The ripples cast by the revelation of David Robert Jones’s return are felt throughout tonight’s episode as everyone tries to discern what the enigmatic scientist’s plan is.
Since this is a recap, there are spoilers.
Alt-Broyles examines security footage. He sees Alt-Olivia and Alt-Lincoln take Lincoln somewhere. He figures out that his agents hid Lincoln in a maintenance closet. He brings out a syringe and fills it with yellow liquid, and it appears he is going to deal with the Lincoln situation on his own.
This Alt-Broyles is different than the Alt-Broyles from the Peter timeline. When Olivia tried to get home, Alt-Broyles sacrificed himself to help her. The Broyles from previous seasons might have kept a few things from Olivia, but he never worked for an enemy or comprised the safety of anyone on his team. Either this Alt-Broyles is a shapeshifter or he is willingly working for Jones.
Alt-Broyles is on his way to find Lincoln, but Walternate and Peter enter the Fringe HQ, and Walternate asks about Lincoln. Walternate tells Alt-Broyles to release Lincoln. Walternate has great timing.
Walternate tells Alt-Boyles about the shapeshifters. Alt-Broyles acts surprised to learn about this threat. Walternate suspects Murphy was a shapeshifter, and he tells Alt-Broyles that anyone could be a shapeshifter, so every branch of the government could be compromised.
Alt-Olivia and Alt-Lincoln arrive at the industrial complex. The door is ajar. They draw their weapons. They enter. Inside, David Robert Jones calmly follows their direction and puts his hands up, but he does not look at them. Jones gazes at a female shapeshifter in a vat. He tenderly describes how she was once human, a bookkeeper. He made her into something more, a shapeshifter. Pride lights up his face as he says he loves her like a parent loves his child. He turns around; he is proud of all of his creations, all 47 of them. The vat fills with a gas. The shapeshifter struggles. The gas melts the shapeshifter’s skin. Jones kills her.
With this one act, he demonstrates that he is willing to kill those he loves without hesitation. If he is prepared to kill his “children,” then he can kill anyone just as effortlessly.
I do not frighten easily. Jones scares me.
Jones surrenders to the Fringe agents because they do not have the power and access he needs. “Take me to your leader,” he says with a sly smirk on his face. Dangerous, cold, and smug—Jones is definitely a formidable foe.
Back on this side, Olivia finds Astrid in Walter’s lab. Olivia needs Astrid’s help to run a blood sample. Olivia got a sample of the Observer’s blood. Olivia admits that she has to tell Broyles about helping Peter and Lincoln go to the other side.
On the other side, Jones arrives at Fringe HQ. This side has no idea who Jones is; he is not in the system. Because Jones knew they were coming, the team does not have many clues to go on.
Peter wants to leave, but Lincoln wants to stay. They have a suspect in custody, and Lincoln thinks it would be better to find out more about who is responsible for the shapeshifters. Peter is still concerned with his own needs. “I lost a universe!” he snaps. Peter is scared about losing the people he loves; he starts to make a speech about letting the people in this universe take care of their own business, but he stops when he sees Jones.
Jones is questioned by Alt-Broyles, and both men do an excellent job pretending not to know each other. Jones is not concerned about going to prison; in fact, he is confident he will be released. He demands a hard drive from Fayette’s desk. He gives them 12 minutes to accomplish this task. And then he asks for a cup of tea.
Peter tells Walternate that he knows Jones, who is from the other side. Alt-Broyles has to hide his shock that Peter has knowledge about Jones; he objects to Peter questioning Jones, but Walternate gives Peter permission.
Peter questions Jones. Peter mentions Jones’s scars, and Jones’s pulse increases (the Fringe division monitors vital signs during questioning). Peter is curious to know how Jones cured his condition. Transporting out of prison made his molecules unstable, and Jones was on the verge of becoming goo before Peter killed him. Without Peter in this timeline, Jones lived and was able to cross over. On the other side, Jones must have found a way to treat his condition. Jones tries to remain absolutely calm, but subtle facial twitches shows that Jones does not know what to make of Peter. Jones laughs at Peter’s story, but we can see Jones was not prepared to meet Peter. Jones says that they have run out of time.
