Peter

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Peter
Episode216.jpg
Season: 2 Episode: 16
Air Date: 1 Apr 2010
Written by: Akiva Goldsman (story)
Jeff Pinkner (story & teleplay)
Joel Wyman (story & teleplay)
Josh Singer (story & teleplay)
Directed by: David Straiton
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: Orla Brady as Elizabeth Bishop
Jenni Blong as Dr. Carla Warren
Quinn Lord as Young Peter
Michael Cerveris as The Observer
Eugene Lipinski as December
Peter Woodward as August

Julian Christopher as General Tonks
Serge Houde as General Hames

Next: Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.
Previously: Jacksonville
Transcript  —  Additional Images

      (for the character, see Peter Bishop)

Introduction
Peter is the sixteenth episode of the second season of FRINGE. It first aired on April 1, 2010. Walter approaches Olivia to help her process recent events and to share the long kept secret he has maintained about Peter's origins in the alternate universe. He vividly recalls his ordeal in 1985 for Olivia, explaining the nature of affairs with his wife, his assistant, his visit to the alternate universe, his encounter with The Observer, the loss of his son and the abduction and restoration to health of the other Peter.

Synopsis

Prologue
US Army Research Headquarters, New York City, 1985. Doctor Walter Bishop briefs three senior military officials on his recent work. In the process, he attempts to garner additional funding and to sway them to his outlook - science must embrace every possibility, without limitations or boundaries. Slightly concerned that William Bell is not in attendance, they accept Walter's briefing and his presentation of a small, slim,
Pitching The General Audience
digital mobile phone - technology that is years ahead of its' time. Walter reveals that he did not design it, nor did the Russians, but that the device is from an alternate universe... a universe just like the one they live in, but more advanced in certain areas. Walter assures them that he did not travel there to gain the technology... but that he copied it by observing the alternate universe. Walter and the General Officers join Doctor Carla Warren on the roof of the midtown high-rise headquarters building as she finishes assembling a large portable screen. Carla, Walter's assistant greets them and activates the device. Walter continues his briefing and explains that images in the device are generated from errant photons from the alternate universe, allowing it to be observed in the same space, but from their side only. As the window is inspected, the alternate universe reveals a large, dirigible 1985 airship attempting to dock at the Empire State Building, a practice that was abandoned decades earlier in this universe.

ACT I

← In 2010 Boston, Olivia opens
Needs Some "Alone" Time
the door to her apartment holding a cocktail and is greeted by a concerned Walter, intent on chatting. She hasn't been taking his calls and won't return his messages - still, he needs to see her. She explains that she needs time alone to reflect on recent events and revelations. Walter thinks he can help her and wants to come in for a drink. Inside, Walter asks if she has shared what she learned about Peter with Broyles. Olivia says she has not, but that she may. Walter knows that one day he would have to pay the price for abducting Peter from the alternate universe. Walter unwraps the large item he brought with him and shows Olivia the viewing device he invented to observe the alternate universe. He explains that he was a different man when Peter was young... he was going to change the world. After Peter became sick, changing the world didn't seem to matter anymore. Peter's genetic illness was savaging his body, causing him to waste away. Walter tried everything to cure Peter, but there was simply no hope - in this universe. The other universe, however, was technologically more advanced, and his alternate self was equally motivated to find a cure.

Walter recounts the events of late 1985 for Olivia.

In his lab, Walter is joined by fellow scientist explorer Carla Warren. Walter stands still, studying the activities in the alternate universe version of his lab using his viewing device. The alternate Doctor Bishop is synthesizing a new cobalt and magnesium compound. Walter tells Carla he suspects the elements are being chosen randomly. Carefully observing his counterpart, who he has dubbed Secretary Bishop, Walter takes notes on the results of the latest failed experiment. The phone
Pilfering Technology?
in his office rings and Walter finds Elizabeth on the other end urging him to come - now. Walter agrees.

At home, an exhausted Elizabeth sits and waits on the stairs as Walter comes through the front door. She tells Walter that Peter seems different, worried, and keeps asking for him. It is unbearable for Elizabeth when Walter isn't home. Walter tells her he won't give up trying to develop a cure for Peter - she knows she can always find him at the lab. He needs her confidence in his efforts. Walter joins Peter upstairs in his bedroom and reminds him he is supposed to be resting. Peter has been practicing his manual dexterity and shows Walter how he can pass his favorite silver dollar from finger to finger. Walter demonstrates the exercise and returns the coin for more practice. Peter performs the exercise perfectly then tells his father he wants him to have his coin, if he dies. In quiet pain, young Peter tells Walter everything is okay -- he is not scared. Walter promises Peter that nothing is going to happen, he is going to be just fine. Walter wants him to rest, but Peter has one condition - they wake him for dinner. Walter gives his son a warm hug, then realizes... Peter has just died in his arms.

