Ask Not For Whom the Bellie Tolls.... tolls for me!

So William Bell is officially back, not a big surprise since we saw the ambered version last week, but am I happy about it?  Not really.  His return as the grand master puppeteer undercuts one of the juiciest villains we ever had in David Robert Jones.  Remember when Jones had everyone running in circles trying to figure out was his next move would be?  In the original season one timeline he was the eager puppy trying to please William Bell.  I guess that hasn't changed much here.  At least back then he was doing everything on his own.  Now he has been de-fanged and half the man he used to be.

It wasn't that long ago that Jones was weeping over one of his creations that he had to sacrifice (there's that word again).  Would a man, who was basically a second fiddle now, feel that much pain?  I doubt it.  Only a true creator would grievously suffer such a loss.  David Robert Jones was that man.

Now Fringe would have us believe he was just a pawn (or Bishop as he would say) to Bell's grand scheme.  Of course I'm a little bitter that it scotchs some of my overall endgame theory for Fringe.  Now I have to substitute Bell for Jones and hope I still get my Trojan horse led, green bubble universe.

I'll survive.  While we're on the subject of Bell triumphant let's take a closer look at the man.

I always cringe a little when I see Nimoy in his golden years.  I love the man and I want him around forever.  When Spock said his goodbyes in the last Star Trek reboot I had tears in my eyes.  Don't go!

Upon closer examination there seems something different about this Bell and the one we saw encased in amber.  Let's take a look.

The hair is closely cropped in the amber version, not at all the same as the casual bangs Bell is sporting along with his Members Only jacket.  The scientific mastermind in amber and the gleeful arch villain in another.  I bet you can guess where I am going with this.

Yep, there is more than one of everything.  The above picture of Bell is one from when he first met Olivia at the World Trade Center.  Looks a lot more like Amber Bell than Members Only Bell.  So I'm calling it.

There are two Bells.

I know, there is one episode to go and I will probably get buried by this but what the heck.  If I get my way in this then there is hope we'll see another David Robert Jones.  Throw in the Red Universe Nina and I'll have a wicked cool summer.

Who's with me!


  1. Grrrrr. I REALLY wanted DRJ to be the anti-hero, and thus, the mastermind. This foils my theories as well seeing add they paralleled yours. I don't mind having Bell back in the picture... And I wouldn't have minded if he and DRJ were partnered up... But to have Jones as a lackey and then kill him after reintroducing him this season? Not cool in my book.

    On a positive note: Olivia being activated? WAY COOL! That Wii Boxing moment with Peter was awesome. I'm guessing she's surpassed level one aka the "light box".

    Astrid better not be dead! They cannot kill her off! I know the series is coming to a close soon, but she deserves a happy ending :(

    And lastly: Members Only Bell got a lol from me :)


  2. Double Grrrr, so did I! Totally not cool.

    The Wii thing was funny but pop his shoulder back in and let Petey boy do the rest. He can handle himself. She should have jumped from roof to roof Matrix style anyway. That would've been awesome. You know, slow motion bullet time. Hilarious!

    I know, mother hen Astrid tells Walter she likes taking care of him, kicks ass and for her trouble gets a bullet in the back. Way not cool! She comes back in amber in the future right?. Unless Fringe decides to screw with us again and changes that too!

    More grrrr!

    Members Only measured the depth of my pissed offedness! (New word!)

  3. Ah! Ambered Astrid. Thank you for reminding me of that. This gives me hope for her. However... If she is dead, and DRJ is dead, how an I going to handle it if Olivia does too!? My heart couldn't. It's too much. This isn't Lost ha.

    Peter can definitely handle himself in a fight. Add seeing Olivia channel get inner Neo would have been awesome, but I'm excited to see Olivia begin her "leveling up" as I'm going to call it.

    I think "grrrr" is the best way to describe how this episode made me feel though.

  4. Casting Nimoy seemed like a coup when we first found out about it but I think it has backfired terribly. Bell was always too important a character to be played by an actor who wouldn't commit to future availability. The entire first season built up Bell's importance but it's the end of season 4 and we still barely know him. I'm as frustrated as you are by Bell's sudden appearance as Jones' boss. It undercuts everything we ever learned about Jones, including the logical analysis that led Walter to his theory about Jones' plan (which resulted in the closing of the bridge). I can't reconcile that Jones with the one who meekly took Bell's orders last night. Why kill Jones off just when he was getting interesting? Your theory about the Bells is very persuasive but the only thing worse than one Bell is two Bells. That would be two unknown characters suddenly turning up to interfere. I was very dissatisfied with last night's episode. Why was Olivia freaking out about her Cortexifan powers so much? What happened to her gun? Why didn't she just shoot Jones? The sudden info dump about this Bell's death was flat out cheating as far as I'm concerned. Why am I supposed to care about these people anyway? Olivia, Walter and Astrid all struck me as having little resemblance to the Olivia, Walter and Astrid we spent the first three seasons with. I still don't see any point to the creation of the Yellow Timeline we've spent this entire season in. Why are we here? Why were so many intriguing storylines abandoned in favor of having Peter forgotten? I'll be very surprised if they come up with a cliffhanger that makes me impatient for Season 5. I'm going to watch Season 5, of course, but the wait won't bother me.

