Review: 2.15 Peter


2.15 Peter Review
Welcome to the FB review of the Fringe season 2 episode 15 – “Peter“. In this review I present my honest opinions on both the good and bad aspects of the episode. I also take a look at the answers and unresolved mysteries, before sharing my thoughts on other aspects which may have been overlooked.

Note: As always, this review is written before reading any other thoughts on the episode, if I change my view on anything, I’ll post it in the comments. This particular review is quite long, you might need a beverage and a snack. Also, for the purposes of this review, where necessary I use the term “Peternate” to refer to the alternate universe Peter, and “Peter” to describe Walter’s original son.

THE GOOD

  • Back to back mythology. Oh how I’ve waited for Fringe to deliver 2 mythology episodes in a row! Not since the tail-end of season 1 have we seen such consistency. After Olivia’s discovery in “Jacksonville” it was great to dive into the backstory of the Bishops. What I particularly liked was the fact that we not only received answers, but those answers were delivered in a way that satisfied (for the most part) and raised even more questions to move the story along. Fringe has rarely felt so juicy.
  • I really dug the 1980s retro intro and location titles. The intro took me completely by surprise but I really should have known Bad Robot would do something so inspired. Looking at some of the scientific fields that appeared, it struck me how each of them have been achieved in some form or another – Nanotechnology (in its infancy), Virtual reality, Invisibility, etc. In the 80s these were still possibilities, now they’re our reality. It’s amazing really. In turn this adds context to the scientific fields we see on the normal intro – for the most part they are possibilities which are only theoretically achievable: Suspended Animation, Astral Projection, Parallel Universes, etc. Of course we know this, but I thought it was a really cool way to illustrate how the boundaries are constantly being pushed back by science and human endeavor.
  • Bishop Vs Bell. William Bell may not have appeared in this episode but I enjoyed seeing evidence of Walter’s contempt for his former Lab partner. The extra details on William’s character, such as the idea that he was only interested in “the wealth, power and legend of William Bell”, is pretty scathing and darn right interesting! It gives us better understanding as to why these two men may have branched out into their separate paths. The fact that William didn’t attend Peter’s funeral is also a note-worthy issue and seemed to validate Walter’s resentment towards him. I also found it interesting seeing Nina as the ‘go-between’; loyal to William, but clearly sympathetic towards Walter. When I add all of this to key things we already know – such as William removing Walter’s brain pieces in “Grey Matters”, I begin to further question just how altruistic William really is. “Sure Willy, you just want to keep the Door a secret, right? Woops, somehow you’ve ended up Over There!” ;)
  • Retro-spective. It was a treat to see the younger versions of the Walters and Nina, and in some respects, the Peters and the Observers. The latter group obviously don’t appear to age, but September, in particular, conveyed a sense of naivety which I thought was a good piece of character shading. His mistake, of course, foreshadows August who seems to devolve from his assured clarity in the 80s to an emotional wreck some 25 years later. It’s interesting to see the contrast in these two characters. I thought the actor who played young Peter did a good job and is the spit of Joshua Jackson – great casting. I loved seeing the steadfast Nina and the ‘Godless’ Walter. Present-day Nina seems to have retained some of the ‘kindness’ that she had back then (we still see it in flashes) but also seems more maniacal, and dare I say mechanical. While Walter’s edges have softened as he’s developed more humanity. Also, props to the make-up department and the actors themselves for conveying a sense of youth – it was a lot more convincing than I could have hoped.
  • Carla Warren: The Lab assistant who Walter is said to have killed in a fire and the daughter of Jessica Warren, who visited Walter in episode 1.12 “The No Brainer”. This was one of those satisfying times when you’re rewarded as a loyal viewer of Fringe. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about her at first but she really grew on me. I liked her duality – deeply religious yet also a woman of science. She came across balanced with a quiet enigmatic quality. She was also the voice of reason, and I like that. I’m really interested to see how she died and whether it was really Walter’s fault. I suspect not. I suspect he was sent to St. Claire’s (partly) under false pretenses.
  • For me personally, the concept of being able to look through to the alternate reality, which exists within our own world, is fascinating. It’s something I’ve believed for a while, so I’m pleased to see it continued to be realised in such mesmeric fashion.
  • Peter. Watching this episode I was taken by the fact that both Peters had accepted that they were going to die. Not only that, they were brave beyond their years, comforting their parents and telling them “I’m not scared”. How unhinging it must be for a parent to hear their child say something like that. We’ve often commented on the ‘reversed father/son role’ between Peter and Walter and we see how even as a kid Peter was, in some ways, playing the role of the parent. For a man like Walter, used to pushing the boundaries to solve problems, there was a real weight to his struggle to save his son, no doubt enhanced by the endless foreshadowing delivered over the past season and a half.
  • The structure and pacing of this episode were spot on. Walter recounting the events surrounding Peters sickness and abduction was a great way to deliver that story. Thematically it worked and emotionally it compelled. You have to remember that Walter has only recently pieced together these memories himself, so it was like a collective sense of discovery between Walter, Olivia, and us – the audience. We’re all in on it now, we all know the central details. Except Peter. (Ok, and Broyles and Astrid, but you get my point). This was such a slow episode and I could have had a problem with that, but you know, it was like reading a good book by the fireplace on a cold winters evening while eating marshmallows – it was time well spent.

THE BAD

  • Narrow Focus. I would have liked to have found out a bit more about Walter’s motivations back in the 80s. We got a little insight into his plan to “change the world”, but how so? What in particular did he want to change? We know that he wanted to bring us “up to speed” with the alternate universe, but skewed ethics aside, I would have liked to get a better hold on his ideals, his view on humanity, etc. To be fair, there wasn’t much room to explore that aspect of Walter’s (or indeed Elizabeth’s) character in this episode, but it would have been nice to have had a bit more character shading. Perhaps next time?
  • Unobservant Walternate. Really? It’s a bit much for me to believe that Walternate, with all his knowledge and experience, would assume that the cure had failed when he had not observed it properly. (I also love how his team of workers were conveniently missing at that time). I mean, it’s only your kid’s life on the line here, dude! I know that September interrupted him and that it was apparently in Walternate’s nature to ‘never look back’, but this part of the plot didn’t land as well as the rest of the story.
  • September’s “error” could have been explained a bit better, I think.
  • Walter realising that Walternate wasn’t using random methods to create the cure seemed a bit weak, it was just thrown in there and we had to take Walter’s word for it because..well, just because.
  • Walter’s reasoning for taking Peternate was a bit messy to say the least. So he broke the vial containing the cure – why not just leave a note for Walternate with the formula instead of bringing Peternate back with him? I accept that for story purposes Peternate needed to get over to our side somehow. I also realise that once Walter saw Peternate his motivations may have shifted, but since they went to great lengths to say that Walter fully intended to bring Peter back before he saw Elizabeth’s reaction, it just seems a bit contrived.

UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

  • Over the years, has the technological gap between our side and the alternate universe widened or become smaller?
  • Was William Bell really in Europe, or was he in the alternate universe. Perhaps the alternate universe Europe?
  • So, did Peter and Olivia ever go on that date? I’ve waited 2 whole months to find out. ;)
  • In “Jacksonville” we learned about the “mass for mass” effect. With that in mind, what balanced out Peternate when Walter brought him over to our side? Did the dead Peter from our world get transported to the over side as a result? Or are the mechanics of this type of inter-dimensional travel different from what we saw in the “Jacksonville” ‘building scenario’?
  • In season 1 episode 4, “The Arrival“, Walter told Peter that when he was sick, he tried to save him by reaching back in time and bringing physicist Alfred Gross back with him to cure Peter. He also said that Peter was dying from a rare strain of “bird flu”. Now that we’ve seen the general events surround both Peters sickness, where do these stories stand? Did Walter make them up, or did it happen differently than he remembers?
  • Since we now know that BOTH Peters were sick, why doesn’t Peternate remember being sick? Or his lucky coin and a ton of other details? Did he forget? Have portions of his memory removed? Or, has he repressed the knowledge that he’s not from our world in a similar way to how Olivia seemingly blocked out her painful past?
  • Did Walter get the design for The Door from the alternate universe? If so, is he inaccurate in believing that he was the first (aside from the Observers) to travel between worlds?
  • How do the Observers travel between universes?
  • Why did September allow Peternate to stay with Walter even after he had been cured? Was it irrelevant where he grew up as long as he lived, meaning that Walter and Elizabeth’s choice to keep him was theirs to make and not September’s concern?
  • Why is Peternate “important”? Moreover, why specifically Peternate and not Walter’s original Peter?

ANSWERS

  • As we have previously speculated, the Observers can travel between universes.
  • Walter and William created a Window that could look into the alternate reality by capturing errant photons from the other universe. This enabled them to monitor scientific developments in the ‘slightly ahead’ universe and steal concepts, ideas and knowledge from them, such as the mobile phone Walter presented to the military. It’s likely that many of Walter’s creations are not completely his own work.
  • We knew this, but it’s worth reiterating; the alternate universe is advanced in “some areas” – not all.
  • In the 80s, Walter suggested that our side was 30 years behind the alternate universe. Although Walter was estimating, it could be seen as a clue that our side is slowly closing the technological gap, since we’ve had digital phones for a while now – Walter’s prediction was that we’d have them by 2015.
  • Peter’s illness was “genetic, savage and wasting”. Peternate also had the same/similar illness.
  • In witnessing a “significant moment” (as the Observers have done throughout histories) in which Walternate discovered the cure for Peternate, September also made an error as his appearance in the Lab distracted Walternate from realising that he had found the cure. This mistake changed reality, as Peternate would now die. The Observers realised that they couldn’t let Peternate die because of his overriding “importance”, so they perceived the future possibilities and saw that this new course of events would present further opportunities to ensure that Peternate got his cure and survived. This opportunity arrived in the shape of Walter witnessing the cure, prompting him to travel to the alternate universe to ultimately bring Peternate back with him. Septembers “fix” came when the cosmic forces of the universe (or physics) contrived to break the ice as Walter and Peternate came over from the other side. September dived into Reiden lake and saved them both, delivering Walter the message that Peternate was important and needed to live. In simple terms, Peternate wasn’t supposed to die (until September’s mistake changed his fate), so September restored balance by averting Peternate’s new found path to death and saving his life.
  • Walter crossed over to the alternate universe by creating a wormhole using Casimir Effect.
  • By crossing over the the alternate universe, Walter shattered the fundamental constants of nature. Walter believes that this was the first time that someone had travelled between the two universes, providing the ‘first of many cracks in a pattern of cracks’.
  • Nina lost her arm in a rather comical attempt to stop Walter from crossing over to the alternate universe (as the portal closed, arm went bye-bye), and not by Cancer, as she told Olivia back in the Pilot episode.
  • Elizabeth was seemingly complicit in keeping Peternate, even though she knew that he belonged to his parents in the alternate reality.
  • Apparently, Walter intended to take Peternate back to his original parents in the alternate universe, until he realised that neither he or Elizabeth could bear to lose him again.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • Walter explaining heady concepts to the military:

“As scientists we must embrace every possibility. No limitations. No boundaries. There is no reason for them.”

