Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Questions for the Observers

Fringe made its long awaited return last Friday and the major issue of when and where Peter Bishop has been was finally resolved.  Naturally, several more questions popped up and being one who is interested in the "Fringey" aspects of the show as opposed to the romantic pursuits, I found the final scene between Peter and September most intriguing.

First off, I thought there was an tangential allusion to the episode White Tulip so let's look at that.  Peter races up the very stairs where Walter found himself looking up after receiving his White Tulip of forgiveness.  Many people speculated that the Observers were Angels before we found out they were actually humans from the future.  Still, when Peter sees September down the hallway, he is bathed in light like some sort of other worldly being perhaps of divine nature.  Intentionally or not the writers might have made a connection between what Walter was looking for and what Peter finally found up those same stairs.

September tells Peter that the Universe has been hidden from him and that he has been locked out of it.  That begs the question, where did he go?  Was he riding about in that cosmic atrium that he and Peter traveled in  during the episode, "The End of All Things"?  How does one lock an Observer out.  Electromagnetically?  Was September sent to some nether region adrift between time and space?  Is that where Peter was when he was "erased"?  If the beacon allowed September to find his way back did he do it by mechanical means or was the power of his mind enough to sense where he should be.  (I'm hoping it's that one.)  September did say he was "locked" out of the Universe.  He seems hale and hardy now from his gun shot wound.  Was he in a secure Observer hospital room when he escaped?  Or did he travel to where he found another version of himself in time so he could tend to his own wounds together?

September did tell Peter that he had to "go home" previously.  Perhaps September knew Peter would eventually free him and that the Bishop home was just as advantageous to Peter finding Olivia as it was to allowing September to come back.  That would be nice if it all tied in together like that.

September goes on to explain to Peter that he could not be fully erased.  This establishes that "erasure" is possible.  It doesn't explain how one is erased, by physical means or whatever, but it shows the timeline wasn't recorded over as some had thought.  Peter was actually going to disappear.  I'm not sure what constitutes erasure but the power of the human mind seems to have brought Peter back.  Even September wasn't sure how it happened but he credited it to the capacity for love.  Peter's love for Olivia and the rest and their love for him.  Maybe this is the "Forbidden Planet" connection where the human mind has power over the physical world. 

One of the more puzzling head scratcher's was the September telling Peter that he believed (Peter) called the principle "love".  Don't they have love in the future?  Why does that seem like such an abstract concept to September?  Is the concept of love that inscrutable to the Observers?  Maybe they should cut back on some of that pepper.  He called love a "uniquely human principle" and in doing so he seemed detached from the "human" part of the equation.  We learned the Observers are humans from the future so why does September sound like he's on the outside looking in on humanity?  Maybe, as a scientist, September was speaking in an abstract to illustrate is role as a scientific observer.  I hope so.  If not, there seems to be a problem in continuity here.  Fringe was gone for a month but these last two episode were literally back to back.  The writers wouldn't flub that would they?

Finally, Michael Cerveris himself.  He is the quintessential Observer isn't he?  It's hard to imagine anyone else giving better definition to this role.  Peter Woodward as "August" was pretty good.  He captured the quirky facial twitches, the head tilts and the vapidity of the Observers emotions but Michael Cerveris is the master.  His arch looks as he gazes at people speak a thousand words.  He gave Peter one of those looks just before he zipped away.  The screencap below seems to have captured what I'm saying.

Only September could express sublime knowledge, compassion and a hint of arrogance without showing any emotion.  Oh, Observers, where would Fringe be without you?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fringe and the Pocket Universe

I think I finally figured out what's been going on with Fringe this season.  It has to do with the fate of Peter Bishop and it fits in nicely with my obsession with geodesic domes.

Peter Bishop is a lab rat.

Pinker and Wyman have been telling us lately that the answer to where Peter is has been staring us right in the face all along.  My guess is that the Observers, who are scientists from the future, have created a pocket universe for Peter to live in so they can observe his reaction to events so they can successfully map out a future timeline where everything falls into place.  No more mistakes, no more wars and no more inter-dimensional damage.

A pocket universe is described in Wikipedia are "fictional artificially-created universes that exist within the bounds of another universe. The term pocket universe is derived from its illustration in the actual universe where it is usually portrayed as an orb which would fit in a pocket."

What better place to observe and conduct experiments on our hardy band of brothers (and sisters!) than in a laboratory setting.  The geodesic dome is the perfect illustration of a pocket universe so it is no wonder we have seen so many references to them this season.  This may seem a little cruel to have Peter and the others but it is better than continually disrupting the universe and or timelines trying to fix what the Observers have gotten wrong.

