Season 1, Episode 01
Aired: September 9th, 2008
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J. J. Abrams
Directed By: Alex Graves

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Resources: IMDb | Wikipedia | Transcript
Listen: The Fringe Podcast | TFP Rewatch

The Glyphs

This episode's glyphs spell: O-B-S-E-R-V-E-R

A man called The Observer makes his first brief appearance in this episode.

Glyph symbol OGlyph symbol BGlyph symbol SGlyph symbol EGlyph symbol RGlyph symbol VGlyph symbol EGlyph symbol R
Glyph symbol O
Glyph symbol B
Glyph symbol S
Glyph symbol E
Glyph symbol R
Glyph symbol V
Glyph symbol E
Glyph symbol R

The Observer

The Observer walks past the Massive Dynamic building.


Timestamp: 55:44

Episode Clues

Next Episode Clue

The pen and the rose pictured on the newspaper stand outside of Massive Dynamic in 'Pilot' represent the villains of 'The Same old Story', Claus and Christopher Penrose.

Next episode clue

Timestamp: 55:42

Items of Interest

  • There is a Massive Dynamic logo on Flight 627's engine. (Image 1)
  • Charlie said "Logan is one of the first airports with the PEARL autopilot system." This system was designed by Massive Dynamic. (Image 2)
  • There is a Massive Dynamic logo ('MD') on the car found in the storage unit. (Image 3)
  • Information about Peter: he's a high school dropout who worked many jobs including being a fireman, cargo pilot, and college chemistry professor. He falsified his degree from MIT, and he speaks Farsi.
  • William Bell, the head of Massive Dynamic, shared a lab with Walter long ago.
  • The Massive Dynamic billboard says 'MANDALA', possibly a purposely misspelled reference to the Mandela Effect, a phenomenon of false memories often shared by many people. A well-known example of a widespread false memory is many people thinking the Berenstain Bears books from their childhoods were actually spelled Berenstein Bears. The notion of personal and widespread false memories becomes a big theme in Fringe.
  • The Kresge building mentioned in this episode is a real building at the Harvard School of Public Health.
  • The text on Broyles' whiteboard is from a real Homeland Security document.
  • The canoe in Olivia's dreamscape says "Zeno", a possible reference to Zeno's Paradoxes. "Whereas the first two paradoxes divide space, this paradox starts by dividing time." Or it could be a reference to the Massive Dynamic website which says "What's next? Travel time follows a power law, decreasing by a given factor year by year. MD's Zeno-Transit Initiative aims to take that process to the limit, making near-instantaneous travel a reality in your lifetime." (Image 4)
  • The canoe has an aleph on it (Phoenician alphabet).
  • The tombstone in Olivia's dreamscape says "He's Not Dead." (Image 5)
  • The pole outside Massive Dynamic has an ad for glowingmonkeys.com, which has the tagline "I know they're watching, from the dark...".
  • The idea for Massive Dynamic was likely inspired by real companies such as Boston Dynamics and/or General Dynamics.
Item of interest: Massive Dynamic logo
Image 1: Massive Dynamic logo
Timestamp: 08:01
Item of interest: Massive Dynamic website
Image 2: Massive Dynamic website
Timestamp: N/A
Item of interest: Massive Dynamic logo
Image 3: Massive Dynamic logo
Timestamp: 12:25
Item of interest: Canoe
Image 4: Canoe
Timestamp: 51:20
Item of interest: Tombstone
Image 5: Tombstone
Timestamp: 51:27

JJ Abrams Easter Eggs

  • The pilot episode opens with a plane incident, and Morgan Steig is passenger number 108, both references to Lost.
  • The theme song (in this episode only) has a flip-board-like sound in the background (similar to the countdown timer sound in the hatch in Lost).
  • Walter worked for a classified U.S. Army experimental program called Kelvin Genetics (J.J.).

