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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fringe Recap - "Five - Twenty - Ten" - Episode 507

Fringe Season 5, Episode 7 (5x07)
'Five - Twenty - Ten'
Original Airdate: Friday November 16, 2012
Alright everyone, get ready for this epic bag of OMGs that Bad Robot has delivered on our doorsteps like an early Christmas present, or Thanksgiving cornucopia, if you'd rather not skip ahead in holidays.
The previously-on-Fringe moments remind us of important events thus far in the season. If you're just tuning in now though, it's probably best if you do not pass go and do not collect your 200 Red Vines until you go back and catch up on this series.
It's just another day in Boston-turned-Observerville and Peter is standing on the sidewalk of a busy street looking around at his surroundings when he starts having flashes of things happening, all tinged in the blue Observer-vision he acquired at the end of last week's episode. He sees an Observer walking along, bumping into a woman in a dark coat who says, "Excuse me," in irritation as he continues on his way without acknowledging his faux pas. A car stops. It already has a couple Observers inside. They motion to the one on the street, calling him Mueller. They tell him they have a meeting they have to attend and he gets in the car with them and it drives off.
Peter snaps out of his little moment (head tilt) and checks his watch. He begins to cross the street as the light turns green, causing a driver to have to stop to avoid running him over. As a Loyalist leans out of his car window to give Peter a piece of his mind, Peter spots the car from his vision a few vehicles back. In the meantime the traffic signal has turned red again causing the people waiting to miss their opportunity to go through it.
Peter finishes crossing the street and watches as the events in his vision begin to unfold before him: Mueller walks down a flight of steps with his briefcase, a vendor hands a patron a drink, Mueller bumps into Dark Coat Woman, (it's red in living color, by the way). Mueller crosses the street near the Observer car but is not called over to it.
Peter glances around and sees one of the 'Etta Resist' posters plastered to the side of a building. A little smile curls one side of his mouth up. (This, for anyone that cares, is the little smile he has after the explosion in the preview when the fedora blows down to the street. So previews, evil temptresses that they are, definitely make things seem not as they actually happen.) Peter pulls out his cell phone and makes a call. When the person on the other end picks up, Peter says, "Anil, I'm going to need your help with something."
Peter is now entering the lab via the underground grate. He has a cardboard box with him that has four neon helium canisters in it. Walter questions where he has been for so long and is a little disappointed to see Peter didn't bring back more than four but accepts it when Peter said that the bartering process took more convincing than he thought it would.
Peter greets Olivia and Astrid while Astrid looks over the bounty he has brought. She says she'll get to work after breakfast. Walter tells her, "Get started. The world's not going to save itself. Chop-chop."

Olivia wants to know why Peter went out without her. He explains that it was early and he didn't want to wake her up. Olivia reads between the lines and says, "That's one way to put it. The other is that you didn't sleep. Again." Peter confesses that she's right but he's fine, everything is A-okay. Olivia's not so convinced and tells him he needs to get some rest.
A vehicle pulls up outside with Loyalist guards inside. They get out and look around a bit as the team watches them through the murky windows of the lab. After a few moments the guards get back in the car and clear out.
They start lasering the amber and are able to extract 'Tape 5'. As they watch it, Video Walter shows the camera a photograph of a grooved cylinder. (They've been seen before in some of the previous episodes.) He explains that these objects are beacons that enable the Observers to locate different points in space-time. Walter and his band of merry man and women are going to need two of these things.
Video Walter shows them a layout of a building that Walter recognizes as a lab at Kelvin Genetics that he and William Bell designed. Video Walter tells them to go there and find two yellow doors. What lies beyond those doors is Bell's storage area. It is there that two of the beacons are being housed. To gain entrance through the doors they will need Bell's handprint.
Astrid reminds Walter that they have Bell's severed hand and this must be what they have been holding on to it for. She also reminds him that pre-ambering, Bell had told Walter he wanted to help him defeat the Observers. However, when the time became convenient, Bell sold out Walter to get on the Observer's good side.
