The Arrival

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The Arrival
Episode104.jpg
Season: 1 Episode: 4
Air Date: 30 Sep 2008
Written by: Jeff Pinkner
J.J. Abrams
Directed by: Paul Edwards
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: Michael Cerveris as The Observer
Michael Kelly as John Mosley
Nestor Serrano as Henry Jacobson
Mark Valley as John Scott

Ash Roeca as Agent Rodriguez
Jennifer Ikeda as Agent Chaperone
Lisa Joyce as Rookie Waitress
Nancy Ticotin as Veteran Waitress
David Sajadi as Technician
Melinda Hall as Restaurant Patron
Tim Cox as Construction Foreman

Next: Power Hungry
Previously: The Ghost Network
Transcript  —  Additional Images
Introduction

The Arrival is the fourth episode of the first season of FRINGE. The episode first aired on September 30, 2008. The appearance of mysterious cylinder triggers odd behavior and surprising revelations. A bald, eyebrowless man who has been seen in previous episodes speaks for the first time. Walter tells Peter the truth about a near-fatal experience from Peter's childhood.

Synopsis

Prologue

A bald man with no eyebrows enters a diner and orders a roast beef sandwich with eleven jalapeño peppers and a glass of water at room temperature. Before eating the sandwich he pours an entire container of black pepper on it and a large amount of Tabasco sauce. He eats the sandwich in several rapid gulps, not pausing between bites like a normal person. The diner staff stare at him.

He watches a construction site across the street and starts writing, from right to left, in an unknown language in his notebook, while checking a pocket watch. The waitress asks if he is writing in Korean
Observer Notes
, and he simply answers, "no." From time to time he observes the construction crew through high-tech binoculars. The ground starts to shake and a gas main explodes at the construction site, toppling over a crane. The bald man casually drinks his water, walks outside, moves to the edge of a now-gaping hole, makes a phone call, and informs the person at the other end that, "It has arrived."

ACT I

At three o'clock in the morning, Walter Bishop and his son, Peter, are in their hotel room. Walter is keeping Peter awake by working out the recipe for root beer. The next day, Peter tells Olivia that he is tired of dealing with his father and is not happyremaining in one place so long. Olivia insists that they need Peter to help with Walter.
"The Beacon"
She also tells Peter that Walter has said he will not work on the investigation, preferring to return the mental institution, if Peter is not there with him.

  ←   Broyles summons the team to a warehouse where the source of the explosion in Brooklyn is stored: a bullet-shaped metal cylinder, about two feet long with groove spiraling clockwise from top to bottom on its surface. Broyles explains that a similar object was found at an explosion in Quantico in 1987, and that a Colonel Henry Jacobson headed the investigation. Peter agrees to stay for this one last assignment while Olivia goes to see Jacobson, a family friend who lost his wife. Jacobson extends his condolences about the death of John Scott, then relates how the object appeared at Quantico. The object was vibrating at a specific pattern, the same one as the new object. Jacobson determined the object was sending a signal but couldn't determine to who or what. The object then exploded down into the earth and disappeared. He gives her his files but warns her that she should stay as far away from it a possible.

At Harvard, Walter and Astrid attach sensors to the cylinder and then Walter uses a tuning fork to set off a particular vibration.

At the FBI warehouse, a man in a stocking cap emerges from his car with an odd-looking gun and shoots the outside guard. He shoots his way into the warewhouse and enters the lab, only to discover that the object is gone.

ACT II

Observing the Army
That night, Olivia is awakened by a phone call. There's nothing but static and a man saying "Hello." Olivia believes the voice is John Scott's, but when she attempts to have the call traced, the operator at FBI dispatch says that no call came in on the cell phone.

The next day, Walter studies the object further while Olivia notices a man in the 1987 photos from Jacobson. She spots a bald man and identifies him in other photos from their previous trip to a hospital.

Jacobson answers his doorbell and finds the stocking cap man at his door. The man stuns him unconscious.

Olivia takes the photo of the bald man to Broyles, who reveals that they've just discovered the same man in the photos after a year of work. They've been unable to identify the man, who they call the Observer, but he has been at the scene of various Pattern events. They're interrupted when Broyles gets word of the attack on the warehouse.

