Fringe Summer Rewatch: #101 "Pilot" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #101 "Pilot"

      Email Post       7/18/2011 09:20:00 AM      

Welcome to the first of many installments of a new feature we'll run here over the summer hiatus titled "Fringe Summer Rewatch."

Check out our introduction to this new feature here:

Sam Spade, Aimee Long, Dani, David Wu, Dennis, oranfly, and I will rewatch and review all 65 episodes of Fringe and pen our thoughts.

What will make this fun is for all of you to comment on these episodes as well.

So sit back and relax, and enjoy "Fringe Summer" here at FringeTelevision.

THE PILOT EPISODE, or Fringe 101

Do you remember the first time you watched the pilot? I do. I remember being totally engrossed in it, especially being grossed out by the co-pilot's jaw falling off on Flight 627. Those poor people!
I also remember a strong sense of wanting to know more about these incredibly dysfunctional people named Walter Bishop, Peter Bishop, and Olivia Dunham, and where they were headed.
I wanted to know why any woman would agree to have a nasty-looking probe shoved into her neck, and a cocktail of drugs shoved into her vein, and lie naked in a rusty deprivation tank.
Peter told Olivia, "I hope your guy is worth it," and I was thinking the same thing.

This is where our endless list of Fringe-related questions started, such as:

How did Walter end up in St. Claire's?
Why is Walter so worried about Peter's physical state?
What in the world did John Scott's last words mean?
Why did John Scott murder Richard Steig?
Who else is John Scott work for?
And why did John Scott try to run Olivia off the road for Pete's sake?
Was that Morse Code the streelight was flashing? Don't they know Morse Code works best as audio?
What is The Pattern that Nina Sharp refers to?
Broyles tells Olivia "We're impressed." Who's "we"?
How can Nina Sharp's Massive Dynamic people question John Scott who's been dead for 5 hours?
What does the man's voice say while Olivia is staring at her uncle's kyak that reads "Zeno?"
It sounds like "Zeno sink." Definitely not "heat sink." But still...could be a reference to the heat sink machine we see for the first time in "Over There:Part 2."

And as Peter Bishop says, "What happened on that plane is just the beginning."
This episode, written by JJ Arams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, is extremely well-written, and got me immediately and hopelessly hooked on 'Fringe.'

Other Notable Stuff From The Pilot:
John Scott tells Liv he loves her but she doesn't reply, but for different reasons than Peter's not replying in 'The Day We Died."

Did you notice Olivia's cut on her forehead is similar to Peter's when he wakes up in 3.21, "The Last Sam Weiss?"

"So you're saying my father was Dr. Frankenstein?" Well, Peter does look like Frankenstein's monster when he wakes up in 3.21!

"Excellent. Let's make some LSD!" We learn quickly that Walter Bishop is fond of his homemade drugs. And of course, LSD takes on a much bigger role in 2.04 and 3.19. (I hope 4.19 will be another hallucinogenic episode-mushrooms maybe?)

"I still think that this is deeply irresponsible. And believe me, I would know." The scene where Peter is putting the electrodes on Olivia's chest, these words, and his voice? The very first of many sexy P/O scenes in Fringe.

Walter to Olivia: "You lose being trusted. Strange how important that is once it's gone."
Now that we've seen 3.22 it gives a new perspective to these words.

There's a tombstone in the graveyard of Liv's mind that reads "He's not dead."
We learned in Season 2 that probably meant Peter. Now it probably has a double meaning, that the Peter we've known through all 3 seasons, is not dead. I often wonder if it also means AlternateBell is not dead(and our Dr. Bell, for that matter!). Bell told us in "Over There:Part 2" that Alternate Bell died in a car accident as a young man, but can we believe that?

We get our first look at Nina Sharp here, in charge of Massive Dynamic. She's blunt, cocky, and obviously withholding information.

I am still fascinated today with the Peter Bishop job bio Olivia reads on the way to Iraq:
wildland fireman, congo pilot, college professor. We learn in "Inner Child" that he also swept the floor in a meat-packing plant. Like Massive Dynamic, what didn't he do? I really hope we get to see him pilot a big plane, like the C-130 transport plane he requisitioned but was refused in 2.02, later in this series.

We will end each of the 65 commentaries with "If Peter Bishop Never Existed."
Hopefully this will get our brains moving to understand the massive fall-out of a Fringe world(or worlds) sans Peter.

