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Fringe 4.08, “Back to Where You’ve Never Been”

Can this possibly be only episode eight? Well, jumping right back in, then:

Peter enters the kitchen to find Walter making pancakes for him. Aw, a dream sequence. Walter, being Walter, is topless but wearing an apron. Olivia comes out and kisses everyone good morning. Walter says he’s going to fix the waffle maker. Then he drops it on the floor, which wakes up Peter. He says, “Walter.” I don’t care how weird or helpful my dreams are, I don’t find myself reaching conclusions out loud when I wake up.

At Walter’s Harvard lab, he’s messing about with pinwheels and a blow dryer. He calls for Astrid to come see how the metallic pinwheel is spinning against the air flow. Peter brings Walter pastries. Walter is delighted for a moment, until he realizes the pastries are from Peter. Peter says he’s tried to respect Walter’s wishes and stay away, but he desperately needs his help to get back to his “family.”  Walter tells Peter about finding his wife after she killed herself. He blames himself for focusing on getting to the Other Side, rather than helping her mourn. He says he lost his wife, career, and his sanity “all because I wanted to help another Peter.” So that’s a “no,” then.

Peter has a plan B. He tracks Olivia down at home, where she’s taken a sick day. She’s still having migraines, which we now know were caused by evil Nina and her minions. Peter wants Olivia to ask Broyles for permission to use the bridge so Peter can ask Walternate for help. Olivia is still convinced Walternate is pure evil. Also, she doesn’t think Broyles will agree, or that Peter will just be able to pop in and see the Secretary of Defense.

Lincoln stops by with chicken soup. I’m guessing he knows that’s why Olivia missed their 3 AM date. That should put all the Lincoln-Olivia shippers at ease. Now Peter’s on to plan B, part two: he thinks they can use the Other Agent Lee’s high-ranking position to get in to Walternate’s secure office. And they can use Walter’s original bridge device, which Massive Dynamic recovered from the bottom of the lake years ago and Olivia was conveniently about to requisition, to get to the Other Side. Actually, Olivia’s plans aren’t so convenient for Peter, as she planned to use the machine to go snooping through Walternate’s files and expose his evil plans. (In this reality, she hasn’t discovered that she can universe-hop on her own power.)

Peter worries that if Olivia gets caught, it will blow his chances of getting Walternate to help him. Olivia rather quickly agrees to back off and let Peter use the machine for his own purposes. However, she tells Lincoln privately that she’s got something else in mind.

Battery Park Bus Terminal, Other Side: A woman sends her son into the men’s room and waits for him right outside. The boy sees and hears a couple of men in a stall together. He smartly runs to tell his mom, who notifies a transit cop. The cop finds a dead body and a translucent shape-shifter, who takes off. He almost gets away using his wacky wall-walker abilities, but ends up getting smashed by a bus.

After the credits, Brandonate brings the Walternate the shapeshifter tech, as requested. Oh, man, I’d forgotten how completely evil Brandonate is! Brandonate has identified a signal they can trace and hopefully find out who’s responsible for the new shape-shifter prototypes. Walternate says he’ll handle the back-trace himself, and dismisses Brandonate.

At the bus terminal, Fauxlivia and Otherlee arrive with their team and learn that the suspect scaled a bus on foot before he was killed. Some army dudes show up and tell the agents that per the DOD, Fringe is off the case. Otherlee is all, “Whatever” but Fauxlivia wants to know why.

Stamford, CT, Our Side: Olivia and Peter are on the road, headed for the Orpheum, where Peter knows there’s a “soft spot” between universes.Lincoln retrieves the device and meets them at the theater. Olivia is still having headaches, but is determined to stick around to notify Broyles in case Peter and Lincoln (dressed up as, uh, himself) can’t get back. Peter thanks Olivia and heads over. Olivia wishes Lincoln luck and he follows. Peter closes the portal.

At Fringe headquarters, Altstrid informs Col. Broyles of a Class 3 breach at the opera house. Damn, these people are prepared. Col. Broyles redirects Fauxlivia and Otherlee (who are on their way back to HQ) to the theater with a team. Meanwhile, the guys make their way to the street, where Lincoln is stunned to see the twin towers in the skyline. How is he supposed to pass as Otherlee if they haven’t prepped him at all?

At the DOD labs, Walternate has the soldiers bring in the body from the bus terminal. He dismisses Brandonate and his team, and posts a guard at the door. Then he digs around in the body until he finds the little shape-shifter box.

