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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Blog | 3 comments

Walter Bishop and the Last Crusade?

Walter Bishop and the Last Crusade?

“Only the penitent man shall pass,  the penitent man, the penitent man.”   If this quote sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s from the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.  In the movie, the penitent man humbles himself and kneels before God.  I often think of this quote when Bishop privately beseeches God for forgiveness.

In the episode “White Tulip” Walter looks to God for a sign that he has been forgiven.  Walter eventually receives that sign in the form of sketched White Tulip and he interprets it as the sign he has been looking for.  Unbeknownst to him, this tulip comes from the hand of a man.  Specifically Alistair Peck.    In the episode, “6:02 A.M. EST” Walter, nearing his emotional nadir, begs God to save his world as he longer cares about what God plans for him.  The irony of which is the very solution to saving the world is being formulated by Walter himself in the future.

So the question is, does the hand of God play a role in the destiny of Walter and or Man?  Or does the gift of “free will” empower men like Walter to chart their own fate through choice?  What do you think of these themes overall?

Fate or free will, a prevalent theme of Fringe.  Either our heroes devise a plan of their own to save themselves from an apocalyptic end or hope for divine intervention.  In the end, both may mark the last crusade of Walter Bishop.



  1. Great question. I often feel as though everything in life happens for a reason, which could be another interpretation of what some may call fate. And if fate is at work, then perhaps we only have the illusion of free will.

    But, if we only have the illusion of free will, how could there be other universes? It seems to me that if fate really existed then no one would ever make a decision that would cause another universe to split off. This makes me think that (in the Fringe multi-verse at least) that free will is what driving our characters, and not fate.

    On the other hand, who am I to say that if fate is not at work then God is not at work? While writing this I had an image of God watching us all on a big TV set in the sky, where each universe is another channel. Only God is also the writer, director, and producer of each ‘show’ and will direct His actors by giving them occasional signs that He is there, like the white tulip.

    Definitely an interesting thought. :)

  2. Interesting post, Dave.

    I think the idea that Walter, himself, is the creator of both the problem AND the solution points to the notion that God is internal. We see Walter in “6:02AM EST” beseeching an external force, railing that he believed he had forgiveness from that external force, when in fact his token of forgiveness — the very idea that it would be a white tulip — came from Walter himself.

    Alastair Peck’s belief that God is science leads to the idea of an internal God, as well, since science is a practice of the minds of humans.

    Walter’s ability to be the penitent man is, in a sense, humbling himself to his own internal divinity and therefore finding the answer inside himself.

  3. @TrishCapeCod and @Inkyminky184, I always a little chagrined when the responses to my posts are better than the original entry. You two expanded on my thoughts with some great ideas. Thanks.

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