    1. Incredible reply Lemoneyes. You got a lot off your chest and gave voice to many of the things that bothered me this season. I think you spoke for a lot of other Fringe fans out there also.

      In the original timeline, Jones was a toady to Bell seeking curry favor. He even went as far as to travel to the other side to persuade him. From what I remember Bell had rejected Jones. I guess now with this new take on season one we are to believe Bell accepted Jones work or worse yet had Jones develop Bell's work for him. A new splinter in time.

      It does upset the apple cart in a major way. That original universe no longer exists yet Peter still remembers it. So what are we to believe? I hope there is an endgame here that settle this in a satisfactory fashion. If not, you may be right.

      All of this was for nothing?

    2. Do have any thoughts about why Olivia was so surprised and upset by her Cortexifan powers? That was my biggest problem with this specific episode.

    3. Kristin (aka serenityinall)May 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      I wondered that too Lemoneyes, except I think I was more wondering why it was just sort of "brushed over" when this is an obvious advancement suddenly in her powers that no one knew. I mean all season whenever Olivia sneezed it seemed to require blood drawn and tests; then with this display in Part 1, nothing really. Maybe they will address this more in Part 2.

    4. Are you talking about the rooftop scene? I must confess I haven't done my re-watch yet. Tonight for sure. Olivia didn't seem puzzled when she was popping light bulbs during The End of All Things. (I think that was the episode.) So I can't see why this would mystify her. I thought the whole scene was a bit silly and was a bit overwrought for just getting Pete and Liv out to manipulate them.

    5. I understand what you mean. I guess I felt the expansion of powers a bit different though in this episode. in The End Of All Things, yes she did the light box and a lot more. She said though to Peter during that episode that she knew she could do it as she had done it before. The thing with the Jessica Holt character and then the rooftop scene (which yes, I found a bit silly at first - I can see Olivia seeing the guards mimic her moves and using that to initially assist Peter, but then let the man fight on his own) is that those were things she obviously didn't know she could do or how she did them. I thought with the Jessica Holt thing since they all seemed so shocked it would be a bigger deal is all. I saw it as she had the one power she used a few episodes ago and now suddenly she can do all this other stuff and no one seems to be blinking an eye. Of course, we still have a part 2 to go.

  5. Probably for the first time, I have to disagree with Dave…. I thought this episode started off slow with Charlotte, but rocked in the end. I looked at the "Kinetic"/"Kinect" fight as one of those unexpected things one expects from Fringe.


    If the show ended with these last two episodes, wouldn't you expect to see Bell and the Observers? And, as far as the yellow universe is concerned, you know stuff happens. One day, you're standing in your ancient machine trying to fix two universes. And, the next, you're butt-naked in a lake. What are ya gonna do?

    1. Before Letters of Transit I didn't expect to see Bell again. If a character's died twice I assume he's dead. I wouldn't have been disappointed not to see Bell because (1) I accepted his death and (2) although he had the potential to be a great character the casting had prevented him from being developed into that character.

      If these had turned out to be the last two episodes of the series I would have expected a resolution of the Observer storyline. The first half of the finale didn't deal with them directly at all. Perhaps we'll discover it was dealing with them indirectly.

      With the episode trying to tell such a lot of story I was surprised we spent so much time with Charlotte and with the new head of St. Claire's. I'm still puzzled about Charlotte. I was disappointed to learn the actress who plays the new St. Claire's boss is John Noble's daughter. That suggests to me the length of that scene may not have been determined purely by the needs of the story. Normally I wouldn't care but Brave New World, Pt. 1 was 90 (or more) minutes of story forced into a one hour episode and it showed.

      I generally don't mind product placement because I understand why its necessary but it consumed a lot of precious time this week too. I found it annoying and I own one of those phones! The fun of seeing "my" phone in the show didn't begin to offset my impatience at the waste of time.

    2. Well, I think next year's half season will solve most of your issues. Knowing that it is the last season with 13 epis, the pacing will be faster and the elimination of a second universe, will hopefully, make the cost per episode cheaper. As far as Belly's being dead, I agree, they could've left him unperturbed. But, the story would have been incomplete.

