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|Air Date:||15 Apr 2010|
|Written by:|| J.H. Wyman|
|Directed by:||Tom Yatsko|
|Guest Cast:|| Peter Weller as Dr. Alistair Peck|
Laara Sadiq as Carol Bryce
Marie Avgeropoulos as Waitress
|Next:||The Man From The Other Side|
|Previously:||Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.|
|Transcript — Additional Images|
- White Tulip is the eighteenth episode of the second season of FRINGE. It first aired on April 15, 2010. Commuters aboard a train appear to have died a quiet death - as if a switch was flipped and electrical power drained from them. The team assembles at the odd crime scene and Peter grows suspicious of Walter, who is struggling to keep his dire secret. A very powerful man is implicated in the case and ironic circumstances, with severe consequences, occur.
Synopsisman that appeared Walter sits at his desk, intent on sharing his unimagineable family secret in a letter to Peter. Walter has found his purpose in life, following his absence - a tangible reason to survive in the world again. Peter is special in a way that no one else is, and there is nothing that Walter won't do for him. The phone next to Walter rings twice and the call goes straight to the answering machine. Peter is calling from the lab... he needs Walter to pick-up. After a few refresher instructions on how to operate the machine, Peter tells him the plan... Olivia just contacted him about the incident on the train. Walter needs to get his kit together, Peter will be home in fifteen minutes to get him. After Peter hangs-up, Walter breathes heavy with emotion then smiles, folds the letter, and seals it in an envelope. He studies the letter for a moment then places it into the right pocket of his sweater.
The science team arrives at Bay Station and walks across the tracks towards the car loaded with corpses. Investigators are searching the area and Walter makes a point of introducing himself to some of them. Olivia and Peter are close behind and talk privately. Peter shares that Walter has been acting weird - enveloped in sadness, and avoiding him. Worse yet, Walter has stopped eating. Aware of Walter's lament, Olivia professes she hasn't noticed anything different about Walter.
← Inside the commuter train, Broyles sticks his head in the door and asks Olivia to join him outside. Standing nearby is the young thief that was trapped with the dead the night before. Broyles tells Olivia what the pickpocket saw - a six foot tall man with brown hair wearing a trench coat exited the car just before the bodies were discovered. The man said nothing, avoided the thief and walked down the stairs from the platform. Inside the car, Walter has dropped his letter to Peter. An agent picks-up the letter with Peter's name on it and walks it back to other nearby agents. Walter hurries over and recovers the letter before it accidently finds its' way to his son. Peter finds another interesting fact and calls Olivia and Broyles back into the car. All of the victim's portable electronic devices are drained of power. Walter retracts his theory about collective heart failure - still, he will need to take 6 or 7 of the corpses back to his lab. Broyles is handed a photo from the platform security camera... a man fitting the description is walking briskly from the affected commuter train. Astrid as the autopsies begin. Peter joins the duo as Walter deduces that the victim's, like their electronic devices, have been drained of all energy, not even struggling for their last breathes. Walter needs lung, brain, and skin samples. Astrid believes she is underpaid. Peter wants to know why Walter is being cold to him - do they need to talk? Walter tells him everything is fine. Astrid calls cellular samples up on her monitor for Walter to review. ATP concentrations are unusually low - the victim's mitochondria ceased functioning well before it should. They decide to check for a trend. Peter asks, and learns, the hearts of the dead just didn't stop functioning... every cell in their bodies failed.
Olivia joins Broyles at the Federal Building to review Boston area surveillance camera footage containing the suspect. The footage, arranged sequentially, shows the suspect leaving the train station, crossing Ferris Avenue, then continuing North past a bank on Howard Street. He enters a local cafe and spends three-quarters of an hour there before leaving. Once he leaves Cafe Wilusa - the trail ends and he isn't seen on surveillance footage again.
Cafe Wilusa. Olivia interviews one of the servers and shows her a photo. The employee tells Olivia that the suspect eats there all the time. He was there that same morning. The man seems weird to her because he is always doing math on things like napkins and placemats. Olivia asks if her suspect pays with a credit card. He does, and she gets the receipt for Alistair Peck's meal.
