Coupon Code

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recap: Season 4 Episode 2 - One Night in October

One Night in October opens in the middle of what appears to be a therapy session. A man is looking at a picture of a boy holding up a turtle. It is a picture of him when he was younger. The other man in the room with him asks him questions about the day picture was taken. He says that he thinks he was six and in the summer his family would go camping in the White Mountains. His mom took the picture and was laughing when she did. As the man speaks wisps of his breath become visible, as though it is very cold. He says he misses his mother.
The other man prompts him to tell him what else happened. There is blue liquid traveling through coils of tubing beside him. The shot follows the tubing up, until it shows that it is anchored in the back of the head of the man who is looking at the picture.

He says he and his brothers talked their Mom into keeping it and they named him Fred. The questioner says, 'How did that make you feel?' and the man answers, "Happy" in a voice barely above a whisper. Then some crackling is heard and the tear that was running down his cheek freezes and his eyes look like they freeze over as well. The opening credits roll.

Walter is in the lab talking to Lincoln about the shapeshifters. As he talks he creeps slowly towards a jar full of some kind of green substance. The liquid distorts his face, much the way a fun house mirror would. He drops a cloth over the jar and it's lid.
He is explaining to Lincoln that the shapeshifters (and everything from Over There) are hateful and several other synonyms to describe just how he feels regarding the Other Side. Astrid tries to reason with Dr. Walter Thesaurus and tells him they need to try to set aside their differences and move on.

Walter goes on to say that even he "doesn't have drugs strong enough to forget that they kidnapped Olivia to the Other Side." Walter relays to Lincoln that when the Other Olivia was here she won him over with baked goods while she was double agenting them and trying to find a piece of the machine. He mentions "damn Portuguese sweet bread" as one of the weapons in her arsenal. During this, I wanted him to shout out something about tricking someone with her carnal manipulations and falling right in to her vagenda, but then not knowing why he said that. But, on second thought, that would be all kinds of weird given the circumstances as they are now. So, yeah, scratch that.

Walter says the bridge was created when the Other Side activated the machine in an attempt to destroy this side. While he has been talking he has been covering up some of the items on the shelves and also a computer monitor. He remembers there is a mirror in the back storage cabinet and shouts to Lincoln, 'Kennedy! Come help me.' Lincoln corrects him on his name faux pas but Walter is already out of sight and telling him to hurry. Lincoln obliges and quickens his pace.

Olivia comes into the lab, finding Astrid sitting behind a computer monitor and various things about the lab draped in cloth. Astrid explains that the new decor is Walter's doing. Olivia is surprised that Lincoln made it to the lab before she did. Astrid, with an air of subtly reminds Olivia that Lincoln is new in town, just lost his partner and is probably lonely (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Olivia tells her no, ignoring that Astrid said Lincoln was cute, citing a list of reasons, 'because if I went out with him then I would wind up having second thoughts, like I always do, and he would get hurt, then my workplace would be awkward and he's not even my type.' Astrid says to Olivia that maybe her "type" doesn't exist. Yep. You hit the nail on the head Astrid. The discussion comes to an end as Olivia gets a call and has to leave.

At the Federal Building in Boston, Broyles is giving Olivia background details as she looks at pictures of murder victims, all with holes drilled into the back of their skulls. Broyles says there has been 23 victims in all. Their brains were exposed to electrical charges but what actually caused their deaths was cerebral hypothermia. A chemical caused them to freeze from the inside out.

When Olivia questions why this is the first she has heard of this, Broyles tells her that it is a case from Over There. Olivia opens the file and is greeted with Altlivia's (I guess I'm going to stop calling her Faux, because right now she's not being Faux-y.) picture, as it was her case. The Other Side has asked for help from Our Side's Fringe Division.

Olivia and Broyles go to the bridge room and meet with Altlivia. She tells them they've been chasing this suspect for five years and just recently they were able to ID him by a hair he left behind. His name is John Louis McClennan. He has no previous record and his Show Me was up to date. They waited for him to come home so they could take him into custody, but he never arrived. He has an I.Q. of 220.

Altlivia wants our Fringe team to bring Our Side's McClennan to the Other Side in the hopes that he might be able to look through the Other McClennan's things and provide some information that will help in the apprehension of the criminal version of himself.