  1. This intent strikes right into the heart of Fringe and it’s take on actions vs consequences. Behind the love and devotion for his dying son, this is the kind of fervor that led Walter to break the rules of nature. Walter has come a long way since then but I have to wonder whether he’d do it all over again if he were to once more lose his son.
  2. Walter says there’s “no reason” for limitations and boundaries – that’s bold statement. What’s disconcerting is that he’s not so much saying that the boundaries should be broken; he’s saying that it’s all a mindset, that they don’t exist, that they’re an illusion. While he may be right in some ways – physical boundaries are an illusion; we’ve seen people walk through walls at the right frequency and cross through to other words, but perhaps these possibilities were hidden for a reason? Perhaps ‘illusions’ serve a very real purpose in keeping the grand system of realities in order?
  • In the 80s, Walter was clearly not man of faith. Today, he’s not only open to faith, but he’s said that he depends upon it at times. What changed? I sense it was losing Peter, his wife, or perhaps even Carla, which triggered his turnaround.
  • Walter explaining the mobile phone to military:

“It’s digital. Not analogue”.

  1. I find it interesting that analogue technology is still so prevalent in the present-day mythology of the Fringe. What is it about analogue that the show is trying to tell us? Is it purely for espionage avoision purposes, or is there more to it?
  • I like the following exchange – it’s an effective way to illustrate the political climate of the time and the quirks of the “quite” similar alternate universe.

Military Dude: “Dr. Bishop. Is this Russian technology?”

Walter: “No it is not. It is quite American”

  • Walter explaining The Window:

“The Window essentially stretches the membrane between our worlds”.

This isn’t the first time such a description has been used in the show, but other than describing the “line in the sand”, it also conveys (to me) a sense of nature being alive, violated by those who dare the breach. Like I’ve said before, whenever Mother Nature is brought into this I pay attention.

Walter: “[the alternate universe is] at all times, right in front of our eyes. We just can’t see it”.

In all seriousness, it’s nice to know that Johari contributed to some foreshadowing. It’s not as though it was unexpected (pretty much every episode of Fringe contains some important foreshadowing), but it’s good to see it realised in this way.

  • Walter said that he always knew that one day he’d have to pay the price for his deception. What gave him that impression? For all he knew he may not have ever seen Peternate again once he got locked up in St. Claire’s. Did he see the future to know that events would lead to Peternate finding out (he did know “someone would come, eventually”), or is this a reference to Karma, God, the after life? Walter’s talk is that of a man who fears punishment – a far cry from the 80s Walter who mocked the ‘God’s domain’.
  • I also have to point out the echoes to the previous episode where we saw the RULES of the Multiverse with the “mass for mass” balancing effect. In other words; what goes around, comes around!
  • *Walter God Reference Alert! Walter God Reference Alert!*:

“..He was. God help me. He was”.

  1. As I’ve always said, whenever God is mentioned in this show I try to see if there’s any deep foreshadowing. For a show so ingrained in science and technology, the fact that God is such a key player (in my opinion) is most interesting to me. Perhaps this is part of the reason why I’m so intrigued with Carla, and that cute chick who vanished into thin-air after episode 2.02. What’s her name again? ;)

  • Watching the two Peters in the flashback, I got the impression that Original Peter was closer to his father, while Peternate had a closer bond with his mother. The coin trick seemed to bring home this idea for me. Perhaps that’s not actually what the writers intended, but I kinda hope it is as I find it fascinating to consider the slight degree of difference between the emotional bonds in both worlds. In other words, are we bound by fate or by free-will? What is the overriding influence, the governing force in the Multiverse? Is it all random, luck of the draw, or is there a reason why we venture down one path and many paths at the same time? I want to know: Is there a design?
  • This brings me again to Peters sickness. It was an interesting choice to make them BOTH sick. What instantly sprung to mind is that the writers are trying to convey the idea that throughout the Multiverse we are inherently the same; that there are some constants in our make-up that define who we are. This idea has been present in the show from the moment the alternate reality was confirmed, but I felt that the genetic sickness suffered by both Peters was a really effective way to get us to think about the nature of humanity. If we are influenced and shaped by our surroundings and experiences, then isn’t it interesting that in the Multiverse there is a kind of ‘elastic’ keeping our core elements chugging along the same trajectory. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the role of fate/freewill but given the Observers are interfering when they deem it important, I feel it’s something worth keeping in mind. Oh, and let me just say this: Peter is inherently brave. Perhaps we can read something into that message?
  • Both Walters to Both Elizabeths:

“I need you not to doubt me”

  1. A very important line, it tells us a lot about Walter and perhaps gives us extra insight into why peoples (especially Peter’s) perception of him is so important.

  • I never thought I’d say this, Peter, but you made my heart melt, just a little bit:

Peter: “I want you to have it, lucky silver dollar. If I die..it’s OK. I’m not scared”

Peter: “Wake me for dinner. I don’t want to miss it”

  1. *Peter dies in his fathers arms on an empty stomach*. Can I get an a tissue for like the entire viewing audience please? So sad..so sad. :(
  2. Now I’m not saying that this changes the morality of what Walter did, but having Peter die..in his arms, I imagine that’s another level of devastation. Speaking of fate and freewill as I was earlier, it’s also worth mentioning how outcomes play a role in triggering actions. You can make a choice in, say, 10 years time, but that choice was effectively hard-coded into you 10 years earlier when something significant happened to shift your perspective. To my mind the outcome of Peter dying in his arms, was the moment Walter’s path was set. Perhaps, in this way, freewill becomes fate. I just find that insanely interesting.
  • How sad was it that not many people turned out for Peter’s funeral. Yet those who were there – including Nina and Carla, loved him so much. Perhaps the turnout was small because Walter and Elizabeth kept him “so well”?
  • Walter talking to Jessica Warren in 1.12:

“She was..a wonderful girl. What I remember..is her smile. She had a wonderful smile”

  1. Walter’s right, wonderful smile. :P

“Whereas with Peter she’s playful, almost admiring. She really is a bizarre woman. Isn’t she great!”

  1. This latest episode helped to explain why she’s so fascinated with Peter. In “The Cure” she said they spent time together horsing around, now we can believe her.
  • One of the aspects of Peter’s death and subsequent kidnap that has long piqued my interest is the idea that Walter (and perhaps Elizabeth) are/were in love with the ghost of their Peter, and not necessarily Peternate. It’s a hard thing to even consider, because they may have grown to love Peternate for his own unique characteristics, but can you really love a mirrored version of someone you really loved? What I get from this is that everyone has needs motivated by love or self worth. As we saw with Walter, losing his son took away both those things from him and triggered wants; less crucial for survival but predicated on the things that made him tick. For me, this cyclical concept once again boils down to fate and freewill. Does life have a preferred pattern? Our are choices set in stone? In terms of the mythology of this show, I would answer “yes” and “no” respectively, to an extent.
  • I also wonder whether some of the later antagonism between Walter and Peternate was the result of Walter realising that he didn’t quite feel the same way about Peternate as he did about Peter? We know that he spent quite a lot of time away from home – are those the actions of a man so grateful for a ‘second chance’ with a version of his son? I’m not judging him, I’m just asking.
  • William was in Berlin. Apparently. What is it with him and Germany? And let’s not forget The Bishops German ties. This is going somewhere, I’d bet Deutsche Marks on it.

  • Elizabeth questions whether they gave Peter a good life. Walter rejects the idea that they didn’t, saying they did “The best we could. We dealt with what we were given”. Walter continues, “..he knew he was loved..*tears swell his eyes*..didn’t he?”
  1. This endless search for reassurance must be common, but to see Walter’s self doubt rise above his once solid surface was heart-breaking. And I should probably reiterate one of the most revealing lines of  the season (for me, at least): “We did the best with what we were given”. Whether Walter’s attributing luck or a benevolent force for their struggles, it somehow zeroes in on a key factor of life – dealing with our unique set of circumstances, large or small, and trying to do the best that we can. Perhaps Walter’s using this as an excuse – he clearly doubts that they DID do the best by Peter, but either way that line carried real weight.
  • Walter to Elizabeth upon showing her Peternate through the Window:

“Somewhere Peter will grow up, somewhere he will lead a proper life, somewhere he will be happy. it’s just not here, and we must take comfort in this”

  1. Another line that carried significance. I mentioned at the end of the season 1 finale how the Multiverse offers hope – the possibility that in bad times, comfort can be drawn from the idea that things may be better on the other side of the curtain. But how realistic is that? Sure, the grass might be greener for their doubles, but from Elizabeth’s point of view she’s not connected to the other side. That’s why this is so interesting – as viewers we struggle to invest in characters and concepts that aren’t relatable. So imagine how difficult it must be to invest in the idea that, in theory, Peter is going to live a better life, only elsewhere. It’s interesting to watch Elizabeth’s reactions upon seeing Peternate, it really illustrates how the way in which we see the world is often very subjective and, well, selfish. My question is the same as it was since last season: is their some intrinsic relationship between our characters and their doubles that we don’t yet know about? There has to be, right?
  • A cheeky part of me also wonders whether Walter only showed Elizabeth Peternate because he KNEW full well that she wouldn’t let Peternate go if he somehow managed to find a way to bring him over. Thus giving him the ready made excuse that he ‘fully intended’ to return Peter. Just putting it out there, this is, after all, a man who kidnapped is own son and lied about it.
  • This probably isn’t true, but I like to believe that one of the underlying idea’s is that Walternate’s failure to observe the experiment (cure) at all times caused the results to change (i.e. missing the positive result). This ties in with my Observer theory, Quantum Theory, and the idea that observations change reality. In other words, if a plum falls in the garden, does it really fall if you don’t see it?
  • Walter referring to Walternate:

“He’s just like me. I wouldn’t look back and neither would he”

  1. Sums up Walter’s early character and perhaps explains why he was able to steal Peternate and lie about it for so long. Guess what Walter: time to look back.

  • Just one of the reasons I developed a fondness for Carla.

“I may go to Church every Sunday Walter, but I also have three degrees in theoretical physics and I am telling you, you cannot do this”.

  • She has a point, Walter:

“For the sake of one life, you will destroy the world”

  1. A quote which cuts to the heart of the matter. It turns out it’s not as simple as that, however, as the Observers believed that Peter needed to survive. That said, September appeared to act based upon the action he perceived Walter taking. At the end of the day it was still essentially Walter’s decision to do what he did. Peter being important is beside the point as Walter was only thinking of himself and not the timeline, or whatever. Kinda like August in 2.08, only he wasn’t quite as reckless.
  • Nina seemed to suggest that William wouldn’t approve of Walter finding a way to cross over to the other side. Interesting, considering William later crossed over to the other side! On the same note, Walter suggested that William was the one who encouraged him to take such risks. Given what we know about William, the thought of him pushing Walter down this path is very intriguing. If Peter’s illness wasn’t genetic I might suggest that William somehow made Peter sick so that Walter “had to find a way” to cross over.
  • Walter suggests that William is a showman, that he’s not as intelligent as people think. This plays into the idea that William has profited off the back of Walter’s rise and fall. It also adds sharp contrast to the image of Bell comforting Walter has he prepared to remove his memories in 2.10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, is “Bellie” the Man Behind the Curtain in all of this – nudging people down paths (or through windscreens) and pulling strings to fit his own ends?

