|| Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There
- Introduction .pdf version
Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There is the sixth episode of the fifth season of FRINGE. It first aired on November 9th, 2012. Walter sets-out on his own after uncovering another tape and steps into a pocket universe sandwiched in the membrane between parallel universes. Observers converge on Walter's position and only Peter has the skillset needed to rescue the science team.
In his lab, Walter continues with the mission at hand - extract the videotapes and rediscover the plan that will drive the Observers from the planet. Even after having had recently re-Ambered the lab to avoid revealing the presence of the science team, Walter's diligent progress releases Tape #7 without much fanfare, everyone is off doing something and he is left alone to laser at-will. The tape separates cleanly from its casing and needs little repair before viewing. Walter sits for an initial viewing and finds himself on the screen, carrying the camera and verbalizing directions as he films. The journey to recover the next piece of the grand puzzle starts with a southbound trip on Quincy Street.
In Henrietta's New York City apartment, Peter sits and watches a three-dimensional hologram of his daughter leaving a message from a few days earlier. The loss of her has him still, leveled and angry - her voice and image help numb some of the pain in his heart. In the front of the dark apartment, something stirs and Peter takes cover with his pistol. Don't shoot - it's just Olivia. What's up? You aren't answering your calls and you didn't return to the lab. Olivia sees her daughter's holographic image on the table and understands Peter's feelings. Olivia has thought about coming to the apartment as well, she feels closer to Henrietta here. They watch the message
and snuggle closer for comfort. Olivia reminds Peter that when he feels like he does now, he can hang with her... she will help him get through the sadness. Peter is sorry for omitting her, of course she is right. Their embrace is tender, but Olivia is concerned for the scar and bandage on the back of his neck - what happened? Just a nick during the last confrontation with the Observer. No worrys. He hasn't told her yet about the Observer tech he implanted in the 'nick' on his neck. Information he intends to keep private, for now.
Walter continues his review of the video tape and writes in his notebook the address and apartment number of what promises to be the next key find in the plan to win the war. Apartment 413 at 167 Cedar Street. The camera records a minor obstacle that was in place more than two decades ago... a nosy downstairs tenant that dislikes Walter and his colleague in Apartment 413. Any more strange noises out of that place and she will have her say with the building superintendant.
of the lab, Walter follows the directions from his notebook across town and out to Worchester. The derelict neighborhood is occupied, but the apartment tower he seeks has holes blasted in its upper storys
, open to the outside environment. A nearby security camera catches Walter's arrival and highlights him. Walter's journey up the stairs finds the same nosy tenant he encounterd when he was filming Tape #7. Well-seasoned by age and injury, the crotchety urbanite informs Walter that the Fourth Floor has been red-tagged
for years. While Walter appreciates a woman with a mechano-ocular implant that protrudes three inches from its socket, as much as the next guy... his
business, is decidely none of hers
. Walter continues
on his quest and finds the stairwell hasn't passed code inspections for a long time. With a hole in the exterior wall and the majority of the treads blown away, the passage up to 413 will be tenuous. He tests the first step and it crumbles underfoot. With a secure grip on the rail and his feet as far left as possible, Walter slithers past the hazard and onto the fourth level. With debris everywhere, Walter quickly locates 413 and shoulders his way through the front door. Ready to test his video savvy, Walter loses his cap and jacket and surveys the room. Positioning himself in the middle of the dusty floor, a quick check of his notes has him pacing the room like a pirate trying to retrieve a buried treasure: forward - sidestep - reverse - back - pivot - and... Walter disappears into the thin air of Apartment 413 with his final step.
Walter hasn't travelled far. He is still in the same residential complex - much less damaged than the one he left, but this one has a substantially green hue to the light. Looking for the next piece of his master plan, Walter starts to explore his new environment.
