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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fringe Recap - Pilot Episode (101) ... (Part 3)

Just in case you missed the title this is Part 3 of the Pilot episode recap.  You might want to check out parts 1 and 2 first.

Fringe ... Season 1, Episode 1
'Pilot'

Olivia apparently recovers from her brush with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and dip in the salt water spa-o-visions because now she is front of a computer terminal in the FBI office.  She is using a program to create a rendering of the man she saw while she was interacting with John's memories.  Charlie wants to know how she even knows about this guy and Olivia reminds Charlie that she told him not to ask her that. 

She is satisfied with the image on the screen and someone in the office goes to run it through the records databases to see if they can get any more information about him.  Charlie is concerned about Olivia's well being as it appears that she has not slept, he minces no words and informs her that she looks like crap.
A photograph is brought over to where Olivia and Charlie are sitting and it is the man that Olivia saw when she was in the dream state.  It is confirmed that his name is Morgan Steig and he was a passenger on the ill-fated Hamburg 627 flight.  While Charlie and Olivia ponder how it was impossible for him to have been at the storage area since he was killed on the plane another piece of information comes through to show that the man on the plane had an emergency contact and the emergency contact is none other than his identical twin brother, Richard Steig.  Ahh, so the old identical twin ploy, that explains how Van/Dead man actually could've appeared to be at the storage area.

Lo and behold, that pesky old William Bell's name comes up again because it turns out the Richard Steig was last employed by Bell's company, Massive Dynamic.

Olivia heads to Massive Dynamic, which is located in New York.  While the scene shows the inside of Massive Dynamic and Olivia being escorted down the spacious hallways of the interior via a voice over we hear Olivia speaking to Nina Sharp (played by Blair Brown).  Olivia mentions that she had wanted to meet with William Bell and Nina advises her that she is the Executive Director and pretty much makes it sound like Olivia should hurry the hell up with whatever she wants because Nina says she only has a few minutes.

The inside of Massive Dynamic is very white, except that the walls have words scrolling across them.  It looks like maybe the stock market numbers are being run across one of the walls.  (I'm not sure if that's what that was or not though.)

Olivia tersely explains to Nina why she is there and that she believes that Richard Steig used technology from Massive Dynamic to manufacture the toxin that was responsible for killing the people on the Hamburg 627 flight.  She tells Nina that the way the toxin got on board was through Richard's twin's insulin pen.

Nina decides to be cooperative and sends someone off to gather information on the former employee so Olivia can have it.  Nina says that Steig was dismissed a while ago after having been caught trying to take classified information.  He worked in the Weapons Systems Research lab.  Nina tells Olivia that Massive Dynamic followed their proper protocols when they terminated Steig and threatens to get their attorneys involved if Massive Dynamic's name gets associated with any of the recent hanky panky.

Nina gives some back story on her relationship with William Bell, as she talks she walks around to the front of her desk.  She reaches up to around elbow level on her right arm and without any warning peels her forearm skin off, revealing a robotic arm.  (Think of the Ter-mah-nay-tor but without the accent, muscles, and blood.)  Olivia cringes slightly and Nina tells her how Massive Dynamic helped cure her bout with cancer, and William Bell was who designed the robotic arm after she had to have hers amputated.

Then Nina begins to talk about something called The Pattern.  Olivia does not know what she is talking about.  After a bit of a holier-than-thou remark about having more clearance than Olivia, Nina talks cryptically about science and technology having reached a point where we can no longer control it.  With that she bids Olivia Adieu with a "Be careful and good luck."

Olivia calls Walter's lab while she is driving back from Logan airport, interrupting a Chinese food noshing, Sponge Bob watching Walter, Astrid, Peter, and Gene.  Yep, Gene was watching too.  Or maybe just trying to get some Chinese food.  Peter says it all when he answers the phone with "Crazy house."

Olivia lets him know that they think they've found the suspect and she is coming to get him and Walter.

Next we see a snowy city block/alleyway of South Boston.  The Feds are gathered around the corner of a building and then enter and make their way up to Steig's apartment.  The apartment itself is empty but Olivia finds a floor doorway hatch that leads down into a dark room that has screeching and trilling animals in cages. 

