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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fringe Recap: Wallflower (Season 4 Episode 7, 4x07)

Note:  The recap for 4x06 will be up eventually.  I think after not having Peter in any episode for so long and then having so much of him in one episode caused temporary writer's block.

Original Airdate 11/18/11

This episode begins with Olivia checking her medicine cabinet only to find that the bottle of pills she reaches for is empty. She shuts the cabinet looking very glum.
She goes to a pharmacy to pick up a refill. As the pharmacist is informing her this is her last refill before a doctor has to approve new ones, she is busily opening the bottle and taking some of the pills. She says, "I was hoping I wouldn't need these anymore."
On her way back home she passes a sidewalk diner and then comes back for a second look. She goes inside to find Lincoln sitting at the counter. She explains she was out for a walk to help ease a migraine she was having. He invites her to sit down with him for some coffee. As they talk Lincoln tells her that he hasn't slept since he arrived in Boston. He basically says that his whole world has turned upside down since he joined the Fringe Division and has been exposed to this new way of seeing everything around him. Olivia tells him, "You know, eventually it will just become your life."
In Beacon Hill, Massachusetts a man is walking quickly down a street, glancing over his shoulder and even turning fully around, as though looking for someone behind him. His cell rings and he tells the woman on the other end he is on his way home, but he feels like there is someone following him. She brings up calling the police but he says he is nearly home now and she hangs up.
After passing a small puddle of water he hears a splashing sound behind him. When he turns, the puddle is rippling as though something has disturbed it.
His phone rings again, and it's the woman, Meg, telling him that the cops are on their way. He has his key out and is trying to shakily guide it into the keyhole of a door. He says, "It's okay, I'm here." He starts to say what sounds like "I'm home," when something whooshes into him from behind. He yells and falls to the floor with a blurry, shapeless mass clinging to him.

The cops arrive and run into the building to find the man laid out on the carpet, his hair stark white contrasting with his now very pink eyes and he looks lifeless. The officer calls for an ambulance and then feels movement behind him. He whirls, and shoots, taking out the glass of the entrance doors of the building.
A woman comes running in yelling for Jack. Jack is her husband and he is the man that is laying on the ground. She understandably freaks out as the officer holds her back.
After the opening credits we join Peter and his assigned protection detail, Tim meandering through a store. Peter refers to himself as a prisoner and Tim tells him he's not a prisoner, that he should think of him as a friend, not captor. Then a classic Peter sarcastic response, (that I have so missed the beginning of this season) "'Cause every 33 year old man needs a friend to chaperone him while he's underwear shopping." Tim informs Peter that he will be receiving a $200 dollar a week allowance. Hmmmph, I don't know what Peter's financial situation was in the other timeline, but I'm thinking what he's getting now is chicken feed.
While Peter is looking at safety glasses a kid comes along and can't reach a toy on the top shelf. Peter grins and walks over to help him. Agent Tim stops him with a hand on his chest and says he will take care of it. Peter is taken aback at his action. It comes out that Tim has been told to keep Peter's interactions with civilians to a minimum. But, he insists it's not personal, so it's all good, right? Ri-ight. Peter replies, "I've been investigating Fringe events for over three years. I never thought I'd become one."
Broyles, Lincoln, Olivia and Astrid arrive at the crime scene. Broyles gives them some background information and they check out the body. Olivia and Lincoln go to question the two cops that were there, asking why the officer unloaded his whole clip into the big bad door? The officer just claims that he got a little overexcited. Finally they get out of him that it was more of a feeling he had than an actual physical confrontation. The word ghost is brought into play, but the officer is reluctant to call it that.
Astrid examines the body while talking to Walter on her headphone camera. She observes that the victim's neck is broken and Walter says something to her, but she can't understand him through the double-dipped beer battered onion rings he is noshing on. Walter offers that the man's white complexion and hair could mean that he was literally scared to death. When Astrid tells him that's just and old wives' tale, he asks her, "Where's your imagination? You must've been a very boring child." Astrid informs him she is "ignoring that," and disconnects her cameraphone. Walter doesn't mind because now he go back to chowing on his onion rings.
