FRINGE OBSERVATIONS: 4.14 The End Of All Things


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 “The End Of All Things” for the story within the story.


  • The clue for this episode is the Springs reference seen at the Deerfield Hospital in “A Better Human Being,” foreshadowing the spring matress Jones used to ‘torture’ Nina.

  • The reveal of NinRed’s mechanical arm riffs the first season when David Robert Jones attacked NinBlue, stealing the power cell hidden in her mechanical arm.

  • The Observers converge near a geodesic dome, reminiscent of the Season 4 cast images. They have interconnected, projected structures, offering symbolic reinforcement of the episode’s themes.

  • December instructs the others to wait for September to surface. This may seem like an idle act, but careful observation is the hallmark of an Observer.
  • His confidence that September “will surface again” serves as a nod to the subterranean themes that have accompanied the Observer mythology, i.e. the child and Beacon, while also illustrating September’s plunge into emotional attachment.

  • As in the original timeline, Jones tries to activate Olivia’s ability using the light-box. Back then she had to turn the lights off, here she’s tasked with turning them on.

  • Two of the bell-shaped bulbs are missing, leaving an array of 47 bulbs – Bad Robot’s special number.

  • The team uncover the older image of Leland Spivey on the memory disc. This “Palimpsest” serves as an allusion to the overwritten timeline and bleed-through of Olivia’s original memories.

  • September arrives in the lab to warn Peter, presumably at the same time as he warns Olivia of her impending doom ‘several weeks ago’ from linear perspective.

  • Classic stock-esque footage, reminiscent of the first season, in particular (if memory serves) Oliva’s journey into John Scott’s consciousness.

  • Peter’s journey into September’s mind is of course reminiscent of his and Walter’s trip into Olivia’s consciousness, where they would meet Man X.

  • Walter labels September’s consciousness “Mr. X” because he doesn’t know his name.
  • Does this foreshadow the idea that Man X is the convergence of Peter and September? It can’t be ruled out, though it could be a more indirect reference to the concept of Man X, or simply a misdirect.

  • Whatever the case may be, thematic purists may note the red “convergence” marker as a possible connection to the red zeppelin which also served as a kind of convergence of entities in Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.

  • Also worth noting that Lysergic Acid Diethylamide saw the convergence of Olivia and William Bell’s consciousness thematically coded with the color red.

  • Peter almost breaks the fourth wall as he Kinda.

  • He witnesses the ‘start of creation’ from the observation deck, which happens to contain the famous blue flares seen most prominently during early series Pattern Events and universe toggles. Possible expansion on that part of the mythos.

  • September assumes the role of narrator, taking Peter on a commentary-filled tour of Fringe mythos. Is September the elusive Fringe narrator? Is Peter? The search continues..

  • September says “they’re coming,” presumably in reference to the other Observers. Moments later he disappears from the Lab and a table seemingly falls over by itself.
  • My guess is that it was toppled by another Observer or whoever came to get him.

  • “Burn Unit” — possible next episode clue.

  • The Season 1 parallels continue as Olivia’s bullet passes right through Jones. This time, however, Jones makes it safely through to the other side. Peter doesn’t have the Universe Blocker to close the portal and slice him in half.

  • September tells Walternate that he’s an “admirer” when interrupting him in his lab. Being a scientist himself, he was a fan of Walternate. May further explain his over-exuberance to witness the moment.
  • September tells Peter “you must find a way,” echoing Peter’s “I got to believe there’s another way” from 6955kHz.
  • Olivia uses her ability to fry Leland (RIP). A similar scene took place in 1.19 The Road Not Taken, when Olivia helped Nancy Lewis concentrate her powers, setting fire to Sandford Harris (RIP).
  • Olivia notes that she went all ‘Ultima’ when she was a little girl, presumably referring to scorching the room and causing Dr. Brenner to disappear.
  • Jones escaped from the hospital (into the alt-universe hospital) echoing his escape from the hospital in 1.14 “Ability”.
  • The glyphs code for this episode spelled UNITE.

 Previously On Fringe Observations: 4.13 “A Better Human Being

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  1. willg says

    Great observations Roco. I was wondering if you remember what episode you were talking about that Olivia said she went ‘Ultima’ and scorched that room. Was that Jacksonville?

