Fringe "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" Review: The Upside-Down House

Fringe S05E06: "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There"

One of the problems threatening Fringe's fifth season is a missing sense of purpose beyond saving the world. Don't get me wrong, saving the world is right up there with other important things, like building the perfect jelly donut that will last decades, but we want to see some overall theme emerge in Fringe's final episodes, before the door shuts on the series for good. Another problem of Season 5 is the elaborate scavenger hunt staged by pre-Observer-Invasion Walter, the details of which are purposely being kept from us through the convenience of 10 feet of hardened amber.

One of these problems took a step toward solving itself, and another dug its feet in for the long haul in "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There," a lengthily titled aside from the momentum that was built up in the previous two (excellent) episodes. "TTLGAWWFT" (not typing it out again, sorry) featured some interesting concepts that didn't quite reach their potential because of forced storytelling, but it also had a badass fight with an Observer—so let's not be too upset.

A quick survey of various messageboards and TV.com's own user reviews revealed that a lot of you really thought this episode was the jam, and I'm completely okay with that. The concept was neat: Walter hid a clue in a "pocket universe," an alternate universe that existed between other universes and could only be accessed by line-dancing or Hokey Pokey-ing or Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks-ing your way into it. In this tiny universe, the rules of physics were bent almost to the breaking point, with up sometimes being backwards and down being a tuna-fish sandwich. It was the Fringe crew walking into its own M.C. Escher painting, and I'm glad we got to see it before the series ended.

But what wasn't great was the road they took to get there. I'm still trying to understand why Walter watched the tape by himself and felt compelled to follow its instructions to an old apartment building without backup. Yes, we found out later that Walter's mind has been reverting to its pre-lobotomy state, and that Walter was much more prone to flights of fancy fueled by hubris—but the show didn't establish enough beforehand to make it seem like anything but a stupid thing for Walter to do. When Walter was headed to the apartment building, he seemed sheepish, not confident. It looks like we're in a situation where the writers can pick and choose their Walter moments based on whatever serves the story better, and that's never good for season-long structure as it gives them too many doors to just jump through on a whim.

Walter's lone-wolf mission enabled Peter, Olivia, and Astrid to retrace his steps (quite literally) to find him, resulting in a large portion of the episode moving sloooooooowly as people walked through the same space twice. The episode played the long game of unraveling the mystery, which can work, but it was so obviously playing the long game that it touched on being tedious. Add to that the introduction of redshirt character Cecil, a lifeless man whose most interesting characteristic was that he hoarded half a glass of water, and we had an episode that was stretched so thin it was almost see-through. Let's put it another way: If the entire team had watched the tape together and headed over to the building together, would the episode have ended much differently?

That's why it wasn't until Peter and Olivia (Astrid didn't pass through the portal to the pocket universe because Astrid doesn't get to have any fun) met up with Walter in the pocket universe, more than halfway through the episode, that things picked up and moved beyond repeated sequences of walking through hallways in this strange dimension, like an episode of The West Wing set in a funhouse. The rules of the universe had some really cool wrinkles, like Walter's camcorder only showing footage in whichever universe it was recorded in and the doors of the building marked with the Fringe glyphs, but there were missed opportunities to show off more of that Fringe ingenuity on a budget that the show is famous for.

There was another callback to the Fringe of past when we learned that the object hidden in the building was the empathic boy from the episode "Inner Child," who we now know was an Observer. The writers seem to be going the extra mile to serve long-time fans with scoopfuls of the old Fringe, but I'm still waiting for Walter to go into his basement full of Fringe artifacts and throw some parasitic slugs at Observers. Now I'm wondering if the team will go back into the basement at all.

The boy ended up not being in the apartment building, and the team theorized that he'd been moved by Walter's mysterious friend Donald, the identity of whom will not be unveiled until the writers think it's appropriate, apparently. Between Walter's mystery plan and Walter's mysterious friend, there's a lot of mystery being withheld. Instead of the boy in the room, Olivia found a radio that was intentionally set to a certain frequency by whoever took the boy, or so the group surmised. But it was out of batteries, or it didn't work in that universe, and when Olivia tried it out back in the plain old boring regular physics universe, nothing was coming through because it wasn't being transmitted yet. This is another blank that will be filled in when the writers think it's time. This plan, these objects, these mysteries... they're all starting to worry me. I'm going to stick with it, Fringe, but you better make it worthwhile.

The coolest part of the episode by far was THE PETERVER showing off his new fighting moves. Pitted against a particularly skilled Oberver in hand-to-hand combat, we saw Peter learn with every punch thrown and taken, until he imitated Reptile from Mortal Kombat with a down-back-high punch combo and Peter pe-teleported behind the Observer, a perfect spot to snap the Observer's neck. Sweeeeeeeet! Modest Peter didn't tell Olivia about his new skill set (I would be challenging anyone who dared to look at me to a fight), opting to lie about it instead. Oh sure, that won't come back to haunt you, Peter.

