Why are there no female Observers? Are they all hermaphrodites? Maybe they reproduce by cloning or some other asexual process? They never comment on it.
Some of them are female and future humans of both sexes look alike? Women aren't allowed to time travel? I would really like to see this addressed.
Addressed in "The Boy Must Live". They don't reproduce like us, but instead by a advanced form of In-Vitro Vertilization, using the DNA of a donor to create a fully grown being. Hence, they don't need women.
The discrepancies between "Subject 13" and the rest of the show: Walter claimed William Bell conducted the experiments, but in "Subject 13" it was him who did it. In "Bad Dreams" Walter watches a VHS tape of young (3-year old) Olivia after starting the fire and we hear both his and Bell's voices in the tape. However in "Subject 13" Olivia is 9 when she starts the fire, William Bell is nowhere to be seen, leaving Walter to conduct the experiments himself, and the footage was on Betamax, not VHS.
William Bell started the cortexiphan experiments over Walter's initial objections (and the Jacksonville trials weren't the first). At some point prior to "Peter", Bell left for Europe to secure funding in order to continue the experiments/found Massive Dynamic; he likely left Walter or someone else in charge of them. When Walter realised that he needed a new way to cross between universes, he took a firmer hand in guiding the experiments.
In Subject 13, we saw her start a fire, not necessarily the fire. Given all the other discrepancies, this troper is confident they were two different events.
That would be logical, were it not for the fact that when the 3YO Olivia starts the fire the response from Walter and Bell is shock that she does it. If that was so, why would they experience similar shock when it happens again in Subject 13? They'd already know what she was capable of. Yet they don't appear to be. They act as though they've never seen her do that before.
I saw Walter's reaction as "I didn't expect that", which doesn't necessarily mean "I didn't know she could do that".
The Cortexiphan trials most certainly did not take place for over six years. Originally, Olivia was supposed to be 3 when the experiments took place. The vision she had during the Season 2 episode when she was injected with Cortexiphan again had her 3-year old self in it. It correlates with her not remembering any of it. I find it very hard to believe a 9-year old Olivia would forget being injected with drugs or traveling to another universe, unless Walter somehow removed her memories. I see this as a clumsy retcon tying Peter and Olivia together in their childhoods. Don't get me wrong, it's a great episode, but continuity-wise, it doesn't mesh with what we knew before.
Well for the sake of continuity we can always chalk the Betamax/VHS thing to be an insignificant retcon, and the age difference being due to 1) grainy footage and 2) Olivia's self-image in her recovered memories of the events was younger than her actual self at the time because of her own feelings of vulnerability: thus, she sees a three-year old in "Jacksonville" when remembering experiences from when she was very young (9) and vulnerable.
Olivia's memories in "LSD" seem to confirm a much earlier start to the Cortexiphan trials, back when her biological father was still alive. This isn't particularly elegant, and it seems the writers snuck this change in when they were writing "Subject 13", but it mostly works. Also, as to Olivia forgetting, the weirdness and unreliability of memory is a major theme on this show. How people can put up with all the sci-fi craziness, but not be willing to accept young children losing traumatic memories is perplexing to me.
Everyone got on the same page in season 2: protect the universe from the alternate one. Of course, there's an argument to be made that Massive Dynamic's hostile attitude towards Fringe Division when it was fighting ZFT indicates they were in league. ZFT is an organisation committed to fighting the alternate universe and was first founded, in some way at least, by William Bell. Jones was a bad egg, but ZFT is a continuation of Bell and Walter's original goals.
In the first episode, Nina Sharp has a cybernetic arm that moves completely naturalistically and (as long as she wears the psuedo-skin covering) looks same. Why in the infernal blazing hells is this not a premiere product line for Massive Dynamics (which is isn't, based on Dunham's reaction)? If I were running a company that had that tech, I'd be trumpeting it to the skies. As a transhumanist, this troper considers withholding something like that to be pretty much directly evil. Not to mention completely nonsensical for a business.
At the end of the first season, the arm is rendered mostly useless when the power cell is removed from it. That same power cell is used to power a device that creates portals to a parallel universe. It's probably safe to say that the requirement for such a massive energy source is what's keeping the arm from massive adoption.
I do believe she mentioned that the cybernetic arm was personally designed by William Bell. It might be a Super Prototype of cybernetic arm, too expensive to market to the health industry. Besides, who's to say they aren't trumpeting it around some of the more shady arms developers or secret organizations?
Heh heh, "arms dealers."
But see, that doesn't make sense. Why be evil when you can make a fuckton of money doing good? Evil Is Dumb?
Because you can't make a fuckton of money if you're selling something nobody can afford.
Maybe they're still in the process of developing the equipment necessary to produce these things on a scale that'll make them affordable.
Simple Explanation: Massive Dynamics announces "We have invented a perfect cybernetic arm. It costs ONE! BILLION! DOLLARS!" People note that they cannot afford that, but need one anyway. Massive Dynamic loses billions giving out free cyberarms to avoid looking like utter heels.
Someone already mentioned this, but the power cell running that thing has the juice to rip holes in reality. I seriously doubt it'd be safe (let alone practical) mass marketing a power cell like that. I mean, what if some redneck coming back from an overseas tour gets one and punctures the cell next time he goes hunting? The explosion'd probably level 1/4 of the midwest.
For that matter, it could well be a soon-to-be-released product. The bleeding edge of prosthetics isn't exactly Dunham's field.
Who's to say that they aren't doing good and evil simultaneously? According to Arm Lady, Massive Dynamic does pretty much everything related to high technology throughout the world. Odds are that they have both benevolent and nasty business practices. They don't care about the morals, as long as it brings in the Dollars, Euros and Yen.
What bugs me is that she supposedly lost that arm to cancer. That honestly doesn't make much sense.
Sure it does, if it was a bone cancer in the hand or arm. Cancer is how one-legged wrestler Zach Gowan lost his leg.
This particular point's moot, as it's just her cover story. She lost the arm in a Portal Cut.
I definitely wouldn't call it a case of Reed Richards Is Useless considering that the company's slogan is "What do we do? What don't we do?".
Wait, who said it wasn't? I can totally imagine a dawning technology being rare enough that there would be people who didn't know about it, but still be available on the market for people who want/need it.
The speed-growing fetus that featured in the second episode should've basically devoured the woman from the inside, through the umbilicus, in a quest for protein and carbohydrate to power its rapid growth. That little biological factoid just pushes an already high squick factor right through the roof.