Walter says that now he remembers. He was being tortured and there was another man there who kept asking, "Is it safe?" Walter managed to escape from his captors with Bell's help, but then Bell turned him back over to the Invaders. Astrid breaks in gently to inform Walter, "Walter, that's from the movie 'Marathon Man.'"
Peter tries to help so he brings up that Walter called him in Boston saying he needed his assistance. Then Walter sent Olivia to retrieve the Thought Unifier at Grand Central Station. By the time Peter got back to help Walter and Astrid, William Bell was with them. The Observers found out where they were and they figured out that Bell must've been the one to rat out their location. That's when Walter Ambered them.
Since Bell's genuineness is now in question Astrid and Olivia wonder if the cylinders are where they are supposed to be or if they even exist. The only way to find out is to go look. Walter says, "Fire up the laser, Agnes. Let's get that hand out of Amber."
Some time passes and the team arrives outside of what was once the lab Walter and Bell created. It's now been reduced to piles of rubble. Walter shares with the group, "I used to drop acid right over there and watch the ships come in from the bay."
Facing a large pile of rocks, Walter gestures and explains that the underground storage unit doors would be around there. To the human eye it would be impossible to see where exactly they were located, but using his bionic Observer-vision Peter is able to tell where they are. "The doors are there," he confirms as he points. Olivia says his name questioningly so he quickly notes that it makes engineering sense for them to be there. (It's definitely not the super-x-ray vision he has sprouted, nope, not at all.) Olivia is actually concerned because there is a trickle of blood coming out of Peter's ear. He wipes at it and looks alarmed.
Walter checks out his ear while Olivia wants to know if this could be due to the anti-matter baton that was set off when they destroyed the shipping lane. Walter says an examination is in order when they get back to the lab. Peter assures Walter that he's fine.
The group tosses around some ideas on how to get around the debris to the storage area below, but discards them for various reasons. Then Walter says, "We go through it." Peter's comm rings and he announces that it's Anil and excuses himself to go talk to him.
Anil explains that he wasn't able to exchange briefcases with the Observer he was following. (I take it this was a plan they talked about that we weren't privy to.) Peter doesn't understand because he knows that the Observer should've sat at a bench and then forgotten his briefcase when he got up to leave. At this point Anil was supposed to make the exchange. Anil tells him it didn't go down like that. The Observer did sit on the bench but he took his briefcase with him when he got up. "That's impossible. Wait there, I'm coming to you." Peter says.
He rejoins the group. They have decided that they need to talk to Nina Sharp. Since she works at the Ministry of Science she's got all kinds of fancy toys that might be able to help them out. Peter says while they go talk to Nina he has to go see Anil. Anil has some information for him that he didn't want to share over the comm system.
Peter studies Olivia for a moment then smiles and says, "You've got that look on your face." "What look?" Olivia wants to know. Peter actually chuckles before telling her, "The look that says, 'I'm worried about you.'" Olivia asks if she should be worried about Peter. "Absolutely not," he assures her. They head off in separate direction with Olivia not looking so convinced.
At the Ministry of Science in Brooklyn, NY, Nina Sharp motors her wheel chair along a walkway next to a fountain. A woman runs after her calling her name. She catches up to Nina and hands her an envelope. After looking over the contents inside, Nina tells the lady to push back her meetings and that she will be gone from the office for awhile.
Nina meets Olivia on a small bridge. This scene was so heartfelt. They greet each other while Walter and Astrid look on from the background. Nina tearfully offers her condolences regarding Etta's death, saying, "I'm so sorry for your loss. Etta was very special to me." Olivia asks for her help so they can get into the storage area.