With the Observer boy gone, a radio grabbed, and Cecil shot dead by Observers (oh yeah, Cecil got shot by an Observer), the episode ended with Walter having a chat with Peter about how he is turning back into the combative, selfish old Walter now that his brain has been reassembled like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces forced into spots they don't belong in. Between this and Peter's new identity as THE PETERVER, the season takes a turn toward highlighting regression and change between the characters. These characters all started off going in bad directions before coming together over the course of the series, and now we're seeing hints that they may be splitting apart again. It's not the strongest of themes the show has thrown at us, but it's something to keep an eye out for in future episodes that's more interesting than chasing VHS tapes.

"Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There" had the markings of a great episode and some good individual moments, but in the end, it didn't provide much sense of accomplishment. We followed the team on a hunt for more strange objects that currently mean nothing to us, putting a lot of pressure on the rest of the season to deliver a big ending and give purpose to all these treasure hunts.



NOTES

– Actually, cooler than Peter's fight with the Observer was Olivia's move to shoot a different Observer. Stuck just outside the portal to the normal universe with a gun that didn't work, she yanked the Observer through the portal and waited to shoot him dead until they were all the way through and her gun worked. One of her best moves in the entire series!

– I liked Etta as Halo's Cortana hologram! I guess that makes Peter Master Chief? Yes, as soon as I get this review posted I'm going to get my butt kicked in some Halo 4.

– Hey! Why didn't Peter, Walter, Olivia, and Astrid all sit next to each other on the train? There were plenty of empty seats. Gosh!

Comments (86)
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Windmark seemed delighted at seeing Peter's transformation. I can't wait for their showdown.
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Thanks for putting up this review. Better late than never. I would also have wanted to see a Last Resort review. That episode (the one with the chemical attack) was so unbelievably awful that I need a place where I can go on a crazy rant about how terrible it was.
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I liked this episode. It had one of the best Walter scenes ever, and certainly the best Peter scene. I really liked Walter on the bus, and the guy listening in as he was talking about the pocket universe, but the best part was this:

"This is very important. Do not under any circumstances..." (pause) *knocks on glass" "...is that raspberry filling?"

When the video continued, he wiped his face and started talking about something else.
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One of my favorites!! Don't forget Walter had his crazy metallic eye twitch in the pocket universe when he met up with Peter. What on Earth is that ??



If I were to step into an MC Echer painting I think I would tie a rope around my waist and anchor it onto something solid in the Apt. Easy way to find your way back home.



I loved this Episode, Fringe is an amazing show... Has anyone else watched the "Firefly 10th Anniversary Browncoats Unite" Special that came out this past week ? Awww, I need some more good Sci-Fi... When is Continumm comming back?
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Yeah, Continuum was great, not as great as Fringe but great nonetheless...
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It might not be the case at all, but I'm starting to think that Peter is actually the future September.
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So that is six episodes out of thirteen, and still most of it had felt like fillers so far. It seems like it will be a really weak closing on a once good (rather than great) show.
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Not my fav episode, Fringe can do SO much better, but PETERVER is amaaaaaaazing!
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Tim's reviews are pretty much always thoughtful and well written. Tim is an honorary Observer in the truest sense. The only review I thought he got wrong was a big one, however, the ending of Lost. I thought you were much too kind as this will forever go down as the worst ending to a classic TV show of all time. And I know there are many intelligent people here who thought it was good but the majority of fans - myself included - didn't think so. Tim also had a problem with the season 4 finale of Fringe being too pat, but it was a good ending and would have served as a fitting series finale. So this is a bonus season and one that we are all glad to have. The Beta tapes are just a vehicle for Walter to be Walter because you can't really get enough Walter, can you? So far I think this season has been pretty good and I'm not getting that vibe that I did with Lost, that it was going to blow it - which it did. What I reccommend for all is to just ride it out and have faith that the writers will nail it - and speculate, speculate, speculate, because that's what makes it fun...
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If 5 days in the alt universe are 20 years, 1 day is 4 years and 6hrs are 1 year. With that logic, even if they spent 1 hr in there (and walter definitely spent more time), 2 months should have passed in the outside world ... which means (bear with me) that the patrol of observers would have come and gone and found nothing, if they didn't spot Astrid. All good so far .. what doesn't make sense, is that by the time Olivia and Peter entered the portal, only a few seconds would have passed in the alternate universe, after Walter entered. Same thing when the observers entered .. logically, they should have been in the same room in the alt universe one after the other.

