The Variable

I've been wracking my brain of late trying to find significance to the events in this season of Fringe.  Sometimes there seems like nothing much has happened and yet so much has gone on.  A case in point was the thoughts that went through my mind after the episode, "The Bullet That Saved The World".  I remember lying in bed the next morning and thinking, "Well, we didn't learn much from that episode.  None of the clues came together as to how the Observers were going to be defeated."  Disappointing.

Oh, wait, Etta Died.

That's literally what went through my head the very next morning and it pretty much characterizes how this season has progressed.  Bits of information teased out here and there punctuated by stunning events.  Take what happened in the last episode "5-20-10" we're no closer to solving the end game but Peter is switching to full on Observer!

I began to mentally backtrack through the episodes and thought of another stunning event and that was Peter inserting the Observer tech into the base of his brain stem during "An Origin Story".  As these events spun through my head I began to think, "what would happen if you took the tech back out, would Peter return to normal?"

Then it hit me.  The variable.  Peter realized in this past episode that he hadn't accounted for the variable and his original plan to blow up the Observer lieutenants and that is why it failed.  His precognition was faulty because something had changed that led to the unpredictable.  This could explain why the shipments from the future got through despite Walters plan to create a black hole in "An Origin Story".  Either the Observers changed the variables to ensure their success or Walter just didn't account for the variable.

So what other major variable may have happened that could change the face of the future?

How about the aforementioned removal of the Observer tech.  Does this explain what happened to September?  Is this what Walter was referring to when he said September's fate was unexpected?

Does this explain who Donald is???

We may now know why we never get to see Donald's face.  Because revealing that Michael Cerveris as the actor would certainly spoil a major plot point!

Well, It's my theory anyway.  It's a major curve ball and sure would be fun.  What do you all think?  Is this the variable that the Observers never considered and could change the face of the future?

Is Donald really September minus the Observer tech?

(Note to Peter, lose the tech and keep the hair.  Look what it did for September.)


  1. Great post IDD. come to wash dc the beers on me. Charlie in Virginia

  2. Brilliant theory, Dave!

    I actually really like it. I don't know why the tech being removed hasn't been mentioned yet. I don't know why I personally haven't considered it either. So, I'm glad you put this out there.

    I'm so confused as of late, because everyone's theories I've heard thus far are great, but all slightly different.
    Some have said September is Creepy Bald Kid
    Some have said September is Peter once he fully becomes an Observer
    Some have even said September could be Peter's son

    Then there's Donald.
    Some have said he'll be Sam Weiss
    Some have said he'll be William Bell
    Some have even said (and this is my favorite, yet far fetched) he'll be DRJ

    And now you've thrown in some chips on Donald being September sans Tech... and now I'm doubting all other theories. Well played.

    Here's why I like your theory:
    (I already wrote a lot of this to you in a message, so I'll be short)
    I am sticking to my theory that the Observer tech is related to the tech of the machine, and it is coded to react to Peter's genetic make-up. I am also sticking to thinking that Olivia is STILL Peter's crowbar and thus can "pry" him from this tech as well.
    That plays nicely with your thought of the tech being removed without the person / Observer dying (as seen in the show).

    As a side note: Bowie (ie. David Robert Jones). Is this a clue for DRJ's return?

    As a second side note: We're all familiar with the song "the man who sold the world". It's a classic. But, having listened to it after watching that Fringe episode, the lyrics really caught my attention. I encourage anyone to listen to it.
    Could the subject of the song reflect someone in the show. Is it Peter? Or Walter? or Bell? Or Windmark?

    This show keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.
    Sorry for the spastic comment this time around!

    1. I have to say I like your thoughts on Olivia being the "crowbar" for Peter. Having the tech related o the Machine of old would be a nice link and would serve to get Peter out of all the trouble he's gotten himself into.

      As for the return of "DRJ", I wish! Harris is a very busy man and I'd be amazed he would find the time to reprise his role. But on this show one can never say never. After all, Leonard Nimoy made it out of retirement. I think acting is an itch they always have to scratch. I envy them.

      As for the song, at least Fringe has done a better job than Lost in keeping their clues and Easter eggs tied together. More often than not on Lost the clues were set adrift. At best they were tied in thematically but nothing more.

      Thanks for the feedback and sorry for the late reply!

  3. Nice theory Dave! I love the idea that September unplugged is Donald! Could the whole Observer race be saved by simply disconnecting them from their tech? (Cautionary tale humanity! Then again the tech-less world of Revolution is not exactly safe. I digress....) Maybe give them all a computer virus to borrow a SciFi trope, or nanobots, or even short them out at a particular frequency? I fully believe Peter is recoverable at least.

    The unexpected or unaccounted for variable leading to an unforeseen future has been a long running theme on Fringe. The Firefly, Olivia messing up Milo's plan by not reponding to the Oxygen alarms, August dying, Peter not being erased, etc. Heck nearly all the Fringe events had unexpected or unintended consequences. Human emotion leads to unpredictability. Could September be the biggest variable of all? He did set the events of our story in motion by distracting Walternate and then attempting to course-correct. Would the Observers even consider the possibility that one of their own could go native and turn on them? Seems like that would "not compute" for them.

    So many examples of human + tech hybrids gone wrong on this show. White Tulip, Nina's arm, Peter and the Machine, shapeshifters, cranky lady with a cyborg eye, now Observers. Never seems to end well. Well, Nina isn't dead yet, but she did get abducted because of her arm once. I always wondered if she might die by it strangling her.

    Keep up the insights and observations, I look to you to get me through this mini-hiatus! -Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne, I like how you put my theory into the context of human unpredictability. Windmark may rue the day he thought he had everything mapped out. At least Peter understands the "variables" hopefully he can keep a handle on this as he struggles to maintain his humanity. (See Sarah Maria's comments as to her theory on how Peter may be saved.)

      Your thoughts on Nina's arm sent my mind on a tangent. We still don't know why she is in a wheelchair. It begs the question, why didn't she use Massive Dynamic tech or Science Ministry tech to repair her spine or her legs. Maybe she is afraid the tech would change her ala the Observers. Smart lady.

  4. I like this theory, Dave. There is a Donald that was an assassin for the Observers of old. He looked heavier, but the hair was similar. I imagine he switched sides after all the "good" Observers were killed.

    If he is September, then why chase the tapes or have the encrypted mental message, if he could just simply tell him what the plan was? So, I'm not so sure it's September. But, on this show, anything is possible.

  5. Nice catch on the other Donald. For my sake I hope you're wrong! (wink.)
    The chase for the tapes has been a bit of a boondoggle. I think they changed their minds on how to pursue this angle once the season began to unfold. Production wise I think it became too much work. So they decided to keep it "in house" i.e., the lab at Harvard.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts