Fringe - "The Firefly" - 1/21/11

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by caslu, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Jan 23, 2011 #41 of 187
    MasterCephus

    MasterCephus New Member

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    Walter feels guilty simply because he knows that what he did (saving Peter) caused someone else to lose their child. The same feeling Walter had causing him to go to such great lengths. Walter is a supremely emotional person and it hurts him so to know that he's the cause all the issues.

    Add to that, he starts thinking that the Observer is trying to "right" the wrong that Walter has caused, thus killing Peter, it causes Walter to lose it. Walter's redemption is that even though believing Peter was going to die, he was willing to "give him up" to right the wrongs of the past.
     
  2. Jan 23, 2011 #42 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    If you mean the child who died after Peter captured a firefly, then as I already wrote, that is a completely absurd thing to feel guilty about.

    Better to feel guilty about breathing. Some of the molecules you breathed in and out would have a new position and velocity and could have gone on to give a slight bump to a bee which then flew into a car window and caused a fatal accident. So, better not breathe or you will be responsible for killing children!
     
  3. Jan 23, 2011 #43 of 187
    Rob Helmerichs

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    And people are always perfectly rational when dealing with grief and guilt. ;)
     
  4. Jan 23, 2011 #44 of 187
    Peter000

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    You're getting hung up on trying to make people feel the way you think they should feel. Not everyone can be as perfect as you and control when they feel guilty or not.

    And, you missed the whole point of the Observer making Walter feel that way. It was to prime Walter to let Peter do what he had to with the Doomsday machine, without interference. Perhaps even help him.
     
  5. Jan 23, 2011 #45 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not expecting rationality. Even the slightest glimmer of a sense of proportion would suffice. It is just absurd to feel guilty about a captured firefly causing someone's death, when there are so many bigger things for one to feel guilty about!
     
  6. Jan 23, 2011 #46 of 187
    Rob Helmerichs

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    But Walter's saving Peter led to the death, and Walter now knows that. What kind of monster would you have to be not to be affected by the knowledge that you put somebody, even inadvertently and indirectly, through the same hell that shattered your own life?
     
  7. Jan 23, 2011 #47 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    It hardly takes perfection to not feel guilty about walking and breathing -- just common sense, admittedly a trait lacking among the Fringe writers.

    And I watched the episode, of course I know why the Observer did what he did. It is just absurd that he succeeded in that manner. It would have made more sense if the Observer had pointed out that by kidnapping Peter, Walter set in motion Walternate's entire murderous operation in this world. Now that might be something to feel guilty about.
     
  8. Jan 23, 2011 #48 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    How can anyone with a modicum of sense consider Walter responsible for that boy's death? Ordinary people do ordinary things everyday, like breathing and walking, which could indirectly figure in a chain of events leading to a death, jut like that described in this episode. But no one with any sense considers themselves responsible for deaths because they walk around and breathe. Just because the Observer pointed out one such chain, among the uncountable billions of such chains that a person sets in motion every day, does not change anything with regards to culpability.
     
  9. Jan 23, 2011 #49 of 187
    Peter000

    Peter000 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    That's an ad absurdum argument. Walter didn't cause the girl's death by breathing the wrong way, he created a device to travel between universes and Peter and save him from dying. HARDLY an everyday occurrence. Had Walter not done that or simply cured Peter on the other side, he wouldn't have been responsible for the girl's death. Or more importantly Walternate's vengence which caused many more deaths.
     
  10. Jan 23, 2011 #50 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    What girl?

    If Walter had not traveled to the other world, but had instead failed to get his machine to work, and while taking the machine down he happened to swat a firefly, the very same chain of events could have been set in motion. There are uncountable billions of these hypotheticals in the everyday life of ordinary people.

    And yes, the chain of events in the death in question WAS caused by breathing, or in this case, capturing a firefly. It had virtually nothing to do with Peter being from an alternate universe. Walter could have adopted Peter from a local orphanage and set off the same chain of events.