Sorry about the nit-picking, things like these irritate me.

Anyway .. I didn't like the episode. It was just ... boring. Thank goodness for the Peter / Neo scene towards the end. It did a little bit to redeem the episode.
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Because that's not how it worked. He was in there for 20 actual years, not 5 days that equaled 20 years. The 5 days looped over and over for 20 years, that's why he didn't age and didn't go insane.
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No, I disagree. That was not said in the episode. It was only implied that time was moving differently, not that it was repeating.
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Yeah...
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I liked the episode, but thought the same thing about the time. It made no sense to tell the story about Cecil, then not have that impact on the team. Why didn't they just leave out the Cecil days = years thing? And they can't use this later because Astrid was outside so we know more time didn't pass.

Shame really, because missing a couple of months would have been a cool thing to have happen - it would have allowed a story shift, giving them more time against the observers (who wouldn't have been waiting for them, and would have assumed they had disappeared).
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I got behind by a few episodes and now that I'm caught up, I'm beginning to wonder about something. I don't recall September being dead (not that that would mean anything on this show given the time traveling and alternate universe timelines) and yet, we haven't seen him in this future timeline. That seems significant to me. Given that he seemed to have a strange connection to both Olivia and Peter, and Peter is now morphing into an Observer or something, I'm beginning to wonder if Peter is September - or he becomes/became September in another timeline. I keep thinking back to the way September looked at Olivia - like he loved her in his own way. At the time I thought maybe September was somehow a descendant of Olivia and Peter, but.... now I think it's possible he's a future altered version of Peter. Man, this is confusing!
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peter has become neo, fighting the observer agents.and at the end of the episode he could see the matrix



maybe this universe is a simulated universe in the real universe

the only way observers can interact within this world because they can only observe in the real world
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I laughed and thought the same thing two. Though the end could just be that he now has scanners, hence why he was able to see the rift and throw Walter through.

The rift was probably invisible to casual long range scanners but could be seen up close
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I'll go for Peter with Service Pack 1 or Peter SP1
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All through the episode I was thinking poor Cecil. He was just a filler character and they didn't have to do that. I think they could have used something else to show that time moves slower over there.



I do love the new Peter and his storyline. It just gives us more inside information about the observers and how they view the world.
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Not a very strong episode, considering we have only 7 more left. We need more action from Olivia! But another great performance by John Noble, especially during Walter/Peter conversation on the train. What an actor!!
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It's likely they didn't sit together on the train because it would have made them easier to find. Sitting apart allows the others to react if one is approached.

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I don't see where them sitting on the train was questioned.
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Tim did in his last note.
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I agree the plodding along is getting annoying. At this stage in the game I really don't want to watch Peter turn into bad Walter all the while he's becoming bad Walter. On that note I don't see how hubris leads to stupidity. Not being alone on a mission and not being captured when you're a critical part of the mission. Is a concept of logic and common sense and hubris is no excuse for going against them. The group has a bad habit of leaving cation to the wind. Peter just leaving Olivia while Observers are around wtf was that about and what possible reason does he have for keeping the implant a secret?
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I agree that Walter wandering off was not the best approach to get to that story.

Why did Peter keep the implant a secret? I'm guessing for exactly what's gonna happen the next episode (if that's the episode that it comes to light).
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Hard to find a good name for the new Peter ... Peter 2.0 ( since he's now "mostly tech" ) ? Ultimate Peter ? Uber-Peter ( the Observer being ugly nazis ) ? I'll stick with the last one for now ... does anyone have anything more ... catchy ?
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I'll go with Peter with Service Pack 1 - Peters SP1
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NeoPeter? (Both as a reference to The Matrix and neo meaning new). We should vote! Hey, Tim, why don't you make a poll?
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(Something-something) 2.0 is soooooooooooo played out and cheesy. Can't believe people still use 2.0. Real original to name something "new,better,etc". While I get it being used when talking about software and things related to computers,but using it on humans(and so many times on countless shows) made 2.0 like a broken record,playing same thing over and over
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At this moment I'd just call him Mr. Anderson.
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I'd go with ObPeter.

