FRINGE OBSERVATIONS: 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss

tlsw_coffin

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.

Furthermore:

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.

Also:

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.

Here’s a close-up of the coffin containing Sam’s great (x4) grandfather who apparently lived between 1742-1797.

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.[5] 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.

2-Sides

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.

Blu Believer

We can’t forget blue. The universal flash shuttles us across to the other side with aplomb.

 

And Out The Other Side

You can find my thoughts and observations on Peter’s flash-forward here, here, and here.

Here are some tidbits:

  • It looks like Peter’s married in this version of the future.
  • The Freedom Tower has been completed – opened 2021.
Other Observations
  • 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.

Our review for this episode can be found here. You can find our previous Observations over at Fringe Bloggers (our partner site).

Large screencaps via

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Comments

  1. Peanut says

    Thanks for the observations, Roco.

    The English poet Blake opposed the Newtonian view of the universe (thus “The Newt” makes another Fringe appearance). Blake would be a highly relevant reference in a debate between scientific & religious perspectives.

    Our Sam states that Sam I found the manuscript, & Sams III & IV searched for the missing pages, Sam V wrote the First People books, & Sam VI, at least, must have briefed little Sammy on the family legacy during their boring museum visits. I guess that Sam Weiss II was a slacker or else he was up to something that Sam didn’t want to reveal? The symbol of freemasonry on Sam the first’s marker indicates that the mastodon story is just a cover & he was really searching for the manuscript. Is Gramps Weiss really in the crypt, or is he missing as Robert Bishop seems to be?

    How did Walternate get his parchment of the BBM? (Maybe from Bell?) Did Sam give it to Bell/Walternate, or could it have been among the missing pages that Sam’s ancestors were searching for—Sam never mentions if they found them. Could someone else have found some of the missing pages? How did the Observer get the copy that he left for Olivia on the barstool—presumably not as old as the one that Walternate had?

    Where did Sam get the AU viewer window? Whipped it up in the bowling alley?

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    • Peanut says

      Peter’s newly purchased Walking Liberty half-dollar could be a reference to Liberty Island & the Statue of Liberty.

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    • says

      “I guess that Sam Weiss II was a slacker or else he was up to something that Sam didn’t want to reveal?”

      Haha! There’s always one who lets the team down. :) But yes, I do hope he contributed something that Sam didn’t mention.

      “Is Gramps Weiss really in the crypt, or is he missing as Robert Bishop seems to be?”

      I was surprised that there was no real reaction to the fact they were opening a dead man’s coffin. I guess there wasn’t much time to dwell on such things. But yeah, it’s interesting. I assume Olivia would have said something had there been no-body inside? Unless, for some reason, a faux Sam was in there? Not sure that is where they’ll go though.

      “How did Walternate get his parchment of the BBM? (Maybe from Bell?) Did Sam give it to Bell/Walternate, or could it have been among the missing pages that Sam’s ancestors were searching for—Sam never mentions if they found them.”

      Yeah, it’s quite possible that Bellie gave it to him. Or is Sam playing both universes? Is there an SamNate? I like your suggestion that like some of the BBM pieces, Walternate’s pages where found on one side (or easier to find ‘over there’ than the ‘over here’ duplicates).

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  2. Nico says

    Something I’ve been thinking about is the letters on the prophecy scroll ( the four letters being the base letters for DNA). THis could be a nice allusion to the influential X-Files, wherein there was a specific genetic code that would be the savior of mankind against Purity. The letters in Fringe could be a similar idea: the First People, or whoever drew the pictures, knew that these people with this exact genetic code would be the people who could turn on and use the BBM. The genetic code also becomes important in that Walternate used some of the genetic code (Henry) to get the machine started without the proper person inside (the cosmic hiccup). Perhaps this implies some relation between the First People and Olivia and Peter.

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    • says

      Yeah, that’s seems to be on the right path (even prior to the finale). It’s very interesting this whole FP/BBM/timeloop thing.

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  3. Gene the Cow says

    Roco, you do such an amazing job in pulling all these pieces together and making some truly wonderful observations! Great catch on the lightning sticker on the truck. Fringe has so many layers.

    Not pertinent to Fringe, but there is also an all-seeing eye on the back of the one dollar bill

    Seeing all the close-ups of eyes is very similar to the same in Lost.

    And is it just me or does the graphical text in the Olivia manuscript look very similar to the language that the Observers use when writing in their little black book.

    Speaking of observers, I would still like to understand why they like peppers and pepper so much?

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    • says

      “Not pertinent to Fringe, but there is also an all-seeing eye on the back of the one dollar bill”

      Still, it makes you wonder what they might be saying about the Weiss lineage. It’s interesting to speculate. Good stuff!

      “And is it just me or does the graphical text in the Olivia manuscript look very similar to the language that the Observers use when writing in their little black book.”

      It is similar. I think the sequence on the Olivia page is supposed to be the DNA sequence that is also on the other pages of the prophesy.

      “Speaking of observers, I would still like to understand why they like peppers and pepper so much?”

      It’s a mystery! My take is that hot food is more effective at penetrating their dulled senses. I don’t imagine they taste much, so peppers and hot sauce might at least provide their culinary tastebuds with a mild tingle. :) Were they designed this way – to not feel much, to be emotionally detached? Or is it a consequence of their ability to pass through time and goodness knows what else?

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  4. FringeGeek says

    As always great observations!

    I wanted to ask your opinion on one though you didn’t comment (if it’s a legitimate observation).

    When Peter is at the Statue of Liberty he says his father is the Secretary of Defense. At the same time a soldier is walking away in the background and he’s kind of blurry. To me this was reminiscent of “Man from the Other Side” when Walternate was walking on the bridge (blurry). At first I thought it was Walternate (somehow) but later saw it’s a soldier.

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  5. Schwakamole says

    Very interesting. Let’s do some handwriting analysis here. Looking at adult Peter’s “I am going home” message, take a good look at the G’s. Then go to the prophecy writing and take a look at the G’s there. They are the same! Peter wrote the prophecy!

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  6. g33k says

    “Also, notice how the message is now in UPPER CAPS. Perhaps we can infer something from this?”

    Someone I knew that used to be in the navy said that they were trained to always write things down in caps because it was clearer. Perhaps Peter’s future fringe division/army trained self is bleeding through?

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