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Fringe Fodder

Fringe: The Ghost Network

Ghost-Network.jpgThis episode of Fringe starts in a church, St Anne's Cathedral to be precise. There is a man whom appears to be in bad shape walking up the aisle. He ends up in the confessional with a priest. He wants to know if the priest believes that God and the Devil can speak to people. He says he his a good man, but he sees things.He is scared of what is going to happen on the bus.

Flash to a scene on a bus with a business man wearing a suit getting on the bus. The man is checking out a woman on the bus. She has a blue backpack. He pulls out a gas mask from his briefcase along with a cylinder. When he twists open the cylinder it emits a gas. In the fray and confusion, he grabs the backpack and quickly leaves the bus. Taking off the mask, he gets into a car that was waiting for him. It would appear that the people on the bus are suffocating.

The man in the church runs out of the confessional and back up the aisle. The priest, thinking that this person has done something bad, follows him. There is a piece of paper that had been dropped on the floor. It is a picture of people suffocating.

The bus inconveniently is stopped in a tunnel. In an effort to clean up traffic, a policeman goes to investigate why this bus is stopped in the middle of the street. As he approaches, he sees the bus filled with people who aren't moving. Upon closer inspection, they aren't moving because they appear to be encased in some sort of clear substance. Kind of like a dish of people in aspic. Gruesome.

We see out fearless heroine, Olivia, at the funeral of her former partner, John Scott with Charlie. She is concerned (feeling guilty?) that John's mother seems to be staring at her. John is buried with full military honors, it would seem, and his mother knows nothing of the truth. Philip meets them at the funeral and asks them to accompany him.

We see Peter and Walter enjoying lunch at a diner. Walter is drinking iced tea and appears to put something in it, when Peter asks if he brought his own sweetner, Walter tells him not to be ridiculous. It is his medication. Which stuns Peter, since Walter isn't ON any medication. Walter's response "Of course I am, I've been making it myself in the lab." I tell you he gets the BEST lines.

Peter leaves the table and his cell phone goes off, which Walter answers. Well, it makes noise and is shiny and vibrating. Peter accosts a man sitting at the counter of the diner and asks him "You thought I didn't see you all day?" It would appear that the somewhat shady characters Peter used to hang out with are searching him out, they are also taking pictures of him. Apparently, Peter was supposed to check in before he came home. With whom or what we don't know, but he does threaten that if the information that he is here leaks out, Peter will go after him first. Walter, observing the conflict, is wondering what kind of trouble Peter may be in, but Peter denies any problem. Hmmmm.

The phone call was about the bus incident. Olivia, Peter and Walter are all checking out the bus. Walter theorizes right away that the substance went from gas to solid (as opposed to the ice in Real Genius that went from a solid to a gas)and suffocated all the people. He wants to take some of it back to the lab for further study.

The bus assailant is going through his backpack but the item that he is searching for is not to be found. HIs partner picks up a phone of some kind and starts relaying information in a different language. It sounds vaguely like a romance language, and we learn later that it is Latin.

We are taken to a paper pusher who appears to be getting flashes of a woman with her wrists cut open. He has no idea where it is coming from.

Walter is working in the lab. He is hoping that Astrid can get him a piano. He would like Peter to play him something Bach - Mass in A minor. (Now I am not a Bach expert, but I am a musician, and I am pretty sure that he meant his Mass in B Minor -- yes, I know, music geek)

Luckily for Olivia, one of the bus passengers brought a camera on board with them and was filming some of his or her bus ride. Through the montage of images, she is able to discern that the blue back pack in the film was not left on the bus. The person that had the back pack in the movie turns out to be a DEA agent, who is undercover. They alert her partner and ask him to come down and give them some information about what she was working on. He does, it wasn't exciting or relevant. (at least not yet, maybe it will be 5 episodes from now). He tells them that he has been officially asked to identify the body. Olivia takes him to the morgue. It looks like it is hard on him. Olivia is sympatheic having just lost her lover/partner. She lets him go in and say a private goodbye. He takes the dead woman's hand for a few minutes before he leaves.

