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”.
- 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
monthsweeks 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.
- Who Is John Mosley?
- My Opinion: He’s a rogue Observer. Note the green-green-green-red pattern on his hat, and other indicators.
- 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.
- None of note recorded.
- 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?
- “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
- All Rewatches past and present
- 1.03 The Ghost Network Rewatch (comments)
- Last year’s The Arrival Rewatch
- Original The Arrival Clues
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.”