Fringe Episode 406
"And Those We Left Behind"
Written By: Robert Chiappetta & Glen Whitman
Directed By: Brad Anderson
Original Airdate: 11 November 2011
In This Episode...
Time anomalies are becoming more frequent and more dangerous. One report comes in about a woman whose apartment appears to have been engulfed in fire - but there were no flames. Even stranger, her five-year-old daughter reverted to an infant. Another report has a group of teens nearly hit by a commuter train on rails that haven't been in service in four years. Peter is also experiencing time slips - he will be walking in the lab, then suddenly be out at a crime scene. Since he suspects that he may have something to do with the time slips, Olivia brings him into the investigation.
There have been dozens of time shifts in the last few days, but only a couple that seem to effect a spherical area. They have four of these instances, which seem to be the biggest and most dangerous, and all seem to revert the area to where it was four years ago. Peter can't seem to spot a pattern, but Walter does - they fall in a Fibonacci spiral. Based on how far apart the events occur, Walter narrows down the center of these events to a three mile radius. The team starts canvassing the area, and they find the epicenter when an agent goes to knock on an average-looking door and is incinerated by an invisible forcefield. Peter declares that they need a Faraday cage to pass through the forcefield unharmed, and Walter begrudgingly gets started on it while Lincoln figures out where the next event location is likely to take place. It turns out to be an underwater tunnel that didn't exist four years ago. If this event comes to fruition, the tunnel will disappear and hundreds of people will be swallowed up by the ocean.
Astrid brings by the Faraday cage, a crude harness covered with wires that has to "plug in" to the wearer's neck ("Of course," sighs Peter). Liv plans on taking it in, but Peter wins out with simple logic: whoever goes in needs to have a science background.
Inside the house, Peter discovers a fantastic machine in the basement. Raymond, an engineer, has built this massive contraption based on calculations laid out by his wife, Kate. Kate is a theoretical physicist - at least she was, until 2007, when she was stricken with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. In a desperate attempt at more time with his wife, Raymond has been working on turning Kate's time chamber calculations into a reality. Three days prior (the day Peter came back), the time chambers began to work. Raymond would use them to go back to 2007, before Kate got sick, to give her more time to complete her calculations. With each new equation Kate comes up with, the window gets a little longer. Raymond hopes when she finishes, the time chamber can be permanent. Kate knows none of this until the cops show up, at which point Raymond explains everything. Kate is horrified, especially when Peter tells her of the havoc these time chambers have caused. The machine must be shut down properly; otherwise, the entire vicinity will be obliterated. Before she does, she writes out the remainder of the equation for her husband.
With the time chamber closed and the FBI hauling massive amounts of equipment and paperwork out of the house, Raymond goes to Kate's equation book. Everything has been redacted, and at the very end, there is a note from Kate, telling him that all she wants from him is for him to live his life.
Also: Peter has started to gain trust amongst his erstwhile co-workers. Olivia opens up a little to Peter, admitting that Walter was seeing visions of Peter and she was having dreams of him. He has been having dreams of her as well. Broyles lets him out of confinement and moves Peter into the house that Walter and he shared. It is still in Walter's name, but hasn't been occupied in many, many years.
Dig It or Bury It?
Once you get past all the hardcore theoretical physics, this is a great episode. It's a pretty emotional episode but not in a sappy way. Peter and Olivia have a few "moments" like they used to. And the relationship between Kate and Raymond (played by real-life spouses Romy Rosemont and Stephen Root) is sweet and genuine. It was definitely an emotional episode, as opposed to a gory or actiony episode.
So I'm trying to decide what will happen to Peter. Will he ever find his way back to his own space-time continuum? Or will he be stuck in this time stream forever, and have to regain Walter's trust and Olivia's love?
When Raymond throws the switch to turn the machine on, it flashes and glows like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory.
Peter's presence severely agitates Walter. When forced to examine Peter, Walter refers to him as "the subject" and "it." He will not look at Peter and does not like to be in the same room with him.
An invisible man is killing people. The working theory? He must kill so he can become visible. And Peter decides that the only way to get back to his own time stream is to build his own doomsday machine.