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I think the problem is what most shows (that I've seen anyway) in their final season deal with. They have a lot of cool ideas that they want to incorporate, so in some ways the actual narrative takes a backseat. In doing so they release some little clues and hints to keep us interested, but not progress the story a whole lot. But I bet with about 4-5 episodes left the story is gunna skyrocket forward and all the important questions will be answered on the road to what is hopefully a satisfying conclusion. It is for this reason I will not judge until the end, im willing to just go along for the ride.
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Good call, me too...
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A lot of kick-ass scenes in this episode, despite a lot of slow-paced drama. I have literally rewatched the scene where Peter teaches himself the tech a dozen times. And yes, Olivia wasting the Observer by bringing him to our world was rocking.
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I alway give shows that have given me years or entertainment the benefit of the doubt when they are having an off moment but unfortunately Fringe is having an off moment that I can't ignore any longer. This searching for parts of the plan but still not having any parts is getting old and we are on ep.6 - sure things have happened, Etta died, Peter is an observer but nothing in the way of defeating the observers and that's kind of the whole point to this season. I'm just hoping now we are in the second half of the season things will pick up fast. It hurts me to complain about such a phenomenal show.
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They will get to it.....I'm not really seeing the issue. We all know there is going to be a conclusion, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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Walter Bishop is still cutting betamax tapes out of the amber, completely undisturbed? How realistic is that? - Oops, okay... It's Fringe. Everything's fine. :-)
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Who should disturb him? Observes checked the area already, found an ambered lab, considered that place cleared and left.
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Someone will have to explain that scene to me. I was distracted by something else at the time, so I might have missed something. I certainly didn't understand the scene. The observers found the lab, right? But how did they conclude that no one had been there? Didn't any of our heroes wipe the dust of some object at some point? Didn't those guys see that someone had been cutting into the amber?
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As mentioned they re ambered the lab. Any footprints could be explained away by their imperfect human security guards having been through there in the days prior.

As for the beta max tapes. My understanding is they're cutting around them and chiseling the out. But between the nearby heat and shock damage the tapes are screwy.
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Well, Walter mentioned they needed to re-amber the lab. But yeah, you'd think those men would have noticed that the place didn't seem entirely undisturbed.



The problem I have with the antagonistic forces this season are two-fold: 1) they're just black-and-white evil, and that doesn't make them interesting; 2) their forces are INEPT. So far, yes, okay, they've killed Etta, but the good guys have essentially gotten away with a lot, and as such the Observers/Loyalists don't seem like a huge threat. If a resistance can get away with this much, how did the world's governments get taken down in the first place?
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I love Fringe, but I can't help drawing comparisons between this and the last season of Babylon 5. Both shows weren't sure if they were going to get another season and so wrapped up their storylines in stellar fashion thereby securing themselves a last season. This however left them with the problem of what to do next.



I think it was incredibly brave to time jump, so they didn't have to do the whole pregnancy/small baby storyline. However there are just so many things that have failed to ring true this season. The Observers all of a sudden decided they wanted to take over the world, but chose a technologically advanced time thereby guaranteeing an uprising? Yes Olivia and Peter lost their child and drifted apart but that spark that has always been between them is nowhere to be found this season and Olivia who has been at the centre of everything for the last 4 seasons is now no more than an errand girl.



While I am still enjoying it, I am hope something happens in the rest of the season to make it more than filler.
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I love fringe for multiple universal reasons and beyond but I am not blinded by love. I don't know about you guys but I feel because of those bastard studio execs deciding to cancel the show the story has suffered much. Haven't you noticed how Olivia seems to have taken the back seat and acquiesce for a more formidable Peter Bishop. Don't get me wrong I like Peter and think he's as cool as a cucumber along with the obvious brilliance of Walter and Astrid and I don't blame the intriguing imaginings and concepts of the writers even a little. But don't you feel like you've missed at least 2 seasons? Were we the ones in Amber when the shit went down with the Observers? I guess being a fan I feel a little hard done by knowing there's at least two more seasons worth of the series in there. (Never mind; I just think it sucks eggs or a testicular like substance.)



I think Peter showed massive hubris and made a mistake putting the observer tech in his noggin judging by the head honchos insidious smile at the end of TTLGAWWFT. And what was the point of that guy who was trapped in the pocket universe. Admittedly that's a pretty weak way of saying Walters becoming a bit of A-hole so I'm going to assume there's more to it than that. Can't wait to see where all this is going though and isn't that curiosity partly why we love Fringe or is it just Anna Torv?
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"He is ... THE ONE."

Peterver! Peterminator! Pete-Neo! (Okay, that last one is pretty weak.) Whatever you want to call him, the precarious progression of Peter has become the most interesting aspect of this fifth and final season.

I questioned the writers sanity when they killed off Etta. I, like Peter and Olivia, questioned why they would lose her so heartbreakingly soon after having just gotten her back. I couldn't understand it from a storytelling point of view. I thought she was going to stand side by side with her parents as they brought the Observers down. I even thought she might be the key to their downfall. So when we lost her so abruptly, so tragically, I couldn't for the life of me comprehend why.

Of course, as it turned out, I needn't have worried.

