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The 8 Most Important Episodes of Fringe-Part 8

      Email Post       12/07/2012 11:51:00 PM      

Welcome to Part 8 of 'The 8 Most Important Episodes of Fringe.'
Every day until the next episode airs on Fringe Friday, December 7th, I will post a review of an episode I believe is most important to the series, and a commentary on why I believe it is so.
Episode 4.19 Letters Of Transit
Fringe Observiews by cortexifan 4/26/2012
Welcome to the Observiews for Season 4 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.

4.14 The End Of All Things
THE OBSERVER: “We are you-- we're human... many generations after your lifetime. We are one of countless possible futures for humanity. Our technology has uniquely afforded us the ability to travel within and outside of time so that we may observe our beginnings.”

PETER: “But you've done a lot more than observe.”

You can say that again, Peter.

Glyphs spelled: QUAKE

I usually post a picture of where the Observer is in the episode but I just couldn't find him. LOL.
And how come they are all male?

“In a galaxy far away” Oh wait wrong movie, lol.

The opening crawl of this episode sure reminded me of Star Wars.
2015 is only 3 years away, guys. Let’s hope this future can be prevented.
I thought of Agent Jessup in 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town when she was adding Bible references next to the case files.
Revelation 19:18-19 – so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men. And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him, who sat on the horse and against His army. (New American Standard Version)

“… Some Native factions became ‘Loyalists’ and were marked by the Observers”

Revelation 13:16 – And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead…

(New American Standard Version)

I’m sure there were people back then who freely took the mark of the beast because without it they were not able to buy or trade.

This is just what I thought of when I saw the crawl.
Broyles stuck in the office to police the Natives. I wonder what happened that made him decide to work with the Observers.


We are in Boston in the year 2036. Etta is entering a club. Part of the graffiti is an “O” and a “P”.
He must be a loyalist because he has the mark on his cheek.
The colors for this episode? Let’s start with the red door.
The owner of the club, Rick, has a run-in with one of the Observers.
The Observers have the ability to read your mind and to wipe you out which means, killing you.
Etta comes up from the back and knocks out Rick. She needs him to be alive because he has something for her.

Captain Windmark is reading Etta’s mind. All we hear is jumbles.
CAPTAIN WINDMARK: “I must say, Agent, you are always exactly what you seem.”

RICK: “I had to piss him off so he'd try and Wipe Me. Otherwise he would have Read Me. But he Read You. And you fooled him. How the Hell did you do that?”
ETTA: “Just lucky, I guess.”
RICK: “Lucky? They find out about you, they'll kill you. Hell, they find out there's anyone like you, they'll probably kill us all.”
ETTA: “I love being Special.”
The ability to hide her mind comes from, yep you guessed it, Cortexiphan. Like mother like daughter!?

Rick has something for her or I should say someone. And there are more. But before he can tell her where they all are he gets shot. Etta grabs the keys and drives off.

Etta pulls the van under a bridge. The color scheme here is blue and amber.

We also hear an announcement that curfew is now in effect and all Natives are to return to their homes.
This is a future that I don’t want to live in.

Etta inspects the cargo and it is Walter trapped in Amber.
That means at least he is still alive. 3.05 Amber 31422
SECRETARY BISHOP: “Perhaps. But if they were to find out that the amber victims could be removed and resuscitated, I'm afraid the outcry would be taking to revolt.”

So now we get to the title sequence which was different for this episode. And I loved it.
This one I thought looked interesting. A brain maybe or the head of an animal, like a tiger.
Community, Joy, Individuality, Education, Imagination, Private Thought, Due Process, Ownership and Free Will; looks like all of these have been taken away.

And Freedom as well.
I thought it interesting how the barbwire cut right through the word.
I guess it could go two ways. Freedom will be cut away or Freedom is strong enough to cut through the boundaries. And the reason I say that it could either way is this.
I know in the end these fractures spell “Fringe” but could this not also mean the fight for Freedom. Remember the crawl in the beginning that they thought resistance was overcome but it’s not.
This was really cool. You, Or maybe I should say I thought it couldn't get any better and yet “There is no end to what Fringe can do”.

