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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fringe Recap: Season 4 Episode 5, Novation

Fringe ... Novation ... 4x05 ... original airdate 11/04/11
As Fringe begins a convoy of vehicles pulls into the underground parking deck of the FBI Federal Building in Boston. Broyles waits outside one of the cars as a door swings open and Peter Bishop gets out. He is escorted by Broyles and his entourage into the building to a small interrogation-like room.
Olivia enters the lab to find Walter hooked up to two IVs and a beeping machine. His eyes are shut. Olivia walks over to him and he opens his eyes. He explains to her that he was using a barbiturate in one syringe to help him sleep and adrenaline in another syringe to wake him up. When Olivia exasperatedly asks him, "Who sleeps like this?" he says the events of the past few weeks, namely having visions of a strange man who actually shows up and then not being able to examine or speak to said person, has made it so he has not been able to get any rest.
Olivia lets Walter know that the man is refusing to speak to anyone but Walter, and he is also claiming to be Walter's son, Peter.
In Hillsdale, NY a vehicle pulls up in front of a house and a man gets out of it and walks up the sidewalk to the house. Inside, there is a woman rifling through papers in a drawer. The man enters the room and notices that the woman is wearing a sweater that she had said she didn't like before. She says she's just giving it another chance. He also comments that the place is a mess. She informs him is unable to locate the electric bill.
He goes to take a shower. While he is in the shower she removes the keys that he had hooked to his belt loop and uses them to try to get into a locked box in the closet. The man comes out of the bathroom, to see what she is doing.

As she turns to look at him, her face starts to change, with the veins in her neck starting to show in a purplish map under the skin. In his attempts to back away, the man falls to the floor beside the bed. The lady that he referred to as "Karen" questions him if his research files are in the safe. From his position on the floor he has a clear view of under the bed. He sees a the bloodied body of a woman matching the one who is standing above him now.
When he gets up and tries to run away, the imposter grabs him by the throat and backs him up against the wall. As he looks at her, the woman's face morphs from looking like the dead lady under the bed to that of Nadine Park, one of the human shapeshifter's victims in episode 4x01, Neither Here Nor There.
As she places her thumb over one of his eyes, she demands to know where the files are. He screams as the opening Fringe credits start.
Walter is brought to the Federal building to see Peter. Broyles tells Walter that based on DNA test results there is a 99.7 percent probability that Walter and Peter are actually related. Walter theorizes that it is possible there is yet another universe that perhaps this version of his son could be from. Broyles needs to know more about this man claiming to be Walter's dead son because he has a slew of confidential information about the Fringe Division.
With Olivia's assurances that they will be listening and ready to pull him out if necessary, Walter goes into the room to speak with Peter. The beginning of this scene reminds me of their first meeting at St. Claire's with Peter greeting his father with a subdued, "Hello, Walter."
Peter asks Walter to help him figure out why no one remembers him. When Peter talks about the two universes and how Walter made a machine that Peter used to bridge the two inextricable worlds, Walter tells Peter that he didn't create the machine. He says that after his Peter died and he crossed to save the Other Peter they got trapped in the lake on the way back and despite Walter trying to help him, the Other Side's Peter drowned during that time.
Peter makes the connection that the Observer never rescued young Peter that night on the lake and in order for the worlds to be fixed it had to be as though the adult Peter didn't exist. In the room they are watching from, Astrid asks, "What's an Observer?" Neither Olivia or Broyles has an answer for her. Since Peter was supposed to have died in both universes he doesn't understand how it is that he is back now. He reaches out and lays his hand on Walter's arm which causes Walter to yell that he's done and he's ready to go back to his lab.
Peter pleads for him to stay and help him figure out what went wrong, but Walter leaves the room and a bewildered Peter sitting at the table.
Olivia is called out to the house in Hillsdale to inspect the murder scene. Lincoln informs her that the victim's skin is translucent. She was also the wife of Dr. Malcolm Truss, who is a former employee at Massive Dynamic's biotech department. However, he and his wife split up a few years prior and the man who has also been killed at the scene is Mrs. Truss's boyfriend, Ronald. His body has marks indicating that he was tortured before he died, leading Olivia to think that there must be information that the shapeshifter was trying to get out of him. Lincoln tells Olivia that they have so far been unable to locate Dr. Truss's new whereabouts.
In Eden, Vermont a man is tending to some flowers in his outside garden. The shapeshifter shows up and pulls a gun on him, telling him she needs his help.
While Lincoln and Olivia wait in Nina Sharp's office Lincoln notices that there is a picture of Olivia when she was a young girl in an equestrian competition. Olivia reveals that Nina became the guardian for her and Rachel once their mother died. (A-ha, so there's the Nina/Olivia connection!)
Nina looks up Malcolm Truss in the Massive Dynamic database and after Olivia tells her that Dr. Truss had been abducted that morning probably a shapeshifter, she tells them about a project Dr. Truss was working on regarding cellular replication. The premise of the project was that the healthy cells of a subject's genetic data would be copied and would then replace damaged cells. The plug was pulled on the project before it was completed, because William Bell was concerned about ethical issues.