Fringe Division Case File

U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
121 105th Street • Washington, DC 20735
Phone: (202) 555-2100 • Fax: (202) 555-2101
E-mail: washington.fbi@fbi.com


FRINGE EVENT: Protocontagion (made up of magnesium ethylene glycol with organophosphate trigger) outbreak on Flight 627


AGENTS ASSIGNED: Scott, Francis, Dunham


FILE ARCHIVED BY: Shiri-lee Campbell, Kyle Fujita

WITNESSES/CONTACTS: Richard Steig (deceased)

LOCATION: Logan International Airport, Boston, MA

VICTIM(S): 147 passengers of Flight 627, Agent Scott


Glatterflug Flight 627 en route from Hamburg, Germany, to Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts, encountered electrical interference three hours into the flight and radio silence commenced into North American airspace. The US Navy deployed two F-18s for observation and escort. Pilots observed bloodstains on the windows and no movement within the cockpit or cabin. The flight successfully landed at its destination via the PEARL autopilot system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requested Standard Level 4 HAZMAT treatment and quarantine of the plane, and it was granted by the White House. All ground agencies coordinated under the Department of Homeland Security. All passengers and crew were infected with a contagion placed in an air tank replaced one hour before takeoff in Germany. The raw contagion ingredients triggered fatal cellular degradation. The CDC ordered the plane burned to contain any further spread of the contagion.

Glyph Sightings

  • The leaf glyph is on the electronic keypad at Massive Dynamic.
Timestamp: 1:20:58

Walter's Food

Walter mentioned butterscotch pudding, asked for ginger ale, ate a sandwich and Chinese food, and gave his recipe for banana bread in his lab notes.
Connection: Sandwich
Timestamp: 52:27
Connection: Chinese food
Chinese food
Timestamp: 58:41

Walter's Lab Notes

- Project 269 - Exploration 17 -

For seventeen years my circadian rhythms have been manipulated by the dread nurses of St. Claire's. What they hoped to accomplish with their pre-dawn intrusions, I can only guess! It gives me such joy to turn the lights on and off at my own whim -- and to resume the explorations I began so long ago, in this very laboratory. The ratio of floor dimensions is the key. How can I be expected to make true progress without understanding the proportions of my space?

That the blonde-haired woman has consented to participate -- despite my direst warnings, which I am nearly certain I provided, despite the interruptions from my progeny -- is most gratifying. The experiment promises to strengthen my still inadequate grasp of the fundamental principles of human consciousness. All this despite my concern about the perils of mental transference and theta-wave commingling that affected the rodentia in 1970.

The quantities in the infusion must be absolutely precise to the nanoliter to assure full integration -- particularly with regard to the 1.618 : 1 ratio of serotonin to lysergic acid diethylamide, which must be preserved at all costs, and which exactly duplicates the 1.618 : 1 ratio of musa acuminata to sucrose in my favorite recipe for banana bread. The incorrect ratio will result in surplus or insufficient moisture, ruining the texture. The precise ingredients for the recipe are as follows:

250 g bleached triticum aestivum
207 g sucrose (white)
115 g bovine dairy lipids
5 g sodium bicarbonate
2 g sodium chloride
2 gallus domesticus eggs -- remove albumen until volume is 92 mL
335 g musa acuminata, peeled and mashed

Inclusion of nuts is not recommended. Mix all dry ingredients, combine moist ingredients separately into a single emulsion, then merge and place in metal container with semi-solid lipid coat. Place entire mixture in a baking chamber at a temperature of 177 degrees Centigrade. Approximate wait time may range from 60 to 66 minutes -- which, coincidentally, is the same expected waiting time for the merging of consciousnesses after establishment of a neural connection. Theta waves should be coordinated at 5-6 Hz. Severing of the neural link after this point may result in disorientation, hallucination, convulsions, shock, and sometimes death, but these must all be regarded as normal.

Walter's Lab Notes

Notable Quotes

WALTER: "So much happened here, and so much is about to."

Connection Chart

A visualization of all the ways this episode connects to other episodes. Scroll down to see the actual connections.

Episode Connections

Spoilers for future episodes below!

