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Posted by on Feb 19, 2012 in Blog | 11 comments

Fringe & The Theater of the Mind

Fringe & The Theater of the Mind


Would you be upset if this season of Fringe took place solely in the mind of Peter Bishop?


I had a conversation with Fringe fan “lemoneyes” recently where we explored the concept of the unconscious or “sub-conscious” as I later put it.  (See that conversation here.)   Lemoneyes had pondered if there were some sort of unspoken or unconscious communication going on between Peter and Walter from the other universe.  I tried to expand on this line of thinking by adding that the sub-conscious was another way of perceiving things through the mind and that perception is reality.

Are we looking at a new reality born of the human mind?

Jasika Nicole recently told Clint and Darrell at the Fringe podcast that this season represented neither a new universe or timeline.  So what is it?

I’m not saying that this season of Fringe is a figment of Peter’s imagination or is taking place in a dream (ala that bizarre twist in the old TV series of Dallas) I’m saying we may be looking at a new reality, one of the mind.  You could argue that we are seeing this new reality through the eyes of Peter Bishop, or better yet his mind.

What if this “dimension of the mind” (something the old Twilight Zone used to explore) is something that the Observers can travel through.  There have been two intriguing teasers circulating recently, the second of which can be observed here.   If you watch this teaser, specifically the end, we see Peter suggest and Walter deduce that Peter wants to enter the mind of September.  Will Peter be granted access to this dimension of the mind that the Observers may travel through?


Yes, could it be that the Observers not only travel through time and space but the dimension of the mind also?  What if the Observers can access the past and the future the collective conscious of the human mind?  Not only the minds of those present in humanity but those that preceded us and those that are to come?  This access to the stream of consciousness of humanity may not be confined just to the living, what if this access can be expanded to that of the dead?  Isn’t that what we saw an inkling of from the very beginning of Fringe when Massive Dynamic kept John Scott on ice?  Is this why we’ve seen so many flashbacks to Olivia in the sensory prevention tank.  Fringe is hinting at that dimension yet to be explored by man that of the human mind?



I don’t think it is a coincidence when Walter was talking to the man in the mental institution (this past episode) who was currently orbiting the planet Venus that he referred to his friend “Tim”.  Tim being Timothy Leary the famous Harvard professor that experimented on and explored the mind using the psychedelic effects of LSD.

Is it any coincidence we seen so many references to Angels (and making Angels)?   If we include the stream of consciousness to that of the dead is that why we get so many references to God on Fringe?  Religion and the afterlife play a heavy role at least in subtext to Fringe.  I’ve often wondered why.  Is this our answer?  (And did anyone else notice the white tulips in this past episode?  Look to the left of the picture below.)

As Rod Serling used to say, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination, beyond it is another dimension, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind.”   This theory includes all of the aforementioned and it treads where that of the dead and angels walk.  It explores the deep recesses of the human mind and comes out the other side.

Is this the Path Fringe is taking us on?  Will this be our peek to the other side of the looking glass, the rabbit hole or yellow brick road?  Answers are coming.

Your thoughts please.


01 The Ghost Who Walks

Just for fun, if you listened closely during the middle of the episode,when Walter is walking about his lab, we heard a song by Karen Elson, “The Ghost Who Walked”  you can listen to it with the link above.  Another clue to the road we must travel?



  1. I’m starting to think that similar to what Jasika said it isn’t a timeline or a universe I think that somehow the observers pulled a “men in black” on everyone Peter ever knew and changed their memories. Even though no one remembers Peter the effects of his life are still there, primarily the ‘Bridge’ and his mothers suicide. Walters wife mainly commits suicide because of Peter if he dies in the lake she probably wouldn’t know about Peter or wouldn’t be as effected.

    • Jasika may have been having a little fun with the boys or she may have been deliberately teasing/twisting what she knows. Is that a bad thing? No. As for your Men in Black reference. I’d like to see what the explanation is behind using instrumentation to alter peoples thoughts. Big episode coming up!