What is even worse is that it somehow keeps growing in size after being removed, despite not having anything to eat. You can't just magically gain mass!
The hospital was trying to care for it, I thought. It expired of old age, not starvation. Still, metabolizing any sort of food that fast should have burned it to a crisp...
According to my napkin calculation, an average human will consume around 57 million calories over the course of a lifetime. Even suspending disbelief enough to say that it's possible to consume calories at the rate of 13 million an hour without catching fire, there's no way it wouldn't have starved to death within seconds even if it somehow managed to be born.
I'm guessing that your calculations included all the calories burning like running, thinking, etc. Just growing up should demand A LOT less energy. It makes the episode a bit less stupid, but not very much.
I never thought of the concept of "burning calories" to be that literal.
Also, why didn't the resulting dead body have several feet of hair on its head and chin, if it was supposedly living an entire lifetime at such an accelerated rate?
What really gets me is that the aging rates don't seem to be very consistent. Walter says that the original subjects grew at seven times the normal human rate. However, Christopher (who Walter believes to have been part of the original experiment) and his son visibly age much more quickly than that.
That and the son's hair turns grey as well, which is impossible as your hair cannot change color after it has grown out of the follicle unless it is dyed. Existing hair doesn't turn gray as you age, it is new hair that is grey replacing it as it falls out.
Why is Walter so naive about modern technology? In the second episode, he's captivated by the seatwarmer in Dunham's car, even though Cadillac introduced seatwarmers in 1966. And in the next episode, he's frightened by the buzzing of Peter's cell phone. True, cell phones have gotten smaller and acquired more features since 1991—when Bishop was apparently committed—but not in ways that a super-scientist wouldn't be able to predict.
Well, he's not frightened so much as curious and not-really-sure-what's-going-on. Plus, the comics (or comic) (which may or may not be canon, I don't know) seems to indicate he was always a little out of touch. Plus, y'know, he's crazy.
Also, just because a technology exists doesn't mean everyone has one, or has heard of it just yet. Laserdiscs were invented in 1958, you know.
You say that as though you've never shat a brick because your phone went off unexpectedly while you were spacing out.
This is totally ridiculous given the flashbacks in "Peter," where we see Walter himself present a prototype modern cell phone (copied from the parallel universe) to the Military in 1985. The fact of William Bell removing knowledge from Walter's head only somewhat alleviates this problem.
Guys. Walter had sizable chucks of brain removed. He forgets stuff.
This is a minor point, but in the first episode, why was that guy's reaction to turbulence to immediately inject himself with (what he thought was) insulin. There is no possible reason why he would have thought this might help, not to mention the problem with trying to stick a needle in yourself while being tossed about.
Maybe he was freaking out because he had to inject himself while being tossed about. (Just because the dude he was sitting next to thought the needle had to do with the turbulence doesn't mean it actually did)
In "The Transformation", Bowman and Hicks were presumably injected with the virus because Conrad wanted to kill them both and clean up loose ends. So why not use some perfectly-ordinary poison to do so, rather than the same top-secret bioweapon he'd intended to sell? Having them transform only led to Conrad's schemes being exposed and to his own arrest, not to mention a whole crowd of innocent people dying in a plane crash. A death by mundane poisoning wouldn't have even rated a blip on Fringe Division's radar.
Hypnotism came up a lot in the last episode. Any Gen Psych student (or Mythbusters viewer) will tell you that hypnotism cannot give you greater memory recollection, yet it's stated that they tried to do just that off-camera (to their credit, it didn't work). Also, hypnotism CANNOT MAKE PEOPLE DO ANYTHING AGAINST THEIR WILL. Yet Walter was hired by an advertising agency to create ads that "Forced" people to buy products through hypnosis.
Well, yes, that's why they wanted Walter to make up some new thing that would put the viewer in a susceptible state. Also, the premise of the show is "pseudo-science works," so are you really that surprised?
I can buy the whole hypnotism can control people thing, but what broke my Suspension of Disbelief what that is was so absurdly easy. Seriously, a repeating pattern of four flashing red and green lights is all that's needed? And watching this pattern for approximately 4 seconds is enough to put you into an extremely suggestible trance for hours? WTF? How the hell did Walter fail to figure out such a simple pattern for that advertising agency? I thought he was a freakin' genius.
The intermittence of the lights isn't constant. Maybe that's relevant. Also: fnord.
And if it's so simple, shouldn't they have used it? There's no reason at all, other than So Last Season, for the team not to carry infallible pocket-sized person-hypnotizers for the rest of the series. Imagine how much easier it would be to deal with Massive Dynamic that way!
More flashing lights frustration in "Bad Dreams": Walter uses a panel of 60s-ish flashing lights to apparently induce REM sleep. Yeah. This troper admittedly doesn't know that much about REM, but still finds that pretty ridiculous.
Mr. Jones was in a German prison awaiting appeal, his lawyer told him that the best he could expect was life imprisonment. Given that Germany doesn't have the death penalty, what was the worst he could expect?
Life without possibility of parole, perhaps?
Or life in solitary with no access to the prison yard, library, or communication with anyone except his lawyer.
That boss guy at the FBI who can order Olivia and the rest of them around. In an earlier episode, he was sacked for sexual harassment, yet not only did he appeal and win against a fairly open-and-shut case, he was placed back in charge of the woman who made the original complaint about him? This bugs the piss out of me.
That's one of the less popular plot twists, yes. But the likelihood is that someone pulled strings to get him the job, in order to send Olivia and/or Broyles a message.
He got burned alive in 1x19. So karmic justice? Also he was shown to be working with ZFT. So it's pretty plausible that some strings got pulled.
In Dream Logic, biochip victims age out without wrinkles, but the super-aging guy from episode 2 is all wrinkly.
Supposedly they died not from age but extreme stress or exhaustion. Their hair turning white is still bollocks for the same reason, though.
Why does Olivia not see that Sam Weiss is behind everything in Dream Logic even though there wasn't any indication until the audience sees that?
Err... check your set, it was the guy who ran the clinic who was behind it all.
I meant how the biochips were used against their users and whatnot. Olivia couldn't deduce that he was manipulating the biochips, but I think I'm not supposed to think that was since the audience wasn't given that much of a clue until the actual reveal either.
Peter Bishop's stubble. There's some screwed up psuedoscience right there.
Maybe he shaves the night before, so that he can get up ten minutes later. Maybe Olivia mentioned offscreen that she likes the stubble. Maybe Walter broke the electric razor.
The directors probably forbid him to shave; he's just not Peter Bishop without the stubble!
A title in spelled "Manhatan" wrong! How is that even possible!?
That's how the Alternate universe spells it?
Don't you mean "Manhattan"? Or do you not mean "Manhattan", in which case, what do you mean by spelling it "Manhatan"?
It was spelled Manhatan, it's supposed to be Manhattan
Almost certainly meant to be the Alt-universe spelling.
Yes, it's one of the documented differences between our universe and theirs - they spell it differently.
In 1x14 (Ability), when the agent's orifices close up and they trach him. They need a scalpel to do that, which they have. Why don't they just cut away the skin as it is covering the hole.
They can't exactly keep cutting forever, and they might accidentally jostle the tube in some way that can kill him.
No, but when given the choice die or maybe die, I'll chose maybe die any time...
In the first season episode "The Arrival" the Rogue is equipped with a massively powerful energy pistol. Now, most of the ultratech in the show is not used by the main characters or otherwise buried because it is A) Too dangerous, B) only understood by the people who built/use it, C) Powered by a Forsaken Child, or D) So flagrantly evil it is impossible to think of practical applications. However, the gun is just that: A gun. A powerful, deadly tool that destroys what you point it at and nothing else, doesn't seem to require anything exotic to use, and is as easy as point and click. What happened to the gun?
They may have answered that in "August". The Observers seemed to use the same type of weapon as the Rogue, but once August's gun ran out they were unable to "recharge" it. Presumably they still have the Rogue's gun, but have the same problem.
Continuity hole big enough to swallow a city: In the second-season episode "Unearthed," Charlie appears in the episode and has dialogue, despite both him and the shapeshifter with his face being rather obviously dead.
After checking the official wiki, this is a meta-problem, as the episode in question was created for Season 1 but never aired. I'll leave this here in case anyone else notices it and wants to add a JBM.
This troper prefers to write that one off as a whole-episode flashback to Season 1.
In the first episode of season 2, Nina Sharp and Broyles kiss, and they make it romantic, and bring attention to it. After wards, it is never brought up again. Probably just an aborted arch, but now I am going to have issues every time they are in a scene together.
This troper thought the implication was that they used to be in a relationship, and still have feelings for eachother.
In 2x16 ("Peter"), why didn't Walter use a metal flask.. or something that wouldn't break?
Hindsight being 20/20, yes an unbreakable flask would have been better, but there are extra considerations with metal or plastic flasks such as degradation of materials with plastic, minerals seeping in from the metal, etc. Glass is normally used because it is functionally inert, unlike plastic or metal. Unbreakable flasks normally still can't stand up to the high temperatures glass can, and are much more expensive to boot. Walter, at the time, wasn't exactly swimming in funds or support. Also, he'sWalter. With no reason to expect a struggle, why would he go through that extra trouble?
Season 1 revolves around ZFT and all of their shenanigans basically, and then Season 2 starts....and they drop off the radar. Sure, they arrested/killed/dealt with most of the ZFT guys that we saw, but the implication I got was that they were a fairly large organization, and that they'd continue to communicate with the Fringe Division and Olivia whether they liked it or not.
Remember, DRJ was their leader, and all of their attacks were basically a temper-tantrum to get Bell to notice them. With DRJ dead and failed, they don't have any motivation, and probably just gave up.
When Charlie Francis was killed by the shapeshifter, Peter and the others reached him in such a short amount of time after the last bullet was fired. How did the shapeshifter change clothes and all of that so quickly? Not to mention, why were there two bodies instead of just the one? Wouldn't the nurse's body been Charlie's in disguise? So why was his body still there for the shapeshifter to toss into the fire later?
Charlie didn't even get a chance to fire his gun. The shapeshifter ambushed him, killed him, changed shape, hid the real Charlie's body, pulled out the real nurse's body, and shot her.
In the Season 2 finale Walter insists that they will need Olivia to use her powers to return to their universe.At the end of the episode this point is conveniently forgotten and Bell has to sacrifice himself for the group to return.
When they went over in the first place, they had the help of the other three Cortexiphan Kids. Maybe she wasn't strong enough on her own. I guess I view her universe hopping as a skill that she has to get better and gain confidence at, not just something she can do at the tip of a hat. Same thing for when she was trapped "Over There" during the third season.
This is thoroughly and completely explained in the episode! Just watch it and you'll see there IS no discrepency here.
Yes, there is in fact a major discrepancy. After Olivia and Bell collect Walter from the hospital, there is a scene where they decide to split up so that Walter and Bell can go build a "doorstop" to keep the crack that Olivia will create open, because they fear that without the other Cortexiphan kids, she won't be strong enough to keep it open on her own. Twenty minutes later, they're saying it the other way around, that the "doorstop" device is supposed to open the crack, and Olivia is supposed to keep it open, and by the end of the episode, the device opens the crack, and Bell's own bodily energy keeps it open. The episode is inconsistent the whole way through on this particular point. I mean, I understand that they had to get Fauxlivia over there for purposes of the story, but what's bothersome is that they seemed to have forgotten to alter the rest of the episode's dialogue once they decided they would change the ending to allow this.
I believe the discrepancy comes from the fact that Belly didn't want to inform the others that he was planning on committing suicide, so his description of the plan changes over the course of the episode. Walter comes out and says during the last exchange that Olivia doesn't have enough power to get them back. In any case, Walter and Belly are speaking in vague, layman terms about their plan, so the specifics are hard to gather. It's pretty absurd science anyways.
What's up with the Nazi guy in "The Bishop Revival". They never explain how he is over a hundred, or why he waited so long to start killing people if he was working in the same lab with Walter's father from the start...
This troper thought the photo was supposed to imply that he was a clone (and hint that Peter's a clone, but that theory got Jossed in Theres More Than One of Everything, making it either foreshadowing for an Aborted Arc or an intentional or accidental Red Herring).
In 2x16 "Peter" when Walter goes to the alternate universe to get Peter as he's leaving Walternate's house with Peter he's holding Peter in his arms but when he leaves you can hear the door opening and closing faster than he should be able to, since he's holding Peter...
