I’m still reeling from the last moment of this episode. The last scene raises a lot of questions that of course won’t be dealt with until next week or later. At first this episode seems to be just about a boy who can hear the thoughts of others, but it is the moments outside of the main story’s plot points that require your attention.
This is a recap, so there are spoilers.
This episode picks up right where we left off last week. Olivia and Peter discuss the kiss. Olivia feels as though that was the right thing to do. Peter asks her how long they have known each other; she says three months. She remembers only knowing Peter for a short time, but she feels as though she has known him longer. She feels a migraine coming on, so asks Peter to leave. She agrees to have Walter examine her if she continues to have memory problems. Peter leaves. Olivia has a flash of the old Olivia’s memories.
A man is in a mental institution. He says that it is time. In another area miles away, three men enter a house illegally. The man sees them break in. A woman tells the man that the voices in his head are not real. The man feels the three men kill the owner of the house. The man is forced into bed, and the woman sedates him.
The next day, Lincoln and Olivia go to the mental hospital to see the man, Sean. They want to question Sean because he described the murder in detail. Walter and Astrid are there too. Lincoln, Olivia, and Walter question Sean. He has been in that facility for three years; he has heard voices since he was 14. The voices don’t talk to him and don’t address him; Sean hears the voices, as though he is overhearing conversations. Sean tells Olivia and Lincoln where one of the killers went; Lincoln leaves the room to follow the lead. Walter wants Sean to go off the medication so he can hear the voices more clearly; Sean agrees. In the hallway, Astrid gets Sean’s files from the woman. Walter tells the woman that Sean was diagnosed incorrectly; he is not having delusions, and he is not schizophrenic. Sean can hear the thoughts of others. Sean is at the mental institution voluntarily, so it is not a problem if he goes off his medications.
Olivia continues to get flashes of old Olivia’s memories.
Olivia goes to Peter’s place. She remembers where Walter used to sleep and the first time they made love. Peter can’t believe she remembers everything his Olivia knows. Olivia is not scared, but she goes to Walter’s lab. Olivia recounts how she met Walter—in Peter’s timeline. She can remember how she met Walter in this timeline, but the memories of Peter-less Olivia are fuzzy to her. Olivia’s brain scan is fine. Walter thinks Olivia has empathy; she is sensitive to the emotions of others. He remembers she had this talent when she was younger; he noticed her abilities during the Cortexiphan trials. Walter accuses Peter of projecting his desire to go home so strongly that he has given Olivia his memories. Walter takes a few strands of Olivia’s hair.
Lee comes in to the lab. There was blood left by the killer at the bathroom of the subway station. After analysis, Walter notices that the killer has a chromosomal spur; the same one Sean has. Walter concludes that Sean must be related to the killer. However, Sean is an only child, but the evidence suggests that since he heard all three, he must be related to all three. Olivia is eager to leave. Lincoln hesitates. Olivia says she feels fine, and Walter did not find anything wrong, so she can investigate the case. Lincoln and Olivia leave. Walter turns to Peter. Even if he didn’t mean to do so, Walter tells Peter it is wrong what he is doing to Olivia. Walter is protective of Olivia; he thinks Peter is doing her harm.
Olivia and Lincoln go to Sean’s mother. She tells them that Sean is the result of in vitro fertilization, so his biological father could have other children. She went to Dr. Frank, who was the best in the field and had a high success rate. She tells them that a reporter called her a few days ago. The reporter, Daniel Green, is the man the three killed. She gives them the file she kept during the procedure.
An older man watches television; he lives in an assisted living facility. The news discusses Green’s death. An attendant comes over to the older man and remarks that Green is the same man that saw the older man the other day. The older man looks frightened.
Astrid is with Sean at the mental institution. They eat. Astrid wants him to tell her when he hears the voices again. He does. She takes notes as he tells her there are too many for him to know what they are saying. Walter’s plan is working.
Walter examines Olivia’s hair. He takes a break and pours a cup of tea. He adds honey to the tea, and his expression changes as an idea pops into his mind.
Dr. Frank is not easy to find. Olivia works in one of the back rooms in Walter’s lab. Peter enters. She needs his help to look through files. She notices a scar on his hand; she doesn’t remember him having it. He says he doesn’t expect her to since he got it about a month ago. They hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes for several moments. Peter pulls his hand away. Walter interrupts. He has an idea of what could be happening. In the main part of the lab, Walter shows Peter and Olivia a container full of bees. Walter thinks the group can communicate over long distances, similar to what bees can do. The group is acting now because they feel threatened; they are acting out of a need to survive. Olivia gets a call; Dr. Frank has been found.
Olivia and Peter go visit Dr. Frank. He knows that “they” are out there killing; he suspects he knows who “they” are. He hired another writer three years ago; he died. He thought it was random, but after Green’s death, he knows it wasn’t. He tells them about his work, his real work. He used his in vitro clinic to conduct his experiments. He genetically altered the children’s DNA and introduced genes from other species because his goal was “to make a better human being.” The women didn’t know he was inserting DNA from animals in order to reintroduce traits we had evolved away from. For the father, he used himself. Approximately 200 subjects are his offspring. He thinks they are killing to protect themselves; if people knew about them, they would be test subjects. His patient list is in a commercial storage facility.
Astrid takes more notes as Sean tells her what the group feels. They feel threatened and are scared. He hears a new voice; it is one of the three, the injured one. Astrid has been very gentle and supportive with Sean. It is good to see Astrid away from the group and working on her own. She is the Astrid we know, the one who helps take care of Walter, so seeing her able to take care of Sean is completely keeping with her character.
