Fringe Observiews 5.06 Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Observiews 5.06 Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There

      Email Post       11/15/2012 12:20:00 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…

3.11 Reciprocity
WALTER: "... Every relationship is reciprocal, Peter. When you touch something, it touches you. You're changing, son. When you touched the machine, it changed you. It weaponized you."

That was true for Peter's connection with the machine and it is true now. Except this time no one on the team knows yet what Peter did and what the consequences will be.

Glyphs spelled: SPLIT
As in Peter's and Olivia's relationship might be splitting again. As in Peter's personality splitting, turning into an Observer and losing himself. As in Walter's personality splitting, going back to who he was before St. Claire's. As in there are still pockets where the universe is split or another accessible universe exists.

A spoof on the title of 2.16
Walter! In the lab. With the tape, perfume, milk and Grape Vines.
He has un-ambered the next tape and is watching it. It is tape 7.

Peter is back at Etta's apartment looking at a holograph of her.
HOLOGRAPHIC HENRIETTA: "Hey, I just wanted to let you know I'm gonna be a little late getting back. Uh, didn't want you guys to worry..."
I was thinking back to 5.04 The Bullet That Saved The World. Captain Windmark was looking at a holograph of Etta. 
Could this be the same recording? 

As Peter is watching someone is coming. Olivia. Peter didn't come home so she decided to go to Etta's apartment.

This is probably my favorite Peter/Olivia scene except... I'll get to that. 

PETER: "... I just needed to see her."
OLIVIA: "I've thought about coming here too. I feel closer to her here. No, it's okay. Play it. Play it."
Aww, arm in arm again. Let's see how long it lasts. Both of them still very emotional. 
OLIVIA: "Peter, when you feel like this, I just want you to include me. It's fine that you come here. Just tell me. I want to understand what you're going through, and I want you to understand what I’m going through."
Seeing Olivia opening up to Peter is refreshing. She's come a long way (although I'm still a bit suspicious). Peter is reciprocating. I really hope that there is at least a happy end between them. 

PETER: "You're right. I'm sorry."
OLIVIA: "What is that?"
PETER: "When we collapsed the corridor, one of the Observers nicked me. It's okay. I'm fine."
Oh Peter. Why did you not tell her the truth? 
I'm just going to savor this moment. 

Walter is watching the tape. The recorded Walter shows him a building.
Which is the same building from 4.04 Subject 9
Only now it is 167 Cedar Street. Walter decides to go look for the building and leaves the lab. And of course someone discovered him, tracking his moves.
On the wall it says: GF 672. Don't know if it means anything, just thought it is interesting/unique/suspicious/or whatever word you want to use. 

The building now is bombed out.
RECORDED WALTER: "Here we are. 167 Cedar Street. Now we need to make our way to the Fourth Floor. Apartment 413. Hopefully without running into this tyrannical..."
There she is on the tape, nagging at Walter. And as soon as he sets foot in the building now, she's still there, albeit looking a bit different.
My first thought was "The Borg". Then I thought about 4.19 Letters Of Transit
SIMON FOSTER: "Damn it, 'Etta. Black market tech gets people killed. Even cops."
HENRIETTA BISHOP: "Black market tech replaced your eyes."
Could Simon's eye replacement have been something like this, just a bit more sophisticated?

NOSY NEIGHBOR: "Fourth Floor has been red-tagged for twenty years. Nobody goes up there. Hey, what's your business here?"
WALTER: "None of yours."
That's probably one of my favorite lines in this episode. I swear Walter was smirking when he said that. 

Walter is on a dangerous mission.
Just looking at that makes me feel sick. 

Walter found the apartment. 413.
Does the number mean anything specific? Could there be a connection to 4.13 A Better Human Being? This will take further investigation. 

As Walter enters the apartment, he hangs up his coat and hat.
Am I the only one who thinks that's strange? 

