The Dreamscape

The Dreamscape

Season 1, Episode 09
Aired: November 25th, 2008
Written By: Zack Whedon, Julia Cho
Directed By: Frederick E. O. Toye

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Resources: IMDb | Wikipedia | Transcript
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This episode centers on a Fringe investigation of a Massive Dynamic employee who, after believing himself to be under attack by a swarm of sharp-winged butterflies, jumps out of a window. Meanwhile, Olivia continues her visions of the deceased John Scott, and discovers how he is related to a deadly psychoactive drug synthesized by Massive Dynamic.

Synopsis provided by the Fandom Wiki, Fringepedia, and Wikipedia.


This episode's glyphs spell:


Walter's voice was Olivia's tether to reality while she was in the sensory deprivation tank, and she found a suspect when she recognized his voice on the phone as being one she heard while in the tank.

Glyph symbol VGlyph symbol OGlyph symbol IGlyph symbol CGlyph symbol E
Glyph symbol V
Glyph symbol O
Glyph symbol I
Glyph symbol C
Glyph symbol E


The Observer is standing at the end of the hallway when Mark Young gets out of the elevator.



Previous Episode Clue

A butterfly is painted on the side of a white trash can in 'The Equation', foreshadowing the fatal, drug-induced butterfly hallucinations seen in 'The Dreamscape'.

Previous episode clue

Next Episode Clue

A logo and symbol for Trevisanus Bros Estimators are briefly seen in on the side of a van in 'The Dreamscape' as Olivia and Charlie chase down George Morales. This same logo and symbol are seen on the side of a van (possibly the same van) in 'Safe' as Loeb and his crew prepare to receive David Robert Jones at Little Hill Field.

Next episode clue


  • Mark Young's colleague is wearing a butterfly pin, possibly prompting the subject of his hallucination. (Image 1)
  • Massive Dynamic is on Bell Plaza. (Image 2)
Item of interest: Butterfly pin
Image 1
Butterfly pin
Item of interest: Bell Plaza
Image 2
Bell Plaza


  • When Olivia is on the phone at the beginning of the episode she is talking to someone named Beth about a surprise party for someone named Bobby. J.J. Abrams' 2008 monster film Cloverfield begins with a surprise going away party for the main character Rob, whose best friend in attendance is named Beth.
  • Mark Young's plane ticket was on Oceanic Air (Lost). (Image 1)
Item of interest: Oceanic Air ticket
Image 1
Oceanic Air ticket


Fringe Division case file
Fringe Division case file: The Dreamscape


  • A butterfly can be seen attacking Mark Young.
Glyph Sighting: Butterfly


Walter asked for coffee yogurt, mentioned oyster crackers in his lab notes, and talked about baking a turkey in his lab notes.


Walter called Astrid 'Astringent'.


- Project 269 - Exploration 19 -

I had not expected the opportunity to return to this project so soon. The resurfacing of Agent Scott -- for whatever distress it has caused to Agent Dunham -- confirms my suspicion that lysergic acid diethylamide can induce flashbacks of alien, as well as indigenous, memories -- like the corners of my mind -- misty water-colored memories... Curse you Streisand, your wretched lyrics afflict my soul!

How fortunate that Olivia brought these toads here. "And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs." And thy laboratories! I have modified the regression formula to include doses of bofutenin and 5-MeO-DMT from the bufo alvarius. Like the Scots witches, I will stir the pot:

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing ...

...with oyster crackers on the side, of course. The new brew will assuredly amplify the psychedelic effects, allowing even deeper penetration into repressed memory. Perhaps I should inform Olivia; but she has little patience for such details. The whole process should take four to five hours. Not unlike the time required for baking a turkey -- assuming, of course, the bird has been properly thawed and brined. I must remind Astringent not to drain the tank when we are done; no need to waste perfectly good saline solution!

Yet there is but one subject this time. The puzzle is one of recursion: the linking of the brain to itself. What happens when a person goes through her own portal? Herein lies the danger of a strange loop, an endless spiral of meta-realities, each self gazing into a yet deeper self. The experience could lead to the destruction of identity. Or perhaps its affirmation -- for what is self but an endless recursion, looking at oneself in a mirror within a mirror within a mirror...

Walter's lab notes


A visualization of all the ways this episode connects to other episodes. Scroll down to see the actual connections.
Connection chart: The Dreamscape



S5E04 - The Bullet that Saved the World

  • A butterfly shadow box like those seen in "The Dreamscape" was seen in Walter's storage vault in "The Bullet that Saved the World". (Image 1, 2)
Connection: Butterfly box
Image 1
S1E09 - The Dreamscape
Butterfly box
Connection: Butterfly box
Image 2
S5E04 - The Bullet That Saved the World
Butterfly box

S5E13 - An Enemy of Fate

  • The hallucinogenic drug from "The Dreamscape" was used as a weapon against the Observers in "An Enemy of Fate" to make them think they were being attacked by butterflies. (Image 1)
Connection: Hallucinated butterfly attack
Image 1
S5E13 - An Enemy of Fate
Hallucinated butterfly attack