Fringe Observiews 5.04 The Bullet That Saved The World ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Observiews 5.04 The Bullet That Saved The World

      Email Post       10/31/2012 12:28:00 AM      

Welcome to the Observiews for Season 5 of Fringe. I call them Observiews because they are more visual observations than deep thinking reviews, if that makes sense.
Screen caps from this episode are taken from Dialog is 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. I could also have missed a few things, oh well…

I loved this episode just as much I did the others so far but my "little visual obserview heart" was doing cart wheels because of all the cool things packed into this one. 

Glyphs spelled: WOUND
As in the wound Windmark inflicted on Etta? The wound reopened for Peter and Olivia losing their child again? The wound inflicted on the resistance because of the loss of an insider? 

Peter is out "getting" gas as he comes across a pawn shop. 
We've seen this little fellow before in 2.08 August
Peter is looking for something specific. 
An Observer appears and of course knows what Peter wants because he read him. 
I don't like that ability they have, to just be able to appear out of nowhere!
Peter was looking for a necklace for Etta so she can wear the bullet again. Peter is trying to block his mind. 
He starts thinking about baseball. Seems it is difficult to keep one's mind blocked so he gets out of there, encountering trouble on the way back to the lab. Unfortunately the Observer got an image of Etta. She has taught others to block their minds and intents to teach everyone. Peter pays his first lesson with the necklace. 
ETTA: "Well you know the expression. No good deed goes unpunished."

Someone is entering the pawn shop. 
Every time I hear a chime like that I have to think of William Bell. And there is a heart attached to it. 
Broyles! It is good to see you. Or is it? In the credits Lance's name showed up under "special appearance". How often will we get to see him? 

Back at the lab, another tape is freed from the amber. 
RECORDED WALTER: "Welcome to Tape Two of my plan to defeat the Observers. Before we begin, first and foremost, you must accept the reversibility of all phenomena... particles have their speeds reversed, then the changes - - found a measurable effect. Let me be crystal clear - - understanding of these scientific concepts, we will not be fighting in the same field. These are the plans that we must follow to the letter - - imperative that these plans be retrieved."
Yep, Walter is fluent in goobledygook. 
RECORDED WALTER: "I have hidden them as I would my most prized possession. Funny story actually. When I was a boy, my mother would take me on what she called Manhattan Mystery Tours. We would catch the first train that came to the station, and then we would venture into the city... ... and get off at the first - - I'll never forget - - inspirational."
Loved Olivia's reaction to Walter's story. 
One more thing here. Peter's wedding ring is dangling from his neck (which I already said  in 5.01 Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11). I'm sure Olivia saw that and I'm surprised if not even a bit disappointed we didn't get a reaction to that. Maybe next week!
Walter did hear enough of the tape though to know where the tube is. As a boy he would hide his priced possession, his detective comic collection, underneath Newark-Penn Station. I was thinking of 2.19 Brown Betty where Walter shared that his mother loved detecive stories. Wonder if that's where he got that from. 
He was afraid of the pinkos attacking. 
We've heard that term before in 2.06 Earthling
PETER: "Are you suggesting that this was some sort of Russian experiment?"
WALTER: "Because they're from the other side of the world, Peter, it is so hard to believe that they would have their own stripe of the inconceivable? Really, I'm always amazed at their advancements. Even forty years ago. You wouldn't believe what those Pinkos were up to."
PETER: "Russian fringe science. There's a pleasant thought."

Penn Station is heavily guarded. Walter has an idea. Under one of the rolling desks is a secret room. 
Walter calls Astrid Astrif to fire up the laser. The only reference to the word "Astrif" I found was this

So let's see what we can find in the secret room. First we have to enter. 
Enter into another universe. Well, not really but because of the red that's what I thought of. 
And the team seems to have gone "down" into something now in almost every episode of this season so far. 

