FRINGE SPOILER: Olivia and Peter’s Forget Me Knots

We haven’t forgotten that there’s no new Fringe tonight. Neither have Olivia and Peter. Or have they?

Executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman have offered a few spoilery thoughts on why Olivia and Peter don’t remember meeting each other as children.

On why Olivia and Peter don’t remember meeting each other as kids?

Wyman: “I think that one of the things that we have been keeping in mind, and the viewer should keep in mind: both Joel and I  – and I’m sure you’re the same way — had really close friends when  we were 8 that we can hardly picture in our mind right now. And this was just a chance meeting. Olivia [also] didn’t remember meeting Walter, who played a much more significant role in her life. She didn’t remember meeting him throughout the first whole season until she was reminded.”

“There’s also something to be said that when traumatic experiences, you know, you could bury that stuff. So you bury some of the good stuff along with the bad stuff because some of those good things are triggers for the bad things.”

Pinkner suggests that earlier in the series people didn’t really notice that after years of being his test subject, Olivia should have remembered Walter:

“And yet, because the Peter and Oliva moment was so romantic and so full of hope, you remember, “Oh, why doesn’t she remember that one?” Which says something lovely about us all as people; we want to remember the good things and leave the bad things.”

Source: EW


  1. Dylan says

    So, basically what they’re saying is that there isn’t any special meaning behind it, that the characters just forgot and we’re all looking too far into it.


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    • giorgio - Greece says

      I don’t even remember MY childhood best friend’s face or even his name. Not a clue. It doesn’t mean that I’m forgetful, just that these things tend to happen.

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  2. LMH says

    What’s interesting to me is that we’ve been given strong hints that Walter used certain methods on Peter (e.g., the mantra to prevent him from remembering his dreams) to make him forgot his origins, which could have presumably been used on Olivia. Also is Nick Lane’s standout line that they [those behind the trials] meant for the children to forget, and we know that for some that was simply impossible (Nick, Simon, James H.). In Jacksonville, Olivia stresses the strangeness of her lack of memory concerning the daycare experiences as her memory is generally superior. She even remembers the other horrific aspects of her childhood but not the trials that occurred at that same time.

    I think there is more to it whether they decide to address it in an interview or not. Too many breadcrumbs left for me. I guess we’ll see.

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    • Count Screwloose says

      I’m with you here. Too many other references, too much left unexplained. I don’t disagree with what they say, but there’s more going on here than they want to tell us…right now.

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      • William Bishop says

        Yeah I’m with you, those writers certainly planted seeds on the first years, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up revealing that Walter and Bell used a metod to erase the memories of the children about the trials and maybe, maybe of something else…

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  3. says

    I will take whatever they give us … But, ya, maybe we are over analyzing everthing a wee bit. And I wouldn’t change it for a minute.

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  4. says

    Is it love at first sight !! ” Aha, the beguiling Olivia Dunham beguils….”

    Or Walternate’s catch phrase to erase that moment in time between the meeting of Peter and Olivia ?

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  5. Tenison says

    Okay, but I think they are just trying to… hum, avoid us from the truth.

    But also, answering to LMH, none of the “hints” you said are usefull.

    1. The mantra may have been used even by Walternate in the other side. Maybe both Peters had bad dreams and both Walters used mantras to calm them…
    2. Just the cortexikids whose powers didn’t… “sleep” remembered the cortexitrials: both Nick and Simon. James Heath, if I’m correct, forgot the trials too, he just discovered about the other cortexikids when he was looking for the cure to his problem.
    3. Well, as we saw in “Subject 13”, the trials weren’t so dark like we thought, in fact, I think the children thought they were in some kind of special education. Like I said, just the traumatized ones remembered part of the events in Jacksonville, and because they have a trauma, connected them (the events) to bad things.

    Okay, these hints may lead us to the truth, but not necessarily, like Betty said, maybe we’re just over analyzing.

    But I totally agree with this: “And yet, because the Peter and Oliva moment was so romantic and so full of hope, you remember, “Oh, why doesn’t she remember that one?” Which says something lovely about us all as people; we want to remember the good things and leave the bad things.” *-*

    PS: I’m really sorry if I commited any mistake while writing this comment; I’m just a 16-yo-brazilian boy and I don’t speak english very well :/

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    • fedorafadares says

      Your English is wonderful, Tenison, and I agree they are putting us off the truth…a bit.

      I think we will find out more about the meaning ehind that meaning, but maybe it won’t be central to the action.

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  6. DEM says

    Regarding viewers’ reactions to Olivia not remembering Walter: At the time we all thought 1) Olivia was 3-years-old and 2) the experiment lasted for only a brief period of time. Nick Lane seemed to be an exception, not the rule.

