|Season 2, Episode 11|
|Air date||January 14, 2010|
|Written by||Josh Singer|
|Directed by||Joe Chappelle|
| ← previous|
| next →|
"What Lies Below"
|Cast | Transcript|
Following an unexplained attack involving disfigured humans, the Fringe team visits Edina City, a small town in upstate New York, to uncover leads surrounding the bizarre case. When it’s determined that these disfigured people have managed to hide themselves for a while and they’ll do just about anything to keep it that way, the investigation takes an unexpected turn.
State Trooper John Pekarsky is driving down a road in Edina, New York and is talking to his wife on a cellphone. As he is talking he spots a kid walking all alone. He pulls up and asks him if anyone knows where he is. The officer offers the kid a ride and in conversation deduces that that the kid has run away from home. While the officer is talking to the kid he notices that the kid has suddenly become deformed. At the New York State Trooper office, Pekarsky takes the deformed kids picture while fellow Troopers Jerry Casey and Bob Madison talk about how they never believed the local legends about the deformed "mountain people." As the officer is uploading the picture into the Missing Persons database, two unknown persons with similar deformities, armed with shotguns, kick in the front door of the station. The officers go for their sidearms but are gunned down before they can defend themselves. One of the deformed men takes the boy by the hand and leads him out. As he is leaving, the boy sees that one of the officers is still alive and says "I'm sorry." The officer, heavily wounded, reaches for his pistol several feet away, but is shot in the head by the second man.
Peter Bishop is at a supermarket trying to convince Walter Bishop that there are no Shape-shifters waiting for him in the supermarket, but Walter locks himself in the car. When they get the call from Olivia Dunham, they head to Edina to investigate the shootings. While walking through town, Walter begins singing, stating that he was encouraged to do so by a strange buzzing. A Sheriff Paul Velchik tells them the buzz comes from a military generator, and that the government was doing experiments there in the 1970's.
On their way to base, Joe Falls tries to kill Olivia, Walter and Peter. Peter manages to shoot him and they discover his body later. Walter also collects a butterfly for Astrid Farnsworth. At Harvard, Astrid complains that Walter bought her a moth, before screaming as she opens the body bag, the corpse's face has become deformed. Walter remembers his work on Project Elephant, where the army used a electro-magnetic pulse to render soldiers invisible, but prolonged exposure caused deformities. Walter discovers that the entire town is affected. Rose's father was the scientist responsible. Unable to live with what he had done he was able to adjust the pulse so that, broadcast constantly, it gave the residents of Edina the appearance of normality, to themselves and to outsiders.
Walter and Astrid trick their way into the little boy's house where he finds the machine emitting the pulse and shuts if off.
Olivia and Peter arrive, but are attacked by the Sheriff, who is killed in the shoot out by Rose Falls. The residents decide to reveal their deformities to the world. Walter pleads with Phillip Broyles not to reveal what went on here, which Broyles says if there is no machine, there is no report. Walter lies to Broyles, saying he never found the machine.
Walter: This boy bears no resemblance at all to a sasquatch. Or a yeti, for that matter.
Frug: Well, you don't... you don't believe in those creatures?
Walter: Why shouldn't I. Just because no one has documented flying monkeys or talking lions yet hardly means they don't exist.
Peter: Agent Frug, my father's a bit of a shock-doc. Don't let him alarm you.
Walter: I'm learning to appreciate cowardice. The Lion had a point.
Peter: The Lion?
Walter: The Cowardly Lion.
Peter: But again, that was just a movie and there's no flying monkeys inside the grocery store.
Broyles: You floating another government conspiracy theory Mr. Bishop?
Peter: You know me. I never miss a chance for a good conspiracy theory.
- The Observer can be seen when the Sheriff is briefing the townspeople of Edina, screen left in the rear.
- A Johari window is a kind of game used in self-help groups as a heuristic exercise to help people better understand their mental instability. Subjects are given a list of 56 adjectives and pick five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid.
- At one point, Walter states that "a friend of mine once wrote that 'sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'" The quotation is a restatement of the Third Law of renowned philosopher, futurist, and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke was alive from 1917 until 2008, and first posited his Third Law in a 1973 revision of his essay "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination." In 1973, Walter was 26 or 27 years old and had just begun his career as a professor and government-sponsored research scientist at Harvard; Clarke was 56 and the apex of his career. The two could easily have been acquainted.
- Walter says Astrid's name correctly when they are leaving the lab to go to the library.
- Although credited, Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) does not appear in this episode.
- The corpses at the police station are still covered in bright blood, even some hours later. The blood should have darkened and coagulated by that time.
- "Depend On Me" by Graham Parker
- "Freight Train Blues" by Tennessee Ernie Ford