Join us for our Fringe Summer re-watch, where we review every episode of Fringe during the summer hiatus. Comments are welcome as we dig into the connections made over three seasons.
This episode confused many viewers, and made some feel that it was out of character for Peter to act as he did. However, I ate this episode up, as I loved seeing Peter take matters into his own hands.
Truly, Fauxlivia ruined U2 for me at least. I can’t help but not laugh when I hear a certain song. Fringe producer/writer Joel Wyman confirmed that Even Better than the Real Thing was the U2 song lyric used as Fauxlivia’s computer password. Curious, since she was deceiving a man whose projection-self told Olivia that “real is just a matter of perception” in The Plateau. This choice also seems to fall in line with a theme for season four: What is Reality?
The Fringe team and Massive Dynamic scientists believed that it was needed to power the machine, yet Peter’s presence activated it. Definitely gives meaning to "I can bring anything mechanical back from the dead." He was later able to use the device. The machine was stated to be attuned to Peter at the biological level. However, Peter appeared to emit some sort of differing energy signature that the device was able to recognize. Later, in Concentrate and Ask Again, Sam Weiss would mention to Nina that Peter could send off vibrations at varying frequencies, based on his state of mind. There is an odd connection to the beacon cylinder that appeared in The Arrival, which Walter said vibrated at either 2mHz or 4 mHz.
Did this missing part cause some kind of harm to Peter?
You Can’t Protect Me From Everything
Peter’s sneaking around seemed to be a throwback to his days living as a nomadic conman. I couldn’t help but feel a degree of sadness for him though. To me, he felt like he was a burden to Walter and Olivia, and that he had to take action on his own. This falls perfectly into line with his favorite book, If You See the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him. The book explains that each person has their own journey, and that he or she can only learn from mentors - but can't rely on them for answers in the end. This is because each path is unique. Peter told Walter, “You can’t protect me from everything.” In the end, he’s alone.
Olivia showed some concern for Peter, and he smiled so much in her presence. However, lying to her about his whereabouts, and omitting his role in killing shape shifters was tearing him up inside.
Keeping things from his loved ones was a mistake in The Day We Died as well. He found the lake house key and went to speak with Walternate, leaving Olivia alone, and vulnerable.
While he was being tested at Massive Dynamic, Peter told Olivia a bit of sarcasm when he said , “I think I might use my new-found superpowers to make this machine levitate.” Later, we’d all be amazed along with Olivia when Peter used the machine to create the Bridge between the two universes. Now that was impressive.
Peter tried to alleviate some of Walter’s guilt, and topped off his words with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But Walter still felt inadequate compared to Walternate. His quest to regrow parts of his missing brain was an act of desperation. In the end, Peter and Olivia would have to be the ones to figure out the machine. However future Walter would play a large role in sending the machine back through time.
In the end, Peter made the choices and Walter let him go… consequences unforeseen.
Every Relationship is Reciprocal
Walter was highly disturbed by Peter’s unashamed killing and mutilation of the shape-shifters. He sternly told Peter, “This isn’t you.” However, Walter did not know his son during his 20’s. Peter had an unrevealed past, and I don’t think he ever told anyone of the things he did. Many have the impression that Peter had killed before he went back to the States with Olivia, and he began working with Walter.
Who is Peter? He went through several personality changes in last half of the third season. The most odd occurred during The Last Sam Weiss, and was also a result of touching the machine. Touching the machine Over Here seemed to make him more forceful and focused like a soldier. However, the reciprocity effect of touching the machine while quantum entangled with its Over There counterpart seemed to make him confused, meek, and almost childlike. Did the machine really “weaponize” him as Walter thought?
One theme of consistency with Peter is his search for answers. It’s what kept him working with Fringe Division, and he spoke many times of how much he wanted to find out what was going on and why.
“There are things happening here that I can't even begin to explain. And I am not going anywhere until I can.” - The Arrival
"From now on, we're calling the shots. We're done reacting. We're not gonna be too late anymore" - New Day in the Old Town
PETER: That's not good enough. We are so close. I can't let these guys get away again. They have the answers. I know they do.
WALTER: Don't worry Son. You will get your answer
"What is this all about? You know, don't you? The picture of me and the device -- what does it mean? What's going to happen to me?" - The Firefly
"I have to know what they know, Walter. I'm tired of being reactive" - Reciprocity
In The Day We Died, Walter cupped Peter’s face in his hands just like he did in a similar scene in August. He then explained how to cheat the rules of time. Peter got his answer.
Why did William Bell collect the First People books?
What became of the shape-shifter discs after Os?
What was the purpose of the machine piece stolen by Fauxlivia in Entrada?
Was someone working with Peter to kill shape-shifters? He was in contact with someone, and he had no time to kill Dr. Falcon himself.
Did the machine actually do something to Peter in order to make him more aggressive?
If Peter Was Removed From the Equation
The shape-shifters will probably still be around, and may negatively affect the world since Peter did not neutralize them.
What is it with shape-shifters and telephones?