Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fringe recap S1E6 (10/21/08)

Milford, MA: A van pulls up and guys wearing HAZMAT suits dump a woman onto the street. She’s staggering, sick. She sees a diner and goes inside; there are a few other people in there. She sits at the counter, coughing a little. The waiter brings her a bowl of soup and she picks at it. A cop comes in, called by the waiter who is concerned for the woman. He starts asking her some questions but she’s confused: “I don’t remember … they did things …they gave me a red medicine, and a blue medicine.” She starts to get agitated and the cop cuffs her. Suddenly, everyone in the diner is screaming and bleeding from the eyes. The woman backs up against the window, her eyes bleeding too – and then her head explodes, red all over the glass. Eeeeeuuw.

The next morning the Fringe team is on the scene. Walter is strangely humming at the power lines. Olivia finds it annoying – she’s a little on edge. The diner is quarantined, HAZMAT workers inside because of the high levels of radiation. The young woman, Emily, had been missing for two weeks and the radiation level in her body is three times that of the other bodies. Also eeuw: Walter takes the temperature of a dead body using a meat thermometer via the ear canal. Time to take the bodies back to the labs.

Olivia heads over to see Emily’s doctor Patel who had been treating her for some fatal autoimmune disease. This disease had recently and strangely gone into remission, but not for any medical reason Dr. Patel knows about.

Walter is dissecting Emily’s headless body at his lab. He confirms ligature marks and subcutaneous injection sites on her arms: she had been getting medication against her will. Walter thinks that Emily was perhaps a field trial, to see how the experiment did out in the real world.

Another woman with the same autoimmune disease has been discovered missing. Olivia and Charlie go to Acton to talk to the husband, Ken. He claims to not recognize a photo of Emily, saying that they didn’t know anyone else with the same disease. His wife Claire also went into remission about six weeks ago – Ken begs the agents to find her.

Claire wakes up in some sort of lab, being injected with a blue medicine. “The last one was a test,” remarks some suit, “This one counts – is she a candidate?” A female lab tech pulls off her HAZMAT helmet and confirms it. Looks bad for poor Claire.

Walter has decked out a papaya (not a paw paw) with Mr. Potatohead features and zaps it with high-energy microwaves until it “goo-ifies” and then explodes, just like Emily’s head. The theory is that the radioactive isotopes in Emily’s blood were supposed to time-release enough medication to cure her disease, but went a little too far and released all at once. Olivia wonders if Patel could have been involved; she’s going to talk to Emily’s parents. Peter says he’ll come too.

Peter notes that this case is again about humans being used as guinea pigs – part of the Pattern, perchance? Peter also notices that they will be interrupting Emily’s wake but Olivia has her resolve face and won’t be dissuaded. Once in the house, she rushes up to Emily’s room and starts searching. Emily’s mom bursts in, angry. But when Olivia says Claire may be in danger, the mother softens. In fact, she shows them a picture of Emily with Claire and her husband. Ooh, Ken lied!

An annoyed Olivia and Peter return to Claire’s house and confront Ken. Emily and Claire started working together to find alternative therapies for their disease – and Patel was, indeed, involved. Peter asks for a sample of Claire’s miracle medicine to go.

Back at the evil lab, Claire is now getting an injection of red medicine to make her better … and also blue medicine to make her “special.” Claire whimpers.

Patel confesses that he gives Intrepus (a drug company) updates on his patients, that’s all. He warns Olivia to back away because these Intrepus people are scary. When she presses him for a name, he pulls out a gun and points it at her. “You want a name? David Estabrook!” he shrieks and then he shoots himself. Scary indeed.

Olivia wanders back to FBI HQ, looking a little in shock. As she pages through her mail, Charlie has found an ID for David Estabrook: he’s the suit from a few paragraphs back. He’s a proponent of controversial techniques: human/animal hybridization, germ warfare, etc. Olivia decides to go after him, tracking Estabrook down at some function. She is charming and earnest and tries to draw him out. He tells her that what he does is not about the money – it’s about the results. Then she tells him that Patel is dead and that she’s onto him. And he threatens her in return, saying that she’s young and attractive and it would be a shame if anything got in the way of her having a family in the future. Presumptuous much?

When Olivia gets back to Harvard, Broyles dresses her down for not being subtler with such a high profile suspect. She insists that trying to save Claire trumps politics. Broyles retorts that Olivia is too emotionally involved and says he’ll take her off the case if he has too.

The tech releases a hairless rat into Claire’s room. Claire starts to panic off screen and there’s squeaking. Estabrook asks the tech if the capsules in Claire’s blood could be triggered remotely. The tech confirms this and Estabrook says he’ll notify his client. The rat is crawling around on Claire and sneaks under the covers as she wails. Then the sheet turns wet and red as the rat, uh, dies.

Peter tries to figure out what it is that’s got Olivia so cranky today. She ‘fesses up: her step dad used to beat her mother and one day, when Olivia was nine, he broke her mother’s nose. Olivia found his gun and shot him a couple times; he was not supposed to make it but he did, and every year on her birthday he sends her a card to rub it in. Today is her birthday. Peter is sympathetic and suggests that if she really wants to get something on Estabrook – who is clean on paper thus far – she should ask Nina Sharp over at Massive Dynamic. Olivia scoffs – why would Nina tell her anything?

So Peter finds Nina himself. He wants to know where Intrepus might do their off-the-grid testing. Nina will tell him the exact location but the deal is that she gets a favor from in return, no questions asked. (Said favor may have something to do with some dealings Peter’s had with certain tribal peoples somewhere who don’t like to deal with outsiders … but I wasn’t really paying attention about the details and also don’t care.) You know Peter’s going to make that deal.

Walter discovers that methyl something or other is what causes the radioactive capsules to explode all at once: it’s “definitely a blue compound.” Peter finds Olivia moping around in the corridors upstairs. He’s got the location of the testing facility – and lies to her about his source – so they grab Claire’s antidote from Walter and head off, FBI teams following. This also is becoming typical for this foolish show: bringing in the cavalry to save the day in the third act.

Olivia and her agents find Claire but they can’t go into the room because the radiation levels are too high. Olivia slides the syringe with the antidote into the room, telling Claire she’s got to give herself the injection. Claire is screaming, her eyes pouring blood and the radiation monitors are off the charts. In the nick of time, Claire grabs the syringe and jabs it into her own neck. I will admit to being relieved not to have seen yet another exploding head – one per hour is plenty.

Afterwards, Olivia confronts Estabrook at the Intrepus building, saying that his tech admitted to his hiring her to make Emily and Claire into human weapons. He waves his money and his big law firm on retainer at her but Olivia doesn’t care, slapping cuffs on him. She has to go to the principal’s office for this but she doesn’t back down, telling Broyles that her emotions are what motivate her and what make her a better agent.

She catches up with Peter as he and his dad are heading into their hotel, saying that she’s figured out that he got his information from Massive Dynamic. She’s worried about what price he will have to pay, but Peter chuckles, telling her not to worry. He asks if she got a card today and when she says no, he tells her happy birthday.

Olivia finally goes home (to a very nice apartment) and finds an envelope left under her door. It’s unsigned and says “Thinking of you” inside. That’s kind of creepy.

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