How is it that everyone is able to figure out that the machine that Walternate is working on is a doomsday device meant to destroy Earth-1? Olivia and Walter were able to tell just by looking at the vague sketches of the machine with Peter inside, and Peter seemed to figure it out once he realized the machine was programmed to work with him. Personally, I completely fail to see how they connected the dots. Anyone?
IIRC the Observers had warned Walter that bad stuff would happen if Peter returned to the other side. To jog his memory they gave him the portrait of Peter , on fire, hooked up to the doomsday machine.
Peter didn't figure out the device's purpose on his own, just that Walternate had lied: he didn't bring Peter back from the prime universe for personal reasons, he brought Peter back because he was the only one the device responded to. That alone made him distrustful, and then Olivia showed up and filled in the rest.
And any blanks in their knowledge was filled in by "The First Peoples".
The Observers are always shown eating extremely hot things in every appearance—-except 2x16 "Peter", where they're drinking Slushos, which are cold. Why the change?
It's not the physical heat of their food, it's the intensity of the flavour, hence the hot peppers. It's implied they have a very dulled sense of taste. Maybe the Slushos have some special properties.
Since the discovery of another universe (or multiverses) would be the greatest discovery in human history, why don't people express this at all?
Same problem was brought up about The Gates (a show about the supernatural) and one troper suggested that all the recent spikes in related subjects (Twilight, True Blood, etc) kind have worn away at the collective psyche so people tend to treat the in-universe stuff as old hat. Same thing here, one supposes, only on the matter of crazy pseudo-science and all that.
It's presented as an important technological breakthrough in "Peter". Characters regularly express how strange the alternate universe is. In the fourth season Lincoln talks about how weirded out he is by all the universes and timelines. People just become numb to it after a certain point.
Rachel and Ella are living with Olivia for 2 seasons. Season 3, when Alt!Livia shows up: where did they go?!?!
They moved out between seasons, I assume.
She was living in an apartment the whole time. Niece and sister simply found their own place.
Chicago. The real question is, how did Olivia know this? As of the Season 2 Finale they were still living with her, but in Season 3 when Olivia is trapped in the alternate universe, we first hear from her that they have moved back to Chicago and that Rachel and her husband are back together. So how did Liv find this out? There's no way she could have known. Probably just a continuity error though.
This sort of bugged me as well. The best I could come up with was that Rachel had told Olivia she was moving out shortly before she went "Over There" but hadn't actually done so. Then when Olivia was trapped in the other world, she would have known that they had already moved.
What bloody sense does it make that Alt!Broyles got sucked into our Universe to replace Alt!Olivia's mass? Alt!Broyles was in Boston at the time, in Harvard's basement. Alt!Olivia was in Penn Station.
Alt!Broyles was intentionally sent by Walternate in place of Ourlivia, because she had escaped, and Alt!Broyles had become a traitor to Walternate/the Other Side by helping Ourlivia. But if this troper is doing the math right, that means Our Side has extra mass (Alt!Broyles). So maybe we'll see a "disappearance" case next season.
Couldn't it be that Alt!Broyles wasn't whole when he came through, missing a arm and leg if I remember correctly. Wouldn't be extra mass then.
Ourlivia and Fauxlivia replaced each other's mass when they switched. But Ourlivia found her own way back (without exchanging any kind of mass), and the Other Side sent Alt!Broyles through to "grab" Fauxlivia and pull her back. So now both Olivias are where they started, and Our Side has Alt!Broyles' mass in addition to Ourlivia's. So, extra mass.
Cortexophan-based crossings are exempt from this rule, which is why Walternate is so interested in it. Walter's doorway when he first grabbed Peter also seemed to be. So, remembering the other Cortexophan patients who died right away, it looks like the other side is the one with more mass right now. The spacial displacement with Alt!Broyles getting chunked and displacing Alt!Olivia's mass might get explained if we learn how the transferrence mechanism on the other side works.
There is no extra mass and this is easily explained by the fact that you're talking about two entirely different processes. Olivia was able to come through without a mass exchange because she has Cortexiphan in her system - as explained above, this is why Walternate is so keen to have it. The Cortexiphan Kids can cross at will. Alt-Oliva on the other hand crossed over using the rods injected into her body by the shapeshifter - this process, without Cortexiphan - requires a mass exchange. Walternate used the dead Alt-Broyles - who had been shot and killed during Olivia's escape, and cut off an arm and leg to make sure the mass exchange balanced out. Simple!
I think the original troper's objection was to the fact that alt-Broyles was in Harvard and Bolivia was in Penn Station when the exchange took place. Except that it didn't because there was a decent interval between Ourlivia returning to our side and Bolivia going back to theirs, which would have given the other side enough time, particularly with their advanced technology, to transport alt-Broyles to the appropriate location to make the switch, taking time to hack bits of him off to make the mass equivalent along the way.
Heres my thing. In the first part of the season 2 finale they show the three cortiexiphan recipients having been brought out of their medically induced comas and rehabilitated so that they had full control over their powers. Here's my question, why didn't they do that in the first freaking place?! If all it took was 6 weeks to turn three dysfunctional time bombs into god damned superheroes, why did it not occur to them to skip the medically induced comas and jump straight to the Rehab part? Did it not occur to them that a reverse empath, a pyrokinetic and a super-healer would be a pretty handy thing to have in fringe division?
And where, pray tell, would the Rehab procedure come from in the first place? They needed to keep them on ice, so to speak, until they were reasonably confident that they could get them to control their powers in the first place. Also, 6 weeks seems a little fast-track to me, given that the average rehab stint is twice that long. They were probably working on a procedure when Bell or someone communicated to Nina to get a move on so that they'd be ready for the inevitable assault on the other side, which led them to bring them all out of their comas and train them in control of their powers.
The episode The Road Not Taken in hindsight makes no sense in regards to the two universes. First, Olivia apparently jumps into Fauxlivia's body for seconds and she/her team is none the wiser. Second, they're not Fringe Division in alt-universe. Third, both sides are working on a case regarding people who were experimented on with Cortexifan (sp?), which doesn't exist until season 3 in the alt-universe.
Just because we're primarily dealing with one other universe doesn't mean it's the only other universe.
In retrospect, it seems that Olivia wasn't entering Fauxlivia's mind, she was physically crossing over. So there would briefly be two Olivias on Earth-2 and zero on Earth-1. Not knowing there's an alternate universe, the alt-verse people would logically regard this new (blonde) Olivia as a hallucination or something. The stuff with the Cortexiphan seems like a continuity error though.
