Prev1 of 3Next
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to click through article

Welcome to Fringe Observations — your weekly guide through the visual clues and overarching connections in Fox’s Fringe. This week, we’re observing 5.03 — “The Recordist”.


  • The clue for this episode from the previous episode may be the Red Dragon from the steam tunnel, foreshadowing River’s illustrations and symbolising the protection of treasure — red rocks/information.

  • Tape #3 provides Walter with visual proof that he did indeed switch to grape.

  • The visuals in the above scene make Etta and Olivia appear tiny in comparison to the trees, reflecting Etta’s childlike imagination of going on missions with her mother: “you have no idea how many battles we won together”, she says. Olivia, daunted by the high expectations, says “it’s a lot to live up to”. Etta responds: “you’re even more than I imagined”, almost disbelieving of the fact that her once personal narrative has come to life.

  • This theme is further illustrated through the River’s comics of the Fringe Division’s battles with the Observers – imagination is brought to life when he actually gets to meet them in person, with Olivia even signing his comic but struggling with her legend for reasons that would later be explained.


Prev1 of 3Next
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to click through article

Is Your Show Cancelled Or Renewed?
Get free email alerts when serialized shows are officially cancelled, renewed or revived!


  1. Nico says

    Doc Jensen over at ew noted that olivia actually relayed the wrong coordinates, the real ones being for a spot in Canada, so there might be something to that.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  2. says

    Now my sunday is complete!

    Great observations, I didn`t notice the dates in Olivia memory, so that`s probably a mix with something from present time, I don`t know.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. Peanut says

    Etta was cute when she let Olivia know that her mommy was even more awesome than advertised–Etta must have wondered what Olivia was really like based on all of the stories that she must have heard over the years. Because she lacks the hubris that is so typical of heroes, Olivia is less likely to make the mistakes that accompany that particular heroic tendency. Instead, I think that she has a healthy self-doubt that makes her questioning herself & her own actions a largely positive trait.

    Appreciate your observations, as always, Roco.

    Like: Thumb up 7

  4. matt says

    cubes reminded me of dr. who slow invasion cubes

    the comics were awesome. walter looked like the crazy scientist from something. maybe guy at end of alcatraz or person in one of the fringe comics or something, but either way cool

    i thought they were going to say the guy waiting for walter was william bell. i wonder who it was! its driving me nuts! def important. very intriguing. wonder who the heck it could be?!

    still wondering why the observers didnt build breathers/masks like they had in river’s comic rather than scorching the atmosphere if they really want to save earth/humanity from itself (which, until we leqrned their methods and what else theyve been up to, i actually thought was quite admirable and that they might not be as bad as they seem but smog machines? not cool…)

    you mean proof is in the butterscotch pudding right rocco lol

    gene in amber is both hopeful and sad. poor cow…

    apple pill is a horrible thought. hope it never comes to that. i love food way too much to take apple pills…

    interesting thought with the stasis ruines and the portal idea was interesting as well. maybe walter is going to go ahead with bellies plan after all (cause he wasnt as bad as he was made out to be – i still think his plan had something to do with avoiding/preventing observer conquest right from the beginning with the storm talk and snow globes given that he knew something about observers, enough in fact to make guns to defend himself and stasis ruines to stop em in their tracks) and needs an energy source to pwer the creation of a new sans observer universe?

    anyone else think the laser thibg was a bit hoaky? how could they possibly be accurate enough with one to cut down the amber right to the surface or something without melting that something? they shoulda just had them cut out blocks then remove things from em the way they did with people. woulda been a little more believable yaknow?

    walter finding his old stash and making the regroup excuse to stay around and cone up was great. if i had a nickle for every time i tried to pull something like that to lax and burn one instead of going somewhere…

    Like: Thumb up 2

  5. Jim says

    Gene in amber just makes me sad… I hope they get her out before the end of the season!

    Btw, hitman Donald from ”August” might still be alive in the new timeline. Although I doubt that it’s the same guy.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • says

      @Jim – good point about Donald *shakes fist at timeline*. Yeah, don’t think it’s him though. Still, interesting that they went for that name, perhaps to be cheeky.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  6. Aria Mohtadi says

    Great observations, thanks!

    The pill also brings Olivia’s (or little observers’?) “pills” mind…and perhaps Morpheus too. 😀

    Like: Thumb up 2

  7. YourPique says

    It’s very possible Broyles cooperated w/ the Observers to protect his family – allowed them to maintain their lifestyle to some degree.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  8. Karen Sutton says

    In the picture grab you have of the 2 Observers dragging Donald away the Observer on the right is wearing a long coat that looks like the one Widmark is wearing.
    Can’t see his face but his coat is very much like his.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  9. jade86 says

    “Walter notes that “in 1923 a mine collapsed in Peru”. Another Peru reference after Simon Foster argued that the Fringe team were not in Peru.”

    If i remember correctly, in 1×06 Nina and Peter were talking about something precious found in Peru.

    Like: Thumb up 2

  10. Sanj says

    That dragon…I think you may be stretching your interpretation. More likely the “dragon” is a reference to MIT/Caltech adventures in spelunking the steam tunnels. It’s been done before…the movie “Real Genius” has steam tunnels with “Here be dragons” spray painted in them (and Real Genius parodies CalTech quite extensively). Heck I think that Tom Hanks did an awful movie called “Mazes and Monsters” about D&D in campus steam tunnels that drove him crazy. Hence Walter’s comment “I’ve been looking for you for a long time!” to the dragon.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • says

      How about chasing the dragon, as in the use of preferred drug to get the uttimate high. Maybe Bellie and Walter roamed the underground tunnels, under the influence, and left dragon markers to find their way back to the lab.

      Like: Thumb up 2

  11. James says

    If Donald is who we think he is, then he may not be dead, because Peter wasn’t around in this timeline to kill him.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  12. DadzBoys says

    It’s very little to go on, but from the image of “Donald” he look sto me like Sam Weis. His size, his jacket, hair, jeans. All very Sam Weis-like.

    Like: Thumb up 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *