Fringe Observiews 4.03: Alone in the World ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Observiews 4.03: Alone in the World

      Email Post       10/10/2011 10:03:00 AM      

Welcome to the Observiews for Season 4 of Fringe. I call them Observiews because they are more visual observations than deep thinking reviews.

Screen caps are taken from All observations are mine and therefore could be totally off the wall and/or wrong. I have not read or looked at any recaps or reviews.

3.17 Stowaway
Lincoln: “… This was a tough one.”

At least as far as visual observations go. And I've already seen it 5 times. I will do my best to make sense of things. And I'm sure I missed a few.

Glyphs spelled REBORN and the Observer can be seen here.

Let’s see if I can even recap it.

Walter is still afraid to leave the lab. He has monthly sessions with Dr. Sumner who has been informed about his condition since leaving St. Claire’s.

A boy (Aaron) is being chased by two others and all three end up in a tunnel. As one of them tries to come at Aaron, they are attacked by an organism that decomposes the bodies within hours. The two boys die and Aaron is able to run away.

Lincoln arrives at the FBI and Olivia is telling him, whenever he needs to talk about weird and strange and freaky stuff, she’s here for him. Walter receives one of the dead bodies but it explodes. It causes spores to spread. Olivia and Lincoln are at the morgue to retrieve the second body as it explodes as well, killing a few more people. It wasn’t contained so the room is full of this organism.

They track down Aaron and take him to the lab to further investigate. He is somehow connected to this organism who Walter calls “Gus”. The test results come back negative and Walter sends Aaron home. Or at least tries to. Aaron is pretty much alone and so Walter offers him to stay a bit for shakes. Olivia and Lincoln are at the tunnel, trying to eradicate the fungus with flames but that hurts Aaron. They have to stop what they’re doing and come up with a different way. The solution is to separate the organism from Aaron. After the case is solved, Walter sees the man in the mirror again and wants to lobotomize himself. Olivia comes just in time to stop him. He shares his hallucinations with her and discovers that she has been seeing the same man but she doesn’t recognize him. So the search for Peter is on…

Walter has a visitor: Dr. Sumner from St. Claire’s: “You were under my care there for... most of your 17 years.” I hope he took better care of Walter in this time line than he did in the last.
I don’t think he was very nice to Walter in 1.08 The Equation. 

When I saw Aaron’s artwork which is full of patterns, 
I thought of a sentence Dr. Sumner said to Walter in the beginning of the episode: “I've been perusing the latest observational reports from the agents assigned to you, and they mention certain patterns of unusual behavior.”
Walter sees Peter again! 

Aaron is running across a bridge.  
Later Broyles is standing underneath one. 
Bridges have meaning in Fringe. It was the last image seen in 1.02 The Same Old Story. In 2.18 The Man From The Other Side, Walternate crossed over on the bridge. There is a picture of one hanging in Olivia’s apartment (3.10 The Firefly) and one in Fauxlivia’s apartment (3.13 Immortality) and that’s what Peter created in 3.22 The Day We Died when he brought the two universes together.

So then Olivia and Lincoln have a chat: 
I just wanted to check in with you, see how you're handling everything. I know you've been going through the case files, getting up to speed. I understand that it can be kind of overwhelming. It's hard when what you knew or what you thought you knew about the world... no longer holds. And I just wanted you to know that I'm here.”
Lincoln: “You're... here? Olivia: “Yeah. To talk to, you know? I mean, just if things are getting a little too much or if you're freaked out...” Lincoln: “I'm... not freaked out.” Olivia: “Oh. Good. Okay. Well, you just let me know.” Lincoln: “If I freak out, I-- yeah, you... you'll be the first to know.”
I think he was hoping that this conversation was going somewhere else.  

So then Olivia gets a phone call and they get called to the scene of the crime. Lincoln finds a third foot print and Olivia is able to deduce that there might be another victim and maybe someone who is infected. They tracked down Aaron at school. 
Color menu for today: 
Red, green, yellow and blue.

Meanwhile back at the lab. 
Broyles checks in on Walter because he heard that Dr. Sumner came to visit. 
During the conversation with Broyles, Walter hears this voice again: “Walter…Walter... Listen to me. Walter can you see me…Walter, I can hear you…Where are you…Listen…I’m scared…has to help me…Do you see me, I’m right here…Walter, I’m scared… I want to come home.”
So, one of the lines Peter says caught my attention: “I’m scared…has to help me…” Who has to help Peter? Someone or Olivia maybe? Just my speculations.

