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 “A Better Human Being” for the story within the story.
THIS EPISODE CLUE
- As speculated, the clue for this episode was the Killer Bees signage, foreshadowed in “Welcome To Westfield“. Walter explains his ‘collective identiy’ theory using a hive of bees.
- The collective identity illustrated by the case-of-the-week serves as analogy for Olivia accessing her memories from the other timeline.
- Olivia’s shadow serves as a useful illustration for her memory merger.
- The two amber lights alternate as Olivia’s amber timeline memories become hazy.
- Green and red lights which tie into the larger mythology attached to the Observers.
- A halo effect over Olivia. So often the saviour, but who will save her?
UNDER BLUE OBSERVATION
- Olivia’s DNA sample illuminated in thematic blue, serving as a reference to the other timeline. Peter is clearly projecting his homeward bound desires with his blue shirt.
- Olivia recalls the time she and John Scott visited storage container units (pilot). The units were largely decked in amber, as though the narrator was pointing towards the amber timeline our heroes now find themselves trapped in.
- Fast-forward to 4.13, and with Olivia’s memories returning, she makes her first return to a bunch of storage container units with Peter. These units are coded blue, as though the narrator is pointing back towards the original timeline.
- Olivia’s visit to the amber units served as the catalyst to her unwitting reunion with Peter (they originally met in childhood).
- Now, they act as the catalyst for Peter accepting her as his Olivia, after he discovers a piece of original timeline narrative he was not previously aware.
- The storage units themselves serve as a metaphors for the safe-keeping and preservation of memory.
- Slusho!, the fictional brand of drink seen throughout various Bad Robot productions and serials such as Heroes, makes its return to Fringe.
- Peter’s face is illuminated in green after he accepts Olivia as being his original dame. Green for Go.
- Though, given the color of these bricks, he may have been reflecting her capture.
- The cashier claims not to have seen Olivia. She could have been nabbed before she entered the store. Or, he could lying.
- Another possibility is that Olivia suffered a time-slip, of sorts, ala Novation. The above options seem more likely.
OBSERVING THE OBSERVER
- The Observer walks past the cashier’s window as Peter enters the gas station looking for Olivia.
POSSIBLE NEXT EP. CLUES
- Possible next episode clues. (the “Wisdom” book has been seen before).
GLOVES ARE OFF
- Nina uses her left hand on the biometric hand-scanner, suggesting that her right hand is mechanical, which is consistent with the original timeline.
- Nina seems genuinely shocked that the Cortexiphan has been replaced.
- She also allows Walter to taste a sample. So, either she thought he wouldn’t find anything amiss, or she’s not the Nina responsible for dosing Olivia with Cortexiphan.
- It’s possible that Jones captured NinaBlue before/after kidnapping Olivia at the gas station. Alternatively, this could be NinaRed, or a shapeshifter/clone/dream (yikes).
Possibilities if this is NinaBlue..
- She’s in cahoots with Jones; pretending to be captured, possibly to spark Olivia’s emotional state. Or..
- Jones double-crossed her; plans to use her as a means to manipulate Olivia. Or..
- Jones captured her some time ago, switcherooing her with another Nina. Or..
- She’s working with Nina Red and Jones.
- Some other combination/possibility.
- It’s not NinaBlue.
- Walter notes “it’s not what the LSD can do, it’s what the human mind can do that is truly wonderful.” Another hint that the timeline is in some way a mental construct? May also serve as foreshadowing to upcoming events.
- Cyclical reference: “..at this hour believes he’s circling Venus.”
- Walter check that the brain scan machine is calibrated – something he’s been doing with the BBM of late.
- Walter tells Olivia and Peter to be quiet as though they are both inside of his head.
- Song reference: The Ghost Who Walks by Karen Elson plays in the lab.
- The glyph code for this episode spelled HENRY. As in baby Henry. Or, less likely, Henry the taxi driver.
Previously on Fringe Observations: 4.12 Welcome To Westfield