Fringe Summer Rewatch: #320 "6:02 AM EST" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #320 "6:02 AM EST"

      Email Post       9/18/2011 01:00:00 AM      

The destruction had begun...
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.

Until I watched the episode again, I would not have notice the parallel scenes for the two Walter Bishops. One is sacrificing his son to save his dying world. So was the other one. The only difference is the Walter we are more familiar with rather not. Ironically, both men in their darkest moments seek God's forgiveness.

Over there, we see the Secretary contemplate the consequences of activating the machine.
Oppenheimer saved us too. But at what cost? He couldn't bear the nightmares... the screams of all the innocents he had killed. "Now, I am become death, the Destroyer of Worlds." Only in our case, that really is true. We destroyed their world to save ours. May God have mercy on us.

Over here, Walter prays for a miracle.
I asked you for a sign, and you sent it to me. A white tulip. And I was so grateful. Since then, in moments of deep despair, I have found solace in believing that you had forgiven me. I was willing to let him go. I was willing to let Peter die. I've changed. That should matter. God, I know my crimes are unforgivable. So punish me. Do what you want to me. But I beg you, spare our world.
There was no turning back when the machine was turned on. Little did the Secretary know that he had set in motion a course of events that would ultimately cause the destruction of his own world in one possible future.

Since the activation of the device, there were no measurable improvements in the environmental degradation over there. At the same time, called in to investigate a class ten Fringe Event emanating from Liberty Island, Olivia chastises the Secretary for activating the weapon. This should not come as such a surprise to anyone. She had been examining her outlook about the innocent lives on the other side ever since "6955 kHz", even before Peter's idealism rubbed off on her. She may not be the hero in your eyes, but it would be a mistake to discount her experiences in the other universe. This is the parallel destiny I have come to expect since the beginning of season 3.
Olivia: What's going to happen to the people over there?
Secretary: My concern is for the people of our world.
His reason is flawed. If the two worlds are tied so inexplicably, how could removing one world from the equation restore balance? What happened to nature only recognizes balance and imbalance? He has obviously forgotten when you send something over, you get something of equal mass back.

The electrostatic discharges back on the other side caused the other machine to come on all its own. After the first vortex was detected, more and more of these events occur at an increasing rate. There was no way to stop the machine or safeguard lives from the escalating destruction.

Peter is left out of commission having been repulsed by the machine, one Olivia is off with Sam to find a way to stop it, the other Olivia is locked away for treason. I had hoped that she would have at least made it to the other side. The whole point was to see everyone work together. So I am OK with it now that I know what's to come.

Random Thoughts:
  • Walter cooking naked on Tuesdays. Waking up in bed together. I will leave that commentary in better hands. It is just getting a mention here, because isn't it obvious I am a sucker for unrequited love.
  • What Nina said was interesting. " wasn't supposed to be this way." Makes one wonder if the events at the end of the season go as foreseen by the Observers?
  • "They call it the blight." It's what Newton who told Walter in "Grey Matter". I would have expected Walter to recognize the blight before Olivia did. I guess since Olivia was over there, it was the logical choice.
  • Sunrise. Who can take a sunrise? Sprinkle it with dew? Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two? The Candy Man... - Ah yes. One more connection to "Brown Betty". The references are endless.
  • I always thought the baby's genes couldn't possibly be used to activate the machine. If that was all it took, why did the Secretary not take Peter's blood when he was over there in the first place? This part never made sense to me.
  • Brandon utters the same warning about their technology breaking down the molecular cohesion of a person crossing over. So there really is no safe way for just anyone to cross universes. What happened to those unfortunate test subjects? Do they all poof out of existence?
  • Sam asked Olivia to trust him.
  • This photo of Peter Bishop circa '84 - '85, before he was ill, before the abduction. It was first seen in "Reciprocity". Walter looked at it then. And Olivia glanced at it when she got up. Is it supposed to be the other Peter?
Peter Prime?
If Peter Bishop Never Existed...
  • The outcome remains unavoidable. The world still start to decay. Agent Dunham may not take up the position to champion for the people in the other universe.
  • "What you have tried to do you've done on purpose." We may assume the Secretary caused it somehow. But there had better be an interesting explanation for how the universe was breaking now.


milostanfield said...

