Fringe Discuss: Is This Peter's Olivia, or not? ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Discuss: Is This Peter's Olivia, or not?

      Email Post       2/29/2012 09:16:00 AM      

Not Penny's Boat

It's the first Wednesday during our new little winter hiatus, and a great time for a new installment
of Fringe Discuss, where we throw out a question to get your feedback.

There's been a lot of internet chatter since the last scene of episode 4.04, titled "Subject 9," when
Peter addresses his relief at Olivia Dunham's arrival to his hospital room and Olivia ends the episode
by asking Peter "Who are you?"

We learn that the current Olivia says she's only known Peter for 3 months, yet she has so many memories in 'The End Of All Things" of our Olivia in the Old Timeline.

When Peter has the opportunity in "The End Of All Things" to share consciousness with September, September asks Peter to do something for him, but Peter answers:

PETER: I'm not doing anything till you tell me where to find Olivia--

THE OBSERVER: For that, you have only to go home.

If you've watched 4.14 you know Peter takes that literally and goes back to his house, and that event leads him back to Olivia and Nina being held captive by David Robert Jones.

So this week's question is: The current Olivia Dunham we've seen in episode 4.14, is this Peter's Olivia, or not?

Please feel free to post your thoughts and theories below.
Remember, SPOILERS ARE NOT PERMITTED HERE. If you wish to post and/or discuss spoilers
please click on the "Fringe Spoilers" tab at the top of the page.

We look forward to reading all your theories on this one!

Is this Olivia "Peter's Olivia"?


RampageRON said...

your asking the wrong question, the question is simple, is it or is it not Penny's boat?

Jeffrey Thiele said...

WALTER: Peter, I was wrong. It's not too late. You can save both worlds. We can do it all over again. This time, you -- you simply need to make a different choice, and should something go wrong, then Olivia will be our fail-safe.

PETER: Walter, stop. Olivia is dead.

WALTER: But she won't be... Not then.

This is what makes me think that this is our Olivia. Walter says specifically if something goes wrong, Olivia will be the failsafe. I think that the cortexifan has made Olivia extremely special/powerful. It has allowed her to access the previous level of the palincest (timeline). She was able to bring Peter back because of her connection to him and now she is actually accessing her old memories and becoming our Olivia. I think Peter needs to work with this/our Olivia to set everything else back to the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

It is, it is! If you go back and listen carefully to September while Peter is in his mind, he says Peter will find her if he goes home. Then Peter references this Olivia in this supposed timeline, and September still says...go home.

This is her!

Zepp said...

There are several Olivias, and Peter must be a little dizzy (and we, too ...). But for me, the Olivia that Peter kissed in the car, then disappeared at the gas station, is now Olivia "him."

Fringie6989 said...

Everything screams that this is indeed our Olivia but as always, there is a shadow of doubt. I can’t help but think of what Walternate said in The Plateau, “For all intents and purposes, she is Agent Dunham. She's internalized her traits, her memories, her knowledge. When tested, she consistently responds as our Agent Dunham would under similar circumstances.” But I stand firm on my believe that this is our Olivia. First because I don’t believe that we would have over half a season without seeing our Olivia and second because she was so clearly Olivia. Sure, I could believe that she somehow internalized our Olivia’s memories through osmosis, proximity to Peter’s deepest desires. But how could she become so much our Olivia through memories? There is much more to who Olivia is than what her memories are. What about the feelings, the emotions? She could have all the “memories” in the world of Peter and their relationship but only the true Olivia would have the feelings to back it up. When September was talking to Peter about going home, he just had this look on his face like Peter was missing the connection that September was trying to make.

PETER: I'm not doing anything till you tell me where to find Olivia--
THE OBSERVER: For that, you have only to go home.
PETER: I know that I have to go home. I know I have to get back to my timeline, but I'm talking about this Olivia in this timeline.

This part keeps sticking out to me. Peter is desperate to get home to Olivia. “Tell me where to find Olivia.” “For that, you have only to go home.” It made me start thinking about the other times that home has been mentioned. Obviously there have been a lot of mentions of home or the concept of home but these seemed the most relevant.

1. Over There pt 2 – OLIVIA: Peter... you don't belong here. PETER: No, I don't belong here. But I don't belong there, either. OLIVIA: Yes, you do. I have thought of one hundred reasons... why you should come back. To -- to fight the shape-shifters, to take care of Walter, to -- to save the world. But in the end... you have to come back. Because you belong with me.