Ok so finally let’s get in to the episode.

Etta works in Fringe Division which as I said in the beginning is there to police the Natives.
In the present Fringe Division is a secret entity but in the future (even in 2026) it became public. I know the office looks like over there but…
2.21 Over There Part 1

OLIVIA: “This is new. Who authorized it?”
BROYLES: “Senate Intelligence... thanks to Peter. It was part of a list of demands he gave me right before I went to secure our funding.”

Meet Simon Foster. Is he Etta’s boss? So the glyphs last week spelled his first name.
I wonder if his mom was Mona Foster. Over there Mona Foster was the bug girl in 3.13 Immortality who married Charlie. Maybe over here Mona married and kept her last name. Because later he talks about his parents. Just a wild guess.

Etta needs coffee. I think I would have to eat a whole package at once. I like coffee too much.
Etta tells Simon that Rick was killed by Loyalists.
SIMON FOSTER: “Damn it, 'Etta. Black market tech gets people killed. Even cops.”
ETTA: “Black market tech replaced your eyes.”
SIMON FOSTER: “I don't need a history lesson. You were gonna stop running civilians.”
ETTA: “I had an open order with him. From the old days. I just never cancelled it.”
SIMON FOSTER: “An order for what?”
ETTA: “Any info on the missing team.”
SIMON FOSTER: “It's a myth, 'Etta. The original Fringe team didn't vanish. They aren't missing. They died twenty years ago. They aren't coming back to save us from the Observers. They aren't in a desert or, Peru, or immortal.”
ETTA: “You're right. They're in Amber. And I've got one of them right here.”
Apparently, Walter ambered himself and the team.
SIMON FOSTER: “Well, I’ll be a toe… on a foot… in a grave.” I have to remember that, lol.

Broyles has a visitor in his office. The red lab top seems out of place. He is wearing his wedding ring. Is this Alt-Broyles then?
Captain Windmark offers Broyles a drink… of water which makes the Observers drunk.
1.04 The Arrival
So does that mean that September was drunk or did the intoxication with water begin later?

Sorry I just couldn't help myself.
Captain Windmark sort of puts Broyles in his place.
BROYLES: “Windmark. What did you do up there in the future... to get yourself such a crap detail?”

I think we should ask you that question as well, Phillip.
CAPTAIN WINDMARK: “I like animals.”
Like the animals Jones created? I don’t’ think you can really call them humans.
Last week I said that I wondered if Jones was working with the Observers because they came from the same direction.

Getting Walter out of the amber is harder than they thought.
It solidifies again and Walter wouldn’t be fast enough getting out. Unless one of them wants to get stuck in there they have to find a different way. Etta goes and gets old tech.
SIMON FOSTER: “Crowd control -- back before the Loyalists decided it was easier just to use bullets. I'm quite proud of these little beauties. “
So they have to get Walter out by force.
Looks pretty cool.

After he lands in a stack of cardboard boxes, Etta gives him an injection and he wakes up.

And what is one of Walter’s first thoughts?
WALTER: “Twenty years? It's no wonder I'm so hungry. Do you have anything to eat?”
2.10 Grey Matters came to mind.
WALTER: “Peter... I have a terrible headache... and a sudden craving for chicken wings.”

2.10 Grey Matters came to mind quite a bit actually but I’ll get back to that later.

Anyway, Simon found “food”.

SIMON FOSTER: “This was -- is your favorite food. That's what they say. The stories, I mean.”

WALTER: “Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! That's lovely, thank you.”
Walter went down in history for “saving the world” and for Red Vines being his favorite food.
I also thought of 3.22 The Day We Died. Walter hadn’t had any Red Vines because he was in prison.
I had no idea then that eating Red Vines could be so emotional. And yes, Red Vines are my favorite too.

