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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fringe Recap - Brave New World Part 2 - 4x22

Fringe ... Season 4 Episode 22 ... Brave New World Part 2
Original Airdate Friday, May 11, 2012
As usual this episode managed to pack more emotions and feelings ending in 'ness into an hour than should be legal. There was sadness, happiness, funniness, grossness, freakiness, craziness, badassedness, universe hoppingness, sweetness, joyfulness, angriness, unbelieveableness, awesomeness and epicness. I'm sure I left some out.
The show opens with William and Belly standing in the middle of a lush field with mountains in the distance and large creatures grazing on the grass. It looks like some of the Porcupine Hybrids are flying through the sky. This would all be very Jurassic Park awesome-like if we didn’t already know that Belly was planning to destroy two universes so this one will survive. Bell says, “The Bible tells us God created his universe in seven days. It’s taken me considerably longer.” If Bell is expecting mad props from Walter he is sadly mistaken.
The outdoor image fades around them to show they are actually standing in a regular room. Bell was just giving Walter a preview of his FreakVerse, they weren’t really there.
Walter starts to try to tell Bell that this plan of his shouldn’t be carried out. Bell patiently explains that it’s too late, everything is already in motion and there’s no stopping it now.
Bell insists that it was divine intervention that brought Walter to him after all these years. I’m sure Walter catching up to him had nothing to o do with DRJ and Bell managing to cross the Fringe Division’s path at every turn lately. And even though Walter may have lost some of his marbles, the man is still a freaking genius and could tell Bell’s “signature” formula. Bell’s quite tickled with his "Divine Intervention" theory, but Walter just looks flabbergasted.
Olivia and Peter arrive at the lab in Harvard calling out for Walter, but getting no answer. The lab looks almost empty, I don’t remember ever seeing it with so little going on. Olivia leaves a message on Astrid’s voicemail asking for her to call her back. Peter's right arm is in a sling, recovering from the injuries he received from Jones. (Good thing our boy is left handed.)
Peter finds Walter’s abandoned Lemon Pig Brain Cortexiphan cake and says, “Whatever Walter was baking it didn’t turn out too hot.” I’m just very glad Peter didn’t decide to taste it, but I guess by now he’s learned his lesson. Peter thinks maybe they went out to breakfast and offers to get Olivia a cup of coffee from the pot he’s started.
She realizes that she’s about to make Slingy McSlingerson make her coffee when probably he should be the one to be waited on. She goes to the coffee pot and takes over the task.
Peter tries to get her to talk about the “Jedi mind trick you pulled on me back on the roof.” But she doesn’t want to talk about it, saying it was the Cortexiphan. She does agree to undergo some Walter-tests whenever he surfaces.
Olivia’s *Sprint* phone rings with the ID showing Private Caller. When she answers it’s Jessica Holt, saying she thinks someone’s been following her. Olivia tells her to lock everything down and sit tight. While Jessica is talking to Olivia the camera shows a suit clad man from behind, standing in the background of Jessica's apartment. After Jessica hangs up it is shown that it is September. Jessica appears to not know that he is there and walks off into another room. September takes a few steps in her direction but stops short, looking down to see he is standing on a glowing piece of floor that has markings on it that look like and Os and Xs. Awww, someone's giving September hugs and kisses. Sadly, I don't think that's what is happening as now September seems unable to move from the spot he is standing on.

Then the Fringe opening credits roll and the first set of commercials come on giving me some time to ponder what it is that this episode has in store for us.
Olivia and Peter arrive at Jessica's house in Quincy, Massachusetts and the door swings open easily at the touch of Olivia's hand. They make their way inside but Olivia gets no answer to her repeated calls of "Jessica?" Olivia finds that her purse, wallet and phone are still on the table. Peter makes his own discovery of a jagged hole in the floor, all the way to the foundation, that apparently Jessica did not mention during her phone call to Olivia.
Knowing what Olivia must be thinking Peter says, "Liv, you didn't put this woman's life in danger. You're the one that saved her." At that moment Broyles calls Olivia to tell her that Astrid has just gotten out of surgery at Boston General. An anonymous phone call alerted paramedics to her location and they were able to get her to the hospital. She's in stable condition. That is a huge relief. I didn't think they would kill Astrid off, but I didn't want to count my miraculous recoveries before they hatched either.
