Bullet Points: Fringe Part Two

In my last blog entry of this series "Bullet Points" (read it here) I tried to take a forensic look at the bullet that was used to "kill" Olivia Dunham and the weapon it was fired from.  With some help from my fearless Fringe feedback followers I think we pretty much determined that the bullet in question; the one that hangs from Etta's neck and the bloody one expunged by Walter, are one in the same.

I suppose it would have been to much for Fringe to pursue two different narratives for each bullet.  The show itself seems to drifting from the bizarre to the banal anyway in that they have spent most of their time examining the existential crises and romantic involvements of their players rather than the extreme and challenging circumstances they are faced with.

Hopefully all that will change as Fringe has given itself a major shakeup by introducing a dystopic future in which the current iterations of our heroes must now exist.  Add to this a present day timeline that will shape the future and we have a pretty interesting dynamic. 

So how does this involve our weapon of choice and the slithering slug that exited Olivia?

When William Bell placed the Holographic Emitter atop his table it was a deliberate device by the Fringe production team to steer our eyes towards the pistol inside the display case.  In our previous discussion we discussed the stopping power of the Luger pistol and the grain of the slug and found it was ideal in delivering a mortal wound but not a catastrophic one in terms of tissue damage.  It stands to reason that we might question why that weapon was made so readily available by Bell as he certainly must have known it might come into play.  Surely a brilliant mind such as Bell's could foresee the Luger being used if not by him then against him by either using it to stop Bell by shooting him or by foiling his plan by killing Olivia.

In terms of history, many people were correct in noting that the gun was a firearm of historical significance in that it was the favored firearm of the German army that predated the First World War and was still in heavy use by the time of the Second World War.  In the second season episode, "The Bishop Revival" we learn that Walter's father, Robert Bischoff, was in the employ of the Nazis but he was also acting as a spy for the Allies feeding them information to hamper the Nazi war effort.

A TV show like Fringe asks us to imagine the impossibilities.  Would it be too outrageous to think that William Bell left that gun there deliberately there for Walter to use?

Given the Luger's historical significance perhaps Bell hoped to tap into Walter's collective subconscious knowing that Walter would be compelled to use it.  During the Bischoff era of the Second World War the Nazis were known to use weapons, such as the Luger, on themselves, their countrymen even on family members if it meant to further their cause.  Robert Bischoff himself was considered a traitor to the Nazi cause, figuratively turning against his own family.  Knowing this Bell placed the gun within easy use of Walter estimating the collective impulses of the past would be too much for Walter to resist and brought him to use it against a daughter figure like Olivia and leaving him a turncoat in Peter's eyes.  Walter may have reasoned in his own mind that shooting Liv was his only recourse.  But was it?  Olivia was deprived of the opportunity to resist Bell herself.

Beyond the legacy and the historical significance of the Luger we may also surmise that Bell saw that weapon as the ideal delivery system for his machinations.  Remember, the gun with its bullet were meant to stop Olivia not catastrophically wound her.  The brain would remain intact.  Bell knew Olivia was inundated with Cortexiphan and he also knew, as we learned in "Letters of Transit", that he and Walter always had an exit plan.  Walter exercised that escape plan on Olivia and the bullet was allowed to pass.  But the slug had done its job and made its delivery.  What did it deliver?


When Olivia had a premonition of the man who was going to kill her, Mr. X from the episode, "LSD", she didn't know how literal she was going to be.  Many have surmised that Bell had a figurative hand in leading to her death.  What with the "X" marked Nanites and the information supplied by Pinkner and Wyman we all assumed we knew the end of that story.  But with the information I've supplied above we can now presume that Bell directly intended on seeding Olivia with Nanites into her Cortexiphan ladened brain.

Yes, it stopped his folding of the universe.  Yes, his creatures were captured and cryogenically stored.  It seems as though Bell's plan was utterly defeated.  Was it?  What if this was all part of the plan?  The "other" universe isn't going any where and his creatures were not destroyed, they are still available to him; indefinitely in fact.

William Bell deliberately seeded Olivia Dunham's brain with nanites.  Was this his original plan? Quite possibly.  I'm sure he would've loved to form his own universe and ultimately play God as he boasted to Walter but if that was plan A then plan B was to seed Olivia.  Bell had extensive knowledge of the Observers, their tech, their weapons and the runes.  So its logical to assume he may also had insight into the futures they beheld.  The character of Jessica Holt said as much in the finale episode.  Bell may not have a universe to call his own yet but he's started a future in Olivia that will shake the world

Next: The stunning truth behind Olivia and the nanites in Bullet Points Part Three!


  1. Dave,

    Wow. Very interesting read. I will digest it, sleep on it and get back to you with comments later.