WALTER: “What do you call it?”
SIMON FOSTER: “We don't know. We -- we thought it was some kind of Beacon.”
Etta showed Walter blue prints of a device he created to destroy the Observers. But before he could finish it the team and Walter were ambered.
WALTER: “No, no, no, you Silly-Billy ...this.”

SIMON FOSTER: “The same as you. We call it licorice.”
WALTER: Licorice. “Licorice. Li-cor-ice. Who are you? You're quite pretty. Li-cor-ice. Do you have Ring-Dings ©?”

SIMON FOSTER: “Doctor Bishop, I need you to try and stay perfectly still. Walter.”
WALTER: “Yes, I hear you, Peter. I will try not to move.”
Oh Walter, you are confused.
I thought of 2.10 Grey Matters where Walter had his brain scanned as well. In this episode we discovered that Walter was missing part of his brain.

But I will get back to that later.
Walter suffers from Brain damage in the current episode as well. Etta asks how they can fix Walter and I think she had a pretty good idea.

Etta visits the “Ministry of Science”. As she is waiting an Observer talks to her.
WAITING OBSERVER: “She'll be here in a moment. Your meeting. It's about to take place.”
His voice sort of reminded me of August (2.08 August).
I miss him. He seemed to have been one of the good ones.

The other thing this reminded me of was 3.10 The Firefly.
SEPTEMBER: “You should answer your phone.”
I think it was the cadence on how he talked to Etta that reminded me of September’s conversation with Walter.

Anyway, the other party to the meeting didn’t seem too happy.
Wow, Nina, I have to say, grey suits you. She’s also in a wheel chair and something is wrong with her right arm.

Once they get outside though Nina’s demeanor changes.
NINA: “I'm sorry. I can't hide my thoughts from them the same way that you can. Have you made any progress with Walter's device?”
How come Nina knows so much about Etta and Walter’s device? Did Nina raise Etta after … the team was ambered? Does that mean that Nina is good?

Nina greets Walter but he doesn’t seem to remember her.
SIMON FOSTER: “So what do you think, Ms Sharp? Can you help fix him?”
NINA: “Of course, you understand the risks of wanting to save the world?”
SIMON FOSTER: “Well, they say he did it once before.” When? Is this what the season finale is about?

ETTA: “He and his team.”

NINA: “Yes, they did. But not without great consequence. I can't fix him. But I have an idea. Massive Dynamic has long had a piece of Walter's brain that was surgically removed and kept in a locked vault. It's entirely possible that you could use that material to inspire Walter's brain to heal itself.”

SIMON FOSTER: “They removed a piece of his brain?”

NINA: “William Bell did. It was at Walter's request.”
2.22 Over There Part 2
WILLIAM BELL: “Walter... You asked me why I took out part of your brain. I did it because you asked me to. Because of what you were becoming.”

NINA: “I don't think he liked the person he was becoming.”

2.10 Grey Matters
WILLIAM BELL: “I wish there was another way, but what you've accomplished... it's just too dangerous.”
WALTER: “But what if we ever have to go back?”
WILLIAM BELL: “Don't worry. Your memory -- I'll put it in a place that only I can find.”

Ok so here I have questions. If MD had Walter’s brain, did 2.10 Grey Matter never happen? If only Bell knew where Walter’s brain was (as he says in 2.10 Grey Matters), how did Newton find it?

I just absolutely loved Walter in this episode. He was so silly and brilliant at the same time.
Unfortunately Walter’s brain is not here. It’s still in the city at the old MD facility. And the city is full of Observers. While Simon acquires the transit passes Walter is fixing Nina’s arm.
Nina still has her robotic arm. Walter is so cute. He can’t remember much but he knows how to fix her arm. Why was it broken? Did Jones still steal the battery from her arm 1.20 There Is More Than One Of Everything and then it was just never fixed?

So off to the city they go. And at the train station were lots of interesting things. And some of them probably mean nothing and are off the wall. But these are my Observiews so there, lol.

Track 419 and 420.
We just watch episode 4.19 and 4.20 is coming up.

