Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blue Bubble Bursting?


Watch  out Peter there is a universe creeping up behind you.

It is difficult to know what to make of last Friday night's episode of Fringe, "Welcome to Westfield".  In a recent interview with "Give Me My Remote", which is linked here, Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman hinted at an answer to a "large mythological question".  So, what was that question again guys, specifically?

I guess the best way to attack this conundrum is to examine the major mythological events that happened in the episode.
  • There was a merging of the two universes centered in Westfield, Vermont. 
  • Quantum Entanglement was involved as the victims of the merger started sharing memories, thoughts and physical nature with their other universe doppelgangers.
  • The "Bleed Through" phenomena was present as Olivia started accessing memories with her blue time line counterpart.


Notice I made mention of the "Bleed Through" phenomena.  I think this is an important distinction to make especially in light of what the people of Westfield were experiencing.  The townsfolk were melding with their opposite number from the red universe as evidenced by the doubling of their chromosomes, the two sets of teeth and the replication of pupils in their eyes.  However this is not what was happening to Olivia  as her chromosome count was normal.  She did access a memory with her recollection of the Endina case but that never happened in the red universe it happened in the blue timeline.  That is an important distinction.  Accessing a memory from a different time line is what I am calling the "Bleed Through".  Accessing a memory from another universe is "Quantum Entanglement".  The worst case scenario of quantum entanglement is when the two universes begin to merge (soft spots) or actually merge (Westfield).  
So I ask again, what was the large mythological question that was answered? 

Was it that timelines and universes are two separate entities?  (Although I can't see you can have one without the other.)
Was it that you can access the consciousness from your altered time line as Olivia seemed to do?

I've been arguing recently that Peter isn't going anywhere.  That he is already home and there is no need to find his way back via the machine.  However, I was also arguing that Peter would adopt this new reality (time line) and content himself with these new iterations of the people he once knew and loved.  But with the mind altering ending with Olivia taking on the personality of her blue universe self, it looks like I wasn't wholly correct.

David Robert Jones was directly implicated in the machinations surrounding the fate of Westfield.  Broyles specifically noted that they found devices containing Amphilocite; the same ingredient he needed to "blow a whole in the universe" as Peter mentioned.  So one can surmise that Jones conducted an experiment in universe merging with Westfield as his subject.  Does this explain what happened to Olivia?

It does not.

At first I thought the electromagnetic effect of the merging somehow linked Olivia with Peter and she was somehow accessing her memories through Peter.  But as we saw at the beginning of the episode we saw Olivia dreaming of her relationship with Peter completely independent of any quantum entanglement or physical proximity of Peter.  (Peter acting as a constant ala "Lost".)  You could argue this was just a lustful dream but you may recall Olivia was dreaming of Peter to open the season as was Walter seeing Peter in reflections.  Peter also manifested himself as some sort of electromagnetic blue blur as the season started.

Peter was in approximate vicinity of Olivia when the shocking ending occurred but not the immediate vicinity.  We all saw Olivia walking around with a drink before Peter arrived at the apartment so we can't directly connect Peter's presence with Olivia now possessing her blue universe personality.  

So, can we surmise that the "large mythological question" that was answered was that the blue universe timeline has not been eliminated?  That it is running concurrently with the orange time line?  The coloring of universes was a major component of understanding the differences between alternate universes.  It delineated the existence of parallel realities.  But the absence of Peter has formed a new timeline so why is it colored orange?  So confusing.

The definition of time line and universe has been central to the core question of what we are experiencing here with our viewing of Fringe.  If we take into consideration the aforementioned evidence there is a definite blurring of that definition.  Something I'm not sure we are going to get an answer to because I am not entirely convinced the people at Fringe know what they are saying.

I included the the top most image of Peter with the geodesic dome because the dome seemed representative of another universe existing outside the one Peter is standing in.  But it could represent a timeline also running independent of Peter's current one.  By the end of this episode it seemed to represent the past where Peter no longer existed but is quickly catching up to him because of what happened to Olivia.

