And Those We've Left Behind

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"And Those We've Left Behind"
Fringe episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 6
Directed by Brad Anderson
Written by Robert Chiappetta
Glen Whitman
Production code3X7006
Original air dateNovember 11, 2011
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
Fringe (season 4)
List of Fringe episodes

"And Those We've Left Behind" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the Fox science-fiction drama television series Fringe , and the series' 71st episode overall. The episode dealt with the Fringe team's investigation of a series of time loop fatalities.

<i>Fringe</i> (season 4) season of television series

The fourth season of the American science fiction television series Fringe premiered on Fox on September 23, 2011, and concluded on May 11, 2012, consisting of 22 episodes. The series is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The show was officially renewed for a fourth season on March 24, 2011.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Drama Artwork intended for performance, formal type of literature

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory.


Robert Chiappetta and Glen Whitman co-wrote "And Those We've Left Behind", while Brad Anderson directed. Real-life husband and wife Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont guest starred as a married couple behind the time loop, one an electrical engineer and the latter a professor of theoretical physics.

Robert Chiappetta is an American television writer and lawyer.

Douglas Glen Whitman is an American television writer and a professor of economics.

Brad Anderson (director) American film director

Brad Anderson is an American film director, producer and writer. A director of thriller and horror films and television projects, he is best known for having directed The Machinist (2004), starring Christian Bale, psychological horror film Session 9 (2001) and The Call (2013), starring Halle Berry. He also produced and directed several installments of the Fox science fiction television series Fringe.

The episode first aired on November 11, 2011 in the United States to an estimated 3.07 million viewers. Its 1.1 ratings share for adults 18-49 resulted in a series low. Critical reception was generally positive, as television critics in particular praised the performances of guest stars Root and Rosemont.


Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), who has only recently appeared unexpectedly in the alternate timeline, is still being held by Fringe division, whose members have yet to come to fully trust him. Walter Bishop (John Noble) still disbelieves that Peter is his son, but, under orders from Broyles (Lance Reddick), studies him as a test subject.

Joshua Jackson Canadian actor

Joshua Browning Jackson is a Canadian actor. He is known for his starring role as Pacey Witter in the teen drama series Dawson's Creek (1998–2003), Peter Bishop in the science fiction series Fringe (2008–2013), Cole Lockhart in the drama series The Affair (2014–18), and Mickey Joseph in the drama miniseries When They See Us (2019).

Alternate history Genre of speculative fiction, where one or more historical events occur differently

Alternate history or alternative history (AH) is a genre of speculative fiction consisting of stories in which one or more historical events occur differently. These stories usually contain "what if" scenarios at crucial points in history and present outcomes other than those in the historical record. The stories are conjectural but are sometimes based on fact. Alternate history has been seen as a subgenre of literary fiction, science fiction, or historical fiction; alternate history works may use tropes from any or all of these genres. Another term occasionally used for the genre is "allohistory".

John Noble Australian actor and director

John Noble is an Australian actor and theatre director of more than 80 plays. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Walter Bishop in the US Fox science fiction television series Fringe, and Henry Parrish in the Fox action-horror series Sleepy Hollow. His most high-profile film role was as Denethor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also provided the voice of the DC Comics supervillain Scarecrow in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, where his character served as the main antagonist. In 2015, he joined the main cast of the television series Elementary as Sherlock Holmes's father. He was also cast as a doctor in the Australian TV series All Saints. In 2012, Noble was diagnosed with osteoporosis. His charity, Noble Bones, helps to raise awareness for the disease.

The sequence of time fluctuations is found to occur along a Golden spiral. Fibonacci spiral 34.svg
The sequence of time fluctuations is found to occur along a Golden spiral.

Fringe learns of several cases that involve time fluctuations. Broyles, while instructing Olivia (Anna Torv) and Lincoln (Seth Gabel) to investigate, orders them to bring Peter along to examine the scenes. Broyles is concerned that Peter's reappearance may have created further tears between the prime and parallel universe leading to these events. The three find the time events are localized, returning the affected area to conditions four years ago for short periods of time before dissipating, such as a building reverting to a fire-worn state, or a train crossing on a long-disused set of tracks. Peter finds himself further jumping through time near these events. Recognizing the presence of time manipulation, the three return to Walter's lab to try to find a pattern in the event. Walter initially refuses to help with Peter's involvement, but soon postulates that the events occur along a spiral defined by the Golden ratio, and believe they will find the source of the disturbance at the center of the spiral. Lincoln and other agents use an extent of the spiral to try to predict future mishaps that may be more damaging, while Olivia and Peter arrange an FBI search of the spiral's center to find the source.

Anna Torv Australian actress

Her aunt was previously married to Rupert Murdoch Anna Murdoch Mann.

Seth Gabel American actor

Seth Gabel is an American actor. Gabel is known for his roles of agent Lincoln Lee on Fox's television series Fringe, Cotton Mather on WGN America's series Salem, and Adrian Moore on the FX series Nip/Tuck. He is a great-nephew of actor Martin Gabel.

Golden ratio ratio between two quantities whose sum is at the same ratio to the larger one

In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. The figure on the right illustrates the geometric relationship. Expressed algebraically, for quantities a and b with a > b > 0,

One unfortunate FBI agent is vaporized while approaching a suburban home, and Walter recognizes that a time bubble is surrounding the home. Isolating the extent of the time bubble, they find the home belongs to a couple, Raymond (Stephen Root) and Kate (Romy Rosemont) Green; Kate was a distinguished professor in physics at a nearby university until three years ago when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Walter devises a portable Faraday cage that Peter offers to wear to enter the time bubble safely. Inside, he finds that Raymond, a skilled electrical engineer, used Kate's research to construct a giant machine in the basement of their house that creates a temporary time bubble. Raymond has used the machine to revert their home to the state four years prior, before Kate fully suffered from rapid deterioration of Alzheimer's, and has been convincing her younger version to complete her research to allow him to stabilize the time bubble permanently. Raymond notes that he has successfully gotten the machine to work only in the last few days.

Stephen Root American actor and voice actor

Stephen Root is an American actor, voice actor, and comedian. He has starred as Jimmy James on the TV sitcom NewsRadio, as Milton Waddams in the film Office Space (1999), and as the voices of Bill Dauterive and Buck Strickland in the animated series King of the Hill. His other roles have included Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part episode "Unification" (1991), Mr. Lund in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Gordon Pibb in DodgeBall (2004), Hawthorne Abendsen in seasons 2 and 3 of the series The Man in the High Castle, Jim Hudson in Get Out (2017), and supporting roles in a variety of HBO series, including Boardwalk Empire and Barry.

Romy Rosemont actress

Romy Rosemont is an American television actress who has appeared in multiple TV series, including Shark, Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Prison Break, and Private Practice. She got her break in 2010, playing Carole Hudson in the musical series Glee. Rosemont is married to fellow actor Stephen Root; the couple appeared on-screen together in a fourth-season episode of Fringe titled "And Those We've Left Behind".

Alzheimers disease Progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss

Alzheimer's disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self-care, and behavioural issues. As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

Lincoln informs the others that they have found the next time distortion event, threatening to flood drivers in a tunnel that did not exist four years prior. The younger Kate, having only recently discovered what Raymond has done, recognizes the side effects of the time bubble, and urges Raymond to shut it down, asking Peter to guarantee that Raymond will not be prosecuted due to his lack of understanding of the effects. As Peter discusses this with the FBI, Kate reveals she has completed the proper equations, and Raymond asks her to write them out in a notebook so that he can recreate the time bubble machine in a remote location. When Peter returns with his assurances of Raymond's fate, Raymond disables the machine; the house reverts to its present-day state, with Kate bound to a wheelchair. The time distortion in the tunnel dissipates before it can harm anyone else.

The Fringe division and the FBI remove the time bubble equipment from the house; Raymond, having kept Kate's notebook, discovers that she had blacked out all the equations, leaving a final message to him to keep on living his life and giving her his love.

