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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fringe Recap - 504 - The Bullet That Saved the World

Fringe ... Season 5 Episode 4 ... "The Bullet That Saved The World"
Original Airdate - Friday October 26, 2012
I have been seriously slacking on the Season 5 recaps, that is to say if ‘seriously slacking’ means not doing them at all. Tonight's episode though, was just the kick in the ass I needed to get writing again.
It starts with Peter siphoning gas from a car at night. A small fire burns in a trash can in the background behind him. He glances cautiously around while he waits for the gas can to fill. Once he is finished he stops outside a store that has a toy monkey in the window banging cymbals. The corners of his mouth upturn very slightly as he looks at it.
He takes the gasoline into the store with him and makes a bit of small talk with the shop keeper who has a Rastafarian accent. There is a throw pillow there that is embroidered with the phrase: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan." The shop keeper remarks that it's been there for awhile and perhaps it "hits too close to home."
Peter finds a Simon game and reminisces briefly about how he had one when he was a kid. Peter declines the offer from the clerk who says "I'll give you a good deal, man." Peter steps forward to the counter and says, "Actually, what I'm looking for is a --"
A voice behind him says, "This is what you were looking for." It's an Observer holding out a silver chain, telling Peter that it would look good on the young blond women that he is thinking of.
Peter has his back to the Observer and closes his eyes for a moment as though he is concentrating. The Observer attempts to read his thoughts but they are a jumble of overlapping nonsensical mutterings. The Observer catches "Red Sox" out of the muddled musings and asks Peter what baseball is.
Peter explains that at one time, before you bald assholes came and started polluting everything worse than it already was and melting peoples minds, it was a sport. Well, except he didn't really say the part about bald assholes and the polluting and the melting, but yeah, he wanted to. I could tell.

While Peter is trying to pay for his purchase and get the hell out of there the Observer concludes that he is upsetting Peter because he doesn't like being read. Peter says, "Who's upset? I got nothing to hide. What's there to be upset about?"
Peter hands the clerk a bill of some denomination that I can't tell and wants to know if that will cover his purchase. The Rastafarian says, "Blood clot, man. I haven't seen one of these in years." That's what my closed captioning says anyway. I personally don't think he says 'Blood clot' and I can't tell what it is.
As the Observer begins to catch on that Peter is purposefully trying to trip him up mentally Peter drops the chain over his own head and walks out of the shop, telling the store clerk to "Keep the change."
Once he gets outside there is a group of Loyalists giving some Natives a hard time for being out so late. The Observer exits the shop behind Peter, telling them "There is something wrong. Detain him." Old tattle-tale gets a gas can to the chin from Peter for his snitchiness and Peter takes off running.
He disappears around a corner and the Loyalists follow until they come upon an open man-hole cover with a ladder extending downward. They conclude that Peter must be down there. In the sewer Peter cocks his gun in preparation for them. There is a clanking noise and a small cylindrical object rolls up beside him. It is beeping and has blinking red lights. Peter takes off running again. Behind him there is an explosion that catapults him off his feet.
This terrifying moment is apparently just the right time for the credits.
Peter slowly comes to and finds that he is laying on the ground with a kid playing a harmonica looking down at him. (For those of you that saw the previews of this scene and thought Peter looked D-E-A-D it was all for buildup purposes. Fringe is really good at that, aren't they?)
Pretty much all the kid wants to know is if the gun Peter has is real. After informing Peter that he came out of a nearby storm drain and that he is bleeding, the boy calmly saunters off, playing his harmonica again.
There are Loyalists stationed outside of what is Formerly Harvard University. They are oblivious that Walter and Astrid are hard at work inside, lasering another tape from the ambered mess that is now the lab.
Astrid carefully pulls it from the amber, and lets Olivia know that the condition of this one might be better. Walter complains in the background, "It took hours . . . at this rate we will save the world. In another 21 years ... and you know how old that will make me. I don't even want to do that math."
