Aug 15,

Looking back at 114 - “Ability”

Fringe - 114 Ability | Posted by Scully


What did we miss?

- When Olivia meets with Loeb, he quotes a line to her.  “What was written will come to pass.”  What we didn’t know then is that this is the exact same phrase that that we will see written on Nick Lane’s wall in Episode 17.  We will discuss the implications of this in full when we get to “Looking Back at 117 - Bad Dreams”.


What theories were overlooked?

- Don’t kill me, but I insist on doing yet another visit to Nina having a special place in her heart for Olivia.  When Olivia arrives at Massive Dynamic she apologizes to Nina “Thank you so much for seeing me at such short notice“, Nina responds with “As I said… I am always available to YOU“.  Emphasis on the ‘YOU” as if to say…’You and ONLY you.’  I am absolutely positive that they are leading up to something with this relationship and the suspense is just killing me!

- I’ve wondered a few times about Astrid’s loyalty.  Back in Episode 7, Olivia and Jones are talking:

OLIVIA: If you’re not responsible for infecting Agent Loeb, who is?
DAVID ROBERT JONES: Perhaps the same people responsible for bringing us together.

I had a brief thought at that point that perhaps Astrid was involved some way.  She was the one who cracked the code, and that lead Olivia directly to Jones.  But I sloughed it off because it just seemed to far out.  Then I remembered that in Episode 2, there was a moment that I chalked up to a Fringe Fumble.  The team is looking through Walter’s files looking for evidence of Progeria or Pituitary:

Olivia: “Progeria - case file by Dr. Penrose.”
Walter: “Yes, Penrose, Penrose, I remember him. A former colleague of mine.”

Astrid moves to the computer and this is what she types in…

Where did she get his first name from?  Nobody mentioned it.  She was not looking at the files.  Did she perhaps have prior knowledge of the experiments?  So that brings me to this episode…who called her?  Usually when a phone conversation takes place, they show the people both sides of the conversion, this time they did not, and I found it very odd.  She responded…”Yes, Sir“, implying a boss of some kind.  Maybe it was just Broyles, but then why didn’t she say that to anyone?  Then she says “It seems she did“, is she referring to Olivia…then ‘she did’ what?  What is the point of this scene…somebody please tell me that I’m crazy.  Then there is this last bit of information that really got my head spinning…SPOILER AHEAD!! SPOILER AHEAD!! This is from TV Guide:

One character’s alliances will be questioned, and the answer will be heartbreaking for fans of the show.”

At first I figured it would be Charlie; their way of writing him out of the show…but what if it’s Astrid?  The possibility is slim, but it’s something to think about.


What makes sense now that didn’t before?

- The answer to the question “Why did they take Olivia?” is answered this week.  Jones states “You are among those treated with Cortexiphan. It’s why we had you taken. We needed confirmation. Something which requires a ’spinal tap’. The next step, had you not escaped, was to convince you of this“.

- For weeks the mystery of ‘what’s up with the typewriter with the funky ‘y’ eluded us.  We theorized that Walter wrote the manuscript.  What we know now, according to Walter, is that William Bell used the typewriter to write the manuscript.  What we don’t know is the extent of Walter’s involvement.

- When Peter goes to the bookstore, there is a man selling a copy of “The Land of Laughs” by Jonathan Carroll.  I Googled it the first time around,but there didn’t seem to be that much correlation to the episode.  Now that the entire season has played out, I realize that the book was sort of a hint as to upcoming episodes.

Synopsis from Wikipedia:

The book concerns a schoolteacher who is researching the life of one of his favorite children’s book authors. He is warmly, and unexpectedly, greeted by the author’s adult daughter. All seems well until a dog begins talking to him, as the line between the author’s fantasy world and the reality of the schoolteacher’s life blurs.


How have the characters developed?

- Walter seems to have digressed a bit in this episode.  When examining the  vendor, he says “Two thoughts come to mind. The first, that this affliction might have been caused by a mutation, changing these lipids to recognize and seal any and all orifices… did they check his anus and penis?“.  Olivia asks “What was the other thought?” and Walter responds “Ah yes… the other was - coffee cake“.  His obsession with the coffee cake does not let up.  It has been several episodes since we have seen Walter act like that and I’m not afraid to admit that I kind of missed the humor that those moments bring to the show.