I just got done watching the pilot so forgive me if this gets explained later on in the series, but why did they not use the sychronized dream thingy on Agent Scott after he died? It was stated earlier that you can get information from a corpse withing six hours of their death.
They did; it was a Chekov's Gun. Remember the end of the pilot? Nina Sharp asks how long John Scott has been dead, and when she's told five hours, orders someone to interrogate him.
Yes yes, I almost added that. I meant why didn't Walter & co. do that? John died with Olivia desperate to know more about his double life and they just let him get shipped off to the morgue, or that's what they think. It still seems stupid to me.
Why don't they still use that window to the other universe Walter invented? It seems like that would be really damn useful for gathering information about a mysterious and powerful enemy.
Sam Weiss was using it in a recent episode so its not like the writers forgot it. Which makes it even more puzzling. I'm going to say that the knowledge to create the device was lost when Bell performed that surgery on Bishop. The existing window could then have been destroyed or taken by Weiss in the years between.
In "White Tulip", the physicist is traveling back to inhabit his original body, right? Then how did he appear in the subway car when he wasn't there before?
No. The physicist is bodily transplanted in time.
And I'm assuming his "old" body is erased as a form of paradox correction when he jumps back in time, so there's not dozens of him running around.
In "Concentrate and Ask Again", tracking down a mind reader is apparently the only way to extract information from someone in a coma. Didn't anyone remember Walter's already come up with 2 separate means of reading comatose minds? The John Scott thing had some side effects, but the one in "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" didn't seem to.
The guy in "Concentrate and Ask Again" was comatose in a hospital. The guy from "In Which we Meet Mr Jones" was actually dead. Maybe Broyles didn't have the clearance to allow Walter to experiment on a guy who was still alive.
"Bloodline." A genetically inheritable virus. What? Did I miss something crucial in my Biomed lectures? Then again... maybe it was some kind of weird, modified virus that was accidentally unleashed on the unsuspecting public. Never mind... I'll just go with it.
It could be a mother-to-baby transmittable disease (like AIDS) and the genetic factor comes in with the immune system's reaction to it. Granted it is a stretch. Would make sense if a previous epidemic (and we know that the Alternate Universe is painfully prone to those) made carriers out of those it did not kill.
Okay cool... but a virus that only starts replicating if you're pregnant?
Olivia's William Bell accent. Were they aiming for maximum Narm or what?
I wouldn't be surprised if they simply decided to capitalise on the Narm Charm. It is still hard to believe that Torv could do each scene straight faced.
Once we come up with the technology to put Leonard Nimoy's consciousness inside Anna Torv's body, then you can it unrealistic.
why does everyone in-universe seems to blame Peter for not realizing Fauxlivia was not Olivia? How do you think HE feels? The woman he's been sleeping with for weeks is NOT who he thought she was. But I guess a case of Double Standard: Rape—Sci-Fi?
Olivia actually apologizes to him for this in "Reciprocity"... and I don't recall anyone calling Peter out other than her.
Plus, Olivia admits she's being irrational when she yells at him at the end of "Marionette". She just needed a little time to come to terms with the situation. And the other characters are pretty understanding and sympathetic towards Peter, with Walter, Astrid, and Nina pretty much shipping the relationship. (Though Nina also had some ulterior motives I suppose.) Also, to an extent this seemed to be the characters themselves buying into Double Standard: Rape—Female on Male somewhat.
There are...quite a few plot holes when Sam Weiss and the First People are concerned. Might as well list them all...:
1-How did Sam get his hands on Walter's "universal window"? On top of the other weird toys he's seen with.
2-For all intents and purposes, he's revealed to just have been an ordinary guy with knowledge passed down his family. That said, how did he exactly know about the other Olivia, Peter and his connection to the machine, and why did he tell Nina that Peter must choose one Olivia or the other when that clearly wasn't the case, and he knew it.
3-The First People are, technically, Walter and co. from the future - the "technology of the first people" was nothing more than a sort of time machine, along with other goodies, sent by Walter back in time through a wormhole. If the technology was developed by him, then why does it appear so alien in nature? Why does Walter comment that the Wave Sink Device looks an awful lot like a William Bell Design? The "instructions" dug up by the Weiss family also reveals a completely alien language accompanied by pieces of the machine. And lastly, what exactly is the deal with, and ultimately purpose, with those creepy number stations that first revealed the existence of the "First People"?
4-What is Walternate's connection to Sam? And why can't he trust him?
None of this are as yet plot holes. They may turn out to have perfectly reasonable explanations.
A recent Fringe comic series (Written by Joshua Jackson so it's likely canonical) answers a few of these. In 2026 Walter and Peter bring the Machine to the Central Park wormhole in order to keep the Stable Time Loop going however Peter gets dragged along with the Machine which breaks up and is thrown around various locations in time. Peter travels through different times and places the Machine parts where they will be found by the Fringe team. First People objects and literature are also placed during these travels. At one point Peter finds Sam Weiss the First and perpetuates the First People legacy by helping him find one of the devices and handing off a journal before disappearing in time again.
Why didn't Walter just bring the medicine with him when he crossed over to the other universe, so as to cure Peter then and there?
He did but because Nina grabbed him the vial with the medicine shattered so he had to improvise.
What happened to the device at the end of season one that closes holes in reality? Wouldn't that eliminate the need for amber and such?
From what we saw, it can be used to forcibly close artificial portals between worlds. There is nothing to suggest that it could plug a vortex.
Why aren't the main characters more vigilant about checking peoples' identities? Charlie's death was bad, his team knew they were dealing with a shapeshifter who can change on the fly, then (after they've split up) Charlie easily dispatches it. I feel like that could have been dealt with if anyone had gone and said "hey... what's my favorite color?"
Fauxlivia's just as bad. They have the justification that she had been fed information about Olivia regarding details of her life but really, when someone comes back from a trip to an alternate universe where there are not only shapeshifters, but also alternate versions of yourselves I would have thought the fact that she suddenly started acting strangely afterward should have thrown up a red flag. There's only so many times someone can play off "Oh, I would/did? Hahahaha" before you really should pick up on something.
I think one of the reasons they didn't think Fauxlivia was acting weird was because they didn't really want to. They'd just gotten back from rescuing one person—how would they even cross over without Olivia's help? That doesn't really excuse it, but it is a reason.
