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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fringe - The Consultant Recap (4x18)

Fringe Season 4 Episode 18 ... The Consultant ... Original Airdate Friday April 13, 2012
It is a rainy day on the Other Side as Captain Lincoln Lee is laid to rest. Our Agent Lee and AltAstrid watch the proceedings from inside a car at the graveyard. Astrid shares with Lincoln that she doesn't like funerals because "I never know what I'm supposed to say." Lincoln assures her that at the time of someone's death there really are no right words to say.

Lincoln's flag draped casket is carried to what will be his final resting place as Liv promises his grieving parents that justice will be found. Colonel Broyles looks stoic and sad.
Later back at the Fringe Division in Manhattan, Liv is now with Nina in her jail cell. She is offering to help Nina plea bargain her sentence down if she will give up some information on who David Robert Jones's mole at the DOD is. Nina refuses to sign the offer Liv has brought to her.
When Liv tells Nina that DRJ's little ring of cronies will be brought down and "will find themselves rotting in a cell, just like you." Nina sneers at her telling her not to worry her pretty little red head because soon there's going to be bigger fish to fry, she's confident she won't be caught up in jail very long and "it's your world you ought be concerned about, because as bad as you think things are now, things are gonna get much worse."
There's a flash and now we are in the Amberverse. In an office in Manhattan a meeting is being held in which an angry man, Mr. Bowers* is reaming out one of his employees for not having a presentation done on time which caused him and a colleague to not board the plane they were supposed to. He starts to say, "It should come as no surprise to anyone in this room, especially you Mr. Dellman* you're fi--"
[* I don't know if these names are right.]
Suddenly his body flies up in the air and he is plastered face first to the ceiling. Imagine The Exorcist meets The Apprentice, except Donald Trump never did stunts like that. As the rest of the people in the room watch his body jerks around a bit as he yells for someone to get him down. Then with a thud, he lands on his back half on and half off the table. His ankles look like they have been shoved up through the bottom parts of his shins and he is completely still.
Hello Fringe Credits.
Walter and Astrid arrive on the scene with Walter sniping at Astrid about her driving skills. He tells her "most automobile fatalities occur driving between work and home." She replies back, "Yeah, so does most driving."
"Ascot" is saved from more lecturing when Walter sees Peter and Olivia walking over. As the original Polivia shipper (although he forgot he was for awhile) he is deliriously happy that Peter and Olivia have been spending time together.
Astrid brings back the focus to the case at hand by asking for the details. Olivia explains that in the office building they are about to enter there were two deaths. Both victims were lifted up into the air and then thrown back to the ground whereupon they died on impact. The witnesses said these actions were caused by some unseen force.
I'm not sure where the second victim came into play because we weren't shown that, but as the team examines the bodies they are in the same room. Walter is looking at Mr. Bowers's body and notes that most of the lower half of his body has been shattered, with his spinal column being shoved up through his torso. The injuries seem to be consistent with what would be sustained during an impact. But to cause the type of bodily harm they are seeing the fall would've had to been from a height much greater than just the ceiling of the room. When pondering why only two men from out of the whole building were affected Walter quotes Romans 1:18 "The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all unrighteous men."
Both bodies have matching red marks across their stomachs which in any other circumstances would make it seem as though the two men were showing signs of seat belt constriction marks. Olivia comes over to say that Broyles has given her some more info and there's another body to add to the list. This person was in an apartment building in Brooklyn and the time of death and the details of the case all match what they are looking at now. To add to the mysteriousness the newest member of the death by unknown reason club was a pilot.
When he hears this Walter says that the injuries in front of him coincide with what would be seen in the event of a plane crash. Peter says, "Walter, how could these people have been in a plane crash if neither of them was in a plane?" Walter concurs, "Well, there is that." I'm sure that question had to be asked, but sometimes it surprises me that things like this surprise the Fringe team anymore. I guess when the day comes that they don't question that kind of stuff will be the day it's time for new agents. Maybe that's what happens when the series ends.
Walter spends a moment looking at the reflection of himself in the television that's mounted on the wall and apparently it triggers something in his genius brain because he says, "I might have an idea."