There are too many appearances of them to remember if and where this specific display was used. 
Officer Gillespie from 2.03 Fracture or another exploded body.
The other item is the window into the other universe Walter had built in 2.15 Peter
The giant hookworm from 2.09 Snakehead 
which also ended up on Bell's arc in 4.16 Nothing As It Seems. 
Devil Dogs on the shelf. 
Walter had hid some in the Harkness Law Library in 2.11 Johari Window
This is one of my favorite lines in the episode.
WALTER: "This is my cold storage of all the Fringe Events we have ever encountered, dormant for twenty-one years. If we are going to find a diversion to get into the railway station, we'll find it here."
PETER: "What do you suggest, Walter?"
WALTER: "There was a time when we solved Fringe Cases. Now I think it's time we created a few of our own."
That actually sounds scary because we know what Walter is capable of. 

Etta takes a look around as well.
She finds the neurostimulator we had encountered numerous times before. 
Red Vines and a shapeshifter disc/device. 
It's the new version of the shapeshifters disc/device that Walter found in 4.01 Neither Here Nor There
A skeleton
which reminded me again of 4.03 Alone In The World
As she looks on she finds a police car inhabited by a plastic frog. 
Walter had used the car and a real frog in 2.02 Night Of Desirable Objects
Then there is a ram's horn. 
The horn is mostly referenced with the fibonacci Golden Spiral.  I also thought of the horn glyph.

WATER: "Oh, look, Olivia, my Porcupine Man."
Left is from 1.13 The Transformation, right is from 4.16 Nothing As It Seems
OLIVIA: "You really had no idea that he was doing any of this?"
ASTRID: "I wouldn't have slept at night if I did."
As she's holding the hand of a dead body from 2.03 Fracture. Just love their reactions. And it gets better... 

WALTER: "Some secrets are meant to be kept. For two reasons - - Number One: Because they're mine. And Number Two: I have a healthy distrust of the government. These items were safer with me."
I just love him!
Etta found an ambering device that is ready to go!
Slowly! Put it down. That's a good girl. But that's where Olivia got the idea of protecting the lab. 

There are a few photos on the wall. Most of those were from 2.09 Snakehead
Then there is one photo on the left
 that could have been from 1.14 Ability 
And the one on the right behind the hookworm one could be the charred bodies from 1.19 The Road Not Taken.

I will never get out of Walter's cold storage! LOL
On to probably the most grossest (is that a word?) scene of Fringe to date.

Walter finds his old doughnut hole. This is just too good to pass up, so bear with me, will you?
Are you sure that's what it is Walter because it looks more like a creature with legs. 
All I could think off was the creatures on Starship Troopers.
Just love Olivia's face.
Etta gets to experience a grand pa moment again. 
What was more funny was Peter's look at Etta. 
[Peter: "Another foodstuff  you can cross off the menu for life." (1.18 Midnight)]

And of course it wouldn't be Walter ...
Can you guess what's next?
WALTER: "It's still good."

Finally! Out of the dungeon, phew. 

This is the loyalist who warned Anil in 5.03 The Recordist
There was a discrepancy in his security check. He is part of the resistance. And he gave away a few things.
And Observer is reporting the results back to Broyles.
We find out later that Broyles has the ability to block his mind. But here I'm wondering who is reading who. 
The Observer found a reference to someone called "Dove".
So I guess this from 5.03 The Recordist was the clue for 5.04 The Bullet That Saved The World

The Observer also found out that the team is at the lab. Oh that's not good. And speaking of...

Astrid is preparing what ever their plan is.
Since we had the doll from 3.12 Concentrate And Ask Again, the blue powder also reminded me of that episode.
And while Astrid is preparing the music from 2.03 Fracture is playing. 
I'm really glad for some humor now 'cause we know how the episode ends...
I just love those two being silly. Although Astrid probably didn't think so. 

Upstairs, Olivia and Etta are monitoring the comings and goings at Penn-Station. Etta pulls out the bullet to put it on the new necklace.
OLIVIA: "Where'd you get that?"
HENRIETTA BISHOP: "I found it... at our old house on Quincy Street. I wanted to remember things. I don't know. I just wanted to be there. It made me feel closer to you."
Interjection: According to 4.22 Brave New World Part 2, Peter found a house in Brookline.
So, they must have moved a few times then. Yeah, that works for me, lol. 

