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The Observers: Bald is Beautiful


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#1

Money Magnet

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Posted May 18, 2011 @ 7:50 AM

Wow, can't believe these guys don't really have their own topic already... (there's one for Observer sightings, but not for the characters themselves)

It's not spoilery to guess that they're going to be at least somewhat more important next season. In the words of that haunting memory known as Peter Bishop, "Who are these guys?"

What's September's deal? Why is December such a hardass? Was the Inner Child an Observer? Is there a rogue Observer? Does Sam have anything to do with the Observers? So many questions.

Edited by Money Magnet, May 18, 2011 @ 7:52 AM.


#2

Uroboros75

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Posted Sep 3, 2011 @ 10:33 AM

An Observer discussion thread? 8'D

I think that of all the characters, I relate to the Observers the most. Passive, observant, stoic; everything about them is fantastic, from their cadence to their non-verbal cues to their abilities and higher-dimensional nature. The concept of the Observer is probably the biggest factor that drew me in the show to begin with.

As it stands now, my guess is that they are 5D entities. I am undecided whether they have a biological age or if they have lived "forever" from our perspective (though "living" might not be an appropriate term for them).

While December may hold a more "supervisory" role in the group (think team captain), I don't think he's necessarily their leader; for September, who would presumably answer to December, has been shown to wield an equal amount of influence to December (as shown in 3.10 and to a lesser extent, 3.22). Either they all answer to someone above them, or they all work together as a sort of collective. Either option is plausible, and yields interesting ramifications...

One also wonders whether they merely oversee the Blue&Red worlds the show follows, or if they are indeed multiversal in nature, with the B&R worlds but the latest assignment in a long history of reality oversight. I guess it all depends whether the Fringeverse leans towards either a more Copenhagen or Everett view of Existence concerning multiverses.

Concerning their latest plan, I think the Time Loop is static in nature, meaning that the loop is the same every time, though every loop is happening at the same time. The Observers, impartial to the constraints of the Loop, can go in and make observations. But when they affect the outcome of an event, the entire shape of the loop changes due to this new outcome having instantaneous repercussions to future (and possibly past) events.

So I would posit that they have been making small "edits" to the timelines until they set up the chain reaction of events leading to the creation of the Bridge by Peter. Though this might not have unfolded the way they originally intended due to September's "mistake"; the mistake caused problems, because once an observation has been made, it cannot be undone (or else September would have simply traveled back to that moment and try again).

I dunno. These are just some of the thoughts I have on the Observers. XP

I'm looking forward to their (hopefully more prominent) role in S4. *cross fingers*

#3

Money Magnet

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Posted Sep 3, 2011 @ 9:50 PM

I think that of all the characters, I relate to the Observers the most. Passive, observant, stoic; everything about them is fantastic, from their cadence to their non-verbal cues to their abilities and higher-dimensional nature. The concept of the Observer is probably the biggest factor that drew me in the show to begin with.


I think a lot of new viewers are most intrigued by them.

I've had several changing theories about them. I used to think they were just autonomous entities who answered to no one, but last season I started to wonder if they were "First People" - until of course we found out the First People weren't as weird as we thought they were. Going into this season, my new theory is that they might be William Bell creations - maybe something he made to counterbalance his other creation, the shapeshifters.

While December may hold a more "supervisory" role in the group (think team captain), I don't think he's necessarily their leader; for September, who would presumably answer to December, has been shown to wield an equal amount of influence to December (as shown in 3.10 and to a lesser extent, 3.22). Either they all answer to someone above them, or they all work together as a sort of collective. Either option is plausible, and yields interesting ramifications...


Yes, last season we definitely got the vibe that December and September were doing some sort of wagering, or at least were in contention with one another. December just seems to me to be the oldest Observer and the one with maybe the most hardened viewpoint (as Observers go). The apparent age may not be true age, but rather an outward manifestation of his inner nature.

One also wonders whether they merely oversee the Blue&Red worlds the show follows, or if they are indeed multiversal in nature, with the B&R worlds but the latest assignment in a long history of reality oversight. I guess it all depends whether the Fringeverse leans towards either a more Copenhagen or Everett view of Existence concerning multiverses.


Not familiar with those - can you explain?

My view of the Red Universe is that it represents a different timestream, not just a "parallel reality." It represents a what-if world - what if someone had died, or had made a different decision, etc. Obviously, the split-off point between the Red and Blueverses must have occurred at least as far back as the 1930s - whenever zeppelins were invented, or even earlier. In that sense, the universe we're going to start with in Season 4 might rightly be given a new color, because it's a new timestream/reality consisting of two timestreams that have been forcibly jammed together by Peter.