We flash to Over There and in Col. Broyles's office AltAstrid confirms that per the request of the Amberverse Side she checked and there was a plane that crashed right after take off on their side. The casualties were two men and the pilot. Liv comes in and Broyles sends Astrid off to get custody of the bodies.
Liv hands Broyles an iPad looking device and tells him that she has come up with 108 names of possible people who could be the leak to Jones. Broyles seems hesitant to act on Liv's wishes of running background checks and surveillance on these people because of their ranking and because of all the red tape involved. Then after a moment he sighs a little and says, "I'll cut through it."
Broyles tells Liv that in the meantime he needs her to go pick up some of the Fringe Division from the Other Side (The Other Side in this instance being the Amberverse, it makes sense when watching and I'm hoping it's not confusing when being written out.) The plane that crashed was carrying the doppelgangers of the people who just died over in the Amberverse so the two Fringe Divisions are going to work together to figure out what is going on.
After she leaves he looks at the information she left him and seems pensive. To be fair, Broyles always seems pensive about something.
At Liberty Island in the Amberverse Olivia is getting ready to take Walter across through the bridge room. Even though they are just essentially walking through a door Walter makes sure to empty his bladder first as "it's better safe than sorry."
The admitting officer asks Walter a few questions ending with, "Are you on any medications?" Walter smiles as he answers, "Several. Mostly recreational." Afterwards he and Olivia are scanned through and they enter the bridge room.
Olivia offers to stay with Walter during his time in the alternate universe but Walter says he will be fine, citing that Peter will need Olivia's help examining the bodies and throwing in that the two lovebirds (Peter and Olivia) could use some time alone. Then he says, "Thank you, for trusting me. This is a really big step for me." I'm so glad that Walter is no longer the withdrawn agoraphobic that he was when this season first started.
AltLiv and OurLincoln (just to add more confusion to the "Ours", "Theirs", "OverHere", "OverThere" conundrum) come to pick up Walter. Walter calls AltLiv his escort but clarifies that he doesn't mean prostitute.
Olivia and Lincoln have a short conversation about AltLivia's well-being with Lincoln saying considering the circumstances the is doing as well as can be expected and wants to get answers. Here I had a bit of a revelation, for me anyway. Smarter people probably realized it way before now. Skip the next paragraph if you just want recap and not revelation details.
I realized that Lincoln can probably relate to AltLivia a whole lot better now since he lost Robert and she's lost her Lincoln. Originally he was relating to Olivia because they had similar pasts because she had lost John. This revised version of Olivia also lost John in the past but I'm still not quite sure of how the details about that settle into the big puzzle and plus part (or most) of Olivia's emptiness is being filled in with warm and fuzzy Peter feelings. And yes, you can read whatever double entendres into the words emptiness and warm and fuzzy in the previous sentence that you would like.
On the pier of Liberty Island there is an electronic board flashing names of areas with the words Red or Green beside them. Liv explains to Walter that it shows where the damage is the worst. Walter contemplates this for a moment with a sad look and Liv says, "It's getting better though. The bridge is helping to heal our world."
The checker-inner at the pier gives Liv his condolences on Lincoln's death. Walter pipes up that he was going to bring a casserole because during times of grief people need to eat, but food is something that is on the not allowed list when crossing universes.
Walter mentions that even though he and Belly did some experimental things involving the two universes they never did anything like what's happening now. Liv brings up the possibility of these events being engineered by a person, specifically David Robert Jones. In true Walter fashion he agrees that "anything's possible, even Santa Claus."
With the help of a few tests he runs using tuning forks, one of the dead victims from Liv's side, and the severed hand of one of the victims from his side (severed body parts are allowed to cross the universal plane, just not perishables) Walter concludes that Liv's universe vibrates at a 'G'. The hand from the Amberverse also vibrates at a 'G'. However, the two universes normally vibrate at different frequencies with the Amberverse's usually being 'C'. In the case of the victims in the office and apartment buildings on Walter's side they were somehow made to vibrate at a 'G' so when the plane crashed on one side the people in both universes were effected.
They decide to listen to the recording of the cockpit chatter going on before the crash. It turns out that Over There planes don't have black boxes but all airplane communications are recorded by satellites. The transmission confirms that shortly after takeoff the airplane underwent some kind of electrical disturbance and then crashed. I think the pilot says an electrical disturbance but the recording is garbled.