Olivia thinks this is a long shot and says "You hope he can." Altlivia retorts, "Well, I lived in your apartment and I picked up a lot of things about you." Olivia and Broyles take a moment out in corridor to talk. Olivia doesn't like this idea at all and she doesn't trust the Alternates either, bringing up the human shapeshifter disc that they have yet to provide any information on. Broyles lets her know that he has not forgotten about that and it is still being researched.

The McClennan on Our Side is a professor who teaches Forensic Psychology at West Connecticut College with his area of study being serial killers. They are going to take him Over There but not tell him where he is being taken.

At West Connecticut College, Olivia talks to Dr. John McClennan. He is willing to help. Olivia explains that since this is highly classified case they cannot give him details on where they are going. She tells him they will be tranquilizing him to make the long journey more comfortable.

Another agent comes in and hands McClennan a vial of amber (does the color have any special meaning, I wonder?) liquid. Dr. McClennan says "Here's to intrigue" and downs it.
The location marker of Norristown, Pennsylvania comes into view as a flash of blue crosses the screen and turns amber. The landscape changes to a slightly duller color. We are now on the Other Side.

AltLincoln walks through a house and their Astrid tells him that they are good to go. He knocks on a door and identifies himself. AltAlivia tells him he can come in. When he opens the door she is putting the finishing touches on the blonde wig she is now wearing. AltLincoln compliments her, telling her that she looks good both as a blonde and a redhead. She has also traded her normal cargo pants and motorcycle jacket combo for Olivia's business blazer and slacks look.

Olivia gives her doppelganger a once-over and tells her, "I button my jacket." Altlivia gives her characteristic smirk but complies and buttons the jacket. AltLiv's wig is a bit more unruly and wavy than Olivia's is too.

It is determined that Olivia will wait outside, in the van with AltLincoln and listen to the audio feed from inside the house. A sleeping McClennan is carried into the house on a stretcher.

Now we are at a gas station, and it should be noted that the price for Regular Unleaded Over There is 99 cents a gallon. The grass may not always be greener on the Other Side, but in this case the gas is certainly cheaper.

A car pulls up to a pump and a woman and her daughter get out. The daughter wants to wash the windows and the Mom is delighted for her assistance. At an outside table, across the parking lot, a man sits sipping his drink and watching the pair thoughtfully. The man is John McClennan.

In the lab Walter is seated in a chair in front of a wall of speakers. His head is thrown back and his eyes are closed as Mozart fills the air. Astrid enters the lab and yells his name, but is unable to get his attention until she removes the arm from the record, halting the music pouring from the speakers. Walter sits up quickly with a loud gasp.

He argues briefly with Astrid about her having cut the music off, but calms down quickly when she starts asking him what's wrong. He explains that he hasn't been sleeping well and Astrid says he's been overdoing it on his medication. Astrid offers to help him sort himself out, but lets him know if there is anything else going on he needs to tell her. Walter stares at her despondently for a moment before chalking it up to just needing rest. He decides to go lay down and makes sure fix a shiny object whose covering has slipped off.

At the killer's house the John from Our Side is assessing objects and their layout to determine information about the killer. Altlivia shows him schematics for something unknown that AltJohn was building.

Olivia and AltLincoln are in the van, listening to what's going on. AltLincoln wants to know if Olivia hates being out in the van. When she wants to know why he said that, he tells her that AltLivia wouldn't like it. At this bit of information, Olivia tells AltLincoln she is fine with staying in the van.

In the house, Our John has found an egg hatcher in a box. He explains that he recognizes what it is because his Dad used to own a farm. He isn't sure what use the killer could possibly have for it. OurJohn looks around some more in the house. By what he sees, he says the killer is unhappy and is trying to make up for a childhood in which he felt deprived. But nothing can make up for that. His refrigerator is empty, save two condiment bottles, and his freezer is stocked full of frozen dinners. OurJohn says that dinner is an important meal for this guy and that he hunts during the day, by blending into his surroundings.

At the gas station TheirJohn is still watching the mother and daughter team. The daughter says she has to go to the bathroom and her Mom let's her go telling her, "Don't touch anything you don't have to." The little girl goes into the bathroom and shuts the door behind her as the killer watches her and then turns his attention back to the mother.