- When Peter and Olivia are at the bookstore Markam says to Peter I like this one.” in reference to Olivia.  Peter responds “This one’s just a friend”.  The tone of the conversation leads me to wonder if Peter has brought a lot of girls to this store.  Is it a reference to the fact that Peter has had many girlfriends, or is it a reference to the idea that the one’s that he has had have not been of great character?

- Not really character development, but I need to mention my Mr. Jones’ moments.  When Olivia calls Jones and he answers “Hey, You” and then when they are wheeling him out after Olivia diffused the bomb, Jones says “My girl.”  The tone he uses with these two short lines just says it all.  He is assuming some kind of special relationship between the two of them that exists only in his mind.  It’s humorous, revealing and kind of sad all at the same time.


What questions were never answered?

- At the end of the episode when Nina calls Olivia to tell her that she has discovered another location where Cortexiphan was tested, she seems genuinely surprised about it.  I find it hard to believe that Nina would not know about this trial.  She IS William Bell’s right hand man, after all.  So, why the charade?  If she intended to inform Olivia of the trial, why not just tell her up front?  Why pretend?  And if she honestly didn’t know about it…shy didn’t she?  If it was something William Bell didn’t want her to know about, then why was the information accessible to her?

- On the back of the last question…is Nina aware that Olivia has powers?  Was she only aware that the experiment had been done but was unaware that it was successful with Olivia? Does Broyles know?

- How DID Olivia turn off those friggin’ lights?

- When Astrid says to Walter “  ” he responds with “  “.  Then at the hospital, you can see that the giant hole made in the wall by Jones is many stories up off the ground.  So, what exactly did the teleportation do to him?  Did it give him superpowers?  There’s no way for someone to survive jumping out of a building that high up and survive unless he is indestructible or has regeneration powers.

- What about the other nine tests?  Will we be seeing more of these tests in Season 2?

- What were the symbols on the playing cards that were in the box?  You can also see some of the cards in Walter’s lab notes for this episode.  What do they mean, and will we ever se them again?

- Peter states that the machine Walter built was “…a teleportation system, yeah. Except for, this one was meant to travel through time“.  Then later Walter says “You understand, this man teleported through space. His molecules disintegrating and reintegrating. The very implications of it…”   So which is it?  Did Jones travel through time, space or both?

- Who was the man who handed the newspaper vendor the tainted money?  Was it the mysterious man in the glasses who we later see in Episode 19 - The Road Not Taken?

- During the raid on the warehouse, the DOOMED AGENT enters a room and shines his flashlight on a table.  Written is the dust was the number - 14627.  What does this number mean?  It must have some meaning or they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of staging it and zooming in on it.


What tie was Broyles wearing?


  • TwitThis
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Digg

4 Responses to “Looking back at 114 - “Ability””

  1. ariannejean

    I recognize the first symbol but I can’t pin point why.
    the third looks like the Greek symbol for PSI.

    What I got from wikipedia:
    PSI is the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet and has a numeric value of 700″

    The letters ? or ? can also be a symbol for:
    ~psychology, psychiatry, and sometimes parapsychology (involving paranormal or relating with the supernatural subjects).
    ~In mathematics, the number of the “Supergolden Ratio”, approximately 1.4 and the solution to the cubic equation x³ = x² + 1.
    ~The planet Neptune
    ~The Schrödinger equation and throughout quantum mechanics, ?(x) stands for the wave function

    also:It can represent, among other things, electrostatic current, rotation coefficient, and the so called psi-function or ESP (extra-sensory perception, that is telepathy, precognition, etc.).

  2. ariannejean

    the second reminds me of some wiccan type symbols I used to see. I’m going to look into it with that link in mind.

  3. ariannejean

    there are least 7 cards if you look at Walter’s lab notes.
    I found a site with a lot of greek and western symbols so I’m going to try that for now.

  4. ariannejean

    if the square is indeed a complete square it is probably there as the symbol for the element Earth. It could also be ground, salt or magnet.

    I wish we could get images of all the cards

Leave a Reply