Olivia is having a bit of introspection and asks Astrid if the kind of things they see are bothersome to her. Astrid says they are, and that without the help of the agency's psychiatrist she would've lost her marbles way before now. Olivia has apparently never laid her worries on anyone's doorstep, and never really thought there was anything odd about that, but she may be coming to that conclusion.
Lincoln joins the party and says that he has found a blood sample outside, ruling out the chance of their perp being a being from the Other Side. No, not that Other Side. The other, Other Side.
In a laboratory type room we see lots of bubbling liquids and then a tub with an air hose coming out of it. Inside the tub, the outline of a shape starts to become visible, until it takes the form of a body. Suddenly a man rears up from under the water gasping for air. He looks himself while he catches his breath.
Next, he's in a suit and tie, pressing the button for an elevator. The doors open and he glances inside. It is empty. He allows the doors to close and then presses the button again. A short time later there is a ding and the doors open again. This time he gets into the elevator beside a woman. They don't speak although he not so subtly watches her from the corner of his eye.
The elevator stops again and another passenger comes aboard. This man starts talking to the woman and they have a conversation about the weather. They exit the elevator together, with the conversation still continuing. The original guy stares at his reflection in the metal in front of him and as he watches himself, he starts to fade away into nothingness.
At Walter's lab, Olivia and Astrid discuss that there have been three occurrences of deaths of this nature recently. The police had written them off as people who had Albinism so the cases were never escalated to a higher level.
Walter gives Lincoln a brief lesson on the history of Albinos as he is examining tissue samples from the body. He observes that body has a residue on it that is a mucus-like substance. He explains that what he has found are cells that can relocate pigment. Hmmm, so perhaps the killer is a giant chameleon?
The blood sample from the crime scene matches to a child referred to as Baby Boy Bryant who only lived for four days. The records on the baby indicate that he had a genetic problem that doctor's couldn't heal. Olivia gets another killer headache while she and Lincoln are talking about the case. Lincoln gets one of her pills out for her and when she tells him, "I can do it." He replies with "I know you can, but you don't need to." He gets her some water as well. She gratefully takes the medicine and water from him.
They go to the hospital that the baby was born in so they can speak to the staff members that were involved with this particular child. The nurse recalls that the lights of the operating room actually burned the baby's skin, it was so pale. He had to be kept in a special room away from harsh lights. The nurse goes on to say after Baby Boy Bryant passed away, as his body was being carried out, she thought she heard a cry come from him. At the time, she chalked it up her imagination.
She says his body was taken by a private insurance company named Cyprox Incorporated. Truthfully I thought for sure she was going to say Massive Dynamic. Olivia is familiar with this Cyprox because they took care of her mother's medical bills when she was terminally ill with cancer. This company is a subsidiary of another company called Kelvin Genetics who later became Massive Dynamic. (And there it is, I knew it had to be involved somehow.)
Olivia and Lincoln go to Massive Dynamic to talk to Nina. Nina confirms for them that 22 years ago there was an infant that was born with a genetic defect that would've been fatal to the baby. Cyprox figured out that the child had all the makings of being the basis for genetic experimentation. The child was implanted with Chromatophores, which basically turned him into a human chameleon. This of course would be very beneficial if applied in military or espionage scenarios. The substance they introduced to the child actually worked against his genetic defect and allowed him to live.
Olivia looks disappointed as she asks Nina, "And you knew about this?" Nina seems to choose he words carefully as she tells Olivia that neither she or William Bell knew what happening due to these events taking place at a satellite research facility.
Nina says she will send the files over to Walter. When Lincoln points out that for someone who wasn't aware of anything regarding this experiment, she actually seems to be quite in the know about it , Nina begins to talk of a lab fire about 10 years ago. It was thought that all the test subjects had perished in the fire. It was at that time that Nina and William learned about U-Gene, which is short for Unknown Genetic Disorder. Olivia wryly observes, "His whole life, he didn't have a proper name." Based on the details that have just come to light, it appears that Eugene (I'm giving him a real version of the name) must have survived the fire.