I admit my brain starts to shut down when it comes to pondering time loops, so I prefer to think of a "Time Tree" instead - where there's a trunk - an original timestream - with zillions of possible futures branching off into infinity. All of which the Observers presumably can see. On another topic, someone brought up the confusion over September's comment in "The Firefly" about "Many futures are happening simultaneously, but I cannot see which one will come to pass." Well, in that context, what does "come to pass" mean? My guess would be that the branches of the "Time Tree" are destined to be melded together once again into a single trunk timestream, perhaps with one future path being the chosen one for this purpose, but that September is unable to know which one will be chosen (because the choice involves the human element).

oy... who knows though?

#4

Uroboros75

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Posted Sep 3, 2011 @ 11:36 PM

I think a lot of new viewers are most intrigued by them.

I've had several changing theories about them. I used to think they were just autonomous entities who answered to no one, but last season I started to wonder if they were "First People" - until of course we found out the First People weren't as weird as we thought they were. Going into this season, my new theory is that they might be William Bell creations - maybe something he made to counterbalance his other creation, the shapeshifters.


Is that so?

I myself have been watching since the Pilot back in '08, but it comes to no surprise that many newcomers to the show are intrigued by the Observers.

I've always suspected that the Observers were 3D+ dimensional in nature, as it is the most comprehensive explanation for their nature. I am undecided whether they were created by a human/were once human themselves or if they've always been, though, for due to their temporal nature, the date of their inception is ultimately trivial.

Although, I've come up with other theories for the fun of it, including that the Observers are anthropomorphized manifestations of Existence's desire for self-preservation (but that's another thread ;).

I actually thought that the First People were an actual bona fide race of advanced, ancient humanoids. Given my knowledge of New Age mythology, I thought it would be totally awesome to explore that in the context of Fringe; but alas, it never came to be (though the actual explanation for the First People is pretty cool regardless).

Yes, last season we definitely got the vibe that December and September were doing some sort of wagering, or at least were in contention with one another. December just seems to me to be the oldest Observer and the one with maybe the most hardened viewpoint (as Observers go). The apparent age may not be true age, but rather an outward manifestation of his inner nature.


That's an interesting thought.

I read a theory somewhere that the Observers are all the same person at different points in their lifetime, with the child from 1.15 being the youngest and December being the oldest version of this person. This probably isn't close at all, but it's certainly bold.

But yes, it seems that the Observers are more of a collective than a hierarchy.

Perhaps they are like the Overlords in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, serving a greater transcendent consciousness collective. O.o

Not familiar with those - can you explain?


In Quantum Mechanics, there are two major Interpretations on the nature of realities.

In the Copenhagen Interpretation, every single outcome exists, but upon observation, the waveform (i.e. range of possibilities) ultimately collapses (i.e. snaps) to only one possible outcome, and the rest don't manifest, existing only as unrealized potential states.

In the Everett Interpretation, not only does every single outcome exist for an event, but every one of these outcomes manifests as its own physical reality, giving rise to a true Multiverse.

Since Fringe borrows a lot of its scientific notions from Quantum Mechanics, the ultimate explanation for the nature of the Fringeverse is bound to include elements from either of these two views.

My view of the Red Universe is that it represents a different timestream, not just a "parallel reality." It represents a what-if world - what if someone had died, or had made a different decision, etc. Obviously, the split-off point between the Red and Blueverses must have occurred at least as far back as the 1930s - whenever zeppelins were invented, or even earlier. In that sense, the universe we're going to start with in Season 4 might rightly be given a new color, because it's a new timestream/reality consisting of two timestreams that have been forcibly jammed together by Peter.


I theorize that the split in the Original Reality that gave rise to the Blue/Red Worlds occurred 250 million years ago, the point in time where the Vacuum components were sent via the 2026 Central Park Wormhole. Not only did this event cause the divergence that birthed both realities, but it made it so that the two worlds were Quantum Entangled, or "inextricable", as was explained in the show; this is why the two histories have unfolded so similarly despite having diverged so long ago.

By the way, I don't think the Blue&Red worlds are literally "Blue" and "Red"; these are just thematic markers, IMO (I theorize the colors are inspired by the cosmological Red/Blue Shift properties of light in space).

I guess a new colour can be given, but it would only serve as a marker to differentiate it from the two other realities.

And I don't think the two worlds were "jammed" together; rather, it's more like Peter joined them at the hip so to speak, with the Bridge comprising of an "overlap" between the physical space of both worlds.