    1. Rest time over yet Sleeping Beauty? Looking forward to your feedback. (Until then, I'll take a little nap myself!)

  2. Hey Dave!

    Another piece hit out of the ballpark. I completely agree that Bell didn't overlook the fact someone, and most likely Walter, may use that gun... and on Olivia. There was far too much foreshadowing for this situation (most off which, if not all, you pointed out).
    I'm really happy you mentioned the Bishop Revival. I know we only have one season left, but I'm still standing strong with my theory Nazi Germany plays a key role in Fringe's end game. Though we may not go back in time our have a flashback of that era, mark my words: it'll come up!

    Cheers to you, sir!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I hit'em out of the ballpark because its my contract year and I'm playing for the big bucks. Otherwise, fat and lazy as usual. I'm eager to see if we turn back the clock to the Nazi era also. Just to round things out and get some closure to that story line. Speaking of turning back the clock, I'll be going down memory lane in Bullet Points Part Three. Keep an eye out for it.

      Cheers back at you!

  3. I had no idea that it was the same bullet, great job IDD!!---charliefromVirginia

    1. Hey Charlie, good to find you here. Thanks for the response. If it turns out that there are two separate bullets then I have a theory behind that also! I hope you got to read part one and stay tuned for part three of "Bullet Points".

  4. Thanks for keeping the Fringe fires burning Dave!

    I agree there's something special about Bell choosing to make that particular gun available. Certainly the one Walternate used on her in the season 3 finale killed her, but that could have been because no one thought to remove the bullet.

    Shooting her to deliver nanites seems a drastic measure since the nanites on the escalators seemed to be picked up easily through the skin. Perhaps nanites do not readily cross the blood brain barrier (particularly a brain protected by cortexiphan) and so direct delivery is required. So what could the nanites do that cortexiphan does not? Maybe impart shape shifting abilities? Make Olivia go supernova?

    Can't wait for part 3 - Lynne (duckyislost)

    1. No problem Lynne, what else am I going to do, watch the Sox get thumped every other night?

      Shooting Olivia does seem pretty drastic doesn't it? Unless of course Bell meant to do it as part of his end game. He could have easily shot her himself once she had outlived her usefulness (universe folding). It makes the perfect "off" switch and he still gets to seed her with Nanites and revive her himself and then find some other use for her if any. (All part of the God complex I suppose.)

      He could have used the gun as a "break glass in case of emergency" device of his own. In other words shoot himself in the head as his brain was awash with Cortexiphan also. The only contingency would be to have one of the ship's crew, Walter or one of the beasties on hand to extract the bullet. Maybe he would evolve into "Bat Bell" and fly around his new world!

      Bell made an observation to Walter (that I won't reveal right now)that I thought was pretty telling. Look for Part Three or a separate blog post for that one!

  5. Interesting slant on the S4 Finale,my personal opinion is that Olivia will die after giving birth to Etta,and it will link to Alt-Olivia surviving childbirth in S3 even though she had Viral Propagated Eclampsia which would have killed her,but the speeding up of the pregnancy by Walternate's crew could have stopped it.
    At the end of S4 Olivia was very hesitant before she said she was pregnant,she might have been told she had VPE and the odds are well against her surviving the birth.

    1. That's a pretty pedestrian scenario "Anonymous" and, well, you're probably right. Sometimes my own theories are more like fan fiction than any where near plausible. Still, I have fun with them and off times there is an element truth contained somewhere. "Imagine the impossibilities" right?

  6. Dave,
    wow.... insightful as ever. I agree with you about Bell. He may have exhibited signs of absolute madness in the finale ... but he always had an exit plan should things go awry. I mean, when Walter shot Olivia he just simply slipped away.

    I agree also that Bell probably had 2 plans (or more) in mind for Olivia. And knowing Walter as well as he did, he probably knew that he might make the choice to shoot Olivia. But i must admit that it had never crossed my mind that the bullet itself may be seeded with Nanites. Interesting idea. Its got me thinking.

    It may very well link in with the comment made by Walter in 'Letters of Transit' when he said something along the lines of ...'and we all know what Bellie did to Olivia'. I think it may be related to the Observers. September wondered how Bellie knew about the stasis runes and Jessica Holt alluded to Bellie knowing a great deal about the Observers and their technology.

    I seriously hope that Olivia doesnt become the 'weapon of choice' used by the Observers to dominate the universe as shown in Letters of Transit. I dont like seeing Olivia getting hurt ....she's been through enough already!

    Im looking forward to part 3 of your Bullet Points.

    1. Careful Lyn, you're sneaking ahead to part three of this series, have you been looking at my notes?

      Where did Bellie go after he rang that bell? Another "Soul Magnet" trick up his sleeve perhaps? I think there is more to it than that and there are several possibilities as to where he could have gone. Fertile ground for more blog posts.

      I think Olivia has been used and abused enough already too. Let's give her a chance to spread her wings on her own and fight the future.

      Thanks Lyn!


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