Brown Betty
Season 2, Episode 19
Brown Betty
Air date April 29, 2010
Written by Jeff Pinkner
J.H. Wyman
Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Seith Mann
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Cast | Transcript

"Brown Betty" is the nineteenth episode of the second season of Fringe.


While Walter deals with some very upsetting news, he tells Olivia's niece, Ella, a fairy tale that includes musical performances by Olivia, Astrid and Agent Broyles.


After getting profoundly high on an unusually potent self-grown marijuana hybrid called "Brown Betty", Walter Bishop makes up a detective story to entertain Olivia Dunham's niece Ella Blake, while Olivia tries to track down the missing Peter Bishop. In the story, Rachel (Ella's mother) asks Olivia, who is a private investigator, to track down Peter, her true love. Olivia uncovers a plot involving an artificial heart, which Peter has apparently stolen. Olivia discovers that Rachel has been murdered and is actually an actress hired by Walter to find Peter, his lab assistant (not his son in the story). Walter explains that he has invented all of the good things in the world: bubblegum, hugs, and singing corpses (three corpses rise up and sing briefly). Peter has apparently stolen the heart from Walter, who is now living off batteries implanted in his chest. Olivia is attacked by the Observer, who tells her to stay away.

Olivia discovers the weapon the Watcher used came from Massive Dynamic. She follows Nina Sharp home, but is discovered and locked in a pine box before being dumped in the ocean. Peter rescues her and reveals the heart is actually his and that he lent it to Walter, but took it back when he discovered that Walter was stealing his ideas from children's dreams and replacing them with nightmares. The Watchers attack and steal the heart, leaving Olivia to replace it with batteries to keep Peter alive.

Olivia and Peter confront Walter, who gives the heart back. Despite begging Peter for forgiveness, Walter is shunned by his apprentice and left to die alone and unloved. Not liking this ending one bit, Ella then changes it by saying that Peter decided to forgive Walter and split the Glass Heart in two, so that both of them could live and invent wonderful things again, so that everyone lives happily ever after. Walter, after somberly pausing for a moment, concedes that Ella's ending was superior (whilst looking as if he hoped Ella's ending would come true in real life as well).

With the story over, Astrid escorts Walter home. The Observer watches Walter entering his home and makes a phone call stating that Walter forgot about the warning he gave him. He then replies to the person at the other end of the line: "Yes, I am concerned too".

Notable Quotes[]

Walter: I have spent my life making things that bring joy and happiness, to make the world a better place. Bubble gum was one of my first. Ah. Flannel pajamas. Oh, rainbows. And my latest project, singing corpses.

Peter: It's too late, Walter. There's some things you can't undo.


  • The Observer makes multiple appearances in Walter's story, the only difference being that he is called, "The Watcher." Outside of Walter's story he appears in the background across the street as Walter returns home, immediately followed by an overt appearance in the final scene of the episode.
  • The phone that The Observer uses at the end of the episode, is a compass.
  • When Astrid Farnsworth is interviewed by a nurse for a new job, the nurse's badge is seen for a moment, with "A.Mikita R.N." written on it. It is clear that this badge refers to Andy Mikita, best known by his work as a director and producer of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe series.
  • The Observer is called "The Watcher" that may refer to the race of Watchers from Marvel Comics. The characters, first appearing in 1963, are one of the oldest species in the universe, and are committed to observing and compiling knowledge on all aspects of the universe. This policy of total non-interference came into existence to a former, well-meant attempt by the Watchers to bestow advanced knowledge on another race which resulted in that race destroying itself.
  • There are many funny deliberated anachronisms in Walter's story:
    • Computers at Nina Sharp's desk, in Massive Dynamic, and in the registry office
    • Olivia and Astrid's mobile phones
    • Walter's electric wheelchair
    • Peter's Motorboat


  • "Roundabout" by Yes
  • "Blue Moon" by Django Reinhardt
  • "Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears, sung by John Noble
  • "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" by Traffic, sung by Lance Reddick
  • "The Candy Man" by Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse, sung by Pickett, Prowse & Churchill and by John Noble
  • "I Hope I Get It" by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban, sung by Jasika Nicole
  • "Freddie Freeloader" by Miles Davis
  • "For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder, sung by Anna Torv