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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fringe - Season 4, Episode 3 - Alone in the World Recap

Episode 4x03 starts with Walter having a meeting with his psychiatrist.  The doctor wants to know if Walter has been taking the new meds that he has prescribed to Walter.  Walter says he has mostly, and with his own tweaks.

Walter says he is a bit distracted because there is an important project he is working on.  The doctor mentions that almost every surface in the lab that could possibly reflect something has been covered up. 

He is also aware that Walter claims to have seen a man in the lab sometimes, even though he is the only one who has seen him.  This man also supposedly speaks to Walter sometimes.

Walter explains that him covering everything up was an experiment he was working on and the mysterious man is only a result of him dabbling with his own medication.

The doctor wants to know if Walter has been hallucination free for the past few weeks.  Before he answers, the doctor shifts his clipboard a bit and there is a distorted Peter looking out from it.  Walter sees him, but glances away and tells the doctor there's been no more hallucinations. 

Now, a young boy is running down a road that is flanked by trees on either side.  There are two other boys chasing him, yelling varieties of "We're gonna get you."

The boy dashes into an underground concrete tunnel and the other two kids follow him inside.  One of them starts to advance on him and threaten him for  getting him "busted for the stash in my locker."

When he pulls back his fist in order to punch the first boy, the other heckler starts complaining and freaking out about something touching his leg. 

Soon Mr. Imma-Punch-You-Now is also being overtaken by something.  The boy being bullied sees his opportunity and scoots on out the door.

At a desk at the FBI Headquarters Olivia is sketching out a picture while facial shots of men zip by on her computer screen.  Lincoln comes up and she folds up her paper and switches her screen back to the FBI login screen.

When Lincoln questions if she is working on a case, she says "Something like that."

Olivia had asked that Lincoln come by because she wanted to make sure he was handling all his newfound knowledge okay.  She lets him know if he needs to talk she is there for him.

It was a sweet, awkward moment, which I hate to even say because Olivia and Peter belong together.  But I like this Lincoln too and I want to ship him with someone. 

He says that he's handling everything fine.  But if he does freak out she'll be the first to know.

Olivia gets a call and she and Lincoln meet up with Broyles at Hyde Park. They have the bodies of two 12 year old boys, and although they've only been missing for 10 to 12 hours their rate of decomposition looks like they've been exposed to the elements for months.

Walter is in fine form at his lab giving Astrid an earful when she tries to get an update from him to give to Broyles. He spins off a variety of theories ranging from flesh eating bacteria to Bigfoot.  He won't let Astrid get a word in edgewise and she finally covers the mouthpiece to her phone headset and relays to Broyles that Walter doesn't have anything yet.

Inside the tunnel Lincoln determines that there is a third set of footprints and the person they belong to is unaccounted for.

At the lab Walter unzips a body bag containing one of the deceased boys.  The smell coming from the bag is so strong that Astrid goes to get some scented candles to combat the stench. 

Broyles has a chat with Walter because his psychiatrist was a little concerned after the evaluation he had with him yesterday.  Walter tries to feign confusion over why the doctor thought he was agitated over something.

He quickly changes the subject and asks Broyles where the second body is.  Broyles lets him know it is back at the morgue because he thought one of the bodies would be enough.

Walter starts to explain just why one body isn't enough when Peter's voice echoes "Walter."  Walter looks off to the side and says "What?"

Broyles watches him as Walter continues on his explanation, growing more frantic as he keeps hearing Peter's voice calling his name and asking for help.  He puts his hands over his ears and tries to over talk the voice he is hearing. 

Broyles is growing concerned watching this scenario play out, until finally Walter says "I am not losing my mind!" 

This comment is met with stunned silence by both Broyles and Astrid as Walter tries to pull himself together.  He asks that the second body be delivered to the lab ASAP and then he shuffles away.

Olivia calls Broyles to tell him there were rumors at the deceased boys school that they were going to beat someone up. 

The boy that was being bullied sits at a table, drawing.  He glances up as Olivia and Lincoln walk over to him.

They bring the boy back to the lab.  He is ten year old Aaron Sneddon.  Once he was chased into the tunnel by the other boys he was unable to see much because of the darkness.

Aaron's mother is often out of the country because of work and there is no father figure in his life.  When his mother is away he stays with one of the neighbors.

Broyles tells Olivia that she and Lincoln need to go get the second body from the morgue so Walter can examine that one. 