A team of agents raid Peck's home and find it empty. Olivia moves upstairs with half of the team and scans the complex math equations posted on the walls around the large studio. She calls on the radio to have Walter and Peter sent up. Later, Walter studies the equations and notes how extraordinarily complex and sublime they are. They appear to be scientific shorthand about how subatomic particles behave. Peter finds an award in a damaged picture frame on one of the tables. Peck received recognition from his colleagues in 1999 for Excellence in the study and advancement of Astrophysics at MIT. From the equations in the room, Walter garners that Peck has taken Einstein's Theory of Relativity and turned it on its ear... depicting Tachyons and dealing with tremendous amounts of energy.
Outside his home, Peck Faraday Mesh, a shield to create a temporal pocket around his body. Holding his arms out to his sides, Peck begins to shift to another time period. After phasing in and out of visual focus to those in his home, Peck reappears in a blue light on the same commuter train from the previous night. (Temporal Event #2) He exits the train car and is confronted by the same thief he met before. This time he apologizes to the pickpocket for putting him through the same ordeal - again. Peck leaves and the young criminal enters the car to find a dozen dead commuters.
At Bay Station, Peter and Olivia have the same private conversation as they follow Walter to the car. Inside the car, Walter starts to inspect the corpses where they died. Outside, Broyles receives a report file from an investigator standing with the pickpocket that discovered the dead. Inside, Peter responds to Walter's initial theory about simultaneous heart failure: Olivia inspects a second train car, then shares the same observation she did before - no electrical power in the car. Broyles collects Olivia and she exits the vehicle to interview the thief. He tells Olivia that the suspect apologized for putting him through this - again. Peter looks around the cabin and starts to notice that all of the personal electronic devices are inoperative. Peter fails to notice that Walter has dropped the letter he wrote revealing their family secret about Peter's origins. Walter sees that his letter to Peter is in the hands of an inspector and he hurries to retrieve it before it is handed to Peter.
← From Federal Building. He reports that the victims did not die of a group heart attack, but were completely drained of energy... like their phone batteries. Broyles finds Olivia after her phone call and hands her a file. The investigation has turned-up a positive fingerprint for the suspect from a set of prints NASA had on record for a member of one of their think-tanks - Doctor Alistair Peck, a local scientist that lives at 412 Inman Street.
At Peck's house, the assault team raids, then clears the house in their search for the suspect. The sparse quarters have had most of the scientific equipment, and personal belongings, removed. The Bishop's are called in and, without any complex math equations to distract him, Walter finds the award that identifies Peck as a distinguished MIT astrophysicist. Olivia takes a second to claim she is having Déjà vu. Peter quips that Déjà vu is fate's way of telling you that you are exactly where you should be... in-line with your own destiny. Peter confides that he doesn't believe that - he isn't on track with his destiny. Walter listens to the altruism and hesitates, momentarily frozen by his quandary. Peter finds a photo collection with a picture labeled, "Me and Alistair". Olivia examines the image of Peck and the women he has his arm around and begins searching the area for a relationship connection. She finds a pink toothbrush near the sink and figures one of the two will be back sooner, or later.
After some time at the residence, Walter has reached his limit and suggests to Olivia it is time to go home. He wants to ride with Olivia because being near Peter is uncomfortable. Olivia tells Walter that Peter knows something is making him upset. Walter tells Olivia about the letter he has composed to reveal the truth to Peter. The letter is concise - in just the right words - to explain everything to Peter. Walter's only problem is that when he envisions Peter's reaction, the outcome is terrible. He will give Peter the letter, but, he is waiting for something first. Peter returns from another room with handmade templates for machine parts. Walter inspects the basic pieces created
In his secondary lab, Peck works diligently on a bench-grinder to create new mechanical components. After completing one piece, he removes his protective apron and shirt - his chest and skin are embedded with the mechanical prototypes he has been fabricating. Carol Bryce shares what she remembers about Alistair Peck during his six years at the institution. Peck was keenly focused on particle acceleration and creating wormholes without a particle collider. His theories about time travel were well above the ability of his colleagues to comprehend and eventually, he became an embarrassment for his supervisors, so Peck resigned before he could be fired from his position about a year prior. Olivia shows her the photo they found in Peck's apartment. Bryce remembers the women in the photo as his fiancée, Arlette. She does not remember much else about Peck. He was a kind man, but was never very social... she may have been his only friend there. Bryce allows Olivia and Peter to take a stack of thick journals Peck had hoped to publish. The content is highly complex, maybe even nonsense, but gathering dust in her care just the same. Olivia accepts the journals - she knows Walter can handle the content.