"I always thought the baby's genes couldn't possibly be used to activate the machine. If that was all it took, why did the Secretary not take Peter's blood when he was over there in the first place? This part never made sense to me." - Xindilini
At the risk of ambering over a plot hole, I will say that because Walternate actually had his son Peter at the time to power the machine, he didn't think he needed a Plan B, as he felt Peter would fall for his "heal both worlds" lie. Peter got away so quickly Walternate would not have had a chance for a Plan B. He certainly had the opportunity when Peter was recuperating from crossing over. He could also have taken a sample at that time as part of general medical procedure and then realized later, after Peter turned against him and escaped: "Hey we've got that. Let's use that instead." I think the writers had already settled on baby Henry who could also serve the purpose of further developing my beloved Altlivia's character. And maybe baby Henry has a future importance. So it is a bit of a vortex but not a major plot tear.

I would also like to have seen the whole process of Peter realizing what Walter and his intentions were played out in more detail. Peter at first adoring his, at last, real dad, then through scenes working with the machine, and interacting with Walternate, gradually coming to realize the truth. It would probably have taken a whole additional ep at the end of Season 2 to do that justice. Without that detail, Peter's realization seemed a bit rushed to me. It could also have given us a larger set of Peter-Walternate scenes to compare with the countless Peter-Walter scenes. As Milo would have said "That was fun!"

milostanfield said...

"Sunrise. Who can take a sunrise? Sprinkle it with dew? Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two? The Candy Man... - Ah yes. One more connection to "Brown Betty". The references are endless." - Xindilini
Dynamite observation! I would have never made that one. Thanks. That warm sunrise, bathing both P & O and the sheep, then the sky going all purple haze. What delicious irony! It's been a household tradition here to always watch "Brown Betty" in, shall we say: "the spirit of Walter". I should maybe refrain from that once and look at "Brown Betty" more closely. I have an opportunity. I am slowly going through all the eps doing screen caps. So far 12 eps and 4,000 caps! I'm also dumping the audio of each act into iTunes (fun on shuffle play). Think I will do all the caps of the story Walter is telling Ella in black and white, in honor of film noir, and leave lab scenes in color. Thanks again.

milostanfield said...

Oops. Lost a nate. I meant to say "I would also like to have seen the whole process of Peter realizing what Walternate and his intentions were played out in more detail." in my earlier comment. Sorry for any confusion.

cortexifan said...

part 1
Again this is right after the episode aired mixed with a few new observations.

There was no warning. Just when you think Fringe can’t get any better, they bring it on and top the previous episode. A while back I’ve tried to rank the episodes within each season and all time favorite and I have to say those rankings are turned upside down right now.
Faraday cage: in 2.17 White Tulip Peck had implanted Faraday mesh in to his body.
So, Walternate needed the baby’s DNA to power the machine. Go figure. Henry inherited 23 chromosomes from Fauxlivia which is half of Peter’s genetic profile and Brandonate thinks it’s enough to activate the machine. Brandonate thanks the Secretary to be part of history of saving their world.
Walternate: “Oppenheimer saved us too. But at what cost? He couldn’t bear the nightmares the screams of all the innocents he had killed. ‘Now, I am become death, the destroyer of worlds’. Only in our case, that really is true. We destroyed their world to save ours. May God have mercy on us.”
It’s amazing how the worlds overlap, I guess. The first time we heard that phrase was in
2.15 Peter where Carla Warren quoted Oppenheimer to warn Walter to not cross over into the other universe. But of course we know he didn’t heed that advice.
Then we got the sheep and the locusts.
In 2.10 Grey Matters, Olivia discovered if Newton opened a corridor from our universe to the other side, the results would be less than desirable, global destruction, biblical proportions. I guess it works both ways because we see that happening over here now. Olivia also realizes that all of this looks like the Blight which is something Newton talks about in 2.10 Grey Matters. Also Astrid says later that there has been damage in “Newton”.
At the bowling alley, Sam goes to the back to unlock something. I looked at the lock closely and what caught my attention was his monogram in the middle and there is a no. 8 on there as well. We know that 8 is Olivia’s number. Another engraving says: quality … and two of them I can’t make out.
Anyway, just thought that was interesting.
Then we get a morning at the Bishop’s. Cute scene when Olivia wakes up in Peter’s arm. She gets up and walks in the hallway only to stumble upon Walter cooking naked Tuesday mornings. John Noble was talking about shooting this scene and said that Anna’s expressions were priceless.
She tells Peter that she could get used to this and that sunrise is her favorite time of day when the world is full of promise. And then of course Broyles calls which is promising nothing good. This reminds me of 1.01 The Pilot where Olivia starts out with John Scott and the phone rings, just like in 3.06 6599 khz where Peter spend the morning in bed with Fauxlivia and then again Broyles calls to interrupt.
So they go to this field where the sheep disappeared. Walter theorized that a Vortex caused this. We know a Vortex is caused by activity from the other side. I was correct, the “Be Vortex Aware” sign from 3.19 LSD was the clue for this episode. They said it on the DVD commentary to 3.19 LSD.
Over there Fauxlivia plays mom. My mom used to have a baby buggy like this. You’d think with all the technology over there they could come up with something more modern and high tech. Also there is one of those old bikes right behind Fauxlivia.
And baby Henry is wearing a red hat. We know that red represents the alternate universe.
Did Walternate really think turning on the machine would reverse the damage or was he just pretending again?
So Fauxlivia gets called back to duty only to find out people in high places called it off. She of course being the mother of Secretary’s grandson goes right to the source. She asks him about the piece of tech he had her steal and if he activated the machine. She says: “But your son is over there.”
Judging by how hard she makes that fist, she is quite angry at Walternate and he kind of blows her off and claims that Peter had chosen his allegiance and: “I chose to give up my son, so you could keep yours.”

