Fringe Rewatch: 2.15 The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants

Welcome to the rewatch for episode 15 of Fringe season 2 – “Peter”. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane to witness the Zero Event that shattered universes and hearts.

We have renamed this episode: The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants.

Newly Observed Perspectives

  • Walter said that he was going to change the world, “but after Peter became sick, none of that seemed to matter anymore.” I think a similar, if not larger, shift occurred in Walternate (especially once his son was stolen), who is now Secretary of Defence as opposed to being a pioneering scientist. It’s just another interesting example that though the road not taken may create alternate realities, it can also be caused by alternate realities.
  • What must Walternate and Elizanate have gone through upon realizing that a man from the other side had kidnapped their boy? Did Walternate think that his wife was crazy when she told him that the man looked and spoke just like him? Probably not for long, since Walternate would surely have been open to notions of an alternate universe, similar to his own. It will be interesting to find out why this more advanced world took longer to find a way into the parallel universe (assuming they didn’t find a way first) and why it is that crossing over was/is seemingly easier from Over Here.
  • This episode does a lot to illustrate the differences between the two worlds, but probably just as much to show the similarities:

“If the alternate Peter was also sick over there, then wouldn’t his father be equally motivated to find a cure…he was. God help me..he was”

  • I’ve always loved that extra “God help me..he was” at the end there. The repetition plays into the duality of the story and taps into Walter’s need for forgiveness, adding more weight to “White Tulip”.
  • Does Walternate also call Walter, Walternate? Hm.
  • September on his error: “It was an important moment. There was no other way to witness the moment.” This isn’t necessarily anything that we didn’t already know, but isolating the quote does help to crystallize the idea that the Observers need to capture important events. It’s as if they are taking snapshots of reality and storing them in a photo album. Again I am reminded of what DNA Death said in ‘Bishop Revival’ – “soon all you will have are pictures”.
  • The Observers do seem keen on not changing the future, so that implies that there is a set or natural course that is supposed to play out. What intrigues me in thinking about this, is that by distracting Walternate from the cure and “creating a new set of probabilities,” did that also cause another reality to branch off somewhere? I would prefer to think that every decision creates a new universe, but that these universes are sub-level or conceptual until observed. That said, for the people in such universes their reality must feel very real to them. I guess this is what we have with the ‘Over Here’ and ‘Over There’  universes – the main difference between the reality of these realities being the perspective from which the story is being told. After all, who’s to say that either Over Here or Over There didn’t branch off from the other? Likewise, we could be looking at a situation where both universes are originals, offshoots, or where both represent meta-level reality.
  • I think this exchange offers an interesting distinction when broken down:

“The moment was significant.”

The significant.”

  • What then, does this say about the moments..the reality? I seem unable to get away from the feeling that elements of reality in this show are mere constructs on some significant level.
  • Interesting that the Observers opportunity to fix September’s mistake came by way of saving Walter and Peter from the frozen lake, but not by telling Walternate that he had missed the cure. Perhaps useful when thinking about the nature of their interventions.

  • The sight of Elizabeth holding Peternate made me wonder about the connection they have. Aside from the two boys looking the same, did she experience any connection with this stranger? Did grief make her clutch him to her breast like a rabid wolverine, or is there such a thing as feeling a persons soul? Can a soul be shared across the spectrum of reality, or is it the one thing that makes humans unique? It could well be a bit of both.

Best retrospective performer: John Noble.

Best retrospective moment: Walter undercover as Walternate.

Retrospective episode rating: 9/10

Useful Links

Next rewatch episode – 2.16 “OITLWTR” – TBA.


  1. says

    Interesting that we can see the movie theatre confab between the Observers even though Walter wouldn’t have been privy to it. It kind of feeds into your ongoing question of who the narrator of Fringe is.

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  2. Alex says

    Orla Brady is a gem. Walter undercover as Walternate was a brilliant scene, but my favourite moment was when Elizabeth finds Alter-Peter in Walter’s lab alive and she hugs him. Walter’s saying “Elizabeth, he’s not ours…” but in her eyes is such a sick desperation, and you can practically hear her screaming YOU CAN’T

    Love Orla Brady. She was wonderful in Over THere as well, when she’s reunited with Peter. Solid gold…

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  3. Ann_Louise says

    Has anyone mentioned that the when it’s activated, the portal on Raiden Lake makes a mark that looks like the Omega on Newt’s head? The wires glow red in a semi-circle with the metal sheets making the slanted marks at each end.

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  4. observer22 says

    I think one of the key things I noticed during this episode and the grief that Nina was in at Our Peter’s funeral. And how much pain she was in when she told Walter that she loved Peter too. There’s definitely something up between Peter and Nina’s relationship that hasn’t been shown in the series yet.

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