I admit my brain starts to shut down when it comes to pondering time loops, so I prefer to think of a "Time Tree" instead - where there's a trunk - an original timestream - with zillions of possible futures branching off into infinity. All of which the Observers presumably can see. On another topic, someone brought up the confusion over September's comment in "The Firefly" about "Many futures are happening simultaneously, but I cannot see which one will come to pass." Well, in that context, what does "come to pass" mean? My guess would be that the branches of the "Time Tree" are destined to be melded together once again into a single trunk timestream, perhaps with one future path being the chosen one for this purpose, but that September is unable to know which one will be chosen (because the choice involves the human element).

oy... who knows though?


This particular problem has puzzled me a great deal in my theorizing.

Walter theorized that each possible choice gives rise to its own reality, which adheres to the Everett Interpretation; however, September says that while all possibilities exist, only one will collapse/come to pass, which adheres to the Copenhagen Interpretation.

These two explanations are obviously contradictory, but I am inclined to side with September, given that he is likely fare more acquainted with the true nature of existence.

If we are to take September's explanation, then yes, your Time Tree analogy would be appropriate. Although, instead of things being melded together, it's more like each "branch" or outcome that comes to pass is highlighted, and every branching outcome that collapses into reality is also highlighted, thereby forming a kind of winding "path" among the infinite branches of this Time Tree.

And I agree about the human element, though I have no doubt the Observers themselves have quite a bit of a say in how things will unfold through observation...

Lastly, I don't think that there is an "inherent" natural course of events, so much as there exist a course of events the Observers are working towards bringing about (which they call the natural course of events).

*phew*

At this rate, I'll be talking all night about them Observers. XP

Edited by Uroboros75, Sep 3, 2011 @ 11:37 PM.


#5

Trini Girl

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 2:06 PM

Since when have the Observers had names? I see that here on TWoP, but they've never had names on the show, right?

I get where August comes from, but who decided to call the others "September", etc.?

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I feel like the Observers are a mystery on this show that will never be solved, but I'm okay with that.

#6

Uroboros75

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 2:38 PM

Since when have the Observers had names? I see that here on TWoP, but they've never had names on the show, right?

I get where August comes from, but who decided to call the others "September", etc.?


August was the only Observer whose name was mentioned within the show, but the rest were derived from episode credits, press releases, and various videos.

September is the one we are most acquainted with. His name appeared in the original press release for episode 1.04, but they changed the name soon after to "mystery man" or something (I forget the actual name) in order to conceal the Observer's true name (since they apparently decided it would be better to keep it secret for awhile). Also, the producers have repeatedly referred to him as September in many of their Q&A videos.

The names of December (the "old" looking one) and July (the fourth one in 2.08) were shown in the episode credits. The name of January (the new Observer from the S4 premiere) was also revealed in the end credits for that episode.

There is also a sixth one that has been spotted in the Alternate Universe (namely episode 3.03 and 3.18), but he has yet to be named.

And it's unknown whether the child from episode 1.15 has a month for a name.

Given that there are twelve months, this all seems to suggest that there are twelve Observers in total, which means that five of them have been named so far (January, July, August, September, and December). Fringe fans everywhere have been using the names of the Observers in order to distinguish them from one another for simplicity's sake.

Hope this answers your question. :)

I feel like the Observers are a mystery on this show that will never be solved, but I'm okay with that.


I wouldn't be opposed to some ambiguity either.

Though I do hope we get much more than what we have now...;)

Edited by Uroboros75, Sep 25, 2011 @ 2:41 PM.


#7

Money Magnet

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 3:36 PM

Some people think that the "Rent-an-Observer" - the Observer who shows up in every episode lurking, usually played by the same actor - is called November. I don't know of any "canon" source for this, but he would certainly fit the age profile.

September isn't doing too well this season! He seems almost weary of what he is doing.

As for January, I would guess that he and the Inner Child (the kid from episode 115) are one and the same.

Edited by Money Magnet, Sep 25, 2011 @ 3:38 PM.


#8

agora

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 4:06 PM

I get where August comes from, but who decided to call the others "September", etc.?

I think they were all named in the episode "Peter", I distinctively remember a scene in front of a movie threater in which December and August were discussin September's mistake

The reason it stuck with me is because August himself made a similar mistake when he grew attached to an orphan girl.

As for January, I would guess that he and the Inner Child (the kid from episode 115) are one and the same.

I think the Inner Child child didn't have a name yet, but January was the youngest until the boy was found.

#9

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 4:26 PM

The names of December (the "old" looking one) and July (the fourth one in 2.08) were shown in the episode credits.