Likewise, how can Lee just walk into the alternate universe? At the minimum, they should check that their people 'returning' have actually left. Seriously, the alternate universe has been functionally 'at war' with us for a decade, but they don't bother with downright trivial security measures? I know they needed it for the plot, but they could have had Lee cross with permission and then go off-task, or had alt-Lee over here at the time.
I'm not sure I understand your objection. You're talking about 4x17 ("Everything in Its Right Place")? In that episode Lincoln heads over to the bridge for official diplomatic reasons, so he presumably was checked in and everything. In 4x01 ("Neither Here Nor There") and 4x18 ("The Consultant") Lincoln and Walter are shown being checked in by guards prior to entering the bridge area. I'm amusing once people get that far they're deemed to have left their home universe. Then Lincoln goes off-task following Fauxlivia, but that's pretty consistent with Earth-1 Fringe agents being given quite a bit of latitude to do pretty much whatever they want throughout the series. The only other thing I can think of is when Lincoln and Peter sneak across in 4x08 ("Back to Where You've Never Been"), but there they're explicitly not following orders and procedures.
Wait, isn't alt!Broyles dead? So how is he alive in episode 2 of season 4 as if nothing happened? All that was left of him was a torso. What. Yeah ok, I guess they could argue because of Peter's existence being erased it changed things, but they keep referencing Olivia being kidnapped and the equivalent exchange of finally returning her is what killed alt!Broyles. Don't even get me started on the whole Peter's existence being wiped and what it doesn't, but should, change.
Peter's erasure has changed a number of things - Walter's personality has changed, Lincoln has never met the team; the kidnapping could easily have gone differently in the new timeline. Maybe Olivia and Alt!Olivia just switched normally, or she managed to pull off the dimension hopping herself, or someone else died in Broyles' place.
In the original timeline Walternate was going to let Olivia go, but then alt-Brandon got the idea to cut out her brain to study its Cortexiphaned properties. So alt-Broyles had to die helping her escape. In the altered timeline Olivia's powers had never manifested, and the whole point of the replacement was presumably just Fauxlivia's mission. So Walternate had no reason not to just let her go. Hence, no dead alt-Broyles.
In the episode with the killer fungus, why did nobody bother with protective suits when they went underground? They all wore hazmat suits at the morgue after the spores were released, but in a heavily infested area where two people had died already nobody thought there was any danger, even after the fungus was revealed to be sentient and willing to defend itself.
Well, Walter says that the fungus won't be able to sense you unless you touch it. That doesn't entirely excuse it, but my guess is the producers decided to value the audience seeing the characters outside their suits over the internal logic. Also, the tech guy who's killed at the colony is physically attacked rather than spored, so maybe a suit wouldn't do any good?
Why exactly is Peter's presence a paradox? It doesn't make much sense that the Observer distracting Walternate is a "mistake" and then turn around and have undoing the fix of that mistake somehow resolve the same paradox. And why didn't he just keep his past self from distracting Walternate in the first place? That would be the simplest solution to all the universe-hopping bull and would probably keep everyone happiest. (Please don't trot out the "Blue and Orange Morality" bullshit because that's an excuse, not a reason)
While I agree Peter's presence being a paradox doesn't make much sense given what we know, I think the reason the Observe can't go back in time to warn his past-self, because he does not have a past self. As "The Firefly" showed, the Observers can move through time without any repercussions. Walter postulates that they exist outside of time, simultaneously at all points in it. Hence, he is one self and cannot interact with his past self. Just an idea.
Been struggling with this one myself. The only thing I can think of is that the paradox doesn't comes from the Observer's mistake, but from the last episode of the 3rd Season, with Peter making a choice because of information he obtained from a future that was deleted trough that same choice. Now, with the new timeline and the better outcome, there is no bad future from where Walter would pull Peter to see the consequences of destroying one of the universes, so the time travel never happens and Peter chooses to destroy one of the universes, which brings the bad future and the time travel, and so on. But deleting Peter from the timeline and allowing different events to happen, prevents the paradox while still allowing the better outcome, the survival of both universes -although we've still to see exactly what transpired without Peter in the new timeline that allowed the better outcome, and I suspect that whatever happened, has to do with Peter not being completely deleted, maybe the amber timeline was rewritten backwards, so causes would align to consequences, and is therefore still very wibbly wobbly-. A good example of this type of paradox would be the episode in which a scientist was attempting to travel back in time to prevent the death of his fianceé, had he not died in the car crash, he would have become a paradox.
Going back to Season 2, there is an inconsistency with how Walternate's shapeshifters work. The shifter who killed Charlie was starting to fall apart after he lost his device and couldn't change into a new form. The other shifter tells him that he'll die if he doesn't get a replacement. But when Newton contacts the "sleeper" agents, it's clear that several of them have held the same form for years at a time. So how long can a shifter hold a single identity?
Perhaps they use the devices to "renew" themselves without actually changing form?
That's my (somewhat hand waving) explanation. Having a functioning shapeshifter device prevents this degradation.
The handwave that John Scott was a Black Ops NSA agent and that's why he knew so much about the Pattern. Why, then, did he kill the episode one villain after recovering? To keep his cover? Why did he threaten the guy at the beginning of the episode? Was he in on the testing of the toxin on the plane? If so, then I honestly don't think being undercover justifies knowing about an experiment that will kill 147 people in a most horrific manner and keeping quiet about it. What, he couldn't slip a note to his handler?
Assuming he was after ZFT or something similar, preventing the destruction of a universe probably justifies the horrific deaths of 147 people.
If Walternate could use Peter's son's DNA to activate the machine, why couldn't he use his own DNA?
Do you mean in the original timeline or in the amber one? Because in the original timeline, remember there was at least one piece of the machine the blue universe didn't had, the one Fauxlivia took to the red universe. So maybe that particular piece could allow them to operate the machine without the actual Peter, only using his DNA as a sort of key. But in the blue universe, without that piece, the whole Peter was necessary. On the other hand, it could just be that using his own DNA never occurred to Peter since he was there, and it only occurred to Walternate because he didn't had Peter. In the new amber timeline though, it seems the machine is not at all tuned to Peter's DNA, because he's not supposed to be there, and in fact Walter mentions the possibility of tuning the machine to Peter's DNA so he can try to use the machine to go back to his timeline.
