Fringe Episode 416
"Nothing as it Seems"
Written By: Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner
Directed By: Fred Toye
Original Airdate: 30 March 2012
In This Episode...
Way back in season one, our band of merry men encountered the case of Marshall Bowman, a man who brought down a plane after a chemical he injected turned him into a giant porcupine monster. Well, in this timeline, the Bowman case is happening right now - with a few changes. Bowman suppresses his monster until the plane lands safely, but while in TSA custody he can't get to his drugs, transforms, and dies within minutes of killing the two TSA agents.
The other major difference is that in the "original" case, Bowman was working with a top-secret government operation to bring down Conrad, a dangerous biochemist selling weapons on the black market. In this case, Conrad died in an accident years before, so the biological mutant-turning goo is the brainchild of a small but loony cult obsessed with "directed evolution:" mutating the human species and skipping over several million years of evolution.
Using mostly info that Peter and Olivia remembered from the first time they investigated this case, Fringe division hunts down Hicks, Bowman's partner, who is being helped by his girlfriend. After a struggle, Lincoln shoots Hicks, Peter shoots the girl, and no one dies. Because Hicks and Bowman were the only ones involved in the case they remember, they close the case when both parties are accounted for. Of course, in this new timeline, things aren't exactly as they used to be. Bowman's sister and her husband are also part of this "cult" and despite what happened to Bowman, hubby is all in (with a little cajoling).
Dig It or Bury It?
This episode seemed a little unfocused - like the producers didn't know whether they should focus on the original case, the new case, or the differences between the two. On the upside, there was plenty of big monster action to hold my attention. Plus, in this timeline, the beasties sprout wings!
Lincoln is jealous that Peter and Olivia are together, but knows he doesn't have a chance. So a lot of this episode is Lincoln throwing a pity party for himself. He just doesn't feel like he fits in - he is threatened by Peter and not just because of their shared interest in Olivia. Lincoln feels like an outsider, and doesn't even attempt to change that. It was, frankly, kind of annoying.
Without a distinct plot, Walter had a lot of time to be weird tonight. He presents Peter with a box full of birthday gifts - one for each birthday of Peter's, that he had bought and wrapped for him every year. Walter has more fun opening the presents himself, including the present he bought for Peter's 16th birthday: a girlie magazine. Peter notices something on the monster's corpse and calls Walter over frantically. "Oh, did you find his gentials?" the older man asks excitedly. And as for food in this episode, Walter makes a big stack of peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. Astrid name mix up o' the week: Aphid.
The help of the other universe is enlisted, and shifters take to the forefront.