As Walter conducts sound experiments on the cylinder, Olivia calls Peter to inform him they're moving the cylinder to a secure facility. Walter seems aware that someone is coming for the cylinder and asks Peter to get him aluminum foil to shield the cylinder's frequencies. Peter agrees and goes to get the foil. Walter then asks Astrid Farnsworth for a syringe… and injects her with it.

ACT III

Probing Jacobson
Peter returns a few minutes later to find Astrid unconscious and Walter and the cylinder gone.

  ←   The stocking-cap man places electrodes from a device up Jacobson's nostrils to his brain, then plugs himself into the device. He interrogates Jacobson about the woman who came to see him, and can read his mind through the device. He tortures Jacobson with electrical jolts until Jacobson "thinks" the answer. Satisfied, the stocking-cap kills Jacobson.

Walter is in a diner enjoying a root beer float when The Observer sits in the booth opposite him. They know each other. They discuss the root-beer float, and Walter mentions that he hasn't had one in seventeen years. The Observer seems curious, and comments that seventeen years is a long time to go without something you love. Walter offers some of the root-beer to the Observer, but the Observer declines. He comments that he could hardly taste it, anyway. The Observer says he can't touch "the beacon" but thanks Walter for hiding it. He promises that Walter will soon have answers.
Meeting Walter

Later, the police find Walter walking down the highway and bring him in. Peter and Olivia come to question him and he admits he remembers taking the cylinder. However, he can't tell them where it is, and he hid it from someone who is coming to find it. Walter describes his "friend" the bald-headed man and Olivia recognizes the description. When Peter snaps at his father, Walter snaps back and says he shouldn't act like his mother, questioning his judgment. An angry Peter leaves, insisting he's no longer needed. Olivia reports to Broyles that Walter knows the Observer.

Peter returns to the laboratory to pack his belongings. He gets a call from an associate who can offer him a job somewhere far away from Boston. As Peter hangs up, he's unaware that the stocking-cap man is watching him from the shadows.

ACT IV

Astrid returns to the lab later and informs Olivia that there are signs of a struggle. Olivia checks the campus security footage. Meanwhile, the stocking-cap man uses the same device on Peter and starts to interrogate him telepathically, asking where the cylinder is. Meanwhile, Olivia has a photo of the stocking-cap man and shows it to Walter, who doesn't recognize him.
Familial Connection to The Beacon?
However, Walter warns that even though he didn't tell Peter where the cylinder was buried, Peter knows.

John Mosley, still wearing his stocking cap, continues to interrogate Peter, telling him to think of happy childhood memories and his father's hiding places. The man then gets a thought from Peter of where the cylinder is and drives out into the countryside with Peter in the trunk. He goes to a cemetery and takes Peter along, then start digging at the grave of Robert Bishop, Peter's grandfather. Mosley comments to Peter that he never knew his grandfather and, with a hint of admiration in his voice, adds that he should have.

Following Walter's directions, Olivia arrives at the cemetery as the stocking-cap man recovers the cylinder. He hears Olivia approaching and flees into the woods, leaving a tied-up Peter behind. Olivia and the stocking-cap man exchange shots and she brings the man down. Leaving the cylinder behind, she checks the stocking-cap to make sure he's dead. Behind her, the cylinder begins to glow then drills itself into the ground.

Peter, having cut his hands free, approaches through the woods and sees the Observer, telling someone on the phone that the "departure is on schedule." Peter tackles the Observer, then tries to get answers from him. The Observer starts repeating every word that Peter says, then starts speaking Peter's words before Peter can and mirroring Peter's changes in posture. The man then takes out a strange gun and stuns Peter with it.

ACT V

After Peter recovers, Olivia takes him to the hospital while Charlie releases Walter and sends him back to the hotel. Before he goes, Walter tries to apologize to Astrid without success.