Peter enters the lab and Olivia is concerned by his appearance since half his face is bruised and bloodied. He tells Olivia and Etta about his ordeal with the Observer and that an image was extracted from him. It was Etta. Peter dejectedly says, "I don't know how we're going to beat 'em."
Etta assures her father that "We beat them one by one." She says in time she can teach all of them how to have a series of planned thoughts in their head so they cannot be read.
Peter hands over the necklace he got for her as, "payment on the first lesson." Etta thankfully hugs him and he says, "worth every bump and bruise, kiddo." (Awwww.) Afterwards he shares a look and smile with Walter that I took as them bonding over fatherhood.
Back at the store a different Observer is playing the Simon game. The door swings open (The name of the shop is Thrifty Lion, by the way.) and Broyles enters. He looks a little older, a little rougher around the edges, but still unmistakably Broyles. The Observer, who I believe is Windmark, gives Broyles the stare-down as Simon still beeps away. Then Broyles asks, "You wanted to see me?"
Windmark (if I'm wrong someone can let me know) shows Broyles a hologram of Peter's sketchy reading earlier. Windmark shows Broyles the necklace and says, "This is what he purchased. An alloy of gold and other metals. Minerals Argentine and Chlorargyrite. What is its purpose?" Broyles explains it is something that you wear.
Windmark thinks that there is a leak in Broyles' team. One of the men on it did not pass a security test. Broyles says he will check it out and then leaves.
Back at the lab they are watching the tape they un-ambered, 'Tape Two.' The video-Walter unfurls a large sheet of paper that he says contains plans that must be followed to the letter. He rolls them up and inserts them into a tube to protect the document. The tape is garbled on and off and taped-Walter says that "I have hidden them as I would my most prized possession." Then he starts to tell a story about being a boy and going with his mother on what she deemed, "Manhattan Mystery Tours." Olivia palms her forehead in frustration and the tape starts to get choppier until the VCR finally ejects it.
However, video-Walter provided enough clues to tip present day (well, 2036) Walter off to the tube's whereabouts. Walter says it is in the wall of the subway platform beneath Newark Penn Station. He explains that as a 10-year old who had been afraid that the "Pinkos" were about to attack an underground subway seemed to be the safest place for his most prized possession.
Etta informs them that every major way into Manhattan, including train stations are being patrolled by Observers. They decide they are going to have to distract the guards in order to get past them.
Walter says he needs to get into the amber to the rolling cabinet. When Astrid tells him "there's nothing in there except lab equipment and your Easy Bake Oven," Walter isn't concerned about the contents of the cabinet. He needs to get to what's under it. He calls out, "Astrif, (not a typo) prepare the laser!"
In what seems like an incredibly short amount of time they have lasered out a hatch in the floor. Walter passes around Mentholatum for them to sniff before descending the stairs. Below they find what Walter calls his "cold storage of all the Fringe events we've ever encountered." There are several recognizable horrors of the past, including the Porcupine-man. Walter declares, "There was a time when we solved Fringe cases. Now I think it's time we created a few of our own."
I laughed when Olivia said to Astrid, "You really had no idea that he was doing any of this?" Astrid's reply was, "I wouldn't have slept at night if I did." Walter has a slight freak out when he turns and finds that Etta has an Ambering device in her hands. "Put that down. You'll Amber us. It's an Ambering device. Put it down, gently. Hair trigger."
Etta dutifully and carefully returns the Ambering device to whence it came. Walter breathes a sigh of relief.
Side note: I think in this scene Peter is wearing his wedding ring on a chain around his neck.
When Walter's flashlight beam alights on the broken window to the Other Side, Peter quickly says, "There has got to be a better option for getting us into that train station than a portal that lets us see into another universe." Walter reluctantly agrees.
While he is searching for a Fringe event for them to use he comes across what he calls a doughnut hole. Okay, this thing is pink, it has tendrils coming off the sides of it and it looks goopy. OMG. So of course what does Walter do? He announces that it's a jelly doughnut hole, it's still spongy and THEN he swipes a bit of it up with his finger and tastes it. "It's still good," he concludes. I got a little gaggy at that scene and that says a lot considering the stuff that's seen on this show.