Olivia inquires, "What about Walter?" Broyles answers, "You should bring him with you." So now they realize that Walter is really and truly missing. They trek on over to the hospital to pay Astrid a visit. She looks pretty good for someone who just had major surgery. She tells them the last place she saw Walter was at the warehouse by the waterfront, where she was shot. Since the paramedics did not pick her up from a warehouse they assume that whoever called them took her elsewhere to be found. Peter says, "Which means they didn't want you dead," and gives Astrid's hand a reassuring squeeze.
Astrid remembers that it was several armed men who were at the docks and managed to shoot her. She thinks that they have most likely taken Walter. Her eyes fill with tears and she looks to Peter saying, "Peter, I tried to protect him, but I couldn't get him out of there." Tears roll down her face and her voice fades out in breathless sorrow. Peter soothes her, saying that he knows she did all she could.
Astrid gives them the details of where the warehouse was and also mentions the weird sounds they
encountered. Broyles says he'll let them know if the Boston Police Department gets any information on Jessica Holt and then Olivia and Peter leave to go check out the docks. Right before she leaves Astrid says to Olivia, "Hey, be careful."
Peter and Olivia arrive down at the warehouse and take a few moments to climb out of their *Nissan* SUV. They are still trying to figure out what the shenanigans with the nanites and deadly sun rays had to do with Bell trying to collapse the universes. They go in the door marked A1 Imports Distribution Co, which is not locked (just as it wasn't when Walter and Astrid went there in the last episode.) For bad guys who are creating a new species they aren't very worried about someone just walking in.
In the warehouse what they find is September still perched atop his section of floor. Peter jogs toward him saying, "What are you doing here?" September replies, "I'm not here of my own volition." Then the beautiful red-haired Jessica come around the corner pointing a gun at the three of them. After Jessica insists that Olivia put down her weapon if they want to see Walter again, Olivia complies and slides her gun over near Jessica's feet.
The markings on the piece of floor that September is standing on are Runes and they are rendering him immobile. Since September has always showed a significant interest in Olivia's life, Jessica says, "Dr. Bell said that if we put you in harms way, he'd appear."
Olivia realizes that the reason Jessica was more than happy to be Walter's lab rat during the nanite incident was because she was a set-up. Jessica's been working for Bell the whole time and the background details she originally gave, like having a daughter, were not true.
To test Olivia's reaction and relationship to September Jessica fires three successive shots directly at him. September calls on his Observer skillz and catches all three bullets without flinching and scatters them on the ground. As one badass Superbeing in the presence of another the corner of Olivia's mouth quirks up a slightly in appreciation as she watches September's little feat.
As Jessica explains that the Observers aren't magical, they are just equipped to move faster than fast, she pulls out another bigger, bulkier gun and takes aim again. When she pulls the trigger September's hand shoots up to close around the bullet. He stands still for a moment and then lowers his arm, revealing a blood spot right in the area of his heart -- if Observers have hearts, that is. This gun was an invention of William Bells and fires a speeding bullet, well, faster than a speeding bullet.
As Jessica raises the weapon again, Olivia starts to plead with her to calm down and tell her what she wants. Instead of giving her a real answer, Jessica sneers and says, "He feels no emotion, perhaps no pain. This won't upset him. But it appears to upset you." When Olivia tries again to talk her down, this time Jessica pauses and takes a deep breath like she might be considering it, even lowers the gun for a moment. Then, in a blink she fires on September again, three more quick shots. Olivia throws her hand out and the bullets hit her palm. One, two, three, jolting her a little with the impact.
With no hesitation Olivia opens her hand and gives it the slightest nudge in Jessica's direction. The bullets fly from her palm and embed themselves in Jessica's body, causing her to drop the gun and slump to the ground. Peter looks a little scared and if an Observer could look shocked then I think September does. Olivia is just as disturbed as they are.
