right. I completely forgot about their role in providing Olivia crucial information in Over There. I agree that it seems that they are purposely trying to influence events a certain way. But I still don’t think that preventing Walternate from seeing the cure was part of that plan, or that it was intentional. In fact, it could be that they are still striving to make up for that mistake. It’s possible that by that one little thing — preventing Walternate from seeing the cure — they caused all this to happen, and they are still trying to set things right again. As December said, September created a whole new set of possibilities because of his mistake. And that’s why they have been interfering at certain moments.

                As for Walter vs. Walternate, I’m not necessarily arguing the fact that Walter easily could have become like Walternate had things happened differently (though I definitely agree with that whole concept) but I’m more pointing out that if we didn’t know Walter as well as we do, we would look at the things he has done, and we would see him as an evil monster, just like many people view Walternate at this point. You say that Walter and Walternate differ in their intentions and motivations, but I don’t think we can claim that at this point because we really don’t have a full picture of what exactly are Walternate’s intentions and motivations.

                “And Walternate’s machine is built only for Peter to use. That speaks of incredible malice, that he would use Peter to destroy the universe and people that took him.”

                To be fair, we don’t know why the machine is built specifically towards Peter. It could be that Walternate really has no choice in the matter.

                “There is a great deal of choice involved around Walter, that Walternate does not give to the people around him, including lying about the existence of the AU (our world), and to his entire world about the threat they face from the barrier between worlds being breached.”

                Yes, Walternate is guilty of withholding information from others, but as you point out, Walter is guilty of the same thing. He constantly does what suits him and his purposes. He is cunning and manipulative. In the Arrival, he insisted that the Beacon be brought back to the lab. Then, when it was in danger, he got rid of Peter and Astrid, and took the Beacon and hid it. In Unleashed he tried to cover up the fact that he had worked on the type of case they were currently investigating. In Bad Dreams, we learn about his involvement in the cortexiphan trials. He experimented on young children and those experiments drastically affected, even damaged, their lives. In August, he again ditched Astrid so that he could meet up with August… something he purposely kept secret from the others. His actions in Snakehead again put Astrid in danger. In Johari Window, Peter told him and Astrid to go back to the lab, but Walter lied and told Astrid that Peter wanted them to go find the generator. In Bishop Revival, he killed a man unnecessarily (I think that look came pretty darn close to Walternate’s look at Olivia). In Peter, we find out about how he willingly risked the lives of everyone in both universes, just so he could cross over and cure Peter. Then he ultimately kept Peter, lying to alternate Elizabeth in the process.

                I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. And I know you acknowledge all of the things Walter has done wrong. But my point is that if we can look at Walter and all that he has done, yet ultimately be willing to forgive him and to consider him one of the good guys, why shouldn’t we be able to do the same with Walternate as we come to learn more about him? I agree that, at this point, Walter is the one I would rather spend time with, the one who seems more pleasant and loveable… But that’s only because we’ve gotten to know him and to see the kind of person he is. We haven’t yet had that chance with Walternate. I believe that once we have that deeper insight, we’ll come to see that Walternate isn’t really the big bad monster that he appears to be anymore than we think of Walter as a big bad monster.

                Like: Thumb up 0

  5. number six says

    And this is the episode, that made me fall in love with the series. They gave me September and all those awesome Walter/Peter scenes. Now, I love Walter very much, but I was on Peter’s side most of the time during this episode, even if Peter’s animosity bordered on obnoxious at times.

    Was the waitress a bit flirty with September or was it my imagination? Anyway, I find it interesting that the beacon is important for the Observers, but they can’t touch it. What is it for? I hope they get to explore this further in the future, along with what exactly do the Observers want and who they are.

    If Mosley is a rogue Observer, and I’m going with the theory that he is, why can’t he read other people’s thoughts, unless it’s with the help of a machine?

    When Peter is ranting to Olivia about his awesome night with Walter reciting his favorite beverages and he says “… while he was standing there naked”, Olivia looks at him up and down and you can totally see she’s imagining him naked. It’s too funny.

    Olivia tells Peter that Walter would rather go back to St. Claire’s than work without him. I believe she’s lying, because Walter has never said that on screen. In fact, Walter has always said the opposite, Peter or no Peter. Besides, these are early days in the Walter/Peter relationship and Walter isn’t too emotionally attached to Peter yet.