The apartment is split in half one side reflecting the other.
As he is looking in his notes he is re-tracing his steps.
As Walter was re-tracing his steps I thought of 4.04 Subject 9. Back in the Observiews for that episode I said as I commented on this shot: "It also looks like he is conducting."
Here are some more from that scene. 
Could he have had that in his mind? Coincidence? When did the Observer put the plan in his head? The trouble with the Observers started way before the team got ambered, I think. Maybe already by the time 4.14 The End Of All Things happened. Just a crazy thought. 

Walter recreated the pattern and disappears.

Don't get me wrong. It was an excellent episode but I didn't really care for the story part inside the pocket universe. It felt like there was too much time wasted on explaining things. That's just my opinion. But... I did like all the craziness of the building itself. So I'm just gonna focus on the craziness and the essential parts. Cecil was collateral damage anyway. 
I wish I could show you but did you notice the windows sliding as Walter walked through there. That was cool. 
Back at the lab, Astrid is looking for Walter. As Peter and Olivia return from Etta's apartment they discover that Walter has left the lab to retrace the steps from the video tape. So they continue to watch. Walter is on the bus, taking the Red Line...

RECORDED WALTER: "I have created, or rather, we have created a unique and efficient hiding place for a critical piece of the plan to defeat the Observers. It is undetectable to the Observers' instruments. As I have mentioned... may I help you?"
On the bus/rail Walter encounters this nosy guy. Wonder what Walter did to get rid of him? Walter also mentions that he wasn't alone creating this hiding place. 

RECORDED WALTER: "... as I mentioned, I have had some experience with transversing parallel universes. What we have done is we have opened a space in the membrane that separates the two universes. A pocket universe', if you will. This is very important. Do not, under any circumstances..."
RECORDED WALTER: " - - is that raspberry filling? Raspberry, is it? Two."
Snicker. Walter loves his raspberry. 3.02 The BoxAs Astrid is cutting brain, she notices a stain on Walter's tie. She thinks it's brain but Walter licks it to discover that it is raspberry jam. 
And as always the reaction of the team is priceless. This time at least Walter didn't give Olivia a face balm, just a smile. 
Not sure what Peter's face says. Maybe a bit frustrating. We've got the haze going though. Haven't seen that in a long time. Is this a glimpse from Peter's perspective?
And Astrid is probably thinking: yep, Walter always gets distracted by food.
RECORDED WALTER: "Now, since the pocket universe exists in inter-dimensional space, many of the usual laws of physics won't apply. And there are few places on Earth where two plus two does not equal four. And this is one of them."

We've heard that phrase before in 2.17 White Tulip.
 ALISTAIR PECK: "You and I both know there are certain things we take for granted -- the laws of nature for example -- that are not necessarily binding. There are places on this Earth where two plus two most definitely does not equal four."
Don't get that crick in your neck again Walter. 

Cecil showed Walter where he found water. Walter is gonna take a look around to find what he's looking for and then they are getting out. One of the signs on the door is the A-lyph. 
I'm assuming you've seen the episode. Then you know that all other signs on the doors were glyphs. I'll get back to those. Why was this chosen? We've seen this before all the way at the beginning. 
In 1.01 The Pilot, Olivia is entering into John Scott's mind so she can save him. 
OLIVIA: "John? I know this. That's my uncle's kayak. Why is it here?"
Yeah, why was it there? Why was the symbol in the pocket universe? We've never learned who Olivia's uncle is. Still so many unanswered questions. 
Now Peter, Olivia and Astrid also arrive at that building.
In the pocket universe everything is pretty much greenish. Here the hallway is red. 
ASTRID: "I'm surprised he made it up there."
PETER: "Walter's full of surprises today. Walter! Walter!"
Funny, I was going to say the same about you Peter. Like father, like son. 

They find the apartment and have seen Walter's foot prints all over. Peter, following the instructions on the video tape, is re-tracing the steps. 
What's with the marbles? 
Peter figures it out and finds the right location for the pocket. Olivia holds on to him and they cross. 
And now there is more on the tape as well. 
RECORDED WALTER: "Donald, how are we doing? Am I in focus?"
Donald is with him. We met Donald the first time in a report in 5.03 The Recordist. Apparently Donald was waiting for a scientist from Boston to show up. 
Same question! Who is Donald? Is he someone we've encountered before under a different name? He must be familiar with a few things... I'll get back to that. 

