4 Every Fringe Episode Has an Observer and a Preview Plot Clue
So as we've seen, Easter eggs come in layers -- there are those that reward viewers who pay close attention, and those that reward viewers who watch episodes a dozen times, scouring every frame for clues. In Fringe, we have an example of both.
Let's start with the former: If you watch Fringe, you'll know that The Observer is a mysterious, otherworldly bald man who shows up from time to time to be all otherworldly and bald. He's what you'd get if the G-man from Half-Life had a baby with The X-Files' Smoking Man.
And that baby had stage 3 leukemia.
Even though episodes rarely involve The Observer directly, he's always watching. And by that, we mean he's lurking somewhere in the background of every episode:
Watch closely and you'll see his bald dome hanging out in a crowd behind the main characters:
Or as a tiny figure wandering through an establishing shot:
And, for good measure, The Observer even shows up on other television shows, such as American Idol.
Right around the time that Simon Cowell "left" the show ...
But hey, if you're looking for him, you'll spot his suit/fedora/baldness combo, often on the first try. But if you say you spot this next one on your first time through (or your second), you're either a liar or else you work on the show. See, every episode of Fringe also contains a clue relating to the plot of the next episode. An incredibly obscure, nearly invisible clue.
For example, in the pilot there's an innocuous poster with a pen and a rose on it:
"Oh! Oh! It'll be about Axl Rose's ... pens ...?"
And the very next episode involves the hunt for a killer with the surname Penrose.
From that point on, every episode contains such a clue, and some are next to impossible to spot, even if you're circling back to try to find a clue about an episode you've just watched. For instance, in one third-season episode, the words "powder blue" appear on a partially torn-off label on a random dumpster in the background:
And the subsequent episode features killers who use a toxic blue powder to murder people.
Spoiler alert: The blue powder is actually a swarm of killer nano Smurfs.
And surely you'd notice this tiny lightning bolt bumper sticker on this truck:
... and realize it foreshadows the weaponized lightning featured in the following episode:
Pfft, Red Alert 2 did the same thing a decade ago.
Of course, we realize these clues aren't meant to be spotted on the fly -- the point is to get fans hunting for them and then talking about them on the Internet. But admit it -- doesn't all of this kind of make you feel bad for not watching it?
3 Hidden Messages in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Different shows have different reasons for hiding shit -- where some are foreshadowing events or rewarding repeat viewers, others appear to just have creators that like to amuse themselves, to no real purpose whatsoever.
Take It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which is kind of like what Friends would have been if all the characters were dangerous sociopaths.
Then add Danny DeVito.
Each episode features a title card at the end, followed by the sound of garbled voices.
Sadly, neither Satanic messages nor wild speculations on the status of the Beatles' members are to be heard.
The card itself isn't confusing -- "RCG" just stands for the three main cast members/producers, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton (who play Mac, Charlie, and Dennis). So what's the deal with the garbled voices?
Well, someone from Reddit noticed these were hidden messages played backward. They recorded them and played them forwards and, in the first one, were instantly rewarded with the message "You're stupid for playing this forward."
To further drive this point home, subsequent messages are bizarre, seemingly nonsense phrases, each containing the word "brown," such as "Next stop: brown town." No one really knows why, although Guyism pointed out that it could be something to do with the phrase "browning out," which is not quite as severe as blacking out. Or, just as likely, we're affording too high a level of analysis to the show that gave us "kitten mittens."