    It is absurd to worry about such indirect chains of events, especially when there are much more direct chains of events to worry about. Walter should not have kidnapped Peter (or failed to return him after curing him) because it caused distress and/or anger in Walternate, who then began a murderous crusade against this world. THAT is something that could be worth some guilt.
     
  11. Jan 23, 2011 #51 of 187
    IndyJones1023

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    But it wasn't an indirect chain of events. The Observer told Walter that due to a new Peter living in our universe, he caught the firefly (months after he emerged into our reality) and it caused Christopher Lloyd's son to die. So it couldn't have happened if Walter adopted a new kid from an orphanage. It was Walter's fault.
     
  12. Jan 23, 2011 #52 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    Of course it was an indirect chain of events. Peter caught a firefly, for crying out loud!

    The fact that the Observer picked that chain of events to point out to Walter makes no difference in culpability. The Observer could have instead pointed out any of a billion other similarly indirect chains of events, some with favorable outcomes and some with negative outcomes. Walter is culpable for none of those absurdly indirect chains of events.
     
  13. Jan 23, 2011 #53 of 187
    IndyJones1023

    IndyJones1023 Auteur

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    I guess you didn't actually watch this episode? The Observer told Walter that due to his actions, the events occured. He didn't say "maybe this happened." He told Walter what the chain of events were.

    I suggest you stop watching the show because either you don't pay enough attention, or you don't like the show.
     
  14. Jan 23, 2011 #54 of 187
    spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    *slow clap*
     
  15. Jan 23, 2011 #55 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    The Observer only told Walter about this after it had occurred. As he could have told Walter about any of uncountable billions of other possible chains of events. And the Observer could have mentioned any of the other uncountable billions of factors that were also involved in the boy's death (the brakes needed work, the person crossing the street 5 blocks down delayed the driver by a few seconds, the factory in the next state put out just the right amount of emissions that caused the rain to start at exactly 7:42pm, etc. etc.).

    Even if the Observer were God himself, just because he told Walter about the firefly -- after the events took place -- does not make Walter culpable. Maybe if God told Walter about the firefly beforehand, Walter might be culpable. But that is not how this story went.
     
  16. Jan 23, 2011 #56 of 187
    IndyJones1023

    IndyJones1023 Auteur

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    Think about it. The Observer could have told Walter about any innumerable chains of events. But he told him about this one. Knowing that storytelling isn't about things that don't matter to your story, do you think the Observer told him about something that has no bearing to the story?

    I refer to my post above. Stop watching.
     
  17. Jan 23, 2011 #57 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    The episode was named after the firefly story that the Observer told Walter. I think the writers were trying to be clever with something like the cliched butterfly effect of chaos theory, but the writers tried to force it (or did not want to take the time to develop a reasonable chain of events) and ended up making the Observer's story absurd. As I wrote before, the episode would have worked better if the Observer had pointed out to Walter that by kidnapping Peter, Walter caused Walternate to start his murderous operations in this world, and that has resulted in a number of deaths.

    And I did read your suggestion, there is no need to keep repeating it. You might want to note that I did not ask for your advice on my viewing choices.
     
  18. Jan 23, 2011 #58 of 187
    MikeMar

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    But this story setup a test for Walter to see if he would be willing to let Peter die for a reason.

    If he just pointed out the other universe and what happened, there would be NO TEST

    THAT WAS THE POINT OF THE EPISODE. What Walter did and the test to see if he would let Peter go
     
  19. Jan 23, 2011 #59 of 187
    Test

    Test Well-Known Member

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    Not to sound repetitive, but Walter didn't just save Peter, he took him and replaced his dead Peter. The Observers point is that Peter just existing here is causing disruptions. He picked out one that would impact Walter the hardest and maybe the most poetic, he saved himself a son but in the end it cost another (one of his heroes) his son.
     
  20. Jan 23, 2011 #60 of 187
    john4200

    john4200 Well-Known Member

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    Why do you say that? I assume you are referring to the test of whether Walter would give the keys to Peter and save the girl, knowing that Peter might be killed. That test would have still been feasible if the Observer tried to make Walter guilty using a more direct chain of events to demonstrate Walter's culpability.
     

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