RECORDED WALTER: "You are now in the pocket universe. Don't be alarmed. You will notice that things work differently here."
Part of the episode title is "Through The Looking Glass", which is a book by Lewis Carroll who also wrote "Alice in Wonderland". In this book Alice climbs up on a fireplace mantel and finds herself in an alternate world where things are a bit backwards, among other things. And time is different as well. I'm reading it right now. Was hoping to finish before the episode aired but wasn't able to. 

Cecil thinks he's been in that pocket universe only five days but in reality it has been 20 years. 

Peter and Olivia start looking around and following Walter's directions.
PETER: "Looks like something Walter would've designed when he was tripping."
I love it when Walter is tripping. Don't you?

Meanwhile, Windmark is being informed that Walter has been sighted.
I'm surprised he didn't just teleported himself there. And what's with the hat? I so cannot wait until he meets his proper demise. 

Just before Olivia and Peter come around the corner I noticed the door.
I thought it was cool how it just moved over. 
I know I'm a nerd but I love stuff like that. Kudos to the props and set department, visual and special effects as well. 

Coming to what appears to be a dead end, Walter assures them it is not so.
So Olivia makes the first move and sure enough it leads into another hallway. Peter follows promptly.
Love this stuff. 

Peter is watching more on the tape and notices that Walter and Donald are not alone. There is someone else.
RECORDED WALTER: "Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there? This place is like that."
I've always loved how they work the title of an episode into the episode. 

Finally Walter is found.

PETER: "Walter. You know you're not supposed to leave the lab alone."
WALTER: "I'm so sorry. I don't understand. All I thought about was retrieving what was on that tape. I couldn't think about anything else. All I cared about was finding the next piece of the plan."
Walter's demeanor changed all of a sudden. Also his right eye had that shimmer it sometimes gets. Creepy is all I say. 

WALTER: "Who is that?"
PETER: "You honestly don't recognize him?"
WALTER: "It must have been wiped from my mind, like the other parts of the plan."
PETER: "No, Walter, it was a case that we worked. The boy, he was living underground. A demolition site."
1.15 Inner Child
OLIVIA: "Maybe Walter didn't experience the case in the same way that we did."
Wait! Olivia shouldn't have experienced this case either. She knows about it only because of the memories from the old time Olivia. Or is that considered "experience"?
And since in this pocket universe everything is upside down and backwards would that explain why he wrote upside down in 1.15 Inner Child?
Walter says later that to understand the boy's purpose, refer to tape 8. That means the boy will be back. And if having old Olivia's memories count as experiencing this case, will she be able to establish a connection again, like in 1.15 Inner Child?
WALTER: "Is he one of them? An Observer?"
OLIVIA: "Well, at first, we thought that he was just a boy. But then he started to exhibit empathic abilities. He helped us find a murderer."
WALTER: "An Empath. Remarkable. Why would I need an empath?"
That's a good question, Walter. 

The doors are marked. He's looking for the apple, the forbitten fruit, the root of all knowledge. These are the other glyphs visible.
The seahorse - representing a "N".
The hand - representing a "S", "V" and "X".
The frog - representing a "R".
And the apple - representing a "C", "D", "E" or "F".
I am basing my assumptions on the position of the glyph, which side they are turned. Now go and play scrabble. 

The room with the apple is the new hiding place for the boy. Donald is there as well and leaves a few things for him. Among them "mm's".
How did he know that? In the old timeline it was Olivia who brought mm's to him in 1.15 Inner Child
Same question: Who the heck is Donald?

The boy is gone. The room is empty. Except they find this.

