Welcome to Fringe Observations: the comprehensive clues and easter eggs round-up for episode 3.21 “The Last Sam Weiss”. We dive deep into the mythology, symbolism and resonating factors to explore the meaning and unlock the interconnected mystery of Fringe.
Light ‘Em uuuuUP!
The “6:02 AM EST” episode clue for “The Last Sam Weiss” was the lightning sticker on the farmers truck. This foreshadowed the lightning storms in TLSW.
Nate (heh) is listening to “Riders On The Storm“ by The Doors from their 1971 album L.A. Woman. Very apt given the lightning storms that were converging overhead.
The band took its name from Aldous Huxley‘s book The Doors of Perception, the title of which was a reference to a William Blake quotation: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.“
As we noted at the time, lightning appeared inside Olivia’s subconscious, signalling her awakening.
The lightning theme has its roots in William Bell‘s comment from “Momentum Deferred”, when he warned Olivia that :
“a storm is coming, perhaps the last and worst storm of all. And when it is over, I fear there will be nothing left of our world.”
Gone Off Script
Sam shows Olivia pages from the original manuscript on which the First People books are based.
Interesting that Olivia “The Crowbar” Dunham was inside the box. Possible Pandora parallels with Olivia representing hope?
It’s a stretch, but it can work as “Hope” represents one of Olivia’s most resonating themes of the season. (think “Entrada”).
Sam The Se7enth
Sam is not the first Sam Weiss. His great, great, great, great grandfather discovered the First People manuscript – making our Sam the 7th Sam Weiss.
The fifth Sam Weiss wrote the First People books based on the manuscript. The third and fourth Sams spent their lives searching for the manuscript’s missing sections.
This reflective shot from “6:02 AM EST” seems an appropriate reference to the Weiss family’s dedication to the First People cause.
The symbol on the plaque resembles the Freemason All-seeing Eye:
The Eye first appeared as part of the standard iconography of the Freemasons in 1797, with the publication of Thomas Smith Webb’s Freemasons Monitor. Here, it represents the all-seeing eye of God and is a reminder that a Mason’s thoughts and deeds are always observed by God (who is referred to in Masonry as the Great Architect of the Universe). Typically, the Masonic Eye of Providence has a semi-circular glory below the eye. Sometimes the Eye is enclosed by a triangle.
The All-seeing Eye can also be traced back to Egyptian mythology with the Eye of Horus. It can also be found in Buddhism where Buddha is referred to as the “Eye of the World”.
A curious addition to the Sam Weiss mythology. We can at least assume that his great (x4) grandfather was a Freemason.
According to record, the symbol became a standard iconography of the Freemasons in the year Sam #1 supposedly died.
Speaking off all-seeing-eyes. This close-up of Peter’s eye fits in nicely, while foreshadowing his future vision.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s his left eye..
Walter got a dose of the right-eye treatment not so long ago in “LSD“.
Masto Of The Universe
Sam’s great (x4) grandfather apparently discovered the First People manuscript while digging for Mastodon bones.
The Mastodon first appeared almost 40 million years ago. The most recent member of the Mastodon family, the American Mastodon, lived from about 3.7 millions years ago until it became extinct about 10,000 years BC.
A Course For My Horse
Sam suggests that the BBM problems may represent a “cosmic hiccup” that might “course correct on its own”.
A fascinating tidbit. We’re familiar with the notion of course correcting, we’ve seen the Observers do it most notably with Peter.
It’s interesting to consider whether the course-correction Sam speaks of is a reference to the Observers, or Nature herself.
And what about Peter’s vision of the future (assuming it’s a vision of a ‘possible’ future) – will he have the ability to course-correct this post-apocalyptic world, even if it hasn’t happened yet from his conscious point-of-experience? Food for thought.
High As A Kite
Given the recurring the references throughout the series, it’s no surprise that Walter’s kite is Red.
Fly Like A Two-Six
As seen in Peter’s future-flash, the Freedom Tower was completed in 2021. It’s therefore likely that “2026” (above) could refer to the exact year of Peter’s future-flash. (spoiler alert: the previews also confirm that it takes place 15 years in the future).