Olivia sits beside the boy, who is drawing again.  She tells him that she also likes to draw.  Olivia tells him that Dr. Bishop is going to examine him.  Aaron is not very happy about this, he says he doesn't like doctors. 

Right after reassuring Aaron that there is nothing scary about Walter, Walter comes to the boy in a smock spattered with blood and god only knows what else and black gloves reaching nearly to his elbows, looking every bit a mad scientist.

The poor boy is perched atop one of Walter's lab tables and is plainly terrified at the prospect of getting a shot.  Walter gently explains that he's actually drawing blood and it will only be this one time.  The kid makes it through and Walter deposits the vial of blood into the centrifuge.

Aaron explores the area of the lab that he's in and finds a small toy figurine.  He picks it up to look at it closer and Walter hops off his chair, scaring the child and taking it from him, asking that he not touch it.

Seeing the boy's stricken expression, Walter softens a bit and explains that the toy belonged to his son.  He says that his son died.

Astrid calls Walter over to the remains of the body and demonstrates how when she brings a lit candle close to the body, it goes out.  The body is emitting high levels of oxygen.

Walter observes that there is more mold on the body than there originally was.  He takes a closer look and then has Astrid bring the incubation case over.  They quickly toss the corpse in and seal it.  About two seconds later the corpse makes a poofing sound and spores are blown all over the inside of the container.

As soon as Walter says he thinks that it was possibly some aggressive fungi that took the boys lives, Astrid calls Olivia to advise her of what was about to happen with the second body they were getting ready to retrieve from the morgue.

Olivia hangs up with Astrid and hurries off to get the morgue evacuated and contain the body.  Astrid calls the morgue but it is several rings before anyone answers.  The body on the table makes a weird noise, as though something is trying to burrow it's way out from the inside.

Just as Olivia and Lincoln arrive at the doors to the morgue, the corpse explodes, releasing spores and coating every surface of the inside of the autopsy room.

Decked out in Hazmat suits Broyles, Olivia and Lincoln enter the autopsy room and start looking around.  Walter tells them via phone that these fungi actually have a toxin that paralyzes the being it comes in contact with.

Walter tells the team that as long as they don't touch the fungi, then they should be okay. 

Walter tells Broyles that the best way to get rid of this fungus would be to use ultraviolet light or intense heat.  Broyles puts out a call for UV lamps to be brought in.

He tells Olivia that she and Lincoln need to go to the tunnel to work on that infestation.  Olivia lets him know that she thinks that the specimen in the tunnel is probably way bigger than what they are dealing with in the morgue.  She suggests they use flamethrowers.  Pretty bad ass, Olivia.  I likey.

Walter lets the boy know that his lab work came back okay and that Astrid can take him home.  Aaron is not happy about going home, as there is no one there and the neighbor that he stays with doesn't talk to him.

Walter sympathizes and explains that he has no family and the lab is the only home he knows.  (How sad, C'mere Walter, let me give you a hug.)

He offers to let Aaron stay there longer with him.  He says he won't have time to entertain him or anything like that, but he is welcome to stay.

Next, Walter is mixing what looks like strawberry milkshakes and wearing tin foil hats with the boy.  Aaron asks him how his son died.  Walter explains that Peter was very sick and although he tried for a long time to find a cure, by the time he did he was unable to save Peter and he died.

Then Walter tells him about finding there was an alternate universe where there was another version of Peter, dying from the same thing. 

Walter says he crossed over to the other side to get Peter so he could bring him over here and heal him.  Upon crossing back over, the lake was unstable and the Other Peter wound up drowning. 

In what may've been one of the greatest moments of this episode, Aaron says to Walter " don't think you belong in a mental institution?" right after his story.

Walter just looks back at him and sips his milkshake.

Lincoln, Olivia and the crew enter the tunnel, no hazmat suits, no protective gear, what's up with that?  Olivia sees the drawings on the wall that are similar to what Aaron was drawing on paper. The flood lights are brought into the tunnel and flipped on.

Back in the lab Aaron starts to groan in discomfort, passing his hand over his eyes.  Yelling that it's too bright. 

When the spotlights start to explode in the tunnel Olivia says, "Burn it, burn it all."

Astrid and Walter lean over Aaron, who is now on the floor of the lab.  Astrid remarks that he's burning up with fever.  Walter starts to recount the events of the last couple minutes, ticking off the boy's symptoms, "He was complaining about something being too bright and then he got scared and then he started burning ..." 