  • Given the hints that Elizabeth is dead I wonder if the alternate Elizabeth (Peternate’s real mom) is still alive and whether Walter will one day fulfill his promise by bringing Peternate back to her?
  • Alternate Elizabeth appeared to sense that all was not as it seemed as Walter walked away with Peternate in his arms. By the way, didn’t she ask why he wasn’t taking the car?
  • It seems as though the manner of Nina’s decapitation meant that the arm had to be mechanical – “[William] has some thoughts on Nina’s arm”. Also, although Nina’s story about Cancer being the cause of losing her arm was a lie, I wonder if losing her arm to such large amounts of energy caused some kind of cancerous onset? Just a wild thought, perhaps some of what she said was true?
  • Walter’s response to Peternate saying that he’s not his father: “Of course I am. Who else would I be? And I’m going to make you all better”. That’s correct phrasing, of course, but I wonder whether it’s also an intentional nod to the fact that there’s more than one of everything? As I mentioned above, how can we measure our relationship to our doubles, can we look at them as extensions of ourselves, or mutually exclusive entities who just happen to share similar traits and experiences?

  • September:

“You must fix him”

  1. Intentional wording there – “fix him”. It’s so emotionally detached, as if Peter is a machine, possibly giving us more insight into the Observers outlook on humanity.

“The boy is important. He has to live”

  1. Why? What is so special about Peter other than the fact he can kick down doors and pick locks? In all seriousness there’s two things which spring to mind:

A. Peter was seemingly important BEFORE Walter took him from the other side and not as a result of taking him.

B. With that in mind, I have to reach back into my Fringe Drawer of Cracked Pots and suggest that Peter is actually an Observer child, or a hybrid of some kind. This could mean that he wasn’t really Walternate’s in the first place. Or perhaps he’ll go on to do something important, which in turn makes him important? Just throwing a couple of ideas out there, it’s surely one of the most interesting questions to date in Fringe. And don’t call me surely!

  • Walter’s excuse:

“The way she looked at him. I saw her, what I feared most in myself when I saw him..that I couldn’t lose him again”

By the way, how feral was that look on Elizabeth’s face when she held Peternate?

  • Walter to Olivia:

“You can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child”

  1. On its on it’s a moving line, at the hands of John Noble and Giacchino score it’s a cocktail of weeping sadness. Olivia played her part too, I love the way she seemed to harden ever so slightly as she eased back into her seat. In that moment she had Walter’s justification for taking Peter, and I just wonder whether the presumptuousness of Walter put up a few roadblocks to Olivia’s compassion. I mean, for all Walter knows, she MIGHT know what it’s like to lose a child, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that one comes back into play at some point.

FINAL THOUGHT

Is it better to not have temptation at all than to succumb to it? The overriding message from this episode for me is that no matter how much wealth, power, or knowledge you have, there are consequences if you cross the line. Which makes sense because that’s why the line is there. We all know where the line is even though – like the alternate reality – we can’t see it. But it’s there in our conscience and I love the way this episode illustrated the comfort and pain provided by hard science when combined with fragile human emotion. The two are often disparate, but as this episode showed, we’re becoming more dependant on science not only to function, but to gain second chances.

Walter basically cheated. He cheated Mother Nature, God (whether or not he believed in him, he was aware of him and that says a lot in my book), Peternate’s parents, Peternate, and perhaps most of all, Peter by replacing his memory before his body was barely in the ground. People die every day – what gave Walter the right to be the exception? I’m not being heartless, I’m simply being as objective.

At the end of “Jacksonville” my affection towards Walter had cooled somewhat. I’ll admit that I was disgusted by his snivelling request that Olivia keep quiet about Peter’s origins. The fact that he got found out rather than offering the truth disappointed me. But then I look at Walter in this episode – all that he’s been through and how far he’s come, and I realise that if science is able to offer us second chances, surely humanity can also offer forgiveness? I’m not comfortable with Walter – I’m not sure I’ll ever be. But I’m fully behind his rehabilitation, and I really hope that Peter can find it in himself to forgive his father.

Best Moment: Walter lying to Peternate and Elizabeth as he took the boy away. The level of deception there is chilling.

Best Performer: John Noble

If you enjoyed “Peter”, you’ll like: “The Arrival”, “Bad Dreams”, “There’s More Than One Of Everything”

Episode Rating: 9/10

Comments

  1. Anjali says

    Great review Roco. What a wonderful episode. I’ve seen it 10 times already.

    One thing that I’m dying to know as well is why Peternate is important. Also, I can’t forget the look Elizabeth gave to Walter when she hugged Peternate. It looked like a lioness doing anything to protect her cubs.

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  2. says

    That’s an excellent description, Anjali: “Lioness” – She definitely wasn’t letting Peternate out of her paws without a fight!

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  3. Elaine says

    Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said this review was a long one. Sadly, I’ll have to wait and read it later this evening, because I’m headed out for the afternoon. However, I did want to comment on one of your “bad” aspects of the episode: Unobservant Walternate. Really?

    This worked for me because like our Walter, Walternate has long attempted and failed to find a cure up to that point. And yes, while distracted for a few moments, as far as he could tell when he returned to the results, they were exactly the same as before…unsuccessful. Walter’s explaination to Carla also worked, because like our Walter, that Walter being the arrogant, driven man he was wouldn’t have looked back…he would have kept pressing foward in finding a cure for Peter.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of what I’m sure is a wonderful review. ;-)

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    • says

      Hi Elaine,

      ..And this is the shortened version. :)

      Hmm, you make a good case for Walternate, and I agree that his “arrogance” helps to drive the plot. At the same time though, I just found it a bit too convenient – especially considering our Walter has never missed a trick.

      Also, I think it’s fair to assume that Walternate would have observed the entire test had September not distracted him, so I find it a bit hard to believe that he’d be so flippant in disregarding it as a failure just because he saw the end result. Wouldn’t he know that the compound might just need stabilizing? Would another 20 seconds to repeat the test kill him? :P I know he’s arrogant, but still, it’s his son’s life at stake..

      In fairness, I think this is one of those little things that could have landed better for me personally, but as you suggest, it does work on some level.

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  4. charliefan19 says

    I liked your comments about the relationship between Bell/Bishop. I’ve thought for a while that Spock has been “using” Walter to some extent…most likely his “showmanship” helps in fooling people (like Walter said to Nina) and getting what he wants out of them. Removing parts of Walter’s brain for safekeeping…whatever! He doesn’t want Walter at his full capacity – for more than one reason, most likely.

    More than anything, this ep left me VERY excited about Peter’s potential. I’ve always found him intriguing because he’s from the Other Side and may have “special powers” because of that, but now we know that he was important OVER THERE, too. And apparently the Peter who died was not so important, for whatever reason. I’m not saying original Peter wasn’t important, I cried when he died…:’( but what is in store for Peternate???? dying to find out.

    Thanks for the insights Roco! Always excited to read one of your reviews. :)

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    • says

      charliefan, I really like what you said here: “he doesn’t want Walter at full capacity”. That really brings it home.

      In some ways, it was probably a good thing that Walter lost his ‘maximum level’, as we saw how quickly his morality crumbled under the loss of Peter – one life for entire worlds. But on the other hand, Bell is like the invisible hand, moving his pieces into position, and sometimes dragging them across universes. I really want to know what Walter thinks of Bell telling Olivia to keep Peter by her side..

      Thanks for your comments!

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  5. Betynha says

    Just to increase the numbers: I had tears in my eyes when Peter died. Such a horrible momento for a father. D:

    Awesome review, Roco!
    About the ice break when Walter and Peternate came to our world… well, I thought about our beloved mother nature trying herself to balance the things having Peternate dead, once he could not be over here, and Walter as well for his daring.

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    • says

      Betynha, well said! I love the concept of balance in this show and how it might tie in with a governing force.

      I wonder if Mother Nature still has designs on balancing out ‘the one that got away’?…

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  6. Mary says

    A few thoughts occurred to me while I was reading.

    Why is Peternate important specifically? I don’t think he is “specifically”, but he’s the Peter who survived. walternate was going to find the cure until September interrupted him, but Walter knew the cure so it became neccessary to continue to follow the importance (whatever it is) to our universe. Oh wait, I’m just after reading the part where you answer your own question. :)

    I also think it’s funny the way you say (excuse the paraphrasing) ‘the writers obviously watched “Johari Window”‘ with regard to seeing invisible things that are right in front of you. I never made that connection, and I still don’t think it’s important. On the other hand you think it may NOT be intended to show that Peternate was closer to his mother, while I think that was ENTIRELY the point of showing that same scene two ways. Peternate (oh god, that name’ll take getting used to…) has always appeared to have a closer relationship with his mother, while walter is always talking about stuff he remembers from Peter’s childhood, so this was not a surprise to me.

    Just on Carla’s necklace… This show can’t do necklaces. No one casually wears them (well, Nina wears collars, sometimes) so if you see someone wearing one, it’s going to bring up some sort of plotline. Carla’s religiousness, the girl’s mother in “Unearthed”, Olivia’s magnetic necklace in “Power Hungry”…

    I had the same question about Alt-Elizabeth not wondering why Walter wasn’t taking the car. I’m putting it down to a snowdrift in the drive way. And he may have left by the back door. And the car may have been quieter when it was newer. ;)

    As for why Peter is important – I have a few theories. One is that since his disease is genetic, the cure must have altered his DNA in some way. We’ve had glimpses of his “ability” with people (he helps Olivia focus several time, and calms her down often, he fended off the frantic mob mid-way through “What Lies Below”… there are more instances I’m sure, but I’m just so delighted about next week’s ep that I can’t focus.) I think you yourself, Roco, have said that his ability seems more organic than Olivia’s (well, I’m crediting you with it for now!), so to say that it’s part of his DNA rather than due to drugs and mental torture WOULD make HIM important. You can give anyone drugs. Peter had a very specific set of issues that led to who he is today.

    On Olivia losing a child… I don’t really buy it, but it brings back memories of… 1.02, I think? Where she had a wacked out daydream in Massive Dynamic about Broyles questioning her sex life with John Scott and her developing sudden-onset-pregnancy! That was a very weird and uncomfortable scene, and I’m not sure if coming back to it suddenly and explaining it would make me remember it any more fondly! :D

    Good review, as usual. A great episode for explanations (and more questions – WHY is Peter so important to Nina? DID Peter and Olivia go out?), and thank god that damned “lowatus” is over!

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    • says

      Hi Mary, very interesting comments!