A woman calls from a hospital ER. She is put on speaker so everyone, including Peter and Jones, can hear. She places a canister on a counter, walks out of the room, and uses a crutch to lock everyone inside. The canister releases a gas. Walternate and everyone can hear people screaming. At the hospital, a hand hits the window in the door; there is blood as the skin comes off as the hand slides down.
On this side, Olivia does not have to tell Broyles what happened because he got a report from the other side. Olivia is in trouble, but her reprimand will have to wait because they need to deal with Jones. Broyles and Olivia have not heard of Jones. This means he must have not have had any interference in his escape plan three years ago.
Back in the alternate universe, Jones warns of another attack in 14 minutes if he does not get his hard drive and is released. Walternate agrees to release him to protect innocent people. They have the data off of the hard drive, and Walternate will have Jones under constant surveillance. Alt-Lincoln tells them that he put a tracer in Jones’s tea. Lincoln requests to help with the investigation, and Alt-Lincoln accepts his help.
Everyone stares as Alt-Broyles removes Jones’s restraints and gives him the hard drive.
In midtown Manhattan, the team watches Jones. Alt-Olivia and Lincoln sit on a bench, and Alt-Broyles and Alt-Lincoln are in an SUV. Alt-Olivia thinks he will try to hide in the lunch crowd. Lincoln notices that Alt-Olivia and Alt-Lincoln are close, but Alt-Olivia tells him that she broke up with someone and Alt-Lincoln has been her shoulder to cry on.
Jones gets up and retrieves a bag from a trashcan. Inside the bag is a thermos and money. Jones gives away the money, drawing a crowd to him. Alt-Astrid reports that Jones’s tracking signal is multiplying. Alt-Olivia figures out it’s the money; she thinks she finds him, but his signal disappears because whatever was in the thermos removed the signal. Jones gets into a car. The Fringe team has lost Jones. Alt-Broyles watches Jones drive away.
Walternate and Elizabeth have dinner. Walternate admits he is frustrated and disappointed that his gamble did not work, but he knew the risk when he agreed to let Jones go. He tells his wife that he will not be able to fix the machine. He is despondent because he couldn’t save Peter then and he can’t help Peter now. The other Walter might, but he cannot. Elizabeth suggests that she could help. During this scene I realize that this Walternate is gentler and more compassionate than the Walternate we met in the third season.
The hunt for Jones is in full force. Alt-Astrid has examined the list of places Jones was using the satellites to survey. She cannot determine the purpose of the information from Jones’s hard drive. Peter takes a look. Because of his previous dealings with Jones, he knows Jones is looking for an element that is inert, but when it is refined properly, it can be used as a power source. With enough of the element, Jones can weaponize it and blow a hole in the universe. With this information, Alt-Astrid determines where Jones will likely be found.
Lincoln shares with Alt-Olivia that someone in the Fringe division must have told Jones about the tracker.
The Fringe team goes to Mohonk Quarry. Back at HQ, Peter tells the team about a road that needs to be guarded, but they do not see the access road above the quarry. When no one sees the road, Peter realizes they are in the wrong universe.
Over here, the female shapeshifter we have seen before activates a device that allows Jones to cross over. I notice that Jones has trouble breathing. I wonder if this is because of what happened after he transported out of prison, or if this is a result of crossing over repeatedly. William Bell crossed over many times, and his molecules became unstable; he could barely hold himself together. The same could happen to Jones.
Walter is in his lab, brushing his cow. He has a visitor—Elizabeth. The light makes her glow, and Walter is overcome with emotion at seeing her. He knows she is from the other side. She never thought she would ever see him again, but a version of their son brings them together. She is there for Peter, and Walter refuses to help. She reminds him that the last time she saw him was when he was trying to save a boy’s life; she is now doing the same.
Peter and Lincoln use the Bridge to return home. They are going to the quarry. Peter apologizes for getting Olivia in trouble; she is fine with it because she has been in trouble before.
Walter serves Elizabeth tea. They sit. Elizabeth talks about the night Walter took Peter. Walter says he had no right to take Peter, but Elizabeth knows he was being a father. She says it was strength, but Walter says it was hubris. He feels God has punished him for breaking both universes. Elizabeth says he made a mistake. He thinks there is no absolution for him; she tells him that she forgave him a long time ago. If she can forgive him, then so can God. He needs to help Peter; something of their sons is in Peter, and Walter is the only one that can help him. Walter is afraid, but Elizabeth tells him that so is Peter. Peter needs his father. This scene is tender, and John Noble again gives a stellar performance, conveying Walter’s emotions with the look in his eyes and the slight changes in his voice. When Walter slouches and Elizabeth puts her hand on his cheek, his expression is peaceful, as though a heavy burden has been lifted.
At the quarry, Jones has his team fill a truck with the element. The Fringe team moves in. Jones’s team shoots. The Fringe team returns fire. Jones leaves in the truck. Olivia chases Jones. Peter gets a walkie from Lincoln. Peter warns Olivia that if the portal closes while she is inside it, she will die. Jones crosses over.
There is a flash. Olivia tells Peter that she is still on this side. Olivia stopped in time. The front half of the engine has been cut off her SUV. Peter saved Olivia’s life.
At the Bridge, Walternate leads a meeting with both universes’ Fringe divisions. They must fight Jones together because that is the only way they can stop him. They know who their enemy is, but they still do not know his plan. Jones has about 100 lbs. of the element. What is Jones’s endgame? How will they be able to stop him? Peter says that Jones is not holding all the cards. They have his help. Peter knows him, and he is a variable Jones did not plan on. They stopped him once, so they will stop him again.
Olivia wants to get started immediately, but Peter needs sleep. She thanks him for saving her.
At Peter’s, Walter surprises Peter with a visit. Walter tells Peter that his mother is a wonderful woman, all versions of her. Walter has finally agreed to help Peter get home. For twenty-five years, Walter has seen himself as an expert on loss, but now he thinks Peter is there to teach him. Peter smiles. Walternate surprised Peter, but he is not surprised by the man Walter is. The tension between them is gone, and we see a hint of the relationship Peter had with his Walter, the relationship many of us miss.
Jones types on an old computer. He is on the other side, so this computer must act like the typewriter did; it is a communication device between the two universes. He informs the other person that the first phase is complete. He needs instructions for phase two.
So Jones is not in charged. My brain immediately runs through a list of suspects for his boss. The first name is William Bell, but Leonard Nimoy has retired from acting, and I doubt the producers would recast the role. Who else has the means to make this plan happen? Another name pops into my head.
The scene cuts to hands typing on this side. The screen is shown. It reads, “In due time. We’re working on her. She’ll be ready soon.” My suspicions are confirmed when the scene cuts to the person in charge.
Nina must be continuing the Cortexiphan experiments in order to trigger Olivia’s abilities. They haven’t needed her abilities until now. I wonder if this has anything to do with the ZFT from the first season or if they have a different agenda.
If Nina is the one behind everything, then what has she done to Olivia all these years? Nina raised Olivia, so she could have been experimenting on Olivia for years. This Olivia seems like a hollowed-out version of the original, which makes sense if Nina has been giving her various treatments over time. Lately, Olivia has not been sleeping well, so Nina must have either started the Cortexiphan recently or increased the dosage. Some fans have complained about this Olivia, but if she has been experimented on and her sleep patterns have been disrupted, then she is not going to be as focused and sharp as the original Olivia. Disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia can wreck your life. I have suffered from chronic insomnia, and it got so bad that my moods changed and I would stare at an object for several minutes and not know what I was looking at. I’m better now, but I understand why this Olivia seems to be off her game.
This week’s episode sustained the momentum built by last week. If this continues, then I think ‘Fringe’ just might have its mojo back. And it’s about time.
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Fringe: Back To Where You’ve Never Been’ recap.