Peter and Lincoln arrive at the DOD complex across from Liberty Island. Lincoln tells the guard at the docks that Peter is a prisoner he’s transporting to Liberty Island under super-top-secret conditions, so the guard probably shouldn’t even call someone and double-check. The guard falls for it. Lincoln then claims to have lost his show-me in the river when he jumped in after the “prisoner.” (The guard doesn’t question why they’re not wet. How stupid is this man?) Lincoln provides a palm-print instead, and the guard calls for a ferry. In a brief moment of clarity, the guard also reports the show-me as lost.

At the opera house, the breach is no longer registering. Otherlee thinks maybe it was a glitch. It seems like Otherlee ““ the character, not the actor ““ is kind of phoning it in this episode. Col. Broyles orders the team to head back to HQ. Fauxlivia is thinking about the bus terminal suspect’s mismatched eyes and Spiderman-like skills. She smells a shape-shifter. Otherlee figures Walternate will let them know if that’s the case, but Fauxlivia remembers that Olivia accused Walternate of being responsible for the shape-shifters. She’s called Olivia “paranoid,” but now she thinks there might be a cover-up going on. Outside, Otherlee tries to start the car, but can’t because his show-me was reported lost. He calls the guard at the checkpoint.

Meanwhile, Peter has realized that Lincoln is planning to dig around in Walternate’s files after all. Their argument is cut short by the arrival of Fringe division. Peter tells Fauxlivia he needs to talk to Secretary Bishop, but he and Lincoln are taken into custody anyway.

Col. Broyles calls Walternate to report the arrival of (our) Lincoln Lee and someone claiming to be Peter Bishop. Walternate tells Broyles to hold off on notifying the other side (that is, our side) until the prisoners have been interrogated.

Inside the transport car, Peter asks Lincoln if his plan was really Olivia’s idea. He thought (for some reason) that he could trust Lincoln and Olivia. Lincoln doesn’t understand why Peter doesn’t think gathering intel on Walter is a good thing, and Peter says it’s not his fight. The guard driving the car, Murphy, gets a call. Following instructions from someone, he suddenly veers off course. Fauxlivia calls the car but gets no answer. Murphy shoots his partner, Cole. Otherlee calls Altstrid to have her get a location on Murphy’s car.

Murphy pulls over in an alley and has the guys uncuff each other, to make it look like an escape attempt. Peter asks him if the call he got was from Secretary Bishop and says he just wants to talk to him. Murphy says he has his orders and prepares to shoot Peter. Cole rouses himself long enough to shoot at Murphy, distracting him. There’s a struggle, and Lincoln ends up shooting Murphy. Peter demands the gun and says they’re doing things his way now.

Altstrid finally locates Murphy’s car. Fauxlivia gets out in the alley where the agents’ bodies lie shot, while Otherlee heads after the transport car. The team forces the car over. Lincoln is forced out at gunpoint, but Peter is gone. They learn that Peter used Murphy’s ID on the subway. Lincoln tells Otherlee and Fauxlivia that Walternate tried to have the prisoners killed and the he’s also responsible for the shape-shifters coming over to our side. He tells them to trace the call to Murphy. They ask why he would trust him if he thinks Fringe is compromised. Lincoln says Peter told him he could trust Fauxlivia. She’s sure they don’t know each other. She finally says they can sort things out at HQ.

Tarrytown, NY (Over There): Elizabeth Bishop enters her home. Realizing the back door is open, she prepares to leave but Peter jumps out at her. He says he just wants to talk to her husband. Elizabeth recognizes Peter as her son, all grown up. After the break, Peter sadly informs her that her son did die, and now he’s trying to get back where he belongs. Elizabeth says she used to tell herself that somewhere, her son would live and be happy. She’s sure Walternate would want to help Peter. She goes to call her husband, but Peter doesn’t want her to alert anyone because someone wants him dead. (Right about now is when I figured out who that someone actually is.) Anyway, Peter is sure Walternate already knows he’s there.

They hear a car pull up outside and Elizabeth remembers that she activated the alarm before she knew who had broken in. There’s a knock on the door. Elizabeth urges Peter to hand over his gun. She promises to protect him. As it turns out, the people at the door are DOD soldiers rather than cops. Elizabeth jumps in front of Peter (aw) and demands to be taken to her husband. The soldiers finally agree, as long at Peter is restrained.

At Fringe HQ, Otherlee and Fauxlivia have cuffed Lincoln to a pole in a maintenance closet. They’ve confirmed that a call was made to Murphy, but they have to trace it to its source before they’re willing to talk to Lincoln. Amusingly, it seems that Lincoln and Otherlee really don’t care for each other. I wonder if anyone would get along with their Other Side counterpart.