If Peter Bishop Never Existed in the pilot episode...
It's likely Olivia couldn't have gotten Walter out of St. Claire's. Or if she did manage to, she didn't speak "Walterese"-Peter did that, so it is likely that Walter would not have been able to save John Scott, and John Scott probably would have died in the lab. That means he did not kill the Brazilian guy and he did not try to run Olivia off the road. And if it happened that way, that means John Scott, whether he was a double agent or not, died a hero in the line of duty.

If Peter never existed, I can't imagine Olivia would have agreed to caretake Walter Bishop, but she might have, in a last ditch effort to save the man she loved. Can you imagine it?


rebeckah said...

What I want to know is since they spent millions of euros giving Nina Sharp a bionic arm, why couldn't they spend a few quid and remove the three pounds of turkey-neck hanging from her chin?

Peter existed until 2026. Walter explained it already as part of the time paradox. When Peter's consciousness returns to 2011, he has the knowledge he needs to divert the paradox in a different direction. When he does so, his "never existed" state is only for the timeline for this loop around the track. He did exist on the previous loop around the track, and everything he did counted. So second guessing what happened in the first 64 episodes is silly. He existed on the cycle from 2008-2011. Everyone not remembering Peter is not accurate. The Observers remember Peter, that alone is proof that he did exist.

45 said...

@John Scott tells Liv he loves her but she doesn't reply, but for different reasons than Peter's not replying in 'The Day We Died."

Too bad peter got more crap for it than miss perfect who can do no wrong.

Amparo said...

Please, guys, come vote for Fringe here:

Unknown said...

Considering the producers are interested in exploring a time-line without Peter, I really don't think it is silly to contemplate what would have gone differently if one of the variables was missing. THIS is exactly what they want us to do. The time-line we know may not have the Peter we know, but the Observers pointed out that several are occurring at the same time.

As far as the "I Love you..." I think Olivia's proclamation to Peter in 3.21 showed how far she has come since being with John. Peter left his mark on her. However, Peter's love comes in the form of what he DOES for her. He enters the machine and thinks of all those moments with Olivia. Then, he makes a choice with uncertain consequences mainly because of his anguish at losing Olivia. That kind of love means so much more than words ever could. Peter never once told Walter he loved him, either. He didn't have to.

Unknown said...

Things I found interesting:

The passenger that says, "My friend, it is just an electrical storm." versus the electrical storms caused by the machine in The Last Sam Weiss.

I love the motel sign at the beginning that says "Squeaky clean rooms." That's not all that is squeaking. We are first introduced to Olivia Dunham saying "This bed is loud!"

Cell phone interrupts Olivia and John, the start of a major transition on Olivia's life. A cellphone interrupts her and Peter in 6:02 AM EST, also marking a transition for them.

Olivia's character development here: when she was left out of the initial group to board the plane at Logan, she would not accept no. She convinced the reluctant Broyles to allow her on the plane (She was also good at convincing Alter-Broyles to help her in "Entrada.") Men try to intimidate her with names. First Broyles and his "Liaison" then Peter and his "Sweetheart."

Olivia lands in the hospital for the first time. She gets out of the hospital bed and walks down the halls of the hospital. (later we see Peter waking up attached to monitors "Over There." Also he wakes up in "The Last Sam Weiss" and gets out of his hospital bed.

When Broyles asked "Is his son local too?" Olivia answers, "Not exactly..." Peter was in Iraq, but now at this point we know Peter is "from a place no one has ever heard of."

With Peter's many different talents, I find it hard to believe that such a person could have scientific papers published like she also says he had done.

Is there any significance in the name choice of "St Claire's?" This Saint if often referred to as "the enlightened one."

Walter's first words to Olivia: "I knew someone would come, eventually." Has Walter lived this before? Does he have deja vu? When he gets the lab and enters, "So much has happened here. And do much is about to."

"You wanted my father. Now you've got my father. Which falls under the category 'be careful what you wish for, Sweetheart." Olivia later tells Broyles that she just wants things to go back to the way they were before. But Broyles pretty much tells her that as a result of getting involved, she can't...

Peter first brings Olivia coffee.

"I hope your guy is worth it."

In addition to the word ZENO, the green, green, green, red circles make an appearance on the kayak.

fringeobsessed said...