Sam’s A Crower
The Crowbar key was located in the Native America wing of the museum.
For reference: in 10.6 – “The Cure”, Nina Sharp asked Peter for a favor in forging relations with the indigenous Aymara people of central Peru so that Massive Dynamic can access the soil beneath their land. The two are not necessarily connected, of course, but there’s scope there if the writers do decide to delve further into the rich soil.
All Bar None
Two captures of the prophecy drawing featuring your girl “The Crowbar”. (click to enlarge).
Inference: Who drew the prophecy? That’s what I want to know. Is it a way for Olivia/Peter/Walter to remember what they have to do?
After all, who in the Fringe team do we know has a penchant for drawing…Dun, Dun, Dunham?
A Demon’s Tangle
Perhaps a reference to the prominent theme of entanglement, or the spirals that surround the story.
Around The Bend..And Back Again
I’ve been know to mention the cyclical nature of the story every now and then. I take this as being literal illustration of the way the storytelling comes back around in connective fashion.
Sight for Sore All-Seeing Eyes
The Magic Mirror is also an example of the cycles in Fringe – elements brought back around..and around..and around, until you see infinity.
Recurring devices and thematics are also ways to help the audience tune into the notion of multiple possibilities and pathways – cycles and iterations.
You’ll remember the clever way in which both Olivia and Altlivia’s eyes were reflected on the curve of the mirror, signifying duality and displacement. (above example).
With the All-Seeing Eye reference earlier in this episode, we could suggest another connection with Olivia having the sight to see and interact with the alternate universe – her own ‘All-Seeing Eye’, if you will.
Another ‘sight-seeing’ reference appears later in the episode.
One that could also apply to Peter, given he was just about the SEE THE FUTURE.
Home is Where The Art Is
In “Subject 13″ a young Peter Bishop left this note for Elizabeth Bishop – “I am going home” – before attempting to go back to his real world through the hole at the bottom of the lake.
In “The Last Sam Weiss”, a confused Peter jots down the exact same message, as he instinctively heads ‘home’.
A touch contrived given that an adult Peter shouldn’t write like a child, but parallel adds weight to Peter’s confused state of mind: his childhood memories (and knowledge) resurfacing from the frozen lake of his mind.
Also, notice how the message is now in UPPER CAPS. Perhaps we can infer something from this?
Observing The Observer
The Observer watches Peter as he searches for the pawn shop from his memories.
More childhood callings, as a shady Peter goes into a pawn shop and buys a silver half dollar.
When he was little, he gave his real mom his lucky coin – he wanted her to have it in case he died. She gave it back to him “for luck”.
Moments later, Walter (pretending to be his real father) kidnaps him and brings him Over Here, the coin in his pocket.
Peter DOESN’T remember the coin in “There’s More Than One Of Everything”.
Of course, Walter’s original son also collected coins. He gave his coin to Walter.
In “There’s More Than One Of Everything”, the Observer used a similar coin to remind Walter of what he did, and what he had to do in order to stop David Robert Jones *swoon* from using Walter’s soft spot to cross over into the alternate universe.
We can’t forget blue. The universal flash shuttles us across to the other side with aplomb.
And Out The Other Side
Here are some tidbits:
- It looks like Peter’s married in this version of the future.
- The Freedom Tower has been completed – opened 2021.
- A couple of sleep references with this one. Both Walter and Peter opened the episode asleep. We believe sleep to be an important underlying theme.
- “Be a better man than your father”. Is the message Olivia projected through the magic typewriter. It is also the message Peter’s mom used to say to him when he was young. Bell told Olivia this in “Momentum Deferred”, where he also advised her to keep Peter by her side. All of these things came together in this episode, and you have to wonder whether Bell explicitly knew that Olivia was the “Crowbar” and that Peter would need her to open his BBM.
- The glyphs for this episode spelled MULTI. As in multiverse. As in many possible futures. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the latter playing out next season.
Large screencaps via