Walter gets the results from the tests he conducted on Olivia’s hair. Lincoln enters. Walter interrupts him. He must be taken to the Bridge immediately to see Nina Sharp. Walter knows about what is going on with Olivia.
Lincoln and Walter visit Nina. Walter tells Nina about the Cortexiphan. Nina seems to be surprised. Walter demands to know how this could happen to Olivia. The Cortexiphan is supposed to be locked away. Nina says that the remaining vials are in the vault at Massive Dynamic, and she is the only one with access. Lincoln is suspicious of Nina. Walter wants to go to the vault because he will know if the vials have been tampered with. Nina wants to make a call, but Lincoln stops her; the fewer that know about this, the better.
Olivia and Peter are at the storage facility. Olivia tells Peter that this is hard for her; she has feelings for him, but he looks at her strangely. She wants him to act naturally, like he used to. Olivia is a bit hesitant because the last time she was at a storage facility, it was rigged with a certain explosive. Peter stops; he didn’t know the type of explosive that was used. Therefore, he cannot be transferring his memories to her; he can’t give her memories he doesn’t have. They don’t understand what is going on. Olivia goes to pick the lock, but the door is unlocked. The files inside have been destroyed.
Sean tells Astrid that they are going after her. Astrid calls Olivia; they know she is at the storage facility.
A car rushes towards Peter and Olivia. Peter gets them out of the way. The attackers come out of hiding; Peter and Olivia subdue them. Olivia puts them in handcuffs.
Two of Dr. Frank’s offspring find him. They move towards him, and one has a pillow. The police arrive, but they are too late. When the police get to his room, Dr. Frank is dead.
Sean watches TV loudly. He is told to turn it off. He wants it on. Astrid enters, and he tells her that he can’t hear them anymore. It is not known why he can’t hear them; I think either the death of their father or the feeling of security broke the connection because they no longer need to act as a group for protection. He has been used to having voices in his head, and the silence is unbearable. Astrid tenderly tells him that he finally has the opportunity to hear his own thoughts, and she is sure he has a lot of great thoughts. This is a great scene. Jasika Nicole is not too sentimental or condescending; her voice and her expression convey genuine concern and encouragement as Astrid comforts Sean.
Olivia pulls into a gas station. Olivia and Peter talk about their relationship. Peter is afraid. He betrayed the Olivia he loves with another Olivia, and he doesn’t want to repeat his mistakes. But when he looks in her eyes, he knows it is her, his Olivia. They kiss. Olivia has to stop the moment because she has got to pee.
Nina shows Walter and Lincoln that she is the only person who can get into the vault. They inspect the Cortexiphan vials. All 20 are there. Nina wants to know what is happening with Olivia; she wants to see Olivia. Walter opens one and drinks. It is not Cortexiphan; the real stuff has been replaced. Nina appears shocked. At this moment, I’m thinking three things. The first is that she is lying and replaced the vials. The second is that perhaps her alternate took the vials. We don’t know if Nina has a double in the alternate universe. In the regular timeline, she didn’t (or at least we never met her), but this is the Peter-less timeline, so she could have a double. The third is that there is a shapeshifter impersonating Nina. If there is a shapeshifter in Nina’s form, then the real Nina is either dead or the real Nina was altered by Jones and became a shapeshifter that way. I don’t want Nina to be a shapeshifter. Nina’s a fascinating character, and to have her finally part of the main story and then make her into a shapeshifter would disappoint me. I want Nina to have a hidden agenda and motivation for acting with Jones. I would be fine if it is her double acting with Jones, then we would learn more about Nina by meeting her alternate. Also, two Blair Browns in the same scene would be awesome.
Olivia has not returned from the restroom, so Peter checks on her. The attendant has not seen her. Olivia is not in the restroom, in the store, or outside. She has vanished.
We cut to a room. It is dimly lit. Olivia is tied to a chair. Across from her, also tied to a chair, is Nina.
Now before everyone yells, “Nina’s a shapeshifter!” we have to remember that time in TV shows is manipulated by editing. We don’t know how much time has passed. We don’t know if Nina was there before Olivia. We don’t know if Nina was taken after Lincoln and Walter left Massive Dynamic. All we know is that Olivia and Nina are in a room together, and both of them are tied to a chair. Right now, that’s all we know. Could Nina be a plant in order to get Olivia’s trust? Yes. Could the Nina we saw working with Jones and injecting Olivia with Cortexiphan be a shapeshifter? Possibly. If the Nina in the chair is a shapeshifter, then she is either there to trick Olivia or Jones has turned on her. The real Nina could have been there for a while, and the Nina from the alternate universe could be the one who is up to no good. This one scene introduced many possibilities. And my brain’s burning from thinking of all of them.
Dr. Frank’s experiment reminds me of the Cortexiphan trials. Walter and Bell wanted to activate the abilities some children naturally possess, and Dr. Frank wanted to make humans better by reintroducing behaviors we once had. The products of Dr. Frank’s work didn’t want to be test subjects; Olivia was a test subject, so she understands how horrible being a test subject is. A few of the episodes have dealt with experiments on humans, and Jones’s work takes a human and alters them, transforming them into a shapeshifter. All this experimentation on humans goes back to Olivia and the Cortexiphan trials. Olivia’s full power has never been revealed; we know she is telekinetic and can travel between universes, so she could have more abilities. Maybe this is why the Observer said Olivia has to die—her power can impact the timelines in some way. Maybe the machine isn’t what Peter needs to get home. Maybe he needs Olivia.
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘Fringe: Welcome To Westfield’ recap.