FRINGE OBSERVATIONS: 5.03 The Recordist

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APPLE PILL

  • Peter takes an Apple pill from Etta, this opens the door way to his memories.
DONALD

  • Five weeks after the invasion (dated December 20, 2015) a man called “Donald” showed up at the camp. He was apparently waiting for a scientist (Walter?) from Boston. With the scientist late, Donald went down into the mine himself and gathered the reddish rocks, per Walter’s plan.

  • Could Donald be the Observers’ assassin Donald Long from “August”? (though the photo doesn’t look like Mr. Long, and he was apparently killed by Peter).

  • After retrieving the rocks, Donald was apprehended and forcibly taken away by two Observers, who were “angry” at him.
GOT STONES

  • The rocks apparently produce a “powerful energy source” – a necessary component in Walter’s plan. Windmark extracted part of the plan from Walter’s mind during his interrogation when he queried “What are the stones?”

  • The reddish hue of the rocks may further keep “stasis runes” in the running to be Walter’s plan for getting rid of the Observers — as we know, they were used used to trap September and had an orange/reddish symbol (which, admittedly, might not be important).
  • Alternatively (or in addition to), the “powerful energy” produced by the rocks may open up some kind of portal through which to send the invaders.
RELIABILITY OR CONTINUITY?
  • Olivia’s flashback includes a look at a missing persons wall, which has a flyer for “Jimmy Hopkins”, missing November 2033, and another child who went missing in June 2033. Olivia was in amber during this time, so it’s most likely an intentional blotch on her reliability as a narrator or a continuity error.
108

  • “108” – could be viewed as a LOST nod.
NEXT EPISODE CLUE?

  • A white dove with an olive branch, symbolic of peace. Within the subtext of the show, Olivia has often been positioned as the bringer of peace.
OBSERVATION OVERLOAD
  • Walter’s comment about the tape, “I’ve only just liberated it” is of course a nod to the team’s own recent amber liberation.
  • Olivia’s great memory is still intact when recalling the tape coordinates, evidence that she still has traces of Cortexiphan in or system (though it could be a part of her natural ability). In “Brave New World: Part 2″ Walter noted that her Cortexiphan levels were now negligible, though that leaves room for some remnants.
  • Walter suggesting that he should stay at the lab to “regroup” is reflective of the missing parts of the plan scattered across his partitioned mind/erased memory.
  • Etta: “This is exactly where we’re supposed to be”. The ‘destiny’ button has bee pushed a few times this season.
  • Edwin’s wrong assumption that the Fringe team had died “a long time ago” puts him down as a somewhat unreliable narrator, though in fairness, who could account for amber. Makes me wonder what the Observers might not account for?
  • The ‘recordist’ concept has shades of the science team Observers and the Weiss family – each diligent recorders of history in their own ways.
  • Fitting that post invasion history was recorded on cubes, their three dimensional properties adding symbolic quality to the observation of human history.
  • The retrieval of the rocks (treasure) from “the source” (mind) is symbolic of Walter digging into his memory (recordings) to assemble his plan to defeat the Observers.
  • 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.
  • “The Recordist” is the second episode in a row where the fringe team find themselves underground, further illustrating the stealth theme of the season and the sense of subconscious navigation.
  • The Glyph code for “The Recordist” spelled ANGER.

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Explore more Fringe Observations and check out our review for this episode here.

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Comments

  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. :D

    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.

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  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.

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  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

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