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Brown Betty

Brown Betty - The World Inside Walter's Head
Fringe is a television series that features an Erudite Stoner who doubles as a Mad Scientist as one of the main characters. As such, things are bound to get trippy at some point, and at least one episode will focus on that.

"Brown Betty" is that episode. This is a fairy tale world created by a grief stricken and extremely stoned Walter as a means of both coping with Peter leaving Fringe Division due to Walter's lie, as well as story time while watching over Ella with Astrid as both Olivia and Rachel are away. The episode is titled after Walter's own marijuana cocktail (a blend of Chronic Supernova and Afghani Kush), Brown Betty. The episode is also significant in that it practically featured the entire cast (regular and special guest stars) at that point in time in a generally standalone episode.

And it goes without saying...these characters are not canon.

Tropes found in Brown Betty:
  • Anachronism Stew: Brown Betty in a nutshell.
  • Breather Episode: At first...
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Everyone has a Bronx accent in this episode.
  • Musical Episode
  • Mythology Gag: If you made a drinking game out of this trope while watching this episode, you'd be dead drunk in five minutes.
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  • Retro Universe: The cars are old, everyone wears fedoras, and yet everyone still carries a cell phone.
  • Schizo Tech: The cellphones are touch-pad PDA's which are absurdly huge and look like giant slabs of metal, and the laptops are built out of wood.

    open/close all folders 

    Detective Dunham 

Olivia Dunham

"You know, most times when someone comes in here worried that their sweetheart's gone missing, or worse... by the time they find out what I usually find out, they wind up wishing he really were dead."

Portrayed by Anna Torv

A savvy female private detective who has cracked every case in her career except one - how to mend a broken heart. She decides to take up the last case from her latest client, Rachel, in finding her con man boyfriend Peter and ends up getting embroiled in a conspiracy.

    Peter Bishop 

Peter Bishop

"Miles, Duke, Louis, John Coltrane... you can tell a lot about a person from the music they listen to. And whether or not they dance."

Portrayed by Joshua Jackson

A dangerous and ruthless Con Man, and the adoptive son of Dr. Bishop. For some reason, he was born with a magical glass heart - the same glass heart Dr. Bishop wants and wishes to claim for himself.


    Dr. Bishop 

Walter Bishop

"I have spent my life making things that bring joy and happiness, to make the world a better place. Bubble Gum was one of my first. Ah. Flannel Pajamas. Oh, Rainbows. And my latest project, Singing Corpses."

Portrayed by John Noble

A scientist, and inventor of all things wonderful! In truth, he is a sickly, greedy horrible man who steals the dreams of children and replaces them with nightmares, then profits of it all. To continue living, he needs Peter's glass heart.

    Esther Figglesworth 

Esther Figglesworth

♪ "I really need this job... please God, I need this job... I've got to get this job." ♪

Portrayed by Jasika Nicole

Detective Dunham's sidekick. Due to Dunham quitting, she's been job hunting. She helps her out with one last case, though.

FYI: Her real name is most definitely not "Esther Figglesworth"... But alas, this is in Walter's head...

  • Schizo Tech: The second-best example in the series. She has a gigantic PDA-touch phone that looks like it's from the 1800's, a laptop made of wood, and GPS installed in her 1930 Cadillac.

    Detective Broyles 

Philip Broyles

"Keep nosing around, and you and your interest can spend some time downtown as a guest of The State."

Portrayed by Lance Reddick

A police detective who shares a past with Dunham, who also moonlights as a jazz club pianist and singer. Helps out with the case.

  • The Cast Showoff: This episode was the perfect venue for Lance Reddick to show off his music background, and maybe even plug his music career a little bit. And sure enough, he's the best singer of the whole cast.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: A lot of people were surprised that his singing voice is MUCH softer and higher than his regular speaking voice.
  • The Stoic: Even more so than his real-life incarnation.



"We met only a few weeks ago, but... it was love at first sight. You probably don't believe something like that exists. But I assure you - it does."

Portrayed by Ari Graynor

An actress whose real name was "Kelsey." She fell in love with Peter at first sight (he was assumed to have been conning her), but after he disappeared, she assumed he was kidnapped by a gangster he owed money to, Big Eddie. After hiring Detective Dunham to find him, she was apparently killed by the Watchers and had her heart cut out.

    William Bell 

William Bell

"By utilizing the heart's power, we'll be able to create a stable door between universes."

Portrayed by Leonard Nimoy

The CEO of Massive Dynamic who apparently went missing, but is actually hiding in an alternative universe. He seeks the glass heart as a stable power source to fuel a door between universes, and uses both Nina Sharp and Mr. Gemini and his Watchers to achieve his ends.

  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Shares the seat with Nina.
  • The Cameo: To the surprise of many fans, Leonard Nimoy managed to actually make an appearance in this episode - albeit his voice only. Regardless, it really adds to the whole Mythology Gag aspect of the episode.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: We actually don't get to see him - just his voice and a CG render on a monitor, supposedly because he's in the alternate universe. Ten extra Mythology Gag points for using the same universe window Walter invented as the monitor!

    Nina Sharp 

Nina Sharp

"I see. I suppose I should feel sorry for you, Miss Dunham. None of these should've been your concerns. The truth is I did everything I could to protect you. I warned you to stay away from this, but you didn't listen. Now you've given me no choice."

Portrayed by Blair Brown

William Bell's dragon. She tries to protect Dunham from the awful truth by showing her what a dangerous man Peter Bishop is, but once Dunham gets too close she shows her true colors, and along with Mr. Gemini tries to drown her.

    Mr. Gemini 

Mr. Gemini

"Don't stick your heart out where it doesn't belong."

Portrayed by Michael Cerveris

Nina Sharp's right hand man, and leader of her personal assassin force - the Watchers!

  • Elite Mooks: The Watchers. And in droves.
  • Mythology Gag: Even more so than other examples - this episode was the first time that the Iridium Beacon reappeared since the first season. Albeit, as a blunt siege weapon.



"Pretty cool little device, if I recall. Was patented by this whiz-bang tech company out of Manhattan."

Portrayed by Ryan McDonald

A regular guy who works at the police desk and helps out Dunham.

  • The Cameo: His appearance is the briefest in the episode.

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