    Another funny scene featuring Peter’s frustration: Walter will not answer Peter’s questions about the beacon, so Peter sarcastically tries reverse psychology. It works… Walter starts giving lots of information. Peter’s face is priceless and so is Olivia’s reaction to that scene.

    I also love the scene at the cemetery with Olivia going after Mosley (You go, Olivia!) and Peter confronting September (funny and creepy at the same time).

    From Roco’s great review:

    “The dreaded needle moment. Astrid may have forgiven Walter, but I haven’t.”
    - I have, but it took me till “Snakehead” to do so.

    “I have a couple of issues with that. For one thing, Walter, you didn’t know it was the right thing to do. When the vial broke, you could have left a message for Walternate with the ‘Make Peter Bettah’ ingredients written on a post-it note stuck to the blender. Instead, the heart wanted what the heart wanted. Secondly, you do realize you’re saying this to the person you stole, don’t you? Of course you do. *sigh*”
    - So much word! No matter what he told Olivia in “Peter”, it was still his version of the story and Walter is not a very unreliable narrator. Walter wanted to keep Peter.

    “Walter gets real cruel: “Don’t be like her, like your mother, questioning my judgement!”. Wow, and this is the Walter we all love? Seriously, I think Elizabeth was right to question his judgement, as was Carla, and Nina, and even Bell. And I’m loathe to mention that man in a good light.”
    - Walter needs to be doubted and questioned constantly by everyone. He admits to Peter in “Unleashed”, that he never thinks of the consequences of his actions and in “Peter”, he tells both Elizabeths that he needs them not to doubt him. They don’t. The results: one Peter dead, the other one abducted. Walter works better, when Peter, Olivia and Astrid doubt him and question him.

    “From Mosley’s thought extractions, can we read that Peter no longer believed that Walter loved him? Poor Peter. No seriously, no joke or pun, just poor Peter.”
    - Peter is probably right to think so at this point. Notice the following exchange: Olivia asks Walter if he recognizes Mosley, because she suspects he abducted Peter. Walter’s reply? This: “No! Peter will lead him to it.” What? He was more worried about the cylinder than about his son’s life!

    “So how is it that we can love, accept and forgive Walter but we struggle to extend the same courtesy to Walternate?”
    - I will be able to extend the same courtesy to Walternate, depending on how they develop the character in S3. So far I don’t know much about him and the little I know has left a bad taste in my mouth. Olivia in that cell is still fresh in my mind.

    A few things more:

    Both Astrid and Olivia disapprove of Walter’s attitude towards Peter.

    I find it interesting that Olivia is open minded enough to accept that Walter did meet the Observer, while Peter just thinks he’s delusional. However, she doesn’t believe Peter, when he tells her about his experience with September.

    Peter being able to read Walter’s thoughts… I’m confused about that. Does Peter have an Observer-like ability to read thoughts (and fire their weapons)? We haven’t seen Peter doing this again, but I wonder if there is more to Peter and the Observers than we think.

    I’d give this one a 9/10.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • LizW65 says

      “Peter being able to read Walter’s thoughts… I’m confused about that. Does Peter have an Observer-like ability to read thoughts (and fire their weapons)? We haven’t seen Peter doing this again, but I wonder if there is more to Peter and the Observers than we think.”

      I’ve wondered about this too, and my theory is that it’s a “free association” kind of thing: Mosley asks, “When was the last time your father kissed you?” and Peter answers, “I think that may be your lamest question yet,” but at that point Mosley has the answer he needs. So…could the obvious answer to the question have been, “At my mother’s funeral,” which in turn led Mosely to the cemetary? Of course, that begs the question of how Mosley knew what to ask in the first place…confusing, isn’t it? :D

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • number six says

        But Peter didn’t see Walter at his mother’s funeral. Walter was already in St. Claire’s and the only contact Peter had with his father was on the phone, when Walter told him about Elizabeth’s death.

        Peter led Mosley to his grandfather’s headstone, which reminds me… How is it that Robert Bishop died in 1944 and Walter was born 2 years later? That’s one long pregnancy!

        I don’t know. Maybe Walter took Peter to that cemetery, when he was a child and told him about his grandfather and that’s the last time Walter kissed him.