It feels bizarre to write this now, but Etta dying may have been the best thing to happen for the arc of season five. Before her passing the entire storyline seemed like nothing more than a glorified scavenger hunt. Although, in true Fringe fashion, it was the most awesome, badass scavenger hunt ever. They have to save the world! But something was still lacking. I've always felt that what makes Fringe transcend the sci-fi genre is its emotionally evocative storytelling through its characters (a trait it shares with LOST). Fringe's characters are complex, nuanced and three dimensional. They have been deconstructed, reconstructed, erased and brought back. We witnessed the juxtaposition of alternate selves and the philosophical impact of how a persons identity is shaped. Over five seasons, three timelines, and two universes, we have come to intimately know Peter, Olivia, Walter and Astrid. They are as fully realized fictional characters as humanly possible. And we care about them.

That's what makes Peter's transformation into Peterver so captivating. And so frightening. He lost his little girl. Not once but twice. Character motivations that ring true are not easy to create. Peter inserting Observer tech into his neck to bring them down because they killed Etta rings true. Olivia imploring Peter to include her in his grief and anguish, wanting to understand what he is going through so they can get through it together was a painfully poignant moment. Peter is walking down a very dark path. One that he is currently walking alone. I just don't know if he will lose himself along the way.

PETER IS SEPTEMBER DEBATE:

I know many of us were furiously speculating on all the possible implications of Peter's tech upgrade. While a consensus wasn't reached, there were several commenters (myself included) who are seriously considering the theory Peter is September. Why was the episode titled, "An Origin Story"? (I mean, the letters P-E-T-E-R are in September. Coincidence?) While this theory is mindblowingly cool, there are a few discrepancies I've thought up and read on Fringe forums I'd like to share and discuss:

(The Evolution Gap):

-The Observers are posthumans that gradually evolved over 600 years after the modern era (27th Century Vs 21st Century).

-September is an Observer.

-September comes from the 27th Century.

-Peter lived in the 21st Century.

-Peter, as a human, is not the product of 600 years of evolution.



(The Timeline Progression):

-The Observers arose in a timeline predating the S1-S3 timeline.

-September's interference in 1985 is what caused the S1-S3 timeline.

-The Peter we now follow is a product of the S1-S3 timeline.

-September predates that specific Peter, whom we have followed over the span of S1-S5.



(For anyone thinking September is Peter, then rescues himself in 1985):

-There is only one timeline in effect at a time.

-When a timeline is rewritten, the previous version ceases to physically exist, being replaced by the new one.

-The S1-S3 timeline was rewritten into the S4-S5 timeline.

-The S1-S3 timeline (and all other prior iterations) no longer physically exists.

-A post-5.06 Peter cannot become September, then rescue himself in 1985, because that S1-S3 timeline no longer physically exists, and can thus not be travelled to.



(The Superficial Argument):

-Peter Bishop is played by Joshua Jackson.

-September is played by Michael Cerveris.

-Joshua Jackson looks different than Michael Cerveris.

-If Peter (Jackson) becomes September (Cerveris), why isn't September (Cerveris) played by Jackson?

Of course, anything can happen. Even with all these discrepancies, Peter can still turn out to be September. Although, I'm highly doubtful. But if he is, I would expect there to be a good reason and a plausible explanation, and with all the mental acrobatics necessary to justify this premise. The reason better be very good, and the explanation very plausible.

EPISODE NOTES:

-I loved that the Fringe glyphs were in Walter's pocket universe. I was a little disappointed we didn't see the smoke glyph, though.

-Seeing Etta's holographic face was like opening up a fresh wound. How can I so desperately miss a character I only knew for five episodes?

-Peterver Vs The Observer was awesome! I really liked how he gradually adapted to his new abilities. And the teleportation neck snap was a thing of beauty.

-Hey you Matrix fans, were you getting the same vibe I was from this episode? Nerd-gasm!

-What did you guys think of Peter's "enhanced" vision we witnessed at the end of the episode? We definitely learned that the visual perception of Observers is augmented through the implant. Visually, reality takes on a bluish, wavy hue. Perhaps they can perceive infrared/ultraviolet light, electromagnetic fields, and other phenomena otherwise imperceptible to the human eye. What is known, however, is that via this perception augmentation, they can perceive spatio-temporal anomalies, such as with the portal to Walter's artificial pocket universe.

- What did Neck McSnappy mean when he told Peter he has made a "grave mistake"? Was he just referring to the inevitable changes that Peter will undergo? Does the implant have an adverse effect on non-observer-evolved human physiology? Or is there a more grand and complex reason?

-Also, what was up with Windmark's grin after he saw Peter OWN Neck McSnappy? Was that a "well done, ant" grin? Was it a "I knew this was going to happen all along" grin? Or does the dude just love violence?

