Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fringe recap: S1E18 "Midnight"

Leather jacket-wearing, English-accented Bob gets ready to go out as the television news plays, talking about a horrific murdr where someone's been killed and mutilated, apparently by a hunting knife.  Bob grabs his keys, phone and a pocket knife and heads out.  He calls his girl, who's out of town on a business trip, and says that he'll cook for her tomorrow night when she gets back.  He'll call her later, though, as he's just meeting some "suits from Hong Kong" for dinner.  When Bob hangs up the phone, he heads into a red-lit club, music blaring and pulsing.  Liar!  Inside, all kinds of hot chicks eye him.  He selects one, makes her laugh, then backs off when her date walks up.  Bob picks another one.  This one doesn't have a date.  Back at his place, things are getting steamy ... until she grabs his head and snaps his neck.  AWESOME - didn't see that coming.  Meanwhile, worried that he hasn't called her back, Bob's girlfriend tries his cell which rings and rings as the murderer goes into the bathroom to wipe blood off her face.  Her eyes are a freakishly bright blue.  The camera pulls back and ol' Bob's body looks as though it might be missing a few bits and pieces.

At Olivia's apartment, there's another boring domestic scene where some boring friends are over for dinner and Rachel gets served with divorce papers.  Luckily for her (and us), Olivia gets a call about Bob's case.

We get a better look at the body as Walter pokes at it: the back of his neck has been flayed open and his spine severed.  Walter declares that the wound was made with teeth, not a knife: either canine, ursine (bear) or human.  And it looks as though some blood has been drunk.  Peter starts to roll his eyes about vampires until his father interrupts, saying sadly, there are no vampires but he's sure this will turn out to be something else just as exciting!

Olivia tells Broyles that they have confirmed that the toothmarks are definitely human and Broyles is like, you know, it used to be that human was the only option ... I miss those days.  The police are searching for Bob's car and Walter is back at the lab, autopsying Bob's body and the mutilated victim from the t.v. news.

It turns out that both victims' spinal columns have been completely drained of spinal fluid.  And there are traces of an extinct strain of syphilis in the wounds, transmitted via the killer's saliva.  Olivia checks with the CDC and learns that a local research company ordered a sample of that syphilis four weeks ago.  What's weird is that the research company's address is in a residential area of Brighton.  So the CDC pulled their file and discovered that the company has requested quite a number of different contagion samples recently, including RUD390, which was an integral component to that fast-growing skin thing that ZFT released on the world several episodes ago.  The Fringe team decides to go check out that Brighton address.

First they find a bunch of dogs in cages - one with those bright blue eyes - and in the back they find Dr. Boone, wheelchair-bound, in the process of doing something nasty to another poor dog.  They arrest him and haul him off to FBI HQ.  There, Olivia shows Boone the photographs of the victims and asks, "What is out there? What is doing that to these people?"  They also tell him that they want to know everything he knows about ZFT.  He is surprised that they even know about that organization.  Boone tells them that "someone" was dosed, and then says that he knows a lot about what they want to know but first he wants them to help him: ZFT has his wife and he's being coerced into performing experiments.  He'll tell them everything he knows but first they have to get his wife back.

Broyles and Charlie think Boone is full of shit but Olivia believes him.  She notes that since she's been working in Fringe Division, 81 people have died, not including the 100+ folks on the plane in the first episode; in all her prior cases, only nine people died - this Fringe business is dangerous and people are dying.  She says that Boone is their first real lead to ZFT and she doesn't want to blow it.  A lackey interrupts to say that the address Boone gave them is a Chinatown restaurant ... which is using 5x the utilities a Chinatown restaurant should.  There could be a lab in the basement!  Olivia pulls her team together.

Meanwhile, Peter and Walter get to poke around in Boone's lab.  Walter has a hypothesis as to what Boone was doing.

