Fringe Episode 3.6
Written By: Robert Chiappetta and Glen Whitman
Directed By: Joe Chappelle
Original Airdate: 11 November 2010
In This Episode...
Up and down the eastern seaboard, 15 people suffered a blackout followed by complete amnesia after listening to a number station over HAM radio. No one quite knows the origins of number stations - radio transmissions that are just a string of numbers in a variety of languages. Massive Dynamic investigated these stations, and other than figuring they were at least 70 years old, they got nothing.
Walter isolated the tracks that one of the people, Becky, recorded, so that he wouldn't suffer any ill effects, and discovered that the number track is harmless - it is the pulse laid down with it that is a brain drain. Murders at a radio transmission building lead to the discovery of a strange, hovering, magnetized cube. Walter is frustrated when he can't figure out the device. There are two breaks in the case. First, fingerprints on the cube lead the team to a man named Joseph Feller. Then, Peter recognizes a name on the number station member list: Ed Markham, owner of the rare bookstore that helped them find the ZDT manual. Markham gave up the numbers game years ago out of pure frustration. When Peter tells him what has happened to others in the group, he begs for protection. In return, he turns Peter on to a very rare book, The First People, written a century ago. In it, the author proclaims that way before dinosaurs existed, there was a technologically advanced race of humans who inhabited the planet. They were wiped out suddenly, with no explanation and leaving behind virtually no trace of their civilization - except the number stations.
Feller is from the Red universe, and Fauxlivia sneaks out to see him. While there, Broyles calls with a location for Feller, and she promises she is on the way. Of course, she is already there by the time reinforcements arrive - which is just in time to hear gunshots and see Feller fall twenty stories out the window and splatter into a silver puddle at their feet. Fauxlivia puts on her "I'm scared" face and swears she did it out of self defense. Meanwhile, after days of crunching the numbers - with extreme frustration - Astrid finally figures out the numbers. They are location coordinates. She is still mapping them out, but the closest one is in Jersey. The team heads out with a full construction crew and begin excavating. They find an enormous trunk. Within it is a piece of Walternate's machine, the one Peter is trying desperately to build and Walter is trying desperately to prevent him from building. A different piece is buried at each of the coordinates, 38 in all. It appears that, rather than being a strict doomsday device, the blueprints will build a vacuum, something that the First People invented to create a constant cycle of creation and destruction.
Fauxlivia sends a message to her universe: "They have found the first piece." The response: "Well done. Initiate phase two." We flip over to the Red universe for a moment, and see our Olivia getting a message from the Peter in her brain: "Whatever they needed from you, they have . You are not safe here. You have to get home." It would be good advice for Fauxlivia to follow: cracks are starting to appear in her Olivia facade.
Dig It or Bury It?
This episode made my brain hurt. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. They were throwing a lot of weird shit at us. It was great because I feel like we are finally getting answers, like we will finally get some closure, and just maybe get rid of the Red universe stiffs. This episode was so ridiculously dense I am sure I missed some of the deeper scientific facts. I got the gist of it, though, and frankly, I much prefer these jam-packed episodes. I like when the puzzle pieces start falling into place. It's calming.
After so many instances of being taken care of, Walter finally is the caregiver. While Astrid is pouring over the numbers, trying to make sense of them and getting frustrated, Walter brings her a sandwich. "In 1974, the CIA asked me to develop a sandwich that would offer the best clarity of thought. I came up with avocado, cucumber, and cheese. The chips are just there because I like things that go crunch."
Honestly, this Vacuum technology sounds like an exaggerated Hadron Collider. The First People, however, sound about as plausible as Mole People.
42! Sorry, wrong show. Looks like Olivia comes home and the two universes become one.