As they move along in a group, talking about what to do, a man with a Loyalist tattoo takes an extra long look at Walter as he bustles past. Walter falters in his conversation a bit, having been unnerved by the man. Nina tells them there is some Observer tech that she has that will evaporate molecules of a solid object turning them to gas. This is the device that would be most beneficial to their efforts. Nina departs from them, informing them they will meet again on the South Side of the building in ten minutes time.
They reconvene in a parking garage. Nina wants to know if Walter is mad at her for telling Simon and Etta how to re-implant the missing pieces of his brain. He says he isn't because he knows that in order to implement his plan he needed to be at full brain power. Walter admits that he has undergone some personality changes since his brain bits were reintroduced. Nina says, "The tissues are reintegrating faster than I thought."
When he questions her about it, Nina tells Walter she is not seeing signs of him slipping back into who he used to be, although she does throw in the caveat that he would know better than she would. Walter says, "The man I was before, he was consumed by ambition, by hubris. He never cared about anyone. All he cared about was walking with the Gods. It's different this time. I'm different. I have Peter. He won't let me become that man again."
A metal door rolls up and a man in a white lab coat comes out. Nina addresses him as Hastings. She instructs him, "Give Dr. Bishop anything he wants." At Hastings' awed look she says, "Yes, that Dr. Bishop." Hastings respectfully defers to Walter, mentioning that it would be an honor.
Walter looks pleased at this and gives Nina a little smile. When he is no longer facing her Nina's face falls into a worried mask.
At the park Peter is with Anil and making him go over again what transpired when the Observer arrived there. Peter questions him as to whether anyone had any interaction with the Observer, whose name is Royce, particularly a little girl playing with a yellow ball. Anil expresses surprise that Peter knows this detail. Peter glosses over that, firing off statements in rapid succession. (Observer head tilt) As Anil recounts his version of events he mentions that Royce was talking on his comm.
Peter stops him, saying that him being on his comm was the missing variable he didn't see and caused the chain of events to go astray. Anil doesn't understand, no doubt doubly confused by Peter's reference to 'seeing' what was going to happen.
Peter has another blue flash of visions where he sees Royce handing his briefcase over to a clerk for her to store it while he dines. Peter hands Anil a folded piece of paper, in the process acknowledging that Anil wants answers but telling him he has to trust him.
On the paper that Peter has given him is an address. Peter wants him to go there and wait outside. Anil mentions that this address is in a Baldie precinct. Peter says, "At exactly 6:17, Royce and another Observer named Mueller will walk into that building. (Head Tilt.) Call me when they do." Anil agrees to do so and Peter leaves. Anil gazes after him with an expression of concern. There is quite a bit of that in this episode.
Peter helps himself to someone's unoccupied car and first I thought he hot-wired it, but after watching it again it looks like he just touches something on the system and the car starts. (Possibly another Observer power coming out?)
My closed captioning shows that a conversation takes place somewhere off-screen during this time, but I don't hear a damn thing. Then the conversation fades to indistinct chatter. I think this is just supposed to show how Peter is now hearing everything at once and that it's overwhelming because he winces and grabs his temple before beginning to shudder and shake. With a groan he settles back down and puts the car in gear.
The next scene starts with a shot of cubbies that each have an Observer fedora housed in them. At a table, a group of Observers sit and a waiter brings a plate of food over. It looks like ham covered in pepper or some kind of dark spice with a bunch of jalapeno peppers on the side. Plus, there's another whole plate of peppers in the middle of the table.
Peter walks up to the front desk where the woman he saw in his vision is standing. He hands her a briefcase and she turns to put it on a shelf behind her. Several identical briefcases are already on the shelf. She remarks that she hasn't seen him there before and he replies that it's not his type of crowd. She warns him to be careful so he doesn't wind up getting read.
Peter just looks at her and says, "You should get that." A second later the phone rings. She glances back up at him and he offers, "Old trick," before walking away. Peter bellies up to the bar and the bartender puts a glass of water in front of him.