The heavily armed FBI squad descends upon the Chinatown restaurant.  There's a lab in the basement!  But no wife.  Olivia gets on the phone with Boone who directs her to a refrigerator in the back: it contains a sample of XP43 which is the contagion with which the killer has been infected.  He needs that XP43 sample to make an antidote - because it's his wife who got dosed and is out there killing.  That was ZFT's punishment for Boone's trying to leave them.

That night, Mrs. Boone ("Valerie") picks up another guy at the same club.  Her eyes are not electric blue yet.  They start making out in his car and Valerie cries.  "What's wrong?" asks the guy.  She tells him that she's sorry, then her fangs pop out and she latches onto his neck.

The cops find the guy's body in his car in Roxbury.  Olivia goes back to talk to Boone.  She shows him a videotape that Peter found in Boone's lab: the video was taken three weeks ago and Boone was walking.  He tells her that what Valerie is feeding on is spinal fluid - he'd given her as much of his as he could without stroking out, but the contagion burns through her own spinal fluid and she just needs to consume more and more.  The extinct syphilis she's got is the carrier for the other "attributes" that changed her.  Boone again promises to tell them all about ZFT if they'll let him make a vaccine for Valerie.

They take Boone to Walter's lab - where Peter protests that one mad scientist is his limit.  Walter and Boone decide to make a super-penicillin to combat the super-syphilis.  Charlie has meanwhile found Bob's missing car but it's been stripped, including the GPS and there's no way to know where Valerie left it.  Peter, not surprisingly, knows a guy who tends to get involved in every stripped car in the Boston area.  He takes Olivia to see the guy and the guy tells them where he found Bob's car.

Walter and Boone bond as they work at the lab, Boone having heard all about Walter.  Boone also eyes the video camera sitting there on the table.

Olivia and Peter go out to Weymouth and find where Bob's car was found.  But why did Valerie come out here?  Peter figures it out when he finds yet another body with a flayed neck.  They bring that body, plus the Roxbury one, back to Walter's lab.  Astrid notes that one of the new bodies reeks of alcohol and then has the idea to check the bodies' hands for those fluorescent club stamps.  Bingo!  All of them have a stamp from the same underground club.  Boone begs Olivia to take Valerie alive: I just need more time - I know I can save her.

Olivia and Peter head off to the club.  Peter brings along a handheld heat-imaging gizmo, checking the female clubgoers' heat signatures since the syphilis makes Valerie run extra-hot.  One girl looks him up and down and tells him that she's sure she's hot enough for him.  He smiles and says he's looking for someone with syphilis.  Heh.  They're having trouble spotting Valerie in the crush of people but Olivia finally spots her as she heads for the exit with her freakishly blue eyes.  Charlie and some other FBI agents tranq her as she walks out of the club.

Walter and Boone are having trouble with their vaccine and Boone says they need to use more of his spinal fluid (for some weird science-y reason).  Astrid's like, no way, it could kill him!   But Walter says to prep the table.  Boone thanks him.  But some time later, after Walter has withdrawn the spinal fluid, Boone has a stroke.  It's going to be hard for him to tell them about ZFT now, isn't it?

Olivia and Peter drive back to the lab with Valerie in the backseat.  They assume that she'll be "out for hours" but as they banter, Valerie wakes up.  She goes after Olivia, trying to gnaw at her neck, and things get tense for a moment until Peter tranqs her again, several times for good measure.  They get her to the lab and shoot her up with the vaccine.  Boone whispers, "Thank you."  Valerie starts to shriek and convulse but the vaccine works.  Boone, however, is dead.  Olivia's expression is eloquent: devastated and frustrated and bereft of hope.

As the bodies are carted out, Walter hands Olivia a videotape that Boone made before he died.  On the tape, he tells her that he's got some names of ZFT people, including some he suspects she's already heard.   Cut to Olivia finding Broyles at a swanky restaurant.  She tells him that according to Boone, the man who is funding ZFT is William Bell.  Cue ominous music!

Previously on Fringe / next time on Fringe

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