      As you said, it does seem as though Peternate and not Peter is special because he’s the one who survived – the other Peter was, it seems, always fated to die, at least in whatever course of events the Observers are trying to perfect. Digging deeper into this, the thing that makes his “specialness” a bit more complicated is the fact that once Peternate’s path was changed, he was then fated to die twice over (sickness, the lake). I find it interesting how ‘fate’ didn’t try to course-correct September’s error in a positive way. (unless, of course, the Observers are also instruments of fate, making September’s rescue of the Bishops..part of the plan). In other words, Peternate is important but not so important that he has some kind of automatic protection over his life. This is good because it keeps the stakes high – he can die, indeed, in at least two ‘roads ultimately not taken’ he should have. This also tells us something about the nature of the universe in the Fringe mythology, imo.

      Then there’s the question of whether different universes are bound by the same governing force, and whether there is any ‘bleed over’ due to people being where they’re not “supposed” to be (i.e. Peternate)?

      Nice thinking regarding Peternate’s ‘ability’ and his genetic defect! It was indeed me who said that Peternate’s power seems more “organic” than Olivia’s – thanks for bringing that back as it fits nicely with current events on the show. I agree that Peternate’s DNA makes him inherently special, and perhaps indicates that his illness was both a curse and a gift. But from who? Mother Nature? God? The Observers? Chance? I’m also wondering whether Walternate ever experimented on Elizanate while she was pregnant with their son (same goes for Walter/Elizabeth)?

      While I agree that it’s unlikely Olivia ever lost a child, the Broyles dream is one of the reasons why I think it’s at least possible. I guess the writers at least have that to lean on if they ever decide to make that connection.

      Thanks for the food for thought! :)

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  7. Xochitl says

    Excelent as always Rocco! :) So, my first thought about the whole thing was they are trying to remove a lot of the guilt from Walter, I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the “I intended to returned him to his side once I cured him” line, the fact that he showed Elizabeth Peternate it was (for me) like he was even trying to justify what he already knew he was going to do, I know Elizabeth showed up at the lab, but, still I don’t feel it was a coincidence, and breaking the vial? I agree with you, why don’t you leave note or something, he knew what he was going to do, I don’t care how feral was Elizabeth’s look, if you are willing to do the right thing, as much as it hurts, you just do it! you don’t cross the line. Walter is still guilty.

    I have never thought about Bell as the man behind the curtain until now, I have always felt that Alt-walter is the “bad man” here, but reading your review it does make me wonder, how truthful and hones is Bell being with his intenttions?
    Did he really pull Olivia over there for what he claimed?

    “I’m really interested to see how she died and whether it was really Walter’s fault. I suspect not. I suspect he was sent to St. Claire’s (partly) under false pretenses” in light of this I keep wondering if there was a fire, if Walter was at St. Claires for Bell’s benefit or what? I alredy mention that it seemed to fitting to me that Walter was at a mental institution and Bell was able to remove parts of his brain, no, no, too much coincidence there.

    Why the heck is Peter important? as you pointed out, it was Peternate not our Peter or the Observers would have done something to “fix it” too on this side. On that note, and forgive the shipper in me, could it be that he is part of what Olivia is suppoused to do, he role on the war? I as rewatching “Jacksonville” for the some number time and it just occured to me, maybe somebody has already mention this, but what if Peter triggered Olviia? not witht he almost kiss and the fear, but him, like in “Ability”. What the observer says sound as if Peter is the one who is going to decide how this ends, or maybe he will affect Olivia’s perception in some way that will affect the outcome? I’m possibly being totally random here.

    Peter dying! that changed a lot, he didn’t just die, he died in Walter’s arms, I can’t even start to imagine what he felt, he said it before to Olivia, he was the scientist, he was suppoused to cure his son, and that boy deserves an special mention or something for playing dead so well. Peter did sound beyond his years, like he had alwyas been the adult on that family. I have the feeling that Walternate and Elizabeth were divorced, for the relationship with Peter, I could be totally wrong, and Walter once said to Peter “Your mother was a very strong woman” I’m thinking he was refering to Elizabeth on the other side, and I believe she still might be alive on the other side, who told that greek phrase to Bell? was is Elizabeth from this side or the other side who used to said that to Peter?

    The mass thing they explained in Jacksonville, in “Night of desirable objects” Walter said “A boy that is not in his grave” or something like that, did Peter’s body went over there or, as I have long suspected, Bell was the replacement for Peter?

    You mentioned the whole story Walter told Peter about his desease, what about the DisRe? i didn’t see it, of couse Peter also said once that every lie is based on truth, how much? and Peter not remembering a bunch of stuff, I believe that, one, or on the process to adapt Peter to this side Walter made Peter’s memory go away or two, he did something to him on purpose, something he also made to Olivia, to forget, I still have the weird idea that theese to met when they were kids.

    “So, did Peter and Olivia ever go on that date? I’ve waited 2 whole months to find out. ” are we being sarcastic rocco? I do want that answer but the teaser for the next episode is looking like a no no for them for a looooong while, as we knew it would happen.

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    • says

      Hi Xochitl,

      I agree. I don’t buy the idea of Walter being let off the hook. What I like about this episode is that the writers have given us reasons to see both the understandable and the acceptable of what he did. I have to commend that, as it would have been easy to go one way or the other without leaving us to see the very believable human and universal consequences of his actions. Like you, I’m still uneasy about what Walter did, but Walter wouldn’t be Walter without the baggage. What I also like is that he has a chance to redeem himself, and hopefully that starts with telling the boy the blinking truth! :)

      Bell definitely seems to have been orchestrating events for some time now. Perhaps there’s some good intent in there (I’d like for him to believe that he’s ‘the good guy’ in all of this as it would make his character even more ‘human’), but he’s done some acts which are highly questionable to say the least. He may see it as a means to an end, but removing people’s brain pieces, really Bell, really? As you mentioned, I think we’ve only got a small hint regarding his motivation for dragging Olivia out of her comfort zone, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he set her up to fail with the whole Newton thing.

      I like your thinking re: Peter’s role. While it may be to take center stage, it could also be a supporting part in terms of being Olivia’s rock, or amplifier, or whatever.

      Re: The Dis-Re, I agree, it was probably part based on truth. From what I remember we left with it being a Teleportation device and a means for travelling to different Universe/time. As you suggest, perhaps Walter used it (in some form) after he brought Peternate over. Maybe he wanted to bring back his original Peter (plucking him from the past?) after realising that having Peternate wasn’t quite the same thing.

      Hehe, I was definitely being sarcastic with my question on the P&O date, although I am interested to know how Olivia would have masked her bewilderment. :)

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  8. says

    Yeah, a long one – but a good one!

    Carla Warren quoted Oppenheimer (a.k.a. “Father of the Atomic Bomb”): “I am become death, Destroyer of worlds.” Here’s the “complete” quote from Oppenheimer: “We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.” Vishnu is the Hindu supreme god, “…All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of—and beyond—the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within.”
    For the sake of one life, you will destroy the world“, fits right into this – as Walter has become Death.
    The argument continious and Walter screams at her: “There’s only room for one god in this lab, and it’s not yours” That sentence took me of my seat. To which god is Walter referencing? Probably he means himself.
    So did Walter become a god in his own mind? Has he a god complex? “What you must understand is that, as scientists, we must embrace every possibility. No limitations. No boundaries. There is no reason for them.” – No ethics+No rules=Dr. Mengele. And there the Jacksonville Trials are. And god Walter Bishop creates Olivia, the messiah for our universe. Very bible-ish isn’t it?

    Another thing I noticed was Bell being in Berlin, if true – in which one? East or West? There wouldn’t be much reason to be in West-Berlin in 1985 (unsafe for companies and government), but if he would be in East-Berlin promoting the new technology – wouldn’t that be treason? Maybe the balance should be kept.

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    • says

      Excellent post Stefan.

      Thanks for mentioning Vishnu taking on his multi-armed form before saying “Now I Become Death”. It reminds me of the
      Vitruvian Man connection
      I made in the “Jacksonville” Observations. Not that Vishnu was necessarily in the writers minds at the time, but the consequences of the “mass for mass” effect does play into the ‘universal’ form of Vishnu, just as it does Da Vinci’s ‘image of perfection’.

      Excellent question regarding Which Berlin Bell was supposedly visiting. Also, if he was already in the alt-universe Berlin, were things slightly different or pretty much the same as they were Over Here at that time? Hmm…

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      • says

        Ops, I just noticed that Vishnu has more then two arms, I took mulit-armed as with several weapons… Ah, I think that’s how communities work ;)

        Another thing came to me, maybe was not collecting investors in Germany but writing ZFT, as he had silently already crossed the universal barrier.
        I actually doubt that Nazi-Germany ever existed in the AU.
        Maybe Robert flew from the commies, The KPD (Communist PArty of Germany) could have won the first elctions of the Weimar Republic, a socialist uprising in 1919 which nearly kicked the gov. out of office, maybe Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht had never been assasinated, maybe Hitler was never born, or or or, maybe maybe maybe, … The Impossibilites are endless.

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  9. Page 48 says

    Interesting that some aspects of the two ‘verses seem completely synchronized, as in the 2 Peters’ illnesses, and both Walters putting in long hours at the lab to find a cure, and yet only one Walter seems to be gazing into the membrane window. Had the 2 Walters gotten together (definitely not an “impossibility”) in a timely manner for some inter-Walter brainstorming, it seems conceivable that both Peters may have been saved. Ultimately, our Walter waited too long to act and now it looks like his chickens are coming home to roost. Great big chickens.

    Seems the other side has a 25 year head start on sexting (wow, they are advanced). I wonder if Michael J. Fox landed the “Caprica” gig over there.

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    • says

      Page, this is something which struck me. Why hadn’t Walternate figured out how to spy into the alt-universe? Or is this part of his ‘not looking back’ character detail again?

      It’s an interesting point that you raise – co-operation between the Walters could have saved both Peters (not sure “fate” would have liked that, but there you go). As it stands, the worlds are now (seemingly) on the verge of war because of such fine lines – Walternate’s ability to find a cure couldn’t quite match Walter’s need to find a cure in time.

      Perhaps if Walter had spent more time developing a cure and less time window gazing..

      “inter-Walter brainstorming” – I like that, I might have to steal that one from you. ;)

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  10. andrewsauer says

    I found it interesting that for the first half of the episode Walter was so loving and compassionate. I was expecting him to act more like he did in “Grey Matters” when Newton reattaches his brain pieces, that is a total jerk. Then came the seen in the lab with Warren where Walter said my favorite line of the show.”There’s only room for one God in this lab, and its not yours”.
    For me this line seemed like a turning point, after this line he seems much more combustible, similar to the way he acts toward Newton in “Grey Matters”. Maybe I’m alone on this one but thats just my observation.

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  11. says

    September made a huge mistake. So, he looked for a way to fix the situation. Peter, whether in one universe or the other, had to be saved. I think that it became a matter of, “I frelled up the timeline, because I went there to Observe, and distracted alter-Walter. But the other Walter saw the cure, went over and brought Peter-nate to this universe. If he survive, it does not matter which universe he is in, he will be alive.”

