Northwest Passage
Season 2, Episode 20
Airdate May 6, 2010
Written by Ashley Miller
Zack Stentz
Nora Zuckerman
Lilla Zuckerman
Directed by Joe Chappelle
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Cast | Transcript

"Northwest Passage" is the twentieth episode of the second season of Fringe.


Peter teams up with a local law enforcement official, Sheriff Mathis, on a serial murder investigation with ties to Newton. Meanwhile, Walter copes with the possibility of being sent back to St. Claire's, and someone from the "other side" pays a visit.


Peter Bishop travels to a small town and gets involved with the disappearance and murder of a young woman, Krista Manning, after she made plans to meet him but never showed up. Initially, the police suspect Peter was involved in the disappearance, but Peter decides to aid them in the investigation after catching a glimpse of Thomas Jerome Newton, believing the Shape-shifters are responsible and are coming after him; however, he does not wish Walter Bishop to be involved.

Later, town Sheriff Ann Mathis notices her partner Deputy Bill Ferguson is missing. After they go to the scene of Krista's murder, Peter encounters Newton and another man, but they get away. Peter begins to doubt the shape-shifters' motives after another body is found, but eventually comes up with an idea to read and track the victims' adrenaline spikes, which allows him to find where the murders took place; a dairy farm. They find the owner Craig Shoen, who confesses to killing the women because they rejected him, and kidnapped and tortured Mathis's partner when he discovered the culprit. In the end, Peter returns to his hotel room and is approached by Newton, who has brought "Mr. Secretary", the man from the Other Side, to see Peter. It is his actual father from the parallel universe, "Walternate".

Notable QuotesEdit

Mathis: You're FBI, huh? What exactly is a civilian consultant?
Peter: Sometimes people with certain areas of expertise can offer them to the Bureau on a consulting basis. My area of expertise is weird.
Ferguson: You mean difficult to explain?
Peter: No, I mean the strange, the inexplicable.

Walter: The Hadron Super Collider is less complicated than that infernal dishwater.
Astrid: Next time, don't use laundry detergent, and the dishwasher will work fine.

Ferguson: I think that you want to believe.


  • Walter Bishop remembers collecting items from the other side from the Zelazny Building (the one from the episode "Jacksonville"). This is most likely in reference to the writer Roger Zelazny, who wrote the Chronicles of Amber, a series of books about people who could walk from one reality to the next.
  • The title of this episode could possibly be an homage to Twin Peaks, another cult supernatural television series with an FBI agent as its main protagonist, as the alternate title for that series was "Northwest Passage" before they settled on "Twin Peaks".
  • Although credited, Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) does not appear in this episode.
  • Officer Ferguson comments to Mathias, "I think that you want to believe." This may be a reference to '90s TV show The X-Files, which has similar themes of the paranormal and supernatural and also features and FBI agent as the protaganist.
  • The inscription on the pen "Find the Crack" and Sheriff Mathis' comments "...that's how the light gets in." is a reference to Leonard Cohen's song Anthem, specifically the chorus, Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in. Cohen's own explanation for this song touches on themes related to the state of Peter and Walter's relationship, "This situation does not admit of solution of perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect, neither in your marriage, nor in your work, nor anything, nor your love of God, nor your love of family or country. The thing is imperfect. And worse, there is a crack in everything that you can put together: Physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But that’s where the light gets in, and that’s where the resurrection is and that’s where the return, that’s where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation, with the brokenness of things."


  • When Peter drives in his car just before he enters the crime scene by the diner, in the car he wears a three-days beard, when getting out of the car throughout the scene at the crime scene the beard is gone, and after that in the sheriff's car the beard is there again.


  • "Midnight Rider" by The Allman Brothers Band
  • "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams
  • "She's Doing Fine" by Violet Sedan Chair
  • "Is There A Ghost" by Band of Horses


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