Jun 17, 2009

Looking back at 104 - “The Arrival”

Fringe - 104 The Arrival | Posted by Scully
"The Arrival"

"The Arrival"

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What did we miss?

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- This isn’t plot related, but I did notice something strange about Olivia’s apartment.  At some point it changed.  In the four episodes that I have re-watched so far, her apartment looks like the images on the left and in later episodes it looks like the images on the right.  Clearly it is not the same set.  At first I thought maybe she moved to be closer to her office, but the view from the outside is the same and there’s never any mention of her moving.  I will keep my eyes open this summer and try to pinpoint the exact episode in which the change is made.

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- Just as a matter of interest, I never noticed this before, but the photo that they use on Peters identification badge is actually one of the promo photos release by FOX.

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What theories were overlooked?

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- When Walter was talking about the car accident, Peter says…’I remember‘.  Did he really remember?  There are several stories from my childhood that I feel that I remember, but I think it’s only because my parents have told the story a million times.  Now when they say…’Do you remember?‘, I say ‘Yeah, yeah, I remember.’  But I don’t think I actually do, not as an actual visual memory anyways.  This makes me wonder about Peter’s statement that he remembers the accident.  We assume that Peter died of Hepea as a child and Walter replaced him, but when did this accident take place?  Was it before or after the original Peter died?  Or is it possible that Peter actually died in the accident and not of Hepea.  After all, isn’t that when the Observer first showed himself to Walter?  If the Observers intention was to save the original Peter, wouldn’t he have intervened when Peter was sick.  Maybe it’s the alter-Peter that’s important.  Or perhaps that is when the Observer helped Walter bring through the alter-Peter.  Just a question I thought I would throw out there.

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-  At the end of the episode, Walter says…”Instantly, I knew that I had to protect the capsule for him. Who they are, what they want - as a man of science, I share your frustration in not having these answers.“.  Notice he says they, not him.  This might be a clue that there is more than one Observer.  Has Walter met more than one?  I don’t think so, but I do believe that there is many of them, and I think Walter is aware of that as well.

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What makes sense now that didn’t before?

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- When we originally watched this episode and saw the green green green red dot combination, both on John Mosely’s hat and in the Observer’s binoculars, we all went…’Wait we’ve seen that before, on the kayak in Olivia’s dream in the Pilot episode‘.  In Episode 8 - The Equation, the question of what the dots represent was answered.

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How have the characters developed?

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- This episode marks the turning point in Peter’s attitude towards the ‘Pattern’ and his father.  His confrontation with the Observer makes him realize that there are perhaps things going on that he can’t explain and maybe his father isn’t as crazy as he thought.  I was very happy to see this happen because I was kind of getting tired of his yelling and screaming.

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What questions were never answered?

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I’m not going to bother getting into the unanswered question of who exactly the Observer is.  I think we all know it’s a question that might not get completely answered for many seasons.  But one unanswered question that I will ask about is…What was the purpose of the beacon?  Was it sending information or collecting it?  I expected to have more information on that question by the end of the season, but no such luck.

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- About the Observer, I would also like to ask again…Why did he save Walter and Peter?  Was it because he knows the importance they will play in the future?  Walter, himself, said “he just observes‘.

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- The gravestone marked ‘Robert Bishop’.  Who is Robert Bishop?  We know he can’t be Walter’s father, since he died in 1944, and Walter wasn’t born until 1946.  At first I figured it was a fake tombstone that Walter had erected for the purpose of hiding things, but John Mosely said to Peter…’Shame you never net him.’  Did John meet him, or at least know of him? That certainly would imply that Robert was a real person.

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- During the scene when Peter is looking through Walter’s files, we get a glimpse of a birth certificate.  It reads: Kyle Richard Beltran born October 10, 1999.  Who is Kyle Beltran?  He couldn’t be one of Walter’s test subjects, since Walter was in St. Claires when he was born.  What was his birth certificate doing among Walter’s files?  Files, by the way, that had been locked away in Walter’s car since at least 1991.  Why was the birth certificate attached to a photo of what I assume is Walter and Peter?  Oh yeah, and why is Peter rifling through Walter’s files to begin with?  Thanks to Fringe Television for piecing together this pic.

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- Who was Peter talking to on the phone when he was looking for work?

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- Why can’t the Observer touch the beacon?  Why can he not taste food?  Why can he not feel extreme temperatures? …why, why, why???

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What tie was Broyles wearing?

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This week, once again, Broyles was only wearing one tie.

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Tune in Monday, June 22 for “Looking back at 105 - Power Hungry”.

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4 Responses to “Looking back at 104 - “The Arrival””

  1. mlj102

    This episode brought up so many questions! You mentioned several of them, such as who is the observer, what is the purpose of the beacon, who is Robert Bishop, etc. Another question that I’ve been wondering is who was John Mosley? He’s a complete mystery — the beacon shows up and all of a sudden here comes Mr. No-nonsense, intent on gaining possession of the beacon. He had access to some pretty fancy equipment (his gun, the mind-reading machine) — where did he get all that? How did he know Jacobson would know the whereabouts of the Beacon? He also seemed to be quite familiar with the Bishop family — he implied that he knew who Robert Bishop was, and he seemed to have a good idea of who Peter and Walter were and what their relationship was like. In the end, all we learn about the mystery man is that he had been involved in a double homicide in Seattle and had a couple of drug-related felonies. What was he up to in Seattle? I wonder if we’ll ever hear about him again… He was always wearing that hat — could it be that he’s bald, thus indicating that he’s one of the Observer’s people? I’ve also seen him referred to as The Rogue and that was also the episode glyph code message — so are we supposed to conclude that he’s some rogue observer?

