Fringe Episode 412
"Welcome to Westfield"
Written By: Graham Roland & J.R. Orci
Directed By: David Straiton
Original Airdate: 10 February 2012
In This Episode...
An electromagnetic disturbance in Vermont causes cars to work intermittently and a jet to crash. The Fringe team heads out to investigate - Walter included. There is no cell signal, and Walter is, of course, hungry, so he, Liv, and Peter head down the road to a small diner that serves homemade rhubarb pie. Liv goes to use a payphone when she discovers her cell still isn't working and Peter hits the head while Walter orders a slice of pie at the counter. The waiter is sincere and friendly to Walter - then suddenly becomes angry and agitated. Then, suddenly, he is kind again. It's almost like he has a split personality. While in the bathroom, Peter hears cries for help and discovers a man bleeding to death in the walk-in freezer. But he runs back up front when he hears Walter screaming and finds evil-waiter attacking him with a huge knife. Peter jumps into the fray and wrestles him away from Walter, but it takes Olivia and her gun before the man can be stopped.
Cliff, the man in the freezer, has lost a lot of blood and needs a hospital. But Olivia finds she is driving in circles - even though she takes the same road,, she always passes the "Welcome to" and "Now Leaving" signs. They stop at the police station and Walter uses his own blood to transfuse Cliff. When he has regained his strength, he tells them that the town of just a few hundred people has been decimated in the last few days. Some sort of madness raced through town, causing people to suffer fits of amnesia, extreme rage, confusion, and convulsions that usually lead to murder and death. Those immune to this mystery disease have barricaded themselves inside the high school.
On the way to the school, Liv suddenly gets dizzy and trembles. Worried that she has whatever the town has, she hands over her gun to Peter. Walter runs tests on a woman who on occasion thinks it is seven years ago, when her husband was still alive. Walter finds a second row of teeth in her mouth and a blood test comes back with twice as many chromosomes as a normal person has (Liv's blood tests come back normal). With his usual Walter magic, he figures out what is going on here: our universe and the other universe have collided and are starting to become one. The people who went crazy were being combined with their alternate counterparts - like parasitic twins that are conscious and functioning. Those that had no symptoms had dopplegangers who were not in the town any longer. Of course, two areas of equal mass cannot occupy the same space, so it has catastrophic implications. There is no way to leave the town and no way to stop the collision of universes, but there is a way to remain safe: go to the eye of the storm.
Using fancy math, Walter and Peter figure out where the precise center of this event is. Just barely ahead of the crumbling landscape, the group makes it into a bike shop and wait out the rest of the storm. When the event is over and the dust settles, the survivors peek outside - and see nothing by barren desert as far as the eye could see. Cell phones work now, and Liv calls in the cavalry. They discover numerous, mysterious devices surrounding the town, all filled with amphicilite. David Robert Jones was here.
Also: Olivia is being weird. She has an intimate dream of her and Peter in bed, professing their love for each other. She recalls a case she worked in upstate New York - Walter doesn't remember it, but Peter does; he worked it in his own timeline. Olivia starts asking Peter about "his" Olivia - just in a casual, curious way. He speaks of her fondly, describing her as stubborn, driven, and always seeing the best in people. "She gave me a place to call home," he said, describing their cheesy pizza-and-horror-movie Friday nights. With the apocalypse over, Peter stops by Olivia's apartment on the way home to check on her. She is upbeat and pours him a glass of wine, reminding him it is "Friday, silly" and kisses him. He pulls away, stunned - and she doesn't understand why.
Dig It or Bury It?
This was a great episode. I love how it is mostly a "stand alone" episode, but it still ties in with this season's overarching mythology. The electromagnetic wave conceit felt ripped from The X-Files, but it didn't follow that show exactly. The "unable to leave town" conceit was delightfully reminiscent of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (I know that Freddy's Dead didn't invent that plot point, but it is a fond childhood memory for me). I hope that Peter and Walter figure out that Peter really does belong in this "time stream" before they stick him in that machine and do who-knows-what damage.
Walter is working on a hot cinnamon roll breakfast cocktail. According to the good people at the Fox PR machine, a hot cinnamon roll cocktail consists of cinnamon schnapps, spiced rum, brown sugar, a tablespoon of butter, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Creature of the Week
As Olivia, Peter, Walter, and the Westfield survivors board a bus to get them to the "eye of the storm," a "freak" attacks Peter. He is much further along with his two-self mutation than anyone else. Walter pepper sprays him and Peter knocks him unconscious and throws him off the bus - which is where we get to see this dude has two faces fighting for head supremacy.
Olivia remembers everything - hopefully her "timeline" and Peter's "timeline" will merge back to the natural order of things (well, natural if having a portal to another universe is natural). Also, to continue with tonight's story line, it seems that a schizophrenic may not just be hearing voices in his head - it might be his alternate self.