Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fringe recap S1E5 (10/14/08)

Worcester: Case-of-the-week Joe is gonna be late for work since his alarm didn’t go off. He records his temperature and his pulse upon arising and then his mother nags him out the door. At work, Joe has an ad for “Better Health, Better You” up in his locker; his supervisor hassles him; and he may be stalking the receptionist at an office where he makes deliveries. She’s nice enough to him but doesn’t really know he exists. When she flirts with a coworker in front of him, Joe gets annoyed and suddenly her computer crashes. And then, when she catches him in the elevator, she sees her picture in his phone. Joe gets agitated at being discovered and suddenly the elevator plummets to the bottom of the shaft. Joe survives somehow (no one else does), but I’m thinking this may have been his Worst Day Ever. As he walks away from the elevator wreck in tears, all the cars in the parking garage start up, headlights flaring and car alarms blaring.

Boston: Olivia tells Charlie that Dead John visited her in her apartment last night when she was having cereal and scotch for dinner. She says John disappeared when she grabbed for her gun – she knows he wasn’t there, really, but still. Charlie reminds her that she ‘s been through a lot: next time John stops by for a nightcap, she should offer him a drink, and give herself a break while she’s at it.

Walter’s basement Harvard lab: Peter complains again about not being able to sleep the night before; Walter couldn’t sleep either, thinking about the man who tortured his son with the electric nose plugs. Broyles and Olivia come in and tell the Bishop boys about the Worcester elevator accident. What’s weird is that the elevator didn’t fall: an electrical surge drove the elevator to the bottom of the shaft. The Fringe team is sent to Worcester to investigate.

They learn that although the brakes should have slowed or stopped the car, the motors kept going because of the surge of extra energy. Walter notices thermo-electrical exit wound burns on the bodies of the victims still in the elevator car. They also discover an abnormally high electromagnetic residual charge still in the car. Walter takes the bodies back to the lab for autopsies. Fringe science bit: human bodies are alterable electrical systems and Walter did some experiments back in the day about it (of course). His theory is that a human person with such an amplified electromagnetic charge in their body crashed the elevator.

Back at work, a shell-shocked Joe wanders around until he runs into his mean boss. His boss reads him the riot act for skipping out on work and fires him. Joe begs for his job but the boss won’t relent. Joe gets upset and then his boss gets pulled into some sort of machinery that starts chewing his arm off, rather like Stephen King’s “The Mangler” short story. Icky.

Olivia works late, as seems to be her wont. Broyles brings her some coffee. She tells him Walter’s theory. Broyles tells her that in the course of other Pattern investigations, they’ve discovered “off the grid” clinics that do illegal (and immoral) human experiments – like pumping a test subject full of stimulants and keeping them awake for a year (wasn’t that an X-Files case- those soldiers who never slept?); he names a doctor, “Jacob Fischer,” as the diabolical mind behind one of those clinics.

After Broyles leaves, Olivia continues her research until the lights go out in the building. She prowls the halls with her flashlight and finds John in an elevator. She panics slightly as he tells her he’s here to help, but they don’t have much time. He tells her that she’s on the right track but Fischer is looking for her target as well – and she needs to find the guy before Fischer does. Then Not So Dead John takes the elevator down.

Olivia races to the Bishops’ hotel room, with questions about a weight differential noticed by the crashed elevator’s weight sensors: a person must have walked away from the crash – the guy they (and Fischer) are looking for. They realize that their target may be unaware of what he is doing and so they should be looking for small electrical anomalies, not necessarily large ones.

Joe comes home and tries to talk to his mother about what happened to him at the clinic he went to. He says they changed him but she scoffs and pushes him away. Joe shouts and begs for her to listen, and the lights flicker, and his mother clutches her chest (pacemaker malfunction perhaps?). The phones don’t work for 911 either. Poor Joe packs a bag and runs out of the apartment … straight into Fischer who says he’s here to “adjust [his] medication.” Which he does by jabbing Joe with a hypodermic needle and knocking him out.

Olivia and Charlie manage to track and identify their target by multiple incidents at his workplace, Bicoastal Parcel. When they get to his house, they find his dead mother. Yup, pacemaker malfunction – I am so smart. Olivia calls the Bishops to check in and Walter, poking around in the elevator evidence, tells her to come back to the lab: he’s found Joe’s Walkman and can identify Joe by the residual electrical trace he imprinted on the cassette tape. Oh my god, now Walter says he can train carrier pigeons to track Joe’s electrical signature – so Olivia gets on the phone to order up some pigeons. This stupid faux science is enough to drive me nuts. Walter zaps the pigeons, straps GPS chips to them, and sends them off to find Joe.

Joe wakes up in Fischer’s lab and gets another shot for his trouble, even as he begs and pleads and causes the lights to flicker.

Meanwhile, Dead John stops by the Harvard lab again. I think he’s stalking Olivia. And then he kisses her, quieting her protestations that he’s not real. Honey, you’re kissing a DEAD GUY. That’s called “necrophilia.” Icky again. Peter finds her out in the corridor and – poof – John disappears. Peter never saw him.

While Olivia and Peter chase pigeons in their SUV, Joe screams in the lab as Fischer makes some adjustments to him. Olivia and the feds follow the pigeons to Fischer’s lab, telling Peter to wait in the car. Fischer, upon notification of the feds’ arrival, tells his henchman to take Joe out through the back. The henchman puts Joe in a car, which Joe starts remotely and uses to run over the henchman. Charlie nabs Fischer while Olivia finds Joe, chasing him through a construction site. He sets off every piece of equipment he runs by, until a hidden Peter clocks him with a crowbar. This is starting to be a regular gig for our Peter. In the aftermath, Fischer gets stuffed in a cop car while Joe, heavily sedated, is taken to the hospital for treatment and testing. Olivia will question him later.

Olivia stops by the lab and Walter, in a moment of lucidity, notes that she hasn’t seemed herself lately. When she admits to not sleeping well, he tells her that she’s been seeing John – and these visitations are not hallucinations. He’s not sure exactly what’s happening to her but that perhaps when she was in the float tank, a part of John’s consciousness crossed over into hers and lives there still. Walter tells her that this is her brain’s way of exorcising this second voice from her head – but does she really want John to go away? Later, Olivia sees John as she’s driving home. She gets out of her car and follows him into some tunnels under the street. She finds a storeroom full of files – Pattern-related files that John had been working on himself.

Broyles also found some of John’s personal effects in this storeroom, things intended for Olivia, and gives her a small box full of photos, other memorabilia … and a big ass diamond engagement ring. Better late than never, I guess.

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