Ah, the credits. Didn't think to look for names there. Thanks! But still, their "names" haven't been used in dialogue on the show, right?

#10

Uroboros75

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 4:50 PM

Some people think that the "Rent-an-Observer" - the Observer who shows up in every episode lurking, usually played by the same actor - is called November. I don't know of any "canon" source for this, but he would certainly fit the age profile.


Maybe, though they may have more than one "Rent-an-Observer" extra at their disposal (not to mention that there have been digital insertions in the past).

I think November or October could be the sixth Observer who hangs out in the Red World. His face is never shown explicitly, but he can be seen in early S3 set photos. He looks kind of old, so he could fit somewhere between September and December.

As for January, I would guess that he and the Inner Child (the kid from episode 115) are one and the same.


That would certainly have interesting ramifications.

I've had a theory that the bald child and the apparent "other(s)" agent Elliot Michaels and co. found were some faction's attempt at re-creating Observers for their own ends.

Though if January is indeed the child, then would he not have some sort of connection to Olivia still? Admittedly, his screen time was very brief, so nothing could have suggested this, but I wonder if he would have some attachment to Olivia the same way August and September had attachments to Hollis and Walter/Peter.

Ah, the credits. Didn't think to look for names there. Thanks! But still, their "names" haven't been used in dialogue on the show, right?


Indeed, no one but August's name has been said in the show yet (it was July who revealed August's name, as it so happens).

I do hope we learn why they derived their names from a human calendar system as opposed to elsewhere, at any rate.

Edited by Uroboros75, Sep 25, 2011 @ 4:58 PM.


#11

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Posted Sep 27, 2011 @ 8:46 PM

I also wonder if their names don't indicate some kind of reverse hierarchy... with December being the top of the pyramid and then the levels of influence lessening with each one. That would make our September pretty high up the ranks as far as Observers go, but he still does what December asks... well, most of the time ;) It would also make sense why he is explaining things to January, the newest observer. Age itself might make that difference, too, rather than just hierarchy.

#12

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Posted Oct 3, 2011 @ 12:42 PM

I've sort of been thinking of their hierarchy the way we anthropomorphize the New Year as a baby wearing a top hat, and the Old Year as an old man with a scythe (Father Time or Death.) Thus January is the youngest and December the oldest.

#13

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Posted Oct 3, 2011 @ 3:18 PM

That's how I always thought of it too.

It makes sense that the Observers' names represent time, since that is the sea they swim in.

As for September, that's when summer starts to turn into fall; when you start looking back on the year and, just maybe, feeling sentimentality or regret.

Edited by Money Magnet, Oct 3, 2011 @ 3:21 PM.


#14

Uroboros75

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Posted Oct 5, 2011 @ 1:16 PM

I also wonder if their names don't indicate some kind of reverse hierarchy... with December being the top of the pyramid and then the levels of influence lessening with each one. That would make our September pretty high up the ranks as far as Observers go, but he still does what December asks... well, most of the time ;) It would also make sense why he is explaining things to January, the newest observer. Age itself might make that difference, too, rather than just hierarchy.


I like this interpretation. :)

The significance of the months seems fairly evident, but I still wonder why they would choose man-made months over other name sets.

In The Firefly, September noted that Autumn was a lovely word. I guess hits means that the Observers have a sense of aesthetics concerning linguistics and communications. Perhaps this is a factor in their decision to choose months as names they were "lovely".

Unless, of course, these names were bestowed unto them by someone else, in which case this probably doesn't apply.

#15

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 12:43 AM

So we have more answers about the Observers. I was fine with them being a mystery, but I'm glad.

They're just really futuristic humans. Now we just need to figure out where the females are.

Edited by Trini Girl, Mar 5, 2012 @ 12:51 AM.


#16

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 9:53 AM

I'm re-watching season 1 and I had completely forgotten about the Inner Child episode. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how he fits in with the reveal about the Observers being humans from the future.

Thoughts, anyone?

#17

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Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

Refugee? September rescued Henry?[/crackpot] (I doubt the last because he appeared in the old timeline. But who knows, this is Fringe.)

#18

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

I think the Inner Child may well have been an Observer child who somehow got mixed up in the Observer science team's mission. Maybe he was a child who was a "stowaway" on a mission -- a history geek or fanboy -- and he snuck into the lab and got lost in time, buried in that building.

#19

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 7:23 PM

Even though I liked "The End of All Things", I think I liked the Observers more when they were mysterious. "Letters of Transit" just had too many of them. And it was weird seeing them as oppressive villains, instead of their usual neautral roles.