Pure speculation on my part of course but it sounds fun and I hope to fill this theory out as my thoughts clarify.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Four Fab Fringe Teasers....

The people behind Fringe have recently made four teasers available for our consumption and believe me I am hungry for some Fringe.  Let's take a look at them and see what they reveal.

What's this, Nina's out of the slammer?  That team of lawyers she referred to last time we saw her must be pretty good.  I already slammed down my gavel and pronounced her guilty!  Notice Nina is cheerfully dressed in black, such a happy sort.  The worse thing revealed here though is the bouquet of White Tulips on the table.  Don't tell me God has forgiven Nina too.  Groan.  At the very least they mean Olivia has forgiven Nina.  This is evidenced also by Olivia confiding in Nina about her love for Peter.  Olivia no!  That's really the Red universe Nina.  (Right?)

Now there's something you don't want to hear over the phone, someone's done something to your eye!  Not good!  I like how this teaser is hued in blue especially when we see Peter.  It suggest Peter's struggle to return to his Blue universe as he travels in the cab.  But a bus station Peter?  Have you been to one of those lately?  Come to think of it the X-Files had a thing for bus stations.  They even featured one in Worcester, Ma. where I still work.  I love the father/son dynamic of this  scene.  Peter shows resignation over having to tell Walter about his leaving.  That's guilt people.  Walter, for his part, is a bit shocked Peter didn't tell him he was leaving.  He's saddened and disappointed that Peter didn't confide in him.  This reveals the close nature that is evolving between Peter and Walter.  I like it.  (BTW, who is that guy in Walter's lab at the 3 second mark?)

Here we get a nice eerie start to the teaser.  That hallway reminds me of something out or Barton Fink or the Bates Motel.  Two points if you picked out the thematic green color of this teaser.  I've been banging the drum for the Green universe for a while now.  Hopefully it's the color of the resolved future time line or do I mean universe?  The walls are green, the lighting has a greenish tint, there is a green cup and bowl on the table and the dish towel hanging on the fridge is green checked.  I can't quite pick out what's on the calendar but hopefully St. Patrick's day is circled.  My guess is that Peter has happened upon the lair of an Observer.  It seems a safe guess with all the fedoras lined up in the closet.  The tie in with the green and the Observer bachelor pad gives hope to my Green universe theory.  Whoever it is, he or she is a hoarder.  Check out all the newspapers.  Also see the old typewriter on the desk.  A shape shifter lair maybe?  When we pan past the eating table note that most of the pepper is gone.  Observer!  (Do you suppose he watches I Love Lucy reruns on that rabbit eared television?)

John Noble is so great isn't he?  He takes Olivia's hands and shows such wonderful compassion.  Do you know what I think saddens Walter the most here?  It's Olivia's rejection of a life of love and attachment. She didn't mind what was happening to her as long as Peter was around but now that he has rejected her she wants nothing to do with her new "old" memories.  Walter looks very upset by this as Olivia confides in him and even plaintively calls her name.  The dynamic of this teaser between Walter and Olivia nearly mirrors that of the one in our first teaser between Walter and Peter.  They both confide in Walter and Walter serves as the father figure and or confessor to our protagonists.  Walter tries to reassure Olivia by telling her he'lll think of something.  Good ol' Walter.  I don't think any of the pieces of his brain are missing in this universe.  Which means he's a good guy after all.  A warning to Olivia though, when Walter himself was distraught earlier this season he tried to lobotomize himself through his own eye.  Hopefully Olivia will just get a visit to the sensory deprivation tank.  Hmmm, is there a tie in to Peter's manipulated eye and Walter's eye "operation"?
(Did everyone spot the person on the slab in Walters lab?)

So what did you people spot that I didn't?  Please give them all a look and let me know!  (Did you all catch Dana Scully in one of these videos?  I did!)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Fringe Poster

I'm still catching up on some old things and one of them is the "new" poster for the last parts of season four.

My first impression was that has to be an old stock promo picture of Olivia superimposed into this scene.  If you take a look at the season one promo picture below you will see the obvious similarities.

This is from a period of early Fringe when they kept Olivia as drab as possible.  Partly because it was in keeping with her early ZFT soldier status and also because I don't think they had fully fleshed out her character yet.  Despite her relationship with Agent Scott the people at Fringe didn't seem to want to feminize her too much.  With the increased popularity of the show, I'm thinking they decided to lighten Olivia to make her more attractive to the masses and showcase her natural beauty when Anna appeared off set.

