FRINGE REWATCH: 2.20 Northwest Passage — Find The Crack


Our Fringe Rewatch continues as we search for new perspectives ahead of the fourth season. Up next: Northwest Passage – or what we’re calling: “Find The Crack.”

Please note: these rewatches may contain references to later episodes.

In case you didn’t manage to rewatch this episode, here’s a promo to give you a sense of where the story was:

This retrospective is focused around two main areas: NEW PERSPECTIVES, where I look at the episode with new eyes. And FINDING PETER, where I share my speculations and thoughts – arising from watching this episode – in relation to Peter ‘ceasing to exist’ and the new timeline.

As mentioned previously, I’ll be making an effort to avoid going over old ground, but there will be links at the end to my previous rewatch articles should you wish to drill down on my previous thoughts.


  • Peter: “I’m from nowhere you’ve ever heard of.” What do you call the place where people don’t exist?
  • The main take-away for this episode is terms of where the story is now – Peter seeing Newton only for his eyes to deceive him. Not to go over old ground as to what exactly was going on there, but the concept itself might find its way into season 4, with our heroes having visions or close encounters with a familiar face.
  • Walter worries that if Peter doesn’t return he’ll be sent back to the hospital. Olivia reassures him, “I wont let that happen.” Considering that Olivia will likely be his touchstone in the new timeline, will her protective nature extend itself to Walter, as it does here?
  • She’s the failsafe. The off switch to Peter’s on button. The one who held his hand in the tulip field of imagination. The one who brought father and son back together. The ONE. She’s a suitable proxy for Peter, right?
  • Peter says that he doesn’t know who he is — not existing will do that to you, I guess. In all seriousness, it’s useful to hear him say that because: does he currently know who he is?
  • One final point concerns the Find The Crack message on the pen. It related well to the season 2 Peter arc, but it still yields potential at our current juncture. I wonder whether Peter’s way back will involve finding such a crack — either through the splinters in the fragmented lens of a loved one, or some other figurative or literal way? Time will tell.

Retrospective Rating: 3/10 Seriable Stars

Want more? Check out my previous NwP write-ups:

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  1. WaySeeker says

    Thank you for another interesting re-watch article.
    There are re-watches I have loathed to watch, but this one is the one I loathed the most. So much that I didn’t even watch it. I barely made it thru the spinal fluid vampire one with the horrid CGI, as well sa “Home”, er I mean “The Night of Undesires” or whatever … but THIS one I didn’t even watch, not even a part of it.

    The story doesn’t make any sense. And not in a good way. I hate it. It is a mess and incongruous and obtuse. Blah!

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    • Ben says

      Come on WaySeeker, give us your opinion on the ep instead of sitting on the fence! 😛

      Seriously I don’t think this episode is so bad, there were nice moments between Mathis and Peter and for once we got a bit of character development from him. And Newton being in it obviously nudges it up a few points on its own!

      The dairy-farmer villain was by far the worst, most contrived and pointless character ever to appear on Fringe, even if he does face stiff competition from Agent Jessup and Rachel. There was literally no sense or logic in that plot development, it was purely there to have a scene where Newton and Walternate could surprise Peter while he slept.

      Overall I’d give this one a 7/10.

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  2. mlj102 says

    Well, I watched this one again… It was only fair to give it another chance, just like every other episode. But my opinion still hasn’t changed. I still despise this episode. I suppose it’s a bit extreme, but I would give it a 0/10. It’s that bad in my opinion. I just can’t find anything redeeming in this episode. The story is lame. The character development is non-existent. It adds nothing to the story. Newton was in the episode, but what purpose did he serve? His presence didn’t even make sense. It was a 100% disappointment. It left me feeling completely unsure of what I was supposed to take away from the episode. The best part was Strawberry-flavored Death. Even Peter meeting Walternate fell short because everything building up to that moment was so disconnected and unclear, and because we didn’t get to see anything between them beyond those few shocked moments. It completely failed to deliver anything worthwhile for me.

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  3. Pwnsauce says

    I can still remember watching this one live. At a couple points during the episode, I thought, oh man this episode could have a really big part in the series! It built my hopes up, and then in the last 10 minutes of the episode, it smashed those hopes to smithereens. It just…wasn’t good. The story really had no connection with anything. This was the second time I thought the writers just took an episode off (Snakehead being the first), and it was very disappointing to see that happen.

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  4. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    I’m glad somebody out there is also hoping for a connection between Northwest Passage and the upcoming “Where’s Peter?” storyline. It could be a very interesting twist. For example, what if Peter went to an “in between” place like a dream world where nothing makes sense and he’s solving weird cases alone, wondering about this huge hole in his psyche and having vivid dreams of an old man named Walter and a mysterious blonde girl named Olivia? If they do manage to tie this into their season 4 game plan (I’m not holding my breath, but you never know…), it could vault this episode into the “really flippin’ awesome” category. If they don’t, and it just remains a clunky epitaph to the end of the 2nd season, I will be a little disappointed.

    I loved this episode just as much as I did not like this episode. How? I loved that we got to see Petah on his own, using his smarts and solving a crime, and it was a little glimpse into his character that we hadn’t gotten since Big Eddie stopped looking for him. But what really ticked me off about this episode was that we never got an explanation as to what REALLY was going on! And the part where Walternate and Newton came to get him, just seemed so rushed and trivialized, when it should have been a much larger part of the story. It was as if they were trying to cram 3 episodes into 1. But I still liked the episode and I would give it a 6/10 with room to grow in hopes for some jaw-dropping revelation in the future. :)

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