cortexifan said...

part 2

I think at this point Fauxlivia realizes that something had to be done. I thought it was also very cold how Walternate treated her after he found out that this was an official visit. And she was wearing a blue shirt.
Back to our lab. It was confirmed that a Vortex had caused this. Because Olivia was over there she knows what needs to be done.
Walter wanted to encase the machine in lead, just like he wanted to encase the shadow/astronaut in 2.06 Earthling.
Olivia and Peter just before she goes to New York: This looks like a good bye to me or a silent “I love you”, and yes, they should have kissed. I know, but I can’t help it, they are so cute together.
Olivia leaves and Walter and Peter have a moment. Peter reminds Walter that there is another way to solve this: Peter needs to go into the machine.
This is what I love about Fringe. The relationships run deep in the show and the science is build around it. Awesome is all I can say. Peter and Walter have come far again after Peter found out who he is.
That lamp in Walter’s office has always been there but this time it does looks like a mushroom :)
Peter: “Somehow the machine was made for me.” Walter: “Peter, you could die.” Peter: “And if we do nothing we’re all gonna die.” Walter: ““Give him the keys and save the girl.”” Peter: “What?” Walter: “This is what he was doing. He was preparing me.” Peter: “Who?” Walter: “The Observer. He was preparing me because he knew I would have to let you go. That I would, that I would have to sacrifice you to fix the problems I’d created.” Peter:” I think this is what I’m supposed to do. But I can’t do it without your help.”
Then we see Olivia on the way to Nina. She drives and she does that thing with her mouth. We know from 2.08 August that she does that when she’s upset. And this is the same shot they used from 2.08 August. I guess the point is that she is upset.
She arrives at MD and Nina shares with Olivia about what Sam said. That if Peter chose Olivia everything will be fine. What, MD can’t track down one person? I thought they keep tabs on everyone and everything? :)
Nina: “It wasn’t supposed to be this way.” Olivia: “What do you mean it wasn’t supposed to be this way?” In 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss Olivia has the same dialog with Sam.
The girl is holding keys. Before they get in the car the boy says: “Give me the keys.” This is the second time in the episode keys are mentioned. They stop dead in what they’re doing because they see a shimmer. Sam is looking into the other universe through a window (or so it seems) and writes down a formula. The result of it is “0”. Or is it an “O”, as in Olivia? I’m not good at math :)
Back to Fauxlivia and baby Henry. He is wearing a blue hat now. Did she choose her side? When she sings to him it’s almost as if she is saying good bye to him which reminded me of Olivia giving the cross to Ella in 2.21 Over There Pt 1. Contemplating her decision mirrors Olivia’s realization of what her actions could mean in 2.22 Over There Pt 2 after she dyed her hair.
Her saying good bye to Lincoln mirrors Olivia saying good bye to Rachel in Over There Pt 1.
So Fauxlivia leaves and goes to Liberty Island. She confronts Brandonate.
Here is confirmation the Brandonate was the zombie from 3.19 LSD – the blue nametag.
She wants him to give her the device Walternate used to cross over to get Peter. Of course Brandonate is reluctant to help her.
I thought it was interesting that his hand showed up reversed on the scan.
In the storage room is all kind of stuff including the shapeshifter’s original form as we have seen them in 2.18 The Man From The Other Side.
So Brandonate shows her the device. He says one will get her there and back but she takes two.
Fauxlivia knocking him out gives me at least a little pleasure. I hope Olivia gets her hands on him one day. No wonder she saw him as a zombie.

cortexifan said...