At Liberty Island, the soldiers bring Elizabeth and Peter into Walternate’s office. Elizabeth tells Walternate it’s a miracle. He appears to agree. (I have to keep reminding myself that this Walternate has no memory of encountering a grown-up Peter.) Walternate orders the men to remove Peter’s restraints and leave. Peter admits that he’s not “their” Peter (oh, Peter), and Walternate says he already knows that. Elizabeth tells him she promised Peter they would help. Walternate asks her to leave for a moment. She reluctantly agrees. Peter thanks her before she leaves.

Peter compliments Walternate on his ability to act surprised. Walternate reveals that he’s been monitoring things on Our Side and has known about Peter “for some time.” As he talks, he’s getting some kind of hand-held device out of a safe. Ominous. Peter says he knows that Walternate tried to have him killed today, and that he’s broken his accord with Our Side. Peter’s not interested in bringing him to justice, though. He just wants to go home. Poor dude. Kind of reminds me of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Oh, Peter. If you only had a brain.

Brandonate enters, at Walternate’s request. Walternate asks Brandonate if Peter’s accusations could be correct, and Brandonate says no. Then Walternate zaps Brandonate with the device from the safe and Brandonate drops to the floor, shape-shifting all the way. “Everything is not as it seems,” Walternate intones.

In a lab, where Brandonate (or the shape-shifter formerly known as Brandonate) is out cold and hooked up to some tubing, Walternate tells Peter he’s suspected Brandonate was replaced by a shape-shifter for weeks, and has been monitoring him. (I guess Elizabeth is somewhere having a much-deserved cup of chamomile tea.) Walternate plans to interrogate Brandonate. He believes the government is being infiltrated by shape-shifters, but he’s kept quiet for fear of spreading panic. Peter says Walternate needs to expose the shape-shifters, like no shit, dude. Walternate is telling Peter all this because Peter has no alliances, and so is the only one Walternate can trust.

He agrees to help Peter get home, but for now he needs him to tell the people on our side that Walternate is not the enemy. Peter says, “I was wrong about you. You’re not the man I thought you were.” Walternate replies, “You are exactly the man I thought you would be.” It’s all very touching, especially if you factor in the dramatic irony of Peter actually being Walternate’s son. On the other hand, Walternate seems to have gained Peter’s trust rather quickly, and I can only hope that Peter’s still playing both sides against the middle in his efforts to get “home.” Walternate practically begs Peter for his assistance.

Back at Fringe HQ, Fauxlivia tells Otherlee they traced the call to Murphy back to an industrial park in the Flatiron district. She still wants to be sure, however, that Walternate is not behind it. Otherlee asks how much longer she wants to keep Col. Broyles in the dark. She says they’re just following up on a lead, but Otherlee wants to tell Broyles.

They go to talk to Col. Broyles, but he already knows (thanks to Altstrid) that they traced the call to Murphy. Fauxlivia asks for some leeway to investigate further. Col. Broyles asks only that they keep him posted. After they leave, he makes a call to David Robert Jones (presumably their David Robert Jones, as ours was, you know, CUT IN HALF “¦ but the previews for next week say otherwise) telling him the agents are on their way to him. David Robert Jones, by the way, is currently hanging out at a facility that appears to house a possible army of dormant shape-shifters. At this point, for the record, I suspect both Broyles and Otherlee of having been replaced. Trust no one.

Back at the Orpheum on Our Side, Olivia is literally lying in wait for Peter and Lincoln to return. An Observer suddenly appears and spends several valuable seconds speaking Olivia’s lines (“Who the hell are you?” etc.) along with her before saying, “I have come to tell you something, Olivia.” She wants to know, of course, how he knows her name. Then she puts her gun away when she sees the bleeding gunshot wound on his chest. He tells her that in all the possible futures he’s looked at, one thing is true: she has to die. She goes to call for an ambulance, but turns around to find the strange man gone.

So … first Peter has to die, then we find out that he never existed, then he sort of still does exist but he thinks he’s just in the wrong universe, then Walternate is evil, then he’s not totally evil, then Olivia has to die and David Robert Jones is alive and damn, I forgot how much this show wears my brain out. I’m getting a sinking feeling, much like I got at a certain point watching Lost, that the writers are just pulling things out of thin air with no regard for what is “supposed” to happen. If Fringe is in fact getting cancelled soon, now more than ever they need to decide what’s what.

One reply on “Fringe 4.08, “Back to Where You’ve Never Been””

Davy Jones/Bowie had extensive scarring all over his head…it’s the same one!  In terms of writing, that’s why they had Peter mention that (he thought) Jones was dead.  Which makes me pretty sure that Peter’s on the wrong track about being in the wrong universe.  Is ZFT the third faction?

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