Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thoughts on Henry Bishop

Once of the plot developments that really divided fans during season 3 was the introduction of Peter's and AltOlivia's son, Henry Bishop.  I think fans were upset about this since, firstly, the boy wasn't Olivia's son and secondly, because it pushed a bit too far the already (in my opinion) excessive angst that characterized the middle portion of season 3.  Since the alternative universe didn't have a Peter, Henry was essentially used as a means of activating the machine on the other side.  When Peter was erased in the Season 3 finale, Henry was erased as well since without Peter, Henry would have never been born.  I wanted to talk about Henry Bishop because I really hope that they bring him back into the story since I think he would provide some really amazing character development for all our characters.

The main reason why I think that he will return is because of the drawing that we saw on the refrigerator door in the season 3 finale.  Peter and Olivia were drawn with a young child between the two of them.  The child was holding Peter's hand, but not Olivia's hand.  This is consistent with the fact that Henry is closer to Peter than Olivia.  Also, there remains the lingering question of why exactly Peter and Olivia are so opposed to having children and the show certainly goes out of its way to show how good they both are with children.

I would like to explain what kind of character development he could provide our leads with:

1. Peter Bishop: I think that Peter will be the most effected by this since, having had an inadequate father, he would be determined to be a good father to Henry.  As nurturing as he is with Walter, I think that he would realize that taking care of a child is very different and much more challenging.  I think being a father himself would allow him to empathize with Walter much more and who knows, if he were to momentarily be confronted with the threat of losing his son, would he crumb to pieces just like Walter does?  Part of overcoming a childhood trauma is growing up into a good adult who is able to take care of children in a better way instead of repeating the mistakes that their parents made.  Thus, having a child of his own would provide Peter with some sense of closure in regards to his childhood.

2. Olivia Dunham: Since Henry would not be hers, she would have to go through the same process as Walter which would involve learning to love a child that is not your own.  I think that Olivia, far more than Peter, would feel inadequate when it comes to parenting a child, but she would feel an overwhelming draw towards the boy since she has always viewed herself as being a protector and as someone who loves to take care of people.  Anna Torv in an interview has stated that Alt-Olivia would be able to make the distinction between being a mom and being a FBI agent- between work and home life.  Having a child would mean so much more to Olivia and I think making the distinction would be much harder for her.  If she were to get attached to Henry, I think that she would be one of those parents that would be constantly worrying about their child.  Like Peter, having a child would provide her with some closure and insight into her own childhood.

3. Walter Bishop: I think that Henry would provide Walter with a second chance at being a good parent for a younger child, a chance to redeem himself and to make better choices with the second generation.  His relationship with Peter would be taken to a whole new level since they would both be fathers and would be able to relate to each other more.

Since so much of the internal conflict with our characters is rooted in childhood experiences, bringing a child into the mix would serve as a way for all characters to achieve some closure.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!


  1. The way I understood it, future Peter and Olivia were... not opposed as much as very hesitant and wary about having children because they knew(even more than the average person) that their world is crumbling, and I don't think they were prepared to bring a child into that world jut to watch it die with everything else. Basically, they didn't really have a lot of hope for the future and didn't want to expose a baby to that.

  2. @Emily: You're absolutely right! Thanks for setting me straight! I guess a part of me would like to believe that there's more to it than that. :)


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