AltLiv and OurJohn continue walking through the house and he sees an armchair that is an exact match to ones that were in the house that he grew up in.
In the van Olivia and AltLincoln exchange a cautious glance.

OurJohn's attention is drawn to a collection of pictures spread along one of the walls in the house. He says the killer doesn't know these people and he displays the pictures out of jealousy. He doesn't like that those people have happy lives. OurJohn says the killer takes his victims when they are happy in an effort to feel better.

At the gas station the little girl opens the door and sees someone standing in front of her. The angle only affords us a glimpse of a shoulder and arm, clad in blue, which matches what McClennan had on. The girl offers up a smile and holds the door open. The person steps forward and she is revealed to be a woman.

The girl walks over to the gas pump her Mom was parked at, but sees no sign of her. She starts to call out for her. On the table, the killer's drink sits, now alone and unattended.

OurJohn looks closely at a picture of a man standing in front of a farm tractor. He turns to AltLivia and asks how it is possible that this picture is in the killer's house? The man in the picture is his father. OurJohn gets angry because he doesn't understand what is going on. He throws open the front door and storms down the porch with AltLivia jogging after him.
He stops in his tracks as OurOlivia and AltLincoln come up to him. He looks back and forth between the Olivias and then glances down the street. A house a few doors down has been completely encased in amber. He asks, "Where the hell am I?"

Altlivia and Lincoln are now standing outside the van while AltLivia fidgets back and forth, chastising herself for not having removed the picture before McClennan saw it. AltLincoln assures her that she did the best that she could. During their conversation it is alluded to that their Charlie married the Bug Lady.

When AltLivia gets impatient and starts walking towards the house, Lincoln grabs her elbow and says, "Give her a minute." AltLivia jerks her arm away from him and then angrily unbutton her jacket, but stays put.

Inside, Olivia is explaining to OurJohn about the parallel universes, saying that some things are the same in both places and some aren't. That different choices made by each side may cause a different outcome.

As a side note there is a large window behind John and we can see AltLincoln and AltLiv standing by the van. They are talking to one another and Lincoln reaches up and strokes or pats her hair. These two need to get together, I think.

John begins talking about his childhood and says that he always knew that there was something wrong with him. He says his Dad was aware of it too and basically tried to beat the problem out of him. He trails off as he is talking about how brutal his father could be.

Olivia quietly shares with him that she was abused by her stepfather. In the meantime, AltLivia has come back into the house and was watching and listening to the exchange between John and Olivia. When Olivia reveals she was also abused the camera is focused on her, but in the background AltLiv looks at Olivia curiously and listens intently.

John says he purposely pursued his career choice because he wanted to understand himself better. He wanted to be able to help other people who also have homicidal feelings. He says he's never acted on his impulses but the urge to do so was there.

He reveals that there was a person who was his saving grace. She showed him that he could find small moments of peace. He says her name was Marjorie and she taught him that when he got the urges, he could just step out of the darkness, into the light. He says had it not been for Marjorie, his life would be like AltJohn's is.

AltLincoln comes in and asks AltLiv to come outside with him. Olivia and John remain seated as John tells Olivia he wishes he could explain to his doppelganger that his life doesn't have to be the way it is. His life path went in a different direction than OurJohn's because he didn't have anyone to teach him differently. Olivia looks sympathetic but tells OurJohn that the Other John can never know that he has a double.

Lincoln had called AltOlivia outside to tell her that about an hour ago at a gas station rest stop a 32 year old woman named Noreen Miller disappeared. Cameras at the rest stop show images of AltJohn sitting at a table and sipping a drink, right before she disappeared.
Olivia comes out and they catch her up on the missing woman. She tells Lincoln and AltLiv that OurJohn thinks that he can help. AltLiv and Lincoln head inside only to discover that he's told the guard he had to go to the bathroom and then escaped out of the window, taking the picture of his Dad with him.

At the Fringe Headquarters AltLiv and Lincoln tell Broyles what happened, each trying to take the burden of responsibility off the other. Broyles says he's "not interested in culpability right now." Olivia mentions that she thinks OurJohn might be trying to stop TheirJohn. Altlivia shoots an annoyed look at Lincoln. I'm guessing she is annoyed that Olivia spoke up and said what she said. As they walk away from each other Olivia gives her alternate her own look of discontent.

