Dabbling In Fringe Science
ZFT and the Cortexiphan Trials
My intention with starting this thread is to provide a place where we can piece together details of ZFT and the Cortexiphan trials, in order to try to build up a coherent picture of everything we know so far.
We got a tantalizing glimpse in this episode that all the stuff about ZFT and the foreboding portents that came with it in season 1 *might actually make sense* when this series is over.
We learned in this episode that DRJ appropriated the rhetoric and the "war" scenario from ZFT, and used it to trick the Cortexiphan kids into thinking that they were still needed for what was presumably their original purpose: to defend our side from an invasion by the other universe.
The question remains of who wrote ZFT. I know that Walter suspected in season 1 that it was William Bell, and William Bell certainly warned of the coming war in season 2. What I'm wondering is: does this all kind of come together in some sort of coherent way? I know that Walter and Belly decided to run the Cortexiphan trials in order to try to activate latent abilities of the mind that they felt were present at birth, but slowly suppressed during normal development. Was their original motivation for doing this in order to train these kids as "soldiers" of a sort in order to defend us from a war with the other side that they felt was inevitable? If so, why didn't Walter remember that in season 1? Perhaps it was lost with one of the the missing parts of his brain.
I remember there being some discussion along these lines in the season 3 threads, but I think I'm forgetting crucial details from those episodes that would shed some light on whether the timing/history works out for this theory. There are other aspects of the Cortexiphan trials that are still unexplained as well: how did they end and why doesn't Olivia remember any of these parts of her childhood, including meeting Peter as a boy and accidentally going to the other side to see Walternate? Did Bell and Walter deliberately erase her memory?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these subjects!
Interesting things that I often point out:
The cortexiphan trials were begun before the crossover event or even an idea for a kidnapping had ever happened.
ZFT manifest talks about many worlds and a multiverse, but it is possible that we have always *assumed* that "other side" meant other side of the flip universe (red/blue), when it could just have meant the "other side of the conflict." The manifesto states that the other side is more advanced and has the crossover technology - but it is clearly shown that our side crosses over first and has better crossover technology quicker, whereas Walternate didn't even seem to know any of it existed until he met Olivia as a child. Jones has a history with Bell, and Bell wrote the ZFT manifesto and started the trials. Jones may not be directly connected to the original goals and purposes of ZFT and the super soliders/invasion preventation, but William Bell most definately is. One quote concerns, to the victors goes the future....... I think a bigger picture can be pieced together; 2.3 has the crazy colonel and his ideas of invasion concerning the Observers; the crazy star trek fan is rambling about time travelers from the future invading; in season 1, loeb makes a comment about, do you even know who the enemy is, who we're fighting? William Bell has been behind something massive from the very beginning. I think there are a lot of story pieces yet to come!
I'll have to rewatch Season 1, but I thought Walter realized that he himself must have written the ZFT manifesto-- he even found a copy of the original manuscript, complete with the missing parts, in one of his filing cabinets.
Originally Posted by 6955 kHz
Here's a partially relevant idea...
Could the original Bell/Jones fallout be rooted in disagreements on how to carry out ZFT's ideology?
It seems that Bell is still alive in this timeline. Did this fallout still happen? If so, is Bell attempting to stop Jones, or is working with him with the intent of crossing him? If not, then is Bell working with Jones? Is he using Jones to further his own personal agenda?
Since Bell is alive by 2036, then he survived the Jones arc, and if he was with the Fringe team, then I suppose he wasn't perceived as the enemy by them, or he probably would have been killed during the confrontation that will undoubtedly be chronicled in 4.21-4.22.
Given that the Bell/Jones relationship is probably the most mysterious and unresolved one in the series as of 4.20, I'm eager to see something on this front develop.
Leap of Faith
Perhaps. Although, I really do believe that Bell--in the old timeline--really did care about the ethics chapter. But maybe he didn't and that's why it went missing? Either way, I still think that Walter and Bell drafted many elements of ZFT together. But then Walter went to prison, lost parts of his brain (seemingly in both timelines depending on interpretations of 4.19), and Bell opened MD and Jones became his protege and then...
