FRINGE: “Subject 9” Changes the Game (Again)

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Fringe certainly knows how to keep viewers on their toes, delivering another cliffhanger before going on a brief hiatus.

Olivia is sleeping, it’s 5:59am. A light shines through her window, growing brighter. All metal items on her nightstand start falling to the floor, as though being pulled there. An energy appears. Olivia is awakened by her alarm clock at 6am, sees the energy over her, leaps to her feet and grabs her gun. The energy disappears. She looks at her clock, it is 5:59. It then turns 6am again.

Walter is conducting camera experiments in the lab when Olivia arrives. Walter thinks it’s nice of her to visit, but Olivia reminds him that technically she isn’t really visiting because she works there. After a giant simultaneous camera flash, Walter prints photos. He’s trying to capture the apparition that’s been haunting them on camera. He believes it may be out of phase with our reality, and can only be seen from one particular angle. He has cameras set up capturing all angles. Olivia tells him about the energy that was hovering over her bed. It touched her on her arm and left a large mark. She asks Walter if she could be causing this, like when she was a child and she set fire to the room.

Walter wants a scraping from the injury, and on his way to get materials he sees a letter from St. Claire’s sanitarium addressed to Olivia. He opens and reads it. It recommends Walter be reprimanded to his doctor’s care and asks her recommendation as to whether he should be hospitalized. Walter puts the letter back. He tells

Astrid gathers samples and runs tests in Olivia’s apartment, with Olivia’s assistance, as Walter watches from the lab. Without Peter, Walter never leaves the lab. Walter sees Olivia go into the bathroom and the energy appear. Olivia is calling for Astrid. The bathroom door closes, things fly out of the medicine cabinet before Astrid gets the door open and it disappears. To Walter’s shock, the events he saw hadn’t yet happened in the apartment, but did happen moments later.

Walter recalls a boy during the cortexifan trials that had beginnings of the ability of astral projection. But there was a defect, every time he astral projected, he would create a distortion in the field and it would attract metal objects to him. Bell always theorized the kids would share a psychic link. Maybe this boy is trying to reach out to Olivia and the effects are unintentional. Walter can’t remember the boy’s name, he can only remember he was Subject 9.

Nina is in a meeting when Olivia and Astrid arrive at Massive Dynamic. “We create technology. How it is used is not our concern.” This Nina is ruthless. Nina tells Olivia she isn’t sure she still has the files. Walter rages from the lab, “we never destroyed files…well, maybe she did.” This Walter isn’t as fond of Nina as the other timeline’s Walter was. Nina wants to know what’s going on with Olivia. What has been happening, she knows she’s leaving something out. Oh, and apparently in this timeline Olivia has always known Nina, as Nina alludes to Olivia’s prom date.

Astrid asks Olivia questions about the cortexifan trials. She learns about the trials on kids. Walter, listening in the lab, has to turn the camera off when they discuss this. He’s clearly affected. Olivia tells Astrid she left the program, she ran away, and it was shut down a few years after that. Olivia finds the identity of the boy they seek. His name is Cameron James.

When Olivia and Astrid return to the lab, Walter is packed and ready to go with Olivia to find Cameron. She reminds him he hasn’t left the lab in three years. He knows the patient and knows his capabilities, she needs him. However, he does need a bathroom break before they leave.

Walter and Olivia arrive in New York. It’s much too busy for Walter, but he plods onward, insisting he’s okay. They arrive at Cameron’s apartment. There’s no one home, but that’s not a problem because Olivia knows how to pick locks. She looks at the mail, it’s addressed to Mark Little. She thinks they have the wrong place, but Walter insists it’s right because there is no metal in the place. The landlady catches them, and after Olivia flashes her badge she tells them Mark will be back the next morning, he’s away at work.