TheirAstrid fires tells them that OurJohn would be unfamiliar with this universe and some of the ways that things operate there. This should give them a small advantage when looking for him. Based on the statistics there is a little less than a 50 percent chance that he would attempt to steal someone else's show me. The preliminary calculations show a possible 219 routes he could have taken, but the longer he is not found, the greater the number becomes. During this scene the camera circles the actors while Astrid gives them the information. It gave the scene a feeling of urgency.

Olivia tells AltLivia that she has an idea and AltLivia attempts to shoot her down before she can even get it out. However, Olivia keeps talking and says that they can trace the registration of the plates of the tractor that was in the picture of John's father. She spouts off the plate numbers, so we know that in this timeline Olivia still has super-memory.

In his "workshop" AltJohn has Noreen Miller under light sedation, sitting in a chair. He shaves a large patch of hair off the back of her head and attaches a drill bit to the drill he is holding. He is just about to drill into the back of the woman's head when a door opens behind him. He turns and sees himself walk into the room.

Lincoln tells the other agents that they have traced the plates to a farm that has been unoccupied after it shut down 10 years ago. As they start to leave to head out to the farm, Altlivia tells Olivia to ride with her.

OurJohn tells TheirJohn that he doesn't have to hurt the woman. As TheirJohn walks over to a shelf, OurJohn tells him that he knows he is going for the gun he keeps in the toolbox. OurJohn says he used to be like the OtherJohn. But one night in October he went to a fair. While he was there his father discovered his collection of dead animals and came to get him at the fair. OtherJohn says that is what happened to him, it was the ring toss he was playing. OurJohn agrees. OtherJohn says, "I hid" and OurJohn finishes "behind the wagon wheel."

TheirJohn says that his father found him, took him home and beat him for 3 days straight. OurJohn says he got away and kept running as far as he could. When he woke up he was in a field and Marjorie was there. He says that Marjorie would later teach him self-control over his horrible urges.. TheirJohn doesn't believe that it can be controlled. OurJohn tells him he can help him "step out of the darkness." TheirJohn seems to be coming around, when he suddenly turns and cold cocks OurJohn with a large metal can.

Olivia and Altlivia are driving along a road at night. Altlivia remarks to Olivia that by telling John about her abuse she was trying to get him to open up. Olivia agrees, but then tacks on "It's also true." AltLivia looks a little shocked at this revelation as they come to a stop and she shifts into park. She asks Olivia what happened to her stepfather. As nonchalantly as if she was telling her the time, Olivia says "I killed him" and gets out of the car. Now AltLivia actually for once looks like she doesn't know what to say.

The first thing that happens in the next scene is a drill with blood dripping off the bit is laid down on a table. A switch is flipped and TheirJohn's blue liquid machine comes to life. He is readying things around his workspace. OurJohn is semi-conscious in a chair. TheirJohn parts his own hair to reveal a port embedded in the back of his head. He attaches a cable into it. TheirJohn says to OurJohn "Tell me about your happiest memories. Tell me about Marjorie."

AltOlivia's team goes busting into a dusty, abandoned house with their flashlights cutting through the darkness and their guns drawn. After they check all the rooms it is determined that no one is there.

The team continues searching the outside property and Olivia and AltLincoln come upon an area where they can tell a group of structures used to exist but now are no longer there. They see a set of doors leading to an underground cellar. They open them and go slowly down the steps.

TheirJohn is questioning OurJohn about how Marjorie made him feel and OurJohn replies "Safe." In flashbacks we see a women with bright sunlight behind her as OurJohn says she was kind and gentle. In the flashback a hand reaches out and picks something up off the ground and TheirJohn's hand mimics the gesture. Both of their faces begin to look apprehensive as OurJohn remembers Marjorie finding a box in a barn with something in it. (I can't tell what it is. I'm assuming some kind of dead animal.) OurJohn says "I never understood how someone so beautiful could love something so dark."

OurJohn is starting to freeze from the inside out as he tells TheirJohn that he doesn't have to do it anymore. The flashback shows Marjorie's shadow embracing a small child's shadow.
AltLincoln and Olivia creep into the room and take in the scene before them. They find OurJohn still sitting in the chair, not speaking. Noreen is sprawled on the floor and Lincoln confirms that she is sedated, but her pulse is strong.

