Last week’s episode of Fringe, “The Arrival,” was my favorite installment of the series by far. I enjoyed the monster of the week structure that the first three episodes followed, but “The Arrival” finally offered up some juicy mythology that brought new depth to the series. Of course, along with the new mythology came new questions. We learned about the existence of a shady bald man code-named The Observer, and we know that he has strange ties to both Pattern-related catastrophes and Dr. Bishop. What we don’t know is who The Observer is, where he came from, how he knows the good doctor, and how he can see the future of The Pattern. It’s time to start theorizing.
At this point, The Observer seems to be somewhat similar to the villainous Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files. Much like CSM, The Observer seems to know everything about the crazy conspiracy at the heart of the series, and he also has a connection to one of the show’s main characters. Somewhere in the confusing mish-mash known as the final seasons of The X-Files, it was revealed that CSM was actually Fox Mulder’s father. My co-worker John Kubicek thinks that Fringe may be taking a similar route, and that The Observer may be Walter’s non-aging daddy. I’m not sure that theory makes any sense, but we know so little about the Bishop clan that I suppose anything is possible.
My theory is that both Peter and The Observer were grown in a lab by Dr. Bishop and the mysterious William Bell, and that the two are actually clones of one another. Anytime human cloning is present in movies or TV shows there are usually many failed experiments that go horrible awry before a perfect specimen is created. I believe The Observer may be one of these failures. That would explain why he’s unable to grow hair, why he can read Peter’s mind, and why he followed Walter around in the past. It doesn’t explain how he’d be able to predict The Pattern, but maybe some BuddyTV readers can help me out with that mystery.
Of course, my idea could be completely wrong. It’s also possible that The Observer is a time traveler from the future who’s come back to witness The Pattern in hopes of preventing a horrible event years down the road. I’m hoping that’s not the case, as it reminds me a bit too much of Heroes, and anything that reminds me of Heroes definitely isn’t a good thing. It’s also possible he’s an alien who’s come to Earth to observe humanity, and that his love of spicy food was a subtle shout-out to the alien teenagers from Roswell.
A hidden message in the opening credits of the series may help us figure out what The Observer is up to. In the screen cap below, you can see the hidden message reading “Observers Are Here.”
The fact that “Observers” is plural leads me to believe that my clone theory may be wrong. If there are multiple people following the events of The Pattern, then I’m guessing they’re either time travelers or aliens. I don’t expect the mystery of The Observer to be solved anytime soon, but theorizing about the character helps pass the time until Fringe returns next Tuesday.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Images courtesy of FOX)