-How's this for another September theory: The Observer boy that the team is now trying to find is actually the young September! I'm sure that this theory has no basis in fact, but I thought I'd throw it out there into the ethos.

-How many deviations of a character can this show create?! John Noble has played Walter, Walternate, Walter pre-lobotomy, Walter post-lobotomy and Walter post-pre lobotomy (does that make sense?). He's beginning to gain on all of Olivia's deviations. God, I love this show!



For all of you who have actually read this entire laborious and labyrinthine comment, I commend you! You probably wish you could get those 15 minutes back. TOO BAD! They're mine now!
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I don't think that Peter is September either, but I think that Walter and Peter Bishop are very important links in the Observer's evolution.

MAYBE the observers' current state of mind is directly linked to the fate of Peter Bishop, he has to invent/alter something in his future that the Observers consider to be a "milestone" in their own evolution. So with the S1-S3 timeline not longer existing the observers went through a change to the worse, September only rebelling because he saw/felt the change from 1st hand and Peter possibly accelerated the (bad) Observers' evolution by his choice to go dark and to revenge his poor Etta. So with Peter "erased" at the end of season 3 the S1-S3 timeline - Observers thought they had kept their evolutionary integrity but in fact September fucked it all up when he distracted Walternate in curing Peter back in 1985.

This possibly makes no sense whatsoever but that happens a lot to me when I try to step back to look at the whole Fringe-painting. It's hard.
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"Neck McSnappy" Classic!
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- Totally getting the Matrix vibe too.

- Etta. I feel you, man... I'm as stunned as you are. 5 episodes - felt like five seasons.

- Walter is still amazing as always. I disagree with Tim that his mental change needed preparing. Maybe this was the first incident of Walter's brain fusing together. It wasn't a small incident, mind you, but still - this was the "preparing".

- Your Observer child = September theory seems more probable than the Peter theory to me.

- Windmark's smile was probably "You really did make a mistake, Peter. And it's gonna be fun, seeing you pay for it"
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We saw him acting jerkish right after the implantation, grump at other times, and then this episode had him acting jerkish. Telling the cyber cyclops to leave him alone and threatening the stranded guy that he was the only way out.
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Observers don't get fun...
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I know. That why the smile was weird. But the again, Windmark is the only one that shows a bit more humanity than the rest of them.
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Observers don't get fun...
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Firs of all I dont think Peter is turning into an Observer. After all the Observer Peter killed told him he made a grave mistake. If Peter was becoming one of them they probably would have though it was a great thing because one of their biggest enemies would basically switch sides.

Though what should worry Peter is the fact that all the Observers seem to be linked telephathically - probably through their implants. So that would mean they could have a direct path into Peters mind and could explain why Windmark was actually kinda smiling after Peter teleported away.

Btw, did anybody else feel like they were watching the ending of the first Matrix movie?? There was Peter, fighting an opponent who had so far been much stronger than him (who is also always wearing a suit and can appear out of nowhere) but suddenly he is actually capable of defeating him. So he kills him and in the end he sees the world in a completely different (and weird) way. The only thing missing was Peter flying towards the camera.
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A lot of people have been noticing the similarities to the Matrix, it seems like they WANTED for us to see that :)
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Great Peterver seemed alot like Neo in this one and the observers were all devious agents....Matrix all the way!!!! great episode!
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I loved those glyphs on doors. Nice little detail they did:D



Why do Observers wait,WHEN THEY CAN TELEPORT,for those useless Loyalists!!! They learn where Walter is and then they waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait for them to get there.



Think I have an idea how it's gonna end. POSSIBLE SPOILERS,so stop reading!







Walter still needs to build "his" machine for Peter,right? So that might be their master plan. Walter builts it for Peter,some might die and Peter uses machine. He "destroys" Observers and goes back in time (hopefully without some lame reset,but with a twist that he just put everything in motion to "happen again"->butterfly effect Peter:D never mess with time :D )
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I can kinda see what You mean, Tim. But I still really enjoyed the episode. Although I can't really deny bias. The show is ending soon, so we could be attacking it for not being perfect enough throughout the entire season or we could be ignoring too much in effort for it to be perfect.

Two things:

1. We need to start uncovering at least some mysteries in the next episode and from the looks of the promos, Peter's situation will come to light to the rest of the team. The show needs to start gathering momentum soon. There's still 7 episodes left, it won't be a 7-episode finale either, so we can't raise the stakes too high either, or the end will be diminished. I think if after 2-3 weeks the shit really starts to hit the fan, there will be enough room left for a full several episode finale.

2. How could they miss the timeflow difference especially after they mentioned it in the episode several times.. Why only such a little time passed in our universe after they went in the pocket universe?.. It should have been like 12 hours out here for the 30 minutes they were inside.