Walter's scientific mind makes the connection and he moves probably the fastest I've ever seen him move before as he jumps up and leaps over the boy, running to the phone.

In the tunnel, the fungi is being attacked by the flamethrowers.  Olivia's phone rings and it's Walter on the other end, telling her they need to stop because they are killing Aaron.

At the lab, Walter and Astrid have immersed Aaron in an ice bath and his temperature is coming down a little.  After making a statement about not wanting Aaron to turn into a popsicle, Walter inquiringly says, "Astrid?"  Astrid, god love her, doesn't miss a beat and says "We'll get you one later Walter."

Olivia and Lincoln make a conference call to the lab, trying to make sure that there truly was a connection between the fungus being burned and Aaron's declining health.  Both Olivia and Lincoln have clunky looking one-eared headphones, nothing like the nifty ear cuffs the Other Side has.  They even seemed out of place on This Side, more like what a call center operator would wear than an agent out in the field.  (Just a random observation on my part.)

Walter isn't sure of all the whys and hows of it, but he is convinced that somehow the boy is connected in some way with the fungus so he feels whatever it is feeling.

Olivia tells him about the drawings she saw on the inside of the tunnel.  Aaron is now resting in Walter's bed and Walter sits with him and asks him about the drawings.  I think the actor who played Aaron did a really good job with his role. 

Aaron says he would go to the tunnel sometimes, use it as a place to just get away from it all.  Then, over time it started to seem like the tunnel was it's own entity and he had made a friend.  The feeling in the tunnel was a feeling of protection.  Aaron tearfully confesses that he felt the tunnel actually encouraged him to bring the bullies back there.  Walter comforts him, calling him son and telling him that he didn't do anything wrong.

Olivia and Lincoln come back to the lab where Walter explains he thinks the fungus is (this is the short version) a brain that has formed a psychic bond with Aaron.

I love how Walter gets excited when he's explaining something, even when it's disgusting or one step away from destroying the universes. 

Walter has also christened his new discovery "Gus" after having decided since it was one entity it deserved an actual name. I didn't get it until just now (Duh.) that Gus was probably a derivative of fun'gus'. 

The reason that some of the areas of fungi were able to be destroyed without hurting Aaron, like in the morgue, was because that section hadn't made it's connection with the main network of Gus. 

As Gus continues to evolve and become more intelligent, it realizes that it is "alone in the world."  This is what caused him/it/whatever to bond with Aaron, because Aaron too feels that he has nothing and no one.  Until Walter can break the connection between Aaron and Gus, anything done to Gus will impact Aaron in some way.

Broyles calls Olivia to tell her a homeless man six miles away from the tunnel has now fallen victim to Gus.  Gus got to him through the sewer system.

Since Olivia took the call on speakerphone, Walter jumps in and desperately tries to explain to Broyles that he has to wait until he can break the bond between the boy and Gus before destroying the fungus.  Finally, Walter emphatically shouts, "He'll die!  Do you hear me?  You're going to kill Peter!"   Olivia steps up and quietly corrects Walter that he meant Aaron.

This timeline's Olivia seems so much more comforting with Walter. 

Broyles gives Walter two hours to solve the problem.  Walter tells Astrid they are going to chart Aaron's brain waves.

As the homeless man is being zipped into a body bag, Broyles tells Olivia that when they do take this thing on, flamethrowers won't be enough.

Olivia and Lincoln meet back up with Broyles who informs them that at least a dozen buildings have been evacuated because the fungus is threatening them.

Broyles explains that Olivia, Lincoln and a tech from Massive Dynamic will be administering a toxin to 'Gus' to kill him. 

Olivia calls Walter to see if he's made any headway.  Walter has figured out that the link between Aaron and Gus is housed in the pre-frontal lobe of Aaron's brain.  So far though, Walter has been unable to figure out how to destroy the connection.  He's begun to think that his only choice will be to remove that part of Aaron's brain.  Olivia tells Walter that he needs to find another way while she tries to get more time out of Broyles.

Broyles gives Olivia the bad news that he fungus has spread to a subway platform and they have to act now.  He says, "We can't sacrifice countless other lives to save one boy."

Olivia makes the call to Walter to let him know they are out of time.  Walter goes into his office, to try to think of a solution. 

Olivia, Lincoln and the MD tech are in the tunnel using night vision to see what they are doing.  The tech prepares the toxin and injects it into Gus.

