Television Tourniquet: We Get Freaky with 'Fringe' - Episode 20


Fringe Episode 1.20
“There’s More Than One of Everything”
Teleplay By: Jeff Pinkner & J.H. Wyman
Story By: Akiva Goldsman & Bryan Burk
Directed By:  Brad Anderson
Original Airdate: 12 May 2009

In This Episode…

Nina Sharp is rushed into emergency surgery to take care of her gunshot wounds at the hands of David Robert Jones.  A team of MassiveDynamic specialists then come in to operate on her bionic arm.  William Bell had hidden a powerful energy cell in her arm that Jones stole when he shot her.  Nina is being remarkably helpful in this episode – definitely moving from uncertain ‘frenemy’ to practically one of the gang.  She tells Olivia that Jones was one of the first researchers at MassiveDynamic, and Bell was his mentor.  Nina also promises Olivia that if they help her track down Jones, she will arrange a meeting with Bell.

Walter is missing.  Astrid and Peter are searching for him; Liv fears that after badgering him at the coffee shop last week, she pushed him over the edge.  Nina gets her team on the case and snags a train station security camera image of Walter.  The Observer had taken him to Reiden Lake, NY – the Bishops’ own a summer house there.  Now that Peter knows the general area his father is, he puts the pieces together and goes to the beach house to collect him.  Upon arriving there, he finds that Walter is extremely distraught.  Walter is looking for something that he thinks is there, but can’t remember what.  He grows more and more agitated, tearing the house apart, babbling so incoherently he is nearly speaking in tongues.  In an effort to calm him down, Peter tells Walter about his own childhood memories of pancake breakfasts.  It triggers something in Walter, and he knows exactly what he is looking for, exactly where to look.  In a lock box, he finds a small device.  A plug for the “soft spots” of the universe that can tear into an alternate reality with the greatest of ease (or the right, insane equipment).

Olivia and Charlie are called out to investigate a tear in the fabric of the universe.  No, really.  Jones and his goonies set up in the middle of an intersection with fancy-shmancy equipment, trying to “lock in” on a couple of coordinates.  A shimmering veil appears in the road, a truck barreling towards them from the other side.  But the coordinates are not quite right and the force field closes with the truck only halfway through, sawing it in half.  The driver has no fingerprints; the truck has no registration, no VIN number, no license – nothing to suggest it actually exists.  A second attempt takes place at a soccer field, this time cutting a third of a kid off.  Olivia starts cross-referencing all the scientific and paranormal cases in the agency’s database, and comes up with some sort of pattern, leading the way to Reiden Lake.

And this is where our stories converge.  Walter and Peter are driving around the lake, looking for the “soft spot.”  Walter admits that the reason he bought the beach house in the first place was because of its proximity to the soft spot.  They find the spot, but are attacked – and quickly released.  Olivia, Charlie, and their backup have made it out to the same spot.  Through the forest, there is a blast of blue, and Jones’s cronies start a gunfight that they can’t finish.  Olivia shoots his right-hand man a little too late and the soft spot has been cracked wide open.  Jones moves towards it, Olivia shoots him multiple times, but it does little to slow him down (apparently all his teleportation may be killing him, but it has also made him “special” and impervious to bullets).  Peter arrives to plug the hole with Walter’s device, just as Jones is stepping through.  The rip is closed, and Jones is sliced cleanly in half.

But it only gets weirder from there.  Walter disappears again, but leaves a note for Peter, telling him he knows where he is going and will be back soon (“It’s the first note he has ever written,” Peter muses to Astrid.  “Our little boy is growing up”).  Walter is at a cemetery.  The grave belongs to… Peter Bishop, dead in 1985.

Meanwhile, Liv is quite pleased with herself, despite the fact that Broyles comes in and tells her that the powers that be have ordered them to stop their investigation into Bell.  But Nina is a woman of her word, and calls Olivia at home, asking her to meet at a New York hotel restaurant.  Liv shows up the next day, and waits for hours.  Giving up, Olivia gets in the elevator and has one of her weird, time-jumpy, déjà vu-ish episodes.  When the elevator doors open, she is in a hallway that is definitely more THX 1138 than The Shining.  A woman greets her and leads her into an office.  A newspaper on the desk suggests we have gone back in time, as it announces Obama’s preparations for the White House.  And then we finally meet William Bell – played by Leonard Nimoy, as promised.  As we pull out of the scene, we see that Olivia is no longer in the hotel, but in an office building… and that office building is one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

Dig It or Bury It?

Honestly, until those last five minutes, I though this was a pretty average episode, maybe even sub-average.  It lacked the humor that I have become so used to.  Quite frankly, I found the alternate universe plot line dull.  But those last few minutes made me long for the new season already.  Walter visiting Peter’s grave was a little predictable, but still utterly intriguing.  And bringing in a universe where the Twin Towers still exist… as my husband said, “That’s pretty ballsy.”  Admittedly, I did a little double take when they made the reveal.


Walter babbled incessantly through this episode, but most of it was unintelligible and what was intelligible was just sad.


When the gang sees the bright blue light of Jones’s experiment in the forest, two words came to mind immediately: “swamp gas.”


Sorry but I just can’t get behind the whole “alternate universe” notion.  It is almost as foreign a concept to me as time travel.  Once upon a time, I had dinner with a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and he told me that time travel was virtually impossible.  I imagine that alternate realities would be on the same plain.


It’s going to be a long summer.