The Ghost Network

Season 1, Episode 03
Aired: September 23rd, 2008
Written By: David H. Goodman, J. R. Orci
Directed By: Frederick E. O. Toye

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Resources: IMDb | Wikipedia | Transcript
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The Ghost Network

The Glyphs

This episode's glyphs spell: A-E-G-E-R

Aeger is a Latin word that means sick or unwell. The villains in this episode used Latin to communicate with each other.

Glyph symbol AGlyph symbol EGlyph symbol GGlyph symbol EGlyph symbol R
Glyph symbol A
Glyph symbol E
Glyph symbol G
Glyph symbol E
Glyph symbol R

The Observer

Olivia passes by The Observer in a train car at South Station.


Timestamp: 42:45

Episode Clues

Previous Episode Clue

A street sign outside of the Massive Dynamic building in 'The Same Old Story' has a sticker placed over it that reads "Voces Video." This translates to "I see voices" in Latin, the problem that affects Roy in 'The Ghost Network'.

Previous episode clue

Timestamp: 44:07

Next Episode Clue

There is a sign depicting the beacon from 'The Arrival' on the wall of South Station in 'The Ghost Network'.

Next episode clue

Timestamp: 43:15

Items of Interest

  • If Roy was experimented on by Walter and Bell, how many other test subjects are out there?
  • William Bell's name is partially faded/scratched off of the door to the lab. (Image 1)
  • The victim had a data disc in her hand. (Image 2)
  • Joshua Jackson really played the piano.
Item of interest: Bell's name scratched out
Image 1: Bell's name scratched out
Timestamp: 36:41
Item of interest: Data disc
Image 2 : Data disc
Timestamp: 40:36

JJ Abrams Easter Eggs

  • The bad guys in this episode communicate in Latin (like the Others on Lost).

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


FRINGE EVENT: Gas-turned-to-solid-amber bus attack (14 different chemical compounds utilized)

CLASSIFIED CASE CONNECTION(S): Prague attack, Flight 627, Angel Suicides in Baltimore; Birmingham Bridge Collapse, secret Ghost Network project

AGENTS ASSIGNED: Dunham, Francis


FILE ARCHIVED BY: Natalie Van Apeldoorn

WITNESSES/CONTACTS: DEA agent Grant Davidson (deceased), Roy McComb, Father Kent, Matthew Ziegler (deceased)

LOCATION: South Station, Boston, MA

VICTIM(S): Agent Evelina Mendoza (DEA) and 10 Harbor Transit bus 7031 riders


Harbor Transit bus 7031 was attacked at 8:14 a.m. by a gas that solidified like amber around the driver and the passengers. The CDC established it was not a biological threat, and the FBI's special Fringe unit was called in to investigate. Consultant Dr. Walter Bishop theorized the attack was initiated as a gas and was given a sample of the amber to examine in his lab. Bishop confirmed that the gas turned solid when it met the nitrogen in the atmosphere and suffocated the passengers. Three of the compounds in the gas were made by Massive Dynamic subsidiaries.
 Father Kent of St. Anne's Cathedral, Boston, called the FBI with a tip about his parishioner Roy McComb's confession of seeing the crime before it happened. McComb was brought in for questioning, and he admitted to having had these psychic episodes for nine months. Bishop attempted an MRI on McComb but was prevented by metal in McComb's blood. Bishop determined McComb was a sophomore volunteer in 1979 for Bishop and William Bell's psych experiments, and the residual metal had turned him into a receiver for clandestine transmissions. Bishop/Bell experimented with accessing a spectrum of waves, used to communicate secret information, which someone had since perfected. Bishop got McComb's permission to put an iridium-based, magnetic neurostimulator that he had created in 1983 into Roy's brain, which allowed Bishop to interpret sensory input. The neurostimulator was acquired from the former Bishop residence, and McComb experimented intracranial penetration. McComb connected to the transmission and led Agents Dunham and Francis to Agent Davidson who was shot by Matthew Ziegler, who in turn stepped in front of a bus. An amber disc was acquired for NSA investigation.

