Fringe Rewatch: 2.08 I Got Involved

Welcome to the rewatch for episode 8 of Fringe season 2 – “August”. Join us as we create an irregularity in the timeline by preventing Peter from ever laying eyes on Altlivia.

We have renamed this episode: I Got Involved.

Newly Observed Perspectives

  • Naivety vs emotions. September was naive when he caused Walternate to miss the cure for Peter, thus altering the course of events which he then had to realign. While August’s irregularity came as a result of his emotions. It’s interesting to consider how August developed (or unlocked) this emotional response. We’ve often talked about proximity in this show, and how thoughts and feelings can transfer from one person to another just by thinking or feeling. Perhaps we can use this as a base for understanding how emotions can cause an Observer’s perspective to change. How much does one’s experiences play a role in how they see the world?
  • It’s clear that Peter displays abilities similar to those of the Observers, whether it’s his low-level ability to read people, the power to bring things to life through tough, or the gift of soothing people around him. The list goes on. For the most part it’s been subtle, but the parallels have been there since the Arrival. Then there’s the Observers vested interest in Peter. In this particular Peter. What made him special, more important than Other Peter? Are we looking at nature or nurture? Was he born that way, or was it something Walternate or the Observers did to him? Is Peter himself an Observer, or a hybrid of some kind? Is he the source in more ways than one? These the are type of questions we’ll hopefully be exploring.
  • With time the way it is on this show, we should perhaps consider the possibility that the Observers could be tasked by the likes of Peter, or Walter, Walternate, or even Olivia? Who knows.
  • I’ve always found it interesting to consider the possibility that, in many ways, the future of both universes and the characters within, has already been played out – at least from the Observers perspective. They can see time as a whole, they know what is supposed to happen (at least, to a point). With this in mind, there is a much larger ‘road not taken’ theme at work here.
  • Brandon, who knows everything because he wears a lab coat, says that the Observers are showing up with much more frequency of late than over the past 5000 years of human history. In the first season, Nina indicated that something happened the last time their appearances went up a notch, although we are yet to find out what that was. At any rate, all of this corroborates Bellie’s claim that this Wave could indeed be the last, most damaging, Wave of all. At least for one universe.
  • The green, green, green, red. We know that it makes time appear to stand still for those who observe the sequence. We also know that its mythology is connected to the Observers. On a broader scale, could the Observers use this device to help them manage time, could this account for why the two universes are often out of sync? Or, perhaps it is the means by which they project through realities? I don’t expect either of these ideas to be correct, but since it’s a rewatch I thought I’d try to offer some alternative possibilities.
  • Is there more than one set of Observers? I think the show has already intimated that there are with John Mosley, who also wore the green/red sequence, and had lower-level Observeresque gear.
  • I guess Observer Dude’s comment about things getting hard for Olivia are most relevant not that she’s trapped on the other side. But if they could perceive that outcome, why was September so ‘suprised’ by Peter’s disappearance when it happened? Did they not also foresee that? I guess certain events are more fixed than others. It’s also likely that the ‘future’ (if we look at it that way) is constantly changing before their eyes.

Best retrospective performer: Peter Woodward.

Best retrospective moment: August’s death.

Retrospective episode rating: 7/10

Useful Links

Next rewatch episode – 2.09 “Snakehead” – TBA.


  1. jophan says

    “Brandon, who knows everything because he wears a lab coat, says that the Observers are showing up with much more frequency of late than over the past 5000 years of human history.”
    Every time I hear that I want to hit Brandon with a stick. Far more images are preserved per year in the last century and a half compared to pre-photography times.

    With the one exception in “Bad Dreams”, Olivia’s seemed to be immune from Peter’s magic calming touch. Or maybe it’s that he was face-touching instead of hand-touching.

    If September was surprised by Peter’s failure to return, how could Olivia’s being trapped on the other side be the predicted difficult fate? His crossing over was the impetus for her to follow. Was there a different set of difficulties in store for her if he had come back? Or maybe it was meant to be Ella’s. (yeah, right.)

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    • Jophan says

      Somewhat, but then she went off on the restaurant owner in the next scene. That’s why I said “mostly” immune. In the lab scene later, it works.

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  2. Alex says

    Although i mostly hated this episode, i LOVED the final scene. For once we got to see poor Liv have a little fun with adorable Ella on a rollercoaster, then creepy old observer guy saying “Look how happy she is…It’s a shame things are about to get so hard for her.”

    Gave me chills.

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  3. Ann_Louise says

    I loved the way this episode took the inevitable “captive irrationally trusts her kidnapper” moment and played it in a way that made it truthful to the characters and not so much a cliche. And as the rewatch goes on, I’m finding more understated, low-level humor that can be in even the darkest episode. This time, it was imagining the restaurant owner’s glee every time the Creepy Bald Guys congregate – “Break out the Super-Scoville peppers, honey!” Considering how much time the spend, hope the CBG’s tip well.

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  4. number six says

    I noticed this detail in particular during the rewatch: Peter brings Olivia a sandwich and, of course, she ignores it. Walter knows about this, because he includes it in his story in Brown Betty: as Olivia and Peter flirt in the kitchen, he prepares breakfast for her, but she doesn’t even look at it.

    The Observer, August, was wonderful 8/10

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  5. says

    Consider this: each Observer is some sort of Overseer to it’s own dimension/reality. If one dies, that whole reality loses control or even gets erased from what we call reality.

    If September is surprised by Peter’s actions, this could lead up to two things in the future (from our perspective):

    A. Peter will become an Observer to take August’s place and thus saving an entire reality.

    B. The Doomsday Device will kill most -or even all- Observers and therefor destroying all realities.

    The dilemma áll Observer will face then is: if Observers can’t interfere, then hów can they stop Walters and Walternates actions, that will lead to their own destructions aswell? I use the word ‘destructions’ and not ‘deaths’ since that concept does not make much sence with an Observer, as time is not lineair to them (yes: we may see August popping up in future episodes where he still lives, before his death).

    I agree with the 8/10. Good episode!

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