  6. And it may not be the last my friend. Feel free to disagree, maybe you'll pull me away from the dark side. (Besides, I hate breathing through this Vader mask. I makes my nose run.) I know, there is still one episode to go. I'll give it all a chance.

  7. Hello everyone,

    Wow, lots has been said here for sure. Admittedly, I suspected we would somehow see a reappearance of William Bell based on the "Letters of Transit" episode; however, I did not expect to see Leonard Nimoy for sure. Dave, I also wondered about the difference in the Bells appearances (one in amber vs. one in 4x21) and caught myself thinking that perhaps this is an alternate. The other things that sort of caught my attention on this was Nina saying that Bell died in a car accident and if I recall, that was originally what happened to Red Verse Bell when we first learn of this a couple of seasons ago. Anyway, I too am disappointed in DRJ's demise, unless perhaps that is somehow is alt-DRJ. Who knows? Otherwise, I loved the episode. I suspected that there is more to the Charlotte character and it seems from the promo for Part 2 that is the case. There are some things I didn't think got enough attention, things that were simply touched on that I felt were kind of "wow" moments; and I too am wondering how Astrid will play out; yet I keep having to remind myself that we have a second half of the finale to go and then yet a thirteen episode Season 5. The show has been amazing all these years and I'm trusting/hoping it will end that way. ttfn ~Kristin

    1. Kristin-

      You're absolutely right. There is a part two to this, and judgment should technically be passed once both halves have aired.

      I trust Fringe, the writers, the producers, the actors, etc... My gripes are solely pertaining to this episode and not the season as a whole or show as a whole. Like Dave, a lot of my theories and hopes were crushed in this one hour of TV, but all in all I can't poo poo Fringe, so I'm with you there!!

      Also, I don't think this I'd a Red verse Bell. There was too much tie in to he and Walter's past for that to be the case.

    2. Thanks Sarah. It will def be interesting to see all the post after Part 2 airs! Have an excellent week!

    3. Kristin, I have a feeling Astrid,s fate will be used by Bell to leverage Walter's cooperation. He'll offer to fix her in exchange for Walter helping him with something. Something awful I'm sure.

      It looks like Charlotte is an insider for Bell. That guy has all the (chess) moves doesn't he? It'll take another Grand Master to defeat him. Hopefully it will be his own doppelganger.

    4. Hey Dave,

      Happy Monday night! Ha! I'm not sure about Jessica Holt (aka Charlotte - sorry, never saw Lost) being an insider for Bell. The only reason I doubt is that in the promo this character says something to the effect of "this is a future he didn't foresee" or something like that (no, I have no idea why I remember these things). So, I'm not sure what to think. Guess will find out in a few days.......

  8. Dave i love the title of this blog entry. I was in the middle of tweeting that exact thing trying to beat MrNimoy's on screen reappearence. But alas he appeared before i could finish! Foiled again!

    I loved this ep. It was so full of info... and i can understand why. At the time this ep was filmed the fate of Fringe was still very uncertain. Joel & Jeff promised fans that we would have answers and i guess they were just trying to give us as much as they could .... in case the worst happened. So whilst my brain is on 'overload' mode i will try to make some coherent comments (a touch of wishful thinking on my part).

    2 William Bells, well quite seriously i had never thought of that. You may very well be right. I do find the prospect of that just a little scary. In the finale preview we hear him say -

    "if we are capable of being gods then it is our destiny to do so"

    WHAT? What is he saying? Is he saying that he feels that its his duty, his destiny to play god with our universe ...with all universes? This is madness. Hearing that statement took me right back to this quote by Broyles (to Olivia) in the Pilot ep-

    "its as if someone out there is experimenting, only the whole world is their lab."

    And i think in this case its very true. Given what Bell says in the finale it appears that it is him who has been conducting all these experiments. What bothers me most about this is the callousness of it all. Loss of life, the pain suffering by everyone. For what purpose? Is it just because he can?

    In the LSD ep when Bell and Walter are in the blimp, Bell says to Walter "that when they were younger they needed each other for the checks and balances". So, can i make the leap that in this new timeline Walter wasnt there with Bell to help with those "checks and balances?" Does it mean that the Bell we see reappear in this ep may be the one from the AltVerse? I know im making huge leaps here .... but im just thinking on the run here a little.

    Bell also said to Walter in that same ep "now you posses the wisdom of humilty. The decisions you make will be the right ones." I know that this was in a season 3 ep and was made in another timeline but i think it may come back into play in the finale. We see Walter with a gun. Does he want to shoot Bell ... or does he shoot Olivia? I know that sounds absurd but consider what Walters mindset may be. He knows Bell has activated Olivia for whatever nefarious purposes. He knows Olivia is scared.He knows that he loves Olivia. He knows that they shouldnt have experimented on young children. He knows he doesnt want Olivia to be used by Bell. To prevent Bell from using someone he loves does he shoot her save her? I know ive made a huge leap there but let me know what you think.