ACT II

Standing graveside with the Bishops amid the tall pines in 1985, Carla Warren and Nina Sharp have joined them for the worst day of their lives... the day they bury their only child. They all stand next to the casket, somberly listening to the words of a clergyman. Elizabeth begins to cry, then moves to the limousine with the others as the casket is lowered and attendants begin to cover it with soil. Nina joins Walter for a private word, apologizing for William Bell's absence. Bell is in Berlin, and feels terrible he couldn't be at the funeral, but his meetings there were too important for both he and Walter to miss. Emotionally disconnected, Walter thanks Nina and joins his wife in their vehicle.

← At
Reflecting On Peter's Life
home after the funeral, the Bishops sit and reflect on the life they offered Peter. Elizabeth's position is that they didn't give him a good life... he never got out, never went to a proper school, had no friends. Walter defends the choices they made... even though Peter was always too sick, he knew he was loved and they, as parents, did the best with the circumstances they were dealt.
  In the middle of the night, Walter retrieves Elizabeth from bed and leads her to Peter's room. Inside the room, Walter has set-up the imaging device he uses to view the parallel universe. Elizabeth doesn't recognize the device. Walter
Viewing alt-Peter
activates the viewer and Elizabeth is stunned at what she sees - a living version of her son tucked into bed. Walter explains the device is what he has been working on, a window into a universe similar to ours, but different. He turns off the imager and Elizabeth grows anxious to see Peter again. Walter assuages her with the comforting thought that somewhere Peter will grow up, and live a proper, happy life. That won't happen in their universe though - they must move on with their lives. →

Walter has returned to his lab with the viewing device. After he activates it, he settles in to watch his alternate universe self work to perfect a treatment for Peter's genetic illness. Walter is getting tipsy from drinking too much, then almost falls when he notices the compounds being utilized in the other lab are not random. The Observer enters the alternate lab and begins a conversation with alternate Walter. Distracted from his work, the alternate Walter fails to notice that he mixed the correct compounds to treat Peter, and save him from death. Walter watches through the imaging window and becomes excited at the success in the other lab, then at the failure of his counterpart to notice the fleeting success of his unstable experiment. Distraught at the thought of losing the alternate young Peter, Walter throws his glass at the viewing window and badly damages it.

ACT III

← In
Admitting A Mistake
the 1985 alternate universe, three Observers meet outside of a movie theater after a late afternoon matinee. The Observer tells December and August that he made a mistake. He was at the lab to observe an important moment, a cure for Peter was imminent, but he was discovered by Doctor Bishop. August reminds him that he has changed the future and created a new set of probabilities. The Observer tells them that Peter is significant. His colleagues tell him that he needs to take action to restore balance - he will have an opportunity to fix his mistake.
At Walter's lab, Carla Warren joins him, looks around and asks if he worked all night. He tells her he has been working on the cure for Peter that his alternate self developed, but failed to notice. Walter believes he has time to save the other Peter. Carla offers that the alternate Walter may go back over his work once he realizes what he missed. Walter doesn't think so. He wouldn't go back - and the alternate Walter won't either. Walter has a plan. He has finished and refined the cure to Peter's ailment... now he wants to produce a thin, porous region in space-time (Casimir Effect) to cross over to the alternate universe with a vial of the cure for Peter, intercept him at the lake house they go to, then return. Carla is concerned - Walter
Portal Pick
wants to create a wormhole into another universe. Carla strongly disagrees with the path Walter wants to pursue... shattering the wall between universes will rupture the fundamental constants of nature. This is the exact reason they haven't shared their scientific theories with the military - it is an ethical line she doesn't want to cross. Walter attacks her religious and ethical stance, but she won't waver. Knowledge cannot be pursued without morality. Regardless of her spiritual convictions, she also has three degrees in theoretical physics and she knows -- the amount of energy required to create a portal will forever ruin both universes. Walter won't yield either, he will not allow young Peter to die. Her God is not God in his lab. Walter picks Reiden Lake as the point he will establish the portal, the water there will absorb any excess energy he creates. Walter brusquely dismiss Doctor Warren and she marches out of the lab.

Carla joins Nina in the elevator lobby at the office and tells her of Walter's intentions. Nina dismisses Walter's plan as a flight of fancy, a portal to the alternate universe is decades beyond imagination. Carla warns Nina otherwise - Walter already has the design and is building it. Nina immediately places a call to find William Bell.

Walter drives through the snowy night along the shore of Reiden Lake, then stops to unload the equipment strapped to his station wagon. He checks his pocket to make sure he has the vial of medicine he developed to cure Peter.

