FRINGE OBSERVATIONS: 4.22 Brave New World: Part 2


In this edition of Fringe Observations, we boldly go in search of clues and connections from the concluding part to the fourth season of Fringe.


  • The clue for this episode foreshadowed in the previous episode was the EDEN sign – referencing William Bell’s attempt to create a new world.

  • The blue lens flare returns. Used to denote universe transition over the past couple of seasons, here it signifies Bell’s new world projection.

  • Bellie’s projection device. We also get a shot of the gun case along with several bullets. Aside from providing Walter with a loophole, it’s possible Bellie was planning to use it just in case things didn’t work out so great for him in his brave new world.

  • Olivia might not like the color yellow, but she’s painted here as the star and saviour.

  • Jessica uses “stasis runes” to trap September. She notes that “this was a future, he didn’t foresee.”

  • In the future, Walter works on a device to “get rid” of the invading Observers. It should be interesting to see if stasis runes are in any way involved in that plan.

  • Jessica puts September’s bullet catching prowess down to advanced tech. This is supported by recent episodes, such as “Making Angels“.
  • Olivia’s natural and unnatural abilities juxtaposed with the tech-aided Observer abilities, helps contextualize the suggestion in LoT that the Observers would kill Etta and purge the rest of humanity if they discovered her talent.

  • Jessica pulls out Bell’s go-faster gun. He sure likes guns, he was rather fond of his “77” blaster in Season 2 finale.

  • Olivia tells him the message he is yet to give her. September probably hadn’t experienced the moment yet because he was trapped on the stasis runes.

  • He then goes off to investigate ‘the future’ and validate the notion that Olivia has to die to stop Bell.
  • I imagine he steps into the parallel moment in the ‘theatre of dreams’ to warn Olivia about her necessary demise — now it’s her turn to play catch up.

  • September delivers the message in this particular moment because he’d already done so from Olivia’s perspective. This timey-wimey event creates a kind of convergence of fate and freewill.

  • The Jessica of the Dead interrogation scene calls back a few moments in the story, including the deceased John Scott being sent for questioning in the pilot, and Peter retrieving ‘Little Hill’ (“In Which We Meet Mr. Jones”).

  • We get direct follow-up on “predisposed” question. Nina tells Olivia that she was chosen for the trials because of her capacity for for feeling; she was ‘predisposed’ with immense compassion.

  • Confirmation of Olivia’s death and that William Bell is Man X from Olivia’s subconscious.

  • As alluded in the previous episode, Man X was Olivia’s mind’s way of representing William Bell and his association with the X Nanites. She subconsciously detected that Bellie would be responsible for her death.

  • Bellie rings his famous Bell and warns Walter that he’s “paid a steep price” before harmonically disappearing.

  • The bullet removed from Olivia and Etta’s bullet are most likely one in the same. They have the same dented impression. I imagine Etta sees it as symbolic of her mother’s sacrifice.
  • As predicted, the regenerating Cortexiphan Pig Cake foreshadowed Olivia’s self-healing.
  • The skyline in Bellie’s new world is filled with blue and red hues, there are also trees with those colors, no doubt a nod to the two universe thematic.
  • Bellie claims Walter finding him involved the ‘hand of God’. Walter denies the notion, which is interesting, since he fully accepted the white tulip sign as a benevolent message. As we know, this actually had nothing to do with God, rather Alistair Peck. (though of course, that’s not to say Peck wasn’t an unwitting messenger). Point is, it’s interesting to see how perspective has altered (so to speak) Walter’s grasp on destiny, and how choice and fate are seemingly intertwined.
  • Referring to the stasis rune, September is surprised Bell knew of this methodology and says it’s “beyond them”. Did Bellie peek the future or receive assistance, further tying his story with the events depicted in 2036?
  • Peter calls September by his actual name. That felt good.
  • Bellie quotes William Butler Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree“, which can be interpreted as speaking to Bellie’s dream of finding peace, and may even imply that deep down, he knew his notion of a new universe was a fantasy, but one he needed in order overcome the difficulties in his life (i.e. cancer). In this regard, Bellie needed the hope that his fantasy, gave him:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

