How ironic that Olive should go running to the “Safety Czar” in her time of need. Actually, irony has nothing to do with it.
One of the most interesting reveals to come from Subject 13 was Walternate’s face-to-face with young Olivia. It was her heartfelt plea, after unwittingly stumbling between universes, that answered his inexplicable mystery; informing him of the whereabouts of his son, Peter.
How interesting that years later Walternate should capture that very same girl as an adult. He was right when he lamented his short-sightedness, he should have considered Peter’s attachment to her.
It’s interesting to imagine events through Walternate’s eyes and consider how young Olivia’s accidental tip-off shaped his perspective of the other side and in-turn, his own world. I imagine it went a little something like this:
- Young Olivia unwittingly crosses over to the other universe, where she tells Walternate about her stepfather abusing her and seeing the blimps “in the sky in the other universe”. She leaves behind her Imagination Book, with a picture she drew of her and Peter.
- Walternate puts 4 and 7 together and realizes that the girl is from another universe and knows his son. Finally, he knows where Peter is, who took him, and why!
- He informs Eliznate, tells her to whip up some bacon, and sets out on the long road to retrieve his son.
- He does further research (much of it hush-hush) into the alternate universe and all things quantum, with the knowledge that another world exists. Yet he doesn’t know how Olivia travelled between universes – he would not find this out until meeting back up with Olivia as an adult.
- At some point after the tip-off, he looks into Red World Olivia but doesn’t directly involve himself in her life.
- Frustrated in his efforts to cross universes safely, he creates the shapeshifters, hybrids who can withstand the dangerous journey between worlds – or rather, William Bell creates them for him. (somewhat spec).
- The shapeshifters serve as sleepers, secret spies, gathering information on the Blue World, Peter, Walter, while trying to find safe methods for humans to cross between worlds. With their help, in particular his head boy Thomas Jerome Newton, Walternate discovers that the fabric of the universe is more conducive to being opened on Walter’s side, since that’s where the ‘first’ crack was made.
- He eventually leaves science behind to become Secretary Of Defense (though he’s still a scientist, Brandon). This gives him greater resources to fulfill his personal goal, however he genuinely believes that his world is under threat from the ‘invaders’ from the other side. He knows himself better than anyone, knows what he is capable of – yet HE would not steal a child, so his double MUST surely be a monster. This, in part, is his thinking.
- Over the years his influence increases and his world becomes a reflection of his internal – crumbling at the seams but held together by amber – a man frozen in time, never giving up on his son, but losing hope of mending what has been ‘irreparably broken’.
- In 1995 writes and publishes his side’s version of ZFT: “Natural Decay Of Our World”. A half-truth, a cover story in a bid to obscure the truth about the existence of an alternate universe. He doesn’t want anyone scuppering his plans to get his boy back.
- At some point, head boy Newton loses his..head. Perhaps this was an intentional part of Walternate’s strategy, protecting the important information inside Newton’s sheep-filled mind, until he was ready to wake up him and put his knowledge to use.
That’s just a very general outline – I haven’t tried to put it into a tight timeline as that’s not the purpose of this article. I wanted to give an illustration of how this one tip-off from our very own Dunhamnator triggered a chain of events within a chain of event, and what those events consisted of, from Walternate’s perspective.
A few additional considerations:
- Walternate and William Bell. We know that they worked together in some capacity, with Bellie later claiming that he cooperated with Walternate to keep an eye on him. I would like to know more on this, because while Bellie has been ‘redeemed’ by the story, he still has lots of ‘splaining to do if you ask me!
- Could it be that one of the reasons Walternate took so long to discover how Olivia traveled between worlds is because he didn’t have Red World William Bell by his side? Had Bellienate not died, he may well have created Cortexiphan like Blue World Bellie. This helps illustrate what taking such a massive player out of the equation does.
- Interesting that Walternate shouldn’t involve himself more in Altlivia’s life – at least not directly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played a background role, though. I would find it really interesting if it turns out that her ‘sparkle-sparkle’ is largely the result of Walternate removing her stepfather from the equation shortly after hearing Olivia’s testimonial. Of course, assuming all things were equal in the stepfather regard.
- I think there are people over there who know/suspect the existence of an alternate universe (check Lincoln’s response just before Walternate told the AU Fringe Team about it in 2.21). I suspect that Walternate’s position goes some way to protecting his interests.
- Walternate really should have considered Olivia’s role in Peter’s life more than he did. Though I wonder if it’s a bit of a contrivance? After all, not only was she the one who drew the picture of her and Peter together, but he had hybrid sleeper agents laying down the Salt for him. Didn’t they tell him about POlivia’s blossoming relationship, or were they caught rather off guard by the whole thing? I also find it funny because that’s now Newton and Walternate who have underestimated Olivia in some capacity.
- I wonder if the idea to kill Olivia (“Entrada”) came from Brandonate and not Walternate because he still saw her as that child who gave him the keys to the Blue Door? Not that he wasn’t going to go ahead with it once the idea was planted, but perhaps there was an in-built gratitude towards Olivia, within the confines of a wartime ruthlessness?
I think that will do for now. If you have any thoughts to add, feel free to add to the pot!