So they bring Aaron to the lab for Walter to check him out. Olivia makes a connection with him as well as they both like to draw. Aaron is afraid of doctors, they scare him. 
I thought back to 3.08 Entrada where the typewriter store owner guy says he isn’t a big fan of doctors as well as needles. 

Aaron is brave and withstands the prodding. After that he checks out a bit of the lab. 
He sees the dinosaur. That reminded me of Peter in 1.03 The Ghost Network where he told Olivia that: 
When I was nine, I think I wanted to be a brontosaurus.”
Aaron looks some more and finds “Roadblock”. 
In 1.15 Inner Child, Peter tells the little observer that he remembers the scar being on the other side. 

Here is a typical Fringe moment: “I’m eating my lunch.”
Well enjoy it because it will be your last meal. The body at Walter’s lab exploded and this one will too in a second…!

On the one hand this case reminded me of 2.12 What Lies Below.
The way the fungus spread looked similar to how the Dutch guy looked. And just like the virus compelled the people to jump because it wanted to get out, the fungus told Aaron to bring the boys back to the tunnel. 

And on the other hand it reminded me of 1.15 Inner Child. 
Aaron had a connection with the fungus, just like Olivia did with the little observer.
He felt what Olivia felt, just like the fungus felt threatened and it affected Aaron. 
And the neurostimulator was used again. 

So back at the lab Walter was trying to send Aaron home but he doesn’t really have anybody to stay with. Walter invites him for some strawberry milkshakes. 
I wonder if his favorite ice cream store closed down in this time line as well. (2.08 August)

I love Walter. 
The hats are a call back to 
2.07 Of Human Action where both Walter and Astrid wear one because Massive Dynamic creeps them out. 

So then Aaron asks Walter how his son died. 
Walter: “Peter was very sick. I tried for a long time to find a cure... but I found it too late, and he died. Then I discovered an alternate universe where another version of my son was dying from the same malady. So I crossed over to the other side with the intention of bringing him back to cure him. But the frozen lake where I created a portal between universes was unsound, and when we crossed back, the ice broke. And Peter... the other version of him... drowned. And I lost him all over again.”

What? Where was September? He didn’t interfere? That’s a first!

I also thought back to 4.01 Neither Here Nor There where Astrid says: “Don’t forget Walter. He [Walternate] has plenty of reasons to hate you too.” Is that the reason? 

I love Aaron’s comment: “And… you don’t think you belong in a mental institution?”

Meanwhile Olivia and Lincoln are at the tunnel trying to destroy the fungus with bright light and flames. But because Aaron is connected to it, it affects him. To cool him off Walter sticks him in a tub with ice water and promises Aaron he will not turn him into a popsicle which makes Walter crave one – grape.  
3.11 Reciprocity Walter says: “Do you have any chewing gum? Any flavor will do, although I’m rather partial to grape.”

Okay, so now back to fun”Gus”. 
Walter: “What you need to understand is that Gus can only make more of itself. And as it grows, it becomes more intelligent, more self-aware, and ever more conscious of how alone in the world it is. And my contention is that Gus forged a link with Aaron over this shared sense of isolation. Until I can find a way to break the link with the boy, any assault on the organism will hurt him. Or worse.”
I love how the titles for the episodes are picked. A lot of the time it’s within the context of the dialog. 

Well, Walter you need to hurry because it’s spreading. This time it was a homeless in Roxbury. We’ve been there before as well: The slaughter house was in Roxbury (1.15 Inner Child); Charlie is in Roxbury, investigating a crime scene (1.18 Midnight); Jake Selleg, age 36, walked into a Roxbury ER 3 nights ago (Unearthed); Astrid says that the video was taken in Roxbury (3.17 Stowaway).

Walter hasn’t come up with a way to separate the fungus from Aaron: “He'll die! Do you hear me? You're going to kill Peter!”
Olivia: “Aaron. Walter, you mean "Aaron." Walter: “What did I say?”

Remember Olivia’s license plate from 4.01 Neither Here Nor There? 
Now it’s on a Massive Dynamic van who provides the toxin to kill the fungus, with courtesy of Nina Sharp.

