Wednesday, April 15, 2009
At some point last night during Fringe, Peter exclaimed to Olivia that Walter lives in his own world, a bubble of exile in which he is seemingly unaware of his surroundings. This belief is one the audience also holds to, as they see Walter as someone connected, but remaining apart from the others involved. Olivia brings the cases and Peter acts as interpreter, and babysitter, for Walter, who helps solve them.
Walter also says "penis" and talks about peeing a lot.
It occurred to me last night that while we give a lot of thought to Olivia's journey through this web of cases, through the events of The Pattern, towards some eventual enlightenment about herself and the world around her; we've given less thought into Walter's journey as a character.
We're supposed to understand that Walter is important to the world of Fringe, that he'll be integral to the unfolding of the Pattern through his previous and current research. But I don't think we understand that he's more than just a gateway of information and an occasional burst of comedy amongst the very serious investigations he's involved with. He's a complex man, constantly evolving with each case because something is happening…
Quite the opposite of Peter's previous assertion, Walter is becoming more and more aware as each case goes on that he might, in fact, be a proponent of the Pattern and that his research has and is falling into the hands of some very dangerous people More specifically, and simply, he's understanding that the experiments he'd been conducting in the past is having adverse effects on people.
He is, at heart, a scientist, and through rational deduction he is coming to the conclusion that he is killing people, that he has killed people, with what he has done in the name of science.
During 'Unleashed' Walter discovered that the beast they'd been searching for, a transgenic from the pages of Dark Angel (remember the Gossamers?), was something he'd been striving to create himself before his incarceration in the mental institution. While it was discovered that the creature came from the experiments of the man who had inspired him, Walter realized that he might as well have been the inventor himself, because eventually, he would have succeeded (and probably sooner, if he'd been living freely.)
This realization prompted him to lock himself, apart from Olivia and Peter, to capture the 'monster' in order to kill it and use its blood to save Olivia's partner – who'd been impregnated with larvae by the monster's sting. An influx of the monster's own blood, Walter theorized, would convince the spawn inside the detective to stop feeding off him and starve to death, effectively killing them (and then he would 'poop them out') and saving his life. His failsafe was ingesting a poison so that even if he was killed by the monster, the monster would be poisoned and die.
So the guy, who, weeks ago, was wetting himself because of a seat warmer in a car, committed the most selfless act of bravery a SANE man would weigh before acting upon. And with each new episode, and each new exploration into Walter's previous experiments and how they've been updated upon and used as either part of the pattern, or just part of someone's exploitation of scientific advancement, we'll continue to follow Walter on this journey towards redemption from his actions.
If only all people were so aware.