This week’s episode is Lincoln-centric. I try to suppress a groan of boredom. Oh, but it’s mostly taking place in the other universe, so that might be okay. Anyway, Lincoln (the one from this universe) arrives at the Harvard lab ready to work, only to find everyone prepping Gene for “grazing day.” Poor girl’s suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, on account of the fact that cows need sunshine and such.
Olivia returns a small charm engraved with a maze to Lincoln. It belonged to Robert Danzig, and Lincoln gave it to Olivia to thank her for saving his life. Now most humans, upon learning this, might graciously thank Lincoln and keep the damn thing. Olivia, however, returns it, even after hearing the sad story about how Robert gave it to Lincoln as a symbol of how he’d always have a home with the Danzigs. It was meant as a tether to keep the peripatetic Lincoln from floating away. Olivia’s all, cool story bro, but I gotta go sedate this cow.
Astrid shows up with boxes of files on David Robert Jones. She’s been pulled in to debrief the team on the Other Side, since Olivia’s memories are full of holes now. Astrid is annoyed because she had plans with her father, so Lincoln asks Broyles if he can go in her place. Broyles reluctantly agrees.
Belmont, NY: Other Side. Night. A woman heads to her car on the roof of a parking garage. She’s attacked, but a stranger jumps the attacker and the woman escapes. Her attacker isn’t so lucky.
Lincoln arrives in the other universe only to learn that he’s going to have to brief Fauxlivia on the way over to this latest crime scene. Lincoln updates her on DRJ’s efforts to use Cortexiphan to activate some unknown (to him) ability in Olivia. They pass one of several Amberized zones being reopened, since the bridge between the universes is working in stabilizing the other universe.
Fauxlivia tricks Lincoln into telling her his middle name, which she uses to taunt Otherlee when they get to the parking garage in Belmont. Lincoln apologizes, but he thinks Tyrone is a perfectly lovely name. Of course he does. Anyway, Paige Randall, last night’s would-be victim, reported being rescued. The team thinks it’s the work of a vigilante who’s been killing criminals lately. (Fun fact: over there, Batman is called “Mantis,” which is just wrong.) The vigilante’s latest victim – the first one whose body they’ve found – was left with his face all smushed. That is too a word, and it’s a perfect description of what dude’s face looks like.
Nearby, the vigilante (now wearing the unsmushed face of his latest victim), stashes some things in a van. He pulls out his wallet and looks at a picture of a little boy. He spots a containment crew working on an Amberized zone across the way, and gets out of Dodge. The containment crew is getting strange readings on their special equipment, which leads them to discover a bunch of dead bodies in a church basement.
Fringe arrives at the church. Fauxlivia is going to have someone escort Lincoln back to the bridge since the debriefing is going to have to wait now, but he asks if he can stick around and help. One of the Army dudes thanks Lincoln. At first Lincoln thinks the man has mistaken him for Otherlee, but Fauxlivia explains that he’s something of a hero in their universe.
Elsewhere, the vigilante, whose name is Canaan, arrives at a soup kitchen. He settles in with a plate of food, but is scared off when another man notices some nasty scratches on his neck. You’d think he would have noticed them before now; those things are huge.
Back in the church basement, they count 18 bodies and 19 heads. Lincoln is still getting used to the more disgusting aspects of Fringe work. Otherlee confides in him that Fauxlivia’s “the tough one” on their team, never puking or crying over a scene. Otherlee and Fauxlivia have concluded that the vigilante left his latest victim behind at the garage because he had to abandon his lair when the containment crew showed up.
Lincoln retrieves a locket from one of the victims with a picture inside, which Fauxlivia can run through facial recognition software. How would they get anything done on this show without facial recognition software? When Lincoln grabs the woman’s locket, her head falls off (NBD) and he sees three holes in her hard palate. He requests both time of death on the victim and surveillance feeds from the area around the church. Clearly, Lincoln is onto something.
At Fringe HQ, Altstrid is looking for footage of the victim from after she disappeared, but thinks it’s a complete waste of time. Otherlee gives Lincoln the time of death on Locket Lady. He’s curious about why Lincoln doesn’t want to go home. Lincoln says it’s just that there’s nothing going on so he won’t be missed. Otherlee is confident that his world wouldn’t survive without him. No, he seriously says that. Lincoln admits that he could use some of his counterpart’s confidence. He’s curious about where their paths diverged since they’re so different, but when they compare notes he finds that their lives have been eerily similar.
Altstrid finds footage of the victim (with growths on her face) from two days after the time of death. Lincoln is now certain they’re dealing with a shape-shifter. Col. Broyles quickly torpedoes his theory: these aren’t like the other shape-shifters, killing criminals wouldn’t be on DRJ’s agenda, Lincoln’s overeager to hold someone responsible for his partner’s death, et cetera. Also, Col. Broyles is totally the Fringe mole, but of course he doesn’t say that. He tells Lincoln to go home.
