As Leonard Nimoy once said, William Bell might be dead, but his presence will continue to be felt for quite a long time. Going back to the very beginning of the episode, we follow Nina as she steps into Bell’s office. She looks obviously emotional as she steps in to what seems to be a shrine to him. We notice that there are two university diplomas, one from Princeton (where Bell earned a degree in psychology) and the other from Yale. There are also numerous books. Being a book aficionado, I couldn’t help but go a little nuts on the pausing and, of course, looking each book up. There is also the fact that not only do I love books, but looking at some of the titles in the book collection the man kept in his office is bound to give us yet another glimpse into his character.
I’ll start with the most hilarious one, a nod to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Infant Care. I don’t think it means anything else than touching on the famous Star Trek character, unless Bell had a secret child. Which, you have to admit, would be a little too soap opera-ish for Fringe, and something Nina would have known.
Bell having the book Cell and Molecular Biology in his office comes as no surprise, of course. Neither is the book A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan for that matter. His owning The Second Ring of Power sounds rather ominous in the context of the show, but would probably be something any executive in his position would be interested in reading, seeing themselves as a warrior of sorts. By the same token, In the Wake of Chaos also seems a little ominous; hopefully the chaos Bell seemed to be getting ready for will be averted... Gödel, Escher, Bach was an interesting addition to the list, as was The Tao Of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, and suit the discourse Bell held in the Season 2 finale.
In the safe, Bell held a small, red toy car, immediately bringing to mind the experiment Walter and Peter held in “The Man From the Other Side” (Season 2, Episode 19). He also had saved hand drawn sketches of the Massive Dynamic logo, a picture of him and Walter as well as a picture of him and Nina. And, of course, we come to find another copy of “The First People” book, i.e. “Die Ersten Menschen”, the same book in German.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Bell of all people would have known about “The First People”, what with his relationship to Walternate and the latter’s attempt to construct either a replica of the machine or it’s alternate version.