Elsewhere an Observer is showing the Loyalist that failed his security test the recording of his earlier interrogation. Broyles watches from his office on a screen almost as big as he is.
The recording shows the Observer asking the man several questions to ascertain if he is actually who he says he is. The Observer wants to know when he was inducted into the academy, if he thought of his deceased parents during the ceremony and lastly, what was the weather like that day .
The answers the Loyalist provides are: April 25, 2033, he missed his parents being there to see him be inducted and that it was sunny on that day.
That's a big oops. The Observer says, "On April 25, 2033 in Boston, rainfall began approximately at 10:20 a.m. and continued steadily until late in the evening." The Observer begins to read the guy and concludes that the paperwork to get him into the position he is occupying was forged. He continues to probe his gray matter.
Broyles watches intently from his office. The veins start to bulge out in the man's forehead as the Observer continues to dig. A trickle of blood dribbles out of his nostril. The Observer thinks that this man must know something about the fugitives, most pointedly where Peter Bishop is hiding.
He manages to drag a memory out of the dude's brain of him overhearing Anil saying something. Then the Observer stumbles upon something else that intrigues him. It is the name "The Dove." The man he is reading starts to shake. In his office, Broyles stands up from where he had been leaning against his desk.
After pushing the Loyalist to the edge of a breakdown the Observer gives up on finding out from him who this "Dove" really is. The Observer turns and looks directly at the camera that is feeding the footage to Broyles in the office.
Broyles unsheathes his weapon and checks that it has bullets? Is powered up? Makes sure it's ready, whatever it is that entails it's good-to-go.
About the time the Observer was talking about forged documents I started hoping that Broyles was in on this and he was part of the Resistance. His actions could be taken either way, but I was hoping he was powering up his gun in case he had to pop an Observer.
The interrogator comes in and when he turns his back to close the door Broyles' hand hovers over his weapon. The Observer says he was unable to get a full picture out of the Loyalist, only bits and pieces. Broyles brings up that this is the third time there has been a mention of someone or thing called "The Dove."
The Observer says that upon hearing the name Peter Bishop the Loyalist remembered overhearing Anil talk about a lab in Sector B.
(Damn it. Now they are going to know where they are.)
The Observer brings up Broyles having a relationship with the fugitives in the past. Broyles seems surprised that the Observer knows he used to work with Peter and the gang. Broyles admits, "I knew them, but that was a long time ago."
The Observer keeps looking at Broyles like he is trying to read him but Broyles is suffering no adverse effects. Based on what the Observer has found out he thinks that the fugitives are in the lab. He tells Broyles, "I will make my report," and leaves. Once the door closes Broyles sighs a little and looks down.
Yes, Yes, Yes and more Yes!!! I so want Broyles to be a part of the Resistance.
In the lab it's almost like old times. Some music is playing in the background. Astrid is elbow deep in protective gloves as she works on something in a plexi-glass container. Walter and Peter are behind a table working on a task. Walter brings a grenade launcher looking device up to his shoulder and says, "Pull." He fires a shot that dings off of one of the overhead lights, startling Astrid. She turns around to admonish him. Peter's face instantly goes from laughing at Walter to a "It wasn't me" look as he points at Walter.
Astrid says, "Walter, technically this is a weapon of mass destruction." Walter chortles, "So is a mosquito if it carries the West Nile." I love Walter. He decides his current shooting apparatus will work well for what he has in mind.
In another part of the lab Olivia and Etta are discussing the number of people guarding the subway station. When Olivia sees Etta restringing the mashed up bullet onto the chain Peter gave her the conversation changes.
Etta had found a matchbox in Olivia's jewelry box that contained the bullet. In an effort to feel closer to her estranged mother she began wearing it around her neck. She knew that for Olivia to have kept it, it must have held some significance.
Olivia takes it from Etta. (Looking surprisingly cheerful to be handling the bullet that was once embedded in her brain.) As she turns it over in her hands she says, "You know, your father used to call this 'The bullet that saved the world.'"
Their bonding moment is interrupted by a text Etta receives. After she reads it she tells Olivia, "Lab's been compromised."
The scene changes to show Broyles walking out of his office with his phone in his hand. He tucks it into the inner pocket of his suit jacket and joins an Observer who is waiting for the elevator. The elevator arrives, they both get in and the doors slide shut.
Olivia and Etta rejoin Walter, Peter and Astrid, telling them they have to get going because their location has been discovered. Walter says, "We cannot leave the lab. Without the tapes, we have nothing. Forget the blue prints, forget the rocks from the mine, forget whatever is in the tube. None of it means anything without the plan. There goes the world. World ending."
Outside Loyalists are already breaking through the chains that have the doors locked down.
Olivia gets an idea. She says, "Walter, we need to re-amber the lab."
The Loyalists get through the first set of doors. Windmark is watching their progress from his office. Once the Loyalists are inside they look around and report back that they are finding nothing. All that's there is an ambered lab. Broyles is watching as well but his face gives nothing away when he hears this news.
The Loyalists file down the corridor confirming on their Walkie-Talkies that the building is secure. Once they are down the hall a grate pops off the wall and Astrid climbs out from behind it.
Windmark is now convinced that the Loyalist that tipped them off about the lab was wrong. To Broyles, he hypothesizes that if Etta could escape their wicked mind reading maybe other people can as well.
Walter pulls up to the checkpoint in the old station wagon. He asks for directions to Kennebunkport, Maine. He claims he's been driving around in circles and he is lost. A Loyalist scans a red light across his face and asks Walter if he has his travel authorization. The Observer that is also stationed at the checkpoint comes up saying, "I will handle this." He reaches into the car and lays his hand upon Walter's shoulder.
Walter's face freezes and a crackly sound is heard. Electricity races through Walter's body. The Observer removes his hand and Walter smiles, "You electrocuted me," he says nonchalantly as smoke curls off of him. The Observer demands his authorization again. Pronto. Walter rummages around in the passenger seat for a moment.
When he turns back towards the open window he has a gas mask over his face and he discharges a spray directly at the Observer and Loyalist. They both fall to the ground struggling for breath as skin begins to grow over their mouths, noses and eyes, sealing shut their airway. This ranked up there on the high end of freakier-than-usual former Fringe events that they could've chosen to use. It is gruesome, but effective. The device that the Loyalist scanned Walter with has now returned with information to advise Walter is 'Wanted'.
Walter jumps out of the car with Peter behind him. Peter and Walter go towards the station and Olivia takes the wheel of the car so she and Etta can meet them a little later in the back. How Peter, Olivia and Etta were all hiding in the station wagon without being seen, I don't know.
Peter and Walter go down into the belly of the subway station. Walter looks around with his flashlight, finding a wall with the graffiti "Kilroy was here" and a little man drawn on it. (I'm sure there is something significant about that, I might look it up later.) Walter says he drew the picture and what they are looking for must be in the vent.
Peter gets the grating off the wall and reaches inside the opening. He pulls out the tube that was on the video.
Olivia and Etta are waiting in the car. There are some sirens in the background. Olivia turns to Etta and says, "Let's go."
In the subway a Loyalist comes upon Walter and Peter. Peter is able to shoot him and they run away.
Outside a car full of Loyalists has spotted Olivia and Etta. They begin to shoot at them. Olivia and Etta return fire in the form of the suffocating grenades. The Loyalists are soon engulfed by a white mist that is mutating their skin.
Walter and Peter come crashing out of the building, with gas masks on. They jump into the vehicle with Olivia and Etta and careen away. The Loyalists lay convulsing on the ground as they begin dying.
In his office Broyles puts away his laptop (which is oddly clunky looking to be so far in the future). He has a folded piece of paper in his hands. He opens it to show it is a picture of Peter and Olivia. They both look happy and relaxed.