  • Walter extracting the bullet from Olivia carried the same gruesome appeal as his attempt to lobotomise himself in “Alone In The World
  • Nina and Broyles link arms and walk off into the sunset. No kissy-kiss?
  • Walter thinks Olivia is pretty much “normal”, having utilized so much Cortexiphan. He notes that there may be a negligible amount that could one day emerge. Some of that is surely passed on to Etta, who has abilities in the future.
  • A rare occurrence: Walter gets Astrid’s name right. *faints*
  • Olivia hesitates when telling Peter that she’s pregnant. This is not long after Peter tells her “I never want to lose you again”. Should we be connecting these dots with the fact that she was notably absent in the 2036 episode?
  • The glyphs for this episode spelled PURGE – in reference to the 2015 Purge enacted by the Obscene Observers.

Previously on Fringe Observations: 4.21 “Brave New World: Part 1”

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  1. Mel Duff says

    Jessica uses “stasis runes” to trap September. She notes that “this was a future, he didn’t foresee.”

    I’m curious about whether the statis runes are a physical entrapment or a mental one.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • says

      Good point. It could be a bit of both, given that the runes seemingly prevented him from seeing the various futures for a while.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • Rick Terry says

        I don’t think they disallowed him to see futures. I think she was just “smack” talking him because she knows he supposedly sees all possible futures but didn’t see the trap coming.

        You also said: “September probably hadn’t experienced the moment yet because he was trapped on the stasis runes.”

        I think we have not seen a linear path of September. In other words some of his past (to us) appearances have been ones he will make in his future. I also think this allows for the explanation of what “they” possibly did to September. I believe that the child Observer is September, taken from his true timeline, and imprisoned in the past of the old timeline as a child, left to fend for himself underground for many years. Think about what would be the best way to try and prevent his meddling… abduct him seemingly before he is able to meddle (as a child). but the kicker is that he as an adult (through the magic of time travel) saw himself as a child being rescued by Olivia, thus he knows how to prevent it or avoid it.

        Like: Thumb up 5

        • says

          “I think we have not seen a linear path of September. In other words some of his past (to us) appearances have been ones he will make in his future.”

          Rick, I agree, September is not a linear character. My view is that, for the most part, he experiences past, present and future all at the same time.

          I like your take on the Child and the reason for his underground dwelling, it would make a lot of sense if he’s a ‘younger’ September given his bond with Olivia, etc. I hope they find a way to tie up this loose end before the end.

          It’s also worth noting that other children like him were apparently rounded up by Eliot Michaels. This is a slightly different tack, but it might be interesting should they turn out to be younger versions of other Observers that we know. A lot of timey-wimey would no doubt be needed.

          Like: Thumb up 3

        • Mel Duff says

          That is an interesting thought. I wonder what quality of September’s allows him to deviate from the master plan that seems to be in place for the rest of the Observers? It’s almost like he is a conscientious objector, in a way.

          Like: Thumb up 2

          • trancefreak says

            This has been discussed and I think what we witness with September is this. He visits the future before he gets shot. He can step in out of the timeline as he chooses. Before he gets shot I can’t name them all but he comes back with the help of peter since he was locked out of the universe. So as the episodes advance we see currently what September did in the future before he gets shot. Then in the past he goes back and visits Olivia in the Opera house so he has know clue to the relevance of their conversation as of yet. Later the Observers grab him from a dying moment but peter gets an embedded eye note. So it is kinda back and fourth but I don’t know if the observers fix September after the lab or he dies. But he gets locked out by not erasing peter which could of been in the past. I think September can manipulate time but I don’t know if he can ever avoid being shot. Ok now my head is dizzy LOL

            Like: Thumb up 0

        • TW says

          This is a great theory. Very interesting way to tie back to the Inner Child: that was September, put in exile in his childhood for things he would later do as an adult.