    Another person I wonder about is Jacobson. How does Olivia know him? It seems quite possible that he might know more about the beacon and events of the pattern than we think. He seemed very concerned and serious when he warned Olivia to stay away from the beacon… Also, did Mosley kill him, or just stun him? You’d think either way we’d have heard something about it (either Olivia’s reaction to finding out he was dead, or him reporting some crazy guy breaking into his house and attacking him).

    There was also a conversation between Walter and Peter that I thought was rather significant. Walter asks Peter “Have you never taken anything that didn’t belong to you because you knew it was the right thing to do?” Peter replies “This isn’t about me.” to which Walter states “Maybe it is, Peter.” To me, this is one more instance that foreshadows what we learn in the finale that Peter is really from another universe and Walter brought him back here after this universe’s Peter died. It seems interesting to me that, for all of Walter’s craziness and all that he can’t seem to remember, this seems to be the one thing that he has been very aware of. From the pilot episode where the first thing he does when he sees Peter is check on his health, to when he comments to Olivia about Peter’s medical history, to this, to other instances when he makes some comment on Peter’s childhood that Peter doesn’t remember, he has consistently and constantly shown that he knows that Peter is from another universe.

    We also get another little mention of Peter’s mother. From what Walter says, I really get the impression that he didn’t have the greatest relationship with his wife. Peter, on the other hand, seems extremely protective of her. I really want to know the whole back story of that family and what happened.

    The Observer made a comment to Walter as they were sitting in the diner that 17 years is a long time to go without something you love. It’s possible that he was just referring to the root beer floats, but I got the impression that there was more behind that comment. Perhaps it was just showing that the observer is aware of how much Walter loves Peter…

    One final thing (I promise, this is the last one) — I’m curious about the scene where Peter comes face to face with the Observer. Like Peter, I was rather bewildered by the Observer’s ability to know what Peter was thinking. I wonder if that’s an ability the Observer has with everyone, or if it was unique to Peter. Perhaps the Observer is sensitive to what other people are thinking/feeling, but it was to a greater extent with Peter. It just seemed like the Observer was nearly as stunned as Peter was during that scene, although I could be completely wrong.

  2. Scully Scully

    Nice catches. I like the idea that the Observer was just as stunned as Peter to realize he could read his mind. I rewatched that scene and the Observer does have a funny look on his face. It was a look that reminded me of the scene from ‘Planet of the Apes’ when the apes realize that the human could speak. Amazement, amusement? But more than that: I’m not sure if he was reacting to the fact that he could read Peter’s mind, or if he was just amused by Peter’s reaction.

    Also the Observer must have some kind of telepathy capability with Walter as well. Walter said suddenly it became clear, he just knew what he was supposed to do. It could be that the accident, and the Observer interfering, has left them with a special connection. Or not.

    So true about Mosely. What was some two-bit criminal doing with all that high-tec equipment? Why would ZFT trust him with the beacon? It seemed like an important job, why wouldn’t they have sent a professional? And speaking of the high-tec equipment…what happened to that energy gun that Mosely dropped while Olivia was chasing him?

  3. Mic

    We’ve all drawn some parallels between the Observer and the boy from the tunnels in Inner Child. If they are similar people or maybe even the same person, they might have the same ability– a sort of empathy. If that’s the case, that stunned look on the Observer’s face when he’s dealing with Peter may be just a reflection of Peter’s emotions at the time, not his own emotions.

    Walter writes in his lab notes for this episode “It has returned to plague me again”, apparently referring to the cylinder. Broyles knew about the incident in 1987 when it showed up at Quantico and didn’t mention Walter being involved that time, so when did he have contact with it besides now? The lab notes Project # is 643 and the Exploration is 3. Could he have had contact with it twice before? (An interesting side note is that Walter injected Roy McComb with an “irridium-based compound” when he was a test subject and the cylinder is also thought to be made of irridium. Irridium is a super rare metal found mostly in the earth’s crust, according to Wikipedia.)

    If there is a rogue Observer out there after the beacon, John Mosely could have just been the means to snatch it. The Observer(s) can’t touch it but humans can so maybe someone used mind control on Mosely solely for the purpose of getting the cylinder. It could explain why he had the gun and the mind-reading equipment– it wasn’t his, he just had access to it.

  4. Jo

    The observer might be the clue of rogue. He makes a point of saying he can’t touch the beacon. Because he is an observer and is only supposed to observer but an observer (maybe him maybe not) rescued Walter and Peter from the lake that fateful day that I am guessing Walter made a trip across the threshold to snagg himself another Peter. that’s two things that changed which is could give a clue to why the observer is here. Maybe all these events following his intervention are spiralling as the ZFT manifesto indicates till it causes an event that will resolve all this. Well the Fringe world can’t destroyed any time soon but it would make sense. That is why the observer only observers he went against the directive.
    Also who is he reporting these events to? We can rule out Massive Dynamic and the government (at least I do) Do you think he’s talking to William Bell?

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