The scene changes to Astrid and Olivia waiting in the van. Astrid wants to know how Olivia and Peter are doing. Olivia brings up that Peter hasn't been sleeping and then he disappears at strange hours, only to come back with a reasonable explanation. She says, "I just think there's something he's not telling me. I can feel it."
Astrid points out that they both have been through a lot. She says that compared to how Peter withdrew when Etta was taken in the invasion this time he is handling it better. Olivia comments, "I keep telling myself that this time, we're stronger, but I'm - I'm worried that I'm losing him again.
Back at the bar/Observer restaurant, Peter watches as Royce comes in and checks his own briefcase. Peter looks at his watch and starts walking towards the desk clerk. The phone rings and she answers it. From her side of the conversation it sounds like she's talking to her unemployed boyfriend. Peter gestures behind her to the row of briefcases. She turns and grabs one off the shelf. He takes it and gives her a little smile before leaving.
In the parking garage Hastings is showing the team the device they will be using to evaporate the rubble. He admonishes Astrid as she reaches towards the tech, warning her he hasn't even explained the start-up sequence yet. He gives them a rundown on the color sequence as it powers up, cautioning them that due to a design flaw in these particular models the fission core sometimes overheats, indicated by the light turning blue. "Blue means run." He tells them.
Nina and Walter have the following conversation:
Nina: I'm worried about you, Walter. What you said earlier, that Peter would keep you from becoming the man you used to be -- I'm not sure that's enough. I knew the man you were, you and William. You both tested the limits of science, of the universe. You felt that boundless power that comes with omnipotence. You felt what it was like to be God.
Walter: You don't need to remind me, Nina. I was there.
Nina: Then you should know how hard I tried to hold on to William, how much I loved him. But that wasn't enough. I wasn't enough. Because nothing can compare to that feeling, to that kind of power. So he let me go.
Walter: The reason you couldn't hold onto William is because he never loved you. He never loved anyone except himself. I've been fooled by him too many times to think anything else. I know better, and so should you.
Nina: You asked me before if I saw him in you. I just did. The Walter I know would never say anything so cruel. But the Walter who lay on an operating table in William's laboratory, begging to have pieces of his brain removed for fear of what he would become, he would.
Walter: I've come a long way. I love my son, he loves me. That will save me.
Nina: For your sake, I hope that's true.
I felt bad for Nina during this sequence. What Walter said cut her deep.
Olivia comes over to collect Walter so they can be on their way. Nina warns them that the Observers monitor changes in the atmosphere so as they can expect Observers to arrive within minutes after they have used the device.
Nina wishes Walter good luck before he leaves. After he turns around Nina breaks down a little, fighting tears.
Anil is now waiting outside the designated building. His watch reads 6:17. Mueller exits a car and goes into the building. He walks through it until he enters a conference room with two other Observers, one of them being Royce.
Outside, Anil pulls out his comm so he can contact Peter. There is a close up of one of the briefcases in the conference room being opened. There is a booming sound and Anil looks up to see one of the higher story windows being blown out. In the room, the Observers now have chemical burns on their heads and faces. One starts to scream and his face melts. Great effect, nasty as hell, and also a throwback to Hamburg Flight 627 from the pilot.
As people on the street stare up in shock at the building, a still smoking grey fedora tumbles to the sidewalk at their feet.
At the storage area site, Olivia, Astrid and Walter are finishing putting up the parameters of the device Nina gave them. Peter drives up in his stolen car. As he gets out he takes a call on his comm from Anil. Anil informs him that his project was a success and that "this place is crawling with Baldies."
After he hangs up, Olivia asks him what it was that Anil wanted. Peter lies, saying that the call he just took was Anil saying that he got caught up at a checkpoint and that's why he never made it to their meeting spot. He also says that he still isn't sure what Anil called him out there for in the first place. Walter tells them that the Matter Sublimation Device is ready.