2. 6955 kHz – PROJECTION PETER: You have to go home.

3. The Day We Died - PETER: When we first met, I was a nomad, moving from place-to-place, job-to-job. She gave me a purpose: She taught me to believe in something bigger than myself. She taught me to fight to keep our world safe, and more recently, to keep it from dying. The truth is –- we’re all dying. From the moment we’re born, we are all dying, and the universe is unspeakably cruel. Our one hope is that we can find some purpose, some meaning before that last day comes. Some happiness... and love. Olivia was all of that to me. There was no one like her. While I will not cease to fight, now that she’s gone, I’m afraid I’m already lost. That we are all lost. The world is a darker place without her."

4. Welcome To Westfield – PETER: She gave me something that I hadn't had since -- really since my mom died. She gave me... a place to call home... a place I'd want to call home.

It seems pretty clear to me. But poor Peter is good at overcomplicating things. The way it appears to me is that Olivia is his home, not the timeline. If he can reconcile the Olivia matter, then everything else will fall into place.

Linda C said...

Hmm Jeffrey, darn you about reminding me that peter could make a different choice. does it matter that amberlivia is the real original olivia. Peter can choose fauxlivia & baby henry? Should he consider amber-alt-livia?
Never mind me, how do the writer's keep track of all these Olivias?

Old Darth said...

The concept of a palimpsest is the key.

fringeobsessed said...

Old Darth, please expand your comment.
That's a new thing to me, and probably to many of us.

Dennis said...

You can read all about Palimpsest on Wikipedia:

Essentially, a palimpsest is a document that is erased and written over. The implication being that even though there is new text on the page, it is possible to "look underneath" and see the original document.

In this case, Amber-Olivia's memories are being erased and replaced with "Peter's Olivia". But underneath these new memories, the "Not Your Olivia" still exists.

Albert said...

I agree with Old Darth that the concept of a palimpsest is key. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it turns out that Charles Stross wrote a novella by that title. The novella is about time-travel, and is based on a novel by Isaak Asimov. These stories have "Obvserver" like people in them, and involve rewriting the timeline.

I have not actually read these stories, but I do believe that Peter's Olivia was not fully erased by the timeline rewrite, and that she is "leaking" into the new timeline, and gradually replacing the new Olivia. After all, Peter still exists because he "leaked" into the new timeline, so it seems likely that Olivia is doing the same.

Laura008 said...

I also think Amberolivia is Peters Olivia or Ourolivia! September explained Peter that the existance of baby Henry could have altered the timeline in a very bad way so thats way he must have been erased from existance but would peter coming back to the original timeline not bring this baby back who was not meant to be!?this is not what is intended to be so there is no way back for Peter to the original timeline he must find a way to love this versions of his beloved people actually he and FutureWalter cheated the rules of time and these are the repercussion curious to find out if my theory is right!

Zepp said...

I honestly do not see a "total deletion", and a place than it was before, in memory of Olivia. I see, yes, is the placement of "item" Peter, gradually, in memory of Olivia now. But what is most revealing, are mainly the feelings she had for him before the creation of this new context. These feelings came before the memories themselves, in Olivia, I think. Then I see that what has changed in Olivia, have not (yet) memories, and yes, their feelings. I would say that Olivia's feelings for Peter, are coming before the memories she has with him.

Anonymous said...

I believe Amberlivia IS also our Olivia both physically and now mentally. They wouldn't created a dialogue about the rewritten memory card if the writers weren't trying to make a parallel.

It's also interesting to think that Olivia subconsciously and through cortexiphan brought back Peter. The reason why Sep wanted Peter to go in the machine and reset the timeline was to erase baby Henry. (Sidenote: Did it bother anyone else that Peter didn't seem to care who Henry's mother was? He didn't seem at all distressed that he had a kid with the wrong woman.. ) So I really can't see Fauxlivia's Henry coming back if Peter "served his purpose".

I think the next few episodes for sure is going to be about convincing Peter that he IS home. As to who is going to do that, I hope Olivia does. :)

Jennifer said...

