Fringe 4.18, “The Consultant”

We open on Otherlee’s funeral. It seems a bit disrespectful to call him Otherlee now, but what are you going to do? Lincoln and Altstrid sit in a car, watching the procession. Altstrid says she doesn’t like funerals. Otherlee’s parents, Col. Broyles, and Fauxlivia are standing under umbrellas in the rain. Fauxlivia promises to find the people responsible for Otherlee’s death. She hugs his mother.

Fringe 4.18, "The Consultant"Fringe HQ. Fauxlivia visits Evil Nina in her cell and offers a reduced sentence in exchange for the name of the mole in Fringe division. Evil Nina declines. Fauxlivia says she’s going to put David Robert Jones and his minions away. Evil Nina tells Fauxlivia she’s not going to be in jail too much longer. She also says there’s a more pressing concern than DRJ’s capture: the fate of the whole damn universe.

Manhattan, Our Side. A Mr. Delman is being reamed out by his boss in a boardroom full of people. His boss is midway through the phrase, “You’re fired,” when his body is lifted in the air. He screams in terror for a bit, and then plummets to the floor, dead.

After the credits, Walter and Astrid arrive at the crime scene. He’s complaining about Astrid’s driving, but his attention is quickly diverted when Peter and Olivia arrive. Walter is shipping those two so hard, man. The team heads inside, where there are two bodies that died strangely, at the same time, in the same manner. All of the bones in the victims’ bodies appear to be broken. Walter says the injuries look like the result of some kind of impact. Olivia questions Delman, who thinks he was about to be fired. Actually he kind of was fired. Does it still count if your boss dies before he gets the word “fired” out? Olivia gets a call and excuses herself to answer it.

In the meantime, Peter points out lacerations on the victims’ waists that look like they came from a seatbelt. Olivia reports that Broyles called about another man, a pilot, killed at home at the same time as the first two victims. It occurs to Walter that it looks like the people were in a plane crash. He catches a glimpse of himself on a dark TV screen, which makes him think of putting in a call to the other universe.

Speaking of the other universe, Altstrid is informing Col. Broyles about the plane crash that morning, which also killed its counterparts in the other (that would be our) universe. Fauxlivia brings Col. Broyles a list of people who could be the mole. He says he doesn’t want to spy on his own people, but he reluctantly agrees to let her look into them. He tells Fauxlivia about the plane crash.

Olivia escorts Walter (and his suitcase full of who-knows-what) over on the bridge. Walter tells Olivia he can get the samples on the other side by himself, while she and Peter do the same over here. She agrees, and he thanks her for trusting him. He also thinks the “lovebirds” could use some time alone, like he thinks they’re going to be sexing it up in the lab. Oh, Walter.

Fauxlivia and Lincoln arrive at the bridge and Fauxlivia heads off with Walter, who has dubbed himself a consultant. Olivia asks after her counterpart and Lincoln says she’s doing about as well as could be expected. It’s surprising Olivia even thought to ask, with how wrapped up in Peter she’s been lately.

Fauxlivia explains to Walter that the bridge is starting to fix the problems in her universe. A soldier at the ferry checkpoint offers condolences on Otherlee’s death. Walter says he would’ve brought a casserole (since that is the done thing when there’s a death), but food isn’t allowed on the bridge. Fauxlivia asks Walter if someone (like DRJ) could have caused the “passenger” deaths on our side. He says he and Bell never got that far in their research, but it’s certainly possible. Once they’re ensconced in the lab, Walter pulls out a hand he got from one of the victims on our side. Lincoln rightly wonders why the hell a hand is okay when a casserole isn’t, and it’s cute that Lincoln thinks Walter would have bothered to ask permission.

Anyway, Walter explains that the different universes have different harmonic frequencies. He studies the hand he brought over and concludes that the “passengers’” bodies were “re-tuned” to vibrate at the frequency of the other universe. Lincoln asks about the whereabouts of the plane’s black box. Black boxes don’t exist on the other side, but Fauxlivia is able to procure audio from surveillance satellites. After listening to the audio, Walter determines that whatever was done to “re-tune” the bodies is what caused the plane to crash. Fauxlivia wonders why someone would do that.

Elsewhere, DRJ meets with a lackey on a bench. The man reports that the experiment with the plane worked, and asks for details on the next experiment. “Surprise me,” DRJ says.

After the break, Col. Broyles arrives home in Glen Cove, NY. His wife tells them their son Chris is entertaining a friend of Col. Broyles. Given that her husband works for the Department of Defense, you’d think she’d be a little more careful about letting strange men into their home. Broyles enters the living room to find none other than DRJ. Privately, DRJ gives him a little case containing several filled syringes. Months ago, Chris was on the verge of death; DRJ is responsible for the boy’s miraculous recovery. Col. Broyles realizes DRJ dropped by to remind him that there are no miracles. DRJ tells him he’ll be visiting him again soon.

In Springfield, MA (our side), DRJ’s lackey gets out of a cab, and a woman gets in. The cab pulls out into traffic. Lights start blinking on a briefcase on the floor of the cab, and the cab begins shaking. In the other universe, the woman’s counterpart is thrown backwards across a store and starts coughing up water.