Back in Walter's Lab, Astrid has been turning the place upside-down looking for Walter, without any luck. Olivia and Peter return as Astrid continues calling for the elder Bishop. They haven't seen Walter. From what Astrid can see, Walter has recovered the latest tape and probably reviewed
it. Maybe he left. That concept doesn't sit well with Peter... what was Walter thinking. The three gather around the view screen to view the tape that Walter retrieved. Walter's narrative shows him on public transportation two decades earlier travelling to Worcester Union Station. Maybe that is what he is doing currently, retracing his steps. The tape continues with key data - Walter is giving directions to a unique and efficient hiding place he and someone else has created. A critical piece of the plan to defeat the Observers is hidden there and the Observers don't have the instrumentation needed to locate it. Specifically, the hiding spot is a pocket universe
sandwiched in the membrane
that separates the two universes. It exists in inter-dimensional space, and beware, many of the usual laws of physics don't apply there. The Worchester address Walter shares gets Astrid checking the 2036 database. 167 Cedar Street is in a nearly abandoned, bombed-out neighborhood in the Q-9 District. On the videotape, Walter gains access to Apartment 413 when his colleague, Donald, answers the door and assumes cameraman duties. The name Donald
rings a bell - Olivia remembers there was a Donald
waiting for Walter in 2015, back at the mine in Pennsylvania
. On the tape, Walter continues his narrative for Donald. The chalk drawings on the wood floor in Apartment 413 are useful - they denote the trans-dimensional demarcation point to cross into the pocket universe
. Walter shows Donald the pirate treasure map two-step needed to gain access to the pocket universe
, and.... What happened? The gang in the lab can't figure out why the tape suddenly went blank. Astrid checks the tape for damage. Nope. No grinding, no Amber flecks - maybe they simply stopped recording. Olivia is curious about
Walter's current motivation... why would he go alone? Peter is baffled - this rash act is out of character for Walter.
Inside Walter's altered version of 167 Cedar Street, he wanders the common areas and intersecting corridors, trying to reclaim the orientation he once had for the place. The vaulted spaces don't add any insight and none of the doors open for him. A corridor turns straight down vertically, defying all known gravitational precepts - not that way - is Walter's intuitive choice. Another corridor ventured brings Walter to a defensive halt. He senses he is not alone. A quick visual check behind shows the silhouette of a stranger at the end of the long hallway. Walter ducks around the corner, then sneaks a glance back at what he thought he saw. Still there, the man at the end of the hall walks off. Seconds later, the man has Walter pinned against the plaster with a blade screwdriver to his neck. Oh!
Terrified for his safety, Walter asks if the hostile man threatening him is Donald? No. It’s Cecil – and how did Walter get there. More importantly, does Walter know how to exit. Walter quickly plays his knowledge card: He does know how to leave, but won’t say as long as Cecil has a screwdriver to his face. Cecil thinks better of the situation. Alright, détente will work. Cecil thinks he was blasted into the ‘pocket universe’ during an attack by the invading Observers. They must have been after Resistance fighters in the area. He remembers a flash from one of the ‘’light bombs’’ in the attack - the next thing he knew he was trapped in Strangeville. He is lucky in that case – the pocket universe saved his life from the devastation in the apartment complex. By Cecil’s reckoning, he has been trapped for five days without food, although he does have a modest source of water. Water? That’s something Walter needs to investigate.
Outside the main entrance to 167 Cedar Street, the gang from the lab pulls-up in their newly stolen SUV. The girls hop out while Peter disconnects the hot-wiring he used to start the vehicle. The hole in the side of the building begs the question – Is this the right place? Astrid is certain of it.
Inside the pocket universe between this building and the comparable building in the alternate universe, Cecil leads Walter to the water source he found. As Walter stated in his videotape from 2015, the physical properties in the place are a bit askew. He and Cecil have to negotiate a few hallways where gravity has flipped and they must traverse the ceiling and the light fixtures there. Oddly enough, things like chairs and newspapers retain their original gravimetric orientation, on the floor... which is now Walter’s ceiling. Approaching the water, an upward drip from the floor fills the cup placed there by Cecil. He quickly flips the cup to match his gravitational bearing and drinks the small accumulation of water. Walter looks at the source and supposes the water is condensation from a refrigeration unit behind the wall. Cecil doesn’t think so – he has investigated every corner of the place and there is nothing behind that wall. Walter wants to see for himself. Cecil is curious how Walter knows his way in and out this strange place. Simple... he has been here before. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember the visit.
The gang starts upstairs to Apartment 413 and finds the damaged stairwell that Walter had to negotiate. Astrid is surprised Walter made it past that hurdle. Peter isn’t – Walter is full of surprises today. Once they make it beyond the stairwell and reach the Fourth Floor, they start to search, calling Walter’s name.