Olivia wants to tend to September's wound, but he explains that he's unable to move at the moment. Peter gets off the phone and advises them that help is on the way. He is unable to touch the glowing Runes that September is standing on. September expresses curiosity that Jessica and Company knew enough to use this against him.
Peter finds a scrap of metal and scrapes it against the edge of one of the Runes until it flares and goes out. The hold it has over September is released and he sinks to a sitting position. Unfortunately he doesn't know where Walter is.
Olivia tells September about him visiting her at the Opera House and how he was shot then. Now they know how he got the wound. She says, "You came to me at the Opera House. You said in every version of the future, I would have to die." September answers, "I did not. Or I have not yet. I suspect I understand now. The conversation you are referring to has not yet happened for me. I must investigate the future and find out what I meant. I hope I get back to you in time." Sirens are heard in the background as he gets up and starts walking away from Peter and Olivia. As they watch, he disappears into thin air.
Olivia wonders how they'll get information on where Walter is now that the only person who could help them has been killed. Peter calls upon his mad scientist genes and informs Olivia that even though Jessica may be dead, they can still get answers out of her.
They take Jessica's corpse back to the lab and fit her with wires and electrodes. Olivia is wielding a huge hypodermic needle and pulls up one of Jessica's sleeves. Peter stops her, saying, "No, no, not there. Right here, right in the thinker," as he taps his temple. That made me giggle a bit in an otherwise tense moment. Olivia sinks the needle into the side of Jessica's head and I'm wondering how it didn't come out the other side, it was so long.
Nina Sharp comes hustling through the door with equipment and a small team behind her asking, "How long has she been dead?" Only about 25 minutes, Peter informs her. That's just the ticket and Nina begins to ready her devices and give orders. She moves purposefully around Jessica something that sounds like a high-tech nail gun to drive metal prongs into her temples.
While Peter works to bring down Jessica's core body temperature so they can connect with what's left of her consciousness. Nina and Olivia have a heart to heart. Olivia is realizing that Bell has been using her feelings whether they be fear or anger to activate the Cortexiphan in her system. Nina tells her, "It was your capacity for feeling that made William and Walter so sure that you were the perfect candidate for the trials. And I don't know what it is, but William must want -- no, he needs something from you. Something only you can provide."
On the cargo boat Walter and William Bell a heart to heart of their own, well Bell does most of the talking. If I ever thought Walter was hard to paraphrase he's a picnic compared to Bell. Walter wants answers about why Bell is doing this and what kind of outcome he is hoping for. Then, Bell drops this unwanted knowledge on Walter, "Walter, this was all your idea. Peter died. Twice. You hated God. 'What kind of God would cause so much suffering?' That's what you said. So much pain? You decided to create a universe that would operate by your rules and then when you realized that you were smart enough to do it, you got scared. You asked me to cut out a portion of your brain." Walter denies this. "Yes, Walter. We cut those ideas out of your head to literally put the genie back into the bottle. Then I grew older. I grew cynical. I grew cancer. I realized that dosing myself with Cortexiphan would slow it down. But slowing is not stopping. For me it's just a matter of time. The clock is ticking. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. And that's when it occurred to me. You were right, Walter. Walter you were right, right, right. Every rant you ever went on made perfect sense. Suddenly I understood not just you, but everything. God made us in his image. If that is so, if we are capable of being Gods then it is our destiny to do so." Walter tries to argue with him a bit and Belly says, "My dear friend, even if you deny it now you have always been playing God. I am."
So, was Bell saying that he is God? Or that he is playing God? Or something else entirely?
Back at the lab, Peter interrupts the Nina/Olivia moment by telling them that Jessica is ready to go. He throws the switch and the lights go out in the lab, but it manages to reanimate Jessica. This was some freaky shit, y'all. She would open her eyes but they wouldn't work properly and would roll from side to side and all around and in opposite directions. Sometimes one would open and one would stay closed. Sometimes her voice would be deep and electronic sounding, and other times be normal. I guess it was the synapses in her brain firing all weird. She babbled on and on with what sounded like nonsense, but she's really dropping snippets of clues.