The woman we met in the elevator earlier in the show is in the elevator again. (She spends a lot of time there, apparently.) She exits the elevator, walks down the hallway and unlocks the door to her apartment. She goes in, kicks off her heels and pours herself a glass of wine. She frees her hair from it's clip and shakes it loose while walking into the living room to put on some music. A blurry human shaped outline moves around her kitchen, distorting the background behind it. The woman notices an empty chair with stuffed toys on it and starts wheedling the name "Ziggy," to coax her pet from wherever it is hiding.
The hair clip on the counter raises up as though it is levitating and the air around it shimmers slightly. After a moment the clip is gently lowered back to it's original resting place. The woman doesn't notice as she continues calling for Ziggy.
She enters her bedroom and abruptly drops her wine glass, shattering it all over the floor at her feet.
Strewn all across and around her bed are leaves. Admittedly I'm a little confused here. At first I thought these were rose petals that someone had scattered on her bed. Now I think maybe they are leaves that have blown in through an open door in her bedroom. Whatever. Either way it shocks the hell out of her.
She hears a noise in the living room and goes out there, seeing that the chain lock she secured upon entering is now swinging back and forth alerting her it has been tampered with. She resets it and leans against the door, puzzled.
At the Bishop household Peter is tacking up a diagram of a piece of the machine. He is interrupted by a visitor. It's Lincoln bringing him some items that Broyles is allowing Peter to study. They talk a bit and Peter thanks Lincoln for "treating him like a human being" because everyone else is treating him as an anomaly. Peter thinks that the machine will hopefully be able to get him back to his proper home timeline.
The conversation turns to Olivia with Lincoln saying, "I've never met anyone like her before," almost with an awestruck reverence. Peter chuckles and smiles.. Wait. He chuckles and smiles? Hmmm. He tells Lincoln, "I got what you mean."
Lincoln puts 2 and 2 together and gets 5 (this is Fringe remember?) and realizes that Peter and Olivia were an item in the other timeline. Peter agrees. Lincoln starts to apologize for encroaching on Peter's territory. Peter says, "That's right Mofo, stay away from my woman."
Alright, so that's not what really happened. Instead of my scenario Peter assures Lincoln that "The Olivia that you're talking about ... that's not my Olivia." Heart. Breaking. Lincoln's cell rings right in time to keep transition him away smoothly from that somewhat awkward moment. He of course has to go and Peter turns his attention back to his diagrams.
At the lab Walter excitedly shows Olivia and Lincoln his new octopus. He tells them that that octopi gather all sorts of things around their caves and says they are like chameleons. Astrid walks in questioning Walter about a substantial bill amount that has come in. When she sees Walter's newest addition she says, "You know I'm gonna be the one to take the blame for this." Walter retorts, "Tell Agent Broyles that science has no price tag."
Astrid also informs Walter that the files Nina sent over are now there. Olivia asks Walter on his opinion whether maybe Eugene is killing people so he can take their pigment. When Lincoln questions whether that is even possible Walter replies, "It's possible, of course. Leprechauns are possible." I LOVE Walter.
Walter says that this theory would explain why the victim had that mucus-like substance on his body. It must be a conductor of some sort to help Eugene to acquire someone else's pigment. Because of the experiments performed on Eugene he would have to obtain a lot of pigment, which means the body count is about to get deeper.
Next, a guy walks over to his car in a parking garage, key fobbing the door open. He gets in and barely has time to get himself settled when the drivers side window comes smashing inward, showering him with glass shards. His head slams twice on the steering wheel and he starts gasping for breath. The mysterious shimmery outline hovers near his face and he starts to shake.