Aaron sits up in bed crying out "No."  Gus retaliates and wraps itself around the technician.  Astrid informs Walter that Aaron's blood pressure is dropping.  Walter is at a loss for what to do, but then he gets an idea.

In the tunnel Olivia reports back to Broyles that the technician has gone to the great Massive Dynamic in the sky.  He tells her and Lincoln they need to fall back, but before they can the fungus has gotten hold of Lincoln and he is unable to move.

Walter changes his theory about Gus, saying that's it's Aaron who is attached to Gus, not the other way around.  He also tells Astrid that Aaron is connected to Gus with the emotional part of his brain as well.

Walter gives Aaron some epinephrine and starts trying to convince him to let go of his tie to the fungus.  Aaron doesn't want to because he feels like the fungus is a friend and it's the only thing that cares about him.  Walter tells him he cares, that he matters to him, and "I don't want to lose you.  I don't want to lose you, not again."  Astrid glances over curiously at the pair  at this point.

Walter says he understands how hard it is to make connections and to trust another person but he begs Aaron not to leave him and promises that he too, will not leave Aaron.  After a few moments, as tears streak down her face, Astrid lets Walter know that Aaron's and Gus's brain waves have separated. 

This whole scene was so emotional.  Between the fear of the boy, but eventual resignation and letting go and Walter talking about being lonely to Astrid being upset.  Whew.  You might want to have some tissues handy.

In the tunnel the fungus finally starts dying and it releases Lincoln.  He collapses in Olivia's arms, and wheezingly tells her "I'm a little freaked out.  You wanna talk about it?"

Later Astrid wheels Aaron up to Walter so they can say their Goodbyes.  Walter gives Aaron the toy that belonged to Peter.  He convinces Aaron to take it by telling him that "Toys are meant to be played with."  Plus it turns out that the movie with the talking toys was oddly disturbing to Walter.

As they talk, Walter sees Peter in the reflection of the fire extinguisher's glass case.  He tells Aaron he wishes he could go with him to the hospital but he has things he needs to do.  He assures the boy they will see each other again soon.

While he's alone Walter sets out a stainless steel surgical hammer and long steel piece that looks like a screwdriver without a handle.

He opens a book to a section showing lobotomies.  At this point I'm yelling at the TV, "Don't do it Walter."

Olivia comes into the lab, chatting away to Walter, but it is eerily quiet with no response from him.  She goes into his office to find him with the screwdriver-like tool jammed into his orbital cavity with one hand and the hammer in the other, ready to whack the other piece into place. 

He assures Olivia that he is numb and that he knows what he's doing.  Olivia, though takes the hammer way from him and puts some gauze over his eye while pulling out the metal rod.  (Complete with sound effects too, ugh.)

Walter tells her that he's going insane and has been having hallucinations.  He pleads to not get sent back to St. Claire's.  He explains he's been seeing and hearing a young man for weeks.

Olivia reaches into her pocket and pulls out the picture she was sketching in the beginning of the episode, asking "Does he look like this?"  The picture looks like Peter.

It is the same man that Walter has been seeing and he's relieved now to know that he's not going insane.  Olivia says she's been dreaming about this guy for three weeks now but she doesn't know who he is and neither does any of the agency's facial recognition programs.

Walter declares, "A shared vision like this ... he must be real.  And if he's real, we have to find him."

I literally cheered, whooped and fist-pumped the air when Walter said that.  Yes, yes!!!  Bring Peter home.    I love all of Fringe, but oh how I miss Peter.  Maybe if I say it three times, put on my ruby slippers and click my heels, Peter will come back.  Whatcha think?

This episode was so good.  I am so glad we got some more back story on what happened to this timeline's Peter. 

I like the friendship that is building between Olivia and Lincoln.  I always did like the Lincoln's, over here, over there, I liked them both. 

The questions that this episode has left me with:

Does the rest of the Fringe Team know that Walter had a son that died?

What happened to the Charlie of this timeline?

The observer was spotted walking in front of Harvard University, after Olivia and Lincoln met Aaron Sneddon at school.*

The glyphs spell out R-E-B-O-R-N.*

*Credit for the observer and glyph info goes to, because I am just not good enough to catch that stuff on my own.

The ratings for Alone in the World were up from last week, but down from the Season Premiere.  More ratings details here.

Remember to watch Fringe live Fridays at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Alright everybody:  Peace, Love and Fringe.

Next Fringe recap:  Episode 4x04 - "Subject 9"

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