S1E03 - The Ghost Network

  • In 'The Ghost Network' Roy had visions of the crash of Flight 627 from 'Pilot', suggesting that that incident is part of a larger pattern of incidents and not a one-off event.
Connection: Flight 627 model
Flight 627 model
S1E03 - The Ghost Network
Timestamp: 18:51

S1E04 - The Arrival

  • The tombstone in Olivia's dream state says "He's Not Dead", possibly referring to John Scott, assumed dead, who appears at the end of 'The Arrival'.
Connection: Tombstone
S1E01 - Pilot
Timestamp: 51:27

S1E06 - The Cure

  • In 'The Cure' David Esterbrook has an aleph pin on his jacket that can also be seen on the canoe from Olivia's dreamscape in 'Pilot'.
Connection: Canoe
S1E01 - Pilot
Timestamp: 51:20
Connection: Aleph pin
Aleph pin
S1E06 - The Cure
Timestamp: 25:26

S1E07 - In Which We Meet Mr. Jones

  • Flight 627 from 'Pilot' originated in Hamburg, Germany, where David Robert Jones is being held in 'In Which We Meet Mr. Jones', suggesting a possible connection to him.

S1E08 - The Equation

  • The canoe in Olivia's dream state in 'Pilot' has the green-green-green-red pattern on it from 'The Equation'.
Connection: Canoe
S1E01 - Pilot
Timestamp: 51:20

S1E10 - Safe

  • OLIVIA in 'Pilot': "[Walter worked on] things like mind control, teleportation, astral projection. Invisibility, genetic mutation, re-animation, fertility..."
      In 'Safe' David Robert Jones was teleported out of prison using equipment retrieved from Walter's safety deposit boxes.

S1E11 - Bound

  • In 'Pilot' Olivia said she put away Broyles's friend for sexual assault. We later meet that man, Sanford Harris, in 'Bound'.

S1E13 - The Transformation

  • There were 147 passengers on the plane in 'The Transformation', the same number as were on Flight 627 in 'Pilot' (J.J.).

S1E20 - There's More Than One of Everything

  • OLIVIA about Jones in 'There's More Than One of Everything': "What can he do with it?"
    NINA: "Unfortunately, the question is 'what can't he do?'."

      This mirrors Massive Dynamic's slogan revealed in 'Pilot': "What do we do? What don't we do."
  • "He's Not Dead" on the tombstone in Olivia's dreamscape in 'Pilot' actually refers to Peter, not John Scott. Walter visited the grave of Peter Bishop in 'There's More Than One of Everything', yet Peter is alive and well.
  • Walter checked Peter's eyes for signs of degradation in 'Pilot'. Jones's eyes showed signs of changing in 'There's More Than One of Everything' after he was teleported out of prison.
  • Olivia asked Charlie to set up a meeting with William Bell in 'Pilot' that finally happens in 'There's More Than One of Everything'.
Connection: Tombstone
S1E01 - Pilot
Timestamp: 51:27
Connection: Jones' eyes
Jones' eyes
S1E20 - There's More Than One of Everything
Timestamp: 38:19

S2E15 - Peter

  • OLIVIA about Walter in 'Pilot': "He does have a son."
    BROYLES: "Is he local too?"
    OLIVIA: "Not exactly."

      A reference to the fact that Peter Bishop is not from this universe.
  • WALTER in 'Pilot': "I knew someone would come. Eventually."
      Because he knew the universe would start to deteriorate due to his actions in 'Peter' and it would be traced back to him.
  • Walter checks Peter's eyes for signs of degradation in 'Pilot' to make sure Peter is still healthy after coming to this universe in 'Peter'.
  • Nina says cancer took her arm in 'Pilot'. In truth, it was damaged in the doorway between universes when she tried to stop Walter from crossing over in 'Peter'.

S2E19 - Brown Betty

  • In the fairy tale in 'Brown Betty', Peter said Walter harmed 147 children, the same number of passengers on Flight 627 from 'Pilot' (J.J.).

S2E22 - Over There (Part 2)

  • ALT CHARLIE to Fauxlivia in 'Over There (Part 2)': "I gotta tell you, Livvy, this job isn't what it was ten years ago. You've got alternate universes, I mean, it just... just wasn't part of my training, you know? I mean, how are we supposed to fight these people? Truth is, Livvy, this makes me feel obsolete, you know?"
      This mirrors what Charlie said to Olivia earlier.
    CHARLIE in 'Pilot': "Job isn't what it was ten years ago. We're supposed to protect the world, where one breath of the wrong air can incinerate you from the inside out. I mean, how do we protect people, when corporations have higher security clearances than we do? When we're not fully briefed on half the things that we're investigating. You know, when the truth, the truth is... we're obsolete."