In the lab Walter calls the gang over as he puts a white mouse into a wooden labyrinth. He informs them that their suspect is dying. As he starts talking about some research he has been doing he gets momentarily distracted debating whether re-pigmentize is actually a word or not. Olivia encourages him to continue filling them in on his findings. Walter explains that if this man is taking pigment from other people in an effort to replace his own then he is also triggering his genetic disorder to become active again. If he continues on this path he is essentially committing suicide. Walter has no ETA on the chameleon man's approaching dance with death, just as he is not sure whether the man even knows that what he is doing may be killing him.
When Lincoln brings up the good point of how do you go about finding an invisible person, Walter remembers something else he had to share. He turns the lights off by clapping his hands together twice, (causing 'Clap on, [clap, clap] Clap off [clap, clap], Clap on, Clap off, [clap, clap] The Clapper! to pop into my head) and grabs an ultraviolet light. He passes it over the mouse maze and says he is looking for Yoko. The original mouse that is still visibly wandering around is appropriately named John. Or maybe it's the other one is appropriately named Yoko? Regardless, in one of the nooks of the maze another little white rodent shows up under the light. Walter grins at Lincoln's, "She's been there the whole time?"
Astrid returns from having answered the phone, letting Lincoln and Olivia know that Broyles says there has been another body found.
At the parking garage Olivia, Broyles, Lincoln and attendant walk towards a man who is laying on the ground just outside his car. His hair and face are white. The attendant explains that the security footage does not show anyone entering or exiting the garage. Olivia asks him if he possibly noticed any doors opening and closing on their own? He gives her a puzzled look and chuckles a bit right as one of the search dogs alerts it's handler to a doorway. This particular door leads to the upper levels of the parking deck with no available exits. Broyles gets a lockdown placed on their location.
When they are back outside a man approaches Broyles and tells him that the last floor is in the process of evacuating now. Broyles gives the go ahead to shut everything but the elevators down.
Olivia and Lincoln take teams and plan to start with one at the top and one at the bottom of the building, intending to meet up in the middle. Both teams search for awhile but are not finding anything. Olivia decides that the process they are using is taking too long and she splits off from her team, instructing them, "Go, I'll take this floor."
She walks through several rooms that look like they could either be in the process of being built or torn down. There is plastic sheeting hanging everywhere that she has to shove aside to walk by. Suddenly the floor gives away below her feet and goes down, stopping herself by grabbing onto the edge of the opening. She struggles to pull herself out as the other agents are reporting back to her walkie that they haven't found anyone.
From the shadows, a pale man steps out and looks down at Olivia. She asks him for help, to which he replies, "You understand right now how important it is to be seen. Your life depends on it. Me, seeing you right now." He reaches down and quickly helps her out of the hole, but he also grabs her gun from it's holster at the same time. He steps back and points it at her.
Olivia explains to him that he is killing himself by what he has been doing. She offers to help him, but he doesn't believe her. He says, "If you're here to help me, it's because I have value to the military and they don't want long-lost experiment 69545 to self-destruct. Not when they've found him again."
He goes on to talk about how he's spent his entire life watching other people see, meet and acknowledge one another. He says, "Recognition. That's when you exist." He refuses to go back to being a lab experiment.
Lincoln and his team reach the floor Olivia is on and when she turns toward the sound of them approaching the man dashes off, taking her gun with him. They continue to search, but it is futile. Eventually they meet Broyles outside and let him know that there's no sign of the suspect any more. The mass of people that were ordered outside are now allowed to filter back in.
The dogs begin raising a ruckus from inside their K-9 unit van, and mixed in on the outskirts of the group of people is chameleon man, who is actually blending in because he is no longer stark white. Broyles gets a call to come down and look at the basement. He takes Olivia and Lincoln with him and they discover a mini-laboratory and a bed. Olivia realizes that this is where Eugene lives.
It becomes daylight again and inside the apartment building our lady-friend is on the elevator again. The doors begin to close when a hand reaches between them and triggers the elevator to open again. Eugene walks onto the elevator. The woman says, "I thought you weren't coming today. I see you every day. I thought you might've caught the cold that's been going around."
Eugene says, "No."