    I could right a lot more, but the bags of my eyes have bags on them to!

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  12. BKR says

    For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 1 Peter 2:15

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  13. mlj102 says

    Roco — I think this is one of your best reviews yet! You brought up some fascinating points and there were a lot of things that I found I completely agreed with. Great observations, great connections, great humor — in general, just a great review!

    I’m not even going to try to respond to everything you pointed out because this comment is going to be long enough as it is.

    To start, I just want to say how impressed I was with the characters and the acting in this episode. From the brief moments we had of Olivia to John Noble and Blair Brown successfully playing younger versions of their characters to the casting of the new characters (Elizabeth, Carla, and young Peter) the acting was spectacular! I seriously can’t think of anything that I would change or that could have been done better.

    I loved meeting younger Nina. You pointed out that Nina comes across as loyal to William, but sympathetic to Walter at the same time, and I completely agree with that. In fact, in my own notes from the episode, I used the exact same words (loyal and sympathetic) to describe it. I find the dynamics of their relationships to be fascinating. Was it always like that? It’s obvious that Nina has worked with William and Walter for a long time — I would be interested in learning more about their history together. I also found it interesting to see the way Nina has changed since she was younger. In this episode, there was a lot of insecurity, doubt, and hesitation in the way she responded to things. That’s quite the contrast from the Nina we know now, who always seems so in control, so calm, and so powerful.

    Regarding Nina’s arm — I loved getting the real story behind that. Ever since the Season 1 finale, I had expected she had lost it in an accident with trying to cross over to the other side — but I had always thought she had been participating in the experiment, not trying to prevent it. So that was a neat development. I’m curious regarding how what we now know about how she lost her arm ties in to her story about cancer. Perhaps the biggest question for me is inconsistency with the time. It’s made quite clear that she lost her arm in 1985, but she told Olivia she got cancer and had her arm amputated in 1997. If she’s making up a cover story, why purposely put it at more than 10 years after it actually happened? I guess it could be just because it would be unlikely that anyone would be able to develop something as sophisticated as her arm back in 1985 (although, in theory, William Bell did — unless she actually didn’t get her arm until much later…). But that’s still no reason… couldn’t she have said she had cancer and lost her arm in 1985 and later, William Bell invented the robotic arm? Why purposely make the story so much later than when it actually happened? Isn’t it kind of risky that someone will learn of the inaccurate time frame, and question the rest of the story as well?

    I also really like Carla, and I really loved your description of her. I must say, I never expected her to be as advanced as she is (three degrees in theoretical physics is no small thing) — I always thought she would be some grad student or something. But I kind of like her this way. I like that she does have that balance between being a scientist and a believer. I really hope we’ll have the opportunity to see more of her: How did she react when she found out Walter kept Peternate? What are the circumstances surrounding her death? (by the way, I also found it amusing that we never actually saw her smile in this episode, and I laughed when I saw the picture you included — nice one!)

    I also liked finally meeting Peter’s mother — even if it was a younger version of her. I like her. I was intrigued that they chose to show Peter as having a closer relationship with Walter, while Peternate seemed closer to his mother. I feel so bad for alternate Elizabeth. That scene where Walter takes Peternate and promises to bring him back was incredibly well done and absolutely heartbreaking. I still can’t figure out how Walter could interact with her and know full well how much she loved her son, and still make the decision not to return him to her. By the way, I don’t think it was so much that she sensed something was wrong when Walter took Peternate, as it was that she was still not happy/not comfortable with the fact that she had to stay behind. Any mother would be reluctant to not be with their child at a moment as important as that. I can’t wait to learn more about her — there are still so many questions surrounding her.

    I was thrilled that we got to see August again. For some reason, when he died, I just automatically expected that was the last we’d see of him, which was sad, because I really grew to be quite attached to him in that one episode. So I never even considered that he would be in this flashback episode — but I’m glad they found a way to bring him back. I thought it was neat to see how the Observers have changed over time. As you said, August seemed more in control back then, while September seemed inexperienced, unsure, and naiive.

    So we know that both Peter’s were indeed sick, but if that’s the case, why didn’t they both die at the same time? It seems the timeline is essentially the same over there, so why did it take longer for Peternate to get to the point where he was about ready to die? Had Walternate done something that was able to slow the progress of his illness? If so, why wouldn’t Walter have done the same thing? Also, if Peternate is important, why wasn’t Peter also important? Is it as Mary suggested, that it doesn’t really matter which Peter survived, as long as there was still a Peter who lived? As for why Peter(nate) is important, I can only imagine he has a very significant role in upcoming events.

    You asked if Walter got the design for the door from the Alternate Universe. I doubt that’s the case. I was under the impression that the door was simply a modification of the window, which it seems clear that he developed on his own.

    As a bit of a side note, I found it somewhat ironic that Carla had claimed that “shattering the wall between universes would rupture the fundamental constants of nature” and only moments after Walter returned to his side with Peternate, the ice beneath them “shattered” and “ruptured” — almost as if providing a physical representation that that very thing had just occurred.

    I loved the scene with Walter and Carla after Walter informs her that he would be going to the other side to cure Peter. I understand Walter’s motives: that he couldn’t bear to lose his son again and, if he could do something about it, then he was obligated to do so. Sure, his motives were pure (well, not quite pure in that they were rather selfish, but it was motivated by love, as well), but that still doesn’t change the fact that it was entirely wrong. And Carla’s reasons for why he couldn’t go through with his plans were right on: “Knowledge cannot be pursued without morality” “Some things are not ours to tamper with” “There has to be a line that we can’t cross.” As shown from Walter’s speech to the military officers in the opening, he clearly didn’t believe in any such line — as far as he was concerned, limitations and boundaries didn’t exist. But going to the other side, he crossed that line. And in doing so, he only made matters more difficult because, in my opinion, seeing “his” son still alive, then having to cure him and say goodbye again, just wasn’t going to happen. He loved Peter too much to bring himself to do that — it would essentially be equivalent to losing him all over again — even if he did have the assurance that he was still alive somewhere. Looking at him through the window was one thing, but actually seeing him right there — how could he have him in front of him and bring himself to say goodbye? He was asking for trouble and making it that much harder for him to grieve and accept his loss. Which is what led to him crossing the line a second time by keeping Peter. Everything that happened — from the minute he saw Walternate miss the cure, to actually crossing over, to choosing to take Peternate back, to lying to alternate Elizabeth, and finally arriving back in his own reality — led to him getting closer and closer to crossing that line. For all of his good intentions, I still believe that they were empty words. I think he knew deep down that he wouldn’t be able to cure Peter and leave him over there. He simply needed a good excuse to keep Peter, and Elizabeth provided that. I’m not even completely convinced that, even if the cure hadn’t been broken on his trip through the door, he would have been able to just leave Peter there. His grief over Peter’s death was still so new and so strong — how could any parent who loves their child that much bear to have that child in front of them, and say goodbye for good?

    You made the comment that Walter wasn’t a man of faith in the 80′s — but I’m not so sure about that. In The Dreamscape, when Olivia goes back in the tank and Walter has Astrid quizzing him on his knowledge of various bible passages, she says she didn’t know he was so religious and he says “I’m not — not anymore.” which would imply that he was religious in the past — which I would take to mean before he went to St. Claire’s. Or maybe it was even before that — before he became a man of science? I agree that he seemed quite opposed towards Carla’s obvious devotion to her religion — even bordering on being disrespectful — and yet it seems that there must have been a time when he was very religious. Either way, it seems that ever since leaving St. Claire’s, he has slowly found a way to blend the two and continue to be a man of science while also realizing and acknowledging that religion is significant, as well.

    I was intrigued when Peternate seemed to somehow realize that Walter wasn’t his real father. What prompted that? Was it simply his fears regarding Walter’s odd behavior? Did he have some sort of sixth sense that was able to recognize the subtle difference? Or could it have been some manifestation of the ability we have speculated Peter possesses?

    I found it significant that the military officers at the beginning specifically mentioned that they had been under the impression that William Bell would be the one they were meeting with. It seemed to imply a sort of preference for William. Why would that be? Is it just because William is a better people person? Or was he typically regarded as the better scientist? Or something else altogether? Whatever the case, this could be part of why Walter had a sort of resentment for William — that while, technically, they were partners, William seemed to be the one getting all the credit and being able to advance and progress more than Walter was.

    You mentioned that this was a “slow” episode, and I agree that it was certainly different from any other episode up to this point. It was more of a story rather than a case, it was more emotional than it was full of action. And, yes, that could have been a problem, but I think they managed to pull it off and made it a huge success. I remember reading a review of the episode where the person essentially pointed this out and said how it’s not a story full of action and adventure, rather it was a simple story of the love of a father for his child, and while that could make it boring, this episode was far from boring. I agree. A story doesn’t need tons of action and big effects and stunts to make it enjoyable to watch. Not even considering all the answers and clarification this episode provided, the simple yet powerful emotion that ran through this story from beginning to end, and the themes and messages this episode contained, were just as effective (if not more so) and enjoyable to watch as any other fast paced episode I can think of.

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    • says

      Great comments as always mlj, always a real pleasure to read!

      It looks as though we experienced something of a mind-meld regarding Nina! I agree that she has lost some of her earlier hesitancy and doubt. I like to think that much of her present “calmness” is, to some extent, part of her armour, but like you, I wonder what ‘exactly’ changed to bring her to where she is now? On that point, I suddenly remembered the warning that she gave to Olivia in the Pilot: “You should know what you’re getting into, Agent Dunham” (words to that effect). That just suddenly seemed relevant, considering Nina’s own journey.

      Nice catch re: the time-line of her amputation. That’s very curious indeed. I’ll have to give it some more thought.

      It’s good to get your thoughts on Carla. I wasn’t expecting her to be so interesting. We need more Carla, and soon!

      I agree that your interpretation of Elizanate’s reaction could be the right one. I still think that she ‘sensed’ something wasn’t quite right, but it could also be her general anxiety, or the idea that she might never see Peternate alive again.

      I like your idea of Walternate doing something to slow Peternate’s sickness. Or, maybe Peternate was just slightly stronger, more resilient? Would this say something about the respective worlds? The difference between the universes is such an interesting topic and I look forward to more exploration on that front!

      Interesting thought on Walter possibly being religious prior to losing Peter. That’s certainly possible in light of the 1.09 evidence, although perhaps he developed faith after being given a second chance with Peter(nate) – faith which he lost, like so many things, inside St. Claire’s? I guess it could go both ways. Either way, I’m interested in finding out more on Walter’s journey.

      Nice catch. I found the military’s assumption that they’d be dealing with Bell to be a subtle yet effective way to show Walter’s annoyance over his ‘Bell problem’. He masked it pretty well, but as you imply, it does give us valuable insight into their relationship from Walt’s perspective. In this episode, he said Bell was all about the power, etc, but Walter clearly wanted to be respected too. It’s probably a lot more complicated than that, but it does give us something to think about.