They manage to figure out that Bell is on a boat and that he's going to collapse the universes using a great energy source. Before they can get out of her what the energy source is that he is using she goes off on a tangent about Noah and him bring creatures on the ark two by two. Olivia starts to get angry and grabs her by the shoulder. When she does a charge shoots through Jessica, the lights blow out in the lab and biblical babblings are over for good.
After witnessing what just happened, Nina takes a reading of Olivia's electromagnetic energy. It's off the charts. Say Hello to Bell's energy source. The one upside to Bell using Olivia as the destructor of the Universes is that it gives Nina an angle with which she might be able to track Bell.
At the Boston Federal Building, it is confirmed that a cargo ship left the docking area about six hours ago. Nina fills Broyles in on what they know so far. Basically that Olivia is the catalyst to the collapse of the universes. "Lucky me," Olivia deadpans. But the frequency that Olivia is giving off will match to the point where the Universes are intersecting. It is there that William Bell will most likely be with Walter because that will be the only place that makes it through the annihilation.
Reports are starting to come in of disasters. One is a large storm about 80 miles east off the coast of Boston. There's also been three micro-quakes in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts. These are signs that the Universes are starting to come together.
Peter realizes that Olivia has disappeared and finds her in another room. She's wonders aloud what it is that William has in store for her. She says after all these years and all that she's been through, nothing's changed, she still feels like that scared, alone child in Jacksonville and she's still being experimented on by William Bell. Peter corrects her and reminds her that this time she's not alone. They hug.
Back on the boat Walter is staring thoughtfully at a glass case that houses a gun and some bullets. Bell shakes him out of his pensive moment, telling him to come look out the window. He appeals to the scientist in Walter and tells him, "You've never seen anything like this, it's marvelous." Walter crosses the room slowly and looks out, asking "How?" Bell responds, "Olivia. You were right, Walter. She truly is a remarkable girl."
The camera pulls back showing that the Freight Liner that they are in is surrounded by a vicious looking ring of dark clouds with lightning prominently flecked throughout. The vastness of the storm makes the huge boat look small in comparison.
The FBI researchers have pinpointed the location of the storm. Broyles puts a call in for helicopters and sends Nina, Olivia and Peter off to the coordinates of the squall.
While the choppers make their way to the location, Walter is still desperately trying to convince William to drop this idea. But William is having none of it, telling Walter, "You may be sad now, Walter. You may be frightened. But you'll see, we deserve this."
The choppers reach the coordinates but all that is below them is an expanse of undisturbed water. Peter is the only one that can see the boat. After a bit of confusion they realize that the boat has already phased out of sync with this universe but since Peter is from the other side he can still see it.
Next is the obstacle of getting to the boat. Normally they would need the bridge to cross to the Other Side. But now that Olivia has so much active Cortexiphan in her she should be able to cross without the aide of the bridge. Peter and Olivia have to do what they do best and work as a team since he can't cross without her and she can't see the boat without him. Olivia worries that maybe she isn't up to this task. In a very sweet encouraging and motherly moment Nina says, "You have the most extraordinary gifts but the only one you were denied was knowing it. You've had the power all along."
Peter asks Olivia if she is ready and they gather hand in hand in the open doorway of the helicopter. That exchange reminded me of them getting ready to take on the machine together in The Last Sam Weiss. Peter watches the boat-that-only-he-can-see carefully. Olivia says, "If you've lost your mind, now would be the time to tell me." He just grins at her and lets her know when it is time to jump.
They free fall towards the water but seconds later land with twin thumps on a container unit on the deck of the cargo ship. The storm rages around them and Peter almost slides off the edge of the container. He only has one useful arm and is scrambling to hang on. Olivia manages to grab him and haul him back up to safety.
That fall had to fricking hurt. Unless they were right above the ship the whole time. I had no frame of reference since we couldn't see the ship. Peter produces a gun from his jacket, to Olivia's surprise. He just says, "It was the pilot's. You can't be the only one who always gets to carry a gun."
They make their way down into the lower decks of the ship as Peter comments, "I think this is his ark."
Bell is off in his own little world clasping his hands and reciting a poem. (The poem is The Lake Isle of Innisfree.)  Walter uses this chance to remove the gun from the case and load it. While Walter holds the gun I'm thinking C'mon Walter, shoot the shit out of him. Bell asks Walter if he knows what his is quoting and Walter says, "Yeats." 

