Fringe writers are at it again. Close calls happened throughout the episode; did Peter know? Or didn’t he? Until the very last second of the episode, we didn’t quite know; but methinks Peter doesn’t know, or, at the very least, what doubts he had were blown to bits by Altivia’s, erm, ‘intervention’.
Quick recap: Senator James Van Horne, who, numerous times in the past helped Broyles with regard to Fringe Division, is involved in a car accident. The first clue we get that something is not right is that he is breathing despite not having a pulse. As the emergency room team work to save his life, in comes Newton, who steals the body and goes on a shooting spree. When he is surrounded and can’t get away, he shoots the senator and flees. To everyone surprise, James Van Horne is bleeding mercury.
The subsequent investigation leads Fringe Division to Newton. He finds himself in a situation where he can’t escape Peter and Altivia; having recuperated the memory disk of the shapeshifter, he needs to make sure it lands in safe hands. And so, he flips his car over, controlling the conditions within which he’s arrested, enabling him to pass said chip to Altivia.
In the episode’s closing minutes, Altivia visits Newton in jail. He yet again rubs her inferiority in her face, before taking a ‘black pill’ Altivia hands over to him. And while Newton commits suicide, doing what it takes in the name of the mission, Altivia also does what it takes by inviting Peter over to her place and seducing him.
The Observer was spotted walking towards the exit of Massive Dynamic’s ground floor right after Altivia, Peter and Broyles walk in and meet up with Walter, who just exited the elevator (look at the bottom left of the screen).
The glyphs spell out ‘shift’; the obvious connotation is the shifting of characters such as Ray and James Van Horne into similar yet different version of themselves. It could also be a more general theme: Altivia’s perception of our world has started shifting; Peter’s perception of her has also started shifting. There is also the fact that the audience’s perception of shapeshifters has also shifted, summed up by these words from Ray: “Sometimes, monsters are not all that bad. Sometimes, when you get to spend some time with them, they can be very surprising. They can be incredibly sweet, pure and capable of great, great love.”