Astrid manages to get Walter his piano, and it apparently helps his research. He has figured out and managed to sythesize the compound that was used on the bus. There happen to be three ingredients that are only synthisized at one lab. Guess which one? Yup, Massive Dynamic. Olivia goes there to get the records of everyone that MD sold that compound to. Nina gives her the list. but cannot resist jabbing her in the ribs with the knowlegde that this has all happened before and this information was already provided to the FBI. So, it looks as if Broyles is really keeping his cards close to his chest. This is also the second time in three episodes that Nina has one-upped Oliva. I think we should be looking out for a brawl, of course it wouldn't be fair since Nina IS half-terminator. When Olivia confronts Broyles about her lack of information, he is unsympathetic and unyielding.

Charlie calls Olivia and tells her they have a lead. The priest called in a tip to the police about the confession he heard. What ever happened to the sanctity and confidentiality of religious confessions? (Ah, well) It lead them to the apartment of the Roy Macomb. He is the paper pusher and confessionee we saw earlier. One of his rooms is littered with drawings and models of horrific things. Like the nice model of the crash from the Hamburg flight in the pilot episode. They pick him up for questioning. Roy thinks he is crazy because he sees these terrible things in his head and the only way to get rid of them is to draw or model them. Everyone believes that he is telling the truth and has nothing to do with the incidents. Luckily, Walter has a theory. Now is it just me, or is Walter eerily similar to Professor Farnsworth from Futurama? Nevermind, back to the matter at hand. Ockham's Razor. (very simply put, if all other theories turn out to be false, any one not proven false it most likely true -- no matter how unfeasable it is). He thinks Roy is psychic and he doesn't know it. It could be that he is "tuned in" to a certain person's (or small group of people's) thoughts, so he can see what they are thinking and what they are about to do. Broyles doesn't believe him, which is why he wants to prove it to him. When asked how he would do it, Walter answers "Am I required to keep him alive?" (best lines)

They take Roy to an MRI to view his brainwaves. Walter thinks that he won't be able to intercept the outside thought waves that are coming through, but he may be able to shield Roy from them if he can figure out what they are. Roy has a very bad reaction to the machine. His veins start to expand and look like they want to burst out of his skin. His blood turns out to contain a large amount of metal, which could have potentially pulled all the blood out of his body during the MRI.

Walter goes back to the lab to work on his theories. He remembers one. When he and Belly (William Bell -- founder and CEO of Massive Dynamic) were working together, they postulated that there was another set of brain waves outside those already discovered. If you could find them they could be used to communicate information, because if no one else know it existed, they would never be able to find it. The military wanted them to refine it to be able to transmit from one person to another. They wanted to call it the Ghost Network. Turns out that Roy was injected with a substance that would make him succeptible to this kind of reception when he was a student and human guinea pig 20 years ago. Although, Walter says that the compound he injected him with must have multiplied in his blood to cause such a violent reaction to the MRI.

Someone else has perfected the Ghost Network and Roy is merely overhearing what they are saying. Walter says he thinks he can tap into what Roy is seeing and re-route it to his auditory cortex. Astrid "Wait, you wanna re-wire his brain?" Walter "Not without his permission." It just so happens he has a device that can accomplish that, but he left it in a wall panel at their old house 17 years ago. Peter and Olivia go to the house, break in (don't worry no one was home) and find the device that he left. They bring it back and hook it up to Roy. It looks like head gear that someone who had broken their back or neck would wear.

Walter drills into Roy's head to try and make it all work. At one point, he starts gibbering in a different language. Astrid, a linguistics major, (lucky) recognizes it as Latin and translates it. Approximately -- in an hour at the station an exchange is being made, where was it, it was on her person from the start. Olivia puts two and two together and realizes that teh DEA agent's partner must have cut open part of her body (wrist) to get out whatever it was. She runs to the morgue to check and is right. She heads to the station with Charlie as backup to catch the DEA agent and the handover. They arrive a little too late. The agent is shot and though they do manage to catch up with the killer, he puts down the briefcase and the gun he was holding and hurdles himself in front of an oncoming train.

They take it all back to Broyles who opens it and finds a small circle shaped disc that looks like a very thin piece of hard candy. Broyles then hands it over to some FBI scientists to see if they can figure out what it is. Roy doesn't hear anymore voices, presumably they realized that their communication was compromised and stopped using it.

Now, here is the most intriguing part of the episode to me, Broyles meets with Nina and hands her over the disc. He also asks her to stop showing interest in Olivia. Nina takes the disc back to their lab and hands it off to their scientists, who know what it is (but they won't share with us) and can get the information from it -- well use it to break the encryption. The encryption of what you say? Well, the information that they have been taking out of Agent Scott for the last 72 hours. Remember, they can interrogate the dead.

What the *$(#&@^# is going on? How deep is the FBI into "the pattern"? How deep is Massive Dynamic into it? Or are they causing it? Where is William Bell? There is no picture of him on MD's website. If they can get a piano in the lab, why can't they get it tuned? How soon will it be before Olivia starts falling for Peter? Why is the Robot Bad? What was your favorite Walter line? Mine was definitely "Not without his permission." Answers? More questions? Type them here and we can discuss.


Posted by Wendy on September 23, 2008 10:05 PM
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Soooo many questions. How deep is the FBI (DOJ)? Broyles is Homeland Security. How deep is HLS (DHS)? The chip in the dead agents hand was supposedly (post-mortem) headed toward the NSA -- what do they know? DEA Agent Mendoza (dead) and DEA Agent Davison (dead) -- What does the DEA know? Did they even work for the DEA? The Ghost Network works in an unknown spectrum - is it unknown or just thought to be unuseable? The CDC makes the call again -- the CDC made the early, and timely, call about the bus and Flt 627 -- how is it that they are poised to say "Bus = Okay" or "Airplane = HazMat" in less than an hour? (Before the lead characters even arrive).

As for Dr. Bishop quotes... I think -- "I've made a decision... Pancakes!... Blueberry Pancakes!" was pretty good, but the best was when he tried to give McComb the upside of his abilities as a Ghost Network receptionist and getting "free satellite television", was the better Bishop-ism.

-- 1. Posted by: DocH at September 24, 2008 1:36 PM

Yes, Free satellite tv was a good line.

It is possible that the CDC were never even consulted about either matter, or there is someone working at CDC but for Broyles and can get things expedited.

I also liked the way Walter insinuated that Roy could be receiving transmissions from Broyles himself....gives you something to think about.

-- 2. Posted by: Wendy at September 24, 2008 6:07 PM

I'll have to watch it again as I was interrupted for about 20 minutes.
One thought though, the Dunham foot-chase seen with about 15 minutes left in the show is growing tiresome. I thought for sure Peter was gonna jump out of nowhere, yet again, but I think there was a reason it was Charlie this time.

-- 3. Posted by: lost4ever at September 24, 2008 8:56 PM

Anyone getting a feeling that cloning is going to be a big part of the show? Just looking back over things - we see R. Steig as the baddie in the Pilot and his "TWIN" brother M. Steig as the Flt 627 virus-guy? We see Penrose Jr. as the brain muncher in Same Old Story, following tales of raising super-soldiers in just a few years... then we see Penrose triplets in a ward somewhere. Recently we got Agent Scott looking pretty good - well after his untimely death.

My vote is clones. Rapid growth... super-soldiering... biotoxin injectin'... brain munchin' clones. Five dollars says this is not Agent Scott's first ride on the "Clonie-Go-Round".

[each with free satellite TV reception because of their ferrous bromide blood and the Ghost Network]

Cheers!@

-- 4. Posted by: DocH at September 27, 2008 6:13 AM

I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too...

-- 5. Posted by: Natural at January 19, 2009 10:14 AM

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