In his lab, Walter joins the rest of the team, returns a journal that was brought to him, then announces he is finished. With the help of other great minds, and another twenty years, he will have absorbed the extraordinary theories Peck is currently utilizing. The big issue is the tremendous amount of energy required to jump through time at the speed of light - it is what killed all of the people on the train, and drained their electronics. Walter adds - they may have already apprehended Peck several times, if he is indeed moving through time. Astrid locates Arlette Turling. A car in one of Peck's photo albums was registered to her. Turling's license photo confirms that she is his one connection. Walter continues his analysis of the journals. In the back of the unfinished third volume, a handwritten segment suddenly ends the chapter entitled Achieving The Arlette Principle. Olivia deduces Peck's motive. Turling died in an auto accident ten months earlier on May 18th, and Peck is going to try and go back in time to save her. Walter reflects somberly on his own predicament - grief can drive people to extraordinary lengths. Walter applies what he read in the journals to the evidence. If Peck killed a dozen people by time-traveling twelve hours, he may kill hundreds if he attempts to travel back ten months. After some additional research, Astrid reports that Arlette Turling's cell phone number is still active... someone is paying the bill. The primary cell tower that has been handling the signal from Arlette's cell phone is near Albany Street. Peter knows the area - it is near MIT - maybe Peck has a secondary lab there.
Outside of Peck's secondary lab, Broyles directs his snipers to get on the rooftops to see inside the
In his lab, Alistair Peck performs painful surgery on himself to insert the newly hand-crafted devices below his skin. Walter enters the lab and raises his hands as Peck finishes inserting the components he fabricated. Walter assures Peck that he is not a threat, just an ambassador. The grotesquely disfigured Peck turns and recognizes Walter, he has read Walter's "New Frontiers In Genetic Hybridization." Walter asks for Peck's trust, even though Peck could time-travel from the lab in a second... if he wanted to escape.
Peck explains his fixation with correcting the past. The day the errant motorist killed Arlette, she had asked him to help her register for wedding gifts. He declined and upset her in doing so. On his own for the day, he noticed a large, red hot air balloon in a field on the edge of the city. He was drawn to it and had an epiphany about how to physically apply his theories of time travel. He was studying the balloon when she died at 2:18PM. He is certain that she would be alive if he had been with her that afternoon. His plan is to travel back to the balloon, draining only the surrounding plant life of its' energy, then locate and prevent Arlette's death.
Walter feels strongly about the story, but he knows why Peck hasn't travelled back to May 18th... he doesn't know how to, he can only go back as far as the train.
The raiding team begins to bang open the lab doors and Walter runs to intercept them before they reach Peck. He warns the entering agents that they won't remember anything. Walter is hauled from the lab and Peck initiates another temporal event, disappearing in a flash of light. (Temporal Event #3)
The science team joins Broyles outside of Peck's home just as an assault team is preparing to enter the barricaded home. After completing the corrections to his equations, and with only a few moments to spare before the tactical team raids his house, Peck sits and composes a quick letter. He grabs an envelope and addresses it to his former colleague at MIT, Carol Bryce. The entry team is gaining access and the sniper team, now in position, has a clear shot from a rooftop across the street. Broyles gives the sniper team the clearance to take their shot. Inside his
Clear of the large field and the hot-air balloon, Peck runs along the city streets and sidewalks to find Arlette Turling before she is struck by a reckless driver. Dodging pedestrians, Peck finds Turling just as she enters her sedan. Just after she buckles her safety belt and checks her phone for messages, Peck opens the door and jumps in to the passenger seat beside her. Startled by his change of mind, she is happy to see that he joined her for the pre-wedding shopping venture. He takes her hand, holds it to his cheek, and tells her he loves her. Seconds later, a vehicle broadsides Turling's car at a high rate of speed.