 Walter thinks that something must have been attached to the aircraft to cause it to destabilize. Liv is still trying to figure out why someone would take an action like this.
Next we see David Robert Jones sitting on a bench as a blond haired man walks up and sits with him. Jones dismisses the newcomer's apologies for his lateness saying it gave him a chance to enjoy his tea. He tacks on, "I must say macho is one of the few things I am going to miss."
Jones inquires how the experiment with the plane went and Blondie tells him, "Better than expected." Jones smiles and lets Blondie take the case that he was holding on his lap. Right before Blondie gets up and walks off with the case he wants to know if Jones has anywhere specific for the next task. Jones says, "Surprise me."
In Glen Cove, New York Broyles arrives home and greets his wife. He asks about his son, Chris and his wife says that he's in the living room with Broyles's friend that has stopped by. Broyles says to himself, "What friend?"
He walks down the hall and enters the room that his son and the "friend" are in. When the man turns around to face Broyles it is David Robert Jones. Broyles expression rarely gives anything away and I honestly think that it's the background music here that lends the air of him being shocked at DRJ's presence in his home.
He speaks to Jones privately and accuses him of breaking the protocols they have in place that do not include home visits. Jones gives him a zippered black pouch that contains syringes, saying "I wanted to bring this to you, personally." What's inside is treatment for Broyles's son, Christopher. Whatever it is that DRJ is providing has rid him of pain and blindness and saved him from eventual death.
So now we know what it is that Jones has on Broyles, which for me is a little bit of a relief because now I know that Broyles isn't double crossing his people just for the hell of it. Jones sums it up pretty well when he says, "Love makes us vulnerable, but it also makes us human, I suppose." Maybe Fringe should change their tagline to that in conjunction with Imagine the Impossibilities, because that perfectly parallels the Walter/Peter scenario and in some ways the Peter/Olivia scenario. Jones leaves with a parting promise/threat that he will be in touch with Broyles soon.
Now this next part may get a little confusing because there is some quick Amberverse/AltVerse jumps. We start in the Amberverse in Springfield, Massachusetts. Blondie is riding in the back of a cab. He inputs a code on the keypad of the case he is carrying and then puts it on the floor behind the driver's seat. A few seconds later he tells the driver, "Right here's fine." I think the cab driver is Henry.
A woman hops in the cab and requests to go to Liberty Heights. The cab pulls away from the curb and heads down the street.
Now we flash over to the Alternate Universe (it still confuses me why it flashes blue to get there now, see previous recaps for that observation) and the woman's doppelganger is in a store looking at pet food.
Back in the cab in the Amberverse lights begin to flash on the case. It flashes red, green, green, green. Interesting, huh? I noticed in some other episode the light pattern flashed backwards but I don't remember which one. Then the cab is filled with a buzzing noise and the woman asks, "What's that?"
In the store her alternate is now paying for her goods at the register.
In the cab things are rattling and shaking and a look of fear flashes across the woman's face.
In the store she gasps and her body goes sailing backwards into a wire bin. Then as she lays on the ground she begins vomiting yellow or amber colored liquid. Is the color significant?
Peter and Olivia are on the scene at the cab accident. Peter confirms that cab went over the bridge 6:37 which is the same time as the death occurred in the store in the alternate universe. They are communicating with Astrid who is in the bridge room with AltAstrid.
I love the Astrid interactions. Astrid warmly greets AltAstrid and presents her with a tin of Dark Roast Coffee. After Astrid assures her that she got permission to bring the coffee over AltAstrid is pleased and says, "I never thought I was going to taste this again."
Liv is at the store where their victim is. The liquid that the woman had expelled earlier is now a red color, which I assume is blood. She finds Walter looking at one of the pet food bags. Apparently in the alternate universe they have domesticated badgers as pets. Liv tells AltAstrid that the woman who died in the store is named Nancy Gerring (?) from Mauldin, Massachusetts. Olivia confirms that the woman in the cab is also Nancy Gerring. As they communicate back and forth it is revealed that both of the Nancys' left arms are broken.
Peter is looking in the trunk and tries to get more information out of Walter about what kind of device he is looking for. Relayed through both Astrids the consensus is Walter really doesn't know because first he says it could be rather large or it might be small. Peter keeps looking and finds the case in the backseat.
He pulls it out and pops it open with a knife. He spins it around to show Olivia what's inside, amphilicite. This of course confirms their suspicions that Jones is behind this.
Liv, Walter and Lincoln go to meet with Broyles (alternate universe) and tell him about what was found in the cab. After he asks about it Liv says that they didn't find anything like that at the plane crash site, but it also could have been destroyed in the wreckage. When Broyles asks Walter if he knows the reason why Jones would have done this Walter does the unheard of and snaps at Broyles saying, "Of course he has a reason. The problem is I don't know what it is!"
Walter realizes his faux pas and apologizes. Broyles mentions that maybe he will feel better after a good night's rest. Walter agrees but says that his pillow from last night gave him a crick in his neck due to this universe not yet having discovered memory foam.