Peter and Walter are in the backseat of a car as they wait outside for the agents to finish doing their thing.  They have a conversation regarding Walter wanting to check Peter's blood pressure.  After Peter refuses his father's unwanted health commentary, Walter becomes pensive for a moment and asks that Peter not send him back to St. Claire's when their work here is done.  He tries to make Peter understand that being there for so long was punishment enough for any wrongdoing in Walter's past.

Before Peter responds Richard Steig comes bolting out of a side door of his building, which happens to be right in Peter's line of vision.  Peter hops out of the car, yelling to Walter to stay put and alerts the agents that Steig is in the alley as he runs after him.  Steig runs through the alley and across a street and into another building.  By this time Olivia is close behind him.  He crashes through someone's apartment and out of a side door onto a rooftop. Olivia chases him across the rooftop until he gets to the end and takes a mighty leap from the roof to a metal stairway on the other side of the alley.  He makes it and Olivia takes the plunge after him, bouncing off the other building a little as she lands on the stairway platform. 

He had a bit of a head start but she hurls herself over the railing towards the cement below in an attempt to gain some ground.  She lands on a dumpster and rolls off of that to the ground.   As she picks herself up and is about to dash after Steig again, Peter catapults himself out of another alleyway adjacent to where they were.  He tackles Steig and punches the shit out of him a few times, until Olivia appears over his shoulder with her weapon cocked, informing Steig "We've got some questions for you."

Then Peter and Walter are sitting in a room watching Olivia interrogate Steig on three flat panel television screens.  Well, Peter is watching the interrogation and Walter is playing with some type of machine against the wall.  Until he stops for a moment and rubs his hand as it shakes.  We often see him do this, but I have never heard an explanation for it.  It seems that when he gets nervous or upset it is more prominent.

Olivia tries to get the names of the chemicals that were in the compound from Steig and even says that after he cooperates they can talk about cutting some type of deal.  Steig however, clams up and a frustrated Olivia leaves him alone in the room.

Peter observes Steig on the television screen and you can almost see when he sheds his 'I'm just sitting here drinkin' my coffee, watchin' my crazy father tinker with equipment he shouldn't' persona and slips on his cloak o'badassedness. 

He grabs his coffee cup, orders Walter to stay there and then lets himself into the interrogation room, marked FBI Personnel Only.

Peter cuts right to the chase with Steig and tells him that although they don't know what the toxin is that's causing the problem, they do know enough about it that it could easily be slipped to Steig himself and the powers that be would be none the wiser.  But, as Peter goes on to explain, that kind of thing takes time, and time they just ain't got.  Peter persuades Steig to give him the information he wants by smashing his fingers between his coffee cup and the table.  Steig yells and Olivia comes jolting through the door telling Peter he can't do that.  Peter replies "No, you can't do that."  A little more heavy handed persuasion on Peter's part gets the info out of Steig and into Walter's hands.

Then Walter, Peter, Olivia, and Astrid are back at the basement lab talking about what they found out and how to safely get it into John's bloodstream.  The camera circles them again while they are brainstorming and with the fast paced ideas being thrown out it adds to the general urgentness of the matter.  They settle on adding the anecdote to back-up blood John had stored in case of future emergencies (and I'd say this qualifies) and intravenously transfusing it to him.  We see John lying there with his chest rising up and down and it looks like someone took a potato peeler to him.  His top layer is red and raw.  It looks raw, but I think that it's more that it's translucent.

They begin preparations to begin transfusing the anecdote to John.  At one point a cat walks by the lab window and meows.  Probably not important, but I do wonder if it was put in the scene on purpose and if so what was the purpose. 

While Walter, Peter, and Astrid are working downstairs in the lab, Olivia meets up with Broyles.  They sit down and begin to talk.  Broyles tells Olivia that she did a good job with this. He then goes on to give her a laundry list of other bizzaro incidents like the Hamburg flight.  He wants Olivia to join his team, although he doesn't give her details about who exactly his "team" is.  Olivia tells him to stop talking, gets up and starts walking away.  Broyles is hot on her heels telling her that these events are being referred to as "The Pattern" (so up yours Nina Sharp because Broyles told Olivia anyway neener, neener) and that if Olivia comes to work for him he can provide anyone or anything she needs.  Olivia sticks to her guns and walks away from Broyles.  (She does that a lot, huh?)

