Jul 8,

Looking back at 108 - “The Equation”

Fringe - 108 The Equation | Posted by Scully

The Equation


What did we miss?

- I think that I will beat a dead horse today.  Remember the yellow-red-blue theory?  Remember how I based the entire theory on that tape roll holder with the colored rolls of tape?  And remember when I discarded the theory when I discovered that the tape roll holder was in Episode 2?  Well, I am here to re-hash it.  This week, as Walter talks about the blinking lights he states that when he had experimented with it many years ago, that he had concentrated on the timing and intensity of the flashes not the colors, and that he now feels that the colors are the key.  When they pan down to the lights all lined up…you’ll never guess what is right behind it…the tape roll with the colored tape.  Coincidence?  Perhaps.  But I think that I will hold on to my red-yellow-blue theory just a little longer.


What theories were overlooked?

- This theory wasn’t so much overlooked, as it was just not thought of until we had more information.  The theory being that perhaps the Alter-Walter that we see in this episode is actually the father of the Peter that our Walter stole from another dimension.  If our Walter is smart enough to figure out to travel to another dimension…it stands to reason that the Alter-Walter would also have that knowledge.  But why, if Alter-Walter had the know-how, did he not just take Peter back?

It’s possible that he is not strong enough on his own.  Perhaps the assistance that our Walter received from the Observer, was the edge he needed in order to actually bring something back through.  Maybe the Alter-Walter is stuck simply observing our Walter, and is using the time to try and drive Walter crazy.  Perhaps when Walter is in a weakened state, is when Alter-Walter has the most effect on him.  Or maybe Alter-Walter isn’t actually entering our dimension at all.  Maybe our Walter and Alter-Walter have some sort of direct connection through the dimension wall, and Alter-Walter can only get his image through when our Walter is weak and confused.  Just a thought.

It’s also possible that Walter is just crazy and the Alter-Walter is an old version of himself that he struggles with.  Hey, we all have inner demons, right?  Or maybe at some time, he was connected up to the machine that Joanne used on Ben, and the visions of himself are just remnants of what he saw at that time.  In the lab notes Walter says his visitor was always pressuring him for the numbers, so that might make this last option a little more viable.  Walter also says that he should’ve figured it out himself, again alluding to the fact that so many others that were abducted also, could not figure it out.


What makes sense now that didn’t before?

- The obvious point here would be, what was the point of the equation?  We now know that they needed the equation in order to get through safe walls to retrieve the hidden pieces of the teleportation device.


How have the characters developed?

- Peter and Walter both stepped up to the plate in this episode.  Walter does this by volunteering to go back to St. Claires, even though the idea of it scared him silly.  We also see some self awareness from Walter, when he asks Peter…”Dashiell went on and on like an incoherent loon about being taken to dungeons and red castles. Son, is that what it’s like to talk to me?”

- Peter steps up to the plate by defending his father.  In the hospital, he says to Dr. Sumner “After some of the things I’ve seen in the last three months, Walter strikes me as being one of the sanest people I know.”  An then later on, he stiffens his shoulders and says to Sumner “You may think you know what he’s capable of, but you have no idea what I’m capable of.“  A little chill ran down my spine when he said that.  Peter, the tough guy, and I believed it!


What questions were never answered?

- There were two massive unanswered questions in this episode.  The first was…What the hell was this pattern all about?  They went to such lengths to show us this pattern, first with the sketches on the wall, then with the cards on the wall, then with the crayons, then with the dominoes.  It is a puzzle, which to my knowledge, has never been solved.

The template

The cards

The crayons

The dominoes


- The second huge unanswered question is, of course, Who the hell is the other Walter?


- Why did they use an apple as the item that Loeb pulls out of the safe?  They so clearly use the Apple Glyph to symbolize clones, and clearly this equation had nothing to do with cloning.  He could have pulled anything out of the safe.  Was it an attempt to misguide us?  To make us think that Loeb had cloned the apple and not pulled it through the safe wall?