Peter and Olivia come bursting in, guns at the ready. William takes this opportunity to launch into another long soliloquy of his own composing, "Well, this is unexpected. You know, I was not planning on having any humans. What a troublesome species we can be, after all. I had assumed that Walter and I would die off and my new universe would thrive unencumbered by the savage whims of mankind. But, I see I was wrong. Look at the two of you. Humans abide, they persevere, they survive. You have earned your right in the New Order. A final breeding pair. Amongst all others, you will be the new Adam and Eve."  
He says he can't turn off what's happening. Olivia is the impetus and her very existence, the fact that she's living is what's causing the worlds to come apart.
Walter's still clutching the gun and he says "Forgive me." All of a sudden I think I know what he's going to do. I'm hoping it's put a bullet in Bell, but now I'm just not so sure. He turns and shoots Olivia right in the forehead. Even though I thought that might happen I still yelled, "Oh. My. God." Olivia's head rocks back a little and she falls to her knees and then sideways. Damn, Olivia got shot in the head in the Season 3 and 4 finale. Can't a girl get a break?
Peter screams an agonized, "Nooooo!" and runs to her side. Outside the storm is stripped away to show blue sky with the choppers hovering above the boat. Peter cradles Olivia in his arms, repeating "No," over and over. Then he says, "You killed her." With tears in his eyes, Walter turns the gun on Bell who mumbles, "Yes indeed, he did. Very clever, old friend. Perhaps we should consider learning a lesson from the past. [He dings his captain's bell.] You paid a steep price." As he starts to shimmer and fade out he says, "We could've all been so happy together." Peter is still holding Olivia's lifeless body as tears roll down his face. (And then, there's a commercial. *grumbling*)
So the commercial gave me time to think, assuring myself that Olivia wasn't really dead. I imagined that she would be like Wolverine from X-Men and the bullet would work it's way out of the wound and she'd sit up and say, "Hey guys, why so sad? Let's order Damiano's." At least that's what I hoped would happen.
When the show comes back, Walter tries to pry Olivia out of Peter's arms. Peter is understandably angry and doesn't want to let her go. Walter tells Peter they have to move quickly if Olivia is to be saved. Peter grunts out, "Can't save her, she's dead." Walter says, "You know very well that doesn't always stop me!" Then to get Peter to pay attention to him he slaps him hard across the face. He orders Peter to go get a letter opener and clear off the table top.
Walter carries Olivia over to the table and places her gently on it. Peter watches dejectedly as Walter starts to prod around the back of Olivia's head. Walter explains that since Olivia is chock-full of Cortexiphan and brain tissue is regenerative if he can get the bullet out quick enough then any damage that Olivia suffered should be reversed.
He takes the letter opener and poises it at the back of Olivia's neck. Peter stops him, wanting to know what he is doing. Walter /explains/ he has to make an exit wound for the bullet. He plunges the letter opener into the flesh of Olivia's neck and rotates it until he has made a hole.
Walter then finds a long metal pointer and slowly feeds it little by little into the hole in Olivia's forehead. Peter is visibly trying to keep a grip on himself as he watches Walter do this. When Walter has it buried deep in her skull he says, "I'm sorry, Olive," and then whacks the end with a stapler. There is a pinging sound and the bullet clatters out of her neck onto the table. Walter slowly withdrawals the rod from her forehead.
It is tense now, waiting. I'm waiting for something to happen and am starting to lose hope. Peter chokes out a strangled, "Walter." Then, even though it's probably only been thirty seconds it felt like forever the hole in Olivia's skin starts to get smaller. "It worked." Walter says. The wound on Olivia's brow seals completely shut and vanishes, leaving only the small trickle of blood as any evidence it was even there. She shifts slightly on the table, looking for all the worlds like she is moving in her sleep. Walter and Peter both weep in relief.