I appreciate your comment, but I do agree with Aimee that for right now, Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman want us to think about how these older episodes would have been different if Peter BIshop had not existed. It's a hypothetical thing, and a very interesting thing to ponder.

And Aimee, thanks for all your add-ons. THAT is
what this feature is about. People writing in and adding points that we've missed or points that may seem subtle and yet may be quite interesting. I'm sorry I forgot to point out the green-green-green-red on Olivia's uncle's kyak.

Also, there was a philosopher, ZENO, who had these paradoxes, the most famous of which was that "motion is nothing but an illusion." When
you read that you can't help but think of Brandon Fayette's lecture to Peter and Olivia of how the Observers view time in "August," when he says "It's all happening at once." Pretty cool, yes?

Unknown said...

Something else: Nina's story to Olivia about her arm and cancer was BS. We know that the arm is a result of her trying to stop Walter from crossing over to take the cure for Peter. If here was no Peter to save, would she have not lost her arm? In a later episode we see that David Robert Jones shot Nina and took the energy cell from the arm to power the portal. (No Peter => no robotic arm => no fuel cell to steal => no portal => no dead Jones)

cortexifan said...

Re-watch Fringe The Pilot part 1
I have not read what everyone else has posted so as to not be influenced. I’ve watched so many times but never written anything down, so some of it might not necessarily pertain specifically to S3 but are new discoveries, I guess, so bear with me.

-Olivia seemed happy, not feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. When she got up to get dressed I thought of 3.13 Immortality. Fauxlivia was getting dressed and Frank said he missed seeing her get dressed, kissed him and left. John was watching Olivia getting dressed as well and she bend down to kiss him and then left.
-Broyles said to Olivia: I know exactly who you are.
Did he only refer to the incident with Harris or did he know more about Olivia than what he let on. 1.20 There is more than one of everything, Broyles identified the first recorded soft spots.
-The incident on the plane, who caused it? Konrad, ZFT, Walternate’s agents…
-Olivia was a go-getter from the beginning and didn’t give up easily. I’ve enjoyed how the relationship between her and Broyles grew and hope it stays that way.
-Only two times in regards to a romantic relationship did Olivia say “I love you.” First time with John and even that was hard, second time in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss to Peter, which I think wasn’t any easier.
-The flickering lights are also in 3.14 6B and it seems to be the same pattern.
-She didn’t like Peter calling her sweetheart. She didn’t like it when Fauxlivia’s mom called her that as well.
-In 2.22 Over There part 2 Bell says to Peter: Haven’t seen you in a long time.
Does Peter not remember that he met him or that his dad worked with him?
-Massive Dynamic slogan on the billboard: What we don’t do.
I thought of Walter’s conversation with Olivia in 3.22: “there is no end to what you can do.”
-There are a lot of sleep references throughout the series. Peter says to Walter in regard to his lab: “Wake up, it’s gone.” Later Walter says: “You woke me up again, don’t put me back to sleep”
Later in 1.17 Bad Dreams Olivia says: “What we wake up can’t be put back to sleep again.”
-From the beginning I believe, Olivia and Peter had a special connection already. The looks between them in the lab, him worrying about her when she’s in the tank and at the end of the Pilot. And I don’t necessarily mean only a romantic attraction. We know they both are connected to the machine.
-Favorite line in this episode is still: Only thing better than a cow is a human. Unless you need milk. Then you really need a cow.
-Grrr, Peter brought her coffee from the beginning, grrr and he couldn’t remember black, 1 sugar? 

cortexifan said...