She replies, "That's good then. It's too beautiful a day to be sick."
He agrees, "The most beautiful." Then introduces himself, "My name is Eugene."
She smiles at him. "I'm Julie."
The elevator comes to a stop and she exits. After the doors close he leans his back to them and slides down until he is seated with one leg tucked under him and one leg stretched out. His head rolls to the side.
Olivia meets with Nina to tell her that Eugene has been found dead and their newest killing spree has had the book closed on it. But, she's there more for a heart to heart with Nina than anything else. She starts to draw parallels between herself and Eugene, saying, "All he wanted to be like everyone else, but how could he? He'd never be like anyone else. Not after what they did to him." Olivia asks Nina if she thinks the Cortexiphan trials may have altered her emotions. But Nina assures her that she is normal. She calls her Olive too, which in addition to Olivia even trusting Nina is just off the weird-o-meter. Nina goes on to tell Olivia that before she and Rachel came into her life all she lived for was her work. But, now, after having taken them in she can't imagine how her life would've been if she passed the children off to someone else. Nina is so sweet and comforting in this scene.
At the FBI headquarters Peter stops by Lincoln's desk and gives him something, telling Lincoln, "Just trust me." Broyles has given Peter access to the lab so he is off to use it while he can. He passes Olivia on his way out and grins at her, giving her a "Hey" and continuing on his way.
Olivia collects the finished case paperwork from Lincoln. After hesitating for a moment, she says "Maybe if you find yourself at the diner tonight, say around 3 am, I might see you there." Lincoln replies, "I'll see you then ... maybe" and smiles.
Lincoln takes the case that Peter had given him and opens it, pulling out a pair of glasses. They are black like his old ones, but with a much lighter frame that suits his face better. He puts the new ones on.
Later that night, Lincoln is sitting in a booth at the diner, with his new specs on, working on a crossword puzzle. A waitress comes by and pours some coffee into his cup.
At Olivia's townhouse she is staring at herself in the mirror, she undoes her ponytail, runs her fingers through her hair, but then puts her hair back up again. She sits to get her shoes straight and in the background there is a white smoky substance curling in through the crack under her door. She gets her jacket on, and barely has time to turn around before she passes out on the floor.
Two men open her door and enter the room. They are wearing gas masks. One of them tests the air quality and says "Clear." The other man removes his mask and goes to dismantle the security camera. As he gets right up in the camera lens he is recognizable as David Robert Jones.
When he is finished he injects something form a syringe into the back of Olivia's neck. He explains to the other man they can just leave her where she is, since she will not have any recollection of the last two hours once she wakes up. He also tacks on that she'll have a hell of a headache.
They leave and walk past someone standing in the doorway. The camera pans up and a very familiar red head is looking down at Olivia. After a moment she turns towards the hallway and shuts the door behind her.
Other comments about this episode:
The song that is playing during the diner scene near the beginning with Lincoln and Olivia is Fade Into You by Mazzy Star. It is a great song. I tried to find out what the name of the one was that played as Julie walked through her apartment looking for Ziggy, but I couldn't. If anyone knows what it was please leave a comment.
I loved the thought provoking subject of not existing without recognition. Just thinking about that concept in itself is mind-bending, but then juxtaposing it on the Peter situation takes it to a whole new level.
I felt a surge of anger at the end when Nina was in on whatever they did to Olivia. What was up with that? Is that why Olivia's been having headaches?
My only two complaints about this episode were: NOT ENOUGH PETER! It's bad enough he was barely in the first 4 episodes. I know we got a good dose of him in last week's episode but I felt very shortchanged this week.
The other thing isn't so much about this episode. It's about the huge break until the next episode. January. Really? It feels like this show just came back on and now it's disappearing for another month and half. I might go into withdrawal before then.

The recaps for 4x08 through 4x11 were never written because admittedly, I got lazy.  But a certain hot Peter and Olivia scene in episode 4x12 - "Welcome to Westfield" helped to kick my ass back in gear and I finished out the season. 

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