      Excellent points all round, mlj. I’ll probably have to come back to reply to a few more points when I have more time. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Inter-Dimensional Dave says

    First of all Roco let me commend you on all the hard work you put into this blog. It would be nice if there really was “two of everything” then at least your other self could help you out. Our thanks.

    As for the episode, I shocked to see September so carelessly interfere with Walternates experimentaion. It left me incredulous. One of the most basic tenents of science is the outcome of an experiment is inherently affected by the mere act of observing it. How could the Observer make such an egregious mistake? If the outcome was so important why risk interfering with it? Especially if they deemed Peter as that important. Did September do it on purpose?

    Personally I see the episode “August” as this seasons most pivotal. I’m particularly interesting in the “deal” Walter spoke of when he went to meet with August in private. I wonder if the deal he spoke of was to raise Peter as his own without interference (from the other side) until the day he was needed to go back since Peter seems to be so important over there. Was a contract killing meted out on Walternate to ensure this? One way or another I feel Peter will have to return to the other side. Maybe through coercion by holding his real mother hostage or as part of Walters deal. We’ll see.

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    • says

      Thanks for the kind words, Dave, much appreciated! It would indeed be great if I had a Roconate. Unless..I’m Roconate!? :)

      You make a really good point – how could September be so ‘careless’? That’s a very good word to use, I think. It’s almost as if he lacked in logic what he had in perceptual ability. Perhaps his “perception was in error”, just as August’s was in 2.08?

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  15. LizW65 says

    “Did Walter get the design for The Door from the alternate universe? If so, is he inaccurate in believing that he was the first (aside from the Observers) to travel between worlds?”

    Just wanted to address this briefly, as I’ve already made the bulk of my comments in the previous thread. Rebecca Kibner was experimented upon in, I believe, the late Seventies (she commented to Peter that she remembered him as a baby) and this is when she saw the shape-shifters, AKA the First Wave. So it seems likely that by 1985, the shifters had already crossed over from the parallel universe–which brings into question whether Walter’s actions in kidnapping Peternate actually precipitated the war between the worlds, or whether it had already started.

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  16. Elaine says

    Regarding Nina’s arm — I loved getting the real story behind that. Ever since the Season 1 finale, I had expected she had lost it in an accident with trying to cross over to the other side — but I had always thought she had been participating in the experiment, not trying to prevent it. So that was a neat development. I’m curious regarding how what we now know about how she lost her arm ties in to her story about cancer. Perhaps the biggest question for me is inconsistency with the time. It’s made quite clear that she lost her arm in 1985, but she told Olivia she got cancer and had her arm amputated in 1997. If she’s making up a cover story, why purposely put it at more than 10 years after it actually happened? I guess it could be just because it would be unlikely that anyone would be able to develop something as sophisticated as her arm back in 1985 (although, in theory, William Bell did — unless she actually didn’t get her arm until much later…). But that’s still no reason… couldn’t she have said she had cancer and lost her arm in 1985 and later, William Bell invented the robotic arm? Why purposely make the story so much later than when it actually happened? Isn’t it kind of risky that someone will learn of the inaccurate time frame, and question the rest of the story as well?

    ~~~~

    Again, mlj, I find myself looking foward as much to your replies as I do Roco’s reviews. And what a wonderful review it was Roco. Not sure if it was you or Roconate who should get the credit, but either way…thought provoking as always. ;-)

    However, I’d like to respond (for now) to mlj’s comment, because I found myself thinking about this quite a bit after re-watching the episode the other night.

    I find myself thinking the lie Nina told Olivia in the pilot was much like the ten year fudging Walter said Robert Bishop did when he left Germany–a necessary lie to cover a larger truth. The technology was available, but it was taken from the other side; much like the cell phone prototype Walter presented to the military. Let’s say Bell crossed over to obtain this technology to help Nina, or better yet, came back to help her, he’d need a power cell capable of generating the power he needed to do so like the one he hid in Nina’s arm. If Walter’s assertions that Bell was more showman looking to make a profit rather than scientist, then keeping a lock on such advanced technology until technology on this side was close to catching up ensures large financial payoff by being the first to provide that type of advancement.

    Of this is all speculation…but I can see that being a part of why that lie was necessary.

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  17. TracyW says

    Thank you Rocco – just a couple of additional thoughts. Walter’s words to “both wives”:
    “You know where I am – you know what I am doing – I need you not to doubt me”
    Those words sound curiously close to a cheating husband trying to reassure his suspicious spouse.

    The Blue Lights – It occurred to me during this episode that our Blue Lights may very well be the “effect” of a window stretching the membrane between our universes so that alter-univ can watch us!

    The glyphs for Season 1 and Season 2 ‘s Episode 1 are “OBSERVER” and “TOWER” , respectively. In Momentum Deferred, a closer look behind Olivia’s shoulder during her scathing condemnation of William Bell as the instigator of the inter-dimensional warfare will reveal, I believe, William Bell’s WINDOW into our universe. Perhaps those blue lights happen every time he hit’s the on switch.

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    • Elaine says

      What an interesting idea/theory regarding the blue lights, because in this implausible story, that actually seems quite plausible. We know that the opening of a window into the alternate universe looks like a shimmer…almost like light over the surface of water, so, if Walter developed the technology that allowed him to see into the alt/verse…then I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe the other side has developed a way to view our world by now.

      However, this leads me to an errant thought about the couriers in ‘Fracture’ who apparently deliver information to the Observers. At the end of the episode, we see September looking at photos of Walter, whom I suspect was actually Walternate. That begs the question, why was he observing that Walter? Are we to assume that he uses a courier because he’s assigned to this universe for the time being?

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    • says

      Tracy,
      I agree that the blue lights could indicate observation of some kind, it’s definitely one of the most plausible possibilities, imo. Very interesting idea that it may specifically be William who is looking in on events when the blue lights hit! Although I also find it curious that on some occasions we see the blue lights appear during memories (i.e. Bellie reassuring Walter before he removed his brain pieces, Olivia remembering her meeting with Bell). Hmm….

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  18. Andrew says

    Great review.

    A few things I was thinking:

    1) It was already mentioned, but I wonder if Peter’s importance is his affect on or empowerment of Olivia.

    2) This might be for the “Observations” post, but did anyone else notice the symbol (same as the one on the frozen head – forgot his name at the moment) almost like an omega in Walter’s lab. It was a two-by-two grid with
    [A, B]
    [C, Symbol].
    It was in “our” universe!

    3) In reference to Walter’s comment to Olivia about not knowing what it’s like to lose a child, she has sort of lost a child in a way. She does not have any memory of Jacksonville or the Cortexiphan trials. This is furthered by her dream in Jacksonville in which she met young Olive. Just a thought.

    4) Lastly, I thought it was clever that the Observers walked out of “Back to the Future” with dialogue along the lines of, “It’s not meant to be logical. It’s meant to entertain.” (Something to that effect.) Yet here we are analyzing every frame of the show…and I love it!

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    • says

      Andrew: “In reference to Walter’s comment to Olivia about not knowing what it’s like to lose a child, she has sort of lost a child in a way. She does not have any memory of Jacksonville or the Cortexiphan trials. This is furthered by her dream in Jacksonville in which she met young Olive. Just a thought.”

      Andrew,
      That’s an excellent way to look at it. I agree, in that sense, she has lost a child and it’s particularly poignant that it is Walter who made the statement. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. FringeFan2009 says

    Man this was a great episode what an awesome way to come back from a 2 month “lowatus”!!!! The combination of this episode and Jacksonville was incredible. Talk about great storytelling and delivery. The music needs a nod as well. Thanks for the wonderful review as always Roco!

    Just a few comments:

    Peter’s importance- Since the story is not confined to time, maybe Peter’s importance has to do with his current partnership with Olivia. As she is the one that is supposed to somehow keep the worlds from coming together, maybe Peter is her other half, meaning without the both of them in the picture, the goal of saving the universe would not happen.

    Nina’s arm- Maybe she didn’t actually lose her arm, but it was affected in some way. Someone mentioned above that she might have actually had cancer. Maybe it took 10 years to actually lose her arm. I wonder if the time line has anything to do with Sam Weiss. Did he help in the design in some way? What is his involvement?

    Power Source- I find it a little strange that Walter had the technology for the power source needed to open the “door” considering the amount of effort Jones went through get the technology in season 1. The power source was actually obtained from Nina’s arm. So my assumption is Walter designed it and Bell used it? Strange how no one else has figured out a way to create this technology yet.

    Olivia’s apartment-When Olivia opens her apartment door for Walter, the background looks like a hallway. Olivia’s apartment opens to the street.

    Nina/Peter- Why is Peter so important to Nina specifically? Was he an experiment? Is that why he was sick in the first place? Maybe they created him and something didn’t go right resulting in him getting the disease.

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    • Anjali says

      Actually Fringefan2009, regarding Olivia’s apartment, Boston homes don’t open to the street. You enter through the main door (the one facing the street), and then there are individual apartments (eg: Olivia’s) on each level with a staircase.

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      • FringeFan2009 says

        Hi Anjali,

        I think I got that impression b/c at the end of “The No Brainer” Olivia answers the door after Peter knocks and he is standing outside. Granted, I really can’t tell if it’s her apartment behind her or the hallway.

        Thanks for the insight!

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        • Anjali says

          Hmmm… yea, when i look back at that, I can’t help wondering if it’s a mistake on the director’s part, but places in Boston are based on my description above.

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    • says

      FringeFan2009: “Peter’s importance- Since the story is not confined to time, maybe Peter’s importance has to do with his current partnership with Olivia. As she is the one that is supposed to somehow keep the worlds from coming together, maybe Peter is her other half, meaning without the both of them in the picture, the goal of saving the universe would not happen.”

      Hi FringeFan09,
      I like the way you said that – it goes back to the possible duality theme.
      Also, thanks for mentioning the music – personally I didn’t find it as moving as “Jacksonville”, but it definitely deserves a nod.

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  20. Melissa says

    I found it a bit strange Elizabeth was okay with stealing Peter. Since the season premiere when we found out she used to tell him “Be a better man than HIS father”, I guessed she had never really managed to see this Peter as her son.
    I guess she might have realized that later on, but still.