I'm not a big fan of these photo-shopped posters or pictures.  Entertainment Weekly did something similar earlier this season with a cover of the Avengers assembled to promote the movie.  It was just a collection of disparate pictures taken from various sources and pieced together.  It disappointed droves of fanboys and girls world wide.  Come to think of it, the people at the TV show Smallville did this quite often for their DVD boxed sets that came out yearly.  On the plus side, since there are so many call backs to season one of Fringe in this fourth season it is only fitting we are seeing this version of Olivia now.

Aside from my problems with photo-shopping, much has been made of this poster looking like a cover to one of the fictional musical groups "Violet Sedan Chair" albums.  And I agree it does, what with the tree arcing over the principles in this picture.  I do think moreover that these trees are a call back to the "blight" that manifested itself in the Red universe when the inter-dimensional war was in full swing.  Take a look around our players and they seem to be exiting a reddish or even and orange like glow as they step off the escalator.  The trees themselves seem to be ensconced in blue.  Does this mean the problems of the Red Universe are creeping into the Blue one?  Or does it mean that collectively our main characters are moving beyond the past and stepping up and into new adventures?  Right now I'm betting on the former rather than the latter.  I don't think this phase of Fringe is ready to leave it's problems behind quite yet.

What of the escalator imagery?  Not steps mind you, an escalator!

The escalator could be symbolic of Olivia and the Bishops boys rise out the depths of their shared adventures.  Leaving the difficulties of the past behind and moving above and beyond them.  It could be showing them transcending some earthly plane and moving on to a different dimension, one where new adventures await perhaps to an existence they've never known before.

To see the use of an escalator and not a set of stairs is interesting in it's own right.  I can picture some production team bringing Anna, Josh and John to a local mall and have them go up and down an escalator until they got the right shot.  That must have been pretty amusing to watch.  But since they are using an escalator I wonder if the symbolism here is one of an advanced technology versus that of the simple stairs.    Machines and machinery or technologically advanced devices get a lot of play in Fringe.  This could be a subtle clue that we aren't done with the influence of the Machine yet or even the devices the Observers use to manipulate the lives of our three heroes.

If you want to apply some religious allegory to this image we could see the escalator as some sort of modern day "Jacob's Ladder".  In Jewish tradition, Jacobs Ladder was manifested in a dream of Jacob as he sought to flee his brother Esau.  As we all know dreams play a major role in Fringe.  Alternative lives, dimensions, time lines and futures are all given new perspective and life in the dreams of our Fringe players.  The ladder was populated with Angels and was said to lead to Heaven.  The Angels were symbolic of souls ascending and descending the stairs and this was said to be a reference to reincarnation.  Olivia and the Bishop boys could be seen as the Angels on this stairway.  The allusion to reincarnation is fitting in that Olivia has taken on several iterations of her self.  She's Altlivia in one Universe, and another Olivia that exists in a different time line and in a different universe.  The same can be said of all the characters on Fringe and even Peter as he was reborn at Reiden Lake once more this season.  I explored this very topic of rebirth and reincarnation in my last blog post of Fringe entitled, "Fringe and the Wheel of Life", follow the link to read further on this subject.

If Fringe is to end this season we could see this poster as our beloved heroes finally achieving their just reward.  Going out on a high note and reaching the apex of their adventures.  Finally settling on that plane where literally all is right with the universe(s) the last of their shared plateau experiences.  If Fringe is to be rewarded with another season then like any major mall there is another escalator right around the corner and it could only lead to even further unimaginable exploits.

Let's hope we all get to climb together!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fringe and the Wheel of Life.

I 'm catching up on a few things that intrigued me about Fringe and one of them was this screen-cap from the episode, "Welcome to Westfield".  Quite a few bloggers and Fringe fan sites associated the picture with the "Wizard of Oz" movie and how it was like the bicycle ridden by Miss Gulch as she sailed past Dorothy's room during the tornado. Certainly it is no secret that the principle characters of Fringe have been identified with the main characters from Oz.  That's perfectly reasonable but I am hoping there is a deeper meaning behind it.

We all have learned from Fringe, especially this season, that things have a cyclical nature.  What comes around goes around!  The most recent episodes have particularly mirrored what we have seen in season one. (Hello David Robert Jones and the light box.)  So with that in mind I think positioning our main characters near that wheel is more evocative of the Hindu and Buddhist Wheel of Life.

The Wheel of Life for these religions represent the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth and reincarnation.  We've witnessed what could be called Peter's rebirth earlier this season and even the reincarnation of Olivia as she professed to remember everything the Blue universe Olivia experienced.

Hindu religion sees the wheel as the symbol of continuous existence something Peter can attest to.  He was wiped clean from the slate of life only to written in again.  The wheel also is aligned with the concept of Karma the actions committed during your lifetime that set your destiny for the future.  Even though Walter often beseeches God of the Christian faith he seems to be trapped by his actions into constantly repeating his mistakes and always trying to fix them.

