Fringe Episode 3.16
Written By: Josh Singer and Graham Roland
Directed By: Brad Anderson
Original Airdate: 11 March 2011
In This Episode...
A couple of men are caught scaling a building full of precious metals and elements. But their tethers aren't safety tethers attached to the roof - they are attached to the ground. One man makes it safely to the ground, puts his boots on, and runs. The other is not so lucky. A security guard catches the other one and, thinking he is going for a gun, shoots him. The man, still tethered, floats up.
Walter is flummoxed by a floating body. Back at the lab, he runs plenty of tests but the only abnormality he can find is a tremendous amount of osmium in the blood. Osmium is the densest material known to man, so that can't be it - or can it? Using the idea of the opposite of the laws of physics as we know it, he uses liquid nitrogen on the osmium, which melts it rather than freezes it. Walter discovers the osmium has been mixed with another, almost as dense element: lutetium. These two elements should not be able to mix.
Meanwhile, we get to see the perpetrator in action. A scientist is injecting paraplegics with this substance in the hopes of allowing them to walk again. Once the formula has been perfected, he will use it on his own crippled son. The accomplice from the opening dies from his treatments.
The Fringe team heads to the museum. Lutetium is extremely rare and primarily found in meteorites. Where else can you get meteorites on earth? Once there, the team find the doc and his current test subject attempting to steal meteorites. The doc flees, leaving his poor victim to float out of control towards the open skylight. While Liv chases him, Peter jumps off the second floor to tackle the kid down to the floor. With the doc in jail, his son finally learns the truth about his dad, and is offended to hear that his father felt he needed to be "fixed."
Also: Walter is getting very frustrated without William Bell. He believes that it is his fault that the doctor was able to defy the laws of physics - that his actions in crossing between universes made the laws of physics malleable. He also insists that Bell's idea of "soul magnets" - something about an object that stores a person's consciousness until a proper host can be found - is true. He rings the bell that Bell left for Nina - and nothing happens. Well, not there. Bell's consciousness has come back, and taken up residency in Olivia.
Dig It or Bury It?
The idea of floating humans is both fun and intriguing. But this episode felt a little lost. I can suspend belief for most episodes of Fringe; I totally buy whatever crazy scientific mumbo-jumbo they throw my way. But this episode didn't even have a real explanation behind it. "It was an accident," the doctor explained. "Those two elements should not have been able to react." It was so half-assed, like the writers had this fun idea, then wrote themselves into a corner.
My copy of A Brief History of Time is weeping quietly in the corner.
In the opening scene, Walter is smoking pot with a Massive Dynamic security guard (who is played by the guy who played Hurley on Lost, so you know he has to come back later in the season). He is reminiscing about William Bell's genius, while lamenting that his greates accomplishment was creating his favorite cupcake frosting: bacon berry.
Two worlds collide as the team tries to utilize Willivia while trying to get her back to Olivia, and the blue universe's Lincoln comes into their lives.