    So, no, it’s not because Olivia/Peter was oh-so-romantic that we’re now noticing; it’s because two very, very significant aspects of Olivia’s backstory are now much different than we had understood them to be.

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    • says


      Yeah I may have a hard time remembering a preschool teacher or who the students were in my preschool, but I can name every teacher I’ve had since kindergarten (I was 5 years old). So, NO I don’t buy it guys. Sorry. You wanted to tell a story and so now you need a contrivance to sell the story. It’s either that or you are just trying to purposefully throw the audience off.

      Another thing, don’t tell me that Peter didn’t leave an impression on Olivia when they met. She drew a picture of them together, so I think it is safe to assume he had a lasting impact on her at the time. In ‘Subject 13’ those guys (Olivia and Peter) looked to be about 8 or even 10 years old. Traumatic or not, you remember the names of the boys that gave you the “warm fuzzies”. Nick Lane was right, that the cortexikids were made to forget and along with forgetting Her time in the Cortexiphan trials she forgot Walter and Peter, because she formed those connections during that time.

      I appreciate that they are trying to dig themselves out of a hole, but I would have liked a better explanation than the one given above. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. I mean, I would have been happy if they had just said, “Yeah Olivia didn’t remember Peter, just like she didn’t remember anything else associated with the Cortexiphan trials because that’s the way William and Walter wanted it.” Done and Done.

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      • celticnorse says

        I think this is one of those areas where everyone is different. My first and fuzziest memories are some mundane (and frankly odd) games I played when I was five or so. I don’t remember family vacations at that time (not even Disneyland) or other important events. My childhood memory isn’t really solid till about 9 or 10. Many people I talk to about this think it’s weird. They spout off all the stuff they remember from 5 and younger (even). Then other friends are about the same. I get Facebook friend requests today from people that seem to remember me very clearly and I have no clue. Maybe I’m broken… and maybe Olivia and Peter are too. I dunno. OK so now I’m a little worried.

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        • Mtm says

          You are not the only one. I remember very few fragments before I was 13 years old when I clearly remember becoming self aware. Which sounds really weird when written down…

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      • says

        Does your teacher give you drugs? Spank you? Kick you? Throw you out of the school? Punishes you? And almost kill you?

        Can you even remember what is the first word of your first teacher? What did he teach you in your first day? Who is sat beside you on your first day of school? Who you first argued with? Who you played with? Who grab your things without asking permission? Why you cried on one instance when you were five?

        Because if you asked me all those questions, I will say I don’t remember anything. The latest recollection of my “childhood” is when I was in my late primary school… which is what… about 13-14 years old? And I am speaking as a 25 year old guy…

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        • Oscar says

          Well, I have memories (just one or two, ok) of when I was little more than 1 year old… My second Christmas, for example. But, yes, lot of people can’t remember thing so far away in the past. However, Peter and Olivia were both almost 8 years old (they are the same age, Walter kidnapped Peter when he was about 7 years old, and Peter met Olivia 6 months after his abduction), an age of which almost everyone has some memory, even if they not always are organised ones (i.e.: you can’t remember your teachers’ names or faces, but you remember that day when your parents gave you your first bike, or the day you falled from that bike, or the face of your little sweetheart…).
          So, even if, about Peter, one can suppose that the repression mechanism drew away the good memories (Olivia) with the bad ones (his abductions and the following months of suffering), this appears more strange about Olivia, who has an extraordinary memory and who clearly remembers worse traumas (such as her stepfather’s beatings), but can’t remember lesser ones, or even good moments, in the Jacksonville’s Daycare center… I’m not telling that this would be impossible, but, well, it sounds strange…
          So, the assumption that Walter and/or Bell did something in order to make the children forget is not so weird, according to me…
          As for Peter, we can assume quite for sure that his childhood nightmares were memories of his abduction (as we saw once in his adulthood), and that Walter’s mantra was a way to have him repressing them. We also know that Walter (at least once) subjeted Peter to an experiment involving brain and tolerance to electricity… For what purpose? We don’t know, and maybe it had something to do with memory’s cancellation…
          As for Olivia, we have even less hints, so we can imagine almost everything, from hypnosys to drugs, electricity an so on…
          I’m afraid we’ll have to wait next season for (at least some) answers…

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          • says

            The photogenic memory is not impossible.

            The brain acts weird. It can be a coping mechanism of the brain… perhaps Olivia herself attempts to suppress all the bad memories (events happening to her during Cortexi-trial), and as a result, her brain starts to cope as a counter to this, trying to remember every single detail of her life after this. That is not impossible.