Astrid, Peter and Olivia gather around as Walter powers it up. It might be a stretch to equate the pattern here, but as it powers up each bulb turns green than red. So not quite the green, green, green, red sequence, but similar. The blockage in front of the doorway begins to disintegrate until it is gone.
The team enters the storage area and navigates their way down a flight of stairs. Peter opens a panel and checks that it has electricity running to it. Astrid hands Bell's dismembered hand to Walter who palms it in his own and takes it to the hand scanner. He plops it up there, kind of a gross visual, but nothing compared to the Observer face-meltdown, and a few seconds later the doors slide open.
They walk through, seeing all kinds of goodies like severed body parts and even a face in specimen jars. Walter suddenly growls, "Bellie, you monster!" He's found an old David Bowie vinyl among William's files. Walter says, "My Bowie ... he stole it. It's not enough that he institutionalized me, betrayed our friendship, but he pilfered my record collection as well."
Olivia hurries him along and tells him to keep looking. Peter finds a large safe behind a sliding wall. He calls the rest of them over. Walter says he remembers when Bell built the safe, "an extra measure of security to guard the things he valued most." Walter declares that Bellie had a terrible memory and used the same combination for everything. "Too much LSD, I suppose," he tacks on.
Walter steps up and starts to work the combination. He tries one set of numbers and the safe remains locked. Same thing for the second combination he uses. Astrid and Olivia remind him that the Observers are probably on their way and they've already been down there a long time, wanting him to give up if he thinks he can't get it open.
Peter reaches out and puts his hand on Walter's shoulder saying calmly, "Clear your head, Walter. Try to relax. Think about the cylinders. You have all the time in the world." Olivia corrects him, bringing up that the Observers could already be there. Peter continues speaking to Walter, "Take a deep breath, Walter. Focus."
As Walter starts to spin the dial again he whispers to himself, "5 ... 20 ... 10." This time the handle turns and the safe opens. Inside there are no cylinders. Walter is disappointed and angry since he should've known better to even consider trusting something Bell said. There is a round tech-y looking object laying on top of a file in the safe. Olivia picks it up and turns it over in her hand, remarking, "whatever it is, it must have been valuable enough to Bell for him to want to keep it in the safe."
Walter sees something else in the interior of the safe. He removes and looks at it. It's a picture of a much younger, vibrant Nina Sharp, smiling happily towards the camera. A look of understanding passes over Walter's face and he places the photo in the inside pocket of his jacket.
Olivia lets Peter look closer at the device they found in the safe. He holds it and runs his thumb along the surface. It lights up red and a rumbling noise starts to pulse through the lab. Peter says he doesn't know what he did to make the thing come alive.
A few feet away the floor starts to pucker upwards and two cylinders tunnel themselves out from below. They start to leave the building, Peter in the lead with one of the beacons. As he charges out into the light as though he doesn't have a care in the world, Olivia tries to warn him to take some caution. However, there are no Observers around as they emerge.
Peter starts walking away and Olivia asks him where he is going. He comes back over and hands his beacon off to her saying, "I'll take my car. It's logical that we split up." He gets into his vehicle.
Olivia now looks more than worried, she looks angry. Walter tells her that on the way back to Boston there is a stop he wants to make.
The stop he makes is to meet with Nina. He relays that the tech she gave them worked and the cylinder is in their possession. He removes the picture from his coat and hands it over to Nina. They have the following conversation:
Walter: I was wrong. He did love you ... and it wasn't enough.
Nina: No.
Walter: I'm scared, Nina. Every day that goes by, I feel him more and more. I'm losing myself. I'm becoming the man I was. And just like before, everyone that I care about will be driven away and will suffer because of me.
Nina: I --
Walter: I need you to take them out.
Nina: What?
Walter: It's perfectly safe. My intellect may be diminished slightly, but it's the only way to hold onto the man I've become. Please, Nina. You must remove these pieces of my brain.
Elsewhere, Olivia opens a door (to what I think is Etta's apartment) and calls out for Peter. She turns on a light and sees several clear wipe boards set up with writing and pictures all over them.
