So, are things "flattening" as was hinted at in "Making Angels"?
I'm thinking of the equation that caused the MIT/TSA worker to go crazy. He was convinced that he could unravel what would allow time and space to flatten and co-exist, allowing one to see/experience past, present, and future all at the same time.
We've also seen disastrous consequences in past seasons when duplicate buildings and people try to occupy the same space.
I think, after Peter confronted Jones, Jones must have somehow realized that there was more to this whole thing than just jumping between universes. Perhaps he is trying to use his technology to actually flatten space/time.
My wife and I discussed Jones's possible motivations for setting up devices about the town's perimeter. Surely not just to "see what happens." The fact that the timeline is seemingly "fixing itself" seems to be a result/symptom rather than a cause, because I can't see Jones caring about an alternate timeline much less restoring it. Maybe Jones realizes Peter is the "odd man out" and doesn't belong...but then why would he care about Peter in the first place? I just see a pattern forming of references to this merging of time/space and the Observers who exist outside of time itself and Peter (who is completely untethered to his own timeline).
Olivia remembers Our Peter. Walter has been talking about his and Bell's work more.
Observing The Pattern
The timeline as a whole isn't fixing itself, the current strong running theory is that the Cortexiphan injections Olivia's going through without her knowledge, plus her empathy, plus her exposure to the high levels of electromagnetism and the thinning of the universal membranes resulted in new memories bleeding through. Mostly because we're running on what we've seen.
Flattening wise... not unless you mean it quite so literally! The Observer device meant that the MIT/TSA chap could see the past, present and future. This is a key cornerstone to Observer technology, and gives us a hint that they're not quite so super-natural as initially thought (they need the tech to see what's going on, they may just be better to interpret it). Making Angels has the feeling of setting up for something, namely Observer-led episodes. This one had a Monster of the week feeling coupled to the whole meta-plot.
I think he was only working on that 'equation' after he found September's device. Remember, he had a summer house at Reiden Lake, so I think he found the device, and then came up with the 'equation' in the process of figuring out how it works.
I wish the writers would stop using the term 'equation' like that. It's never JUST ONE equation. I guess using the term 'equation' has its appeal in scifi writing since so many people have heard of that special Schrodinger's cat and subsequently of 'Schrodinger's equation'. Well, guess what - it's not just one equation! And, it's not about solving it - the equation itself is not something that needs be solved, it is a mathematical description of a fundamental law of nature - a law of physics - very generally it describes how things change with time (it's a partial differential equation). There's no solution in the sense of result. It's not = 2, or (pi^2)/6. The solutions (plural!) describe the world we happen to live in.
Observing The Pattern
Writers use the word equation because it's easier to relate to audiences as to what it means (a mathmatical formula that solves a problem). Trying to explain theoretical maths to people who don't study theoretical maths is... well incredibly boring, really long winded and would murder large portions of your blue-collar audiences. Especially as a good 50% of the very basic maths I was tought I don't ever, ever need to use (Long division, algebra, etc) what do you expect me, a roughly above average intelligence schlub to even want to comprehend theoretical mathmatics within a show that is about monsters a good chunk of the time? It's an accessable-word at the end of the day and I have a rough idea as to what it's about if not the minutae.
I see your point about why they use it. However:
Originally Posted by Heruss
1) the audience is pretty much dead anyway. So, why not simply write it right, for the intelligent fans out there who can swallow 'mathematical formulas' better than 'equation'. There's nothing wrong with 'mathematical formulation'
2) it's not theoretical math. Theoretical math would be number theory or elliptic curves or Taniyama–Shimura–Weil conjecture. I'd be more careful about above-average type of statements if I were you ;-)
The thing that irked me, I guess, is they do a little bit if the same thing the writers of that terrible show 'Numbers' do. I'm just saying: please don't.
Did they already mention Fermat's last theorem in some episode? If not, they way it's going, I guess we can expect it coming.