The ultimatum Broyles gave Walter cannot be upheld: “…we can’t sacrifice countless other lives to save one boy.”
And so Olivia reluctantly gives the “go ahead” to start the toxin. I thought about the Olivia we know, always feeling the weight of the world on her shoulder, in a sense feeling responsible for the choices made.

Walter discovers it’s the limbic system in the brain that keeps Aaron linked with the fungus. 
This is what wiki says: 
The limbic system (or Paleomammalian brain) is a set of brain structures including the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, septum, limbic cortex and fornix, which seemingly support a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, long term memory, and olfaction. The term "limbic" comes from the Latin limbus, for "border" or "edge". Some scientists have suggested that the concept of the limbic system should be abandoned as obsolete, as it is grounded more in transient tradition than in facts. 
Remember last week’s glyphs spelled LIMBUS

I love what Walter said to Aaron: 
Aaron! Aaron! Listen to me! Aaron! Aaron! Good boy, good boy. I know you're scared, but you need to let go of the organism.” Aaron: “No... It's my friend.” Walter: “No.” Aaron: “I'll be alone.” Walter: “I know you've come to believe that it's your friend, but it's not real. It's something that's invaded your mind. It's hurting you.” Aaron: “Nobody cares.” Walter: “It doesn't matter. You matter to me. I care, and I... And I don't want to lose you. I can't lose you. Not again. Aaron... I know how hard it is to make connections. I know what it is to be lonely. It takes courage to be the one to take someone else's hand, to trust that they won't leave you. I won't leave you, Aaron. And I'm begging you not to leave me. Please. Let it go. Let it go. Please. Let it go, son.”
There are a few things about this dialog that stand out. 
2.07 Of Human Action: “I can’t lose him again.” 
2.16 Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver: “I can’t lose him again. I can’t.” 
Through Aaron, Walter was reminded of Peter and he needed to make sure that it was not too late this time. 
The other thing that stood out was that Walter asked Aaron to “let it go”. It was always Walter who had a hard time letting Peter go. 

Back at the tunnel Lincoln is attacked by the fungus but not Olivia. Why?

Walter’s method worked and Aaron let go of the fungus, releasing Lincoln. Olivia says to him: “You’re gonna be fine.”  That’s Charlie’s phrase to her.

Aaron is being transferred to a hospital but before he leaves, Walter gives him “Roadblock”. 
Toys are meant to be played with.”

And of course there is Peter again. 
It’s funny he shows up with the fire extinguisher behind glass. 
I thought of Sam’s line in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss: “In emergency, break glass.”

So then we’re getting to the last five minute of this episode. Well, I’ll get there in a second. 

I’ve compiled my list of the best last five minute moments of Fringe so far. Please feel free to add yours: 
1.20 There Is More Than One Of Everything – Olivia crossing over and ending up in the Twin Towers.
2.14 Jacksonville – Olivia discovering that Peter is from the other side.
2.22 Over There Part 2 – Olivia switched with Fauxlivia and being stuck in the cell.
3.09 Marionette – The garden scene
3.19 LSD – the Toast
3.22 The Day We Died – Peter disappeared
4.03 Alone In The World – Walter lobotomizing himself and Olivia confiding, she’s seen the same man.

Walter must be really desperate if he is intending to do this to himself. 
I’m glad Olivia came just in time. 

Because of the hallucinations Walter is afraid of being send back to St. Claire’s. 
He’s had that fear before when Peter disappeared in 2.20 Northwest Passage: 
I need to learn to care for myself. If Peter doesn't come back ...“ Olivia: “Walter...” Walter: “They'll send me back to the hospital, won't they?”

Olivia: “What are you seeing?” 
Walter: “It doesn't matter.” Olivia: “Just tell me.” Walter: “A person. A young man. His voice is in my head, saying peculiar things.” Olivia: “Does he look like this?" 
Walter: “Where did you get this?” Olivia: “I drew it from memory. I've been seeing him in my dreams for the past three weeks.” Walter: “And all this time... I thought I was losing my mind, that he was a figment of my psychosis. I'm perfectly sane! Who is he? Olivia: “I don't know. I've been running facial recognition through inter-agency databases, including Interpol, but nothing's shown up.” Walter: “A shared vision like this... He must be real! And if he's real... We have to find him.”

