The Arrival

Season 1, Episode 04
Aired: September 30th, 2008
Written By: J. J. Abrams, Jeff Pinkner
Directed By: Paul Edwards

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Resources: IMDb | Wikipedia | Transcript
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The Arrival

The Glyphs

This episode's glyphs spell: R-O-G-U-E

The original FOX press release for this episode stated that Michael Kelly, who played the villain, was playing a character named Rogue. Eventually a theory developed among fans about the character's true involvement in the story. See the FAQs page for more details if you've seen the entire show or are comfortable reading heavy spoilers.

Glyph symbol RGlyph symbol OGlyph symbol GGlyph symbol UGlyph symbol E
Glyph symbol R
Glyph symbol O
Glyph symbol G
Glyph symbol U
Glyph symbol E

The Observer

The Observer is featured in the episode.


Timestamp: 01:20

Episode Clues

Previous Episode Clue

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

Previous episode clue

Timestamp: 43:15

Next Episode Clue

There is a flyer on a pole outside of the cafe where the Observer is eating in 'The Arrival' that says "UNLOCK YOUR HIDDEN POTENTIAL", which is the slogan on the ad that Joseph Meegar responds to in 'Power Hungry'.

Next episode clue

Timestamp: 00:08

Items of Interest

  • The crane that crashed during the intro has a Massive Dynamic logo on it. (Image 1)
  • Walter knows the Observer.
  • The Observer can predict Peter's actions.
  • The Observer saved Peter when Walter's car crashed through ice many years ago.
  • In the original FOX press release for this episode a paragraph listing guest cast revealed the name of the Observer and gave another name to the John Mosley character. The revised press release omits the guest cast list entirely.
Item of interest: Massive Dynamic logo
Image 1: Massive Dynamic logo
Timestamp: 03:06

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: Solid metallic iridium cylinder caused explosion and first Observer interaction

CLASSIFIED CASE CONNECTION(S): June 22, 1987 beacon appearance at Quantico, DOD "Project Thor"

AGENTS ASSIGNED: Dunham, Francis


FILE ARCHIVED BY: Raquel Segura, Shawn Jones

WITNESSES/CONTACTS: Colonel Henry Jacobson, John Mosley (deceased)

LOCATION: Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Roseville, VA

VICTIM(S): 3 dead, 24 injured, Peter Bishop, Agent Astrid Farnsworth


A solid iridium cylinder emanating subsonic vibrations at 2 and 4 megahertz rose up from belowground and created a massive explosion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The cylinder was immediately transported to Chelsea, Massachusetts, by agents from NSA and CDC to examine it. Agent Dunham traveled to Roseville, VA, to speak with Colonel Henry Jacobson about a similar cylinder that appeared in Quantico in 1987. Forty-eight hours after it appeared, it burrowed back into the ground and disappeared. In NY, consultant Dr. Walter Bishop then broke the protocol rules of his consultancy when he drugged Agent Farnsworth, took the cylinder off premises, and hid it per the suggestion of his "friend the Observer" to keep it safe. Walter refused to share the location with any agents. Peter Bishop was kidnapped by wanted murderer John Mosley, whom Bishop said had tried to forcibly obtain the cylinder location via an electroshock machine. Agent Dunham found Bishop and shot Mosley as he tried to flee. Peter Bishop was adamant that he communicated with an Observer.

Walter's Food

Walter recited the formula for creating root beer, asked Peter to get him a root beer float, and drank a root beer float.
Connection: Root beer float
Root beer float
Timestamp: 22:55

Walter's Lab Notes

- Project 643 - Exploration 3 -

Only a mild sedative, should knock her out for only a short while. The girl won't understand, nor the others. Not a preferred course of action, but necessary. I have to meet with my friend, and the clouds are gathering, I can hear them already. I know what's to be done: find a new hiding place, before the chase begins. Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel! It has returned to plague me again. Fallen like a ton of feathers, right into the banana patch. Wrestling with my insides, trying to extract something. Like the bearded man, when he told me he needed another pearl. Thank you sir, may I have another? I told my friend he should get a toupee, or at least a better hat, and he said it's a fair wind that bloweth no man any ill. The walls, the walls, push back the walls! The boy knows but doesn't know that he knows. He brought me whole flies when I asked for only the wings. And the sarsaparilla was not from Sioux City. But he'll be okay as long as we stay, when there's more songs to play and few things to say. We'll need to ask the Fisher King for answers. Chapter next, turn the page, feed the germs to a macrophage. Is that where it goes, a scrapyard or a graveyard? No matter, just keep it from Scotland Yard. A tisket a tasket, dare I even ask yet? I left something behind, in a mattress or something like it. Phi, chi, psi, omega, that's how it starts. An equation that will take me back, back, back to where I once belonged. Kenneth, what's the frequency? Once at 2 MHz, again at 4, and once in a blue moon.