part 3

So Fauxlivia takes them and tries to escape. She is running down the hallway just as our Olivia in 3.01 Olivia, escaping into the elevator, just as Olivia did in 3.01 Olivia. The elevator she got in and out off looked strange. It had cloth hanging covering something up.
She is trying to turn the device on. It’s not working. Brandonate maybe gave her the right device but without counterparts in our universe they do not work. I believe this is why Walternate needs cortexiphan. He’s pretty much lost all his agents over here so with the cortexiphan he could have people cross without requiring actions in both universes.
Fauxlivia gets captured. I was sure she was going to make it and warn Peter. Darn.
Back over here Olivia is trying to track down Sam but has no luck Sam’s apartment number is 35, add it up and you get 8 :).
At MD Peter is about to go into the machine.
Here is another great relational glimpse into the family of Fringe.
I know Walter and Broyles were talking about father and son stuff, which I guess was important but the other part that stood out was how they addressed each other by first name. Meet Phillip and Walter. Also loved the moments between Astrid and Peter and Astrid and Walter.
There was a lot of red, green and blue at MD.
I know where Peter is! He retired :)
So Peter goes and attempts to go into the machine. But it rejects him. Well, maybe the machine is flawed now because it was turned on with only half of Peter’s DNA.
It looks like he got hurt pretty bad. Olivia has been there as well, when she came crashing through the wind shield at the beginning of 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town.
At the hospital, they can’t wake him up. Olivia arrives and is quite shocked. I’m not quite sure why she didn’t go in to see him. Astrid informs her that Walter is taking it pretty hard.
Walter: “I don't know my way around here. Other people, I suppose, find comfort in being in chapels, speaking to you. I have no other place to turn. I asked you for a sign and you sent it to me. A white tulip. And I was so grateful. Since then, in moments of deep despair, I have found solace in believing that you had forgiven me. I was willing to let him go. I was willing to let Peter die. I’ve changed. That should matter.
God, I know my crimes are unforgiveable. So punish me. Do what you want with me. But I beg you, spare our world.”
That was beautiful and every time I watch it my heart breaks for Walter. It struck me in the re-watch that Walter didn’t asked for Peter to be spared but their world. It is quite interesting too, that when a scientist doesn’t know what to do anymore they turn to God. Someone asked the question if there is a place for faith or God in Fringe. Absolutely. It has been there from the beginning. It is all about fate, believing and destiny. Walter even says to Astrid in 1.02 The Same Old Story: “Faith, never a bad thing to have.” The other thing it does, it’s not in your face and it is not just blindly accepting it either, it questions it which makes it real. I’m a firm believer in God and how it’s done on Fringe works for me.
Olivia is struggling. This relationship thing leaves her not quite knowing what to do. It’s almost as if she’s afraid to go see him. She gets distracted by sunlight moving through the room. Is this the answer to Walter’s prayer? Sunrise. And what does it mean?
As Olivia goes outside, Sam shows up. He tells her to trust him and to take him to the machine. There is not much time. What struck me was how he said Olivia’s name. Remember the formula from earlier? The result was 0 or O. He says Olivia emphasizing the “O”. Maybe it’s just me but watch it again and listen. Olivia looks back at the door and even though it was hard for her to leave Peter, she went with Sam.

cortexifan said...

part 4

So then we go back over there and this time it’s Fauxlivia who gets stuck in the cell. Just like our Olivia did at the end of 2.22 Over There Pt 2. But look at the different postures. Fauxlivia’s got her cockiness back while our Olivia took the same scared posture when she was that little girl setting the room on fire. Also Olivia was sitting in the corner and Fauxlivia is sitting on the other side, straight out (for a lack of better word).
Walternate: “I know this is hard for you.” Fauxlivia: “Oh, you don’t know anything about me.” Walternate: “Don’t I? This morning in my office, you asked how I could be willing to let my son die to heal our world. But you understand sacrifice better than anyone, Olivia. You were willing to leave your son behind, to risk your life for what you perceived to be the greater good. We’re more alike than you think.”
Walternate is keeping her in that cell until everything is over. I want to offer 4 options of her getting out. 1) She is going to escape just like Olivia. 2) Lincoln and Charlie bust her out. 3) This is not really getting out but Walternate is going to turture her just like our Olivia. Oh the 4th option? Can I have some mushroom frittata? :) Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
After watching it again in light of the finale of course this is not what happened. Fauxlivia was brought to our side by Peter who went into the machine.
Other observations:
There was no blue/red intro although the episode was in both universes.
Sam looked old.
So the stage was set by turning on the machine, the relational aspects were deepened and not just over here but also over there, the consequences of Walter’s actions, the price that has to be paid.
This episode had a lot of parallels again for the two Olivia’s.