In the lab the transfusion is taking place and all is calm and serene as Peter and Walter watch the process.  Then John opens his mouth and takes a deep gasping breath.  Peter runs and yells to Olivia that John is awake and she rushes down to stand by his side.  His first words to Olivia are:  "I had a dream about you."

Olivia is happy that he is awake and responsive.  She glances at Walter who actually looks rather sad, and I wonder if it because now that John is on the road to recovery Walter is thinking of going back to Saint Claire's.

John has now been transported back to the hospital and a doctor tells Olivia that he is recovering nicely and will probably be in the hospital for another week.  On her way to see John, Olivia takes a detour to Steig's hospital room.  I have tried to figure out why Steig was even in the hospital, but I can't.  Peter did pound him good, but I wouldn't have thought it was enough to warrant a hospital stay, but what do I know?

Olivia tries to get more info out of Steig such as who he planned to sell his concoction to.  Steig "swears to God" that he isn't lying about what he's told her.  Well you know, until he said that I thought he was kinda slimy and all, killing his brother and a whole plane full of people, but swearing to God, that makes all the difference in the world, I'd buy ocean front property from him at this point.  (Pure sarcasm people, trying to point out it was funny that he thought that by saying he swore to God that Olivia should just believe him.  It's bad when you have to explain your own attempt at wittiness. *sigh*)

He tells Olivia that it was actually someone in her office that was threatening him.  He sends Olivia to dig up a recording that he hid that has proof of this on it.  Olivia finds it and listens to the recording.  It turns out that the person who was threatening Steig was John.  That was the conversation he was having when he arrived at the disaster site wwaaaaayyyyy back in the beginning.

Now we are seeing John's hospital room again.  He looks much better now, close to normal.  He rips off his heart monitor and leverages himself off the bed.  Then he is fully dressed and identifying himself to another man to gain access to another area of the hospital.  Okay, now my question here is ... when he ripped his monitors off wouldn't that cause a holy-hell stampede of nurses and doctors to come running thinking that he flat lined?  Just sayin'.

John goes into Steig's room and promptly suffocates him with his pillow.  I'm pretty sure the whole finding out John was in on it was a big OMG moment for me the first time around.  It's still a great twist but after the 87th time it doesn't pack quite the same punch.

Olivia is in her car on the way to the hospital and Charlie goes to check on Steig, finding him deader than a doornail.  Olivia arrives at the hospital just in time to see John backing out of a parking space, they make eye contact and then he squeals away.  Okay, I still haven't decided if she knew it was him running away at this point.  I know she knew he was in on it.  I thought "they" made eye contact, but maybe John just looked at her. But, she had to have seen him.  Right ... right? The only reason I question it is because she never says his name when she calls for backup, just that she is in pursuit of a blue SUV.  Ow.  My brain hurts.  I think I just got a Fringe freeze.

There is an action packed car chase with lots of 180 degree turns, screeching tires, weaving in and out of other traffic and driving on parts of the road/tunnel/thingy whatever they were in that was never meant to be driven on.  Olivia manages to pull up even with John's SUV and they DEFINITELY see each other this time, after a moment of this, John swerves his SUV into the side of Olivia's car.

Oh quick foray into obsessiveness land (like we're not there already, who am I kiddin'?) - I thought that maybe the traffic lights during the car chase scene may've been another instance of the green, green, green, red pattern, but I think I am trying to make something out of nothing.

He continues to ram his vehicle into Olivia's until Olivia looks ahead and sees trouble, she slams on her brakes and her car spins out into a 360.  John keeps going and his car is launched into the air when he zips over some type of ramp.  His SUV spirals its way through some scaffolding, there's glass shattering and water barrels exploding all over the place.  Finally the SUV comes to a rest on it's roof, with its body thoroughly smashed up.