- Who did Loeb call after he successfully pulled the apple out of the safe and shot Joanne?  I doubt that it was Jones, as I don’t think he has access to a phone.  Is there another leader that we don’t know about?

- In the lab notes Walter refers to a hidden box.  What was in the box?  Secrets.  What secrets?  What did he do with it?  Will we ever find out what was in it?

- Why were these certain people obsessed with this equation?  Ben was hit by a car, then in a coma.  When he came out of his coma, he was obsessed with his song on the piano and was suddenly a progeny.  But what happened to the others to make them obsessed?  Did they also have a traumatic event that make them suddenly extaordinary in some way, or did or was their obsession the reason they became experts in their fields?  And why them…why these four people?  Was it purely accidental that these four people had the knowledge?

- We know that they are after the equation so they can use it to break in to banks and steal Walter’s device, to break Jones out of prison.  No problem.  How long has Jones been in prison?  Not that long.  So why is it that they have been trying to get this equation for at least 10 years?  Jones has definitely NOT been in prison for 10 years.  Is there some other reason they were trying so hard to get their hands on this?  Is there some other sinister plan in effect that we don’t know about yet?

- Why did Dashiell Kim try to kill a man named Jasper in the hospital.  Other than his wife, he had never tried to hurt anyone else?  Was Jasper questioning him about the equation?  Who was Jasper?


What tie was Broyles wearing?

- Being consistent with the episode taking place over a 2 day period, Broyles wears two different ties.

Two Ties


Tune in Tuesday, July 14 for “Looking back at 109 - The Dreamscape”.

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3 Responses to “Looking back at 108 - “The Equation””

  1. PTBT

    “In the lab notes Walter refers to a hidden box.”

    Could this be the box with the plugger in it? It was certainly hidden and it had a secret in it!

  2. Mic

    Some of your questions will be answered as you read the comics, Scully.

    I believe we did find out what was in the box already– the photo puzzle that we solved regarding the lab. In the notes for 114, Walter writes, “I took my secret box and dumped out all the pieces, but I couldn’t see the big picture.” Remember?

    I think Loeb was calling Sanford Harris. When you get to Bound in your rewatch schedule, note the look on Harris’ face when the second doctor is brought in to the FBI office. Soon after he runs interference with Olivia and Charlie so that Loeb can give the guy a glass of water.

  3. Bradbury

    Sweet connections Mic —- really awesome ideas on the secret box / who Loeb called, etc!

    I thought I might have caught another few clues from this epi:

    * Dashiell Kim claims that his entire experience was all just a dream, a BAD DREAM. If this at all hints at the episode Bad Dreams, then I posit that what Joanne Ostler was actually causing her subjects to do (perhaps unbeknownst completely to her) was to “project” their perspective to another possible dimensional state —- not unlike what Olivia was able to do in Bad Dreams with Nick Lane. They might have even been linking to an alternate version of themselves to some degree. Granted, it has a lot of holes in it as a theory goes (for example, how would Ostler be aware of this yet be so amazed by what the Equation did?) but there might be something there worth harvesting. I’ve just always had trouble with the idea that Ben’s mother seemed to be able to communicate with Ostler, even though she wasn’t really there — and she claimed she didn’t know how Ostler was causing her to be there. It’s possible Ben was experiencing some kind of hallucinagenic interactive memories (like Olivia does with John) — but this might not completely explain Kim’s apparent interaction with Ostler and his loved ones (unless they were dead too). I feel I’m starting to ramble so let me move onto one more observation —

    * When Joanne was watching Ben pound away at a cardboard keyboard, she sat there transfixed on him with pen and paper in hand, taking notes while the lights held him in trance, etc etc. It immediately reminded me of the Observer with his binocs, green and red lights, and his note taking while transfixed on the scene. Now, I’m sure Joanne was merely watching Ben play so she could transcribe his notes into the mathmatical formula and whatnot — but what if there is a connection? What if their techniques are similiar because they were in essence doing the same things somehow?

    Just thoughts …..

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