The gang has now parked under an overpass and have spread out the paper that was in the tube on the hood of the car. It is covered with writing. Even though it is in Walter's handwriting he does not recognize what it is. He says, "It's Greek to me. Except that I read Greek. This is Aramaic to me. Not the Western Dialect, I do speak a little."
Etta says they can't go back to the lab yet because there is someone who want to see them. (Fingers crossed, let it be Broyles, let it be Broyles.) A car pulls up and (Whoo-hoo!) Broyles gets out. The former Fringe team stares at him for a moment and then they walk over. Broyles addresses Olivia, "Agent Dunham." She smiles and says, "Phillip," giving him a big hug. I loved this scene. It was like a homecoming, without the home. He greets Walter and Peter before explaining that he didn't want Etta to tell them about him to avoid the Observers reading it out of them.
Five years ago was when Broyles first met Etta. It was at a crime scene and Etta reminded Broyles of Olivia. After finding out who Broyles was Etta admitted that she was indeed Olivia's daughter. Broyles then got Etta to come work for him.
After that Etta talked to Broyles about the Resistance and he joined up. She also taught him how to block the reading techniques of the Observers. Peter wants to know how long it took to master that trick. Broyles explains it was about a year.
Windmark and a Loyalist guard are walking in the abandoned subway station as the Loyalist informs Windmark that the toxin that was used on the others generated scar tissue over their bodies. "Barbaric," says Windmark. (Right, like traipsing around in someone's brain until they hemorrhage isn't.)
They find the opening in the wall where the tube was being hidden. They are unable to figure out what was in there though. Another Loyalist comes up to Windmark handing him a device that is emitting a steady beep. He says, "One of our men died holding this. I think we're gonna be able to find them."

Broyles has his trunk open and is giving out weapons. HK pistols with rechargeable power cells, pulse rifles, motion sensors and scent cones. There's also anti-matter batons. Broyles advises them that the blast radius on them is 100 meters and once they are activated there is no deactivating it.
As Broyles shuts the trunk and is making a joke to Olivia about missing Boston, she takes a step to the side and there is an Observer standing behind her. Broyles holds up his hand saying, "It's all right, I've apprehended them." He pulls his weapon out but swings it towards the Observer and fires. The Observer goes down.
They figure out that there is a tracker on the station wagon, placed there by one of the Loyalists at the last checkpoint. Broyles tells them to get out of there. Etta gives him the tube with the as yet unknown information and says, "Protect the plan. At all costs."
Another Observer materializes out of thin air and zaps Peter. He is only stunned for a second before Etta takes care of the Baldy and they scamper off with Broyles driving off in the opposite direction. Then the air shimmers a moment and Windmark and another Observer materialize and look at the abandoned car. Windmark raises his arm and extends his forefinger. A drop of liquid looks like it falls off his finger. I'm not sure what the significance of that was.
Peter, Olivia, Walter and Etta head into an old warehouse and go to hide down at the far end. Windmark and his people walk through one of the doors on the other end. A pack of Loyalists arrive to join the hunt.
Our heroes run through the warehouse looking for some place to go. An Observer appears in front of Etta and she takes him down with a zinging shot. They have split up now, with Walter and Etta on one side of the room and Peter and Olivia on the other.
Etta tells Walter to run, saying she will cover him and he takes off to a safer place. Peter and Olivia make their way up a set of stairs with Peter saying, they'll "double back" to get Walter and Etta.
Loyalists are patrolling the outside of the building but do not see Olivia and Peter run across the roof top and jump down to a lower one. Etta is looking for Walter in the warehouse. Windmark appears behind her and when she turns to face him he backhands her across the face. Her gun goes flying as she sprawls on the floor. When she crawls toward it, Windmark puts his foot over it to block her grasp.
Peter and Olivia find Walter hiding in a cargo box. They get him out of there.
Windmark now has Etta pushed up against a beam with his hand around her neck. He sees the necklace around Etta's neck and asks, "For what purpose? I would like to know." Etta lets him read her memories of the day in the park when she was blowing the daffodil and Peter was holding his arms out for her to come to him. "Love." He says.
She manages to get a knife out of her boot but when she gets ready to bury it in Windmark's neck he catches her hand and forces her to drop it. He lets go of her throat and says, "You never know when to give up."
He steps back and pulls something from his pocket extending his arm towards her.
In another part of the warehouse the sound of a gunshot makes Olivia whip her head around. "Etta," she whispers.
Etta shakily slides to the ground, trying to catch her breath as Windmark walks slowly away. Etta has her hand wrapped around the bullet necklace. Her knuckles are bloody. Peter and Olivia come running to their daughter's aid, with Peter trying to stop the bleeding from the hole in her chest. They tell her that she's going to be okay and they have to move her. She says they have to go on without her, as she would only slow them down. Walter looks on with tears in his eyes.
There is a quiet beep and they all look down to see that Etta has activated the anti-matter device she was holding in her hand. It starts counting down from 59 seconds. Olivia looks into Etta's eyes, telling her "I love you so much." Etta replies, "I know."
With hands drenched in the blood of their daughter Peter cradles Etta as he repeats, "No," over and over again. Olivia's hands are equally covered as she takes the bullet necklace from Etta. Peter says, "I can't leave you, not again."
From behind him, Walter gently reminds Peter, "Son, we have to go." The anti-matter device is now at 27 seconds. A Loyalist reports that so far there has been no sign of the three remaining fugitives. Windmark speaks quietly, "Love. They will go back for her."
Observers and Loyalists start to trickle into the warehouse to gather around Etta's body. "You were wrong," one of them remarks. He stoops down and sees that Etta no longer has her necklace. Then the anti-matter device beeps showing three seconds on it's display.
From an unfortunately safe distance away Windmark watches as there are some flashes of light and the warehouse disappears.
Walter, Peter and Olivia have also watched the destruction from a different vantage point. Olivia clutches the necklace while Peter just stares ahead stoically clenching his jaw. Walter is the only one to speak. In a soft voice he says, "She's gone, son."
Whoa. What an episode! First of all I wasn't expecting Etta to die. I wasn't really expecting anyone to die. I may be a little naive because I did see a poll on that was asking which character did we think was going to die? When I checked it the answer was Etta. (I voted Broyles, only because I couldn't imagine Peter, Olivia or Walter dying. I didn't want Broyles to die either but I had to pick someone.)
I feel like that Samsung commercial that is on all the time now. *fist up by my ear* Mind  . . .  blown *flinging open hand* [explosion sound]
It's sad that Olivia and Peter finally got their daughter back and now she's gone again. I'm thinking that some of that "it takes so long to teach someone to block the Observers" stuff was set-up for the fact that she was going to be dead by the end of the episode.
I also feel like this is Fringe drawing yet another parallel within it's characters. Walter lost Peter (even though he has him back now, well one of them) and now Peter's lost Etta. I hope it's not going to come full circle and Walter lose Peter again. I'm a little scared to see how the series is going to end. What if they all die?
Some other random observations about this episode:
What happened to Astrid after she crawled out of the vent? Was she just waiting back at the lab?
If Peter, Walter, Olivia and Etta are so 'Wanted' how come the Observer in the shop at the beginning didn't know who Peter was? Are only some of them in 'law' enforcement and the rest are just leading a normal (for them) life?
Also, wouldn't Peter using money instead of bartering with walnuts or whatever thrown a red flag up? I guess maybe it did because the Observer did want him detained. IDK.
What did you think? What was your favorite or least favorite part of the episode?
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Thanks for reading.

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PhantomZodak said...

i'm pretty sure that the episode last season showed that many of them are just here hanging out. i remember a scene of observers at a hotel/nightclub? also i think peter was "bartering" he was just using old timey (for them) money

Thought Provoking Shirts said...

@PhantomZodak - Yes, you're right. In 4x19 they were at the nightclub thing. As far as the money, maybe some people still do have the old currency