Peter's voice from behind her says, "They're timelines." He explains that he's been keeping track of Windmark's top lieutenants because they are rarely in the same place at the same time. By mapping out their movements he is able to manipulate events.
I've been saying since Peter put the Observer tech in his head that he's picking up the Observer mannerisms, but a lot of the time I thought I was reading more into it than what was there. There is no reading into it now though, it's distinctly there. His words are clipped and emotionless and he really IS doing the tilts.

He says, "The tech that gave them their advantage over us, I have it now."
Olivia questions, "That thing in their heads -- you implanted one in yourself?" She receives a tiny nod of confirmation.
He says, "I've been following them. They don't know where I am, but I know where they are. Today, yesterday, and the day before that. It gives me enough information to determine their probable futures. Mueller was going to get in a town car and be late to a meeting. Royce would've left. I needed them there at the same time. I made that happen."
"What have you done?" Olivia asks him.
Peter tells her, "I used a toxin from Walter's cold storage. The flesh eating toxin that killed everyone aboard flight Six-Two-Seven. Our first Fringe experience was their last.
Olivia realizes, "That's why you knew they wouldn't be coming for us at the storage site. You knew that they would still be responding to your attack.”
Peter turns back around to face the board. Olivia starts to speak. As she does Peter says in sync with her, "You can't do this. This is ... dangerous." Olivia stops talking and Peter continues, "We are going to avenge Etta. Windmark is next."
Peter turns back to his board and starts writing Windmark's name above his picture. Olivia backs slowly away from him and quietly leaves the room.
In the lab Walter opens a cabinet containing all the clues they have rounded up so far. He touches each one in turn; the cylinder, a rock from the mine, the thought unifier, the radio that is tuned to static.
Next he puts on the Bowie record that Bellie had taken from him. He drops the needle to the vinyl and the very appropriate song  "The Man Who Sold The World," starts to play.
Astrid checks on him before she goes to sleep, telling him "We did good today," before kissing him on the cheek and heading off to bed. Walter turns up the volume on the record player. Peter is still writing times on his wall of impending doom.
A camera pans up to show Windmark walking down a hallway and getting on an elevator.
Peter is writing 'Origin Point' under Windmark's picture. Back in the lab Walter settles into a chair as the music still plays. Peter is now writing the word 'Elevator' out. As Windmark stands in the elevator, the doors slide shut in front of him. Walter's still listening to Bowie. Peter reaches up and rubs at the back of his head, he pulls his hand away and there is a tuft of brown hair laying in his palm. Peter curiously head tilts and the screen goes black. Hello Bad Robot.
Oh. I. Love. This. Fucking. Show. I love it, I love it, I love it!
And Josh Jackson, he is bringing it a thousand percent. The way he has been morphing more and more into his Observer side a little each episode is outstanding. I would really like to think that all the little things I wrote off as it just being me overanalyzing were done on purpose. I can't say enough, really. This entire cast has done wondrous things over the years and it just pisses me off there is no Emmy love ever for them.
I thought back to the episode that Peter found the Observer suits and hats in the closet. I was hoping then that it was random placement and didn't mean that Peter was Observer bound. Wishful thinking perhaps.
This business of having Walter and Peter lose their humanity at the same time? Fringe is trying to kill us I think.
Peter revealing what he had done with the Observer tech went over a lot less dramatically than I imagined it would. However, that's fitting seeing as how Observers are not dramatic about anything.
It will be three weeks until the next episode which looks unbelievable. Peter gets to do some more Observer ninja-ing. Olivia sounds like she wants to fight to keep Peter human but the tech is close to becoming permanent. I keep re-watching the preview like it's going to suddenly expand into the whole episode.
What did you think? How are you liking this season? Leave me comments, questions, corrections if you have some. If the blog won't allow you to comment you can email your thoughts to
Thanks for reading.

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