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • LizW65 says

          I dunno…I just assumed they’d have given him a day pass from St. Claire’s for something as momentuous as his wife’s funeral. After all, they let criminals out of jail for the day for things like that, heavily guarded, of course.

          And it’s possible that I’m dead wrong–I usually am when it comes to this show. That’s one of the things I love about Fringe–I can never predict how things are going to play out. :D

          Like: Thumb up 0

    • kittyofdoom says

      “Anyway, I find it interesting that the beacon is important for the Observers, but they can’t touch it.”

      I always thought that the Observers being unable (or just extremely unwilling; ‘can’t’ can be used loosely) to touch the beacon was in reference to them being forbidden to meddle or get involved. Of course, we’ve seen that they aren’t all THAT reluctant to do so when the situation seems to require, so maybe not.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • Fringefan1991 says

        Maybe the beacon is not the observers. I have a feeling that this inter-dimensional war is not only between the shows two major universes, but two larger forces in general. It is possible that the beacon is used by the observers enemies for some purpose, perhaps it delivers a payload of some type. Also, maybe the observers enemies know that the beacon is being tracked, but in order to prevent its contents from being removed they designed it to kill observers. Hence September using Walter to handle the cylinder that still leaves questions to asked though like why the rouge wanted the beacon in the first place.

        Like: Thumb up 0

    • LMH says

      I just want to second that 9/10 rating and that this too was the episode that sucked me fully into the series. Once I saw September and the beacon I was hooked! I had to know what the hell was going on! So this episode holds a special place in my heart.

      Walter’s thanksgiving accident story and the suggestion of a mind connection b/w Walter and Peter are what keep the episode on my favorite and most provocative Fringe eps list. In terms of Mosley asking Peter questions about Walter, it’s reminiscent of how Newton used such association to “read” Walter’s mind to extract info about the door. And Walter’s assertion to Peter that he must rethink how communication between people works is the kicker. This is clear set up for some big idea central to Fringe in my opinion that will be popping up hopefully soon (perhaps about the inherent connection b/w alternates, ‘special folk’, or just people who are close, who love one another, etc).

      Like: Thumb up 0

  6. LBJ says

    I still don’t think that Mosley was a rogue observer, he has way too much emotion (and eyebrows.) I think that he falls in the same category as the assassin Donald from August. I think that they’re sort of employees of the observers- they do whatever work the observers can’t do themselves, use their (possibly alter-verse) technology, and try to copy them by shaving their heads, etc. I think Mosley was either a rogue employee who decided he wanted the observer’s power for himself, or an employee of an enemy group of observers sent to capture the beacon for them.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  7. fedorafadares says

    I think of Mosley as a rogue, just not a rogue observer.

    There are lots of factions in the “race” to learn the secrets of the other universe: our Fringe division, Massive Dynamic, ZFT, the “Ghost Network” people, etc.,. It’s doesn’t seem to me that all these groups are necessarily on the same side. They just share the same goal. Could rogue be an individual seeking out these truths?

    And a true, science-y tidbit: The beacon was made of iridium, which exists in small amounts on the earth’s surface and about 1,000 times more abundantly in space. Bands of more concentrated iridium have been found in deeper, pre-historic layers of the earth’s deserts, suggesting that meteors have carried it to earth on impact.

    Like a rootbeer float, it’s both earthly AND heavenly at the same time!

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • LizW65 says

      “Like a rootbeer float, it’s both earthly AND heavenly at the same time!”

      I really, really love this analogy!

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • LMH says

        When I first saw this episode and they mentioned iridium, I remembered that fun little factoid from middle school science class. I immediately thought that maybe it was a can of space soup! Perhaps it is from a universe in which the earth is much richer in iridium due to more impacts. Just a thought. Love the analogy.

        Like: Thumb up 0

  8. Jodie says

    “Peter says that he doesn’t do well with staying in one place for too long. His nomadism has been well documented, but again I have to wonder whether his natural urge to move around is the intrinsic result of being taken from his original universe at such a young age?”