Inside the pocket universe, Walter continues his own search, checking hallways and locked doors. Cecil thinks they are trying to find their way out, but Walter rectifies the misconception – not until he finds what he came in to find. Cecil shares his worries – he was starting to think he was in Purgatory. Why? Well... the apartment he was in when the blast hit – it wasn’t his. He was there to burglarize the home. Walter can’t imagine why cecil would be after anything in a bombed-out apartment. It wasn’t bombed-out. Walter needs a clarification... Cecil said he has been in the pocket universe for five days - what year is it Cecil? 2016. Sorry Buddy. It’s 2036. You have been in here for 20 years. Time and Space loop in on themselves in this strange place... I guess you might call that a form of Purgatory. Impatient and frustrated, Walter is brusque with Cecil – let’s move.
The science team finds and enters Apartment 413 and sees that Walter has been there. He must have entered the pocket universe the same way he entered on the videotape. Peter replays the videotape on the portable camera and starts the same complicated square-dance Walter performed decades earlier. Before the final step, Peter grabs his partner and he and Olivia boot scoot...
...through into the pocket universe. They look around at the nicely furnished space and suddenly the tape continues playing where it had previously went to dead-air. The recording itself needed a little time to adjust during the original filming. Donald and Walter wait for the auto-focus to settle before continuing the narrative. Peter and Olivia are curious – how’d they get the bonus footage? Walter’s taped narrative provides specific directions to the desired location and something very important in the plan against the Observers. Olivia and Peter follow the directions... guessing that the pocket universe is something Walter might have designed while on an LSD adventure. Trippin’.
Deep inside the pocket universe, Peter and Olivia continue to follow the directions Walter is narrating on the videotape. A right turn takes them to what appears to be a deadend - but it isn't. On tape, Walter stands next to a wall. In the unreality of the pocket universe, Olivia walks up to the same wall, then steps through it. Peter follows and the chase down the rabbit hole takes another turn... Walter is not only narrating to Donald, he is concerned for someone that they are escorting... are you afraid? They hear a noise up ahead and hurry to find Walter and Cecil searching the rooms along the corridor. Peter is miffed - Walter knows he shouldn't have left his lab by himself. Walter shows no remorse... he had to find the next piece of the master plan - it was all he could think of. Olivia studies Cecil: Is that Donald? No - just an unfortunate victim in the entire matter. Days for him, decades for us, a bystander in the time-loop dynamic of this place. Growing short-tempered and frustrated, Walter demands they immediately return to the task at-hand. Peter point-outs something that Walter overlooked... bonus footage that could only be seen once Walter was in this warped space. Of course! Let me see it. On the videotape, Walter's narrative continues - the room they are looking for has an apple symbol on the door, where numbers would normally be posted. An apple suggests the source of all knowledge. Walter's narrative isn't for Donald specifically, it is directed to the third person in the original group. This person will be staying in the room with the apple symbol, but only for a short while. On tape, Walter offers his hand to a very young man, an adolescent with no hair. Peter and Olivia recognize the bald kid in the video, he was one of the first Fringe cases (Inner Child) they worked nearly three decades earlier. But Walter, he doesn't have a clue about the child. His memory of this individual must have been erased during his interrogation by Windmark, a few weeks ago. Olivia remembers that she and Peter have different memories of their past than Walter does. Maybe Walter didn't experience this particular case like she and Peter did. Maybe he didn't, but Walter's obvious curiosity is - is the boy an Observer? Well, he was empathic. Why would Walter need an empath in his scheme to defeat the invaders? Well, at least for the boy, his long stay in his assigned room will only seem like a week. The group returns to the videotape and finds Walter escorting the hairless kid to his room. Following the tape, the science team and Cecil, pass a door with a seahorse emblem, then one with a hand logo... and finally, one with the apple. The tape finds Walter retrieving a key from the jamb above the door. Sure enough, the key is still there after decades (or days) and he opens the door to retrieve the boy. Nothing. The bed is made, the lights are on - but the empathic child is not home.