Olivia and Walter check into a hotel. Walter’s germ phobia is surfacing, but tries to put on an “I’m okay” face for Olivia. Olivia retires to her own room. She hears noises in the hallway as she enters and seems unnerved, but goes inside anyway. The lights won’t work. Hearing noise from Walter’s room, she runs into the hallway. Walter is on a tirade, he’s destroying things. The germs in the room have pushed Walter over the edge. Olivia calms him down. Walter has cut himself badly during the outburst, his hands are bleeding. Olivia bandages his hands and they have a conversation. He tells Olivia about his wife, how he misses her, and how she committed suicide after Peter died. Olivia takes him out for a root beer float to get away from the room.

They seem to enjoy each others company and are bonding. He brings up the letter from St. Claire’s. He assumes he has become a burden to Fringe Division and they will send him back. Olivia realizes this is why he left the lab for the first time in years, to prove that he is capable. She needs him to understand that whatever decision she makes, she’s only trying to do what’s best. Walter wants to know what’s best for whom. Before she can respond, the energy appears in the restaurant and chaos ensues. They rush out a broken window to get away from it, but it seems to be chasing Olivia. She runs in front of a car, but the car hits the energy and the energy disappears.

Police and medical personnel are on scene outside the restaurant, Olivia haggles with the lieutenant in charge that it is actually her case. She pulls rank, which he doesn’t like but he can’t argue so he relents. Walter is upset, he tells Olivia this is all because of him. He is remorseful over the cortexifan trials. He thinks if Cameron is doing this, he may not even know.

Olivia goes back to the apartment where Cameron had lived, and Walter waits. She tells Mark, the man who lives at the address, she is looking for Cameron James. He runs. Olivia chases, but Walter tackles him…and recognizes him. He’s actually Cameron. Olivia corners him, angry at what he’s been doing to her. He insists he hasn’t thought of her in years. Anytime he has any anxiety he sends metal flying.

It turns out Cameron James was his father’s name. He signed his son up for the experiments so he could access the trust fund the kids were given. Mark feels like a freak, and harbors much resentment towards Walter for the experiments. Walter apologizes. Behind him, mailboxes start opening and closing. the energy appears again. The three move back against a wall. Cameron calls out that he has nothing to do with this. He screams and the energy disappears. Walter tells Cameron he stopped it.

Walter doesn’t know what it is or why it’s coming after Olivia. She uses her soothing voice with Walter, touches his arm…he must be able to think of something. He has another theory. It does not create magnetic fields, it distorts those that already exist around them. It focuses on them, maybe tearing them open, and he’s afraid it will keep returning until it’s demolished. They have to gather together a large enough field of energy to neutralize it so they can shatter it. They can’t do it, but Cameron can.

The group goes to a power grid terminal across town. The force is after Olivia, they will wait for it. When it arrives they will combine Cameron’s energy with the power grid to destroy it. Cameron tells Olivia about his first experiences after the treatments. He thought something was coming after him too, until he realized he was doing it to himself.

Walter notices chains moving. It’s happening. Olivia swears to Cameron she isn’t doing this. Walter coaches Cameron on what to do. The energy starts taking the shape of Peter. Olivia recognizes it and tells Cameron to stop but he doesn’t. She fires her gun in the air. The energy disappears. Back at Reiden Lake where it all began, Peter pops up from the water. As two men in a boat go to his aid, an observer watches from the shore.

Olivia insists to Walter she was not seeing things, it was the man they’ve been seeing. She felt it didn’t want to hurt her, it wanted her help. As they leave the terminal she tells Cameron to let her know if there is anything she can do for him. He watches Walter walking away, and tells her to make Walter forget about him. She asks Walter if he thinks they destroyed the energy. Walter isn’t sure, since she interrupted Cameron, he may have just displaced it.

Broyles telephones Olivia and tells her a father and son just rescued a man from Reiden Lake in upstate NY. Apparently he knows things no one outside that division could know, and he claims to know every one of them.

At the hospital the doctor informs them the man is stabilized. He hasn’t said anything but keeps asking about Olivia Dunham. As she leaves to see Peter, and Broyles steps out to take a call, Walter notices the letter from St. Claire’s in Olivia’s coat. She has given the doctor her recommendation: Walter should not be returned to the hospital.

Peter is happy to see Olivia and is thankful she is there, but isn’t prepared for her response, “Who are you?”

Fringe returns in two weeks, on October 28.

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