You can only get coffee in pill form but you can buy meat and sausages. Hm!
Somewhere is a chili pepper stand but I don’t have a shot of that.

LOYALIST: “What seems to be the matter?”
So does the mark on his cheek mean anything? We know from 2.08 August
that their language isn’t really a language. Astrid says so.
ASTRID: “It means that every written language is based on repetition. So without repeated symbols, language is not possible.”

SIMON FOSTER: “Fringe Agents. No matter. We're just heading downtown.”
LOYALIST: “I see. I trust you have papers.”
SIMON FOSTER: “Of course.”
LOYALIST: “What's your name, Prisoner?”
WALTER: “Prisoner? I most certainly am not. Look at me! Do I look like…”
SIMON FOSTER: “He's -- he's not a prisoner. He's her grandfather.”
Simon, you have no idea that you are absolutely right.

ETTA: “We're taking him to visit my grandmother's grave. Today's the anniversary of her death.”
WALTER: “"I am not a number. I am a free man."”
SIMON FOSTER: “As you can see, He's crazy. We just checked him out of the home for the day.
But it was last minute, and we didn't have time to do the proper paperwork.”
WALTER: “"These aren't the 'droids you're looking for."… "Move along."”
As they leave Walter steals candy.
It’s kind of hard to see but in the frame are key chains with the word “awesome” on them. They seem kind of out of place.
I remember from last week’s episode that there was a card behind Chris with the word on it.
Was this the clue? Or was it this… I’ll get back to that.
So they get on the train and ride into the city.
This was Central Park. How depressing. I really hope that something like this doesn’t become reality for us.
So they make it to the old MD facility. Simon enters the code: 092112#
So here is my Fringe’s heart wishful thinking.
092112 = 09/21/12 that’s a Friday. Could this be Season 5’s premiere date? Oh please let it be!!!!!!

Walter seems excited about this adventure. WALTER: “Like the Guns of Navarone.”
They enter the building but trigger an alarm. Broyles informs Captain Windmark.
Oh Broyles, I wish I could figure out what happened.

To get to Walter’s brain they have to enter the vault. Walter enters a code: 052010.
That also was a date of significance. 05/20/10 was the air date of S2 finale 2.22 Over There Part 2. We first learned about 052010 in 2.14 Jacksonville as the team arrives at the day care center where Bell conducted the cortexi-trials. WALTER: “Belly always used the same combination. But I can’t remember the significance.”
It was also the combination to Bell’s safe in 3.11 Concentrate And Ask Again.
The vault still looks pretty much the same from the last time we saw it.
Except it might be the view from the other side.
I wonder if there still is some Cortexiphan stored as well. At least that’s where it was stored in 4.13 A Better Human Being.

WALTER: “What is that? Monkey feces?” Oh Walter. Lol.
SIMON FOSTER: “That, Doctor Bishop, is your brain.”
Again, where did Newton find Walter’s brain in 2.10 Grey Matters
or do I need to completely abandon all callbacks because they happened in a timeline where Peter was around?

SIMON FOSTER: “First, I need you to take these pills. They're Diazepam, mostly. They'll put you into a deep sleep, for ten minutes, that will quiet your brain to allow the process to occur faster.”
You don’t have to ask Walter twice. He happily swallowed those pills.
WALTER: “You're a clever boy.” That’s something Walter would say to Peter.

WALTER: “I've eaten it once. It was sweeter than you'd think.” I had to think back to 3.02 The Box where Walter was dissecting a brain just before Bell’s funeral and he got raspberry jam on his tie.
SIMON: “Feces?”
WALTER: “God, no. Brains. And LSD. I love LSD.”

And we know Walter loves his LSD!

Now I know I made a list before with all the references to where or how often LSD was used. And I just can't find it. I'll keep looking and then add it back in.

So the drugs are starting to work.

