Season 4, Episode 05
Aired: November 4th, 2011
Written By: J. R. Orci, Graham Roland
Directed By: Paul Holahan

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

The Glyphs

This episode's glyphs spell: S-T-I-L-L

See the glyphs explanation for S4E01 - Back to Where You've Never Been.

Glyph symbol SGlyph symbol TGlyph symbol IGlyph symbol LGlyph symbol L
Glyph symbol S
Glyph symbol T
Glyph symbol I
Glyph symbol L
Glyph symbol L

The Observer

The Observer can be seen behind Olivia at the crime scene outside the Truss home.


Timestamp: 10:34

Episode Clues

Previous Episode Clue

The labels "GOOD", "EVIL", "TRANSFORM", and "EJECT" on the wall in 'Subject 9' hint at the Shapeshifter plot in 'Novation'.

Previous episode clue

Timestamp: 27:34

Next Episode Clue

Locker #47, accessed by the Shapeshifter in 'Novation', foreshadows the 47 minute maximum time period of the time chambers opened in 'And Those We've Left Behind'.

Next episode clue

Timestamp: 41:32

Items of Interest

  • Peter was supposed to die in both universes on that night in 1985.
  • New Shapeshifters can switch between all bodies they've stolen.
  • The Shapeshifter uses a Hermes 3000-brand typewriter. Hermes Trismegistus ("Three-times blessed") was the mythical alchemist who purportedly discovered the Philosopher's Stone referred to in season 4's title card. In Greek mythology, Hermes was the Great Messenger of the Gods and the patron of boundaries, and of the travelers who cross them. (Image 1)
Item of interest: Hermes 3000 typewriter
Image 1: Hermes 3000 typewriter
Timestamp: 41:37

JJ Abrams Easter Eggs

  • The Shapeshifter opened locker number 47. (J.J.) (Image 1)
Item of interest: Locker 47
Image 1: Locker 47
Timestamp: 41:32

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: Hybrid Shapeshifters 2.0




FILE ARCHIVED BY: Brandon Amaltov

WITNESSES/CONTACTS: Dr. Malcolm Truss, Peter Bishop


VICTIM(S): Karen Truss (deceased), Donald Kellen (deceased), Vermont state trooper, Agent Warrick (deceased), ambulance driver (deceased)


A murder victim with translucent skin tipped off the Fringe team about the presence of another active Shapeshifter. The woman was the ex-wife of Dr. Malcolm Truss, a research scientist who had worked in the Bio-Tech Department of Massive Dynamic ten years prior. Dr. Truss, retired to Vermont, was abducted from his home the same morning as the killing. One of Dr. Truss's projects involved cellular replication that used the genetic data of the healthy cells of a patient to replace the damaged ones. Dr. Bell closed the project, citing ethical concerns. Because of his extensive Shapeshifter knowledge, consultant Peter Bishop helped determine that a Shapeshifter had kidnapped Dr. Truss to perfect itself. Peter Bishop also discovered a tracking system in the new version of Shapeshifters that allowed the team to find the Shapeshifter and Dr. Truss. It was later determined that Dr. Truss was a willing ally to his abductor and had developed a serum to help with the hybrid's tissue degeneration issues. The correction elevated the Shapeshifters to a more dangerous threat because of their ability to blend seamlessly with humanity.

Glyph Sightings

  • The flower glyph can be seen on the wall in Karen Truss's house.
Timestamp: 03:24

The Timeline Without Peter

  • Peter drowned when he and Walter crashed through the ice on Reiden Lake because the Observer never saved him.
  • Nina raised Olivia and Rachel. Their mother had died, Olivia had killed their abusive stepfather, and Nina stepped in to raise them before they could be put into the foster system.
  • The team (aside from Peter) don't know about the Observers.
  • Peter was supposed to die in both universes on that night in 1985 before September's interventions.
  • Olivia had a horse-riding ribbon.
timelinewithoutpeter: Photo of Olivia in Nina's office
Photo of Olivia in Nina's office
Timestamp: 12:29

Walter's Food

Walter made custard.
Connection: Custard
Timestamp: 24:51

Connection Chart

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

Episode Connections

S1E06 - The Cure

  • Olivia had a horse-riding ribbon in Nina's old photograph in 'Novation'. Nina rode horses herself in 'The Cure' so it stands to reason that Olivia would have done so as well in the timeline where she was raised by Nina.
Connection: Nina with a horse
Nina with a horse
S1E06 - The Cure
Timestamp: 34:33
Connection: Olivia's horse-riding ribbon picture
Olivia's horse-riding ribbon picture
S4E05 - Novation
Timestamp: 12:29

S2E15 - Peter

  • CARLA WARREN to Walter in 'Peter': "Some things are not ours to tamper with. Some things are God's."
      Later, in the timeline without Peter:
    DR. MALCOLM TRUSS in 'Novation': "Bell shut down the project. And all he could say was, 'Some things are not ours to tamper with. Some things are God's.'"

Spoilers for future episodes below!

S4E08 - Back to Where You've Never Been

  • The Shapeshifter knew to find Dr. Truss in 'Novation' because it was working for David Robert Jones, as revealed in 'Back to Where You've Never Been', and both Jones and Truss previously worked at Massive Dynamic.

S4E11 - Making Angels

  • DECEMBER in 'Making Angels': "You're right. It's September's."
    MARCH: "He must have lost it in 1985 the night he didn't save the boy."

      In 'Novation' Peter realized that the Observer's lack of action that night is what changed everything.
    WALTER: "That lake where we crossed over was frozen. The ice broke. We fell through. I tried to hold on to him... but he drowned."
    PETER: "The Observer didn't pull us out of the lake that night? Well, that must be it, Walter. It all makes sense now. That has to be what happened. I was supposed to die that night in both universes, but when I didn't, I became a paradox, and now, for the two worlds to heal, I had to be deleted."