          Yet, Olivia helps him escape …

          Concerning Eliot Michaels, I’ve recently wondered:
          * Was he talking to Bell or a Bell cohort ?
          * If the Inner Child was a young Observer child of 2609, sent back in time on accident or perhaps experimentally to see what would happen to him by that society, etc and so forth … then when we see the 2036 Observers treating us like animals, they may have a tie back to the Inner Child and others who Eliot Michaels tried to round up for whatever they did to them. They could say, “look at how you treated our children: you treated our children as though they were *things* to exploit and experiment on. So we are going to treat you like animals as well ….”

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          • crolmac says

            in the amber universe, did they find the observer kid? What could have happened if they didn’t, and the building exploded? This is fun, this speculation!

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    • fedorafadares says

      I’m clinging to what Jessica said, that great technology appears as magic.

      Maybe there’s a technological, fringe-science “methodology” behind the runes — something that interferes with the electromagnetic fields of the Observers, or post-hypnotic suggestion?

      On another note: I thought the lingering shot at Bell’s little machine was significant. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the “beacon” we saw in the Letter of Transit hologram.

      And I believe Olivia’s pause before telling Peter about the pregnancy indicated that something may be wrong with the pregnancy, either due to Cortexiphan or Olivia’s brief death. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some potentially lethal complication to the pregnancy since that was the case with Fauxlivia in the original timeline. No matter the world or time, the characters all share parallels with their alternates.

      Great Observations, Rocco. As always, you’ve done an amazing job with Fringe. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on Season 5. I think it’ll be a doozy!

      Like: Thumb up 3

  2. Charlie says

    Could Olivia’s hesitation when telling Peter that she was pregnant have something to do with Fauxlivia’s “viral propagated eclampsia”?

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    • Pwnsauce says

      Someone tweeted that to Joel Wyman, and he said to the person that they were keen to pick up on that, so I guess that pause may actually have some real significance. The VPE was the conclusion I jumped to. Possibly one of the first cases of it in our universe?

      Like: Thumb up 1

    • Schoko says

      I just took it as a normal hesitation before unloading some huge news…I mean, P/O aren’t married (not that it should really matter, IMO) and don’t live together, so to find out that they are prego is kinda a big deal. no. It’s a huge deal. And it’s scary and exciting all at the same time, plus on top of everything that has been happening to these characters…I dunno. I saw it as very natural hesitation.

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    • trancefreak says

      Yes so it appears when she dies if September is right about her dying in every possible outcome it is by the hands of bullet to the head. But she was saved by the Cortexaphan , so I think we are now pass that. I hope.

      Like: Thumb up 5

    • Briar says

      Indeed – but for a very different reason. By the way, while Bell may be responsible for her death ultimately, in both versions of this event which we have now seen, it is Walter who is actually Mr X. Walter kills her, not Bell (though evidently he expected her to die along with the rest of human kind when the universes collapsed, despite the fact that she was providing the energy for the event). Which is why I expected this to be the resolution of the plot lines concerning Olivia’s death and the foiling of Bell. It’s an irresistible piece of narrative symmetry.

      Like: Thumb up 4

      • Red Balloon says

        I agree on that Briar, maybe the real Mr. X is “The Cortexiphan” created and administered by our two favorite scientist to Olivia. That was her death sentence since she was a kid, then she transformed the yellow pills concept to be Mr. X in her mind.

        Like: Thumb up 3

  3. Epiclylaterd says

    The stasis runes may suggest that Bell could have been working with the Observers. Perhaps, and this is complete speculation, Bell was supposed to create a new world for the Observers to rule, fails, and now the “steep price” is the Observers are coming to take over.

    Unless Bell can time travel, there should be no way he could know of Observer technology.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  4. Jonathan says

    There was a little bit of Frankenstein going on the way they plunged the spikes into Jessica’s neck

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    • Mel Duff says

      Good imagery. Jessica, like Frankenstein, as a tool “created” / used by an egomaniac. They should have cast Katie Holmes.

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