Welcome to Fringe Observations — your weekly guide to the clues, symbolism, parallels and connections throughout all four seasons of Fringe. In this week’s guide we comb through “Making Angels” for the story within the story.
- As speculated, the foreshadowing clue from the previous episode was the thrift store sign and angel symbol, in reference to Neil’s religious quest to save those whose futures amounted to great suffering.
LIFE’S A BEACH
- A juxtaposition of contrasting states (paradise/death).
TEARS OF RA
- The episode contained a few nods to 1.06 “The Cure,” particularly in relation to the eye bleeding.
ADDICTED TO BLUE
- Universe toggle lens a hand.
- In the absence of Lincoln, Walter plays chess against himself, as he doesn’t think Peter’s much of a challenge. Symbolism?
MARCH OF THE OBSERVERS
- Some more insight into the Observers ability to pass through time and space. If you look closely you can see the frame of the glass expand and then retract as March passes through.
TECH IT IF YOU REALLY WANT
- A close look at the now familiar Observer communication device. March is presumably talking to December, re-raising the question: are all previous communications to December, or a ‘big boss’ of some kind?
- Neil was able to mix the mythical poison because he had September’s dimensional device (we’re calling it the flatliner), which allowed him to see the future.
- Walter describes the flatliner as giving a person “God-like powers.” So, rather than an ‘innate’ attribute of the Observers, this future-seeing ability is achieved through a piece of technology. (though, as we know, the Observers are more highly attuned than normal humans).
- As contrasted by the caps above, the flatliner device glows when in close proximity to someone whose future doesn’t look so bright. (there’s also a number 47 reference above for you Bad Robot Number-holics).
A LINE UNDER LINEAR
- Neil reiterates the true nature of time on Fringe:
“There is no future, no past. Everything happens, right now”.
- His ‘angel making’ spray-gun also offers a nod to the show’s blue/red color code.
HE CAN TRANSFORM YOU
- The autopsy scene is somewhat reminiscent of the one from 1.13 The Transformation.
- Possible next episode clues?
- Nice reflective shots to silently mirror Neil’s ability to see the future.
- Neil empathetically predicts what his mother is going to say. An ability we’ve seen the Observers display on a number occasions.
- This scene is important because Neil is not holding the flatliner at this time, yet is still able to predict his mothers words. This might ‘explain’ why we’ve not previously seen the Observers holding the flatliner while seeing/predicting the future.
- Intriguingly, this ability is mimicked as Walter remotely observes Peter pre-empting his comments. A similar thing happens between the two Astrids.
- Is this purely to parallel the Observers ability, or does it inform a larger idea — one that implies that the Observers are avatars?
REIDEN LAKE ACTION
A very nice ‘internalising’ shot of Peter looking at the scene of the crime — Reiden Lake. So much happened here.
- Another reflective shot, highlighting the significance of Peter and his double in Fringestory. It also foreshadows the reveal that Neil was a twin. His brother died in a card accident. Like Peter, Neil was the sole survivor.
- Astrid is wearing a blue top while Altstrid has red highlights in her hair — as per the show’s thematic color coding system for the two universes.
- Olivia says that everyone has someone who wants to kill them. A nod to both Man X and her deathly warning from September (which could be one in the same).
- Walter calls Altlivia Mata Hari in reference to her espionage. Of course, he made the same reference in season 3.
- Altstrid references Deus Ex Machina. The notion of a plot device can also relate to Peter, the BBM, and a number of other elements that have entered the storyline from the ether.
- Altstrid points out that Astrid is “summoning” Walter remotely. Conjures images in my mind of Walter as some kind of mythical deity in an RPG game.
- The episode seems to hint towards an attraction between Altlivia and Walter/nate. With Peter not in the equation at the time, who experienced the vagenda?
- Jarred Collins: “Call me back when you get a personality I can deal with.” Sounds like a nod to multiple reality concepts.
- The alternate universe doesn’t have Logan International Airport. They also don’t appear to have TSA screening.
- Neil’s TSA badge was 0047 — yet another 47 reference.
- Newton’s 2nd law reference on the chalkboard.
- Neil’s ability to see past, present and future expands on Emily’s ability to see the deathly futures in the previous episode. Concept building like the days of old?
- Collins wearing the head brace reminded me of the halo and the mini Observer.
- Olivia picks the lock of Neil’s beach house, which is a cute touch given her and Peter’s lock-picking backstory.
- Olivia notes Neil’s gallery of saviours. Olivia was said to be the saviour in the parallel Earth war. Peter has also risen to such lofty status, within the Fringe mythology.
- Olivia ties up the procedural with a pretty ribbon, explaining that Neil couldn’t kill himself otherwise he wouldn’t be allowed into heaven, before telling Peter that “as long as you’re stuck here, you make a good partner.” Seems like a nod, nod to the ‘saviour’ theme.
- The glyph code for this episode was EMPATH — which is basically what Neil became (also informs the Observers ability). For a refresh on this concept rewatch the season 1 episode “Inner Child” or take a look at our previous thoughts on the episode.
Previously on Fringe Observations: 4.10 “Forced Perspective“