Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fringe recap S1E3 (09/23/08)

Criminetley, I forgot this frickin' show was on tonight. After last night's marathon Heroes recapathon I was sure I had tonight off to watch (guilty pleasure) Biggest Loser without firing up my vintage 1997 laptop. But no, I've started this Fringe recappery and I hate to not finish what I've started ...

In St. Anne’s Cathedral, a young guy makes his confession: he thinks God or the devil may be showing him things. He flashes to a city bus with business people and regular folks on it; one of the businessmen takes a gas mask out of his case and opens a canister. As the bus fills with gas and people panic, the masked man picks up a woman’s backpack and exits the stopped bus, getting into a car that speeds away. Upset, the young man runs out of the cathedral, dropping a sketch he’s made of the bus vision. A policeman comes up to the bus, stopped in a tunnel: all the people seem to be dead inside, trapped in some sort of yellowish gel.

Mount Briar Cemetery: it’s a funeral for John. Ooh – I like bagpipes! Olivia has her inner-strength face on as John’s mom stares at her from across the coffin. Charlie catches up with Olivia after the funeral, commending her for not squealing on John’s shady ways and letting him be remembered as a hero. Then Broyles walks up and asks Olivia to come with him – there’s a new case afoot.

Peter and Walter are in a diner. When Peter leaves the table just as his phone rings; Walker awkwardly answers it. Peter has left the table because a scruffy guy down the counter has been following him and taking pictures: Peter was supposed to check in with someone and didn’t. When Peter returns to the booth, Walter says the phone call was something about a bus.

Olivia, Peter, Walter and Broyles investigate the bus: apparently the people are stuck in some sort of congealed substance that the gas transformed into after release. Walter wants to dig some out to take back to the lab. Meanwhile, in the basement of what looks like a church, two men go through the backpack the gas-masked man took when he gassed the bus. Whatever they’re looking for is not there, and one of the men speaks Russian (?) to someone else on the phone, no doubt alerting them that they must keep looking for whatever they’re looking for.

At work, the young man who had gone to confession at the start of the episode, Roy, is having another vision. He starts to draw a drooping figure with blood dripping from its hands. At the lab, Walter has determined that the bus-filling substance is a silicon-based aerosol that solidified somehow. Peter and his father snark at each other for a while until Walter asks who the scruffy man in the diner was. Peter ain’t saying but is slightly amazed that his father noticed.

Olivia checks out the bodies as they are extracted from the congealed bus. They find a video camera that one of the passengers had and, from this video record, discover that a backpack is missing. The woman whose backpack it belonged to was an undercover DEA agent. Olivia brings the DEA agent’s handler in for questioning: she had been working on the East Coast Nicaraguan drug cartel and had asked for extrication when she overheard cartel members discussing the Pattern. The handler says he has no idea what was in her backpack. He IDs the body, then says he’d like to say goodbye – it’s not clear if he’s looking for something on the body or just actually saying goodbye. Based on my years of watching X-Files and my (to-date) three-ish hours of watching this show, I’m guessing he’s removing something from the body.

Walter has discovered that the gas reacted to the nitrogen in the air, solidifying and thus suffocating the bus passengers. Massive Dynamic has the technology to develop this gas, of course. Olivia gets a phone call from Charlie as they’ve gotten a lead on Roy the vision guy. When they go to Roy’s apartment, he has drawings and dioramas of numerous attacks from the last year, including the flesh-melting flight from Germany, all dated before the incidents occurred. Ooh – Roy is Fringe’s Isaac (that’s a Heroes reference for you heathens). Olivia furrows her brow and looks troubled.

They bring Roy in for questioning. Broyles doesn’t think that Roy had any actual involvement but he’s very interested in how he knew about all these incidents, some of which were never reported in the press. Meanwhile, Olivia goes back to Massive Dynamic and asks Nina Sharp about the chemicals they produced that were involved in the bus incident. Nina doesn’t give her much but Olivia notes that every case she’s been involved in recently leads her back to Massive Dynamic. Nina is unfazed by the veiled accusations and shoos Olivia away, snidely mentioning that the company already provided this information to Broyles after a related incident in Prague a while back … the case file to which Olivia clearly does not have access. Oh, snap!