    Roco, I wonder if Peter’s need to move around is something else. You said something interesting in your review to NWP. You said one possibility for what was happening in this episode was that Peter was somehow sensing that Newton was searching for him which lead Peter to “see” Newton and intercept phone calls that clearly weren’t put through to Peter’s hotel phone. I wondered if we’d seen Peter do anything like this before and remembered that when Peter picked Olivia up at the hospital (I think that it was in Night of Desirable Objects”), he senses that evil Charlie is watching them. He looks around, but doesn’t see anyone.

    I’ve often wondered if Walternate had been tracking Peter. I think that it would be likely that he would keep tabs on him. If Peter has this ability, and he clearly exhibited this in “Night of Desirable Objects” and probably in NWP, then perhaps his moving around so much is more from a feeling of being uncomfortable because he senses he is being watched. Just a thought.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      Jodie,

      Now that you mention it I do remember putting that idea forward. Thanks for tying this together. I think it makes a lot sense and I love the idea that Peter has a kind of extra-sensory perception that he can’t quite make sense of, but which compels him to roam. As if the weight of their observation keeps him on the move. This idea may also tie in with his ability to snag an Observer. Something a lot of other people in the story have great difficulty doing.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • SF says

        I agree, Jodie and Roco, I think we’ve seen lots of times when Peter has felt others watching him, but not being able to locate why or who. I wonder though if he has always felt the Observers too? Remember, every time he gets into or out of a car, he looks around him – it’s a consistent trait he has from early in S1. I’ve always thought it was due to his mob connections, though this makes more sense, that he always felt he was being watched. Wouldn’t it be awful/creepy and sad, if Walternate has been able to watch him all through the years?

        Though, I didn’t make the link to NWP until now, and how he knew others were watching him, and he interpreted it as being hunted or chased, when really they were seeking him. Perception again. This episode is more important than it first appears, and presents a lot of information that only makes sense upon rewatching, many times! lol Once again, thanks Roco, for doing this with us all :-)

        Like: Thumb up 0

  9. Elaine says

    So many great points have already been covered, so, I thought I would add one that I haven’t seen, and was new to me on this re-watch.

    This episode was extremely layered in content. You had our first true introduction to the Observer. A character (amongst several others like him) we still know so very little about. You also had Peter’s increasing restlessness, his desire to roam and impatience with Walter. Then there was the beginning of Olivia’s waking dreams in connection to John Scott. What I found interesting to note about all three storylines was what they had in common: Communication.

    Peter’s life was put in danger because he was able to communicate Walter’s thoughts regarding where the beacon was hidden although he had no idea how. This is amplified by his encounter with September when he was able to consciously get inside of Peter’s head to verbally project his thoughts back to him.

    Olivia was able to project her thoughts about John Scott where she was able to actually interact with him. First by phone, then by seeing him. I thought about Olivia disarming the bomb in ‘Ability’, and the electrical component of the bomb being effected, but I’m still struggling with the hows and what caused her to see John in her kitchen.

    Then there was September. It remains unclear why he was unable to touch that beacon, or whom he reported to when it arrived and departed, but it occurred to me that maybe, due to him interrupting Walternate when he was about to discover the cure for Peter, he, like Walter may still be trying to make up for that particular misstep. I don’t know, I kind of lost my thought there.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • SF says

      INteresting thoughts, Elaine. I hadn’t thought of the communication aspects linked in this episode, and you are right. In a way, this episode is like a test of how open our minds are, as viewers: can we accept that Olivia sees John, when no one else can? And that he can talk to her? Can we accept that the Observer can’t be seen by Olivia – and hey, I’ve watched this episode at least 5 times, probably more, and I never caught that Olivia didn’t see him, I just thought she had missed seeing him. Not that she couldn’t see him, not especially when she’s already seen a manifestation of a mostly dead man in her own mind.

      I also think this ties in to Peter recognizing immediately that the Observers hold the key for him to know something he should know, but can’t yet – they hold the key to who he is, really. But even he can’t explain why. In an episode about non-direct ways of communicating, it’s a lot about how Peter knows things that he doesn’t know how he knows. And we still don’t have answers for how this works for him! Just that it’s there.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • FinChase says

        SF, I have to disagree with you here. I don’t think this was a case of Olivia not being able to see the Observer at all. She simply didn’t see him this time because she was rather preoccupied with Mosley and the beacon. She definitely saw the Observer who left the picture for her on the bar stool in “Over There Part 1.” I think she may have even noticed September when she walked past him in “The Same Old Story” and that was one of the reasons she picked up on him so fast when she saw him in the Quantico pictures.