ACT IV

At Reiden Lake, Walter drags a sled loaded with equipment out onto the
Necessary Roughness - Nina Tackles Walter
frozen surface of the lake and begins to assemble the separate pieces. After completing the assembly, he starts a generator and studies the rectangular ring on the surface and the vertical panels within the ring. Satisfied, he activates the portal and checks that the cure he developed is secure in his breast pocket. He looks up and sees Carla Warren walking across the ice towards him. He tells her he is happy she changed her mind. Carla hasn't changed her mind... she brought Nina Sharp with her to stop Walter from going through with his plan. Nina attempts to influence Walter, suggesting William Bell would not approve. Walter thinks otherwise. This is exactly the type of risk Bell has encouraged him to take. Why peek at the other universe, when you can visit it?
Zero Event?
As Walter continues to prepare and check his equipment, he tells Nina she doesn't understand Bell. He thinks Nina is blinded by Bell's charming manner and air of intelligence. Walter knows Bell better than that - all William Bell ever cared about was increasing the power, wealth and legend of William Bell. Nina takes a different tack... Peter meant a lot to her too... it's hard to admit he is gone. Saving the alternate universe Peter isn't the answer. Walter won't budge. Peter won't die again. Walter activates the portal and starts to walk through it. Nina won't let him go and tackles him to the ground. Walter gets up and charges into the portal with Nina hooked onto one of his ankles. He falls onto the ice in the alternate universe, alone with no equipment or companions. Nina did not transit the plane of the portal, but her right arm did. Carla rushes to help her and they both see that Nina's arm is pulsing, and out of focus. On his side, Walter checks the vial of medicine he created for Peter. His shirt is stained with the liquid, the broken vial is empty. Walter turns, gets his bearings, then runs from the frozen lake.

ACT V

At the Bishop Lake House in the alternate universe
Deceiving Elizabeth
Elizabeth tucks her son in for a night of sleep. He has been practicing a manual dexterity exercise with his favorite coin and almost has it mastered. She shows him how it is done then lets him practice some more. He tells her he wants her to have the coin - if he dies - it's okay, he's not scared. She assures her son that nothing is going to happen to him, then turns off the light so he can rest. A short while later, Walter enters the darkened room and is greeted by Peter as he wakes. Elizabeth finds the two talking and is surprised - she thought Walter was working late. Walter tells her he found a cure for Peter's ailment and needs to take him back to the lab in Cambridge... they need to leave now. Elizabeth tells Peter he has to get up, she will help him dress to go to Walter's work. Walter asks her to stay behind and rest. The process may take some time and he needs her to be strong when Peter starts recuperating. Elizabeth reluctantly agrees and gives Peter his favorite coin to take with him for luck. She watches the two through the window as they head out into the night.
Returning to Reiden Lake,
Bring Peter Through The Portal
Walter helps Peter across the frozen surface as he retraces his earlier path. Peter is cold and wants to know where they are going without the car. Walter tells him they can't get where they are going in a car. Peter is suspicious - this man is not his father. Walter lies outright and says he is... and he is going to make him all better. Walter finds the point on the lake where he arrived and activates the portal with a handheld control from his pocket. The gate between the universes opens in front of them and Walter escorts Peter into it. After a few steps, Walter is surrounded by the equipment he left. He deactivates the portal, then looks at the ice cracking below their feet. Seconds later, they both fall through the ice and plunge deep into the frigid waters.

ACT VI

Losing their struggle for life in the cold water of Reiden Lake, Walter and Peter are joined by The Observer and plucked to safety. Walter regains consciousness in his station wagon. Peter is asleep under a blanket in the back seat, and the bald man that saved them is driving them toward Walter's lab. Walter asks if Peter is okay. He also recognizes his rescuer from the alternate universe lab and wants to know who he his. The Observer tells him Nina and Carla went to seek medical attention. He also knows Peter won't live much longer. He tells Walter he must fix Peter - he is important and has to live. Six miles from the lab, The Observer pulls over and leaves Walter to drive the rest of the way.

Back at his lab, Walter tends to Peter. Carla reports that Bell has called
Elizabeth Finds Hope
in a team of specialists to treat Nina's arm - plus he has some thoughts of his own about treating her arm. Walter thanks her for coming in to help treat Peter. She wants to know if he is going to return Peter. He says he will... once Peter is stabilized. Carla leaves and Elizabeth joins Walter as he looks over Peter. She tells him she was worried after he didn't come home the night before. She notices Peter resting under some blankets. How?... Walter explains it is the Peter he showed her with his viewing device. Taking him was the only way he could save him. Overwhelmed, Elizabeth approaches Peter, checks his breathing then takes him in her arms. Walter tells her not to, the boy is not theirs and he has to take him back.