Liv offers up her spare bedroom for Walter to crash in and he cordially accepts adding on "and I shall refrain from sleeping naked." Liv and Lincoln leave Broyles's office but Walter turns back to address him. He apologizes again for snapping at him. He goes on to explain that if he hadn't crossed over way back when then Jones couldn't have ever done any of the things he is doing. It is Walter who inadvertently set up the conditions to make it possible for Jones to wreak the havoc he is at the present time. Talk about having the weight of the world on your shoulders. Walter's got the weight of two universes.
When Walter starts to leave, this time it is Broyles who calls Walter back. He wants to know if Walter would redo things the same way if he had the chance to do it over again. Walter answers, "If you had asked me that question a few months ago the answer would've been no. But now that I have met my adult son and got to know him, I don't know that I'd do anything differently." We, of course, know why Broyles is asking this. I absolutely love the parallel between Walter and Broyles right now.
Astrid tells Liv that she was unable to find anything out of the ordinary after running her queries twice on the 108 names that were provided to Broyles regarding a possible leak.
Broyles has a clandestine meeting (as clandestine as you can get on a public street at night) with Jones. Jones gives him a small box but declines to tell Broyles what it is. He tells him he is to attach it to the control panel on the machine at the bridge room on Liberty Island. Broyles says, "You do realize that machine is healing our worlds?" Jones replies, "I do. Need I remind you who I am healing?" Geez, Jones really has Broyles by the short hairs. Broyles is told that he has until before sundown the next day to do the deed.
After that Broyles is putting his son to bed and listening to him talk about his day. His son talks about how he was picked first for a team in recess, and also how a girl likes him. Both of which are firsts in his young life. While he talks Broyles removes one of the syringes from the pouch that Jones gave him when he came to the house. He injects it into an IV tubing his son has attached to his upper chest area.
This sweet scene between Broyles and his son really seals the deal on giving more insight into why Broyles is mixed up in the mess that he is in.
At Liv's house Walter scurries through a doorway clad in a silky looking robe. He stops when he notices that Liv is sitting at the table nursing a glass of liquor. She loudly whispers to him wondering if he was having trouble sleeping. He tells her he was sleeping fine, but his bladder wasn't. Walter says that his Olivia also can't sleep when she's working on a case. Liv sadly says it's not the case, it's the evidence from Lincoln's murder.
This is a side of Liv we've never seen. Vulnerable and drunk. She tells Walter about her mole theory and then feeling like she's rambling, she apologizes, explaining that she's not usually a drinker. Spread out before her she has Lincoln's belongings from the Fringe Division that she is supposed to be handing off to his parents, but she wants to be able to have an answer for them when she does.
She says she thought the alcohol would give her courage, "but all it's done is made me feel a little bit sick." Walter offers to help remedy that particular situation by using "nature's sponge, the egg." He cooks her up some scrambled eggs. I thought at first that she had her head on his shoulder while he was cooking which made my heart melt a little just for the sheer sweetness factor, but I'm not entirely sure that she does.
And while he serves up the scrambled eggs he sets about helping her remedy her other pressing situation, the lack of evidence in Lincoln's murder case. He quotes Sherlock Holmes saying, "perhaps it's time to give some thought to the dog that did not bark." Liv doesn't know who Holmes is, even after Walter mentions his penchant for cocaine. He explains that essentially the lack of evidence is actually evidence itself. Knowing that it would take someone with super-high amounts of clearance to cover something this big up Olivia has no idea who it could be.
Walter actually plants the seed in her head that it could be Broyles, saying "in the case of a mole, no one should be above suspicion." Although she initially rejects the idea that it could be Broyles the seed must take root because the next day she goes to see Nina in custody.
After shutting the door behind her, Liv turns off the camera that is in Nina's holding cell. She informs her that they have found out the Broyles is the mole and he has confessed everything. That means that Nina's get out of jail free ticket has expired. Nina becomes venomous (well, Walter always did call her a viper) and says that Broyles is just a pawn, she is confident that Jones will come for her. In one of the best comebacks ever Liv says, "Perhaps, unless you're just another pawn." Nina keeps her cool until Liv leaves, but you can tell by her face afterwards that she hadn't considered that angle.
Liv tells Lincoln what she found out from Nina. Lincoln isn't sure whether they should even believe what Nina says, it's a big circle of what if she's lying, what if she lied because she knows you lied and so on and so forth. Then Astrid comes up and tells them that Broyles hasn't been heard from yet that day and also that his internal tracker was disabled 2 hours ago.
Broyles is sitting in his car at a spot that has a direct view of Liberty Island and he has the device Jones gave him in his hand. He exits the car and walks away from the vehicle. He enters the Liberty Island access point and the guard swipes his Show-Me. The guard pauses for a moment, making me think he's going to stop Broyles, but he just salutes him and tells him he's "good to go."
While Liv is on the phone with Broyles's wife trying to track him down Astrid gets a blip on her radar to show that Broyles's ID was just scanned at Liberty Island. She tells Liv and Lincoln. They aren't sure why he would be going there but since Liberty Island houses the Secretary of Defense, the bridge, the machine and God only knows what else it's bad news that he showed up there. They take off for Lady Liberty.
Back at Liberty Island Broyles has accessed the bridge room and is staring at the machine. Liv and Lincoln run in and dash past the guard, confirming from him that Broyles passed through about 10 minutes ago. They are fighting to get the door to open because natch it is taking forever.