HENRIETTA BISHOP: "It was looted. The entire block was. Upstairs in your bedroom, what used to be your bedroom, I found what was left of your old jewelry box. And there was this matchbox inside. I shook it and found this. I figured it had to be important, or you wouldn't have kept it."
OLIVIA: "How long have you been wearing it?"
HENRIETTA BISHOP: "Since I was thirteen. You want it back?"
OLIVIA: "No. No. No, I want you to keep it. Let me see it. You know your father used to call this the Bullet that Saved the World."
I was hoping for Olivia to tell the story about the bullet. And since she didn't I'm still going by that this is the bullet from 4.22 Brave New World Part 2 that Walter pulled out of her head. 

Etta receives a text message that the Observers know about the lab. Probably was Broyles who warned her.
I'm really hoping he is a good guy. Again, I wonder if the Observers are becoming suspicious of him just by looking at this guy's face. Keep blocking your thoughts!

Now it's time for the plan. The lab was re-ambered. Astrid stayed behind to basically un-ambered it again after the raid was over by the loyalists.
I know, and I'm sorry that I'm skipping a lot of the story but you have no idea how much I still have on visuals and call backs and then there is the end of course. So, please bear with me this time. 

Walter is pulling up in front of a check point at the station.
Walter, are you driving without a license? 
Look who's the guard? 
Why Officer Gillespie (2.03 Fracture), how good to see you, although you switched sides. 
Apparently, the story Walter tells them meets their disapproval so the Observer steps in and zaps Walter.
WALTER: "You electrocuted me."
Haha, I loved that, Walter "smoking". There is a bit coming out of his ear but unfortunately that's the best shot I can give you. And he looked like he enjoyed it, snicker. 

Walter has concocted a method to cripple the loyalists and Observers in range. The skin growth toxin.
We first saw this in 1.14 Ability
And we had also learned that Dr. Boone had created it in 1.19 Midnight
Well at least that was the old timeline. 

Walter and Peter make it to Penn Station.
The last time we saw that was in 3.08 Entrada
Walter had marked the spot.
Kilroy was here. Or is it a reference to this

I was also thinking of this from 1.02 The Same Old Story.

PETER: "This is your car? Of course it is. So what, you got cars stuffed with papers all over town?"
WALTER: "Not just cars. You have no idea where I've hidden things."

While Peter and Walter retrieve the tube, Olivia and Etta are having fun with the toxin.
In the last Observiews I had said to keep one of the drawings in mind. 
It shows a bunch of people on the ground, dead I assume and Olivia with Etta. Well the incident now almost looks like it. Olivia and Etta are fighting and on the ground are some loyalists. 
Back in his office, Broyles is reminiscing about old times.
Ah, the good old days!

Time to see what's in the tube.
I kind of liked that view of them under the bridge. We know bridges are important in Fringe. They serve to make connections between them, fill a gap and even cross between universes. 

Walter can't decipher what's written. It's Greek to him, except he reads Greek, so it's Aramaic to him.
For one, those two languages are Bible languages, hm. 
And Walter, if you only think of "Bacon", no wonder you're not getting anywhere. Were you thinking of 3.02 The Box
PETER: " this point, would anything really surprise you?"
WALTER: "Bacon-flavored pudding. That would surprise me."

Maybe you remembered your creativeness at Massive Dynamic in 3.16 Os 
WALTER: "All I've managed to do with its vast resources is to create a new flavor of cupcake frosting. Bacon-berry."

Or who could forget the delicious peanut butter and bacon sandwiches in 4.16 Nothing As It Seems
Lincoln loved the bacon. They are quite delicious if I may say so. Had them at my Fringe party in the summer. 
See now Walter's got me thinking about Bacon, no wonder I can get finished, lol.