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  21. mlj102 says

    A couple of additional thoughts:

    I’ve noticed several people suggesting that Peter might be the result of some science experiment Walter, William, and Nina had done, or that perhaps Nina is really Peter’s mother, or other similar theories. My problem with that is that, while it’s possible for there to be a question or uncertainty regarding who someone’s father is (a man might think he’s the father of his child, only to later find out that’s not really the case), there’s usually no mystery regarding the mother. The mother is whoever got pregnant and carried the child for 9 months, and gave birth. Elizabeth would know full well if she was actually Peter’s mother. Yes, it could be that Elizabeth knows she’s not really his mother, but for some reason she chose to keep that a secret and act as though he was really her son. But based on what we saw of Elizabeth in this episode, her actions suggested that she is his real mother. If she hadn’t been the one to give birth to Peter, I imagine, while she still would have grieved his death, it wouldn’t have been as intense as it was. But it seemed clear to me that she considered Peter to be her actual child and she felt his loss in the way that only the real mother could. And, as I said, she would know. That being the case, I don’t see how they could later reveal that Nina is really his mother, or that Peter had been the result of some random experiment. They would have to do some real explaining if they went that route…

    On a separate topic, I’ve been reviewing past episodes, trying to find all references of the past and put them into context based on what we now know about what really happened. For the most part, it all fits — I can see where Walter or Nina had lied or hidden the truth, but how there were parts of the truth that showed through in their stories. But there was something I found that didn’t quite seem to fit for me.

    In There’s More Than One of Everything, Walter makes many references to Peter’s illness and how he crossed to the other side. At one point he tells Peter: “Around this time, something was lost to me, Peter. Something precious. I became convinced that if only I could cross over myself, then I could take from there what I had lost here.” I knew there was a reason why I was so convinced that Walter had intentionally taken Peternate to replace his son, and this is that reason. In this line, Walter seems to make it quite clear what his intentions were when he crossed to the other side: something was lost and he wanted to replace what he’d lost by taking it from the other side. But that doesn’t fit with what we learned in this episode that, supposedly, his reason for going over was simply to cure Peter, and it wasn’t until he had, by a random set of circumstances, been forced to bring Peter over here, and Elizabeth discovered him, that he made the choice that he had to keep Peter.

    Now, of course Walter wasn’t going to tell Peter that he’d opened a door to the other side so that he could cure alternate Peter. But why say that he went over to replace what he’d lost, if that hadn’t been his true motivation? He could have easily left that out. He could have left it vague and said that he and Belly had experimented with opening a door so they could actually cross over to the other side. Why make it personal and admit that he opened the door to replace what he’d lost, if that wasn’t the truth?

    I’m not quite sure how to make sense of these two conflicting motivations. I don’t think we can attribute it to Walter’s memory of the event not being intact when he said that to Peter — he seemed very aware of what he was saying and it seemed like, by that point, he had a clear memory of what had happened when he opened the door and brought Peter over here. So is this suggesting that Walter really did have every intention of taking Peternate when he went over to cure him, and he was only sugar-coating the truth for Olivia’s benefit? That’s the best explanation I can come up with. That, or it’s an inconsistency; something that was overlooked by the writers. But I’m hesitant to believe that they were so careless over something as big as that. Other thoughts?

    One final little problem with There’s More Than One of Everything: there’s an inconsistency with the location of their house. It’s been referred to as both a beach house and a lake house. Lake house makes sense, since it’s supposedly located in the vicinity of Reiden Lake. But in There’s More, when we see Walter and the Observer, it sure looks like they’re at an ocean. Additionally, when Peter is there and he tells Walter how he remembers being there, he specifically says how he would stand on the beach and look at the ocean. But Reiden Lake is near Albany, which is nowhere near the ocean… I imagine this is just a simple inconsistency, but for some reason it really bothers me.

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    • LizW65 says

      “So is this suggesting that Walter really did have every intention of taking Peternate when he went over to cure him, and he was only sugar-coating the truth for Olivia’s benefit? That’s the best explanation I can come up with.”

      That was my opinion as well–not that Walter was lying about the events of “Peter” per se, but that he downplayed certain aspects and didn’t give the entire story to Olivia in order to shift some of the blame for what happened away from himself.

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    • Jodie says

      Just a comment about Elizabeth’s reaction towards Peter’s death indicating that she must be Peter’s birth mother. If she adopted Peter when he was young, then she would have all of the feelings of a mother. She would be his mother even if she hadn’t been his birth mother. You don’t love someone less just because you’ve adopted him/her. People also kept adoptions quiet back then. It would not be uncommon for Peter to be kept in the dark about the fact that Elizabeth wasn’t his birth mother.

      I’ve always wondered if Nina was Peter’s birth mother. The way she lights up whenever she sees him. She seems to be “softer.” There was also the interesting situation with Rebecca. She and Walter must have had a sexual relationship in the past. I think that it’s safe to say that Peter assumed that it was an affair, but what if Walter hadn’t met or married Elizabeth yet, then he was free to see whomever he wanted to see. I know this doesn’t prove that Walter and Nina are Peter’s parents, but I thought that it suggested that Walter wasn’t married when Peter was a baby.

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      • LizW65 says

        “There was also the interesting situation with Rebecca. She and Walter must have had a sexual relationship in the past. ”

        I disagree–I got the distinct impression that Rebecca had feelings for Walter at the time of the LSD experiments, but didn’t act on them, probably because:
        1. He was married
        2. She was his student
        hence her comment when she kissed him “I’ve wanted to do that for so long.”
        Also, he seemed genuinely taken aback at the kiss, which didn’t suggest a sexual relationship to me, rather that there were feelings on both sides that never were acted on.

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      • mlj102 says

        Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t trying to diminish the love that an adoptive parent would have for the child they adopted. I understand that that love is just as real as the love of a biological parent. I don’t know — maybe it’s because I’m not adopted, nor have I ever adopted a child, so I don’t have any personal experience with it, but there was just something in Elizabeth/alternate Elizabeth and how they each acted towards their son and how Elizabeth responded to Peter’s death, then miraculously having him back again — something about all that just really gave me the impression that she was Peter’s biological mother. But you are right that it really is all open to interpretation.

        That said, I still can’t quite grasp the idea that Peter’s mother is someone other than Elizabeth. It just seems strange and awkward and they would have to have a very convincing explanation if they went that route.

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        • Elaine says

          My current, and likely to be disproved theory about Nina’s affections towards Peter is given the re-vamped introduction that included invetrofertilization, something very common place now days, Nina served as a surrogate for our side Walter and Elizabeth.

          In the spirit of speculation, what if the genetic disease Peter died from was something Walter had tried to avoid by having Nina be the carrier, because Elizabeth was unable to? Unfortunately, Peter still got sick. Alt/Elizabeth, otoh, was able to not only carry, but birth a child, however, from whatever genetic defect, alt/Peter still became ill.

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    • FlashWriter says

      Hi MLJ,
      The “vacation” house. Hmmm. In “More Than One…”, when Peter and Walter were driving to the lake to stop Jones, there was never once a mention about some kind of vacation or Summer house that they used to have at Reiden Lake. Plus Peter’s memories of the beach house were very vivid. It rather suggests to me that, while things are sort of the same on the other side, it’s anything but exactly similar. Could it be that in our universe they had the beach house and in the alter universe they had a house at Reiden Lake instead? My only problem with this is that Walter seemed to know exactly where the lake house was after he crossed over. He just turned and started trudging in that direction.

      Also, since we’re on the subject of the beach house, when Walter and September first approached the beach house in “More than One”, where were they coming [i]from?[/i] It almost looked like they walked out of the ocean or simply appeared on the beach. That has always bugged me a little. Small thing, I suppose.

      As to Walter’s [i]actual[/i] intentions. Wow, that’s a hard one, and “More Than One…” is also where I got my impressions that he just went over there to bag Peternate. Maybe what he told Peter at the beach house more accurately conveys his “true” motivations. Perhaps being in the beach house jogged his memory and we see a clearer, more truthful representation of the facts. I think that if you tell yourself a story long enough, you may actually begin to believe it. Maybe in the time that has passed from then until “Peter”, Walter was thinking and thinking and thinking about his actions (with his guilt praying on his mind) and began to tell himself the story about how he was only going over there to cure Peter and not to take him.

      Anyway, it sure is a conundrum regarding his “true” motivations and I, personally, tend to buy what he told Peter in the beach house.

      Anyway, cheers,
      :)

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    • MRG says

      MlJ- your point about Walter’s motivation is well taken. But perhaps part of it is just time and confusion. Look at this way, for the last 20 years or so, Walter has been living with this big thing and the guilt of it, which alone would be enough to make you forget what you know. In addition, bits of his brains have been cut out, he’s been doped up and taking strong psychotropics both home made and commercial and god knows who and what have been feeding him stories in his ear. (man, every time I think of the creepy walternate seen in the equation, I shudder) sometimes you can convince yourself of things so surely, that it becomes memory.

      does that make sense? I don’t know if that’s it…but the other alternatives a) walter is lying, or b) the writers messed up are less satisfying answers some how. :)

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  22. Anna says

    I also wondered if Bell was really in Europe. It would be quite an interesting turn of events if not Walter but Bell was responsible for breaking down the wall between the universes. If Bell has been in the parallel world and not in Europe he might have founded massive dynamic based on knowledge from the other world. Not for the first time I wonder if Bell is really that intelligent or if all his fame should be Walter’s or Alterwalter’s.

    And by the way, Deutsche Mark are pretty worthless nowdays. Try betting Euros ;-).

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  23. Keton says

    Hi Rocco,

    Excellent review, and great work with this blog very well done., In this episode in particular i observe some incongruity in three facts or maybe in the future episodes the writers will explain better this situations to the fans.

    Fact 1: Why Walter doesnt’t have the problems that Olivia have when she go for the first time to the other side meeting William Bell when she recall her meeting with Bell in the episode ” Momentum Deferred, problems like the time slips, because Olivia was out of sync with the time line in the other side, problems that William Bell told Olivia that he had when he visit the first time the other side. ¿ Why Walter doesn’t suffer those effects when he went to the other side to cure Peternate.
    Fact 2: Where Walter obtain the powerfull cell to make work the device he created to go to the other side, this question it’s because in the episode final of season 1 “There’s more than one of everything” Nina told Olivia and Broyles if someone want to go to the other side it’s require a powerfull cell that Dr. Jones stole from her and a exact place like Reiden Lake to have success to go the other side. My questions it’s how Walter obtain that cell to make work his device to go to the other side.

    Fact 3: Do the device that Dr. Jones use in the final episode of season 1 to try to go to the other side, Was William Bell creation because it’s very different and much more smaller and stylish that Walter use when he went to the other side to cure Peternate.

    I hope the writers and the producers clear up this doubts to all the fans.

    Regards.

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  24. JS says

    Very nice review! The section on God made me think of Dr. Michio Kaku (that theoretical physicist you see wandering around tv a lot; aka, Master and Commander of String Theory), and his insight into the separation of the personal God and the “God of harmony”: http://is.gd/bgBzO and http://is.gd/bgC4I

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      • says

        How SURE are you?

        If there’s more than one of everything, why cant there be alter-observer?

        If September is watching Walternate doing the experiment, who is watching Walter who had witnessed the color change? Isn’t that an important event?

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        • FlashWriter says

          I think September really, really screwed up. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and maybe even in the wrong universe. If I think about this, being in Walter’s lab looking over his shoulder (through the looking glass) may well have given him a better view of the show. This way he would be able to see both Walters at once. A multiverse view, if you will. The fact that there was only one observer seen (and we’ve never seen otherwise, have we) strongly hints that there’s only one copy of each observer. In “There’s More than One…” I think he gave Walter the Reader’s Digest explanation in that he might have continued “…except for us…”. Which, of course, would have set Walter off and we would have been in a fine mess if Walter hadn’t found the universe membrane hole patcher in time. I can’t remember anything that would even suggest there was a copy of September or any other observer.