Back at Fringe division, Peter notes that Raymond's success with the time bubble started simultaneously with his appearance in the alternate timeline. Broyles thanks Peter for his help, and offers to allow him to stay in the home Walter owns on campus. Peter attempts to try to explain to the Olivia of this timeline his relationship with the Olivia of his original timeline.


"I think to play husband and wife, it's easier to emotionally connect quickly to a big emotional place, since we're actual husband and wife. You don't have a lot of time on television to do that usually. Us knowing each other so well -- we're probably knowing where the other person is going to go emotionally, was a help."

— Guest star Stephen Root [1]

The episode was co-written by executive story editors Glen Whitman and Robert Chiappetta, while former Fringe producer, Brad Anderson, directed. [2]

This episode guest stars real-life husband and wife Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont portraying the roles of Raymond and Kate Green, and is the first time they have played alongside each other in a creative work. [1] Their appearance on the show came by way of a party at Northwestern University, where Rosemont had met with executive producer Jeff Pinkner. Pinkner asked Rosemont if her husband would be interested in guest starring on a Fringe episode; Rosemont quickly affirmed he would, but only if she was also asked to participate. [1] [3]

Music and cultural references

When Walter leaves Olivia and Peter behind in the lab, you can hear the song "No Time" by The Guess Who playing in his room. While Peter and Olivia theorize in the lab, Walter listens on his headphones to the song "Too Much Time on My Hands" by American rock band Styx. [4] [5] Walter references the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man when directing Astrid to find his fannypack. [4]

While studying the time anomaly, Peter Bishop consults the fictional book Cosmology by real-world physicist Sean M. Carroll.



"And Those We've Left Behind" was first broadcast on November 11, 2011 on the Fox network in the United States. An estimated 3.07 million viewers tuned in with a 1.1 rating for adults 18-49, a series low. [6]


The performances of Stephen Root (pictured) and his wife Romy Rosemont were praised by critics. StephenRootFeb09.jpg
The performances of Stephen Root (pictured) and his wife Romy Rosemont were praised by critics.

The A.V. Club writer Noel Murray graded the episode with an A, calling it "an at once tense and moving episode of Fringe." [4] Writing for Entertainment Weekly , Jeff Jensen believed the episode was "high grade Fringe, in my opinion, heartfelt and heady, a fraternal twin to the season 2 classic 'White Tulip.'" [5] Jensen in particular highlighted the scene involving Peter's time-jumps while the Fringe team is investigating train tracks, comparing it to the experiences of main character Billy Pilgrim in the novel Slaughterhouse Five . He explained, "The storytelling, editing, and acting worked together marvelously to create a clever, clear, and funny passage. Kudos to Joshua Jackson for recognizing and nailing the wry comedy of it all." [5]

Fearnet writer Alyse Wax also lauded "And Those We've Left Behind", explaining that "once you get past all the hardcore theoretical physics, this is a great episode. It's a pretty emotional episode but not in a sappy way." [2] IGN's Ramsey Isler was pleased with Joshua Jackson's return, but criticized the writers for once again producing the 'mad scientist whose best intentions to save a loved one have dramatic consequences' trope.... each time the series does it we get diminishing returns." [7] Murray, Jensen, and Hitfix reviewer Ryan McGee also noted references to the science fiction drama series Lost , including the use of the name Faraday as well as the mention of constants and the Red Sox winning the 2007 World Series. [4] [5] [8] Critics praised the performances of guest stars Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont. [2] [5] [8]

Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly named "And Those We've Left Behind" the tenth best episode of the series, calling it "an episode worthy of one of Fringe's key inspirations, The Twilight Zone , with exceptional guest players taking center stage in a clever, wise, emotionally rich story in which an electrical engineer fought an unwinnable battle to gain more time with his beloved, Alzheimer's-afflicted genius wife via time travel tech. The couple was well-played by real life husband-and-wife Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont." [9] In a similar 2013 list, Den of Geek ranked the episode as the fourth best episode of the entire series. [10]

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