In this edition of Fringe Observations, we Brave New Worlds in search for clues and connections from the first part of the Fringe Season 4 finale.
OBSERVING THE OBSERVER
- The Observer can be seen standing by the ambulance at the scene of the nanotech attack.
- William Bell’s nanotech attack is foreshadowed earlier in the season during Nina’s talk about the potential dangers of nanotechnology not being Massive Dynamic’s concern, and her quip about owning the patents (“Subject 9“).
- Olivia uses her ability to stop Jessica from exploding. She performed a similar feat in “The Road Not Taken”; helping an activated Nancy Lewis to focus her energy, which she does.. on Sandford Harris, who goes up in flames.
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
- The “Light of the World” church sign seems specifically framed, and lends itself to religious themes running throughout the series, in which both Olivia and Peter have been seen as ‘saviour’ type figures. Moreover, it may lend itself to Bellie’s use of the sun as a destructive force (though it remains to be seen if that was a one-off plot device).
- So, we find out that Bellie is in some shape or form connected to the enigmatic Man X, first seen in the animated episode. The same figure who Olivia believed would kill her. This development opens up a whole red zeppelin of possibilities.
- With Man X linked to Bellie, it’s seems possible that he will be the one to ‘kill’ Olivia, either directly or indirectly. (I do wonder whether Olivia’s new-found abilities will come into play in that regard).
- While there may be another answer, it’s possible that Man X was Olivia’s subconscious interpretation of the nanites due to Bellie inhabiting her body.
- There’s also the question of whether Olivia saw ‘Man X’ as a threat because it was always Bellie’s intention to harm her using nanites, irrespective of the timeline. Or, because her unique ability gave her access into this specific timeline where her Man X-related demise awaits.
- It’s also worth noting that Man X didn’t know who Peter was during their encounter in the old timeline, which lines up with Peter dying as a child in the new timeline, where Bellie wouldn’t necessarily recognize him as an adult.
- What we do know in relative certainty (take that with a pinch of salt) is that Bellie’s nanites should pose a deathly threat to Olivia. Whether Man X is Bell, a metaphor for Bell’s threat, or some related element, remains to be seen.
- William Bell has some familiar objects in his office — the golden sundial and his signifier, the bell. As we know, the bell was used to trigger Olivia’s soul magnets. The sundial gets a bit more context now that Bellie has used the sun’s rays as a weapon.
BACK TO ONE
- Some nice mirroring with Walter’s opening scene in the pilot — one of my favorite moments, when he turns round and says: “I knew someone would come...eventually.” It lent itself to the notion that he retained more knowledge about Olivia’s arrival than even he was aware. Of course, this concept grew in context as the story continued.
- Another nice moment, as we get new insight into what was Walter’s ‘hidden perspective’ as Olivia stood at the door.
- The Bishop is now on the other side, looking in. Just as the Dunhamnator once was when she came to scoop him up and put him back into play as a far more valuable piece.
- Regenerating Cortexiphan — and perhaps not a moment too soon, with a couple of Fringe Division agents either in mortal peril, or about to be.
BELLIE TIPS WELL
- Evidence that William Bell (aka Dr. Simon Paris) did indeed visit Walter at St. Claire’s on New Year’s Eve.
- Once again Peter puts the slice on the Special One.
- Possible clue for the next episode is the EDEN sign, in reference to the religious themes connected to Bell’s seeming attempt to create a brave new world — his own Garden of Eden.
- Etta is ‘foreshadowed’ with Olivia and Peter’s nursery talk.
- For a moment I considered that Jessica’s 4-year old would wind up being Etta, but that doesn’t seem to line up.
- Astrid confesses that she likes to mother hen Walter, which seems like a nod to the old timeline where they shared a closer relationship.
- Walter mentions his uncle Heinrich.
- Walter asks Jessica if she’s part of an alien invasion, perhaps a ‘show nod’ to the upcoming Observer invasion.
- Jessica tells Olivia: “if you ever need help getting to the head of the line in an ER.” This might just be a throw-away line, but could also be foreshadowing, given Olivia’s apparent demise.
- Bellie says its been about 20 years since his last move on the chess board.
- The confirmation of the DRJ/Bellie axis seems to serve as an allegory for the Season 1 Cortexiphan arc. Bell’s chess analogy might further imply that Jones and Harris (which has long been a rather confusing plot element) didn’t know they were both on the ‘same side’. It’s still up in the air, however.
- Walter recognized the handy work of Bellie in this episode (the “X” symbol). In the old timeline he recognized the signature of his
grandfather, Robert Bischoff (the seahorse).
- Walter uncovers Bellie’s fingerprints on the log page. In “Letters of Transit” he removed Bellie’s hand from the amber — because he needs his fingerprints to access something important?
- John Noble’s daughter Samantha Noble played Dr. Benlo.
- Bellie powered the sunbeam attack via an underground oil reservoir at Beacon Hill. If memory serves, Beacon Hill is referenced in “Inner Child”, “Snake Head”, “Wallflower”, and “Nothing As it Seems”.
- The title “Brave New World” is borrowed from the novel by Aldous Huxley and lends itself to William Bell’s scientific ambitions (and possibly signpost’s the upcoming, possible, Observer take-over).
- The glyph for this episode spelled “POWERS” .
Previously on Fringe Observations: 4.20 “Worlds Apart”