It is the Observers however that are trapped in the cycle of Karma.  Again and again poor September has sough to right his wrongs committed by his acts, deliberate or otherwise.  He never seems to get it right and seems doomed to be constantly chasing his destiny and those he inadvertently manipulated.  Do you think the writers of Fringe are cognizant of this phenomena?  I do.  They may even choose to wrap up this season or even the series of Fringe by having Walter, September Peter and Olivia finally braking their cycles and move on to their true destiny.

In breaking the cycle of Karma takes an appreciation of enlightenment.  Only then can you move on to a heightened plane of enlightenment or Nirvana.  You free your ego-consciousness and are released from the Earthly plane of existence and are no longer bound by the repetitive nature of reincarnation.

Is this where the Machine will come in or should Peter ignore it and find a different way to break the cycle?  If he continues to re-cycle back to find his "home" will it truly mean and end to this story?  I've made much of the human consciousness recently and how Peter's current dimension may be one of the mind.  (You can read that here.)  What if all it takes to go home is just a simple appreciation of where he is and what he is doing and therefore attaining that enlightenment and breaking the cycle.  Perhaps he can do this in unison with Oliva as he often does and this will set history right and set it on it's true path.  This way Peter and Olivia can have their child as intended and Septembers fractured timeline will finally be set correctly.

There has been a lot of Stop signs in this season of Fringe I think it is a clue for our heroes to stop repeating the mistake of the past and accept their fate and what destiny intends for them.  Will they heed this all too obvious warning?  I'm betting yes.

Lastly, as you look at the picture below you'll recognize it as the calendar of the First People.  It's been theorized that the First People were really Walter, Astrid, Peter and the rest.  See it's cyclical, wheel like disposition?  Periods of light and dark that repeat themselves.  Even with their best intentions our poor heroes kept going back and making new timelines but the same mistakes were repeated.

The finality of Fringe may only come when the cycle is broken but that doesn't mean the end of all things.  For Olivia, Peter, their child and the rest a new path will be set and this yellow brick road will lead to no land of illusion.  Instead they truly will be home.  We will all be happy and the new Fringe movie will come out in 2014!

Stay Fringetastic!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fringe and the Cult of Personality

Spoilery Pictures to Follow!

What are we to make of this recently circulated picture from the set of Fringe episode 19?  (Which is also the same episode that Henry Ian Cusick is guest starring in.)  Before we get Lost in that implication alone lets take a good look at the above frame.

It seems to be multiple pictures of the Observer "March" (or some other newbie) and judging by the multiplicity of pictures he's running for election.  Maybe this is what happens when an Observer like September dies and his spot needs to be filled, you need to run a campaign to fill his "month".  How odd would that be!  Only, I am not sure that's entirely the right scenario.  Other Fringe players like Olivia have been spotted on this set including Walter and Nina Sharp.  Only take a look at Nina in the picture below.

Oh my.

Not only is Nina in a wheelchair she has a shock of white hair!  Walter doesn't seem to have aged at all so something is definitely going on here.  Since Walter is the same are we looking at an alternate universe and not the deep future?  Has the Fringe division crossed over to help another division with it's Observer problem?  What would that problem be?  If we toss the humorous election scenario aside could it be that this particular Observer has set up shop in this particular timeline/dimension/universe?  (Ugh, that argument is making my stomach do flips.)

Has this Observer become so enamored with his powers that he has set up some sort of dictatorship in this universe (let's call it that) and he has set a cult of personality that is important to all tyrants.  Has his travels through time and space have made him so powerful that the world is in his thrall.  Idolatry is important to dictators because it makes them seem larger than life, almost god like figures.  Any vulnerabilities they have are overshadowed by this cult status because the people he rules are always fearful that he is watching over them.

A safer theory would be that this Observer is some sort of outlaw and his picture is posted everywhere to facilitate his capture.  (Good luck with that.)   Maybe he participated in some horrible crime that injured the now wheelchair bound Nina and the Fringe division has been called in.

I'm saying a dictatorial alternate universe with a power mad Observer at it's helm is a lot more fun!

So what do you all think?  Is this theory wackier than my last one?  Do I need a long vacation at the mental institution in Deerfield?  Or do you suppose Fringe has taken a great leap forward and we should be prepared for anything?

Imagine the impossibilities!


I added a couple of extra set pictures to reveal the face of the "guest agent" serving alongside Henry Ian Cusick.  Don't know her name yet but it's definitely not Olivia Dunham.