Olivia wants to get back to the lab but not before someone wants to see them.
On the bridge it says "Manifest Destiny". One explanation I found is this and the other is that. And that is also was a case on L.A. Noire which of course starred no other than John Noble.
The other thing I thought of (and this might be totally far fetched) is the manifest of ZFT. And also how some of the characters are destined to do or be something. Like Peter and Olivia are destined to be together. Olivia being prepared with the Cortexiphan trials, Walter still trying to set things right and Peter maybe to be a better man than his father. 
Broyles sees the Fringe team for the first time again after 20 years.
I knew Olivia would be the one taking the first step towards him. 
BROYLES: " Agent Dunham."
OLIVIA: "Phillip."
Psst! Remember me? Yeah I know. Phillip?  She has never, ever called him that. If Broyles would have addressed her differently (because of history in the time span we didn't see) then I can see her do that but ... and her gesture doesn't seem like our Olivia either. I'm holding on to my suspicion that there is something not right with her. And I will get back to more soon. 

He is also glad to see Peter and Walter which is reciprocated.
Broyles was working on a case five years ago when he met Etta. Although she was turned away from him, he thought he was looking at Olivia. Then he found out that she was her daughter and had Etta transferred into his section to keep an eye on her. Turns out she taught him how to block his thoughts from the Observers.

In the meantime, Windmark is on to them. They found the pillar where Walter had hid the tube.
LOYALIAST SUPERVISOR: "They used an airborne toxin. It hyperactivates a protein that generates scar tissue."
BARBARIC? Really? Then what do you call torturing Walter and zapping him and "wiping" people's minds. Grrr

The loyalist also found a tracker. They know where the Fringe team is. Uh-oh.

Broyles brought a few gifts as well.
Fourth Gen Anti-matter batons. Delayed fuse. Blast radius of one hundred meters. And, once it's armed, it can't be deactivated.
I think that's what Etta put in her jacket. 

I think I usually can tell what she's thinking but this time, I can't. 
Is she hiding something? Is she suspicious of Broyles? My theory stands. 

The reunion is short lived because out of nowhere comes an Observer.
I hate that ability and even more so later on.

They have to leave. Etta hands the tube to Broyles to protect it at all cost.
I don't know, aren't they trusting him a bit too fast? I know Etta's been working with him for the Resistance but still...

So Broyles takes off, Etta and Walter go in one direction and Peter and Olivia in the other.
Fringe team separated - that's not good.
Olivia wants to go back for Walter and Etta but it's not possible right now.

Etta gets surprised by Windmark.
CAPTAIN WINDMARK: "He bought the necklace for you. For what purpose? I would like to know."
Etta's mind is open.
Did she allow to be read? Or was Windmark too strong to resist? And this is the same memory of the picnic scene as Peter's because of the color of his shirt. 
So there is another strike against Olivia being the only one seeing it differently. Just saying. 

Windmark saw love in Etta's mind. A concept you don't understand, scumbag. Only August and September know what that is. 

Etta fought bravely.
But in the end a shot is fired.
OLIVIA: "Etta."

They rush down to her and all Peter can do is cover the wound.
PETER: "Etta. No. No, no, no."
OLIVIA: "Henrietta, look at me, okay? You're going to be okay. Etta? But we have to move you, okay?" HENRIETTA BISHOP: "No. There's no point."
PETER: "We're not gonna leave you here."
HENRIETTA BISHOP: "You have to. You won't make it with me. I'll slow you down. You have to leave."
She's not even giving them an option .

OLIVIA: "Etta. I love you so much."
Etta is handing the bullet back to Olivia. Or did Olivia take it?
PETER: "No. No, no. No. I can't leave you. Not again. No. no."
WALTER: "Son, we have to go."

They have to leave because Windmark is on his way back. As the buildings are searched Windmark suggest the Fringe team will come back for Etta because of love. When they find her the necklace is gone and time is running out before the bomb detonates.
Windmark gets away though. I bet he just left the other Observers to die. 

In 5.02 In Absentia Peter had stopped Etta from taking revenge for what they did to Simon Foster. There would be an appropriate time but it wasn't then. 
I think the time is now!