    Part 2 of my thoughts in the next entry. I wrote too much in the first entry. Yikes!

    1. "If we are capable of being Gods, then it is our destiny to do so."

      Two things about that quote. 1. Nina claims the Bell she knew would never do such a thing (paraphrased) so does that mean there is another Bell that would? I hope so. 2. Walter always lamented his role in trying to play God. (But is this the same Walter?) Walter had parts of his brain removed to prevent him from becoming something he didn't want to be. Tacitly, Bell agreed and conducted the operation. Would that man who acted in accordance with Walter's wishes act like a god himself? I doubt it. So maybe there are two Bells.

      This Bell is also quoted in believing in destiny. So does that make him a non believer in free will? That sounds plausible also. Sometimes you have to read between the lines of this show. Not always but sometimes!

      Nice thoughts about the "checks and balances" angle. Perhaps you're right about Walter not being there for Bell instead of the reverse. This new timeline has had a slightly different approach to everything we knew before.

      Walter shooting Olivia? Wacky thought. I like it. But Peter didn't hate on Walter in the year 2036 so I am saying probably not. Maybe he shoots the Observer. He did say whatever happened to September was "unexpected".

  9. Part 2 of my comments. I guess they were a little too long

    As for DRJ well im not surprised at him being a puppet. Yes he was a very smart man. A driven man. But Bell having this "god complex" used this to his advantage. The one thing that DRJ had that Bell doesnt have is a feeling of compassion / love. I know this sounds mad but consider that moment when he killed one of his own shapeshifters. It was a momentary feeling of love for something he had created. A glimpse of some form of humanity in the man. As for the version of Bell we see now, well obviously he has no love, no compassion, no humility. He will use anyone. RIP DRJ.

    One more thing i have been pondering as we await the finale is ...September. We see him momentarily in the finale preview. Is this where we see him get shot? Does he stand in front of Olivia and take the bullet for her? He said to Peter .."she is the one...the Olivia Dunham from whom your shared future was meant to spring. This must be ... and everything will be as it was intended. You must find a way." So, does September take the bullet so that this can come to pass, So that the 'right' Olivia Dunham has a baby? Is she already expecting? Hmmm

    I have so many more questions but my head hurts. I have to stop. I need to rewatch the last few eps again to try and make some sense of it all.

    1. Most people seem to agree with you that September dies during this coming episode. I'm hoping that September makes it to 2015 when he tries to help fight the Observer invasion. That's the way I took it when Walter spoke of him during the episode, "Letters of Transit". I'm now thinking that the "unexpected" fate of September was a death followed by a rebirth as Etta's twin. He'll regenerate quickly and disappear. How's that for "out there"? Don't ask me how he gets "inside" Olivia. This is a family blog. Ha!

  10. Just a quick question about September... This just occurred to me, we know September was shot for the first time via "Back to Where You've Never Been" (that seems like forever ago), then not again until "The End Of All Things" where he disappears. Then in "A Short Story About Love" when Peter finds the beacon, etc. September shows up without being shot and saying that they blocked the universe from him. Am right?

    If so, then if September does get show in this season finale, he would have then had to have traveled back in time?

    Now I've really confused myself. ha ha ha

  11. Your timeline seems correct as far as September's wound is concerned. I was in the Fringe podcast chat room when he reappeared without the bloodstain and when I made a comment on it all I heard was crickets. I thought it was significant but all everyone else was concerned with was Peter's love life.

    So either in his travels through time he found someone to fix him or he has a great dry cleaner in the future.

    Or both!

    1. Kristin (aka serenityinall)May 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Hey Dave. Only one more day until the finale, then a long summer wait!

      POSSIBLE SPOILER - Just a quick note. I was watching the extended "movie trailer" for the finale last night and happen to notice two things. 1) When in the trailer when the Observer September appears, he is NOT shot. 2) Later in the clip when it shows September again... he is bleeding where we saw in a previous episode is where he was shot. Not sure how I noticed it, but when I thought I did I went back and re-watched it. Sure enough, that is what's in the clip.

    2. At your urging Kristin I watched the trailer again today. I suppose when you are a time traveler you are bound to run into different versions of yourself. I wonder why we don't see more of this in science fiction. OK, we saw a little of it in "Sliders" and Star Trek Voyager but not much. I saw the blood again also and Walter with a gun. Does that implicate him? Also that gun was a German WW II era Luger. I wonder if there is a connection to the Bischoff's of the past.

    3. Happy Sunday to ya! Dave, we now know, don't we? ttfn


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