Olivia goes to look for the OtherJohn. She finds him in a small room. He says he wanted what OurJohn had and he took Marjorie from him. But, Marjorie is what made OurJohn feel for other living things and now TheirJohn is getting a super-sized dose of attack of the conscience. Through tears he asks, "Marjorie, what have I done?" Then he puts a gun under his chin and pulls the trigger.

A second later Altlivia and Lincoln come in with their guns drawn, but then they see what has happened.

There is a shot of the Over There skyline, with a Zeppelin hovering in the sky, then a flash of blue and all the colors brighten and the sky is empty. Olivia meets up with Broyles outside of John's hospital room. Broyles tells her that his motor skills and cognitive ability seem to be intact, although he is unable to remember the events of the past few weeks.

It appears that along with the most recent weeks, John also has no memories of Marjorie and the doctors think the memory loss is permanent. Since Marjorie may have been the only thing that actually kept John on the up and up Broyles says they will have to keep an eye on him in the future. The story he was given to explain his hospital stay was that he was injured while doing profiling work for the FBI.

Olivia goes in to talk to him and introduces herself, but John doesn't remember her. She asks him if he remembers Marjorie and he says "No, but things are pretty dark right now." Olivia wishes him well and starts to leave the room. She turns back towards John as he says, "You know what they say, that even when it's the darkest, you can step into the light."

As she and Broyles walk through the hospital Olivia wonders aloud how it is that John doesn't remember who Marjorie is but remembers something that she told him. In a wonderful moment for all the Fringe fans that are in the know Broyles replies, "At the risk of sounding sentimental, I've always thought there were people who leave an indelible mark on your soul. An imprint that can never be erased."

In his lab bedroom Walter gets himself into bed and hesitates a moment before pulling the cord to turn the light off. He breathes a small sigh and relaxes a bit when everything is okay. About two seconds later Peter's voice is heard telling Walter over and over again that he's right there and asking if he can hear him. Walter jumps out of bed, stuttering in fear that the voice is just a figment. He drops the needle onto the record on the turntable and music starts blaring, but over the music Peter's voice is still saying the same things.

Walter slumps down in a corner of the room with his hands over his ears, as Peter is saying, "Please, help me."

The glyphs in this episode spell out L-I-M-B-U-S. (note: A limbus is a distinctive contrast, border or variance in a very small area. The corneal limbus (edge) in the eye may be quite different than the primary color of the eye... much as the two McClennan's were nearly identical, but fundamentally opposite.) *

The observer sighting is in the hospital as Olivia and Broyles are walking right after she finishes talking to John in his room.*

** Credit for information on the Observer sighting and the definition of Limbus goes to Fringepedia (One Night in October)

This episode really didn't answer any questions that last week's episode (Neither Here Nor There Recap) brought about  except maybe this one: Is that hangar that Olivia took Lincoln to the "bridge" that Peter linked the two universes with? I am going with Yes on that.

I think the only questions I have about this episode are minor curiosity questions:
Was the liquid that they gave OurJohn to sedate him an amber color on purpose, or was that just a coincidence?

How did they get John over to the Other Side? I'm assuming through the bridge room.
This episode was good. We got some more information on what is the same and different between the old timeline and the new one. I really want to know the story behind Olivia killing her stepfather. Did it happen the same way as in the old timeline, only this time he died?
I hate that Walter is so frightened and thinking that he is going crazy again. I really want Peter to come back and hope it's soon. I forgive Astrid for being short with Walter in the last episode because in this one she was heartwarmingly kind to him. (And I suppose it is annoying to hear someone say the same thing over and over, like you didn't already know it.)

Kudos to this cast for being able to pull off playing two versions of themselves. They do it so well.

I just checked the ratings for this episode. Unfortunately they are down 20 percent from last week.  See more details about it here.

If anyone was confused by all the Theirs and Ours leave a comment and I will explain.
If you love Fringe remember to watch it live at 9:00 pm on Fridays on Fox.

Want more of this episode?  Read my recap poem and bask in more of my Fringe obsessiveness.

Next Fringe recap:  Episode 4x03 - "Alone in the World"

No comments: