As if Walter isn’t enough of a character, we meet someone even more unusual than him on tonight’s episode of Fringe. “The Arrival” marks the arrival of two mysteries – the metal cylinder and The Observer (Michael Cerveris).
We meet The Observer in the opening sequence where he’s watching a construction site. Aside from his unusual eating habits, – he ordered a raw roast beef sandwich with exactly 11 jalapeños on the side and added an entire shaker of pepper and Tabasco – The Observer has a few other unique characteristics.
For one, he’s completely bald – he doesn’t even have eyebrows. And he writes in a different language from right to left. Furthermore, he’s been waiting for the arrival of the cylinder. When it shows up at the construction site, he makes one call and says “It has arrived.”
But the cylinder isn’t the only Pattern incident that our bald friend has been at. Olivia notices that he was at the hospital two weeks ago only to be told by Broyles that it took him a year to make the connection. They have photos of The Observer at some three dozen Pattern incidents.
But they aren’t the only ones familiar with The Observer. The Bishops have met him before. It seems that The Observer saved Walter and Peter from a chilly death when their car broke through some ice on a Thanksgiving when Peter was a child.
The Observer communicated through “osmosis” that he would need Walter one day. When the cylinder appeared, Walter knew it was time to return the favor.
Walter sends Peter on an aluminum foil run, sedates Astrid, steals and hides the cylinder and meets with The Observer at a dinner where he can have a root beer float and confide that the cylinder is safe.
The Observer thanks him, adding that he can’t touch the beacon himself. He tells Walter that “I know you have questions. Soon you’ll have answers.”
Unfortunately, John Mosley (Michael Kelly) – this week’s bad guy – also has the ability to read people’s thoughts with the help of a machine and works his way through the minds of people – including Peter – until he finds the cylinder.
But Olivia stops him from stealing the beacon (and possibly killing Peter). But the beacon gets away – exploding into the Earth.
The Observer is on site, makes another call – “departure on schedule.”
Just who is he talking to? What is the beacon/cylinder thing? Why can’t he touch it? How is The Observer tied to The Pattern? Who or what is he? Why does he apparently not taste anything?
What is The Observer’s connection to Walter (and possibly Peter)? How is he communicating with them? What was he writing in the diner? What language is that?
The questions around The Observer are endless, but I think the answers are going to be critical to understanding The Pattern and the implications of it in the big picture.
Mostly, I’m wondering when and where we are going to see The Observer next.