WALTER: “What was your name, again?”
WALTER: “Like in the game "Simon Says."
I'm going to have to listen to you… I suddenly feel very tired, Simon… Simon says, "Go to sleep now, Walter."”
I had to think back to “1.15 Inner Child where Ella was playing “Simon Says” with Olivia and Rachel.
So while Walter is sleeping and absorbing his brain Simon is sharing with Etta how his parents send him away to protect him.
ETTA: “I was only four the last time I saw my parents. I can't even picture their faces anymore.”
And something must have happened because she keeps touching her necklace.
Let’s just keep the suspense going, shall we.

Walter wakes up and is informed that this is the year 2036 and the Observers are still here. And just like on cue, they enter the parking garage.
MD must be a big facility with a very big parking garage because it looks just like the one from 4.10 Forced Perspective where the guy wanted to blow up the court house. lol

OBSERVER: “Ready weapons.”

LOYALIST: “Protocol?”

OBSERVER: Shoot first. I'll read them later.”
Oh, oh.

Apparently the 12th floor was clear and they are proceeding to the 13th.
A 13th floor, you don’t hear that too often.

WALTER: “They weren't all bad, you know. One of them even tried to help us. He was called September. What happened to him was... well, unexpected.”
Shall we take a guess?
4.08 Back To Where You’ve Never Been

September came back from the future with a bullet in his chest protecting Olivia. That’s my theory.
WALTER: “He told me that, in the year 2609 A.D., they finally ruined the planet. They poisoned it -- the air, the water. And when it was fundamentally uninhabitable, then they traveled back through time, and took our planet from us. Yes, I can build it.”
That’s the device that can destroy the Observers.
It will take time. Etta suggests it would go faster if he had his team because they were also trapped in amber with him.

WALTER: “You?”
Walter recognizes Etta, I think. But unfortunately discussion time is over because the alarm went off and it’s time to disappear.

WALTER: “Neither Belly or I ever left ourselves only one way out of a room.”
Well, that’s a good thing.

But before they complete exit the building, Walter has a little surprise for the Observer and his buddies.
WALTER: “Resistance must take place at any opportunity. We are insurgents. And this is anti- matter. You're smart -- you do the math.”
Well, dude. Bye-bye. One down and a gazillion to go?
And the whole building disappears as well.
The place where the rest of the team is trapped is not far away.
When I saw the typewriter I had to think of the typewriter store with the hidden quantum entangled telegraph from 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town.
Etta, were you hoping to find someone in there?
We were. Or I should say, I was. Or did you know only one of them would be trapped because you knew the other was…

I know I probably don’t need to be so cryptic but humor me, will you.
SIMON: “So...are you gonna tell me what that was all about? Back at Massive Dynamic. You and Bishop.”
ETTA: “You see him. He's half a fruitcake short of Christmas.”
Love it! Picture that along with the toe on a foot in a grave.

Broyles gets another not so friendly phone call informing him that Simon is involved in something. So Broyles had Simon’s tracker activated.

Simon and Walter share a moment.
SIMON: “I think you're just what we've been waiting for-- someone to show people that we don't just... have to accept our fate...

2.21 Over There Part 1

NICK Lane: “Fate is a tricky thing.”
SIMON: “that we can fight back”

3.08 Entrada

OLIVIA: “But if you let me die, then we will strike back and we will fight.”
SIMON: “that we can use our will and our imagination to make a better world, a better life.”

1.17 Bad Dreams

PETER: “Reality is both subjective and malleable. If you can dream a better world, you can make a better world.”
3.15 Subject 13

YOUNG PETER: “ My mom was telling me you got to imagine how you want things to be. And then you can try and change them.”
So they free Astrid from the amber. And Walter calls her Astro.
But there are a few more stuck that have to be freed.
Oh so now I’m really confused. I thought Bell was dead? He sacrificed himself at the end of 2.22 Over There Part 2 to be the power supply.
He also told Walter in that same episode that Alt-Bell died in a car accident. We also know from 4.05 Novation that Bell is dead.

ASTRID: “Walter, where is…”

Was she going to say: Olivia? Did Bell's super ego kick in and he pushed Olivia out so he could preserve himself. Is that why she’s not there?

