Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fringe recap: S1E13 "The Transformation"

We open on a plane.  Some guy who looks like an accountant is writing in a notebook.  When his nose starts bleeding, he goes to the lavatory.  Once inside, he peers closely at his face, then tugs on his teeth.  Then he takes a kit out and swaps the inside of his mouth.  It turns red when he tests it and he freaks out.  He finds a flight attendant and tells her that something very terrible is happening to him that he can't control.  He's going to lock himself in the lav and she needs to collect all the sedatives she can from the other passengers, then pass them in to him.  If he's not himself when she opens the door, they must keep him in the lav at all costs.  Another flight attendant, nervous, warns the guy that they have a taser and they will use it on him.  "It won't be enough," he moans.

Back locked in the lav, the guy's teeth are falling out.  He retches into the sink and starts to scream horribly.  Then spines split the back of his shirt ... is he turning into the Splinter monster?  From the main part of the plane we see the lavatory door burst open and it's even better: a man-sized, pissed-off porcupine thing charges into the plane.  Right friggin' on.  The plane goes down, as it would with an enormous porcupine monster rampaging inside, in Scarsdale, New York.

Bored now: at Olivia's apartment, Rachel interrogates her older sister about the engagement ring John gave her.  Luckily, Olivia gets a call about the downed plane and has to get back to work.

The Fringe team, plus Broyles, pokes through the wreckage until Broyles shows them the manupine/porcuman.  Walter is, of course, fascinated.  As Olivia flips through photographs of the dead passengers' passport photos, she gets a flash of John-memory when she sees the accountant-looking guy.  "This is our guy," she tells Charlie.  Charlie is bemused by this hunch.

At the lab, Walter, Peter and Astrid autopsy the porcuman.  They dig a glass chip out of its palm.  Didn't Massive Dynamic pull one out of John Scott's palm some episodes ago?

FBI HQ is hopping, working to identify the dead passengers and they've put a name to the porcuman: Marshall Bowman.  During her research, Olivia recognizes one of Bowman's clients as another person in John's memories and tells Charlie that they need to question this client, Hicks.  Charlie is beginning to get suspicious about all these hunches so she 'fesses up about the experiment that fused John's memories into her head.  To his credit, Charlie decides to go with it.

Peter calls Olivia to tell her that Bowman was dosed with some designer virus, which would have killed him anyway even if the plane crash hadn't.  He emails a photo of the glass disk to her and she recalls seeing one of those from the DEA agent a few episodes ago.  I don't remember that at all, but whatever.

Olivia and Charlie interview Hicks.  He's not particularly cooperative at first, so Oliva shows him a photo of Bowman's current spiny state.  She says she thinks Bowman and Hicks conspired to release the deadly virus.  Just then, Hicks's nose starts bleeding.  Walter, observing through the two-way mirror, calls for a strong sedative.  Hicks starts flailing and screaming but Olivia won't let Walter sedate him until he tells her who else is involved.  He screams out "Conrad!" and Walter doses him.

They bring the sedated Hicks, still transforming, to the Cambridge lab and Walter puts him in a medically-induced coma.  Olivia and Astrid aren't having any luck finding a connection to any "Conrad" so Olivia tells Walter to slice into Hicks's palm to see if there's a glass disk in there.  "I like cutting," says Walter.

Olivia brings the now two glass disks to Broyles.  He already knows that they are devices for transporting information.  She wants to exhume John's body to see if he's got one too and Broyles is forced to tell her that John's body wasn't actually buried.  He takes her to Massive Dynamic where Olivia is shocked to see John being kept in stasis.  Broyles confirms that yes, there was a glass disk in his hand and the small amount of intel they were able to retrieve implicates John as a member of a bio-terrorist group.  It also mentioned "Conrad."  Broyles also says that French intelligence says that a major bio-weapons deal is going down in Chicago soon - via a guy named Conrad.  Olivia heads back to the lab, calling ahead for Walter to get the tank ready: she needs to go back into John's memories.

Walter hooks her up and sends her into Memory Land.  She finds herself in the motel room where she and John used to hook up, and then she watches as Memory-Olivia and John come into the room and start hooking up.  Then, weirdly, John looks directly at our Olivia when Memory-Olivia goes into the bathroom.  He tells our Olivia that he misses her.  Freaked, she grabs his gun and asks him about Conrad.  He comes towards her and she shoots him.

In the lab, alarms are blaring: Olivia is getting lost in the memories.  She wanders down an alley, calling for Walter, her link to the real world.  Suddenly John is there, addressing her directly.  Olivia: "I want answers, John."  But he turns and walks away from her.  She follows and John shows her a memory of his, where he was supposed to take out Conrad but didn't.  "Who were you working for?" she asks.  John tells her that he was working for Bowman and Hicks, NSA agents.  She doesn't believe him and wants proof, but he repleis that they were black ops and he couldn't tell her.  Olivia wants to know about the upcoming weapons deal but John starts to flicker in and out.  "Trust Hicks," he tells her and then is gone.  The Bishops yank her out of the tank and back into consciousness as her vital signs start going wonky.

She asks how Hicks is diong and Peter says they don't know if what they're doing is working.  Olivia wants to wake Hicks up to ask him about Conrad.  Peter's like, he could still transform into a porcupine - plus, can she really trust a dead guy who only exists in her memories?  Astrid speaks up, saying that Olivia is the best judge of character she's ever met.  Olivia makes the call: wake up Hicks.  They hit him with a blast of adrenalin, which brings him out of the coma, then give him with what they hope is an antidote.  Astrid tells him that they need to know about Conrad.

The FBI sets up a sting to take down the weapons deal; Hicks will be relaying information to Olivia via super high-tech implanted ear piece.  She waits in a hotel lobby, synced to Hicks, with Peter there as her back-up.  As they wait, Hicks gives her some key names and phrases to gain the weapon seller's confidence.

It seems to work.  Olivia, Peter, the seller and his thugs go to a hotel room where Olivia gets swept for radios.  The seller checks the cash, shows her the bio-weapon and antidote, then gets a phone call from Conrad, who says he wants to meet her.  Then the seller starts asking tougher questions about who she is, but Hicks can't help Olivia because he's starting to transform.  The seller gets edgy and guns are drawn.  Peter bluffs, which seems to work until Conrad walks in and calls the bluff, ordering the thugs to shoot Olivia and Peter.  Olivia gives the signal and the FBI rushes in.  As Conrad is cuffed, Olivia tells him, "John Scott says hi."

Afterwards, Broyles congratulates Olivia on taking down such a major bio-weapons dealer.  She says she didn't do it alone, meaning John helped her.  Broyles says that as far as the FBI goes, John is still a traitor.  Olivia says that's okay since she now knows the truth.  She goes back to the lab, finding only Walter still there.  She wants a favor: she wants to go back into the tank.  Walter says that the problem is that her brain is finally readjusting back to normal and there's no guarantee that she would see John for more than minutes or even seconds.  "So we need to do this now," says Olivia.

She fins herself on a dock on some remote pond, John there with her.  She tells him that they caught Conrad and she apologizes for doubting him.  John says that he always meant to tell her the truth, but he ran out of time.  He gives her the engagement ring:  "I know we can't ever be together, not really, but maybe I won't know the difference."  They smooch.  He says, "I love you, Liv."  And then he's gone.

Previously on Fringe / next time on Fringe

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