In her office at MIT, Carol Bryce opens the top drawer of a filing cabinet and retrieves the envelope Peck sent to her the previous May. The Post-It-Note attached to the envelope has instructions to deliver the envelope to Walter Bishop on March 18, 2010, ten months after Peck and Turling died. Prof. Lime walks past her door and notices the envelope from Peck. He encourages her to open it, Peck trusted her. Bryce disagrees. Peck would not have sealed it
On one final spiral iteration through the timeline, it is nearly 10AM at the Bishop's home and Walter sits quietly at his desk with pen in hand. He is completing his well-intended letter to Peter that will reveal Peter's origins to him, and the actions Walter took to make that happen. He finishes the letter, places it in an envelope and seals it. He studies the envelope for a few moments, then smiles as he reflects on what he is about to do. He takes another few seconds to look at a photo of the two of them together. He can't give Peter the letter, so he walks to the fireplace and tosses the letter on the burning logs. Peter returns home and enters through the front door... he has fixed Walter's turntable, some music might cheer him-up. Or they could talk. Walter says he is fine - he has just been bothered by a decision that was weighing on him. Peter leaves the room and Walter returns to watching the letter he wrote continue to burn. The daily mail has been delivered and rests on the entryway rug near the door. Walter retrieves the mail and opens the one forwarded by Carol Bryce. Inside is a simple, hand-drawn image of a white tulip... the sign from God that he was looking for. Walter looks up. Once to Heaven. A second time to Peter's room.
- The Observer stands in a doorway near the vehicle crash that kills Alistair Peck and his fiancée.
- White tulips signify claim of worthiness or to send a message of forgiveness.
- Polynomials. A 7th order polynomial is a polynomial where the highest exponent is 7 when expressed in canonical form. For example, the polynomial 7x²y³z² + 4x²z − 9 is a 7th order polynomial. The first term has a degree of 7 (the sum of 2, 3 and 2), the second term has a degree of 3 (the sum of 2 and 1), and the last term has a degree of 0. A 9th order polynomial is a polynomial where the highest exponent is 9 when expressed in canonical form. For example, the polynomial 7x³y³z³ + 4x²z³ − 9y is a 9th order polynomial. The first term has a degree of 9 (the sum of 3, 3 and 3), the second term has a degree of 5 (the sum of 2 and 3), and the last term has a degree of 1.
- MassTrack railroad transit advertisements state - Be There In No Time - playing on the time travel theme of the episode.
- Peck pours tea from a Brown Betty teapot, vaguely foreshadowing an upcoming episode.
|Olivia's sleepless night (Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.) ends at 5:18. May 18th (5:18) is the destination date of Alistair Peck to intercept and save his fiancée.|
|• Are Friends Electric? by Gary Numan ||• The Sweetest Thing by Camera Obscura|
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on White Tulip/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- Was the crash that killed Turling and Peck together an accident, or a deliberate act?
- Why was it important for the Observer to witness the car accident that killed Turling and Peck?
- Was the crash that killed Turling alone an accident, or a deliberate act?
- Did the Observer witness the car accident that killed only Turling?
- Why did the bizarre implants in Peck's body not catch the attention of the Fringe Division after Peck's death in May 2009?
- Alistair Peck
- Does his time travelling influence the timeline in the alternate universe?
- Does he create a different alternate universe when he time travels?
- How does Peck control where he appears when he jumps in time?
- When did he send the message for Walter to Carol Bryce?
- Does he time travel to his own body, or does he create a second instance of himself in the same timeframe?
- If he creates a second version of himself, does he ever cross paths with himself?
- If he travels to his own body, why does he appear 'out of thin air'? (ref:Novikov Principle)