Walter concludes his recollection of 1985.

Sitting quietly with Olivia in her apartment, Walter confides to her - he realized then, regardless of what he promised Carla, he could never take Peter back to the alternate universe. The way Elizabeth looked at him, what he feared most in himself when he watched Peter... he couldn't lose him again. His trip to the parallel universe was the first breach between the universes - his fault. She can not imagine what it's like to lose a child. Olivia is left speechless.

Quotes

"Peter, darling, get up. I'm going to get you dressed. Darling, let's get you out of this. Okay. Good boy. Okay, let's... there's a good chap. Alright. Darling, we just have to go to daddy's work." - Elizabeth Bishop (to Peter, her final words in alternate universe 1985 before losing him)

"I may go to church every Sunday, Walter, but I also have three degrees in theoretical physics, and I am telling you you cannot do this. We both know the amount of energy required to create a portal will forever ruin both universes. For the sake of one life, you will destroy the world. Some things are not ours to tamper with." - Carla Warren (to Walter, trying to stop his transgression into the parallel universe to abduct the other young Peter)

Trivia

General
  • The Observer, while being observed by Walter, accidentally distracts Secretary Bishop from discovering the cure for the his son's illness.
  • Cinema. The movie theater marquee in the alternate universe displayed Back to the Future starring Eric Stoltz, instead of Michael J. Fox. In reality, Stoltz shot only four weeks of the film, before Fox was granted latitude from his television contract to assume the role that he was the primary choice for.
  • Science Folklore. Carla Warren quotes 1940's atomic weapon developer, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer - "I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds" - attempting to sway Walter from crossing to the alternate universe, and the potential for catastrophic outcome that might ensue.
  • Imagery. The Opening Splash was re-mastered to reflect a 1985 motif, and the Fringe Sciences of the day.
  • SLUSHO. The fictional drink is available at movie theaters in the alternate universe, circa 1985. Two Observers exit with partially consumed servings.
  • No-shows. Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole and Lance Reddick were credited, but did not act in the episode. This is the first episode of Fringe these actors have failed to perform in.
Recurring Themes
  • Alternate Universe. A portal between universes is established at Reiden Lake.
Cultural References
  • Back to the Future. Prominently displayed in the episode, it is a popular and iconic science-fiction movie trilogy of recent times that explored the "Fringe Science" of time travel, and the potential hazard of altering ones own destiny.
Episodic References
  • Dexterity. Peter's birth mother, Elizabeth, teaches him the manual dexterity exercise with his silver dollar that he still practices (Safe) as an adult.

Previously

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NextEpisodeClue216.jpg
NextEpisodeClue216.jpg
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NextEpisodeClue216.jpg
    The police barricade (Jacksonville) warns about Crossing The Line, an echo of the 1985 warning by Carla Warren to Walter, that travelling to the parallel universe will Cross The Line of ethical science by rupturing the fundamental constants of nature.

Music

Worlds Away by Strange Advance {{#icon: ITunesBadge.gif | Download from iTunes | 61 | }}

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on Peter/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.

Peter
  • What makes Peter important to The Observer?
  • What made Peter important to Nina?
  • Was the balance between universes maintained when Peter was adbucted?
  • Why does Peter not remember crossing over to this universe?
  • Is Peter able to visually recognize people, or things, from the alternate universe?
William Bell
  • Is William Bell unavailable because he is in the alternate universe?
Nina Sharp
  • What was the extent of Nina's personal relationship with Walter & Peter in 1985?
    • Did she have a personal, or friendly, relationship with Elizabeth Bishop?
  • Did she lose her arm in 1985, and not in 1997 as she claimed in Pilot.
    • Was she armless, or wore other prosthetics, before the arm we presently know?
    • What treatment did she receive from Dr. Bell's specialists after the incident on Reiden Lake?
    • What caused her arm to appear hazy and out-of-phase when the portal closed on it?
    • Why was her arm not completely severed, like the victims from There's More Than One Of Everything?
(contrast to David Robert Jones, the soccer player and the truck trailer that were cut in half.)
Walter
  • Knowing Walter has lost segments of his brain and was in a mental health facility for seventeen years - are the memories of 1985 that Walter shares with Olivia accurate, or skewed?
  • Walter realizes the order of compounds his alternate self is using to cure Peter is not random - what was the specific order, or pattern, used?
  • At Reiden Lake, while Walter is questioning Nina, he mentions that William encouraged him to take this very risk, to expedite their espionage program. What program is he referring to (U.S. Army, someone else interested in the parallel universe, other)?
The Observers
  • Are there duplicate Observers in the alternate universe or are they the same as those in our own universe?
  • When was the deal made between the Observer and Walter?

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