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • SF says

          Well, certainly she saw the Observer in the photos. So I think that’s why I thought too she just didn’t see him in the forest. It might be that he appeared to watch Olivia, not knowing Peter was there – or knowing that Peter was there, and appearing, so that Peter would stay. It depends how you want to see the Observers, I think! :-) I don’t believe they are just observing, because they have now interfered directly in Part One. I also don’t think they are orchestrating events, either. I do think there is something to this communication thing though. Has anyone asked if the Observers can choose who they appear to? Or if they appear in a crowd (like August did) are they visible to everyone in the area?

          So many questions still about them!!

          Like: Thumb up 0

  10. Pwnsauce says

    hey Roco, Saturday is July 31st! So which is it gonna be? also, since the number of days and episodes will not line up and finish before September 23, do you plan on not finishing or just speeding it up a bit?

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      Pwnsauce,

      Oops, my bad! *fixed*.

      I definitely plan on finishing, but the schedule will have to be condensed at some point. I’ll post something up on the blog once I’ve worked out what the format.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  11. mlj102 says

    Interesting point, Elaine. I think that’s definitely a significant observation. You covered it all pretty well, though I did have one little comment to add.

    “I’m still struggling with the hows and what caused her to see John in her kitchen.”

    It’s strange because I actually feel like the visions/hallucinations of John are the easiest for me to accept. Whether it’s all in her mind as a side effect from the experience in the tank, or it’s an alternate version of John (I’m still not giving up on that theory!) it makes sense (in a Fringe sort of way) that she could see him right in front of her. But the phone calls and the emails are what have me baffled. I don’t know if those were just hallucinations, too, and she just thought she heard the phone ring and just thought it was John who talked to her, or she just imagined getting an email from John that just happened to contain very significant information… but that just seems far-fetched to believe she was imagining all of that. I would love to know if she could go back and check her email and if those messages was still there… In my opinion, it’s one thing to imagine seeing someone or something, but it’s completely different to have that hallucination manifest itself through actual, physical things like the phone or the computer…

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Jodie says

      “I don’t know if those were just hallucinations, too, and she just thought she heard the phone ring and just thought it was John who talked to her, or she just imagined getting an email from John that just happened to contain very significant information… but that just seems far-fetched to believe she was imagining all of that. I would love to know if she could go back and check her email and if those messages was still there…”

      But this was the same kind of thing that was happening in NWP to Peter. When Olivia gets a phone call from John, she calls her exchange and is told that no phone call came into her phone. I think that she had all of this information downloaded into her brain from John and she was trying to access it. Her brain created a way for her to do that. When she was receiving those messages from Nick Lane in “Bad Dreams” she did the same thing: her brain interpreted it into a visual dream. It must have something to do with her cortexiphan enhanced abilities.

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • Elaine says

      You know, I was going to mention that John Scott could have been communicating with Olivia from another dimension or universe (perhaps one similar from wherever the Observers are from) but I didn’t want to sound crazy. LOL. But the thought did cross my mind. I also considered since John was being kept in a suspended state along with Olivia already having portions of his memories in her own mind, she was able actualize him in physical form, and communicate with him because in some universe, John was still alive. That may be a little far fetched, even for Fringe, but I suppose it’s possible.

      I also considered (My comment last night was greatly effected by my tired mind) Walter’s comment to Peter about adjusting his ideas about communication. Thoughts can be absorbed/shared by osmosis, and from what we know about how Cortexiphan works, it greatly amplifies emotions. Peter came to Olivia early in the episode, restless, agitated and seeking an out. It’s the first time we see Olivia really pause long enough to consider how this arrangement was affecting Peter, and she’s sympathetic, but she’s also passively trying to get Peter to realize that he is needed; and along with Walter wants him to stick around. Maybe…and I realize this is a long shot, that’s why John began to appear to her, because she was emotionally beginning to distance from how devastated, confused, angry and hurt she was when he died. So, perhaps everything that happened with John was her subconscious in overdrive–and as irrelevant (for lack of a better word) as the romantic aspect of the relationships are for some, it could be they have been affecting the characters behavior more than we realize.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • SF says

        Elaine, I’ve often thought that John is able to communicate with Olivia because he’s still alive (ok, mostly dead, but body exists and his memories are in Olivia’s. I think that last is a key factor here – while their memories are beginning to separate, enough of him is alive in her as a residue, that as she begins to work on the Pattern cases, he gives her what he knows about them, to the best of his ability to communicate with her.