Originally Posted by Omniscient_Jay
I think this idea is possible. I hope that elements of the old timeline's motivation remain. I'm invested in those relationships, but more than that....it just keeps the plot from becoming irrelevant. I think it's possible that Bell and Jones disagreed on where to carry some research, and perhaps that's part of why Jones was dismissed. And then the whole ego thing. I think that Jones is a brilliant scientist, but he doesn't have the clout the Bell has. I think that this would also be really cool because it will show similarities between Bell/Jones and Bell/Walter.
Last edited by PapayaGoo; 04-29-2012 at 02:40 AM.
My guess is that it will turn out that DRJ has been working for Bell all along. One of my theories has been that most of the cases of S1 were tailored to get Walter out of St Claire's and reorient him to he kind of work he had been doing before his commitment. Bell being behind this is quite possible, directing both Nina (for experiments like the Carson boy and his cohort) and DRJ (to follow up the Cortexiphan kids). I have also thought control might be in the hands of a government/military agency, accounting for the involvement of agents like Harris and Loeb.
I bet that soul magnets have something to do with this, providing Bell with knowledge from a prior time loop, or TPTB wouldn't have made such a big deal of them last year. This would have allowed Bell to inform his government contacts and set up preparations long in advance. Recall that Walter knew that "something terrible is coming" before the end of S1.
it would have to be knowledge carried from before the time loops (ie, from the original timeline before September disappeared), or gained from the Observers and their intent, because the future in the loop was the 2026 collapse, not the Invasion.
I really do hope there is an important reason for the Soul Magnets and it all ties up well with the "history repeat itself" line.
by the way jophan, thats all extremely interesting ideas; I'm always fascinated by the unseen background connections in S1, and that is all definately food for thought. The Pattern...
Further evidence that Bell cares about ethics is in 405, where Nina explains that Bell shut down Malcolm Truss's tissue project due to "ethical" concerns. And Bell also told Truss that "some things are not ours to tamper with."
Originally Posted by PapayaGoo
Dabbling In Fringe Science
Thanks phx219! This is exactly the type of memory jog I was looking for. But Belly and Bishop have been aware of the alternate universe long before going there. As far as you can remember, did the Cortexiphan trials take place before, say, sending the automobile over and receiving and equal-mass one in return?
Originally Posted by phx219
If it turns out to be the case that the Cortexiphan trials were begun long before Bell and Walter began to become concerned about the prospect of a threat from the other side, then we will be forced to conclude that the original purpose of dosing kids with Cortexiphan was merely to explore (and to try to extend) the limits of the human mind. It was perhaps only later that somebody got the idea that they could be soldiers that the ZFT indicated should be trained to defend our world.
All interesting thoughts, man! The suggestion that the "war" between "sides" referred to in ZFT was actually something different than a conflict between the Red and Blue universes is intriguing. But William Bell definitely seemed to be referring to the conflict with the Red universe when he told Olivia about how "a storm is coming" and told her that is was imperative that she find and stop Newton. He himself designed the shapeshifters and was well aware of Walternate's agenda against our side. So, in that particular instance, it seemed like he was warning Olivia about the conflict between the two universes (which has now been averted). I agree that that doesn't necessarily mean that this is the same war that he was referring to when he wrote ZFT (assuming that he wrote it). I agree with you that there is still much about William Bell that has yet to be revealed, and that he will figure prominently in all of this.
Originally Posted by phx219
What I remember is that Walter found the manuscript in his lab and deduced that it must have been produced using his own typewriter. However, he had no memory of writing it, and I remember him speculating out loud that is was Belly who wrote it. (They worked in the same lab, after all). As others have pointed out, he even speculated that Bell wanted to include an ethics chapter that is currently missing.
Originally Posted by SeaGtGruff
Disagreement over the practical manifestation of the ZFT ideology seems like a pretty plausible source for Bell's and DRJ's falling out. I like that idea! I would very much like to think that Bell, if alive, is working *against* Jones, rather than with him. Although Bell sometimes has ulterior motives, the writers seem to have provided some evidence of his underlying goodness, and I'd really like to think that he possesses that.
Originally Posted by Omniscient_Jay
Last edited by 6955 kHz; 04-29-2012 at 06:34 PM.