The shapeshifter and Dr. Truss are traveling along a road as the shapeshifter begins to tell him why she needs his help. She tells him that there are people who want to help him complete his work. She pulls the collar of her shirt aside and shows him the area around her breastbone. The bones of her upper chest and ribs show clearly through her skin. She claims that she had stage 4 Melanoma and had cellular replication which made her cancer go into remission, but even though the cancer is no longer in her the cells are not stable and she is still dying. The doctor consents to help her and also tells her that the "files" that she has been looking for do not exist in a physical form. He has committed all the information to memory.
Back at the Federal Building, Peter is busy rewiring the intercom in his room as Olivia and Broyles walk through the department. They meet up with Lincoln and discuss that the shapeshifter has probably captured Truss so he can help it to figure out why the shapeshifters are not stable. They are going to put out an alert on Truss's car. No one has been able to figure out yet what the tech was that had been pulled from the two shapeshifters in the train yard. (Episode 4x01)
Peter 's voice springs from the phone on the desk, helpfully informing them that the tech they are talking about are the shapeshifter's memory discs. The group looks toward the room that Peter is in, realizing that he somehow has tapped into the phone and overheard their conversation.
The three of them go in and meet with Peter, who tells them that he is familiar with shapeshifters and their discs. However, when he hears about these new human shapeshifters that don't bleed mercury, he is surprised. He explains to his audience that the discs are split up into three parts; one for cognitive functions, one for biochemical functions and one that houses their mission objective. When Broyles asks how he has this knowledge he answers, "Because I've decrypted a couple of them myself." I have so missed Peter and his smirky genius self.
Peter offers to try to decode the new shapeshifter's discs if he can get a chance to talk to Walter again. He says he realizes that Walter is not the same man he remembers and he will have to try to approach him in a different way. He also throws in the Olivia is different now too. Reluctantly, Olivia agrees to try to get Walter on board with talking to Peter again.
Back in his lab at the bedroom, Walter opens an old tin lunchbox that contains some of Peter's old toys and things. Including the coin that Peter gave him before he died. (At least in the old timeline.) Walter smiles to himself as he weaves it through his fingers.
At a gas station in Rutland, Vermont Dr. Truss stops to fill up. He notices that the shapeshifter's nose is bleeding and tells her so. She gives him some money from her wallet, which is actually Nadine Park's wallet and who she has told him she is. When questioned about it, she tells Dr. Truss that the photograph's in her wallet are of her daughter, Hailey. Dr. Truss shares with her that his wife Karen wanted children. But he was always too caught up in his work, eventually they separated but he still has hopes that maybe someday they will reconcile.
While Nadine leaves to take care of her nosebleed and Dr. Truss is in the store paying, a state trooper pulls up behind their vehicle and reports back to headquarters that he thinks it is the car there is a BOLO on. It is confirmed by dispatch and the trooper says he will wait for backup. Unfortunately for him, Nadine Park appears behind him with a murderous look in her eyes.
Dr. Truss pays the attendant and gets back into the car, where Nadine is waiting in the passenger seat. As they pull away, the body of the now-dead officer comes into view, laid out under his car.
At the Federal Building Lincoln lets Olivia know that he's given Peter all the equipment he says that he needs to work on the discs. Lincoln observes that Olivia is quite perturbed by Peter's presence. Olivia just says she doesn't understand why Peter would have been appearing in her head before he got here. She doesn't understand what her connection to him is.
Lincoln and Olivia are called to watch the tape of Dr. Truss at the gas station. His behavior leads them to believe that he is not aware that the person holding him hostage is not human.
Nadine takes Malcolm to a building that has all the equipment he should need to work out the problem with his former project. He examines a tissue sample he took from Nadine's chest, while she blows some smoke up his ass about him being a miracle worker. Malcolm tells her that when Bell shut down the project all he really said about it was "Some things are not ours to tamper with. Some things are God's." He wishes Bell could see their work in action. Malcolm's test results come back and he says that he can fix the problem with Nadine's cells.
Walter is busy whipping up custard when Nina Sharp shows up at the lab. She feels that with the arrival of this man who claims to be Peter, it is time for her and Walter to shelve their differences. When she remarks that Walter is making Peter's favorite dessert, Walter only says that he's doing it to calm himself down.
Walter says that for 25 years he's been blaming Nina for the death of his son. He says if she hadn't been at the lake that night then the vial of medicine would not have been broken. He would've crossed over, healed the other Peter and come back by himself. But as it was he had to try to bring the Other Peter back and when he did, Peter drowned. But then Walter admits that Nina was right and he shouldn't have tried to cross over. He feels like he deserved to be punished for the actions that he took.
Nina tries to reason with him, telling him that he has changed and is attempting to rectify all the damage he caused. In such an emotional moment, Walter says, "I saw my boy in that man's eyes. The way he looked that night in the ice... floating away from me. God help me, I... saw the eyes of my boy in a man's face. That filled me with... indescribable joy." Walter doesn't think he deserves to have Peter back now, after all the suffering he caused.