Walter's Food

Walter spiked his drink with drugs, ordered blueberry pancakes at a diner, and said he hoped Peter brought him a root beer float in his lab notes.
Connection: Spiked drink
Spiked drink
Timestamp: 07:08

Walter's Lab Notes

- Project 773 - Exploration 13 -

The young man does not remember me, nor I him. And yet it is like a kind of homecoming -- to reunite with a participant in one of my forgotten experiments -- to observe the product of my past research, only now reaching its fruition. That his second-sight (as it were) should manifest so soon after my return suggests a sort of poetry in the affairs of man. Not just any poetry, but a sonnet. Shakespearean, of course, not Petrarchan.

In solid smoke a crowd of victims froze
Encased in crystals bound in nitrous gas.
And paralyzed within their deathly throes,
They found this daily trip to be their last.

Unknown to them my subject saw the sound,
Committing visions into ink and clay.
Metallic compounds in his brain we found:
Antennae for a sensory array.

The sweet Cassandra called upon deaf ears,
But such won't be the case with our dear Roy
Enunciating his unspoken fears --
As transferred by a neuro-scanning toy.

Experimental subjects come and go
The soil in which the roots of wisdom grow.

How many others might be out there! The thought itself is ecstatic. I should repair the old transmitter on this building's roof, if indeed it is still there. Other receivers might also hear our signal. Or see it. Or taste it. I can taste it myself, even now! It tastes like sassafras.

The magnetic neurostimulator is the first essential component. The second is the laboratory itself, whose dimensions will encourage reception of transmissions. But despite my joy, there is still discontent. Something here is not precisely right. Something missing, or something extra. I cannot place it. I am crowded by the walls.

The boy has returned with the device. Let the process begin. I hope he also brought diapers. And a root beer float.

Walter's Lab Notes

Notable Quotes

PETER: "We'll just go back in time and get [the device] for you."
WALTER: "No need to!"
(as if that would be an entirely plausible thing to do.)

Connection Chart

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

Episode Connections

S1E01 - Pilot

  • 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

S1E02 - The Same Old Story

  • The victim at the beginning of 'The Same Old Story' used the fake name Amber, a nod to the weapon used in 'The Ghost Network'.

Spoilers for future episodes below!

S1E13 - The Transformation

  • In 'The Transformation' Marshall Bowman had a disk in his hand like the victim in 'The Ghost Network'.

S2E21 - Over There (Part 1)

  • The bus in 'The Ghost Network' is ambered. Ambering later becomes a real safety tool used by the other side as seen in 'Over There (Part 1)'.
Connection: Ambering device
Ambering device
S2E21 - Over There (Part 1)
Timestamp: 04:33

S2E22 - Over There (Part 2)

  • The bus in 'The Ghost Network' was ambered. Huge sections of cities were ambered in the Redverse in 'Over There (Part 2)'.
Connection: Amber in Boston
Amber in Boston
S2E22 - Over There (Part 2)
Timestamp: 16:29

S3E03 - The Plateau

  • A bus at the second crime scene in 'The Plateau' has an ad on the side that says "Ambered", a reference to the ambered bus in 'The Ghost Network'.
Connection: Bus ad
Bus ad
S3E03 - The Plateau
Timestamp: 16:56

S3E14 - 6B

  • In '6B' Walter mentioned the chemical amber attack on the commuter bus from 'The Ghost Network' when he realized he may have to secure the apartment building in amber.

S4E02 - One Night in October

  • PETER in 'The Ghost Network': "They say the psych profiles of cops and criminals are pretty much identical."
      The case in 'One Night in October' centers around two versions of the same man, each from a different universe, where one is a serial killer and the other is a professor of forensic psychology specializing in serial killers.

S5E01 - Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11

  • ASTRID about Walter in 'The Ghost Network': "Music helps him process. It works, too. As soon as Peter started playing Walter just kind of locked in."

    CAPTAIN WINDMARK on music in 'Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11': "We tolerate it. But it's merely tones, rhythms, and harmonic vibrations. I don't understand."
    WALTER: "Mostly it amazes me. Music helps you shift perspective, to see things differently if you need to."