'Subject 13' - 'Fringe' Episode 3.15


Fringe Episode 3.15
"Subject 13"
Written By: Akiva Goldsman, Joel Wyman, and Jeff Pinkner
Directed By: Frederick E.O. Toye
Original Airdate: 25 February 2011

In This Episode...

We are back in 1985, six months after Walter stole the other universe's Peter. Peter doesn't believe that Walter and Elizabeth are his real parents, and he wants desperately to go home, even going so far as to try to drown himself in the frozen lake. Elizabeth is at the end of her rope, and they head down to Florida to visit Walter at the school, where he is working with the cortexaphan children. Walter promises that he will find a way to get Peter back to the red universe safely.

Walter sees young Olivia's drawings of an airship, and believes she is the key to getting Peter safely to the other side. He runs her through a battery of tests. Joy, anger, loneliness, and exertion don't trigger a cortical response, but terror mixed with love do. She crossed over while at home (with her mom, whom she loves, and running from her abusive stepfather) and she did it again at the school (when she thinks that a classmate is dead). When Olivia crosses over at school, she disappears for hours and sends the community into a panic. Peter and Elizabeth check in at the school, and Peter is left alone for a few minutes. He finds Olivia's sketchbook in her cubby, and one drawing stands out to him: a field of tulips, one that his mother told him was engineered by a scientist who missed the flowers and designed them to grow in the Floridian climate.

Peter wanders off, and finds Olivia in the tulip field. This is where she ends up when she crosses back to the blue universe. She admits to Peter that she is afraid that Dr. Walter will send her back home. She admits to Peter that her black eye wasn't from a fall; it was from her stepdad. When asked, Peter says that she can trust Walter. The two return to the school. Walter's assistant, Ashley, tells Olivia that her stepdad is on his way to pick her up. She begs to speak to Dr. Walter, but Ashley tells her he is too busy. Terrified, she races into Walter's office and admits she saw the airships on the other side and that her stepdad beats her. She is calmer now from unloading her secret, but suddenly Walter is behind her and escorting her to her stepdad (to whom he makes veiled threats about keeping his hands off Olivia).

And this is how Walternate figured out what happened to his Peter. When Olivia burst into Walter's office in her agitated state, she crossed to the red universe. Telling Walternate her secret relaxed her enough to slip back to the blue universe, leaving behind only her sketchbook with a picture of her and Peter holding hands.

Dig It or Bury It?

Flashback episodes are normally loaded with important backstory. This one, unfortunately, was mostly filler. Walternate finding out what happened to his son was the only pertinent information we learned. The rest was, honestly, forgettable. Filler. I think they were trying to set up the idea that Peter and Olivia's relationship was kismet, but it didn't come across that way. Olivia could have been saved by any other kid, and it wouldn't have mattered. They did play the 1985 version of the opening credits, which is jolly-good 8-bit fun.

In the Red Universe...

Walternate drinks himself into a stupor every night to deal with his grief. Between that and the time he spends in Florida working in the lab (called Bishop Dynamic in this universe), his marriage is falling apart.


People are being injected with the heaviest elements known to humans, yet it causes them to float. Also, Walter believes he has figured out a way to bring Bell back to life.