Fringe Episode 403
"Alone in the World"
Written By: David Fury
Directed By: Miguel Sapochnik
Original Airdate: 7 October 2011
In This Episode...
Two boys chase a third boy into a tunnel in a park with the intention of beating him up. Inside, a strange, organic fungus wends its way up the bullies like vines. The third boy, Aaron, escapes unscathed. When the bullies are found, their bodies show advanced decomposition - they are covered in mold and look like they have been dead for months - it has only been a few hours.
With one of the corpses back at Walter's lab, he gets concerned and puts it into an isolation box seconds before it explodes into a cloud of spores. Liv and Lincoln are at the morgue to bring the second corpse back to the lab, but they don't make it in time. The corpse there explodes, killing two coroners. Walter decides it is some kind of mutated fungus that evolves very, very quickly - but it is still just a fungus. UV light or extreme heat should do the trick. Of course, nothing is that simple. Aaron has come to the lab so that Walter can run some tests and figure out why the fungus didn't kill Aaron. When the Fringe agents begin destroying the fungus, it also starts to kill Aaron. He and the fungus are linked. A lonely boy, with no father and a mother who travels for work, Aaron would sneak off into the tunnels and eventually began to feel like there was "something" in there that really "got" him, and a symbiosis was born.
Walter begs Olivia not to destroy the fungus just yet - he has bonded with Aaron, sees him as a surrogate for his own, dead son. Liv stalls as best as she can, but the fungus has gotten into the sewer system and is spreading rapidly. At the last moment, Walter realizes that Aaron and the fungus have a codependent relationship; he needs it as much as it needs him. Walter convinces the boy to let go of the fungus, that he cares about him, he will be there for him, he understands the loneliness Aaron feels. Aaron lets go, cutting the emotional connection, allowing the Fringe team to destroy the fungus without harming the kid.
Throughout the episode, Walter is still having hallucinations of "that strange man." He tries his best to ignore it because he fears that he will be returned to the mental hospital. But he can't, and he hits rock bottom when he decides the only sane thing to do is lobotomize himself. Luckily Liv comes in on him in the nick o' time and talks him down. She finally gets him to open up, and shares her own strange dreams of a mysterious man. She shows him a sketch she drew from memory - it is Peter. Walter is relieved - a shared vision means he is not crazy.
Dig It or Bury It?
I had a hard time digging on the emotional connection aspect of this episode. It comes across as a little hippy-dippy. It was all good until about halfway through. Lincoln kept himself from being a totally lame and pointless character by his epic freaked-out-ness. At the beginning of the episode, Liv calls him in to check on him, see if he needs to talk. He promises he is fine, not freaked out, but the bugged-out look on his face is not convincing. At the episode's end, he gets attacked (but not harmed) by the fungus. When it dies off and he is free, he says to Liv, "Okay, I'm freaked out. Wanna talk about it?"
In A World Without Peter...
In Walter's world, pretty much everything with Peter happened the same: he was very ill as a child, and died before Walter could find a cure. When he did find a cure, he went to the other universe to get the alternate Peter, with the intentions of curing him and returning him. But that night, he fell through the ice on the not-so-frozen lake, and alternate Peter drowned.
Before he leaves, Walter gives Aaron a toy that once belonged to Peter. "It's better off with you. Toys are meant to be played with - I've seen the movie with the talking toys. I found it oddly disturbing."
We are getting closer to having Peter back. I don't think it will be next week, but it could maybe be the week after....