FRINGE: Peter - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


April 2, 2010 by  

Who would have thought that an episode entitled “Peter” would be possible without a single moment of Joshua Jackson? More to the point, who would have thought that I could enjoy a Josh Jackson-less episode so much? I see “Peter” as being the origin episode of FRINGE. Even though it presented us with a series of new things to ponder, it more than made up for it by answering some key questions that are central to the show.

Big Hair, Big Answers

It seems that Olivia has kept Peter’s secret to herself, at least for the time being. Walter comes to her place, bearing a package and an explanation. As he flashes back to 1985, the big hair and the big revelations begin. What we learned:

Walter vs. Walternate

Back in the days when Walter and William Bell worked for the U.S. Army, they had developed a window to the other world. It enabled them to see at any given location, what was happening in the exact same location in the alternate reality. In addition, although they had kept it a secret from the government, they had been working on a device to open a portal between worlds.

Peter was suffering from a terminal illness and Walter was spending all of his time in the lab trying to find a cure, just as Walternate was doing over there. Walter was using the window to watch Walternate because the technology on the other side is more advanced and Walternate was more likely to be able to develop a cure than Walter was. Unfortunately, the young Peter of this world died before a cure could be discovered, setting off an important chain of events.

After losing his own Peter, Walter continued to watch Walternate to make sure that he found a cure for the other Peter. Walternate ultimately finds the cure, but he fails to realize it, because he is distracted by The Observer (more on that below). Walter uses Walternate’s research to develop a vial of the cure and is determined to go to other world to save Peter.

Nina and Walter’s lab assistant try to stop him from opening the portal, but Walter won’t listen. His intention really is to just go there, cure Peter, and then leave. But not all goes as planned and as he crosses over, the cure is destroyed. He alters his plan and brings Peter back with him. The two of them make it safely through the portal, only to fall through the ice of the frozen lake. The Observer saves them and Walter is able to bring Peter to his lab to administer the cure.

All along, Walter’s intention truly is to return Peter to Walternate. But when Walter’s wife unexpectedly enters the lab and sees Peter there, her eyes plead with Walter to keep him. Inside, Walter feels similarly unable to lose Peter again and the decision is made. And so it begins…

Nina and William

If I recall correctly, the story that Nina told Olivia about her mechanical arm is that she lost her real arm to cancer. Not true. She actually injured her arm when she struggled with Walter to keep him from crossing through the portal to the other world. Walter made it through and so did Nina’s left arm. Perhaps this helps to explain why Nina and Walter aren’t exactly best buds in the present day.

Back in ’85, they seemed to be part of a tight knit group. Nina was one of only four people at Peter’s funeral and seemed genuinely grieved by his death. She made several comments about how much Peter meant to her. Walter acknowledges her comments, but nothing else is said that would help us further understand Nina’s relationship to Peter.

Notably missing from the flashback is William Bell. According to Nina, Bell is in Berlin, attending meetings that are important to both Bishop and Bell. Walter seems disillusioned with Bell and describes him as being wealth and power hungry. There is obviously some dissent between the two men, but it is not further discussed. Bell is unreachable throughout the episode. Is it just because he is busy abroad or is it because he is already somewhere a bit more far away?

The Boy is Important

It has been widely suspected that Peter, like Olivia, plays some kind of important role in events to come. This episode confirms it. In the 1985 flashback, The Observer enters Walternate’s lab so that he can witness the important event of Walternate discovering the cure for Peter. The development of the cure is important because Peter is important. But a “mistake” is made because presence of The Observer distracts Walternate from realizing that he found the cure.

The Observer realizes his mistake and confers with his other Observer pals about it. They tell him that he will have a chance to correct his mistake. That is why he comes to be at the frozen lake, where he saves Peter and Walter from the icy waters. I love how this tied together everything that we had learned about the observers in the “August” episode, earlier this season. Plus, I had always been confused about how Peter died — illness or the car accident? It was nice to get the whole story. It doesn’t, however, shed any light on that weird Peter-in-the-incubator-thing scene from Season 1. Guess we’ll have to wait for that.

Worth Mentioning

  • It was a treat to watch John Noble playing a younger, saner, more eloquent Walter.
  • I’m curious as to why young Peter was shown having the lucky silver dollar conversation with Walter in one world but with Elizabeth in the other.
  • “Back to the Future” starring Eric Stolz – gotta love it.
  • Carla seemed interesting and I would like to learn more about her, but she is no Astrid!!

What did you think? What ever happened to Peter’s mother? Is Walter really to blame for all that is happening now? Is a vengeful Walternate the Big Bad on the other side? How is Peter important? Share your thoughts below.

P.S. For all you code crackers – tonight’s word was PETER.

Gretchen is a stay-at-home mom of two awesome little girls who has the good fortune of being married to a husband who is completely cool with her slightly out of control television addiction. During her precious few sleeping hours, Gretchen frequently finds herself ridding the world of pesky vampires and demons, as well as taking down fake secret branches of the CIA.


6 Responses to “FRINGE: Peter”

  1. John on April 2nd, 2010 11:35 am

    I think the coin trick differences bewteen universes was just to show that there are minor and major differences in each universe.

    The younger Walter rambles less, but is, I think, equally crazy.

  2. Paq23 on April 2nd, 2010 11:44 am

    Yeah it only proves that nobody gives a crap about Joshua jackson.

  3. Michele on April 2nd, 2010 7:18 pm

    Oh, not true! I think Joshua jackson is great in this role, and I can’t wait to see his reaction when he finds out he is from the other side!

  4. GMMR on April 5th, 2010 9:38 am

    I don’t watch FRINGE but I love me some Joshua Jackson.

  5. John Fellows on April 5th, 2010 3:30 pm

    At 52 min in music starts playing. What song, what band?
    Clue: Vancouver band, heralded to be the next Pink Floyd
    Did not happen. Great song. Will post answer after 2 comments,
    if no one comes up with the answer and will post video at that time.

  6. Elliot on April 5th, 2010 5:13 pm

    That wasn’t Peter in an incubator in S1, it was Christopher Penroses.
    And Nina did lose her arm to cancer–it developed after the portal incident–BR say she wasn’t lying about the cancer, just not telling the whole truth…