Olivia checks on Peter but runs into Broyles, who says there's no sign of the cylinder and he doesn't think they'll find it. They have identified the shooter as John Mosley, a mob killer from Seattle. Olivia then picks up Peter, who insists that something is going on and the Observer was somehow connected to his mind. Olivia didn't see the Observer and thinks Peter may be in shock, but he insists that he's now going to stay with the team until he can get some explanations. She accepts and gives him his security badge, identifying him as a civilian consultant.

That night, Peter asks Walter how he knew where the capsule was buried when Walter never told him. Walter explains that Peter knew it because Walter knew it, that the information was passed along by proximity. He then explains that when Peter was young, father and son were driving home on Thanksgiving when their vehicle plunged into an ice-covered lake. Walter was unable to rescue himself or his son, but the Observer rescued them. He could read Walter's thoughts and made it clear that he'd need Walter one day. When Walter activated the sonic pulse on the cylinder in his laboratory, he realized that the time had come to repay the favor.

Olivia returns home and fixes herself supper, dry cereal and an undiluted glass of liquor. She turns and sees John Scott, seemingly alive and well; she drops her bowl of cereal.

Quotes

"You must adjust the way you consider communications, ideas. Ideas can be absorbed through osmosis... through proximity." - Walter (to Peter, scientific reasoning about the Observer reading his thoughts)

Walter's Lab Notes

Project 643 Exploration 3
Project 643 Exploration 3Trimmed Copy of Typed Notes
  • The broken mug bears the characters "H.A" in a large point size and "ps" in a much smaller point size.
  • Sioux City Sasparilla is a brand soft drink, similar to root beer, made famous by The Big Lebowski [1]
  • "What's the frequency Kenneth?" is a quote made famous by Dan Rather, then later by R.E.M. . The question was asked by a man who claimed that the news media was beaming signals into his head. [2]
  • The Fisher King, in Arthurian Legend, was in charge of protecting the Holy Grail Fisher King, and was a popular movie by Terry Gilliam in the early in the 1990's.
  • Phi (Φφ), Chi (Χχ), Psi (Ψψ) and Omega (Ωω) are the last four letters of the Greek alphabet, yet Walter writes, "that's how it starts."
The formulae:
- φ / 2χ = 1.9565...
- (ω + φ) / 2χ = 2.4565...
- ω / 2χ = 0.5
By doing the math, one learns that φ = 3.913χ and that χ = ω
And because we have 3 equations with 3 unknowns we can solve it! φ = 1.9565 and χ = ω = 0.5
  • "...back, back, back to where I once belonged" may reference the song "Get Back" by The Beatles.
  • "...a tisket, a tasket," is a century old nursery ryhme, and may reference the Ella Fitzgerald song of the same name.
  • "...round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel!" is a line from the nursery rhyme "Pop Goes the Weasel"
  • "I told my friend he should get a toupee, or at least a better hat" is an obvious reference to the Observer.

Trivia

Recurring Themes
  • The Circles. The assassin is wearing a watch cap embroidered with three green circles and one red circle. These circles are seen again in this episode in the lower left hand corner of images seen through The Observer's binoculars.
  • Mind Control. Thought transference between individuals.
Continuity Errors
  • The U.S. Army Chemical Corps officer featured in the photo in "Walter's Lab Notes" is wearing his branch insignia (Crossed Retorts) upside down.
- The soldiers behind him are wearing the "digital" Army Combat Uniform or ACU. That uniform did not exist in 1987.
- The digital uniform (MARPAT/MCCUU) worn by USMC MSgt Malick (in his 1987) photo was not in use either.
NextEpisodeClue103.jpg
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    The beacon was spotted in The Ghost Network. On the wall at South Station is a sign showing a drawing of the device moments before an assassination.

Music

Crazy by Willie Nelson
King of the Road by Johnny Russell

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on The Arrival/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • What is the symbolic language the Observer writes in?
  • Who did Peter call looking "for work" just before John Mosley kidnapped him?
  • Who does John Mosley represent?
  • Why is Mosley, a mob killer from Seattle, trusted with sophisticated equipment such as the interrogation device and the "energy weapon?"
  • Was Broyles withholding Mosley's true identity?

Episodes

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything

Transcripts

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything