|Season 4, Episode 3|
|Air date||October 7, 2011|
|Written by||David Fury|
|Directed by||Miguel Sapochnik|
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|Cast | Transcript|
The Fringe team investigates when the bodies of two 12-year-olds are found in an advanced state of decomposition just hours after bullying another boy. Walter grows more and more distracted by hallucinations.
PlotEditWalter is struggling with the hallucinations of Peter, but refuses to talk about it to the Fringe team or to his psychologist, fearing they will consider him insane and put him back in the mental institution. The Fringe team is alerted to the discovery of the bodies of two teenage boys in a service tunnel; though only missing for less than a day, their bodies show signs of long-term decomposition and fungal infection. As the bodies are moved to Walter's laboratory and the nearby morgue, they discover evidence of a third boy, Aaron, who may have been present at the time the other two were infected, and he is taken to Walter's lab. Walter, while examining Aaron, finds the boy lives with his neighbors, his father having passed away and his mother on business travel in Europe. Aaron, however, appears unaffected by the fungi. Walter allows him to stay with him in the lab, bonding with him and explaining how he lost his own Peter as well as the Peter from the parallel universe.
Walter finds the fungi on the corpse in his lab continues to grow, and is able to contain it before it expels a cloud of spores; the same happens to the body in the morgue but they are unable to evacuate the facility in time, killing the morticians.
The spores leave a network of tendrils that cover the morgue, and which continue growing towards the drains in the room. The Fringe team is able to kill the spores using ultraviolet light, and finda much larger network of the spores in the service tunnel. When they try to expose this network to ultraviolet light and high temperatures, Walter discovers Aaron suffering from a high fever. Walter quickly surmises that the spore network is actually part of a single organism that functions like a giant brain; it has been able to make a psychic link with Aaron, who had spent several days previously in the service tunnel, and such that if the organism is killed, Aaron will likely die. The Fringe team finds that the organism is growing rapidly, spreading out over several city blocks and to public places, and give Walter limited time to find a solution, or otherwise they will have to kill the organism regardless of Aaron's health. Walter races to find non-evasive ways to break the link between Aaron and the organism, ultimately finding that lobotomy may be the only answer. However,with the organism having breached a subway station, Broyles orders for its immediate destruction by injecting a compound into the heart of it. As Olivia and Lincoln prepare to do this, Walter finds that Aaron has become emotional, fearing that there is no one that cares for him. Realizing that Aaron's emotions are feeding the organism, Walter comforts the boy. Aaron becomes tranquil at this news, and resulting, the organism starts to die out.
The Fringe team is able to destroy the remaining organism without harming Aaron. Walter gives Aaron one of Peter's old toys as Aaron is taken to a hospital to affirm his health.In the epilogue, Walter determines that the only way to stop seeing visions of Peter is to perform his own lobotomy. Olivia arrives in the lab in time before Walter seriously hurts himself, and is able to learn that he has been seeing an unknown man in the last several weeks. Olivia pulls out a sketch that she drew of a man, the same person that Walter has been seeing, and Walter realizes that he is not insane. Olivia admits she does not know who he is, as he does not appear in the FBI database; the two agree they need to figure out his identity together.
Aaron: How did your son die?
Walter: Peter was very sick. I tried for a long time to find a cure, but I found it too late and he died. And I discovered an alternate universe where another version of my son was dying from the same malady. So I crossed over to the other side with the intention of bringing him back to cure him. But the frozen lake where I created a portal between universes was unsound. And when we crossed back, the ice broke and Peter... the other version of him drowned. I lost him all over again.
Aaron: And you... don't think you belong in mental institution?
Astrid: Walter, Agent Broyles wants to know...
Walter: Yes, yes, I heard. Well, you tell Agent Broyles that as there appears to be no unusual environmental factors to explain the rapid deterioration, that it is absurd for me to make any determination without first examining the remains...
Astrid: Okay, Walter says...
Walter: For all I know, it could be a mutation of some flesh-eating bacteria.
Astrid: He thinks that...
Walter: Some kind of alien parasite. Or... Bigfoot! Bifgoot, that's it! Astrid, perhaps you can look around for massive fecal droppings.
Astrid: He doesn't have any theories, sir.
Olivia: Lincoln, can you hear me?... It's okay, it's okay. You're gonna be fine. You're gonna be fine...
Lincoln:Hi...you look a little freak out... Do you wanna talk about it?
- The title was revealed on the Twitter feed of the Masked Scheduler (the chief scheduler at FOX) with a photo of the pre-release DVD and the caption, "This was an awesome script. Can't wait to watch it." Interestingly, the title was revealed before the title for the second episode was released.
- The Observer can be seen after the break, walking right to left past Walter Bishop's lab.
- Although credited, Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) does not appear in this episode.
- "Quinn the Eskimo" by Manfred Mann
- "I Can Help" by Billy Swan
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