Still in the room Walter had set aside for the juvenile empath, the group closely studies the videotaped portion of Walter's previous visit. Donald has set the recorder down and leaves a few needed supplies on the bed. Walter explains to the child what he expects of him. This room is designed just for him - and he must wait here for Walter to return. Time will be an issue, it may actually be a long time before Walter comes back, but it will seem like no time at all. Once Walter and Donald have left the room, Walter returns to his instructional narrative - you see where the child is, however, if you want to know why he is critical to the overall plan - you need to reference Videotape #8. The tape ends and Olivia supposes that Donald may have returned in the interim and removed the boy. Looking around the room, Peter spots an air-degradation unit that Observers favor. Higher concentrations of carbon monoxide suggest the child has Observer origins. Walter starts to meltdown. Angrier and more frustrated, the plan is falling apart. Without the child - the plan is useless, even though he cannot remember how the boy fits into the master plan. Walter is certain that Windmark took this token of knowledge from his mind and recovered the boy himself. Everything they have done since being extracted from Amber has been for nothing! Peter follows Walter from the room after the drama-queen outburst and Olivia notices, then inspects, a small transistor radio on the nightstand.
In his office down in Manhattan, Captain Windmark sits at his desk, writing, when an aide enters with fresh intelligence from the Boston area. Walter Bishop has been sighted in Quadrant Nine.
Back in the conventional
universe, and Apartment 413,
Astrid has been keeping a vigilant eye out for any trouble that might be coming their way - and it arrives in the form of an armed Loyalist convoy and senior Observers. Captain Windmark issues orders to his gathered forces - search parameters remain the same. Building to building... door-to-door. The tactical forces deploy as Astrid seeks refuge...
Peter finds Walter sulking in one of the side corridors and puts a positive spin on Walter's disappointment. You know - if Windmark had found the boy and took him from the pocket universe, he would have shut this 'non-place' down afterward. So that must mean Donald has the boy, he was the only other person that knew how to navigate around here. That makes sense, and takes the sting off of Walter's ire. But why would Donald move the child? It could be that Donald thinks Walter is dead - it has been a long, long time. The team has to find Donald now, it is the only way they'll know if he was the one that relocated the empathic child. Olivia interrupts the pow-wow and asks for an audience back in the room. The videotape shows that when Walter left the child in the room decades ago, there was no small handheld radio on the nightstand. That can only mean that the radio was brought in later, probably when the boy was taken away. Now, if the radio was intentionally deposited here, if may be a clue to help locate the child outside of the pocket universe. And Donald too, if he was the one that relocated the boy. Time to leave and return to normal time-space. Cecil heartily seconds the motion.
As the Observers and
Loyalists begin to fan out through the apartment complex, Astrid fails to conceal her whereabouts in time. Before she can step away from the window, an Observer steps through a trans-dimenesional portal behind her and back-hands Astrid... knocking her down and out. A second Observer arrives within seconds. Both turn to the entrance of the pocket universe and can visually see the passage that Astrid was guarding. Fight's on
as the two Baldies go in after the rest of the science team.
Inside the pocket universe, the Observers quickly navigate the strange physical environment using their ability to transit multiple portals. The science team, on the other hand, is limited to conventional locomotion. Cecil is the first to fall when he takes a fatal blast to the back. The remaining trio survives several surprise attacks by the narrowest of margins as Peter almost intuitively leads the way across the maze towards the exit. Turn after turn, Peter gets everyone closer to safety as Olivia covers the team's 'six'. Walter is delighted and starts his dance routine to get back in to the other Apartment 413. With no time for 'two-stepping', Peter pushes Walter through, then as Olivia catches-up, Peter points to the spot on the floor and tells her to cross here. Peter steps across, expecting Olivia a few seconds later. Astrid has regained her senses and she and Walter huddle with Peter after he comes through. Before Olivia can get across the room, an Observer appears behind her and smacks her to the ground. With ten times her strength, he picks her up off the floor by the throat. Trying to save her life, Olivia pulls her pistol from its holster and fires into the attacker... nothing. Like many tech devices, it doesn't work in this environment. Okay. Let's move this fight next door. Olivia shifts her weight, and gets the Observer off-balance enough to drag him
through the portal immediately behind her. Olivia nearly lands on the science team as she falls to the floor... and the Observer, he definitely lands on Olivia after her now fully-functional pistol shoots him dead.