Olivia runs over as John is crawling from the wreckage.  He's got blood on his forehead and coming out of his nose.  With his last breaths he tells Olivia to ask herself why Broyles sent her to the storage shed.  Before she can get anything else out of him, he dies.

Then there is some great emotional shots of Olivia sitting in the back of an ambulance, fighting with her feelings.  The confusion and despair radiates off her.  And Jesus, who can blame her?  She goes from being in love with her partner, to witnessing him dying slowly in front of her own eyes, to moving heaven and hell to save him, to finding out that he was playing dirty the whole time, and then still having him die in her arms.  Whew, that could be a good country song. 

Next Charlie and Olivia are riding in a car and Charlie tells Olivia he is sorry about John.  He goes on to say he doesn't know how they can be expected to do their job when they do not even get to have all the details about what they are up against.  Olivia, who is quiet during his speech, pipes up and tells him to take her to the lab.

Olivia meets up with Peter outside of the lab.  She is flustered and talking like she had a bit too much coffee.  She tries to convince him not to put Walter back in Saint Claire's because Walter needs to stay.  She says she knows Peter wants to leave Boston but he's good with Walter.  Peter questions her a couple times as to where John is and what is wrong with her, but she side steps his questions.

The camera circles around the actors again. I'm going to have to look up the technical name for that someday.  I really like the effect that it has on the scene.

Peter tells Olivia that after a conversation he had with Walter last night that the event they just went through is only the tip of the iceberg.  Walter calls out to Peter to ask him if they are leaving.  Peter and Olivia just exchange looks and Olivia has the hint of a smile.

Then the scene changes to a man wheeling a gurney down a white hallway.  He stops and a woman dressed in black walks over to him.  We see that it is Nina Sharp.  She uncovers the top portion of the person who is on the gurney and it is John Scott.  She asks the man how long he's been dead.  After he tells her it's been 5 hours, Nina covers John back up and tells the attendant to question him.  He pushes the gurney through a doorway a door slides shut behind him.  Boom.  Black Screen.  Fringe ending music.

And that is what I have come to affectionately refer to as the WTF Fringe ending because almost every episode has one.  Those last few minutes where some bit of information is dropped that leaves me mumbling and scratching my head until "Bad Whoa-Bot" pulls me out of my musings and reminds me I have to wait a whole week for more Fringe.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

Still want more?  Check out my recap poem for this episode.  It's funny!  Also see my Best Of and Favorite Moments  of the Pilot episode.

The recap for Fringe: Season 1 Episode 2 "The Same Old Story" is now available.

2 comments:

starg8fans said...

I just read all three parts, and I loved every minute of it. It's funny, really, I have watched that episode so many times, but some things only fell into place as I was reading your take on it.

So, great recap. I especially liked how your described the BAMF vibe on Peter, as well as his 'gentlemanly' way of treating the scantily dressed Olivia. And I was thinking exactly the same thing as John was pulling off the heart monitor electrodes - wouldn't that trigger an alarm or four somewhere?

The main reason why I wanted to revisit the Pilot, however, was something in the promo for the next episode. Peter and Olivia seem to end up at just the storage facility we saw in the Pilot. Of course, those things look pretty similar, but I was wondering if it was some kind of fallback to the Pilot, because the psychic-of-the-week (really, there are an awful lot of them this season) says something like 'this time they're meaning to kill her'. After reading your recap, I'm also wondering if we'll finally get an answer to why John told Olivia to ask Broyles why he sent them to the storage facility. Although I guess that's a little too much to ask, even for Fringe.

Thought Provoking Shirts said...

Hi again. Thanks for the comment. Your comments make me wish I would've recapped more episodes.

You bring up a very good point about the warehouse scene this coming week. I did have a vague feeling that it seemed familiar so it will be interesting to find out if there really is a connection or just our brains trying to make one.

At first when I saw that the case of the week had to do with someone hearing voices and seeing murders I thought of The Ghost Network, but this one has to have a bit of a different twist. The one this season of the girl who drew the impending doom pictures (Forced Perspective) reminded me of TGN as well.

I'm sure one day we will get the answer of why John told Olivia to ask Broyles that. Fringe is pretty good about answering it's own questions. It may take awhile but usually it comes full circle at some point.