Finally after a very long break, Fringe returns tonight with a huge mythology episode that should answer many of the questions that the series has raised so far with Peter.
One of the things that I most admire about the program is that while it never gives you all the answers you are hoping for, it doesn’t cheat you with revelations that you didn’t know were coming.
At the end of season one, Walter visited Peter’s gravestone. It claims that Peter Bishop only lived from 1979 to 1985. Many things clicked into place. Walter is obsessive about Peter’s health and well-being. He claims that Peter was seriously ill, but Peter seems to have no memory of this and Olivia assures Walter that there is nothing about it in Peter’s file.
Still Peter and Walter argue about this as well as other “facts” of Peter’s boyhood. Walter wants to make Peter a flan for his birthday. Peter says he hates flan. Walter insists that he loves it. When showing his G.I. Joe action figures to the young boy in the lab, Peter remembers one of the figures having a scar on the opposite side of his face. Walter tells Peter he collected coins as a child to distract himself from his illness, Peter doesn’t remember that, however he does know a number of coin and card tricks.
Another significant event that Peter seems to have no recollection of other than of Walter telling the story over and over again is a car accident that he and Walter had when trying to get home for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Also, Nina Sharp claims that she spent quite a lot of time with a young Peter at the riding stables and was great friends with his father. Peter doesn’t seem to recall that either.
Season Two also hints to us several times, that the Peter Bishop is from the Other Side. After being drugged a second time by Walter, a former test subject sees an aura around Peter, dismissing it. Olivia also sees this blurring effect after she has been fully activated in the episode, Jacksonville. Walter begs her now for a second time, not to tell Peter that he is not from here, that he doesn’t know. He seems to have forgotten that when Peter was quarantine, Walter’s behavior and the statement that he cannot let Peter die “again”, caused Astrid to question him about Peter.
Peter also wonders about events. He tells Olivia during season two that as a child he suffered from night terrors and nightmares. He claims that Walter taught him various tricks so that he would be able to sleep at night. As he begins to work on Pattern related events, his reoccurring nightmare from childhood returns. In this dream he sees Walter or a man who looks like Walter standing over his bed. He says, “Daddy?” Then he is snatched from the bed and we hear young Peter scream.
If Peter was abducted it might explain a lot of his subsequent behavior. JJ Abrams describes Peter’s character as “Very much reluctant, not so much the hero.” We know from the Pilot episode that he his a High School dropout with a 190 I.Q. He has held many, many jobs well below his intellectual level, such as when he swept floors in a meat packing plant in Tennessee. He speaks several languages and understands Greek. In The Arrival, perhaps the most significant Peter episode to this point, Peter tells Olivia that he doesn’t do well staying in one place. Can his nomadic existence up to the point when he becomes Walter’s legal guardian be because on some level knows that this is not where he belongs? Is this why he hasn’t chosen a profession? It also might explain his risk taking and the gambling that put him in such huge debt to Big Eddie.
Tonight I hope will answer many questions about the past and what truly happened on the Other Side. We will finally meet Mrs. Bishop. We have assumed that everything that we have been told about the past is truth, but after seeing some of the previews, I think we have been lied to about some pretty big things and it will be interesting to see what is true and what is not.
I think that we have all assumed that Walter has always felt he could not live and in the present day could not function without Peter. That his love and his devotion to his son override everything else in his life. But I am starting to wonder about those assumptions. The closer we get to tonight’s episode I have to wonder how much of a part Mrs. Bishop played in Walter’s decision.
Here are the questions I hope get answered tonight:
1. Is Walter totally to blame for his decision to take Peter?
2. Does Carla’s death come about because of what she knows about what Walter did? If someone does kill her, who was it?
3, Why do the Observers think Peter is so important and is it their interference and not Walter’s action that causes whatever problems
stem from Walter’s actions?
4. Did Walter’s experiments have anything to do with Peter’s illness?
5. I think tonight will answer once and for all the question that Walter poses to Peter in The Arrival.
“Have you ever taken anything that didn’t belong to you because you knew it was the right thing to do?”
“This isn’t about me.”
“Maybe it is Peter.”
Many people have complained that Peter is useless or doesn’t have a big enough part in things. I think tonight and the weeks of episodes to come will prove that the big questions are all about Peter and it will be his decisions which ultimately tip the balance in events to come.
Things I don’t think we will find out tonight:
1. What is Olivia going to do?
2. How much of Walter’s memories of events are accurate?
3. What happened to Mrs. Bishop?
4. What things to we think we know, and will we be wrong or right about them?
I think this last question will be really important. Peter and Walter have both made statements which make me think she passed away. Here is my own personal theory. I think Mrs. Bishop passed away. I don’t think she would have deserted Peter. Peter talks about losing the Cambridge house because they couldn’t afford it. We know that Peter drops out of school at 15 and then begins to roam. I don’t think he would have done either of those things or sold Walter’s books for money.
Everyone watch tonight and be sure to follow the pattern with Megan and Jennifer on Twitter. Also don’t forget you can win season 1 DVD’s from following the pattern by sending them a crackpot theory.
Only 6 hours to go. Better get started on those cheesesteaks.