        I don’t know if the phone really does ring, or the message on the computer, but I’d be willing to accept it! I’ve had enough dreams where I’ve heard the door bell ring, or phone ring, and woken up convinced someone was at my door or phone, and no one was. I think the subconscious has many ways to communicate with us also. Maybe too, Olivia was absorbing John’s memories of the Pattern, too – remember she can’t tell the difference between what he remembers and she does, in “Safe”. I think we’re seeing in this link between Olivia and John, her perceptions being opened to communcation from the other side/alternate universe, though if Link were communicating with her (as the altJohn), that would be mind-blowing even for Fringe! lol I wonder if they can communicate between universes through thought? Or is that avenue closed?

        I’ve also thought that Olivia’s cortexiphan mind was made more able to link with John’s because of the cortexiphan. that where others would lose their way, she was able to come back intact. I also think that Walter doing the talking, being the link for her to this reality – or her reality – is also important. It’s interesting that even though she has no memory of ever having known Walter before, she instantly trusts him.

        I think too in this episode, we see that she does trust Peter, who should be untrustworthy given his past, but with the threat of him going, she gets this desolate look on her face, like she’s panicking at not having him to help out. Even though he doesn’t seem to do anything, his presence is important. I think it’s really important that he has this calming effect on her, and also that the show has shown that someone as bright as he is couldn’t be content being a nursemaid or babysitter only. He has to know he is contributing, and maybe even more, learn something. I thought he was being whiny in this episode, and wanting to leave, which I also think is Peter’s character when he isn’t sure he belongs. I like that the show gave him his own reason to stay, and that it turned out to be a real reason, and true for Peter. The Observers did, and do, hold the key for who Peter is and why he needed to be saved and why he is important.

        I really like how at the end, as mlj said, Olivia was trying not to pressure Peter into staying, but giving him the freedom to choose. It is interesting that Peter’s mind has been opened – like Walter said – and that he has to convince Olivia now he wants to stay when before he was convincing her he had to leave. I love that hospital scene. I can also see how linked unconsciously Peter and Olivia are becoming because when he comes out of the room she turns and looks at him, even while Broyles is talking to her. He recognizes that she is watching Peter, and I like how he just stops and says good night, and how they check they’ll be at work – still on the Fringe team – tomorrow: “I’ll see you in the morning?” “I’ll see you tomorrow” (sorry, not exact words) but in this repeat viewing, I can really see how they are checking they are still on board with the team.

        Like: Thumb up 0

      • mlj102 says

        “You know, I was going to mention that John Scott could have been communicating with Olivia from another dimension or universe (perhaps one similar from wherever the Observers are from) but I didn’t want to sound crazy.”

        Are you saying I’m crazy for believing in that theory? :)

        I guess it does sound rather crazy. And I imagine they probably don’t have any plans to revisit this story and clarify one way or another exactly what happened in the tank and when Olivia was seeing John and receiving various communications from him. And unless they do come back to it, I will reluctantly accept the explanation that was provided, that it was simply a side effect of the tank and memories crossing over and manifesting themselves, etc. But every time I watch the first half of season 1, I can’t help but feel like it’s something more. It just doesn’t seem to fit. It seems like it goes deeper. I think it would fit a lot more if they ultimately revealed it was some sort of communication from the other side.

        Like: Thumb up 0

  12. SF says

    Choice. Thinking over the comments I’ve made to other comments for this post, I see that this episode is about choice:
    - Peter choosing to stay because he wants to
    - Walter choosing to follow up on his promise to the Observers 25 years ago
    - Olivia choosing to follow her instincts that she is ‘seeing’ John, or that he has something important to tell her and isn’t just a memory echo
    - and all this comes from Walter choosing to go over and heal Peter.
    - Astrid chooses to forgive Walter

    Just some more random thoughts! What would the path not taken look like? It’s going to be very interesting in S3 to see if they can pull off showing choices in this world vs the path not taken in the other world, and more of what it would look like, the differences big and small.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  13. Elaine says

    I just had a thought.