Broyles goes in to talk to Peter, who tells him that once these new shapeshifters are able to switch between the appearances of any of their victims as they choose. They also copy whoever they are shifting into down to their DNA, making it impossible to tell them apart from the original person.
In the warehouse lab, Dr. Truss injects Nadine with a red solution. As he watches to gauge her reaction she morphs into his wife, Karen. He freaks out and starts to run away but the shapeshifter grabs him, informing him, he will continue to help her.
Peter tells Broyles he needs a bigger computer system to continue gathering information about the shapeshifters. Broyles lets him hook into the main computer in the Federal Building. In a very short amount of time, Peter uncovers that the shapeshifters have tracking devices built into them and they are able to locate the coordinates of where their missing shapeshifter is. Olivia heads off to get a team together.
In the warehouse, the shapeshifter has returned to the persona of Nadine and is coughing up blood while Dr. Truss questions her about how she became his wife. Without actually coming out and saying she was killed, Nadine tells Dr. Truss that there had to be sacrifices for the greater good of his research. He's shocked but gets it together enough to start mixing some liquids in a vial. Nadine stops him because she realizes that he is up to something and what he was planning to give her would've caused her a massive hemorrhage. She breaks the vial in his hand and tells him he needs to finish what he started.
Olivia's team pulls up outside and gets ready to go in. Dr. Truss is still working on his remedy, telling Nadine that they should know something within five minutes.
Olivia and Lincoln bust into the warehouse and Nadine starts to fire on them. Nadine grabs the vial from Dr. Truss's hand and flings him through a railing so he sprawls out on the floor. Olivia follows Nadine to the stairwell as Lincoln goes to help Malcolm.
Nadine runs into the other team of agents and does some Matrixesque moves by running sideways on the wall. The agents radio that she is heading for the roof. Olivia runs up to the roof to find one of those agents dead. The other agent has been injured badly and Olivia calls for paramedics. The hurt agent tells Olivia that Nadine jumped. Olivia goes to the edge of the roof and sees that below her the water has a large ripple spreading outward, obviously the site where Nadine entered the water.
The paramedics have arrived on scene and load the injured agent into the ambulance. Olivia goes to talk to Malcolm. She confirms for him that his wife was killed this morning. He blames himself and repeats, "some things are not ours to tamper with."
Lincoln calls Olivia over as the dive team pulls a body from the water. It's Agent Warrick's body, the man who was injured on the rooftop and told Olivia that Nadine had jumped into the water. Olivia radios for all available units to head for the ambulance that had just left a few minutes ago.
The ambulance is seen pulled diagonally off on the side of the road with it's windshield wipers swishing back and forth and the driver's side door open with the driver slumped in the seat. A trooper slowly approaches with his gun drawn, and as he walks around to the rear of the ambulance it is shown that the equipment in the back is in a state of upheaval and the gurney is empty.
At the Federal Building Olivia takes a blue file folder from someone and lays it on her desk on her way over to talk to Lincoln. She assures Lincoln that they will nail the shapeshifter, although he doesn't seem convinced. She asks him if he wants to go get something to eat, but he says he is just going to go back to his hotel instead.
As he bids her goodnight, the same young lady who originally gave Olivia the blue file folder walks up to her and hands it to her again. Olivia laughs and walks back over to her desk to point out she already had the folder. Her desk is bare where the file folder previously was. Olivia assures the lady that she must just be tired, but looks worried when she is alone again.
Peter is stretched out on his uncomfortable looking bed when Walter enters his room. He sits up and focuses his attention on Walter, but lets Walter come to him and speak first. This scene had to be the saddest part of the whole episode. Just when I thought that Walter was willing to try and help Peter and they have a moment where Walter says, "Every day... for the past twenty-five years... I've tried to imagine what you would look like as a man... my son." But then, he says that Peter being here now is just a test to see if Walter will repeat his past mistakes. Then in the let-me-get-out-my-hanky moment of the evening, Walter tells Peter, "I tried to help a boy, a version of my son, twenty-five years ago. But that boy was never my son... and neither are you." And then he leaves. He leaves. The door clangs shut, bye bye Walter. (Okay now I know that this is not the be all, end all of this, but it was sad damn it!)
In Boston, in the train terminal, Nadine Park is now dressed in the agent's shirt and looking horrible. She gets out the vial she took from Truss and injects herself with some of the liquid. Her complexion clears up and she looks normal again within a few seconds. She opens a locker and removes a typewriter. This typewriter is different than the one that has been used before to communicate with the other side, but it serves the same purpose. She taps out a message stating that she has the serum that will fix the flaws in the shapeshifters. The typewriter replies that she should begin preparations and that the others are being sent.
This episode was good. I am so glad that Peter is back, even if no one remembers him. At least now they can work on remembering him, hopefully. I am so excited to see what the rest of the season brings.
I don't think I have any lingering questions about this episode.
Questions, comments, observations, corrections? Leave me a note ...

Unfortunately the recap for 4x06 is not available but the recap for Fringe Episode 4x07 - "Wallflower" is.

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