So what are we to expect?  Will the current orange timeline (universe?) evolve into the blue one again?  Will it happen to one person at a time or to everyone all at once?  Will this occur because of the machinations of David Robert Jones or is trying to achieve something else?  If the blue time line reappears does that mean the orange time line will run concurrently with it yet remain unperceived?

Oh, my aching head.  I'm going to need a little help with this people, answers and ideas please!!!


 Just in case you find yourself in Boston in the near future (timeline?) why not check out Damiano's Peter and Olivia love it!

17 comments:

  1. Fringe has been making my brain hurt and I think, after reading this piece (another great one), it's been making your head hurt too, ha... Sorry... this will be a long post.

    I hope this doesn't get confusing, but here are my thoughts on what's been going on: We have two universes: Blue and Red. Peter was removed from them. They are still Blue and Red, they are still linked, but sans Peter since 1985. Peter's "deletion" shifted the timeline and changed the courses of our characters' lives (think It's a Wonderful Life), but regardless there were still two universes linked together: Red and Blue. Arguing that this is a new universe means that we're dealing with four universes which is too confusing.

    I think the writers messed up when they explained their definition of a universe and how it can be created. I think we're dealing with an altered timeline, but due to the writers messing up, what happened closely resembles the creation of a new universe... but it's just a new timeline for our existing universes.

    Here's what I want to add on in edition to that: Nina dosing Olivia with Cortexiphan is causing her to evolve into her "original timeline self" or OTS at a more rapid pace than the others.
    My friend, Rob, after watching Welcome to Westfield, asked why Olivia and no one else is experiencing the mind of her OTS. It couldn't be being in that town in Vermont because her blood was fine, she had her dream that morning, and the scene with Peter at the end was back in her apartment. I think it's Cortexiphan for two reasons:
    A) her "headaches" she's been having could have been more than just a side affect but rather the earliest stages of another mind trying to enter into hers.
    B) I think what's going on in Vermont is our explanation why this integration (for lack of a better word) is happening NOW to Olivia. Like you said, Per Broyles, DRJ's actions are what's causing the townsfolk's minds to get all switched up. Because of his experiment on Westfield, the everyday Joe that lives there is going through what Olivia is. Because Olivia's mind is "enhanced" from Cortexiphan, I'm guessing just like that enables her to cross universes with ease, it is also enabling her mind to revert back sooner and faster to her OTS as well. Could this be everyone's eventual fate? I think so. Whether they knew it or not, Nina and DRJ have made Olivia be the first of what I'm predicting will happen to everyone.

    In short: Peter IS home. There are only two universes, their original memories just need to return like he did.

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    1. Can I hear an amen? Amen! That's in response to you saying the writers messed up. It is confusing. Maybe they have a trick up their sleeves or maybe the Fringe team has written themselves into a corner.

      If your observations from your friend Rob are correct then I wonder to what end Nina and or Jones are trying to get Olivia to "open up" to the blue timeline? Or, do they not know this is happening? And if they don't know then why are they dosing her? I feel a headache coming on.

      Jones' work nearly destroyed Westfield so I can't see him trying to bring the blue universe/timeline back. On a grander scale everyone on the planet would be dead. Walter observed late in the episode that two things cannot exist in the same place. So what is Jones' plan? To impress an unseen Bell? Blackmail?

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    2. Thanks for the response, Dave! I think blackmail is a HUGE possibility. If we think of classic villains in comics, cartoons, etc... What are they trying to do? They are usually attempting to either takeover the world or destroy the world. If David Robert Jones is another in a long line of ego-maniacal geniuses, could he be attempting to use the world as leverage to get the machine?

      It's funny to me that the machine has really been in the background. I almost feel like we're being lulled into other storylines by the writers and made to forget about the machine only for it to BAM! end up back in the forefront.

      If my theory is correct about the Cortexiphan doses combined with Jones' antics causing Olivia to "open up" as you called it, I'm positive they're aware. They know what they're doing. They need her.

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    3. PS. I'm SO glad you agree with me that the writers messed up, because I'm certain they did!

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    4. The theory of Jones using the Westfield experiment as blackmail or leverage is starting to gain traction throughout the Fringe-verse. Listen to this! What if Jones is the "good guy" and he wants to remove the Machine from the equation via leverage/blackmail so he can seal the rift between the two universes! If it doesn't work that his genetically enhanced human beings/shapeshifters will be the only ones to to survive (plus him and Nina no doubt) to start a new evolution.

      Can I hear an amen????!!!! (Plus, isn't a "new kind of human being" the title of an upcoming Fringe episode?)

      I'll say it, "AMEN!!!"

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    5. Oh my gosh! Dave... I love it! It's crazy and a little far fetched, but so is Fringe. This is genius.

      On a side note: Did you listen to the Jasika Nicole interview? She said this is neither a new universe or a new timeline. If this is the case, what say you about what is going on this season?

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    6. I HOPE it's a little far fetched! That's part of the fun! It's like throwing darts though, hard to hit the bullseye! Still fun though.

      I haven't listened to Jasika yet, I will tomorrow. I heard the boys talk about it. So confusing. Excuse me while I inject myself with some cortexiphan to relax.

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  2. Agree Peter has always been home.

    If the universes are the walls of a sandbox, all Peter's removal has done is shift the sand around some. ie the sands of time as someone noted when I brought that analogy up.

    The Westfield experiment relaxed Natural Laws enough so that Olivia's Cortexiphaned abilities made a connection with the original 'sand pile.'

    Guessing those promo pics are hinting at time bubbles that link together to form a complete sand pile.

    Further thoughts - Jones used Westfield as a dry run. The eye of the storm concept is the key. Jones wants something. My guess is he wants the Machine.

    As to how the season will play out: Olivia = lever, Peter & Machine = the engine, & Jones/Nina = catalyst to bringing all the character histories of the four seasons together.

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    1. Interesting. So Jones is aware of the machine and as I mused to Sarah Marie above he is using the Westfield demonstration to blackmail everyone into getting it? I wonder to what end? The original DRJ wanted to impress Bell. So what is the angle on this one? How is Jones aware of the other timelines? The Observers?

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  3. All season I was sure I understood the difference between a universe and a timeline. Now I'm suddenly wondering what that difference is. I don't have a theory to explain what happened in Welcome to Westfield but there are a couple of things I think may be significant. I like the suggestion that the continued Cortexiphan injections may be the reason Olivia is recovering memories from the original timeline before anyone else.

    At the beginning of this season Olivia was dreaming of Peter. We never saw any of those dreams. At the same time Walter was having visions of Peter. We saw and heard, even better than Walter did, that Peter was begging for help. Peter was trying to break thru to Walter. Yet when Peter reappeared he was surprised to hear about the dreams and visions. He had no memory of trying to communicate with Walter.

    Maybe the visions and dreams were the work of Peter's unconscious. Perhaps Peter's unconscious was expressing Peter's deepest desire, which was to return to the people he loved. Whatever was causing them, it was very powerful. It took an enormous amount of energy to bring Peter back. Since he has been back Peter has consciously accepted that no one remembers him, but has his unconscious also accepted it? If Peter's unconscious was powerful enough to make him reappear physically it may be powerful enough to restore the memories that would make him belong.

    Beyond that, all I can say is there was one moment in Welcome to Westfield that stood out to me. That was when Peter told Olivia about the first time he met the "other Olivia." This Olivia seemed very taken aback by the revelation that Peter had been a scam artist. They made such a point of it that I can't help but think it was significant. Maybe it's important because this Olivia doesn't have a memory that replaces it. She remembers when she first met Peter but it was obvious immediately that he didn't think it was a first meeting. At a first meeting two people size each other up. First impressions can have a lasting effect. Was the memory of that first meeting the hook that Peter's unconscious needing to pull the "other Olivia's" memories into the mind of "this Olivia?" That's just a guess, but a guess is all I can offer.

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    1. Well, the "unconscious" angle is a new one. Certainly we've experienced the effect of dreams on Fringe. But the unconscious as portal to time lines is new to me. Hmmm, a new way of perception and perception is reality right?

      Wow, that would be a mind bender.

      I remember Olivia's reaction to Peter's "scam artist" reveal. She was surprised. Do you remember that she asked what the other Olivia was like and Peter eventually told this Olivia that Blue Olivia was the first person that gave him something to call home? Maybe that was jarring for her also. I guess we'll have to watch the "unconscious" angle with perception being reality. Yes?

      Thanks for the feedback!

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    2. Think of it this way. At the beginning of the season September was going to use some kind of machine to erase all traces of Peter. What exactly was he going to erase? What kind of power did the machine have?

      I'm not sure I completely understand your comments about perception creating reality. This is what I'm thinking: At the end of Season 3 Peter vanished both physically and from the memories of all non-Observers. When he reappeared at Raydon Lake it meant he had somehow conquered whatever force/power had caused his physical disappearance. But he even though Peter was back physically all the memories everyone had of him after the night Walter brought him from the Redverse to the Blueverse were still gone.

      Perhaps unconscious wasn't the best word to use. I'm suggesting Peter came back physically because some power or ability he doesn't realize he has brought him back. The visions and dreams others had of Peter were caused by this ability when it was working to bring Peter back. But Peter is completely unaware of his ability even when it is at work. That is why he has no recollection of attempting to communicate with Walter. Maybe Peter's ability was only successful in bringing Peter back because of Olivia's Cortexiphan-enhanced brain. Peter's ability triggered Olivia's much more powerful abilities and Olivia's mind pulled Peter back so he was once again physically present.

      This raises the question of where Peter was when he was gone. I have no idea so I'll try an analogy. Think of the Blueverse as a classroom. The people in the Blueverse are the students in the classroom. The teacher has gone to the Teacher's Lounge but left a blackboard full of notes for the students to study. When Peter vanished it was as if one of the students stood up, walked to the blackboard, erased a small section of the blackboard, and then opened the door and left the classroom. Once he was in the hallway the other students could neither see or hear him. None of the other students saw what he did and none of them noticed the blackboard had been changed.

      When Peter reappeared it was as if he had opened the door and walked back into the classroom. He was now with the other students again. They could see and hear him. But the section of the blackboard he had erased was still blank. Now Peter, although he is unaware of it, is writing the missing information of the blackboard. When he has finished the other students will have all the information they had before he left. At least I hope so. All we are certain of so far is that Olivia can see the new information on the blackboard. Because she has special Cortexiphan abilities we don't know if other people will also be able to see it.

      You may object that my analogy is flawed because Olivia is remembering her unique individual memories of Peter. Think of it this way. Each individual memory different people have of Peter rests upon a common foundation. That foundation is the objective truth of everything Peter did and said from the time he was 8 until he vanished. The blank section of the blackboard once contained an objective description of all of Peter's actions during that portion of his life. The reality of the universe has to be changed to include those actions before anyone in the universe can have memories of those actions. Peter is somehow unerasing himself.

      At this point my analogy breaks down and I run out of theory. My basic point is, my theory isn't about changing perceptions, it is about changing reality. At least I think it is.

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    3. Firstly, you mentioned September's device or machine as you put it, I can only imagine this device would block or disturb the harmonics that were going on between Walter and Peter. I ascribe these harmonics (my word)to your theory of Peter reaching out with his subconscious. (Even if Peter was unaware of it.)

      Secondly, since the subconscious minds of Walter and Peter were "harmonically converged" or some how quantumly entangled this led me to believe they were experiencing a new avenue of perception. Not at a conscious level or through eyesight. There is an old tenet, saw or aphorism that "perception is reality". What you believe you see you believe is real.

      It's kind of like what Alt-Astrid was advising Walter to do. To believe that Peter was his son and end the heartache. I think we saw the evidence of this when Walter left the lab in the last episode, "Westfield". Walter altered his perception and it gave him a new perspective on reality.

      So, I ran with your theory of the link of the sub-conscious minds (Peter's and Walter's) and with this new perception became a new reality. Knowing Fringe they may even take it a step further where we see episodes of the goings on at a sub-conscious level where the minds involved see them as a reality.

      How's that???!!!!

      Your theory about Olivia's cortexiphan enhanced mind helping bring Peter back to physical form is perfectly reasonable within the framework of Fringe. Although she had a little help from that guest character.

      As far as your classroom analogy is concerned, when the Student/Peter erased the blackboard information left the room and then re-entered and filled in the erased information he changed the perception of everyone in the room and what they thought they understood. They now have a new reality to contend with.

      Perception and reality work at many different levels. Metaphysical, the physics of quantum mechanic, poetry etc, etc. Your classroom analogy is much like Schrodinger's cat experiment. The fate of the cat in the box is either that it is dead or alive so for that instant both must be true. Only when the box is opened and the cat observed does the reality change.

      Google that is eminently fascinating and Fringe loves to run with that thought experiment.

      You should join this blog, it is always good to hear from you!

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  4. I haven't read anyone elses feedback till I type this out. I have very basic ideas, I think Peter is actually in the right verse, everyone else is syncing in around him. Not much more to say other than keep up the interesting blogs and Bring on season 5.
    Shano
    @wombatjedi

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    1. Hear, hear! Bring on season 5!

      All feedback is welcomed and is good to hear from you. I hope the writers come up with an explanation into how all this is happening. And I hope it is within the framework of everything we understand about the show.

      Thanks!

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  5. I haven't read the above posts yet, my short attention span will make me forget my thoughts before I can get them out. :-)

    Fantastic post on your thoughts, by the way, Fascinating reading. Alrighty then... Mythology seems to be your big question. In my mind, mythology is like spaghetti sauce - exactly what it is depends on who is cooking it. Pinkner and Wyman's interpretation of myth might not be quite the same flavor as what we are tasting...?

    Fringe seems to be one big love story, as many have already pointed out, with alot of really neat and fascinating "stuff" thrown in. Going with that, I'm going to hazzard a guess (and I'm probably wrong) that part of that love story will be answered. Olivia's blue verse self is making itself known to Peter, maybe in an effort to show him that she is still there, much like Peter would bleed through the universes back in that season when Olivia was hijacked into the red verse with Evil Walter. Olivia and Peter are truely connected and meant to be together, so come hell or highwater and even if universes disappear, their love is stronger than that.

    As for the existance of alternate universes and how they come to be, how many, do they disappear... that's way over my head. The Science Channel has lots of neat theories, and offer great ways to zone out while trying to understand it all. Some seem to think they come to exist, zip out and/or merge infinitely, and that just... just... well, it boggles my little brain.

    But speaking of merging. Maybe the blue verse DID merge with another universe (take your pick which one, I don't know) and everything was cancelled out, as the Observers wanted it to. But, for some reason I'm not aware of, they didn't/couldn't know that Peter is not "erasable", and is messing around in the kitchen of existance. And it would appear that Olivia is a tough cookie herself, as she tries to get back to her Peter.

    Maybe Walter's love for his son is a factor to consider.

    I'm sorry for the length of this, I could go on and on - my laptop just informed me it needs power and a plug.

    Maybe love is the plug Fringe is thinking of. (sorry sorry...lol...)

    Can't wait to see what's comiing up!

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    1. Your feedback is making me hungry! Sauce,kitchens,cookies!

      Perhaps your right about the take on mythology. Maybe we are seeing the recipe differently than Pinker and Wyman. That would be a shame. Aren't they reading all our feedback and listening to the podcasts?

      It seems you are on board with the blue time line running concurrently with this orange one. I wonder what happens to the orange time line consciousness if the blue one takes over its kitchen? Geez, I'm starting sound like you!

      We'll have to keep an eye out for the non "erasable" Peter. Maybe he is some sort of inter-dimensional constant for Olivia and that hasn't been revealed to us yet.

      You should get a prize for best pun/tie in to Roxy Music. "Love is the plug Fringe is thinking of" Loved it.

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