Fringe Episode 3.7
Written By: David Wilcox & Graham Roland
Directed By: Chuck Russell
Original Airdate: 18 November 2010
In The Red Universe...
An old, decrepit man shaves his head with a straight razor. He empties a vial into a basin of water, and splashes it over his head and arms while saying a prayer. He attaches a silver mask to his face, and kidnaps a young boy, Max, from his room in the middle of the night. When Fringe Division shows up to investigate, they realize that this is the work of the Candyman, a man who pops up every two years or so, kidnaps a child, and returns them two days later, a husk of themselves. The returned children show signs of internal decay, essentially becoming old overnight. Broyles's son, Christopher, was one of these victims.
Broyles is hyper-protective of his son, and offended when Olivia asks to reinterview him. When Broyles mentions it to his wife, she is supportive of the idea, and Chris agrees to talk to her. Liv is able to get more info from Chris - he remembered the prayer the Candyman used to repeat. That leads the team to a church in Queens. The physician-cum-pastor reluctantly hands over the list from the Men's Club after Broyles uses the "this happened to my kid" card. They split up the list to cover more ground. One of the men Olivia visits is Wyatt Tumey, a single, middle-aged man. She is instantly suspicious when she sees a doll laying on the sofa. Tumey runs, and in her pursuit of him, discovers where Tumey is hiding the boy. He bursts into the room, and Liv shoots him dead.
When the team starts sweeping Tumey's apartment, they discover a complicated chemistry set. Tumey has been draining these kids of their youth via a device plugged in to the back of their neck. Something doesn't fit though: Tumey was a sanitation worker. He couldn't do this alone. The pieces fall into place, and the pastor is the suspected accomplice, stealing youth to act as a healing serum for his ailing parishioners. Liv had mentioned to the pastor that Chris could identify his captors by their voice, so the Broyles residence is the first stop. The pastor is there. He drugged Mrs. Broyles with ether and just pulled Chris from his hiding spot in a cupboard when Broyles walks in and shoots him dead.
Liv has asked her cabbie/hostage from the season premiere to help her break into Liberty Island, where Walter's lab is. She wants to go home. Before she meets Henry, she stops by the hospital to check on the kids. When she rescued Max, she identified herself as FBI. Max asks her what that is. Broyles is listening from the doorway, and calls her out on it. The FBI doesn't exist anymore in this dimension, and Broyles knows that Liv knows who she is. Rather than turning her in, Broyles just says he is going home.
Liv makes it into the Liberty Island lab, shoots herself up with drugs, and slips into the sensory deprivation tank. It works. Moments later, she is back in the souvenir shop. It is late, and she is locked in. The cleaning lady finds her, but Liv is running out of time. Walternate has gotten the call about the security breach. The (blue) world gets blurry, and in a panic, Liv begs the cleaning lady to help her. Walternate's goons have yanked Liv from the tank, and he tells them to sedate her.
In the blue universe, Peter and Fauxlivia are snuggled up in bed. Peter gets a call. It is the cleaning lady. "I know this sounds crazy, but I just saw a woman disappear before my eyes," she says franticly. "I have a message from Olivia. She is trapped in the other universe."
Dig It or Bury It?
Dig it. Religious zealotry plus creepy old men plus weird science experiments equals a good ol' time. There is a subtle shift in Olivia now that she knows who she is. I am glad that she is not seeing Peter because that was getting a little ridiculous. I didn't even miss Walter's babble. It was a simple, straight-forward episode with a strong - and strangely grounded - plot.
In This Universe...
The FBI hasn't existed in over a decade. The Peter Bishop Act of 1991 made every child abduction case automatically fall into Fringe Division's jurisdiction. Red Vines candy has only just been invented.
The fountain of youth, stolen from the pituitary glands of children. Yup, I buy it. At least, it sounds feasible.
The next episode promises to resolve the "journey home" arc, which I am just dying for. The problem? Next week is Thanksgiving, so we have to wait an extra week for Fringe. Damn youse Thanksgiving!