Broyles now has the device in his hand and is still looking up at the machine. Then, the back of someone's shoulder steps into the shot and a very familiar deep, rumbling voice says, "I got your message." Holy shit, it's Amberverse Broyles! My mind started spinning going OMG, what if both Broyles are in on it?
Liv and Lincoln come running in and AltBroyles turns to face them. They stop and stand there shocked because they see the other Broyles standing behind him. Amberverse Broyles says, "Colonel Broyles just turned himself in. He told us everything." Col. Broyles looks at Liv and says, "I'm sorry."
Liv and Lincoln drop Walter back off at the bridge room and Liv hugs him goodbye. Walter leaves her with these parting words, "Don't judge him, no one can be certain exactly what they're capable of. How far they'll go to save the ones they love. I know this more than most." Then with a smile he says, "Keep an eye on this universe, will you? I've grown quite fond of it."
After Walter leaves Lincoln tells Liv that he's going to stick around in her universe until they catch who killed their partners. He also says, "Look it might not feel like it now, it does get better."
Broyles is now decked out in prison issue blue and is led to his holding cell and along the way he passes Nina's. She looks out at him in disbelief.
Now back at home at Harvard Walter has called Olivia and Peter to get to the lab pronto. When they arrive Walter explains that Jones tried his shenanigans in each universe separately because he was running tests. He was trying to find a frequency that would link both universes. Walter drops the bomb that if Broyles had actually uploaded the device Jones had given him into the machine it would've given Jones the power to collapse both universes.
It's always something with that wiley David Robert Jones.