          I think more to the point here is the question: Why wasn’t Walter or Peternate affected with all the negative time slippage symptoms that Olivia exibited? Was Walter’s answer even then so much more elegant than Bell’s was in present time? Why aren’t the Observers affected? I just don’t think they use hardware to slip between universes (just my opinion).

          Gotta go. Have a good one.

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          • mlj102 says

            I’m going to jump in to your conversation here. My first thought when I saw the Observers on the other side was that they were alternate versions of the Observers we know. But as I thought about it, it made sense that there’s only one set of Observers. The producers in some interview mentioned how it would almost be to limiting to have the Observers from one specific reality. So if they’re not from one given reality, rather they just observe time and all the realities, then there would only be one of each of them rather than Observers in each reality. Did that make sense? So I have to say I agree with FlashWriter on this one. It makes sense to me that there’s just the one set of Observers who are able to travel between realities as they observe important events.

            For example, after September pulled over to let Walter continue driving, when Walter got out of the car, September was just gone — it could be that he’d gone back to the other side or somewhere else. Perhaps that’s how Donald – their hit man – managed to escape when Olivia started to chase him, even though he was clearly older and a bit overweight and she should have easily caught him. Maybe he was able to use the same method the Observers use to Observe time/realities, which would allow them to travel easily from place to place.

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  25. Zee says

    @Roco: great review, thanks for the insights. So glad the lowatus is over.

    @mlj102: thanks for bringing upthe curious fact that Peternate realized Walter was not his real father. I was wondering about this too, and you are the only other in the thread to point it out so far, I think. To me this really stood out. Not even the adult alt Elizabeth challenged his identity, despite his apparently odd attire and lack of transportation – so it feels intentional on the part of the writers that Peternate suspected something. It made me wonder if the experimental medications Walternate had been giving Peter might have been a precursor to cortexiphan, and Peternate, like Olivia, also could sense people or things from the other side. Or maybe this is just part of the innate abilities so many here speculate Peter has. Still, a cortexiphan link would make sense of Walter’s comment that Walternate’s choice of compounds in the cure were not random. Does anyone know where in the timeline the cortexiphan trials on Olive were in relation to Peter’s illness/death/Peternate’s cure?

    @lizW65: Nice catch on the timing of the LSD experiments and the first wave of crossing over that predated Walter going over to cure Peternate. So maybe the coming war between the two sides isn’t entirely Walter’s fault? On the other hand, maybe there are multiple ways of crossing over, and some are less disruptive than others – obviously as evidenced by the Observers.

    I’m still a little troubled by the fact that the other side is supposedly so much more technologically advanced,yet it was “our side” that figured out how to make windows and doors to cross over.

    I’m also a little troubled by how little the two universes actually diverge. I’d expect the butterfly effect of all the little differences to be much greater. Is anyone else bothered by that?

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    • FlashWriter says

      Yep. I have always had that problem and I brought it up at one point. In fact, I thought the differences would be so big that the alternate universe would be anything but similar. However, I was a “Firefly” fan and I learned very quickly that you didn’t question the science in that show AT ALL. So, you just sat back for the ride and it turned out to be quite a nice one for the short time it was on. (Maybe too many people questioned the science :-( ).

      Anyway, I’m just taking the eps one at a time and doing somewhat the same thing as I did with “Firefly”–and I find that the ride is even better!

      Cheers,
      :)

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    • mlj102 says

      “Does anyone know where in the timeline the cortexiphan trials on Olive were in relation to Peter’s illness/death/Peternate’s cure?”

      If we’re to believe Nina, the Cortexiphan trials were from 1981-1983. Even if Nina wasn’t being completely honest when she told Olivia those years, I still think it’s safe to say Olivia was being tested around 1983 — Jacksonville seemed to confirm that in a couple of different ways. Peter’s death/Walter taking Peternate was in 1985.

      I’ve also wondered why our side was the one developing windows and doors to the other side if the other side is supposedly so much more advanced. But, perhaps it could be a matter of necessity. The other side, being more advanced, has less need to spy on the other side, so there wasn’t as much motivation to look into the other side. But on our side, being less advanced, they were forced to come up with other ways to develop technologically. Still, I do find it hard to believe that, if the other side wants to open a door to over here, they have to rely on Walter’s method. That’s one of my biggest problems — it seems like it was relatively simple for Walter to design a door to the other side. But then why has it been so hard for everyone else to duplicate that? Perhaps the door he made when he went to get Peter was only a basic model and, afterwards, he and Belly continued to modify it, and they did something to make their specific door unique and important in some way.

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  26. TomC says

    Great review and i cant beleive i didnt think about what you put about bell being on the other side even though they did the brain op on walter because he was the ‘only’ one who knew how to make the door to the other universe.

    Its for things like that why i read this blog. thanks again Roco. Keep ‘em coming!

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  27. alerys says

    when i heard that whenever someone from the other side appeared they were always dressed in black and that our side would wear white, that got me thinking. and know that i saw olivia in the lab with a revolver, at the end when peter and olivia are talking i notice peter is wearing a black jacket… and its not the first time.walter wears his lab coat most of the time , and astrid always wears diffrent colors, and i also notice olivia wears white and black. fringe will always be a mystery.

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  28. Rafael T says

    This is what I don´t get.

    Walter crossed to the other side (world) in a easy, almost comical manner… whilst David Jones suffered from a disease till death just by teleporting some kilometers here on this side.

    Also, William Bell told that he is, quote: “Stuck in this side, maybe forever”. How is that? Walter crossed over in some machine he just built overnight, and Bell is “stuck”?

    He said also something about “crushing” or something, when you get to the other side. Walter didn´t feel it. He swoops in and out the other side like a kid going in to ball pool.

    What the heck is that about?

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  29. FinChase says

    Great review!

    I thought your point that Walter was being presumptuous in assuming that Olivia had never experienced the loss of a child was excellent. The first time I watched the episode, I really thought she was about to open her mouth and say something like, “Yes, I do know what it’s like.” Torv is really good at conveying the sense that she is just on the verge of saying something important if only she could move past her inherent reserve. I wonder if in this instance, the writers/producers intended for us to get this impression? We really don’t know all that much about Olivia’s past life. While I doubt that she had and lost a child with John Scott, we don’t know about her life before that.

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  30. anita says

    You have to be right about the Olivia/kid thing. If you go back and review all of the dialog between Olivia and her sister it hints at Olivia giving up her child to her sister… otherwise y have the sister married, y have them divorce and he threaten to take the kid, and sister swearing she wont let it happen, and that saying” I don’t understand why he would do this?” Y not? If he’s the father… but he is not, of course. In another episode sister says to Oliver that she’s only done one decent thing in her life… meaning the kid. It’s got to be Olivier’s kid.

    Here’s another theory. Walternate and Walter swapped places when walter went over there… that is y Peter is distanced from Walternate, because in the other universe he was closer to mother. So you see Walter did the right thing after all. He doesn’t glimmer because he takes the psychedelic drugs!

    Bellie made peter sick to push Walter into trying the inter dimensional travel… this is hinted at in dialog too. Walter says Bellie was always trying to push him into further experiments for inter dimensional travel. Bellie being absent during Peter’s sickness pushed Walter further. Forced his hand through desperation.

    And here is a question… y does Peter “mean so much” to Nina. Peculiar. Is she related? Is she Peter’s mothers sister, or was Peter some kind of genetic experiment she was a part of… is this y both peters were genetically sick? Are they created, test tube babies, or genetically engineered. And does the same go for the cortexifan kids?

    were the peters the first genetically engineered human’s
    were the “cort” kids the next batch, better, those genetic faults ironed out

    In season one, the ep where corteexifan guy causes people to kill themselves, Walter mentions that he’d pair the “cort” kids up so they could support each other emotionally, and help get through fear… then 2 minutes later he tells Peter to comfort Olivia, hinting that Peter was part of the project also, and was perhaps paired with Olivia, perhaps the other Olivia in the other dimension. Him knowing this would also back up my Walternate switched with Walter theory.

    Also this theory helps explain the change in Walter, the breakdown, the memory probs. He mentioned lots of symptoms for peps who transfer over that he seems to have.

    I think all the cort kids were genetically Engineered, and I think Olivia’s father was Mr Jones and I would not be surprised if Nina was Olivia’s mother. Oliver’s sister’s kid is hers… and the Walter’s switched when Peter came here.

    Oh, thought of another one… the cort kids on our side(the less advanced side) might have all died (Peter included)… and thus Bellie might have brought the others over here, after Walter’s success, which is why these special cort kids, now adults, can see the other dimension stuff, and also y there is no Olivianate…

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  31. mlj102 says

    “You have to be right about the Olivia/kid thing. If you go back and review all of the dialog between Olivia and her sister it hints at Olivia giving up her child to her sister… otherwise y have the sister married, y have them divorce and he threaten to take the kid, and sister swearing she wont let it happen, and that saying” I don’t understand why he would do this?” Y not? If he’s the father… but he is not, of course. In another episode sister says to Oliver that she’s only done one decent thing in her life… meaning the kid. It’s got to be Olivier’s kid.”

    It’s an interesting theory, but really it’s not very practical or likely to happen. First off, what in the world would prompt Olivia to have a child, then give that baby to her sister to raise? That just doesn’t fit. If Olivia had a child, she would take responsibility for that child and she would love that child — not essentially abandon it. If Ella wasn’t Rachel’s daughter, and Rachel’s ex wasn’t the father, then he would have absolutely no claim over Ella, and there would have been nothing for either Olivia or Rachel to worry about. I’m not trying to be rude, but regarding that particular theory, no way.

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  32. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    I’ve also wondered about Elle, her and Olivia seem to be very close, but I don’t think she will end up being Olivia’s kid. i think it is more her hearkening back to a more innocent time in her own life.

    I also thought Peter’s illness was a suspicious thing, that maybe somebody gave it to him in order to force Walter to develop or ‘unhide’ whatever technology he had or knew about. I think the 2 timelines diverged much earlier, like in the 30s/40s due to elder Bishop’s work.

    I also think that yes, Walter was able to flit from universe to universe because he HAD made the perfect machine (or his father had made it) and that’s what he had to hide all over the place because people wanted it, esp Bell.

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  33. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    Another thing… I’m just surprised nobody has dredged Reiden Lake to get the pieces of Walter’s portal and put it back together… maybe they don’t know it’s there???

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  34. says

    Just want to make a note about the Observers.
    It seem they can see future or versions of future.

    When the two observers are out of cinema and the third observers joins them to tell them about the “error”, suddenly one of the observers (who fell in love later) looks pensive, for a second, distant almost and then says, “You will have an opportunity to correct it”.

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