Saturday, April 17, 2010
The people on the train died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dr. Peck decided to try out his time travel formula and landed on the train (he was from a few hours in the future). In order to time travel, even that small distance, it takes a lot of energy. So much energy that he drained the energy out of the car of the train and the people in it. For the record, he claimed that the people were not dead, but suspended and would return to their normal selves once he time traveled back. The biggest problem with a time traveling scientist is that he's impossible to catch. Every time the FBI would get close to him, he would simply use his ability to time travel out of there and the time would reset, meaning that Olivia and co. would be back at square one and unaware that they had already investigated the case they were now beginning to investigate.
Walter had been intrigued by Dr. Peck from the beginning, but became even more so when he learned the reason why Dr. Peck was trying to master the skill of time traveling: he wanted to travel back 10 months to save his fiancee from a deadly car accident. He felt that if he had not fought with her over their wedding registry, then they would have both been in the car and a different outcome would have occurred. When he was finally able to go back 10 months (thanks to Walter's input) and find his fiancee before she drove off, a different outcome did occur, but it wasn't the one he wanted. He got in the car with her and another car t-boned their parked car and killed them both. Well, at least he didn't have to go on without her.
Walter could relate to Dr. Peck's desire to save someone he loved, but he warned him that the consequences of intervening are great. He spoke about his own guilt and how his decision to take AltPeter has tormented him ever since. He even talked about how he has been seeking forgiveness from God and asked for a white tulip to be a sign that God had forgiven him. I thought this part of the story was especially interesting since we tend to see man of science/man of faith (TM Lost) as two incongruous entities and unable to survive inside one person. It was refreshing to see that Walter breaks that misconception. In the end, Walter got his white tulip in the form of a hand-drawn one sent through the mail from the deceased Dr. Peck. Since he had met Walter before he time traveled back to his wife and reset the clock, he knew about Walter's desire for forgiveness. In the meantime, Walter made the decision not to tell Peter about where's he's really from. The truth has a way of coming out, though.
Fringe airs Thursday nights on Fox. If you missed this week's episode, you can watch it for free at Fox.com.