"White Tulip" (2.17)


While watching this episode, I really began to wonder if Dr. Peck was an Observer when the woman at the diner says that she sees him come in all of the time, writing what appears to be a mathematical formula on napkins. This totally reminded me of episode 1.04, “The Arrival,” when we see September at a diner writing a strange code in a notebook, and my mind immediately made that connection, an incorrect connection, unfortunately. I really don't like making comparisons between Fringe and the X-Files; I'm sure that I have said that before, but at the same time, so many people do make comparisons, and some of them do so in order to debunk Fringe, which is exactly why it annoys me when the writers seem to make the comparisons so easy to make. I say all of this, because this episode really reminded me of episode 6.14 of the X-Files, an episode called “Monday.” In that episode, an unexplained time loop keeps occurring over and over again, something that Mulder eventually realizes, and each time, he has to try to remember what he has to do so that he doesn't die. Obviously, this is a bit different, but it does remind me a lot of it. I don't like the “time loop” idea; basically, almost nothing in this episode actually happened since it was all erased. It seems like such a pointless episode to me. In fact, I would give it a score lower than a six, but I do really like the dialogue between Walter and Dr. Peck, even though it technically doesn't really happen by the end of the episode, which I also like (the end of the episode, which involves imagery of the white tulip symbolizing forgiveness, that is).

Basically, every time that Peck goes back to an earlier point in time, he uses a great deal of energy, which kills people since it drains every bit of energy from them. It also creates a new line of events, and I hate that. How long has he been doing this, I am led to wonder, and how many people does it affect? Does it change the entire world or only the area that his time travel affects? Does the whole world go back in time with him? He lost his wife ten months ago, but how long has he been time-traveling? Is the train the first incident? At one point in the episode, Olivia says that she is experiencing Deja Vu but doesn't seem to know why. At that point, I really wanted one of them to make a connection to the alternate reality, since they have been told before that that is what Deja Vu is caused by, that you feel like you have been somewhere or done something before because in another reality, you have. Obviously, this episode involves time travel, not dimension-hopping, but I still would have liked the connection to have been made. Truth be told, I would have much rather that this episode be directly related to the alternate reality as opposed to time travel, that Dr. Peck was somehow traveling to the Other Side to steal his fiancée, just like Walter did when Peter was a young boy. I do appreciate the parallels being made, though, such as Walter guiltily saying that “grief can drive people to extraordinary lengths.”

Walter can be seen eating a Twizzler in this episode; fortunately, however, he is not eating it while conducting a rather bloody autopsy (in reference to episode 2.01, “A New Day in the Old Town,” the season two premiere). If you have seen promo pics of the upcoming musical episode, “Brown Betty,” (2.19), then you know that in that episode, Walter apparently shares Twizzlers with Ella, so I think that it's safe to assume that he really likes Twizzlers, so much so that he can't resist them even when eating is not, by any means, a sanitary activity in which to be taking part. Also, speaking of Walter, he is once again taking affirmative action, just like he does in “Johari Window” (2.11) and “The Bishop Revival” (2.13); this time, of course, he wants to talk to Dr. Peck privately in order to try to convince him not to carry out his plans of going back in time. I have to say, though, that I really like Dr. Peck. He is not a murderer; I don't think that he intentionally killed people. In fact, I don't even think he realized that people would die as a result. I don't think that he even intended to end up on that train; he just didn't solve the formula correctly, and ultimately, he just missed his fiancée, and like Walter says, his grief drove him to “extraordinary lengths,” and he ended up dead because of it.

My point, though, is that Peck doesn't come off as purely black; he is gray. We like him, and we feel sorry for him, and although we hopefully don't want innocent people dead, we want him to find his love again. At the same time, though, we don't approve of his immoral decisions, and a parallel is definitely drawn there between Peck and Walter, since Walter obviously went to “extraordinary lengths” to save Peter, which ultimately resulted in the theft of Alter-Peter from the Other Side. I can't believe that Walter so openly tells Peck, though, about Peter being from the alternate reality. Perhaps, he figures that Olivia knows and Peter will soon know, so there isn't much of a purpose in being totally and completely secretive about it anymore. It makes me wonder, though, if Peck is already aware of the alternate reality, since he doesn't seem to be very surprised when Walter tells him that he stole Peter from an alternate universe, and I love what Peck tells Walter, that “God is science.” That is probably my favorite line of the episode. Discussing the imagery of the white tulip, though, before seeing this episode, I had no idea why it is called “White Tulip.” In fact, I couldn't remember, for the life of me, what kind of flower the Flower Glyph is, so I had to do my homework to remind myself that it is a sunflower, not a white tulip. Apparently, though, as I briefly mentioned previously, the white tulip signifies forgiveness, which obviously relates to Walter hoping that Peter will be able to forgive him.

Well, I am going to talk very briefly about next week's episode of
Fringe, so if you're someone who prefers to stay totally and completely spoiler-free, then thanks for reading, but don't read any further. Next week's episode, which I'm sure most everyone knows, anyway, is titled “The Man from the Other Side,” and Newton will be back for this episode. Also, based on what I saw from the promo, it looks like Peter is finally going to find out that he is from the other reality. Obviously, if you have seen the promo, then I am giving you useless information, but I am giving it primarily to benefit those who have not seen the promo but don't mind being spoiled. Next week's episode, anyway, looks like it is going to be beyond epic. Before I leave you, though, I want to share some discoveries that I made today regarding character names. According to a baby names website that I found, “Peter” means “stone or rock,” and that, unfortunately, doesn't mean a whole lot to me. However, it gets a lot more interesting. “Olivia” means “elf army,” which could relate to the fact that she made up an army of children when being given Cortexiphan as a young girl. “William” (referring to William Bell, of course) means “protection,” Nina means “mother,” and this last one is the best one, in my opinion; “Walter” means “ruler of the army.” Does his name confirm the theory that Walter is running the show from the Other Side? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, stay on the fringe.

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