Anyway, I think everything is going rather well so let's stay positive. Fringe FTW!
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I wasn't expecting them to use the phone call storyline so soon. I guess the season 2 writers will babe condensing more than one comic storyline along with the prison one.

The presence of walkers in three arena made sense the way they used in the comics, and what happened after that. And how our closest characters related to that.

Also, I'm willing to give the governor a vote of confidence. Sure, he's nuts with the death of his daughter, but still saner than what comic Governor did with zombie girl. If only he hasn't slaughtered those National Guard soldiers... That was his only real sin so far. But then Rick killed sooner prisoners too. So, Vote Governor 2012! He promises hot showers on exchange of no questions or issues.

Speaking of which, when is The Woodbury Gazette releasing its next issue with an expos on the Governor and his shady practices?
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Haha! Wrong article, dude. But I know you're a serious Fringe fan, so it's all good.
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Gosh, that was totally brain dead of me. Maybe the pale Observers are evolved walkers? Or Rick could be recruited by Fringe Division? Sorry, folks. My bad.
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Maybe it's Peter who called Rick in prison, telling him about a certain pill he took.
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A Fringe / Walking Dead cross over episode?
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Great Peter must tell the Resistance what he found so they can just now take the machine out of the Observers necks and kick their asses
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They are not chasing VHS tapes. They are chasing Betamax tapes. There's a big difference. Pay attention!
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What's going to happen to Peter? :( The Observer said he doesn't know what his done, is all his hair going to fall out?
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And is Peter suddenly have an urge to buy a suit and a hat? That would be the beginning of the end.
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Are the observers nothing more then unwilling victims of tech implantations controlled by one mastermind...and are we now waiting for winmark to take control over Peter...



Resistance is futile...
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Tim, present walter was not sheepish when going to the apartment. he even snapped back at the woman saying its none of her business. the one being sheepish was the 20 years ago, walter in the video(through whom we saw the path), and that we already know, that walter was sheepish and looking for raspberry filled baked goods.
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I really thought this episode was amazing, there were so many little and big moments to enjoy: Peter and Olivia bonding, the "pocket universe"; Peter fighting the Observer; watching Walter on tape getting distracted by a raspberry treat, the Observer boy, the glyphs on the doors, Walter admitting he's returning to his cold-hearted self, Windmark's ominous grin... So many things!!

I have to disagree with you on one account, though, you said: "Yes, we found out later that Walter's mind has been reverting to its pre-lobotomy state, and that Walter was much more prone to flights of fancy fueled by hubrisbut the show didn't establish enough beforehand to make it seem like anything but a stupid thing for Walter to do." If by "beforehand", you mean in previous episodes, that could be the case, but there was a subtle hint at the beginning of the episode that Walter wasn't acting as his lovable self: when he got into the building and he met the lady with the cyborg eye, he was pretty cold and dismissive, there was something so subtle in the way he answered to her question. ("What's your business here?" - "None of yours"). In that exchange, I could sense something was off, he almost sounded like Walternate (who, in my opinion, has a lot in common with Walter pre-lobotomy). Just a thought...
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Don't forget that the Walter whose memory was brought back after Etta & co reimplanted back the pieces of brain safely stored at Massive Dynamic (S04E19) has show a bit of a grumpy character afterwards.
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Yes, you're right!! He has been acting cranky all seson. And I also thought of something else, when they were inside the pocket universe, Walter refered to Cecil as "collateral damage" or something like that. He coudln't care less about this poor guy who had lost 20 years of his life, he was all business. That's definitely pre-lobotomy Walter!
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I mentioned in one of my posts a couple weeks ago that I haven't really been enjoying the season as a whole as much as I have been each individual episode. And you hit completely nailed the main reason for this. More than any plot contrivance (like the plans being on several tapes, even though they're all in one place, so if anybody found one it would be easy to get them all), it's the lack of any major emotional connection, for the characters and the audience, involved with saving the world. Of course the characters would want to save the world for themselves, and for future generations (as represented by Etta), but it just seemed a bit flat overall. So, as much as I actually did like her character, I think that the death of Etta may have been the best thing for the season as a whole. Since then, we have gotten some great character developments. Peter going dark side by putting the Observer technology in his brain, no matter the cost (and the effects we've seen so far are already fascinating to watch, despite being limited to a couple scenes towards the end of this episode). Olivia first trying to hold on to her sanity by not being reminded of what happened, but then being reminded of the love she and Peter had once shared and wanting to get it back, even if he is being emotionally distant and secretive. Stuff like that already has me feeling much more satisfied with the direction of this season than I had been before Etta's death, and has me excited about what the rest of the season has in store. Of course, there are still other issues that I have with this season which I hope will be smoothed over by the end of the season (again, the tapes with the plan), but I'm more than willing to see how the season plays out in the end, and then make my final judgements about stuff like that.
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I think the writers of Fringe, with this episode, decided to pay a little tribute to Robert Heinlein and his short story "And He Built a Crooked House." If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.
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Cool episode. I don't really have any strong complaints about it but I also just don't find myself enjoying this season very much. Meh, can't think of anything else to say.
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It was a pretty decent episode, but nothing special. This was the Fringe writers, directors and producers saying "to hell with it, its the final season, we always wanted to do some wierd laws of physics don't apply" type episode, so they found a way to do it. But many people would't be as amused by that, so they dropped some bombs (such as the child obserever and Peter as an observer) to hold us over till the next episode.