If Peter never existed in this episode…
-Walternate couldn’t have turned on the machine because Henry wouldn’t have been born.
-No one else could have turned it on on our side.
-Would there be destruction on our side anyway?
-Broyles and Walter wouldn’t have had the need to call each other by first name.

milostanfield said...

"Olivia and Peter just before she goes to New York: This looks like a good bye to me or a silent “I love you”, and yes, they should have kissed. I know, but I can’t help it, they are so cute together." - cortexifan
Also, given the dialogue that occurred before that moment, Peter had just decided that he WOULD have to go into the machine after all, something he told Bellivia he would never do, and had not voiced it yet. Watch his face through that scene. He knew he would have to wrestle with Walter over this and did not want to have to counter Olivia too. So he COULDN'T say anything to her, but knew he may never see her again because of this decision. Another layer of poignancy.

milostanfield said...

cortexifan on Walter in the chapel - two little things Noble did with that scene I liked: 1)the beat of emphasis when he said "I was wiling to let him go. I was willing to let Peter die." Ironically, that is a rhetorical trick used by bible thumping preachers; 2) the way he just says "God." as he starts his prayer. No "Dear God" or "Our Lord". Just "God." like it was an office memo.
I don't mean to question your belief in God (I'm the opposite), but Walter really got the white tulip from another scientist, who was also "messing in God's domain". Of course it could also be that God was working through Peck. You say poTAYto.. ;)

cortexifan said...

I a way I agree with you on the tulip. But I think that case actually never happened for them. And yes a lot of times, God works through people :)

milostanfield said...

"Sam looked old" - cortexifan
Yeah. I was trying to pick up on what was different about Sam but could not quite nail it. Thanks. I think he even had a little more grey in his hair. We only get a little glimpse of the bug-eyed, longneck swilling, goofier Sam in the museum scenes when he flashes his patron member card, and later pulls off his bowling ball trick. He's dead serious otherwise. Who better to know what the stakes are.

milostanfield said...

It's tempting to say an ep is centered on one character: Altlivia-centric, Peter-centric, Olivia-centric, Walter-centric, or Altlivia-centric. Of course no one ep is purely about one main. I guess "Northwest Passage" comes closest. But I think you could make a case that "6:02AM" was partly a machine-centric ep. It felt like all and everyone were swept up in this flash flood of liquifying laws of physics. The scenes on the highway with the lightning were profound, and I liked how they used a familiar natural phenomena to express it. We've all seen lightning. But lightning striking not twice, but over and over and over? Inside buildings? On the "other" side we've only seen the results of this flash flood. Now, on "our" side we actually see it happening, and affecting innocent people. EVERYONE.

This flood added a dark, frantic, color to almost every scene, even though many scenes were more brightly lit than normal. The monster is fully out in the light now. It was underneath the "silent goodbye" scene between P & O early on. And in the lab scenes, where usually, there's a Walter or Astrid eureka moment, some science magic, and it's all wrapped up by end credits, our mains are flailing and failing. "Walternate's won."

The character scene that brought this home to me was between Nina and Olivia at MD. Usually these scenes open with Nina behind her desk, with her power, her secrets, and a bit smug about it. This time it opens with her pacing while frantically reaming her underlings for not finding Sam. Then Olivia arrives. No across the desk this time. Olivia is in her face, taller, and one glare from a classic "Walter!!! Focus!!!" moment. And for the first time ever, Nina's voice is cracking and faltering. Olivia is shocked and starts to feed off her fear, as they both realize their helplessness. All of Nina's corporate power can't stop this flood, and for the first time she can't come to the aid of her surrogate daughter. One of the most difficult moments to watch in any drama is when a parent realizes they cannot help their child. Anyone see "Sophie's Choice"? The one secret Nina has, Sam's knowledge about Peter's choice, does not get measured out from the alpha side of the desk. Instead Nina almost accidentally blurts it out. "It wasn't supposed to be this way." And then Olivia practically finger jabs the rest out of her.

I guess the closest real world parallel to this flood is climate change. But this flood is on a whole other level. Except for maybe the carbon cycle, where the lithosphere folds back down into Earth's mantle, sequestering carbon in the process, climate change, and it's underlying processes, is about large scale chemical issues. But molecules are still molecules and atoms are still atoms. And even if climate change does do us in, the Earth, and the universe, will still be putting along without us, thank you very much. But when the physical laws underlying all chemical processes break down, EVERYTHING is lost FOREVER. Like William Bell said way back when: "Physics is a bitch."

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