    As the season progresses, we discover more about Olivia, why she’s important to the investigations. Why Broyles says she’s vital to his team. Why Nina Sharp is interested in her. Why David Robert Jones attempts to activate her abilities. Why Agent Harris was interested in keeping an eye on her. And how Walter & Bell are connected her possessing these abilities. In S2, we have Thomas Jerome Newton belittling her importance and strength. Seems like everyone is aware of Olivia’s importance to what’s going on. But before we discover any of this, the writers indicate that Peter is very important, too, but without really telling us why. By the end of S2, we are more than certain of Peter’s importance, yet we still don’t know how or why. The only characters who are aware of why appear to be Walter, Bell, Walternate, the Observers, and possibly Nina. It seems to be a closed curcuit knowledge in regards to Peter’s specialness, and I have to wonder if Olivia is the best known secret amongst villians and power players alike, how has Peter remained the best kept secret amongst so few?

    Just a thought.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Jodie says

      Elaine,

      I’ve speculated about this subject quite a bit. It is almost like Peter has been hidden in plain sight. I’ve watched his character closely since this episode first aired, and it has intrigued and frustrated me. The writers have taken so long to reveal Peter, and here we are, waiting for the third season to begin, and we still know so little about this character. And I do think that Nina is very much in the know about Peter. It is obvious now that Peter is at the center of our Fringe worlds. Both Walter’s want him, but I don’t think for the same reasons. I’ve wondered if he could be some kind of precursor to the Observers themselves. They are from the future, could he be their ancestor? He just has too many Observer-like abilities.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • Elaine says

        Yes! Hidden in plain sight is a perfect description for Peter’s importance to this story. And yes, it’s been a matter of intrigue and frustration for me as well that the writers have kept the why’s and how’s on such a slow burn, and when given an opportunity to give the audince our first true peek, they failed, imo, to deliver in ‘NWP’. I know you personally felt differently, and I respect that, but with that being said, I do feel S3 has left them no choice (hopefully) than to be more forthcoming in revealing more about why Peter is so important to both worlds. And what exactly were Walter (in ‘Safe’) and Bell (in ‘Over There Part 2′) insinuating about Peter’s capabilities and his fortitude?

        As far as the a forefather to the Observers, I honestly can’t say I’ve given any thought to that being a possibility, but it would certainly be an unexpected twist if that ends up being the case. I do, however, wonder why Mosely and then later on Walter both made the comment about it being ashamed that Peter never knew Robert Bishop? Any ideas?

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • Jodie says

          The Mosely/Peter/Robert connection is another really frustrating clue. Why would Peter think of Robert’s grave when Mosely asked when it was that Peter thought that his father still loved him? I’ve never bought into the cloning theories, but clearly Robert is deep into the Fringe mythology, and there is some link to Peter. I’m just really hoping that we will finally find out about the Nina connection with Peter. I’m hoping that since Ms. Brown mentioned this history at comic con that we are going to be given more on this topic this season. Nina really is another important character that the writers have held back, and I’m betting that is because she is closely linked to Peter in some way.

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • Elaine says

            My suspicion? Not that you’ve asked or anything :-) but I think it’s possible that Nina was a surrogate for Peter…Walter’s Peter, that is. I don’t know why I get the impression that Walter’s comment to Elizabeth after Peter’s funeral about the hand they were dealt (paraphrasing) made me think that they had a difficult time conceiving, and Nina enabled them to have a child by via invetro fertilization like the throwback credits for that specific episode featured.

            Just a wild speculation, of course.

            Like: Thumb up 0

            • Jodie says

              Well, that’s what I think as well. I actually wonder if Elizabeth came along after Peter was born. But I also wonder if the Nina we know is even from this universe. I just think that her replacement arm/chest is too advanced to be done on this side. It is too complicated, and it would take a huge team to perform this procedure. Either Nina went to the other side to have the surgery, or there was a switch of the two. William Bell could have known both of them. Nina (AltiNina) could have even been telling Olivia the truth about how she lost her arm to cancer. Maybe our Nina was too sick to remain on this side so William switched them. AltiNina follows her son to this side. Now this really is wild speculation!

              Like: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>