Pursuit grows heavier as the science team attempts to evade capture and flee 167 Cedar Street without injury. One Observer nearly blasts Olivia from an upper-level, then quickly steps through a trans-dimesional membrane right behind her as she ducks around the corner. Peter leads the group outside into a side alley and dispatches the two armed Loyalists posted there. An Observer appears and Peter quickly ends his existence too. Time to take a stand. He tosses Olivia the equipment bag and asks that she get Walter and Astrid back to the train... he will stay and draw the pursuing forces off of their trail. See you in a bit... Go! No sooner than Olivia disappears around the corner, and Peter gets another visitor in his alley. This one has the quicker hand and sends Peter flying with a shockwave from his blaster. →
Relatively undamaged by the shock blast from the Observer, Peter pops to his feet ready to engage in hand-to-hand combat. His attacker, appears from thin air directly in front of him and the first punches score direct hits. Peter staggers backward, gains some composure, then steps forward to see if he can deliver a few blows. Without making any contact against the lightning fast Observer, Peter suffers more punches to the face and a knee to the gut. Resolved, Peter goes to school on the combat tactics of his opponent and steps-up his game, blocking and defending shots without suffering any further pain. The student becomes the master – and Peter starts deliver the damage. Flying fists stopped with superior power... an
elbow to the face in payback. More punches stopped... a thunder-punch to the sternum. The Observer soars across the alley to the fence and comes-up spitting blood. Calmly, he tells Peter that he knows what he has done – implanting the Observer tech in his head is a grave error. Without a word, and no body language, Peter creates a trans-dimensional window of his own and appears directly behind his opponent. The conversation ends a second later when Peter breaks the neck of the Observer. Peter stares at his hands. Impressed with these newfound skills, he grabs the pistol he dropped and creates another portal to leave the area. At the far end of the alley, Captain Windmark manages to catch a glimpse of Peter’s new mode of travel. Impressive skills, indeed.
On the train back to the lab, Walter and Astrid wait to sit while Olivia worries that Peter won’t make it... the doors are about to close and she plans to go back after him. Just seconds before departure, Peter makes it aboard. Whew. Olivia needs to know – how did Peter find the way out of the pocket universe so quickly when they were being chased? He doesn’t know, or isn’t saying, but he will settle for the good fortune. Olivia and Astrid settle a few rows away in the crowded cabin while Walter and Peter get a little alone time. Olivia shows Astrid the small transistor radio they recovered in the pocket universe. That’s odd – the tuning dial is jammed on one frequency - and nobody appears to be broadcasting on it.
At least not yet. Walter is in a less than jolly mood and needs to confide in Peter. He feels bad that he totally ignored Cecil’s need to leave the pocket universe, which led to his death. Peter offers a little perspective on the situation. Cecil was essentially dead already. The light bomb that blasted him into the safety of the pocket universe twenty years would have killed him. Walter won’t consider the death as acceptable... he had the chance to help the man and he only focused on his personal mission. Walter sees his arrogance as a slide back to his old ways – he doesn’t want to be the man he was. That’s why he had his brain tweaked. He wasn’t safe to be around... now it is all coming back and he is losing the battle to his former superego. Peter won’t let that happen, he’ll be with Walter every step of the way. I promise, Dad. Olivia catches the tender moment and smiles. Peter returns the smile, then studies the surrounding railcar. This blue hue and lattice vision must be another new power of observation.
- Title. The episode title benchmarks off of the title to the 1871 sequel to Alice's Adventure In Wonderland. Key themes in 'Looking Glass' include a series of whimsical and complex strategy challenges with chess as the background, unique inventions and, in the end, the realization that it was all a dream.
- Pocket Universe. The time dilation aspects Walter incorporated into the space were initially 'Time Chambers' developed by Kate and Ray Green. (And Those We've Left Behind)
- Glyphs. Several glyphs mark residential doors on one floor of the apartment complex in the pocket universe.
||The grafitti art, "Ask Alice", on the fence near the first trans-dimensional shipping corridor (An Origin Story) alludes to the bizarre 'looking glass' nature of the pocket universe, and Alice's fabled adventures there
1) Do not answer the questions here.
2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
- Why did Windmark stay where he was and not pursue Peter when he eluded capture?
- Was the security camera that visually identified Walter going into the bombed-out apartment complex deliberately placed there to catch anyone returning to the 'pocket universe' portal that might have already known about it?
- Does the advanced micro-technology implanted in the brain stem of Observers rely on Cortexiphan-type drugs to fully actualize the capabilities they demonstrate?