Television Review: Fringe Friday: Alone in the (Brave New) World

Fringe continues with a great episode about a fun new alien/monster creature. The episodic nature of the recent season is fun and exciting. But if they don’t bring Peter back soon, I’m going to get mad. Three episodes is long enough to tease the audience. Bring him back. Explain his absence. Get Olivia and Peter together, FOR REALZ! Stop messing with us! Please?

The episode begins with Walter at a psych evaluation. He keeps seeing the man in the reflective surfaces of things. But Walter lies to the psychologist and says the visual and auditory hallucinations have stopped, even though he is seeing Peter’s face at that very moment.

Two kids are chasing a boy who leads them into a drain. The two kids are about the beat the boy up when they are attacked by a vine-like organism and die. Olivia asks about a face recognition search, but she has not hits. She checks in with Agent Lee to see if he is freaked out yet, he assures her he is not. Broyes comes in and tells them about two bodies which Olivia and Agent Lee go and check out. The bodies are extremely decomposed even though the boys have only been missing 10-15 hours. Agent Lee notices a third set of tracks in the drain and they realize that there is another witness or victim out there. Walter examines one of the bodies at the lab and when Broyles checks in on him demands to examine the other body, but has a bit of a melt down as he keeps hearing Peter.

Olivia finds the third boy; he was the one that was about to be bullied. His mother is out of the country and he is staying with a neighbor. (Not sure how this relates to him getting bullied, and two boys dying, but OK.) As Walter examines the dead boy he says he wants to examine the living one too. He walks out of the lab and is way too cute with the living boy, takes a blood sample of the living boy. The boy examines the office and starts to play with a toy, Walter shouts at him not to because it is a toy that belonged to his dead son. Now how did this boy make it out alive when the other ones didn’t, best guess he is connected to the organism some how. Maybe he is controlling it.

Astrid discovers that hover a candle over the body makes for a weird frequency show up. Walter shouts that they need to put the body in an incubator, they get the body in one just in time before it explodes. Astrid calls Olivia and tells her they need to quarantine the other body also. But Olivia and Agent Lee arrive too late and the body in the morgue explodes killing two M.E.s. Olivia shuts down the rest of the morgue.

They discover that the vine-like organism is a genetic mutation that can be killed with UV light or heart. Olivia wants flame throwers. Walter is done examining the living body, but the kid has puppy dog eyes and so Walter invites the kid to stay a little longer and they make milkshakes and put foil hats on their heads. The living boy asks about Walter’s dead son and Walter explains that his son got sick and died, he used a bridge to go into an alternate universe to save the alternate universe’s version of his son, but when they crossed back into this universe they were on top of ice that broke and that Peter drowned. The living boy asks, and you don’t think you belong in a mental institution.

Screen Still from Fringe
Why are you drawing flowers, why don’t you attempt the strange pattern on my shirt instead?

Olivia and Agent Lee at the drain and Olivia discovers that the drawing on the walls look like the drawings that the boy did while waiting at the lab. The boy becomes sensitive to light just as Olivia uses flame throwers on the vine-like organism in the drain. Walter calls them to stop, that killing the vine-like organism is killing the boy. He is connected to the vine-like organism in the drain, but not the one in the morgue which has been destroyed. Totes saw that coming a mile away, I mean the boy makes it out alive when everyone else that comes into contact with the organism dies. That was a little too obvious.

Olivia asks how they can break the connection so they can kill the vine-like organism. Walter asks the boy what his connection is to the vine-like organism. The boy tells Walter that he would go to the drain to get away and feel better. He didn’t feel so alone, he felt like the vine-like organism understood him and spoke to him. From this story Walter realizes that the organism is a network of neurons, it is one big brain.

Screen Still from Fringe
Clark Kent to the rescue with a hair dryer!

The vine-like organism kills more people and Broyles decides they need to destroy the organism even if it kills the boy. He tells Olivia that there is no more time. They can’t endanger countless others just to save one boy. Oooh. Zing. Because that is exactly what Walter did in the other time line. And this one too apparently. He sends Olivia and Agent Lee with Massive Dynamics tech guys into the drain to inject it with a toxin. But the organism attacks them instead and the toxin doesn’t work. Walter thinks that maybe he will need to lobotomize the boy, but then Walter speaks with the boy and tells him that he needs to disconnect with the organism in his head. There is a moment of crying, but eventually the boy is able to disconnect because Walter assures the boy that he cares about him and it is not just the organism that is connected to him. If he believes he can do it. I start hearing voices myself, a song in my head, “I believe I can fly!” Sometimes this show borders on Hokey.

The organism dies. Agent Lee is OK, but a little freaked out. Olivia chuckles. Walter walks the boy out of the lab and gives him his dead son’s toy. Toys need to be played with, he tells the boy. Yes he saws the movie about the talking toys, oddly disturbing. Toy Story reference!! Walter sees Peter in the glass and gets an idea. Oh, No. Is he gonna lobotomize himself? Sure enough, e starts to, but Olivia stops him. Walter starts crying (dude cries a lot!). He keeps seeing and hearing a man and is afraid if he tells anyone they will institutionalize him again, and he just can’t go back to a mental hospital. Olivia shows Walter a drawing of a man she keeps dreaming about, it is also Peter. Her facial recognition software searches have failed, she doesn’t know who he is. Walter is excited that he is not crazy. And if they both have seen him, then he exists somewhere and they must find him.

OK. Enough teasing already. Bring back Peter. Bring back Joshua Jackson and my eye candy. Solve this infernal discord between the old reality and the new reality. I want to know what Peter and Olivia’s new relationship would look like. Come on people. Enough already.

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