As I said, the search is on!

Other observations: 
Aaron is hiding in Hyde Park - get it?
The first song (The Mighty Quinn) was stuck in my head all weekend and I thought that must be what Walter is feeling like. 
The other song in the episode was “I can help” by Billy Swan

There was no product placement except this:
On the phone it says: cisco
What happened to the other sponsors? Should that worry us or not?

I’m perfectly sane” reminded me of 2.10 Grey Matters, when they arrive at the hospital to question Mr. Slater.

Aaron Sneddon is a strange name. I tried to move the letters around but couldn't come up with anything.

A theory on why they don’t recognize Peter: When Peter died he was a boy. They probably can’t picture him how he would look like an adult and therefore have no idea who they are seeing.

John Noble was even more awesome in this episode than what he usually is. 

From what I know of the cast, it’s probably the hardest working one. I’m always amazed at what they deliver each week. That’s one of the reasons I watch with a passion. Make it worth their while and keep watching live.

Fringe Rocks!


Xindilini said...

This episode gave us a very X-Files thing with Lincoln Lee in the opening. Does that make him Doggett-ish? In the episode where Doggett and Scully became partners, this phrase for me: "I never had a desk in here, Agent Doggett, but I'll see that you get one." is just like "I'm here for you." It solidifies Olivia's acceptance of Lincoln as her new partner.

Cisco Systems :) is a name I haven't seen for quite some time. Their commercials used to run during The X-Files in Canada as being the innovator behind the world wide web. Today they are still a brand associated with connecting networks.

ericpick said...

Best Fringe moments
3.16 when William Bell takes Olivias body through the soul magnets and she says "Hello Peter, It's nice to see you again"

cortexifan said...

How could I forget. Thanks, that definitely should have been on my list. Especially since Anna was trending world wide when she said that :)

milostanfield said...

Another best last few minutes: Peter in bed with the other Olivia watching Casablanca. Then he gets THE phone call. (Entrada)

PS - it's impossible to have a top five Fringe list. My top 10 list of fave eps is up to 23.

milostanfield said...

Xindilini - nice catch on Agent Doggett. There was even a missing significant other during those seasons, like Peter. Thought Robert Patrick was under appreciated in that role, given the shoes he had to fill. "John Doe" (9X07), where Doggett wakes up in a Mexican town not knowing who he is, is one of my fave eps, Mulder or not. Doggett also had lost his son.

Andrea said...

I had a thought - are they rebooting the relationships?? If Peter comes back and the timeline is restored, well it's back to normal, but if he comes back and the current timeline stands, then we'll end up with different dynamics - ie Peter loves Olivia but she doesn't know him; not to mention the whole Peter/Walter relationship.

milostanfield said...

Andrea - BIG question. My guess is that they will stay with the new timeline, at least for a while, so they can write to the complicated dynamic you described. Plus we don't know what KIND of Peter will be coming back. And he'll be coming back to people who are also different from what he knew. Buckle up!

LC_07 said...

This discussion went on here on Fringe TV last week.

When Peter comes back, will the newtimeline be restored? Because if all went back to normal, what would be the point of all this re-writing the timeline? I think that Peter will comeback to this new timeline, and they will try to figure out together what happened. I have no idea, but i think it would be more interesting to see how Peter's role will unfold in this new story, instead of continuing the one we already know.

Xindilini said...

milostanfield - I liked Doggett. - John Doe (XF) - I would have remembered the significance of that episode if I hsdn't taped over it with one of my work-related cartoons. :( I rewatched just about everything else recently.

Scully8 said...

Random thought . . .
Has anyone noticed that Olivia is a lot looser and communicates more in this NT? I'm not saying that she feels complete, but there is less angst. I'm thinking this may be a result of John Scott dieing before she could find out that he was a 'trader' (of course he wasn't by the end of that story). It seems that it when she became super stoic and closed-off. Yes, Peter did open her up a bit, but this Olivia seems, if not happy, more accessible. Just an oberservation.

I am really looking forward to how Peter reacts to this new reality and 'new' Olivia, not to mention Lincoln Lee's place on the team.

Aaronia said...

Hasn't anybody noticed the new attires of Olivia and Linc? Why aren't they in formal clothes? I would say it's a big departure from the Olivia we know.

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