PETER: "Walter... I think this is a portable air-degradation unit."
OLIVIA: "So he - - he was an Observer."
WALTER: "What difference does it make? He's gone. Do you understand? He was a part of the plan somehow. And without all of the parts, the plan is useless!"
OLIVIA: "Walter, calm down."
WALTER: "No, it's too late! They must have gotten this out of my mind. Windmark! He must have found the boy! Everything we've done is for nothing! It's for nothing."
Wow, Walter is totally flipping out. I think it's time for them to get out of there. 

Meanwhile, Windmark and his badies arrive at the building.
Peter is having a talk with Walter. They have to find Donald. He seems the only other person to know where the boy is.
Back in the room, Olivia discovers a transmitter which is not working right now. Maybe because they are in the pocket universe. Walter assumes it will help them find Donald and the boy.
Time to leave!
Astrid is hoping the team will come back soon because...the Observers are sneaky little bastards. 
Astrid gets knocked out.
Poor thing. Get's left behind and then stuff like this happens. 

The Observers see the opening to the pocket and cross.
The Observers are using their pulse gun (for lack of a better word) to eliminate Cecil.
Peter is pointing in the direction they need to go.
He is actually beginning to walk and move more mechanical already. Wish I could show you. 

Olivia is beginning to be suspicious and is wondering how Peter knows the way.
As Walter is trying to recreate the pattern to cross, Peter just grabs him and throws him in the "door".
Then he tells Olivia where to cross and Peter disappears. Just as Olivia wants to cross and Observer grabs her by the throat.
Okay, badies! Apparently you didn't look to the past because then you would've known that choking Olivia doesn't work. So many have tried and failed, lol. For example: 
1.18 Midnight (left) and 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town (right)
2.04 Momentum Deferred (left) and 2.22 Over There Part 2 (right) 
And 4.01 Neither Here Nor There.
It does not work. If you want to destroy the Dunhamnator you're going to have to be more creative. But please wait until the very end!

She is grabbing her gun to shoot the Observer. Hers is that "type" of gun. But it is not working. Must be because they are in the pocket. So she pulls the Observer over.
And shoots him outside the pocket.
Smart move! You go, girl!!
So they grab Astrid and dodging a few wave blasts they leave the building, still being followed by the Observers. Astrid and Walter take off, Olivia and Peter lacking behind.

PETER: "Olivia, move. There's no time. Get Walter out of here. I'll draw them off and meet you at the Monorail. Go!"
Olivia knows that something is not right. Her face says more than just "I'm concerned."
It's not gonna be fun when she finds out what Peter did. That is "if" she finds out at all. 

As soon as Olivia disappeared Peter and the Observer started fighting. Peter's demeanor changed.
All of a sudden he's got some cool moves.
Kicking Observer butt.
OBSERVER #2: "I know what you have done. You have made a grave mistake. You do not realize what is happening to you."
Yeah, I think we are worried as well. 

Peter is testing his new found abilities.
And he kills the Observer.
I think it surprised Peter. 
And then Peter disappears.
But Windmark saw him and now knows what Peter did.
I swear he was smiling when he saw Peter. Will this tech in Peter take complete control of him? Does Windmark think he has won? I don't think so. I can see the tech working a bit different in Peter because he was not an Observer from the beginning. Will he still have some control over his actions? Will he loose the ability to love? 
Watch out Windmark. You might have killed Etta but her presence is still there. And she's watching you. 
Stupid question: Are those posters supposed to be a warning from the Observers or did the restistance hang them up as a sign of hope? 

On the train they are waiting for Peter to show up and Olivia is clearly worried.
On a side note: some of the hairstyle of the women look 40's. Here is another one. 
It reminded me of 2.19 Brown Betty
Looks a bit like Astrid's hair. 

Just as Olivia wants to go after Peter he steps on the train.
OLIVIA: "How'd you do that?...Get us out of there? How'd you find your way back to the portal?"
PETER: "I don't know, but I’ll take it."
She knows that something is not right. You can't keep it from her forever, if you want to keep this relationship going, Peter. 

Olivia starts playing with the transmitter. It's jammed and stuck on this frequency. Apparently it's not working yet.
I'll get back to that. 