  2. Also it looks like Peter’s son is still around somewhere since the glyphs spell Henry and alt Olivia named her and Peters son Henry Dunham, and according to Jasika this isn’t a timeline or Universe.

    Then that’s another thing the only reason Olivia ends up switching with alt Olivia via is because she went to the other side to get Peter.

    • Yes the Henry thing was a bit weird. There have been a lot of quick frame picture shots of Altlivia and baby Henry in the recent teasers. What does it mean? A return of the old timelines or just referencing what is going on in Peter’s mind?

  3. September himself told December that the timeline has been re-written. The old timeline has been erased. Maybe September was lying. Maybe the timeline was supposed to be re-written and it wasn’t. It’s hard to say for sure.

    The other thought that occurs to me is that previously, when I was thinking “New Timeline” I was thinking on the lines of M theory where it’s not just a new timeline that is created but a whole new universe. That there are multiple timelines/universes going on at the same time all just slightly different. This could also be what Jasika was thinking of as timeline (timeline = universe) and could be what she meant by it’s not a different timeline.

    The only other way I can think of it is like re-arranging a room. It’s the same space, just organized differently.

    • I remember September saying that to December. He specifically said “timeline” so why did Jasika say to Darrell and Clint that they were wrong about the timeline and or. universe argument? They may be palying fast and loose with semantics which would be disappointing. I’d like a better payoff or set of answers than to be fooled with the use of language.

      I’ve read Brian Greene and Stephen Hawking and I love the M theory of the string theory family. I’ve read several books of science fiction where if you change the time line you change the universe. Or better yet start a whole new universe. That si what the “Schrodinger’s Cat” mind experiment is all about.

      Remember, when you re-arrange the furniture someone is bound to be tripped up by it! Thanks for the reply!

  4. I think this season is essentially Petercentric but in a different way. We are seeing a merge of two “places”, the pre-bridge blue timeline/universe and the post-bridge blue timeline/universe. My feeling is that all current cortexifan patients known and unknown will slowly experience the merge if they are within DRJs current concentration of the “Westfield Experiment”. Once the merge starts, it doesn’t stop until completion. I can only assume DRJ is trying to restore his body somehow.

    What I found most odd out of all of this is Olivia wanting to “pee” at a tiny gas station. It’s not “in her character” to say such a thing and her face movement was odd as well. I can only expect the complete merge of both pre and post is faulty or DRJ has yet to finish.

  5. So you are saying timelines and universes are the same thing. That argument will never end. I’m not sure I know what to think now. Especially if we have two universes but one timeline. I’m thinking that DRJ wants to blackmail the two sides into giving himcontrol of the Machine so he can be the hero and seal off or fix the damage that was done. Crazy yes? I doubt it, but I do hope he is just not a mad scientist trope but instead has something far more clever and devious up his sleeve.

    Rebuild mankind with Shape-shifters after he starts the apocalypse? Now who’s playing God???!!! (Hey, I kind of like that theory!)

  6. I would not be total mad if the whole season is only in Peters mind. This could explain a lot of what has happend, but I am not 100% sure.

    If you look hard at everything we have seen thus far, we are watching a different timeline. A timeline in which Peter dies at the lake. My question is, why did building the bridge between worlds cause September not to have saved Peter? Was Peter always suppose to die at the lake? Is having Peter die, helping the future? Does Peter’s death as a child have an effect on the Observers way of life?

    To me, the reason why Olivia is turning into are Olivia, is because of the effect of Peter returning. Olivia is not the only person slowing turning into the character we know. Walter is showing signs of this too. He is now more comfortable leaving the lab, and more comfortable with Peter all together. Imagine the long term effect of removing someone from time and then suddenly putting that person back. Could having Peter return just simply cause everyone to return to normal. A cause and effect somehow?

    Last question. Are the Observers the result of a super human race that have evolved from long-term effects of being on Cortexiphan for there whole lives?

    Am I making any since or is this all in my mind?

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