A New Day in the Old Town

A New Day in the Old Town

Season 2, Episode 01
Aired: September 17th, 2009
Written By: J. J. Abrams, Akiva Goldsman
Directed By: Akiva Goldsman

Recaps: Fandom Wiki | Fringepedia | AV Club
Resources: IMDb | Wikipedia | Transcript
Listen: The Fringe Podcast | TFP Rewatch


This episode follows the aftermath of Olivia's journey to the parallel universe while also introducing shapeshifters. After her shocking return to this reality, Peter Bishop, unknowingly in a race against time with an ominous mobile force, pursues information about Olivia's visit.

Synopsis provided by the Fandom Wiki, Fringepedia, and Wikipedia.


This episode's glyphs spell:


Olivia was sent back to our universe in this episode after meeting with William Bell in one of the Twin Towers in the Redverse in the previous episode.

Glyph symbol TGlyph symbol OGlyph symbol WGlyph symbol EGlyph symbol R
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The Observer crosses the street near the car crash.



Previous Episode Clue

A pirate flag (skull and crossbones) appears on a TV monitor in 'There's More Than One of Everything', a reference to the Shapeshifter ability to remodel his skull and bones in 'A New Day in the Old Town' (which was filmed directly after this episode).

Previous episode clue

Next Episode Clue

The car crash in 'A New Day in the Old Town' happens in front of a business called "Gruno & Dunder", an anagram for "underground", foreshadowing the killer's location in 'Night of Desirable Objects'.

Next episode clue


  • The shapeshifter from the car crash is the one who (almost) hit Olivia in 'There's More Than One of Everything'.
  • The murder victim at the beginning was watching the X-Files, a show Fringe is often compared to.
  • Olivia said "Na einai kalytero anthropo apo ton patera tou" as she woke.
  • The shapeshifter wanted a Selectric 251 typewriter.
  • Walter called Astrid 'Asterix.'
  • The Senator referenced the 'X' designation, putting Fringe in the same universe as the X-Files. He is played by Ken Camroux-Taylor who played the assistant to Section Chief Scott Blevins in the pilot episode of The X-Files.
  • Charlie is dead.


Behind the Scenes
  • Behind the Scenes - Cast and crew talk about filming this episode.
  • A Covert Kiss - Blair Brown and Lance Reddick talk about the kiss between Nina and Broyles.


Fringe Division case file
Fringe Division case file: A New Day in the Old Town


Walter said he was the sous-chef at the Bakersfield Food Lab, bought ingredients to make a custard (his specialty) for Peter's birthday, got a snack from a vending machine, ate a Red Vine while doing an autopsy, remarked that he loves custard but hates flan, and mentioned his near-obsession with moules à la crème Normande.
Walter's Food: Buying custard ingredients
Buying custard ingredients
Walter's Food: Vending machine snack
Vending machine snack
Walter's Food: Red Vine
Red Vine


Walter called Astrid 'Asterix'.


"Unsubstantiated claims of invasion. Reports of technology run amok. The old 'X' designation and your Fringe investigations have been indulgences in the federal budget for over half a century."
"Na einai kalytero anthropo apo ton patera tou. You said that to me just after you woke up. Do you remember it?"
"No. Latin?"
"Mm-mm. Greek. My mother used to say that to me every night before I went to bed."
"There really isn't a point where things just can't get weirder, is there? What does it mean?"
"It means 'be a better man than your father'. Walter was already gone. It was like a code between my mother and me. It meant keep your people close. Take care of the people you care about."


A visualization of all the ways this episode connects to other episodes. Scroll down to see the actual connections.
Connection chart: A New Day in the Old Town


S1E20 - There's More Than One of Everything

  • Olivia got pulled to the other side in "There's More Than One of Everything" just before getting into a car accident. That's why she was returned to the car, with the momentum of the impact, in "A New Day in the Old Town." The elevator transported her between buildings once she was already in the Redverse.

S2E04 - Momentum Deferred

  • Olivia (in "A New Day in the Old Town"):
    "Something's hidden."
    Shapeshifter Nurse:
    "Where is it hidden?"
    "I can't remember."

    Olivia was told details about the location of Newton's head and she remembered those details in "Momentum Deferred".


S2E15 - Peter

  • Peter (in "A New Day in the Old Town"):
    "I don't like custard! In fact, I've never liked custard."
    "As a boy you loved it; you've just forgotten."

    Walter's real son, who died in "Peter", was the one who loved custard.


S3E08 - Entrada

  • Olivia said "Na einai kalytero anthropo apo ton patera tou" to Peter when she woke from the car crash in "A New Day in the Old Town". Peter said this phrase back to Fauxlivia in "Entrada", who did not recognize it, which confirmed to Peter that she was an impostor.

S3E21 - The Last Sam Weiss

  • Olivia needed to use her mental powers to stop The Machine in "The Last Sam Weiss" and she used the quantum-entangled typewriter from "A New Day in the Old Town" to practice with.
  • Olivia's test message for the typewriter in "The Last Sam Weiss" was "Be a better man than your father," the English translation of the Greek phrase "Na einai kalytero anthropo apo ton patera tou" that she said in "A New Day in the Old Town".

S4E15 - A Short Story About Love

  • Walter (to Peter in "A Short Story About Love"):
    "It's a particularly obtuse way to admit that you're a better man than I am."

    The Greek phrase "Na einai kalytero anthropo apo ton patera tou" that Olivia uttered in "A New Day in the Old Town", which was something Elizabeth used to say to Peter, translates to "Be a better man than your father."


S4E16 - Nothing As It Seems

  • Agent Jessup was relating season 1 Fringe cases to Bible verses in "A New Day in the Old Town". In "Nothing as it Seems", creatures can be seen on something resembling Noah's Ark. (Image 1, 2)
Connection: Fringe cases to Bible verses
Image 1
S2E01 - A New Day in the Old Town
Fringe cases to Bible verses
Connection: A new Noah's Ark
Image 2
S4E16 - Nothing As It Seems
A new Noah's Ark