Re-watch The Pilot Part 2

-Hope has been there from the start. Peter says: ”don’t give her false hope.” Walter replies: “It’s not false, it’s real.” In 3.06 6599khz Peter says: “There’s always hope, right?” Olivia pleads with Alt-Broyles in Entrada: “If you don’t trust me, then there is no hope.” In 3.19 LSD Astrid says to Peter: “Right now, I think you are her only hope.” Just to name a few.
-Walter has extracted information from a corpse once that wasn’t dead more than 6 hrs. Nina knows that as well. At the end of the Pilot she wants to question John Scott who has just died 5 hrs earlier. How much does Nina know about John Scott, what information does he have that is so important. And how much does she really know about Olivia? Why did Nina say later: “I would say this to my own daughter.”
-Olivia wants to drive a “tank” through Bell’s office as she is about to enter one, just like Fauxlivia senses a “bug” coming as she finds out she’s not infected with bugs but pregnant.
-It sounds like Charlie, Olivia and John have worked together for a while and it seems Charlie is the closest to a best friend Olivia ever had. At the end of the Pilot they have a conversation in the car which occurs again in 2.22 Over There part 2. Olivia recognizes the conversation. I still flinch when she has to kill him in 2.04 Momentum Deferred.
-It’s amazing to me how much trust Olivia put in to Walter from the start. Even after finding out what he did to her she completely trusts him with her life. The embrace at the end of S3 shows that.
-So on to the dream state: Who is her uncle? What is green, green, green, red? What does the alyph mean? Why was Estebrook wearing one in The Cure? Who’s child’s room was she standing in?
-On the grave were the words: He’s not dead. I think that refers to Bell. Later in The Road Not Taken there are words on the building when she flashes over that read: he is here.
-Who’s hand was it that tried to pull her out of the tank first. Neither Peter nor Walter wear such a big watch?
-When Olivia first met Nina, she saw the robotic arm. In 3.19 LSD when Walter and Peter meet Nina and she slides card for the elevator, the robotic arm is visible. That’s the image that stuck with Olivia mind, I guess. I also noticed for the first time that there is a bit of silence between them as in sizing each other up. I still don’t trust Nina. Who is she really?
-Olivia is not intimidated by Nina at all, neither by Broyles or Alt-Broyles. She stood her ground especially in The Abducted when she wanted to question Christopher again.
-When Broyles says: “We’re impressed, who does he mean?
-Olivia says: “I just want to go back to before.” Broyles answers: “Dunham, I don’t think you can.” Well maybe we can.
-Why did John try to kill her? Why did he say it wasn’t a coincidence that Broyles sent her to the storage facilities?

I just realized that I really didn’t talk about Peter. That was not my intention, just happened.
So … if Peter never existed…
-would Carla Warren have died
-would Walter ever have gone to St. Claire’s
-would those strange cases ever have happened
-would Olivia have been pulled to work for Fringe Division
-would she have had to get Walter out if he was at St. Caire’s
-would John have died
-would they still be together
-Nina wouldn’t have lost her arm
-would Walter ever have crossed over

45 said...

cortexifan, of course you didn't talk about Peter, YOU ONLY CARE ABOUT WALTER AND OLIVIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

It's interesting to have a different perspective concerning any of the characters. There were a lot of things you picked up Cotexiphan, that others hadn't. Awesome!

Unknown said...

And of course I meant, Cortexifan... Time for me to enter the Dreamscape.,,

cortexifan said...

Aimee, no worries.
That's why I love this because we all have different perspectives or perceptions which fits right in with Fringeology :)
Can't wait for tomorrow.

fringeobsessed said...

Agreed. Thanks, cortexifan, for your additions.

fringeobsessed said...

And, "Fringeology"?
May I quote you on that, cortexifan?

cortexifan said...

Sure go ahead.

Xindilini said...

To be honest, it took about 6 episodes before I actually admit to liking it. I didn't know who these people were. I didn't like any of the characters.

Unknown said...

@Xindilini: Yeah, although I liked it enough from the Pilot, it took awhile for Fringe to totally impress me to the point of obsession ;) I fell for Olivia right off the bat, because she seemed like a real person to me. As an introverted 30-something, I identified with her. But she'd do anything to save those she loves, and that impressed me.

Peter stole my heart in The Arrival, and he has had it ever since. Believe it or not, I identify more with him than any one else on the show for several reasons. Walter was the one that took time for me to really like. After I saw "Ability," there was no turning back. :D

Jeabp said...

we know Elisabeth Bishop killed her self because of guilt over what she and Walter did to Peter, so if peter never existed, maybe she got Walter out of St. Claire’s?

Unknown said...

@Jeabp You may be right. :D But maybe Elizabeth didn't kill herself over Peter alone, but also because of the fact Walter went crazy. Can't wait to find out.

Fringie6989 said...

Wow guys, Fringeobsessed, Aimee, Cortexifan, everyone else. AWESOME OBSERVATIONS!!! I'm stunned with all the things you guys spotted. I've been watching these episodes every day since December and I couldn't come close to being that observant! VERY interesting to read!

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