Fringe Episode 421
"Brave New World" Part 1
Written By: Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman, and Akiva Goldsman
Directed By: Joe Chappelle
Original Airdate: 4 May 2012
In This Episode...
People inside and around a conference center start dropping dead - burning from the inside out. There are survivors - people who froze in their tracks when others started to die. The Fringe team arrives and Walter draws blood from one of the survivors. In analyzing it, he discovers there are billions of nanites - microscopic inhaled robots that can be used to deliver medicine or viruses. A piece of tech embedded in the escalator seems to be the source. These nanites overheat easily, and the blood pumping through the human body accelerates this. Those that don't move still might die. Walter takes one scared volunteer back to the lab - carefully. He finds an antidote rather easily, but the woman - Jessica - is terrified and her heart starts racing... increasing body temperature... bringing her terrifyingly close to boiling alive. Olivia holds her hand and coaches her through it, trying to get her to calm down while Walter finishes the antidote. Unknowingly, Olivia's cortexiphan powers bring Jessica back to a normal temperature. Walter's antidote works in clearing out the nanites for good.
Surveillance tapes show Jones installing the tech in the escalator. Before Peter and Liv can go looking for him, a tremendous light fills Peter's house. A light beam so intense it explodes the skyscraper it hits fills the night's sky. Walter surmises that Jones has commandeered a couple of satellites and is using them to reflect the sun's rays into a laser beam in the Beacon Hill area. There is a tremendous oil deposit underground there, so if the light beam gets through to it, it will set all of Boston aflame. Walter tracks the satellites and Peter and Liv find the two satellites. They each take a tower, and set about shutting them down. They succeed. Jones jumps out of the shadows and attacks Peter. They fight, and Olivia watches from afar, powerless to help. Remembering the cortexiphan "attack" from earlier, she harnesses that power, takes control of Peter's limbs and adds her strength to the battle. Peter wins, Jones drops, half his face turns to ash, and he is dead. For realsies.
While all this is going on, Walter is examining the nanites more closely, and he decides that Jones could not have possibly created these nanites in this manner. He had to have help, and the pattern is familiar. Walter believes William Bell is alive and created them, and convinces Astrid to help him on a wild goose chase. Not only is Bell alive, he is working with Jones. Walter and Astrid go down to an importing company that Bell used to purchase almonds from, and they are chased by goons. Astrid is shot, and while Walter is worrying over her, Bell steps out of the shadows. "Hello, old friend."
Also: We discover that Nina was in love with William Bell - a fact that surprises Olivia. Bell was supposed to have died in a car crash seven years ago, but Nina said he had lymphoma and she believes he killed himself to spare himself a long, painful death. And Peter and Olivia have started looking for a new place together. Olivia wants someplace with a nursery, but doesn't confirm if she is already knocked up, or just thinking about the future.
Dig It or Bury It?
There was too much going on in tonight's episode. Nanobots, spontaneous human combustion, William Bell coming back, Olivia utilizing more of her cortexiphan powers, death rays - I felt like I was being pulled in a zillion different directions. While tonight's episode was a little overwhelming, it did get me psyched for the season finale (especially because I know we still have 13 episodes after that).
In This Timeline...
William Bell is alive, despite everyone swearing that he died seven years ago in a car crash. My theory is that, in this timeline, while Peter didn't "exist," Bell did die. But when Peter returned and the timeline started shifting, it shifted Bell right back into the world of the living.
When he was a kid, Peter had a pet dog - even though he is allergic. Walter made the dog hypo-allergenic. I don't even want to know.
In the season finale, it would appear that William Bell is setting off Olivia's powers.