5 Delightfully Strange Things about Fringe’s Walter Bishop

Walter Bishop, Astrid - Fringe

Of all the characters currently on TV, I feel confident stating that Walter Bishop of Fringe is the strangest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Walter. But, even his most ardent fans must acknowledge his quirkiness. In fact, I think it is his quirkiness that attracts people to him. I know it makes him all the more lovable in my eyes!

Walter is clearly a damaged person. His journey to where he is today contains many missteps, some of which he precipitated, as well as events beyond his control. He has certainly done many evil things in his life; experimenting on children and kidnapping the Peter from the other universe when his own son died are two examples.

But, he has also done many good things, and is trying to make amends for the evil he did. He has apologized to Olivia for experimenting on her and feels a lot of regret and guilt over it, for example. All of these things, plus the fact he spent 17 years in a mental hospital add to the mix that makes him so quirky. In appreciation of his strangeness, I have put together my list of 5 strange things that delight me about Walter.

Tastes Random Things

Walter Bishop - Fringe

Fringe pushes the envelope on gross outs every week. In fact, I read an article that said they try to gross each other out on set on a regular basis. Now that would be an interesting place to work! Walter is known for smelling, tasting, and otherwise sticking his bare hands into places that no sane person would put them!

The benefit of this lack of common sense on his part is that he frequently solves some mystery after doing his taste test. A bonus for the viewer is watching the reactions of the people around him – their faces are priceless. Astrid is particularly good at reactions to his behavior.

Loves Dissecting

Walter Bishop - Fringe

Ah, Walter! Just give him a surgical saw, and something to dissect, and set him free! And of course, referring back to my previous point, the grosser the dissection, the better! This is definitely not a show you want to watch while eating a meal, as was noted in a previous article “6 TV Shows You Should Never Watch During Dinner

Another thing I find bizarre is that Walter seems to like to eat a meal or snack while doing his dissections, and frequently you cannot tell whether the item on the plate or tray is his meal or the result of his latest dissection. He also uses the same lab equipment for meal preparation and sample analysis. Yep, as I said, do not watch while eating!

Seeks the Bizarre

Roscoe, Walter and Astrid - Fringe

Walter, like the rest of the team, is a bizarreness magnet. If something weird is going on, you can bet it will be near his location. And, counter to typical survival instincts, he will frequently move toward the weird, when others would just run away without looking back!

I do realize that running toward danger is also a definition of a hero, but for Walter, it is not so much that he is being heroic, as that his scientific curiosity gets the better of him and he likely does not recognize the danger. As a brilliant scientist, curiosity is a necessity, and he is frequently blinded to the danger by that curiosity. He just charges ahead in his quest for knowledge.


Astrid, Gene and Walter - Fringe

Walter is a grown man, but vacillates between sane scientist, mad scientist and child. He is a walking contradiction, in that the things that would frighten a regular person do not frighten him, and yet, the things that do frighten him would not frighten a regular person. In many ways, he is afraid of his own shadow.

In addition, because of his mental instability, his behavior can easily slip into the childlike. Astrid and Olivia seem to be the most patient with him during these times. I find his childlike behavior to be endearing, but that may be because it brings out my mothering instincts.

Brilliantly Wacky

Walter Bishop - Fringe

Walter is clearly a brilliant scientist, and is the go to person when a new mystery presents itself. He is very talented at figuring out the newest mystery, and building or even inventing a device to fix it, analyze it, or sometimes make it worse!

And yet, there is a wackiness to him that just defies explanation sometimes. He will launch into a story that is hysterical yet bizarre. Whatever is on his mind just comes out, no matter how random. In the middle of a crisis, he will demand some type of food that he suddenly has a craving for, and cannot proceed with his work until that need is fulfilled.


So there you have it, the 5 things I find delightfully strange about Walter. Do you watch Fringe? Do you like Walter? Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!