Synopsis: When the Fringe Division delves into another bizarre occurrence aboard an international jumbo jet, freakish remains are discovered at the crash site. Memories tip the team toward some promising leads, but the bigger picture and mysterious threat eludes them. With limited options and insufficient intelligence, Olivia and Peter go undercover.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “The Transformation”.
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) Prior to transforming into a beast, Marshall Bowman’s notes went something along the lines of; “avoiding capture is imperative”. Since he was working alongside John Scott, this possibly explains why John tried to run Olivia off the road in the pilot.
2.) I always thought that the old woman’s Old Wives Tale about putting keys on your back to remedy a bleeding nose, seemed too ominous not to have carried weight. In retrospect this clearly foreshadowed the fact that Bowman had an encryption key embedded in his hand.
3.) Loved, loved, loved the air stewards! “We have a taser in the cockpit which I will use on you if you don’t calm down”. Little did they know Sonic doesn’t take well to threats.
4.) Olivia (and Rachel’s) mom was mentioned in this episode. Everyone talks about Peter’s father(s), but I’d also like to find out more about Olivia’s mom. Interesting that Rachel thought the engagement ring belonged to their mother – why would Olivia have it if that was the case? Have we had reference of their mom being alive?
5.) I wonder whether the blue lights will become a marker for whenever Olivia (from either reality) uses her powers in future seasons? As I’ve mentioned extensively on this blog, the blue lights are present whenever someone (in most cases Olivia) is tapping into memories, observing dreams or ‘crossing over’. They have become a nice thematic element for the show, and to my mind this was the episode where they became way more than a subtle clue.
6.) Walter foreshadowed the existence of alternate Peter’s when he mentioned “twins” during his “one half nipple rule” explanation. He also looked rather sheepish, almost as if something – a memory, perhaps – ‘clicked’ inside his head..or perhaps he was just embarrassed at Peter’s disapproval?
7.) As I’ve mentioned in previous rewatch entries, I find it eye-opening at just how cold-hearted Olivia can be when in pursuit of answers. There has also been some opinionated debate about this in the comments, which has raised some interesting points on Olivia’s humanity (on both sides of the coin). There was another such moment in this episode when she prevented Walter from treating Hicks’. Olivia’s response was brutal: – “you want help, I want answers!”. Yikes Olivia..yikes.
8.) Nina tells Olivia that it wasn’t her decision to keep the truth about John from her. That would mean it was Phillip Broyles’ decision, right? Or perhaps William Bell? In my opinion it would make more sense if it were Phillip – but not because he wanted to keep Olivia in the dark. On the contrary, I suspect that he wanted to protect the intrepid agent because, as Nina revealed, prior to the events in this episode they believed that John was part of the bio-terrorist cell. As we’ve come to learn, Phillip is in the business of protecting all of his agents.
9.) Olivia’s reaction when Nina informed her that John Scott was indeed a traitor, was amazing to watch. She was stricken with grief, her suspicions (at this stage) confirmed, and yet after allowing herself a few seconds (and I mean a only a few), her focus immediately turned to the plane load of people murdered. Once again we see the duality in Olivia’s humanity. She really is pretty darn selfless, even though her methods sometimes put Peter’s to shame!
10.) After watching this episode again, I think I’m going to settle on my opinion that John could ‘see’ Olivia because that part of his consciousness was basically experiencing waking dreams. Her ability probably helped – if she’s cortexiphaned, presumably the part of John that was in her mind shared that enhancement. It’s probably worth remembering that Walter believed John interacting with her was impossible BEFORE he realised that Olivia was part of William Bell’s clinical trials. Having Cortexiphan in your spine changes everything, in my opinion.
11.) In the “Safe” rewatch post, I speculated that Nina was in a “race against highly motivated individuals” in the form of David Jones and his breakaway ZFT faction. It made sense to me at the time, since Jones’ escape coincided with Nina’s anxiety. But in this episode it seems as though she was referring to Conrad?
In Transformation (more than most of the episodes), it strikes me that Massive Dynamic see themselves as guardians (or ‘policemen’) of our world – which makes me wonder what our chief ‘guardian’ is doing over on the other side?
You do have to stop and think whether the world is safer with a ruling organisation, who are above the law, and with fingers in both ‘pies’, as it were. No wonder the Observer is here – someone has to keep the multiverse in check! Or, how about letting the world in on this multiple reality secret so that we can have some democracy? Perhaps democracy would soon turn into anarchy? Hmm..
12.) This goes for the season in general, but I get the distinct impression that Charlie can’t stand Peter. It makes sense – Peter’s a criminal who has conveniently found himself on the right side of the law without having to work for it. But perhaps there’s more to his dislike of the younger Bishop?
13.) Now that we know what John was working against, perhaps it puts some of his previous actions in perspective? Like murdering that dude in Olivia’s 1.09 dreamscape, for instance. Sure, murder is wrong, but Olivia has killed plenty of people and no-one really questions her allegiance. We also saw what people like Conrad are capable of doing – perhaps the Scotty-boy was the lesser of two evils? I’m not excusing John, but we’re dealing with some heavy shades of gray.
14.) John’s final words to Olivia: “I know we wont be together, not really. Maybe I wont know the difference?”. Although Olivia found resolution in this episode, I suspect that a part of John’s consciousness still lives on – dead or alive, reality is relative..”life is but a dream”, as they say.
1.) I have my theories (above), but we don’t get official confirmation as to why John was able to see Olivia when she visited his memories.
1.) As mentioned in previous rewatch posts, but confirmed in this episode, John Scott was working for NSA – secret government task force. This is also the reason why John couldn’t tell Olivia the truth. (Bowman’s notes suggested that capture was not an option, so, personally I have no reason to doubt John’s version of events).
2.) Marshall Bowman (and Daniel Hick’s, although he was eventually cured) was dosed with a designer virus that re-wrote his DNA, transforming him into a beast. They were dosed by Conrad – the same guy they, along with John, were trying to take down.
3.) The glass encryption disks found in the palms of Evelina Mendoza (The Ghost Network), Marshall Bowman, Daniel Hicks and John Scott were data storage devices, used to transport information (presumably on these “pattern” groups).
4.) Massive Dynamic kept John Scott in a suspended state because they needed information from the disk, which self destructs when the host dies. (I need to get one of those).
Best Performer: Anna Torv
Best Moment: The opening sequence on the plane – one of the best openers.
Retrospective Rating: 7.5/10
You can find our original Transformation articles here.