S3E01 - Olivia

  • The Glatterflug ad for daily flights to the moon in 'Olivia' is the same air travel company as Flight 627 from 'Pilot'.
Connection: Glatterflug display
Glatterflug display
S1E01 - Pilot
Timestamp: 00:08
Connection: Glatterflug ad
Glatterflug ad
S3E01 - Olivia
Timestamp: 13:49

S3E05 - Amber 31422

  • Walternate used a sensory deprivation tank to clear Olivia's mind in 'Amber 31422' just like Walter did for Olivia in 'Pilot'.

S3E19 - Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

  • Olivia's mindscape in 'Lysergic Acid Diethylamide' shows an area with Iraqi architecture, a reference to when Olivia met Peter in Iraq in 'Pilot'.
Connection: Iraqi architecture in Olivia's mindscape
Iraqi architecture in Olivia's mindscape
S3E19 - Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
Timestamp: 22:54

S4E01 - Neither Here Nor There

  • The Shapeshifters in 'Neither Here Nor There' had translucent skin just like John Scott did in 'Pilot'.
  • A leaf glyph matching the Massive Dynamic security screen in 'Pilot' is displayed on the bio-scan monitor on Liberty Island in 'Neither Here Nor There'.
Connection: Leaf glyph
Leaf glyph
S1E01 - Pilot
Timestamp: 1:20:58
Connection: Leaf glyph
Leaf glyph
S4E01 - Neither Here Nor There
Timestamp: 37:18

S4E04 - Subject 9

  • NINA SHARP to Olivia in 'Pilot': "I would say this to my own daughter..."
      This is a foreshadowing of the timeline in which Nina raised Olivia and Rachel as her own children.
    NINA to Olivia in 'Subject 9': "So you told me about the Fringe Event, but I think you left something out. It's happening to you, isn't it? Now, come on. I haven't seen this much fear in your face since Bobby Hastings asked you to the prom. So what can I do to help you, dear?"

S4E12 - Welcome to Westfield

  • In 'Welcome to Westfield' Peter mentions that (original timeline) Olivia first met him in 'Pilot' when he was attempting to scam two Iranian businessmen.

S4E13 - A Better Human Being

  • In 'A Better Human Being' Olivia has flashbacks to the first time she checked Walter out of St. Claire's in 'Pilot'.

S4E14 - The End of All Things

  • Peter went into September's mind for information in 'The End of All Things' like Olivia went into John Scott's mind in 'Pilot'.

S4E19 - Letters of Transit

  • OBSERVER in 'Letters of Transit': "Shoot first. I'll read them later."
      This is a reference to the ability to interrogate someone's mind after they have died, which both Walter and Nina mentioned in 'Pilot'.
    NINA in 'Pilot': "How long has he been dead?"
    MEDICAL ASSISTANT: "Five hours."
    NINA: "Question him."


S4E21 - Brave New World (Part 1)

  • In 'Brave New World (Part 1)' Walter sat in his old cell at St. Claire's from 'Pilot'.
Connection: Walter at his old desk
Walter at his old desk
S4E21 - Brave New World (Part 1)
Timestamp: 22:07

S4E22 - Brave New World (Part 2)

  • Peter questions Jessica Holt in 'Brave New World (Part 2)' despite her being dead, like Walter and Nina questioned a dead John Scott in 'Pilot'.

S5E07 - Five-Twenty-Ten

  • In 'Five-Twenty-Ten' Walter recognized the location of the beacons as a lab at Kelvin Genetics. In 'Pilot' Olivia told Peter that Kelvin Genetics was the classified US Army experimental program that Walter (and Bell) worked for.
  • In 'Five-Twenty-Ten' Peter swapped an Observer briefcase with one that would infect them with the translucent skin toxin that nearly killed John Scott in 'Pilot'.

S5E11 - The Boy Must Live

  • Walter entered the sensory deprivation tank in 'The Boy Must Live' just as Olivia did in 'Pilot'.
  • In 'The Boy Must Live' Walter has memories of the first words he said to Peter in 'Pilot', "I thought you'd be fatter."

S5E13 - An Enemy of Fate

  • The translucent skin toxin from 'Pilot' was used as a weapon against the Observers in 'An Enemy of Fate'.
Connection: Translucent skin toxin
Translucent skin toxin
S5E13 - An Enemy of Fate
Timestamp: 32:37