Charles 'Charlie' Francis was an FBI agent, close friend and confidant of Olivia Dunham. He worked with the FBI and did not have in depth knowledge of the cases his friends and colleagues in Fringe Division were investigating. He had a deep faith in Olivia and took her word, risking his own credibility during cases where Olivia had intel that she simply couldn't explain. This confidence and friendship led the pair to stop multitudes of Pattern-related crimes. Charlie was later killed by a shapeshifter that was intent on killing Olivia. The shapeshifter took over Charlie's identiy and used his image to infiltrate the FBI.
Prior to working with the FBI, Charlie worked for the Brooklyn Police Department. On his second year with Brooklyn P.D, a domestic disturbance case was tasked to Charlie and his partner. His partner discovers the brutalized girlfriend, prompting Charlie to handcuff her boyfriend. Then, the bloodied girl appears at the door with a gun. The girl had shot and killed Charlie's partner and proceeded to point the gun at him. Charlie was shot and ended up in the ICU for six days, followed by a two week hospital stay, where he claimed he kept a gun underneath his pillow.
Charlie is called in to investigate Flight 627 along with Olivia Dunham and John Scott. He is one of the first agents selected to enter the plane. He aids the investigation, gathering information and assisting Olivia. He attempts to set up a meeting with William Bell of Massive Dynamic at her request; arriving at the lab to inform her Bell is absent, he warns her to be careful with the investigation (after being surprised by the appearance of a cow). After Scott's death, Charlie comforts Olivia and remarks upon the diminishing status of the FBI, pointing out how corporations now have clearance to know more than they do about classified events. ("Pilot")
Following Olivia's car accident, Charlie visited her in the hospital and shared the story of his first mission with her.
Later on, Charlie was dispatched by the FBI to Olivia's hospital after Peter Bishop and Amy Jessup discovered that the shapeshifter that had crashed into Olivia's car had not only changed its appearance again, but was determined to stay on mission and kill Olivia. Charlie was cornered by the shape shifter in the boiler room of the hospital. It dropped down from the ceiling and shot him, took his form, and hid his body in the dumpster, substituting his body for the body of the nurse that it had killed earlier, thus seemingly killing itself. The shapeshifter returned later on, disposing of Charlie's body in the furnace. ("A New Day In The Old Town")
Charlie Francis (Alternate Universe) is alive and an agent of the alternate and more powerful Fringe division.
- Due to Fox's decision to cut the episode order of season one to only twenty episodes, one episode, Unearthed, was left unaired during that time slot. It aired in the middle of season two on January 11, 2010, in a special Monday night timeslot. Because Charlie Francis was alive during this episode, but not the series chronology, he appeared here after his death, albeit to the confusion of fans that weren't aware that this episode was a holdover, namely all of them. Because the season one DVD collection had already been released by the time it aired, Unearthed was placed in with the season two collection as an un-numbered "missing" episode.
- "How are we supposed to protect people when corporations have higher security clearances than we do?"
- - Charlie ("Pilot")
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