As someone who spends a lot of time in the FringeTelevision chat room I've had the privilege of listening to a lot of theories and opinions. I've seen everything from predictions that "Peter is dead" to "Olivia was a test subject of William Bell" come true. Talking with some of the chat room participants after the episode this is what I was able to dig up:
When asked about the current pacing of the Fringe storyline, the feeling seems to be that it is progressing a little slowly. A lot of standalone episodes paired with only minor developments of the meta-plot are making fans chomp at the bit for more plot development. Last episode "August" was encouraging however, with the feeling that the dry spell may finally be over. To quote FrankSwanzo when asked about pacing: "For this season? Poorly, Ive felt that the first 4 episodes should have been sped up a little, and now with episode 8 we're finally getting some movement."
With the next episode "Snakehead" looking to be another standalone, I'm concerned that the tipping point and rush towards the finale that the fans are hoping for may not come until after Christmas holidays.
As a stark contrast, when asked about the pacing of "August" everyone responded positively: "t was fast! I mean I looked over at the clock and saw it was 9:40 and I was shocked. I wish the episodes were longer, but fast is good I guess... it means it keeps you on your seat and not bored," said Vinylfreak89. Continuing this trend, Jennifer (Observer101) said: "A lot better, filled with mythology and a very fast moving, action pace. The kinds of episodes I look forward to."
Character development seems to be one of the strong points of the Fringe writers. Always revealing just enough to make the characters feel human and fully realized, they never spill the beans and leave us with nothing to spend the week questioning. Those fans I spoke to appear to really appreciate the new developments, even if they're wondering where the new Agent from episode 1 of this season went to.
"They're doing a great job of getting characters out of their shells that they were put in to last season. I was really glad to see Walter and Peter move this season, and I think that along with Astrid getting out of the lab are really big developments," commented Vinylfreak89. Frank Swanzo agreed, wanting to see Astrid and Broyles get more screen time.
Meanwhile, Olivia's abilities have not manifested since she reappeared in her normal reality. Observer101 says: "The writers' have done a great job with finding the balance of it but I do feel like they need to focus more on Olivia. We were left hanging about her abilities and I for one want to find out more."
Favorite Scene in episode "August"
One of the more popular scenes with those I chatted with concerning their favorite scene in August was Walter meeting with with Observer we're now calling August. Walter's fear of Peter being taken from him once again shows us actor John Noble's incredible ability to make such a wacky character (the shows obvious comic relief) also become one of its most human. You can't help but feel that Walter is really the soul of the show.
FrankSwanzo took a different tack, "Why the girl was important after all. Because she was involved with the Death of 'One of Us'".
When asked about their favorite scene in fringe to date, those I spoke with were all drawn to Olivia's meeting in the twin towers. For Vinylfreak89, just seeing the twin towers had impact, showing him just how different this other reality could be. For FrankSwanzo it was William's warning to Olivia about physics that took the cake, while to Observer101 the meeting was a hint about why Broyles chose Olivia to be part of the Fringe Division.
Observations of Observers
If you're like me, then finding the Observer in an episode reminds you of the frustrating "Where's Waldo?" books that haunted your childhood. A great many people are seen to pop in to the chat room after an episode just to ask "Did anyone spot the Observer?". For those I spoke to after August aired, one of the key values of the chat room is when someone points out the Observer having been found, allowing us to all hit the rewind button and see him for ourselves. For those without a DVR/PVR, you're in luck. Dennis always seems to find him and post him up on the Easter Eggs portion of this site.
Quoting Vinylfreak89: "I'm horribly unobservant. The chat room is nice and helpful though I sure spotted him this episode though. Several times!!"
Fringe Fan Theories:
- Observer101: "My main theory is about why Broyles sent Olivia, out of every other agent back in the Pilot to the warehouse. I think that everyone except for Olivia and Peter are in the loop about Olivia and what she can do. Maybe Nina told Broyles of Olivia from what Bell told her. That's why he sent her to the warehouse."
Corbin: "What do you think is really going on with Nina and Broyles?"
Observer101: "That's a good question - I'll take a stab in the dark and say that maybe they have been placed there to help Olivia get ready. They are slowly feeding her answers to her questions without giving too much away at once."
- fringeobsessed: Observer's seem to latch on to a specific "observee".
- fringeobsessed: The Observer's gun only fires for special people like Peter.
- Raytia: Observer's may be behind more of the Green Green Green Red events, as they appeared to use it as a code to speak to the assassin.
- Knower: The Observers can see all of time in our universe...they see it as a complete unit, non linearly.