I have lots of questions, ramblings and observations regarding this episode and in some cases just Fringe in general. It's late and I'm past the point of reining in the craziness.
When Walter and Olivia went to the bridge room so Walter could go to the Other Side in this episode Olivia acted like Walter had never been there before. Didn't Walter and Lincoln go there in A Better Human Being?
Was Broyles's son in the Alternate Universe always afflicted with some kind of medical condition? It seems like I remember that from one of the episodes, but I'm not going to look for it now.
It turns out that both of the Alternate Universe Broyles although they did some really fucked up things turned out to be semi-good at heart. In the Original Alternate Universe before the timeline change that Broyles sacrificed his life to help get Olivia back home. In this timeline he turned himself in because he couldn't continue the way he was going.

This one's gonna get confusing. Before the timeline change I used to always refer to the Blueverse as Our Side and the RedVerse as Their Side or Over Here and Over There. Which of course in part was due to that's what it was referred to as on the show. Then when the timeline changed I still referred to the Amberverse as Over Here and the RedVerse as Over There. I still do sometimes. But one day I was thinking about it in a way it's weird to refer to either the Blue Verse or Amber Verse as Over Here because it's a fictional world. But for argument and ease of reference sake I understand, plus TV is all about suspension of disbelief like you could imagine it happening for real. But, now especially since the timeline changed and the BlueVerse has become the Amberverse it seems especially weird to refer to it as Over Here because now it's a whole separate timeline. So it's definitely not "here" anymore. Yes, this is the crazy shit that I think about. I probably need to find a new hobby. And don't worry if all that made your head spin, mine is too.
Along those same lines, I don't really like referring to the Alternates as Alternates. In their world they are not Alternates, the people in the Blue/Amberverse are Alternates to them. I stopped calling AltLivia Fauxlivia (for the most part anyway) after she stopped being Faux-y. On a forum or Twitter or some aspect of cyberspace someone said that they didn't like to refer to her as Fauxlivia because they felt it was being disrespectful. At the time I thought that was really kind of silly. Of course at the time she was still being manipulative. But now, I think I see the point. I guess that means that over the course of the show I've gotten invested in the alternates.
I've said it before but I will say it again. The actors on Fringe deserve Emmys or some kind of award for their ability to portray themselves as two or more versions of themselves. That's not the only reason they deserve Emmys but it's number one on the list of reasons why. I am not discounting Peter's character as being wonderful either or Joshua Jackson's acting ability. I would love to see him rewarded for his portrayal of Peter.
That is one of my only gripes about this show. Not enough freaking Peter! I thought Season 4 was supposed to be Peter's season and it seems like he's not getting much screen time. But hopefully when Season 5 comes around (fingers crossed) we will see a whole lot of him.
Also, I don't know all the technical ins and outs of how they do it, but the scenes with the characters and their alternates are always seamless. There is no awkward camera movements or weird things going on that takes me out of what's going on in front of me. 
A few random observations:
I had the show paused at the 16 minute mark while I was recapping and I happened to be staring at the TV but unfocused because I was thinking about what I was writing. As I realized what I was staring at it was the shot of Liv, Lincoln and Walter on the Liberty Island pier and in the distance was the Manhattan skyline with the intact World Trade Centers. Although I always know that they still exist in that universe I wasn't thinking about it at the moment and for a second it caught me off guard.
When Walter cooked Liv the eggs I wonder if he was really cooking? When he sat down to eat he blew on his before he ate them. Now of course it is acting and that could've just been a little extra oomph to sell it but it did make me wonder.
When Broyles got out of his SUV when he was taking the device to the bridge room he left his window down, and it was really cloudy. Granted, he probably didn't give two shits whether it rained on his interior since he knew he wasn't going to be driving for a long, long time but I can't help the randomness that my brain notices.
I think that's all. Thanks for reading. Please leave comments with any questions or thoughts you may have.

Next Fringe recap:  Episode 4x19 - "Letters of Transit"


Anonymous said...

I have a new theory. In Season 2 Episode 3 FRACTURE, Colonel Raymond Gordon (Stephen McHattie) tells Broyles that people are collecting data about our world, observing us and are going to use that info to eventually to destroy us. What if Mr. Jones is not the big bad, but the Observers are? What if they are tripping through time to get a universe/timeline to their liking? I just think we are being led down the garden path to Mr. Jones door, but he is not really in control.

Thought Provoking Shirts said...

Yes, especially after next weeks preview I agree that your theory has validity. That would be so incredibly mind-blowing if all this time the Observers had their own wicked agenda.