I said it before that in order to save the world from the Observers, time travel is plausible. I say this now as well: I don't think we've seen the last of Etta. It might not be Georgina Haig portraying her but Etta will be back. I can see the last scene of the series being in the park, Olivia and Peter having a picnic, looking on as Etta blows the dandelions.  

Other Observations

Is there someone standing in the left corner?
The same here or is my perception off where the actors are standing off?

Logo on building - another clue?

And I still have "Turn, turn, turn" in my head.


Unknown said...

Walter says: "Forget the blueprints. Forget the rocks from the mine. Forget whatever is in the tomb. None of it means anything without the plan." What tomb is he speaking about? I do not remember. If we haven't seen one, his memory may be returning?

cortexifan said...

@ Antero
good catch. No we haven't seen one yet.

Unknown said...

Yeah, when I heard that I asked myself what the hell is Walter saying? Weird that nobody else in the team asked him which tomb...

Lccf said...

I agree, now more than ever, that the plan involves time travel of some kind : what else could "reversibility of all phenomena" imply ?

Zort70 said...

What a mamouth post, great job as always.

Did you catch another food reference on the plans - Be sure to buy choc pancakes

cortexifan said...

Thanks. No I missed that one. Good catch :)

Zort70 said...

Also should say that logo on the building looks like the traditional dove releasing hands to me.

Apart from the previous episode did we see a dove reference in the other episodes ?

Alissa said...

I thought the "Philip" was weird too. Nina's the only person that calls Broyles that, right? I'm intrigued with your idea that something is off with Olivia but I kind of hope you're wrong. I suppose we shall see! Love your Observiews-- always fantastic.

cortexifan said...

Thank you. I hope I'm wrong as well about Olivia :(

R. R. said...


Maybe the tomb is his underground room with the Fringe phenomena. I think that'd count! But still, that is a weird way to refer to it, if he was at all.

Zepp said...

Excellent cortexifan, this work seems to me like a complete "storyboard", comparative, this, for others episodes, thank you for your great work! But, I join those who also found a little strange, this greeting of Olivia, to Broyles, who was coming: "Phillip!" I think that greet a person by first name, is here and in any universe, has the meaning of closeness with this person, close friendship, and not as they were before, Broyles, as a direct boss of Olivia. And he (Broyles), said that greeting from Olivia, so distant, "Agent Olivia." You cortexifan, that's right, I think, has some story that happened a little before everyone come in Amber, I think. Within this context, I think Broyles was the only member of the Fringe team, not to come in amber, in order, somehow, be "controlling" the Observers, and also (I presume) for security of family it. But really, sounded a bit strange this: "Phillip," said by Olivia.

Points that this episode made ​​me think:

- Will Etta "really dead", or?
- Where will the September?
- Where will all that Olivia's leadership in the actions?
- This Walter is there now, he is with the "whole brain"?

Cerece Rennie Murphy said...

@ Cortexifan. I always love your observerviews. They remind me to just enjoy the story being told! Brookline is a neighborhood in Boston, so there could be a Quincy St. in Brookline. I also think the tomb reference was to Walter's cold storage, but we'll see. I missed the whole "reversible phenomenon" thing, so we'll see. I'm not a fan of a reboot, but at this point I will take what I can get.

Jess said...

@ Cortexifan
The logo on the side of the building is the Credit Union logo.

Anonymous said...

At this point I'm wondering what happened to the machine.The one that sent Peter's consciousness 15 years thru time and also erased him. I wonder if they'll use it to go back in time. But the real weapon for wiping out the observers might have something to do with "selective killing" since there must be millions of them...In that episode where this guy was targeting people with certain genes such as brown eyes? Maybe thats part of the plan to save the world....finding that genetic marker to eliminate all observers without eliminating everyone else? Something interesting to to think about...

Anonymous said...

And another question to keep in mind...why doesn't Windmark use the power of precognition (to the extent of how Sept uses it) to predict the future and figure out the fringe team's plan? Or better yet, why doesn't he just travel through time and try to kill the fringe team when they were still toddlers? Sick..but true...

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