I meant the red universe. Peter is Walternate's(who is in the red universe) son, and Walternate uses DNA from Peter's child to activate the machine in the red universe. Why couldn't he use his own DNA
Maybe 50% DNA wasn't enough. Maybe they used a combination of Henry and Walternate's DNA.
This actually makes sense. Using Henry's DNA and extracting out the 50% that came from Fauxlivia, Walternate was able to get 50% of Peter's DNA profile. He also has access to his own and Elizabeth-2's DNA, but he couldn't know who gave what to Peter. So without Henry, he wouldn't be certain about any of Peter's DNA profile.
In the Prime timeline, there are many inconsistencies from the first appearance of the Redverse in "The Road Not Taken (1x19)" and subsequent information revealed about that side in seasons 2 and 3. Olivia briefly crosses over from Fringe Division headquarters— located, as we all know from the frequent title-ins, in the Federal Building in Boston— to the Fringe Division of the parallel universe. She goes to Alt!Broyles' office which has a different layout, and talks to Alt!Charlie who mentions the charred victims are twins. Later it is revealed that Redverse!Boston is barely inhabited and half the skyline is encased in Amber ("Over There Part 2 (2x23)"), and Fringe Division is located in New York City. Leaving aside the stylistic differences from this first glance (agents wear business attire like in the Blueverse, not the military-influenced garb seen later, no large display of the advanced tech), Olivia cannot travel in location, so she is meeting her teams' doubles in the same place on the other side. Did the Redverse Fringe Division move from Boston after a catastrophic event occurring after 1x19 but before 2x23; or were they living in a dangerous and scarcely populated city?
The second part of this problem is: what caused the twins (Susan Pratt and Nancy Lewis) to ignite on the Redverse side? The cortexiphan trials never took place, and there is no ZFT trying to activate cortexiphan kids to protect their side. While I'll accept that the twins had dormant pyrokinetic abilities from birth, it was cortexiphan that let them use their powers. What caused their powers to be triggered on the Redverse side?
The only explanation I could think of, that made me accept those discrepancies, was that maybe back then Olivia was not crossing over to the red universe, but to another one, one closer to the blue universe and that was just branching from it. The red universe, when fully introduced, makes it clear that things have been this bad for a long time and one gets the feeling that Fringe Division has existed for quite a while. Also, in the universe Olivia was crossing over to those first times, there was no Lincoln Lee to be seen. There are just too many discrepancies for that universe to be the same as the red one. And besides, there is no reason why there can only be two universes and not an infinite number, it just so happens that the red and the blue became entangled because of Walter's actions. The red universe is shown has having branched off some time in the past, since by the time Walter and Bell discover it, it is already a different place, with more advanced tech, presumably the branching could have occurred some some time in the early XX century. On the other hand, the universe Olivia crossed over in that early episode looked like it was at the same technological level as the blue one, and that the same events where happening, with the exception, maybe, of either ZFT being much more aggressive there, or their own red couple -another red universe branched from the main red universe-, launching the main attack much earlier.
It seems that early stages of the catastrophic event are taking place when Olivia crosses over. She sees buildings burning, and Alt-Charlie say something about Boston being on quarantine lockdown. So the Earth-2 characters are transferred to New York after this, as having a fully functioning division in an abandoned city doesn't make sense. The other issues are continuity that we're just going to have to deal with.
The alternate universe is awfully conveniently populated. I mean, there's a double of everyone running around, unless they got killed off for the plot (William Bell). Isn't it a bit strange that all the same people still got together and had the same kids as their alternate universe counterparts, who then have pretty much the same job etc. etc?
Yes. In the show's defense, the Lincolns kind of call to attention this oddness in "Everything in Its Right Place". Really the only way around this would be to make the point of divergence like 1980 (after all the main characters have been born), and have an Earth-2 that's not as technologically advanced, or else not have doppelgangers.
This is a common problem in Alternate Universe fiction. Keeping in mind that in Fringe, the universes are implied to have always been separated, the gradual differences should have piled to to completely divergent universes, whereas this clearly is not the case in the show. My own personal handwave is that the two universes, being linked on some level, have some kind of "course correction" mechanism that prevents them from turning too divergent from one another.
Assuming there are a lot of universes, it would make sense that a hole in one universe would lead to the closest and most similar universe.
This is probably the closest thing to a good explanation. The total multiverse of the show would represent all possible (infinite) outcomes starting with the Big Bang. Of course, we know of all the differences predating the main characters' births, so in both universes the same people would have to have mated, producing identical children. That alone is incredibly unlikely; given independent trials the offspring should basically appear to be siblings. But given a truly infinite number of trials...
How the hell does cortexiphan, which causes cell regeneration, supposed to help with cancer?
It's possible he used another method to kill the cancerous cells, then used Cortexiphan to heal himself from that damage?
Cortexiphan kid James Heath could transfer his cancer with his touch ("Olivia In The Lab With The Revolver") and after some training could cure or lessen it in other people ("Over There Part 1"). It might make the new cells that regenerate not-cancerous, or stop cancer cells from spreading- not curing but halting the progress of the disease?
Perhaps it fixes the DNA of the target to be more or less like the non-canorous cells of that person, therefore causing the cells to be able to die and curing the cancer?
Why do Walternate and Brandon have Fauxlivia abducted to have her baby, instead of just saying, "We have this promising new experimental treatment for VPE that's not available to the public (yet?). So there's a good chance both you and your baby will live, isn't that great?" I get that they had to take Henry for more testing and treatments for the super secret DNA stuff they did to make Henry able to trigger the machine like Peter, but they could just take him away and do whatever blood testing and DNA monkeying they need with the built-in story that Henry needed more tests and monitoring because of their new experimental treatment? Won't you get better results from a hopeful and consenting mother than one who's terrified and being held against her will?!
I guess that the hope and consent of the mother is irrelevant to the success of an accelerated pregnancy? Walternate's plan seemed to pose a significant risk to Fauxlivia. He's afraid of her saying no (however remote this chance is), then having to abduct her with her knowing that he's behind it (though she seemed to have started to figure it out anyways). He's a control freak, and his first/only priority is getting the baby so he can turn on the machine and save his universe. Honoring Fauxlivia's rights and her feeling towards him are secondary and insignificant. Posing her with the choice, then abducting her if need be is the better option, really, but you've gotta account for megalomaniacs not always acting rationally. The other thing to remember is he just had Peter betray him and return to the evil universe, so trusting others isn't going to be high on his to-do list.