I love, love, love what Fringie6989 said above, "The way it appears to me is that Olivia is his home, not the timeline. If he can reconcile the Olivia matter, then everything else will fall into place." What a wonderful and simple way to look at Olivia & Peter's relationship! I hope that this is the case, and that Peter can eventually reconcile this. I'm glad I read through all of your "home" references. Also, I totally laughed out loud at the "Not Your Olivia" hand picture at the beginning of this article! Funny!

Anonymous said...

Most of us were completely wrong on the last poll about Nina, we'll see.

FilippoCova said...

this is the right olivia , but she doesn't know yet.
Fringe is getting bettere and better every epsiodes; can't wait untill march 23

trent said...

Zepp said:

"But what is most revealing, are mainly the feelings she had for him before the creation of this new context. These feelings came before the memories themselves, in Olivia, I think."

I disagree she had any feelings for him, before she got the new (old?) memories. In fact, I think that's part of the problem with the current Olivia. If she had felt anything, when Peter appeared, it would be much easier to tell if this is Peter's Olivia or not, but the problem is that she didn't feel anything and that's why she was so cold and indifferent to him. There was no connection. Nothing. If this is Peter's Olivia, her love for him in the original timeline was very weak.

She started to have feelings for him at the same time she got the new memories. The question is, what happens if she gets rid of the new memories? Does she go back to being cold to him?

I think this Olivia is Peter's Olivia, but not because of her memories or new found feelings for Peter. It's the Observers' and Walter's comments, that have convinced me. The Observers have said several times, that Peter has returned, not that he has appeared in another timeline. When Walter explained, what a palimpsest is, I think that was the writers' way to tell the audience, what was happening to Olivia.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm of the opinion that she is the correct Olivia, but I wholeheartedly approved of Peter stepping back & walking away at the end of the episode. Confronted with the tragic consequences of accepting just any Olivia in front of him--her heartbreak last season & his son being wiped out of existence--I'm not surprised Peter would rather be sure this time & not repeat the same mistake. In regards to his statement in the car about recognizing Olivia by looking into her eyes... he never states at the end of this episode that he no longer sees her in her eyes. Peter only says that he believes the explanation for that is that he only saw what he wanted to believe.

I came across a great post discussing why the author believes this truly is Peter's season. Some highlights include:

"The fannish collective mind is him, the writers put you firmly in his shoes, and love Peter, hate him, remain indifferent, you know exactly what he is feeling because the audience is feeling it too.

"[F]or season four, where it's the *audience* who is presented with a possible doppelganger, the entire fandom is wailing what's going on, it's Olivia, no its not - when put in Peter's shoes, you suddenly understand how easy it is to be confused."

Just take a look at the poll above. A large portion is sure that she is the correct Olivia. However, there is also a significant portion that is just as sure she is not. Also, I'm certain there are those who are still too confused to vote either way. We as the collective audience have way more information than Peter does; and yet, we can not seem to come to a unanimous conclusion. If we can't definitively say it's her, how can we expect Peter to just accept it?

Anonymous said...

fringelover -- I actually loved Peter's reaction to finding out about Henry. Who cares who his mother is? It's not Henry's fault his parents made a mess of things. His reaction reminds me of all of the Elizabeth's reactions to Peter: unconditional love.

Trent -- I find Olivia's (lack of) feelings toward Peter this season disturbing too. This is another reason why I'm glad he walked away because I would rather have Olivia also give her feelings careful consideration. I want her to be absolutely sure too, with actual reasons; not just blind acceptance. As much as I don't want to see Olivia get her heart broken, I don't want her to break Peter's heart either.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I messed up the link to the post I was referencing above. The actual post is here.

trent said...

Thanks for the link, onlimain, that was an interesting read.

The OP seems to think Peter endured the blame for what happened to Olivia in S3, meaning he knew he should have known it wasn't her. It was his fault and he didn't try to make excuses. That's so wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to start. Let me just say that I agree with Joshua Jackson, when he said that Peter was very much in love with Olivia, otherwise he wouldn't have stood her BS. And ain't that the truth! All of their grand gestures of love and sacrifice are great, but his patience and his understanding in that period of time, where she'd punish him for something he didn't do on purpose, that right there showed he was deeply in love with her.

Let's see how Olivia fairs in the next episode. I'm very curious to see if she will be as understanding and patient or if she'll try to forget him, reject her new found memories and feelings, because he is confused. That's when I'll know if her declaration of love is worth a dime.