WALTER: "I can't stop thinking about that man. All he wanted was to get out of there. And I didn't help him. I didn't care about him. All I cared about was..."
PETER: "...Saving the world."
Did Peter just instinctively finish Walter's sentence or has the transformation begun?

PETER: "Walter. You are not responsible for that man's death. He died twenty years ago, The night he broke into that apartment and the light bomb went off. If it wasn't for your pocket, he would have died then and there."
WALTER: "Perhaps. I saw a man... half-starved. And I used him because it suited me. Because he was nothing more than an acceptable loss as long as I got what I needed. Is that who I am, Peter? Is that something you can see coming from my mind? From my heart? Am I the person that would... leave in the middle of the night on his own?"
You might not be far off, Walter. Maybe Peter can see in your mind and heart. 

WALTER: "Those are the actions of a man of hubris, arrogance. And that's not me, Peter. It's him."
Is this the connection to 4.13 A Better Human Being

WALTER: "Don't you see? I'm not safe. It's my mind. Ever since the pieces of my brain were reimplanted, it's been changing... me... back into the man I was before. Bit by bit. I'm losing myself, Pete. I'm losing the man that you helped me become."

So wait! Peter didn't help this Walter. This Walter's sons died as children and Walter only had this Peter for a short while (S 4). Or is that what Walter is referring to? Is Walter turning back into the Walter before he was in St. Claire's?

PETER: "Listen to me. I'm not gonna let that happen. We need you. You are our only hope to defeat the Observers. And I’m gonna be here with you, every step of the way."
WALTER: "Please, Son. Whatever happens, don't let me go."
Ironic that Walter asks that because the old timeline Walter always struggled letting Peter go. Is Walter foreshadowing something?

PETER: "I won't, Dad. I promise."
Aww! This is a very rare occasion for Peter to call Walter "dad". 
1.07 In Which We Meet Mr. Jones
Peter was helping with an experiment. Walter had to give him some heavy drugs and the result was: "Daddy"?
2.18 The Man From The Other Side
PETER: "I want you to get some rest, Dad."
3.22 The Day We Died
PETER: "No matter who's at fault, you are my dad."
Peter takes a look at Olivia.
And Olivia replies with somewhat mixed feelings.
Well that's my guess. 
And then...
Peter sees the "Observer" way.
He looks quite surprised. 
So when Olivia was turning on the transmitter, did she "activate Peter". I know he was showing signs before already but is this the last step? Or do we have to wait to find out what the transmitter does until the next episode. 
There are so many questions still unanswered and new questions emerge. Can't wait to find out where this is all going. 


panda said...

As always, i loved your observations.

cortexifan said...

Thank you panda :)

Lccf said...

To answer your questions, I think the posters come from the Resistance, and Etta is now their Che Guevara, so to speak, and a reminder that the war isn't over. I thought that because of the theme of the episode the posters appeared in : memory (the Bishop family remembering Etta vs. the captured Observer who doesn't understand what "being missed" means). I never considered it as a warning from the baldies, but that's not that impossible ...

Zepp said...

Excellent cortexifan, their "Observiews" stir my imagination, as always, thank you.

I saw everything as if they were a whirlwind of Fringe symbologies. The "inner child" in the video, the room-the-portal, little steps of Walter and ... split, the pocket universe, the lady with bionic eye, with the glyphs doors, corridors and rooms in reverse, nonsensical, videos of the past, guiding the future, like all elements of unreality, now moments "nonsense "this unreal. I saw this episode, like he was a warehouse of these eventual effects Fringe. The collateral effect of name Cecil, was just a "passenger pocket," nothing more, who accompanied Walter, Olivia and Peter, this brief foray, interdimensional, to a world that is "next", this, that, by your side, standing beside the other, ... split. From all this, I, amazed, saw the single most tangible element that resulted from all this, was the small portable radio, transformed into a communications receiver, between the Baldies. And naturally I can not forget, of course, that Peter, now, really, is living his "other self". That, Peter-split, it seems to me, that is our only hope to end once and for all with this "future in order"!