Walter “shh’s” Astrid and waves this little device.

It looks a lot like what Matthew Rose used to cut his brother from the amber in 3.05 Amber 31422.
Because Simon’s tracker was activated the buffers aren’t working and the wand is broken. There is only one way to get the last person out.
Sacrifices have to be made.

As Broyles and his man search the place they find Simon who took the place of the last person trapped.

I loved how Walter left the Red Vine behind like a hero leaving his mark.
The one that came to mind was Zorro, leaving a “Z”.

Back on the train.

Astrid is quite upset that they left Bell behind.

ASTRID: “William Bell? You just left him there?”
WALTER: “You remember what he did to Olivia. Even you can't be that compassionate.”
What did Bell do? It must be something more serious than just the Cortexiphan trials. Was it because Bell took her place in the amber?

ASTRID: “But we need him, don't we? Otherwise, how are we going to get access…”
WALTER: “It's okay. We have everything we need.”
So was this also a clue for this week? 4.18 The Consultant.

Walter bringing a hand over there for testing.
So finally it is revealed what Etta carries around her neck. A bullet.
I’m assuming it’s the one that killed Olivia.
Walternate shot her in 3.22 The Day We Died. That was in the future year 2026. Is that future different now? Did Bell have something to do with it? Was it Jones? Or maybe Mr. X? Is this how the season will end?

I know I have way too many questions.

Peter (yay) assures her that they will do everything they can to get Simon out.
ETTA: “Do you...know me?”

PETER: “I don't know how I could. I've been stuck in that Amber for over twenty years, you barely look old enough -- Henrietta?”
HENRIETTA: “Hi, Dad.”Yes! Peter and Olivia have a daughter!!!!

Was this a clue it would be a girl from 3.10 The Firefly?
What about this one from 3.22 The Day We Died?

I thought it interesting that the girl is only holding the daddy’s hand.
So, if you do the math she was born the end of 2012. She was four when she saw her parents last. Peter was stuck in amber for 20 years, so that would make her 24. That works for me.

But I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here for a moment. I refrained from calling her Henrietta Bishop because her name could also be Henrietta Dunham. Peter is not wearing a ring. They made a point of him wearing one at the end of 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss when he catapulted into the year 2026. Just saying, lol. Either way she belongs to Peter and Olivia.

What’s with the names? Ella, Eddie, Etta. And both Ella and Etta end up in Fringe Division. Would be interesting to find out what grandfather’s occupation was.

CLERK: “A girl like you might want to watch her "P"s and "Q"s. Wouldn't want to do the wrong thing.”

I referenced 2.10 Grey Matters a bit. It had Bell in it using an alias. Dr. Paris. Our agent in this episode was called Simon. The Great Paris was a character Leonard Nimoy played in the TV series “Mission Impossible.
The track sign says 14-22. I know just thought of how we are in the last stretch of this season.
I’m going to refrain from saying it can’t get any better than this because I’ve been proven wrong.
Keep watching!
In the end I have to believe in hope!

Why episode 4.19 is on the '8 most important episodes' list:
It definitely says something that two of the quirky "19th episodes" are on the most important episodes list!
When you least expect it in this series, the episodes get meaty.
 "Letters Of Transit" is a futuristic reset, and points Fringe towards its destiny for the remaining part of the series. Whether you like the episode or not it's mega important to the structure of the series, and confirms once and for all that for the most part, the Observers are the enemy.

For those of you who are unhappy that "Peter," "Subject 13" and "Entrada" are not on the list, my apologies.
While all three of them are great episodes they just don't strike me as being as important to the framework of the show as the 8 episodes I showcased this week.

In short, all the Fringe episodes are good. Go ahead and make your own most important episode list or favorite episode list, and feel free to leave it in the comments section.


SheHateMeBro said...

Where's the updates here? This site is falling behind.. Come on guys.. maybe a few less articles on the past and more about what's coming... links to articles with more info about set photos, casting, etc.

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