            There is no indication that Olivia has a photogenic memory since she was a kid. So, I am still holding on that this is after her suppresion of memories.

            If one of us (in this world) cannot remember their 8-9 year old childhood memory, then it is highly possible that this is the case of Olivia and Peter, who had screwed up life! AND who only meet what… twice prior to pilot?

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    • Peanut says

      I agree that the backstory has now changed so that the experiments continued for years & the children were old enough that they should remember them. I was even questioning the memory loss previously & am even more skeptical now, post “Subject 13.” Why would Olivia remember the trauma of shooting her stepfather but not happy times at the daycare? She knows that she was experimented on by Walter because of the videotape (not Betamax!) she saw in “Jacksonville” but STILL does not seem to have childhood memories of Walter or Bell or anything about the daycare & experiments.

      All of the other cortexikids could remember at least one other child who was also in the Jacksonville group EXCEPT Olivia–the one with the superior memory.

      Peter does not remember the girl who could use her mind to set fires & make it snow (in Florida!)?

      I wonder if Walter remembers Peter & Olivia’s meeting? He does seem to have some memories of Olivia.

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  7. Anita says

    Didn’t Olivia say she remembered nothing from the experiments at all in Jacksonville? And we know that Peter’s childhood memories are all messed up having, y’know, switched universes and all and trying to adjust/being mentally manipulated by Walter. I don’t really think it’s a point of contention at this point, really, it just is what it is!

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  8. says

    I still think seriously that another childactor that played Peter, represents another Peter/Peternate/P3ter. If that is the case (and if the writers don’t want to spoil that secret at this moment in the storytelling) than it simply explains why they don’t recognize eachother; their simply different versions of our favorite characters, which also explains the ‘Subject 13’ difference in daycare centers.

    I honestly think there is more that meets the eye, IMHO.

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  9. Tash says

    well it aint that weird cos i was taliking to my mate the other day and she was like “do you remember in year 3 when…” and i’m like “no” so in year 3 i would have been….7/8 years old and im 13 now soo thats only like 5 years ago and she seemed to remember it really well and i had no idea
    And a while back i found a newspaper thing from 2002 with all the pictures of the reception kids in it and there was a couple of kids in there that i cant even remember exsisting

    But on the other hand i can remember a dream i had when i was 3

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    • Tenison says

      It’s like me, I can’t remember certain things I did this year, but I remeber clearly about
      1. A nightmare I had involving a car in the woods;
      2. A dream I had when I float a little bit in my school;
      3. The day when I killed a spider and a bunch of little spiders appeared from the body of the death spider;
      4. The day I was washing the garage with my mother and I felt to the floor when I was 5;
      And, some things that I do remember, but – and here is a good point – I don’t know if they are memories or dreams:
      5. The day I first read a book in front of my class when I had 3-5 years old;
      6. The first time I played with Lego in my preschool;

      Well, the “good point” I said is: what if, in Subject 13, what we saw wasn’t the past, or even memories, but dreams? What if the scenes we saw were part of the supressed memories of Walter, Peter & Olivia manifesting as dreams? This would explain some of the mistakes in the scenario – like the position of the tree – and for those who may ask why they don’t remember with this, if they had dreamed with this, it’s because we can’t remember most part of the dream (I think we all watched Inception, right?)

      Talking about Inception, let’s talk a little about “LSD”. Maybe in this episode we’ll learn more about Olivia? I mean, we’ll be presented to her mind and possibly to her deep memories and – fortunately – maybe we’ll get some answers.

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      • Tash says

        lol my dream was about lego
        i dont really know the other stuff is cos i havent watched subject 13
        and i watched inception but all it did was make my head hurt

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        • Tenison says

          “lol my dream was about lego” what such a coincidence! – or not? o.o tense…

          Well, basically in subject 13 we see the events that occured 6 months after the kidnapping of Peter – his attempt to… wait, I’m not gonna say, I don’t know if you like spoilers o.o Well, you can watch it at Fox Fringe official website 😀 – I guess it is still available, I don’t know exactly, but you could try ^^

          Just one more thing: “and for those who may ask why they don’t remember with this, if they had dreamed with this” Just forget the first “with”. It was a mistake :B

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  10. FlashWriter says

    I have this immense problem with the sheer weight of the AMOUNT of things everyone seems to have “forgotten”. I think this is all redirection on the part of Pinkner/Wyman. There MUST be a story about all this memory loss out there. We already have somewhat of an explanation of Walter’s lapses, but all that Olive went through as a kid vis-a-vis Walter’s experiments? The Olive/Peter meeting was one of those things that I just don’t think that you can conveniently “forget”. It was one of those singular markers in anyone’s childhood that sticks. No, somebody is pulling our chain–hard.

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