Other than that, not much else happened. Not a fantatstic episode, but not terrible either. O well, bring on the next episode
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So disturbing that the only time we've seen a glimmer of a hint of a smile on Windmark - was when he noticed (and figured out most likely) what Peter had done.



Whatever makes that icecold freakazoid smile - is no good Peter!



I loved the little talk between Walter and Peter, knowing that it'll most likely be the other way around by the end of this show.



Olivia is getting back to her badass self, good to see!
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If my math is correct, a hell of a lot more time should have passed outside the pocket universe. Continuity fail. Also, can Peter manage to go an entire episode without doing something stupid? Methinks not. Perhaps the most ominous scene was the downright giddy expression (for an Observer) on Windmark's face after he saw what Peter had done.
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Yeah, I was wondering about that as well. I have seen at least one other show that does something (though for some reason I can't think of which show, or shows it was), and it bugged me as much there. Lostcause78 could be right, it may not be as simple as time slowing down, but rather time acting chaotically, but the way they explained it in the episode was pretty confusing, and was the thing that bugged me the most about this episode.
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I too thought about that time difference between the real and pocket world as soon as it was mentioned in the episode, and thought about it again when they returned to the real world and no time had jumped. I explained it away by thinking: "Well, it's fringe sciencey stuff -- I guess the idea could be true, but the specifics and laws of that science are unknown"... and while it's a valid answer, it also just seems to be a crutch of sorts for almost every time something in the writing seems slightly lazy or "convenient for TV."
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Regarding time: Not really, it was never stated that time was purely slowed down in the pocket space, just that it acted funny. For all we know Cecil has jumped from slowmotion, fastforward and anything in between compared to our timeline.
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I tend to agree, we cant see it as a slow motion version of our universe but as a full pocket-size universe with its own set of rules, they don't have time to explain the whole concept of this universe because remember, this is the final season and with only 13 episodes, writers must leave many things to our imagination in order to finish the show properly.
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But the problem is that they were all acting as though time HAD simply slowed down. Walter believed the boy would still be there because it had only been a few days for him--or at least that's what Walter assumed. Yes, the "rules" of physics were working chaotically, but all evidence in the episode (aside from the fact that time wasn't REALLY moving slowly compared to the real world) indicated this world moved slower time-wise. It was only problematic because that idea was used when necessary/convenient (for the Observer boy) and not when it was a problem (the fact that it would have been at least a few weeks in the real world that passed, if my calculations are correct).
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You both are right i stand corrected, i think i just wanted to think beyond the lone idea of slow motion universe
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I wondered about this, too. One day in the pocket universe was the equivalent to 4 years in the real world, right? Soooo, basically, one hour in the other world is, what, about 60 days of real time. Even if they'd only been in there for 15 minutes, it still would have been about 15 days that passed in the real world.
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You assume that if 1 day is 4 years then 2 days is 8 years, 3 days is 12 years and so forth. But we don''t know the rules so it might that 1 day is half a year and 2 days is 10 years. We simply don't know and we don't need to know.
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Like Marfrilau said, you assume that the time flows linearly in the pocket universe but it might as well be an exponential difference between the universe, and 1 day meant 1 day, but 2 days meant 1 year, 3 days 5 years and 4 days 20 years.



Saying that the laws of physics cannot apply in such an universe is pretty convenient to explain anything or rather having nothing to explain.
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That's true; I made an assumption, and perhaps I shouldn't have, but I have to assume something along those lines. I do think we do need to know, because this was an essential element of this part of the plot--the reason Walter could leave the kid there in the first place seemed to be because he (and I mean Walter-on-tape, not Walter-in-person) seemed to think time would move slower in this pocket universe, so he could leave him there "a few days" and expect to be able to leave him for extended periods of time. As a part of the plot that seemed relatively important to Walter's reason for doing what he did (leaving the kid there in the first place) I think we DO need to know how it works. But that's just my opinion.
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