And the Donald? Well, Donald was a guy who was the camera man Walter before, long before all this happened.

Unknown said...

Thank you Cortexifan I always look forward to your observations - you always make the episode more enjoyable for me in picking up things I have glanced over. It must take quite some time to pull all this info together. What am I going to do once Fringe is finished I will have call on you to decipher other tv shows although Fringe is such a stand alone thought provoking show .

milostanfield said...

Thanks again, C'fan. Reading your 'Views over the past year has trained me to look for things as I watch. Not quite up to your batting average but I'm much better than I was.

Nice catch on the boy's upside down handwriting and the upside down universe. From our point of view of time the boy's appearance in the pocket universe was "after" his appearance in "Inner Child", but this is partly a time travel story so who knows. Makes one wonder what his story was prior to the time we see him in 1.15.

"Wait! Olivia shouldn't have experienced this case either" - My take on their experiences with the timelines may explain how she knows. I see Walter, Olivia, and Peter as the same BlueVerse physical people (as opposed to their RedVerse twins) who each experienced two timelines in the BlueVerse uniquely.

The Walter we see now remembers experiences strictly from the timeline from Season Four with no direct memories of any experiences he had in the "original" timeline. Same could be said for Astrid, Broyles, and Nina. But many of the things that happened in one timeline also happened in the other, just differently, plus his personality is basically the same across timelines. So there is a little "bleedthrough" between the timelines.

Olivia is also from the same S04 timeline as Walter but has somehow (Cortexiphan? Love for Peter?) connected with her experiences in the "original" timeline. So she knows these cases from experience, not just from reading Peter's debrief files. She has a foot in each timeline. The writers were never very clear on this in Season 4. Somehow between "Welcome To Westfield" and "A Short Story About Love" (which I still don't understand) it just happened. Oh well. But it least does make sense in terms of what she knows.

Peter has experienced both timelines like us, as the same person, with no special powers, while being from the "original" timeline. He did this because of technology (the Machine). He was from a different universe but the two universes seem to share the same timeline (here is where I start to get a headache!).

Now Peter has once again embraced technology. The effect of science and technology on society has been a major theme of Fringe from the beginning. The Machine changed his experience. Now the ObserTech may be changing HIM. This is much scarier to watch as Peter has always been the same regardless of timelines or universes until now. I hope Peter as a unique human/Observer blend will somehow triumph but I'm scared for him too.

Unknown said...

what if Peter is Windmark??? I dont know why that thought came to me....

Unknown said...

I sure hope not! That means our bishop family will be further ripped apart

realged13 said...

When I enter the letters: CDEFRSVXN I get no possible words. However, doesn't it look eerily similar to cortexiphan?

cortexifan said...

@Cazza Rule
Thanks, actually most of the call-backs are in my head already, just verifying the fact to make sure I've got the right reference. It does take a few days but it's fun. Can't help you with other shows cause Fringe is the only one I watch - even after it's gone. It raised the bar very high.

You are doing great. I always like what you see. I like your comment and I have to think on that more. You could be right. The whole timeline things definitely gives me headaches as well.

wow, it does look similar, fringy :)

Zort70 said...

These posts are turning into marathon entries, and I love them, thanks.

The posters of Etta are probably resistance led, but is it possible that in some way the posters are the product of someone's consciousness and what we are actually experiencing is Walter's mind ?

That actually might be a bit of an anticlimax if the final scene is Walter in St. Claire's getting more drugs to calm him down !

pMaestro said...

@milo: your avatar name reminded me of this: has anyone else noticed how similar the Peter plot is to Milo Stanfield from the redverse in the 3rd season (and obliquely Neil Chung from the 4th season although he had Observer tech to help him)? How of all their mental capabilities have been enhanced to such a degree that they can make such rapid calculations that they can see past, present, and future simultaneously (ie. one of the traits of the Observers)? It seems like the Observer plot-device has been in the show's DNA a lot longer than we realized!

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