At a park, Canaan watches some boys play soccer. Not to sound like a helicopter mom, but I’d be concerned about some stranger with a bunch of huge scratches on his neck watching my kid play in the park. Elsewhere, a couple of junkies are shooting up in an abandoned house. It’s totally like The Wire, you guys. One junkie leaves the room to go pee, because junkies are very particular about that sort of thing, I guess. Canaan enters, pulls some kind of cord from his mouth, and inserts it into the other junkie’s mouth. Okay, so not totally like The Wire, then. It is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen on this show, and that’s saying a lot. Anyway, the other junkie sees the whole thing and reports it.
Fauxlivia is escorting Lincoln to the elevator when the junkie’s eyewitness report comes in. The dead man is a criminal named Antonio Dawes. Lincoln persuades Col. Broyles to circulate a picture of Dawes, as that’s what the shape-shifter will look like now. The team (plus Lincoln) heads out in search of the shape-shifter. Altstrid directs them to an area where he was just spotted, and they split up to search on foot. The Lincolns start chatting again over their radios. Otherlee tells Lincoln he’s a good agent, and helped them get this far on the case. Lincoln’s still wondering why they are so very different. Otherlee chalks it up to “free will,” saying he basically just decided to be super-awesome one day. Fauxlivia comes on the line to remind them they’re kind of in the middle of something.
Lincoln spots Canaan and his team gives chase. Meanwhile, Altstrid is keeping a very antsy Col. Broyles apprised of the situation. Canaan attacks and disarms Lincoln, but doesn’t shoot him. He runs, but is quickly cornered by the rest of the team. Col. Broyles calls Evil Nina to give her an update. Meanwhile, Canaan is secured on site while they wait for more “secure” transport, whatever the hell that means. Actually, it’s mostly so Lincoln can convince Fauxlivia to give him five minutes alone with Canaan, and so Evil Nina’s sniper has time to set up nearby.
Lincoln learns that the photo in Canaan’s wallet belongs to him, rather than one of his victims. The boy in the picture is named Daniel, and while he’s not Canaan’s son, he was an important part of his life. Then Daniel’s mother left Canaan and started a new life without him. Canaan says he’s not a “bright light,” someone who would be “needed” or “missed.” Okay, to be fair, he might have a valid point with Daniel’s mom, who might not have missed him (and could very well have been right to leave in the first place), but Daniel? Was like six years old, so it’s not like he just stopped coming around to see Canaan, like eff you, I have new friends now.
But I digress. Canaan tells Lincoln that DRJ offered him a chance to be unique, but Canaan turned out to be a disappointment. I’m guessing it’s because he wasn’t down with killing innocent people. Lincoln realizes Canaan is stealing people’s DNA to stay alive. He tells him he’s “disposable” to DRJ, just like he was to Daniel. I would again point out that Daniel is a damn child, but I know Lincoln’s just trying to get Canaan to talk. Canaan says DRJ promised to fix him. Oh, he’s gonna “fix” you, all right.
As they’re leading Canaan out to the secure transport, the sniper opens fire. Fauxlivia takes him down, but not before Otherlee gets shot. He tells Fauxlivia he’ll be fine. Lincoln gets in Canaan’s face, explaining that DRJ just tried to have him killed. He says Canaan needs to stop waiting for someone to give him his place in the world. Isn’t it awesome when your work gives you insight into your own life? Happens all the time.
Evil Nina’s gazing at a room full of shape-shifters in tanks at Shape-Shifter HQ in Fort Lee, NJ when the sniper shows up to report that he was successful. Then he overrides security, and Evil Nina immediately realizes he’s Canaan. Ten points to Slytherin. Evil Nina runs to the roof, but is surrounded by helicopters and taken into custody.
At Fringe HQ, Altstrid comes into Col. Broyles’ office to give him some bad news. In Fort Lee, Lincoln is excitedly showing Fauxlivia how they can identify and track all of the shape-shifters from this central hub. Another agent takes Fauxlivia aside to tell her that Otherlee didn’t make it. Hand over her mouth, Fauxlivia rushes from the room.
Lincoln takes Canaan over the bridge to meet Walter and Peter. Walter’s looking forward to studying ““ er, helping ““ Canaan. Yes, helping. That’s it. Lincoln gives Canaan the maze charm since he now has a home.
On the Other Side, Fauxlivia retrieves a photo of her and Otherlee from his locker. Lincoln finds a teary-eyed Fauxlivia looking at pictures. He quickly realizes she might not want to see his face right now, but she assures him it’s fine. He tells her he wants to stick around and help, and she says that would be nice. It doesn’t seem like a psychologically healthy move for either of them. Lincoln feels out of place in our universe, but stepping into a dead man’s shoes probably isn’t the best way to find yourself.