After the break, the teams have coordinated efforts, using the Astrids to relay messages. Astrid got special permission to bring Altstrid a canister of coffee, a gesture which is almost as sweet as Altstrid’s joyful reaction. Olivia and Peter go to where the taxi has been pulled from the river, while Fauxlivia goes to the store with Walter. Peter opens the briefcase from the cab and finds a device rigged to amphilicite.

Walter, Fauxlivia and Lincoln discuss the case in Col. Broyles’ office. Walter is irritable – no memory foam in the other universe – and Fauxlivia offers to let him stay with her. He promptly agrees not to sleep naked, and Fauxlivia silently regrets making that offer. Privately, Walter apologizes for snapping at Broyles, and for accidentally creating the conditions for DRJ’s experiments. Col. Broyles asks if Walter would make the same choice he did all those years ago, if given the chance. Walter probably would have answered “no” just months ago but after meeting his adult son, he doesn’t think he’d do anything differently.

Altstrid tells Fauxlivia she can’t find any dirt on the people on her list, even though she’s checked twice. Meanwhile, Col. Broyles meets with DRJ, who gives him a device to install in the machine. Broyles reminds him that said machine is healing their world, and DRJ reminds him to think about who’s healing his son.

At home, Col. Broyles gives Chris an injection. Chris had a great day at school, which Broyles is happy to hear about. He tucks his son in, and the boy literally falls asleep with a huge smile on his face. God save me from bad child actors.

Walter (wearing a ladies’ robe, naturally) happens upon Fauxlivia on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She’s been drinking quite a bit and poring over Otherlee’s belongings from work, which she can’t bring herself to give to his parents yet. Walter makes eggs for Fauxlivia. We learn that they don’t have Sherlock Holmes over there, and oh honey, are y’all missing out. Walter explains the theory that no evidence is in itself evidence. He asks about Col. Broyles, but Fauxlivia immediately discounts that idea. Walter says no one’s above suspicion. (Then again, he’s still salty about Nixon.)

Fauxlivia calls on Evil Nina again and bluffs that Col. Broyles is in custody and confessed everything. Evil Nina says Broyles is just another pawn, and insists DRJ will come for her. Fauxlivia points out that Evil Nina might also be a pawn. She tells Lincoln what she’s learned, but Lincoln wonders if Evil Nina is lying. Then Altstrid reports that Col. Broyles has disconnected his subcutaneous tracking device and gone AWOL. We see him sitting in his car, pondering Liberty Island and the device DRJ gave him.

He presents his “Show Me” at the DOD complex, which pops up on Fringe radar. Fauxlivia and Lincoln race after him. Meanwhile, we see our Broyles showing up in the room with the machine, responding to a message from Col. Broyles. When Fauxlivia and Lincoln enter the room, Broyles says that Col. Broyles handed over the device and turned himself in. The way the scene is cut, I’d swear it looks like maybe Col. Broyles somehow forced our Broyles to trade places. Maybe?

Walter tells Fauxlivia to try to understand Col. Broyles’ position; he knows just how far people will go to protect their loved ones. He tells her to keep an eye on things. It’s nice that he’s developed a rapport with Fauxlivia that is, much to my relief, squick-free. Lincoln decides to stay behind and help Fauxlivia bring DRJ down. He promises her that it gets better, speaking from his own experience with losing a partner. We see Col. Broyles being led to his cell, which Evil Nina witnesses from her own cell.

Back home, Walter calls Olivia and Peter to the lab. He thinks DRJ was running experiments to find a common denominator, and the device they confiscated from Col. Broyles would enable DRJ to collapse both universes and seriously, madman or not, WTF THAT IS A TERRIBLE PLAN, YOU HAVE TO LIVE HERE TOO.

Next up, the year 2036. More terrible plans? Possibly. Evil Observers? All signs point to yes.

6 thoughts on “Fringe 4.18, “The Consultant””

  1. I loved it when Astrid gave Altstrid some coffee.  Of course those two gals are the only doubles who get along.  For the millionth time, a JJ Abrams show has tricked us into forgetting that we’re missing something crucial.  This time we’re meant to ignore that we still don’t know why Davy Jones was in German prison in the first season to begin with.  They also don’t quite want us to remember that he teleported out.  Or that we still don’t know what ZFT really is or what Walter’s true ties to it are.

    The overlapping of themes was unusually subtle this week.  The episode was about dying doubles and it opened with a scene of LL at his double’s funeral.

    1. Also, I can’t help thinking that DRJ’s agenda this time could very well be different from what it was before Peter got “erased.” Also, did they confirm that he teleported out of prison in this timeline? From what I recall, that made him molecularly unstable but I don’t think that’s come up this time. More complications, yay!

      1. I ~think Davy escaped from prison this time as well, but the Fringe team didn’t know about it at the time and that’s why he was able to cross over instead of getting cut in half.  I believe Peter explained Davy’s weird scarring by saying it was a result of the teleportation.

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