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    • dALTnielle says

      In episode Bad Dreams, in the last scene Walter was looking at a video tape from when Olivia, as a little girl, set fire to the room (the one wee see on Jacksonville) and they couldn’t find someone named Brenner.

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  2. edgesight says

    I’m not sold on the SPRING being the clue from the last episode. I think it was the stopwatch and the baby picture in the kid’s mom’s house eluding to time and baby Henry.

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  3. szimek says

    When lights on Jonese’s box lightened up, Peter was making with his left hand a gesture that looks like he was the one who turned lights on. Probably just coincidence… but is it? ;>

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    • Red Balloon says

      I just watched that part and when the first bulb lightened, his hand wasn’t moving, and after Olivia went all “Storm” on them, Peter made that same movement trying to untie himself…I think it was this last thing Peter was doing…trying to loosen up the knots

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  4. Scully8 says

    Rocco — If this Olivia has access to OT Olivia’s memories, wouldn’t she have known that the bullet wouldn’t affect him? I’ve just been wondering . . .

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    • Pam says

      Why would OT Olivia know that the bullet wouldn’t affect Jones? There was nothing to suggest that he could dodge bullets, was there? If there was, even if Olivia didn’t know, Peter must have known / remembered!

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  5. Red Balloon says

    Roco, Great catch with the 47 bulbs and everything!

    I think I’ve found another coincidence: 1.14 ABILITY = 4.14 TEOAT

    And maybe the exchange in the light box (to turn lights OFF vs ON) has something to do with the ZFT manifest.

    “Before they can be considered soldiers – they must be regarded as recruits, and the expectation must be that they shall be unwilling”

    Olivia 1.0 was unwilling / recruit = OFF
    Olivia 1.0 is willing / soldier = ON

    I have my doubts about bad Nina being human or a SS. Unless the torture was fake or not that severe she could be human, but I think it fits more with a SS Ninalt because of the pain she took and the infiltration task to get the cortexiphan. If it’s the latter then that’s a shame; I would’ve liked to know how Alt-Nina’s life turned out to be without MD enterprise.

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    • Red Balloon says

      I forgot…”causing Dr. Brenner to disappear.”…I think they just mentioned Brenner…so he/she could be a doctor or not…

      I hope they bring this topic again…soon!

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    • Ben says

      I think Ninalt is probably human: in Jones’s communications with her via the quantum-entangled typewriter, he asks her ‘where do we stand on phase two?’ It seems unlikely that he’d place a Shapeshifter (who so far have mainly been the rank and file of Jones’s army) in charge of such a crucial aspect of his plan.

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      • Red Balloon says

        Thanks, the only thing is that this DRJ is more appreciative of a SS than a human being, thus his words in episode 4.09 EOME. So I think it’s more likely that she is one of his 47 SS or a clone?. Well, I would be glad if she isn’t, because maybe we would learn more about her alternate life.

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  6. RedVines says

    During the last scene, while Olivia and Peter are talking, did anyone notice the blinking light at the first floor?
    What’s the possible meaning?
    Maybe residual energy of Olivia high emotional state or an overlapping of the universes (something like 6B)?

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  7. JennRed says

    I just found this little comment thread on “Fringe”. I love this show. My hubby & I watch it & I drive him crazy asking him a million questions because I gets so confused. Now I might be able to follow along a bit more if I read all the comments here. You all are blowin’ my mind!!! I can’t wait to share this info with my husband. I will be checking back in once the show resumes.
    Ps.. My fav. Name given on this show is “FauxOlivia”…I don’t really know how to spell it, but it was quite a clever name given to the fake Olivia by Walter. So funny!!

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  8. Belle12 says

    did anyboby noticed that Peters eyes are blue as soon as he opened them inside the observers’ mind and very quickly they return to green. I remember this espisode with the woman that will kill men to extract something from the vertebrate to survive, walter told them that blue eyes meant activated. whatever “activated” means.

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  9. shidey17 says

    I love reading these, Roco. Also, I thought it was interesting the Observers met with an ice skating rink in the background….

    People just going in circles over and over and over…

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