Roy says that he thinks he may actually be crazy, but he gets feelings and must draw or recreate what he sees to get rid of the feeling. This has been happening to him for about nine months. This coincides to when Broyles’s crew became aware of the Pattern. Broyles thinks Roy is lying but Peter, who says he’s a good poker player, says Roy is not bluffing. Walter thinks the simplest answer is the correct one: Roy is linked psychically with the small group of people who are orchestrating these attacks. Yes, I would think that’s the simplest answer too. Walter wants to investigate Roy’s abilities further, and wonders if, in doing so, he is required to keep [Roy] alive. “That would probably be best,” murmurs Olivia.

Later, Olivia questions Broyles about Nina Sharp’s information to which she (Olivia) is not privy. Broyles rolls his eyes and says there are some times when he doesn’t tell Olivia everything he knows. She thinks that’s bogus but he insists that she trust him – he’ll give her information when she’s ready for it.

Walter sends Roy through a CAT scan (or something similar), hoping to capture some of his “feelings.” Roy does not react well to the scan, veins popping and head swelling, and they yank him out of it. Walter and Peter’s theory is that Roy has a whole lot of metal in his blood and the magnets in the scanning machine came close to ripping his body apart because of it. Everyone looks very concerned; Walter mostly looks intrigued.

Back at the lab, Walter wants to see files going back to 1979, but luckily finds what he was looking for quickly: he and William Bell (founder of Massive Dynamic, remember?) worked on this very project together, hypothesizing that certain waves of a certain spectrum could be used to communicate information clandestinely. Walter had actually tested introducing organo-metallic compounds into volunteer psych experiment test subjects twenty years ago … and Roy was one of the test subjects. The compound has since multiplied in his body and amplified Roy’s susceptibility to the “ghost network.” All right, people - I can’t frig around with this wonky pseudoscience anymore: Roy’s brain is picking up on and trying to reinterpret telecommunications from the bad guys. Saves on long distance, I guess. Olivia perks up and wonders if they can tap into the bad guys’ ghost phone calls as well; Walter is sure that with some minor brain surgery, he could rewire Roy’s brain so the team has access. Of course, the gadgetry he needs is hidden in the walls of Walter’s former Cambridge home so Olivia and Peter pick the lock and go get it.

Meanwhile, Roy has agreed to subject himself to Walter’s ministrations. He’s a bit nervous, understandably, and more so when Walter straps him into the halo and dives in for some “intercranial penetration.” Walter is hoping to move the clusters of metal in Roy’s brain from the visual centers to the sound centers. Then, weirdly, Roy starts reciting Latin – which is probably the Russian I thought I heard earlier (that’s a bad sign for a Classics major, confusing Latin with Russian). They translate the Latin as [paraphrased] the something the men were looking for can be found in the DEA agent’s body; Olivia, remembering the agent’s handler touching the dead agent’s hand, rushes to the morgue and finds a bloody incision in the dead woman’s hand. Remember Roy’s drawing of a drooping body with blood dripping from its hands? That’s what this is – although someone who’s been dead this long probably wouldn’t be still bleeding. Picky, picky.

Later, in the car, Olivia reports to Broyles that the agent’s handler took something out of the agent’s hand and they send FBI agents to South Station to apprehend the bad guys on a tip Roy overhears and Peter tells to Olivia. This is very awkward to recap: bad guys on the phone caught by Roy and relayed to Olivia over the phone by Peter. In the train station Olivia pulls her gun on the handler but he’s already dead – she missed the hand-off. She dashes outside and chases the other bad guy with the metal briefcase; Charlie helps her apprehend him, but before they can do much more than tell him to put the case down, he backs into a moving bus and squish.

Back at FBI HQ, lab techs open the case, which contains … something that no one knows anything about. Looks like a little piece of amber the size of a nickel. Broyles did manage to ID the bus-squishee who had been connected to two other Pattern cases. He shows Olivia the files and tells her he’d like to hear her thoughts. Olivia heads back to the lab to say thank you and goodbye to Roy, who is happy to have helped. Meanwhile, Broyles takes the amber whosit to Nina Sharp at Massive Dynamic. After Broyles leaves, Nina takes the whosit to her lab, saying, “we found another one.” The lab tech is thrilled, saying they may be able to decode something … and over there is a computer that connected to dead agent John Scott’s brain. Yeah, I’ve sort of stopped paying attention to this intricate foolishness too.

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