Walter's Lab Notes

Notable Quotes

WALTER: "I was unable to control my limbs in that icy water. It wouldn't respond. I was incapable of saving you, or myself. We were dead, Peter, you and I. Until someone grabbed me. And we were going up. We were saved, both of us, by a man that I had never met. A man that shouldn't have been there at all. He pulled us to the shore. I remembered that he was bald, that he had no eyebrows. And as he set us down in the snow, I recalled his stare, standing there in his suit soaking wet, seemingly indifferent to the cold. It was as if he knew my thoughts before I did. As if he were inside my head. Without speaking, he made it clear that he would need me one day. A return favor, so to speak. And this is it. Today, what happened with the capsule, I'm not sure how I know about the vibrations, the composition. But then when I tested it myself, heard the vibrations, felt them, it was as if an envelope had been opened and I could finally read my instructions. Instantly, I knew that I had to protect the capsule for him. Who they are, what they want - as a man of science, I share your frustration in not having these answers. But what I know is that you are sitting here now... my son... alive."

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

  • 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

Spoilers for future episodes below!

S1E08 - The Equation

  • The Observer's binoculars have the green-green-green red pattern at the bottom left corner.
  • John Mosley's beanie has the green-green-green-red pattern.
Connection: Green-green-green-red dots
Green-green-green-red dots
S1E04 - The Arrival
Timestamp: 01:17
Connection: Green-green-green-red dots
Green-green-green-red dots
S1E04 - The Arrival
Timestamp: 22:22

S2E08 - August

  • The pulse gun used in the forest by John Mosley in 'The Arrival' was also used by August in 'August'.

S2E13 - The Bishop Revival

  • Walter hid the beacon at the tombstone of his father, Robert Bishop, in 'The Arrival'. Robert Bishop's work and history is central to the plot of 'The Bishop Revival'.
Connection: Robert Bishop's tombstone
Robert Bishop's tombstone
S1E04 - The Arrival
Timestamp: 34:46

S2E15 - Peter

  • In 'The Arrival' Walter knows the Observer and says he and Peter crashed through ice when Peter was a boy. We see this crash, and we see the Observer save them from the icy lake, in 'Peter'.
  • WALTER in 'The Arrival': "Have you ever taken anything that didn't belong to you because you knew it was the right thing to do?"
    PETER: "This isn't about me."
    WALTER: "Maybe it is, Peter."

      Everything happening in Fringe can be traced back to Walter stealing Peter as seen in 'Peter'.

S2E19 - Brown Betty

  • The Beacon from 'The Arrival' appeared in 'Brown Betty' as the Watchers attempted to locate Peter.
Connection: Beacon
S2E19 - Brown Betty
Timestamp: 33:09

S3E03 - The Plateau

  • In 'The Plateau' Milo is able to predict what people will say and do just like the Observer does in 'The Arrival'.

S3E22 - The Day We Died

  • Ten Observers are present on Liberty island in 'The Day We Died' from an assumed total of 12. One of the missing two Observers might be John Mosley, a potential former Observer, who was killed in 'The Arrival'.
Connection: Ten Observers
Ten Observers
S3E22 - The Day We Died
Timestamp: 43:12

S4E15 - A Short Story About Love

  • September's device in 'A Short Story About Love' led Peter to the beacon from 'The Arrival'.
Connection: Beacon
S4E15 - A Short Story About Love
Timestamp: 28:09

S5E11 - The Boy Must Live

  • September loads his food with heat (pepper, jalapenos, hot sauce) in 'The Arrival' because his emotions are dulled, as he explained in 'The Boy Must Live'.
  • In 'The Boy Must Live', September lived next to the East River in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Northwest Brooklyn in 2036. Near the East River in Williamsburg is where the first Beacon bored to the surface in 'The Arrival', the first Observer-centric episode.
Connection: Spicy sandwich
Spicy sandwich
S1E04 - The Arrival
Timestamp: 02:12