Zepp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zepp said...


Everything is very relative to our understanding of the scenes that we see. I, for example, see Olivia already interested in Peter, (the emergence of feelings), since he was sitting on the table in the interrogation room, the FBI, after he had been "saved" at Lake Reiden by boaters. But everything is a matter of interpretation. I see the feelings of Olivia, emerge gradually, before, well before the return of his memory, in that dream she had with Peter. I've noticed, certain interests or feelings, "this" by Peter Olivia during their joint actions, and that well before these flashes of memory that are occurring now.

In other words, for me, the feelings of love for Peter, who somehow inherent in the latent stage in this "new" Olivia, befallen, harder now, with the outcrop of the "old" her memory. So for me, these feelings of love for Peter, were already there, this "new" Olivia, well before "re-memory", I think.

I repeat, I do not believe has happened to the Olivia, the "palimpsest effect", which is primarily the "deletion" total, and then reaffixing another version, I think not. I assume what happened was, and is, a gradual replacement of the memory of "old" Olivia, this "new" Olivia, now culminates with the outcrop of their feelings toward Peter. It would be like a rewrite on top of something already written, but now, with some corrections. So I think.

boredincyberspace said...

This isn't our Olivia because it is not our Universe. Lincoln said that there is "no way to make (Nina) talk" unless they repeal the 6th Amendment. In Nina's current circumstances, the 5th Amendment would have been the right citation (and Lincoln as an FBI agent in our Universe should have known this). So, is this significant or a flub by the writers or actor (and not caught in editing)?

milostanfield said...

Great question!

Actually she's both of them. She has been the same physical Olivia all along, from "Pilot" to now. There's only one physical Olivia in the blueverse, and a different physical Olivia in the red. Because of that, and because the vote is strictly a binary choice, I'm voting Yes.

But we're more, of course, than just a physical person. We are also a combination of innate capabilities and circumstance (and plain luck too but that doesn't count for much in Fringe with timetripping Observers around as "fate pushers"). In circumstance the Olivias are different, but unlike two different people the effects of different circumstances are in the one same physical person. This is not the same as split personality, as both identities are the result of valid interactions with real circumstances (the different timelines). But it has to lead to conflict.

I think "what is identity?" (both who we think we are and who others think we are) is the central question that Fringe is asking, from Olivia's relationship with John Scott in "Pilot", through the Season 3 switch, through the "Who are you?" at the end of "Subject 9", all the way to "The End Of All Things".

Perhaps the real question is not "Who is Peter's Olivia?" but "Who is Olivia's Olivia?"

LittleWing said...

Wow, I've never posted here before, but this is so great! I don't know who this Olivia is, but like Peter I'm scared and skeptical. One thing that makes me think this Olivia has some connection to our Olivia is that, like Walter, she dreamt of him before he appeared, which to me means she is connected to him, whether she knew it, understood it or what. Even Lincoln noticed the effect Peter had on her.

Also, there is no way she could have memories that Peter didn't have if she wasn't connected to our Olivia.

If Peter can't get home to his universe, I will miss the warmth he had with our Walter. I loved their relationship.

Blue said...

boredincyberspace - The 6th amendment would also apply in this case. I suspect they were referring to right to council since Nina stated that she wouldn't discuss anything more without her lawyer present.

milostanfield - I agree with everything you said!

Anonymous said...

Stay with us, then, Dorothy. We all love
you. We don't want you to go.

Oh, that's very kind of you -- but this
could never be like Kansas.

Well, we all know, great drama exists almost completely in the world of tragedy, and great love stories are all about reunion. I can't help but feel that this odd universe-crossing love story is headed towards a sad ending. Is Olivia OUR Olivia? No, I don't think so... no matter how much we --or Peter-- would like her to be. The surroundings may be familiar and they may even grow comfortable, but it does not change the fact that Peter is a lost man, trying to get home. In the end, I think that's exactly what he'll do.

Talitha Blandin said...

I just loved what Fringie6989 said: "The way it appears to me is that Olivia is his home, not the timeline. If he can reconcile the Olivia matter, then everything else will fall into place."
is what I feel but couldn´t put into words!
During the beginnig of the season I looked like Jack desperately crying "we have to go back".
but now, unlike Peter, I´m sure I found 'our' Olivia and the feeling is being at home!

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