So Peter is in an alternate timeline, but is also "home"? What exactly does that mean? They spend the entire season making clear that the characters which are surrounding him have lived different lives, had different upbringings, then without explaining anything (I don't mean scientifically, the show rarely does that anyway) decide that Peter doesn't need to get back to his own timeline because he is "home all along", and that it is "his Olivia". Erm, you've spent half a season making clear that it isn't "his Olivia", regardless of the memory replacement thing going on. Am I missing something, or have they really not explained this very well?
The best analogy I can think of is that Peter's home got remodeled. So it's not that place he remembered, but it's the best he's able to do. The Observers make this clear at the end of the 3rd season and the start of 4th, saying "they don't remember him", "the timeline has been rewritten", etc. Presumably the only way for Peter to get back to reality as he knew it would be to reset things again, erasing the amber reality (if that's even possible/safe). As for Olivia, Peter getting erased turned her into Amberlivia, then the memory shifting turned her back into blue-Olivia. I guess one could make the argument that she's still not the woman Peter remembers, but September doesn't think so and he's basically trying to get Peter to be with her. Walter, Lincoln, et al. were convinced she wasn't Peter's Olivia, but once again, that's was just their opinion. I think it's all an interesting existential question about the state of being when things are altered, but I tend to side with thinking she's the Olivia Peter remembers, at least in a manner of thinking.
In season 4, why is everyone (well, at least two persons, namely Lincoln and the profiler, I haven't watched the whole season yet) so flabbergasted upon seeing both Olivias simultaneously for the first time? Shouldn't their initial assumption be that they are simply twins?
Lincoln knew they were going to see where the shapeshifter disk was from, and sees all the security and crazy equipment, so he probably knew something weird was up. And Olivia probably would have said something if it were her twin. The profiler already knew something was up with the picture of his dad at the crime scene, then he runs outside and sees another Olivia Dunham, then he sees the amber. At this point he's probably just completely confused until stuff gets explained to him.
Even identical twins don't look exactly alike.
But you probably wouldn't be able to notice those differences in identical twins instantaneously (and the different color hair is a clearer giveaway than most). Anyways, this raises the question of whether doppelgangers have slightly different fingerprints, moles, etc. (interestingly, the guards make you give a fingerprint sample before entering the bridge). But we've already got the doppelgangers existing with a much earlier point of divergence than their births, so, well, MST3K Mantra.
As of the end of season 4, is the implication supposed to be that William Bell was a villain all along? Or just in the new, amber timeline? I recall it being mentioned that he was the one responsible for many of the problems (but I might be wrong here). It's a bit unclear whether it's just the new William Bell that is just evil, and if so, why? As far as I know, his history is pretty much identical to the previous timeline's version, and I think that he even discusses with Walter in the final episode that he used to have the same opinion (about destroying the universe and creating a new one full of porcupines) before having his brain removed. If the new timeline is identical to the old one pre-Peter-drowning (which it should be), then surely the old Walter had the same opinion and by extension William Bell would have.
In the 4th season finale Bell says that Walter's plan of creating his own universe came out his grief over both Peters dying. In the previous timeline (of seasons 1-3) the alternate Peter was saved, which kept him happy enough to not come up with the plan I guess. The main characters suspected that Bell was a villain for much of the 1st season, but it turned out he wasn't evil... Soul Magnets, Cortexiphan, and his other morally questionable experiments undertaken for what he perceived to be the greater good aside. The whole collapsing the multiverse plan was confined to the amber timeline.
It is told that the device used by Walter to pass to the red universe caused the problems about alternate universes. At different episodes when they needed a way to crossover to the other universe and when someone suggested to use Walter's device he said using it once more could destroy both universes, but at season 4 Peter and Lincoln used the device to cross over to the red universe. So why didn't anything happen? Was Walter lying about it?
Perhaps because the bridge was still intact at that point? Any new damage would also begin to be healed by the connection. Jones seems to travel by that method too both in the Amber timeline and when he attempted to cross in Season 1 (the original timeline; I don't think ZFT cared if the crossing hurt either universe). In the Amber timeline, the portal device may have been modified to be safer by William Bell- Massive Dynamic fished it out of Reiden Lake before he faked his death. Bell had much more experience than Walter crossing back and forth in the Prime timeline (ie, events before September's actions caused the split into Blue and Amber versions), so he could have had some knowledge that could have made it less harmful- perhaps gleaned from the advanced tech in the Red universe- and if his discoveries took place while Walter was in the asylum, Walter would never know about them. Additionally, Walter's personal emotional connection to the portal device would make him especially leery to use it again; a contrast between him and Bell that is key in Season 4's (admittedly confused) main arc.
I took his comment less as "Use this portal and everything will blow up" and more as "Using this portal is opens a hole in the fabric of reality, doing that too much might cause a breakdown, so let's not risk it".
The parasites from "Snakehead" were supposedly engineered from hookworms, which are nematodes. Walter claims that a valuable drug could be found in their lymph glands, yet nematodes don't even have a circulatory system, never mind a lymphatic system.
MSTK mantra, the show is never 100% realistic, there are always twisting the laws of science for there can entertain us.
Lincoln in the Grand Finale. I know the main universe Lincoln stayed on the other side in the end, but in the finale, he sure acts more like Earth 2 Lincoln than ours. Did the universes get changed again, or over 20 years has our Lincoln turned into being pretty much just like theirs?
Well, he's been married to the woman of his dreams for twenty years in that timeline, maybe he lost his shyness and became more confident, like his alternate version.
Also from the Grand Finale: What was the reason for Michael exiting the train again and letting himself get caught by the Observers? Even though it gets implied that he had known all along that Olivia will save him in time, it nevertheless seemed unnecessary. Did he just want to have an opportunity to tease Windmark with his Mind Rape immunity??
In the end, Olivia saves Michael by telekinetically throwing a car at Windmark. She couldn't have done it, if she hadn't taken Cortexiphan to rescue him earlier. So Michael getting caught was necessary to prepare Olivia for this situation.
Still concerning the finale: How did Lincoln and Bolivia manage to shoot two Observers without those special Observer-killing guns? OK, they shot the first one from behind, and if you keep in mind the possibility that the bullet may have been faster than the bang of the gun, not even his super-fast reflexes could have saved him anymore. But the second Observer doesn't even have the excuse of having been caught off-guard, considering that he himself was sneaking up on Lincoln and Bolivia!