At the Capital Building in DC, Broyles is advised that the search for Bell has come up empty, even with international cooperation. (I think interuniversal cooperation is what is needed in this instance though.) The creatures that Bell was housing are being contained until further research can be done on them. The Fringe Team will be the ones to do the research. Broyles is commended for the Fringe Division's efforts in saving the world(s). The Fringe Division will receive additional funding so its operational and scientific areas can be upgraded. He is also promoted from Colonel to General.
Nina Sharp meets Broyles when his meeting adjourns. After telling her how it went he offers her the job of heading up the science division of Fringe. She laughs and loops her arm through his.
At the hospital, Peter and Walter are waiting to be able to go in and see Olivia. Walter is in the middle of explaining to Peter that he thinks that Olivia has probably used up most of the Cortexiphan in her system in light of recent events. He interrupts himself as a nurse walks by with a tray of cups filled with a yellow substance. He leans forwards and says, "Excuse me, Miss. Is that lemon Jell-O?" She gives him a look and informs him, "These are urine samples." Walter politely tells her, "Oh, well in that case, no thank you. I'm more peckish than thirsty." A look of incredulity slides across her face and she walks away. Walter leans back in his chair and smiles benevolently.
Peter wants to know if this means that Olivia is normal now. Walter says that it is possible that in the future some abilities will come through again, since the Cortexiphan left a biological signature, but for the main part Olivia could be considered ordinary.
Astrid comes around, she's still in her hospital garb but she wanted to check on Olivia. As if on cue a doctor comes up and says, "She's all done. She's ready to go home." Peter leaves to go get Olivia and Astrid takes up the seat he just vacated. She pulls a bag of Red Vines out of her robe and offers Walter one. He thanks her and gets her name right. She glances at him and comments, "You just called me by my real name." "Did I?" he questions, with a twinkle in his eye.
Peter enters Olivia's room and brandishes a paper for her to see. He's found a house for them. He tells Olivia that he wanted them to have a little bit of normal in their lives. He mentions that September must've been right, because Olivia did have to die in every timeline. Olivia starts to try to tell him something and he gets worried, wondering if the doctor has told her something else. Yes, it turns out that there is some more news to share. She pauses for a moment and looks deep in his eyes before she says, "Peter, I'm pregnant."
Peter watches her face for a moment as if to make sure he's heard her correctly. She nods slightly and smiles a little. He starts smiling too and leans in to kiss her. From the doorway a clearing throat is heard and they look over to see Walter and Astrid standing there. It looks like everyone got the news together. They finally get their kiss.
Back at the lab Walter is digging in the fridge and whistling "Rock-A-Bye Baby." He's in the process of throwing together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when he looks up to see September standing before him. Walter stops whistling and says, "I don't suppose you're here for a sandwich?" In that patented Observer delivery September tells him, "We have to warn the others. They are coming."
"Who's coming?" Walter questions.
Apparently Bad Wo-Bot is coming. Yes folks, that's the end of Season 4. It was a hell of a ride. Some of the best television I've ever seen and definitely the best acting.
Additional Musings:
So, Olivia IS pregnant. But really, who didn't see that coming? Etta was kind of a giveaway. I admit as cynical as I am and even though I really don't want the show to start revolving around her being pregnant, I was smiling a little by the end of that scene. How could I not? They seemed so happy.
Jessica said that September seemed uber-interested in what happened in Olivia's life, but I always thought that September was more of Peter's guardian angel. Unless it still all comes back to Olivia.
I'm curious how they would've ended the show if there was no Season 5 on the horizon. My crack-pot theories are that:
A. Walter would've shot Bell and somehow managed to save the universes.
B. They would not have been able to save Olivia.
C. The collapse of the universes would've been unavoidable and everybody died.
D. They find out they all died in a plane crash and were in Purgatory for 4 years. Uh, wait. No that's another show.
I'm hoping that maybe on one of the future boxed sets they will release the alternate ending.
Jasika Nicole and Josh Jackson really had some emotional stuff in this episode. They killed it.
While I'm excited to see what Season 5 has in store, I am sad that it will be the beginning of the end. But there's no need to worry about that at the moment because it will be awhile before that gets here.
What did you think? What do you think Season 5 has in store? Did you think this was the best of the Fringe Season finales so far? Did anything surprise you about this episode? What was your favorite part?
Thanks for reading!

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