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Fringe 204 - Momentum Deferred

William Bell shows Olivia a special symbol.

Fringe 204 – Momentum Deferred

Airdate: October 8, 2009

[Reviewer’s Note: I’m playing catch-up here after two recent hospitalizations. Accordingly, and after several readers’ suggestions, I’m adopting a new format here, similar to Mac Slocum’s “Key Points” in the Lost blog.]

Key Points in this week’s mystery:

  • At a cryogenic storage facility in Medford, Massachusetts, a shipment of human heads is loaded on a truck. The guards stop a car that pulls up, the driver getting out to ask for directions.. The driver pulls a gun and shoots three of the four guards. The fourth is a plant in league with the intruder. He gives the keys to the truck to the hijacker, and asks him to :Let me know if he’s in there. But one of the other guards is only wounded, and draws his gun and shoots the traitor. Several times. But only stops him when he makes a head shot. The traitor collapses – his head bleeding silver as his confederate drives off with the truck.

  • The Fringe team investigates the head hijacking – the third one in a month. Walter takes a sample of the silver ‘blood’, which turns out to be mercury. Faux Agent Charlie pales at the sight. Walter finds a shape shifter device on the body.

  • Somewhere in a rural location, the hijacker is opening cryo-cans, examining the heads, and throwing them away. Faux Agent Charlie approaches and tells him the FBI has the other shape-charger’s body and they know what he is. The hijacker tells Faux Agent Charlie “You’ve been in this body too long – you’re dying. You need to get back home and get fitted with a new conversion device.”

  • Faux Agent Charlie’s been told he can’t be ‘extracted’ until his mission is done.

  • None of the heads is the one they’re looking for, so it’s off to another cryo facility in North Carolina.[Gee, anywhere near me?]

  • Faux Agent Charlie thinks maybe Bell gave Olivia the location of the head.

  • Agent Broyles and Olivia discuss why shape-shifting soldiers from another dimension are stealing human heads. Olivia correctly speculates they’re looking for a particular head.

  • Walter autopsies the shape shifter, which he terms a highly advanced mechano-biologic hybrid, then urgently needs to talk to Olivia.

  • Peter examines the shape-shifting device and finds it’s streaming large amounts of data.

  • Walter reports to Peter and Olivia that the shape shifter’s blood is 47% mercury whereas the first ‘shape shifter’ they tested (the nurse) had normal blood, meaning she wasn’t a shape shifter at all. They deduce the shape shifter could look like anyone now and may still be after Olivia.

  • Walter proposes they look up his old experimental subject, Rebecca Kibner, who could recognize shape shifters in her experimentally induced ‘visions’.

  • Olivia calls and asks Faux Agent Charlie to ‘check in with Broyles’’ to see if there’s anything new from the crime scene. Faux Agent Charlie says ‘sure thing’, he just needs to buy a few dozen mercury thermometers and gobble the contents first. The drink seems to have a kick, but he gets better.

  • Walking the corridors at Massive Dynamics, Olivia begins to have more memory flashbacks.

  • Nina Sharp, true to her name, deduces that the original shape shifter, deprived of his device, is stuck in his body, and that his device may store an image of the last shape assumed, and one of her scientists confidently predicts he can retrieve that image now that he has a working model to examine – in just three hours.

  • Will Rebecca agree to repeat her experiments? You bet, especially if there’s more psychedelic drugs involved! She says the experiments gave her the ability to see things that ‘didn’t belong.’

  • Walter sets up the experiment as I've Seen All Good People by Yes plays. Walter begins the injection of drugs after Rebecca is rigged up with electrodes all over her head.

  • Olivia gives Astrid the address of Massive Dynamics secure ftp to log in and monitor the building of the image of the shape shifter’s last shape, and patch it through to her phone.

  • Rebecca tells Peter she met him once before when he was a baby.

  • Walter is guiding Rebecca’s drug trip, but when he has Peter ring a bell, Olivia faints.

  • In the lab, Olivia awakes gasping and saying she needs to speak to Nina Sharp.

  • Experiment over, Walter and Peter escort Rebecca to her car. Walter decides to go home with her and borrows money from Peter. As they shake hands goodbye, Rebecca gets a strange feeling about Peter.

  • Faux Agent Charlie comes to the lab but finds only Agent Astrid there. He asks about the wire-frame image taking shape on the monitor, and Astrid spills the beans.

  • In the middle of her meeting with Nina Sharp, Olivia gets a text message from Faux Agent Charlie saying that “Nina Sharp is the shape shifter. Don’t trust her. Get out now,”

  • Olivia leaves Massive Dynamics and is met by Faux Agent Charlie who tells her a SWAT team is poised to rush into the building as soon as she’s safely out of the line of fire.

  • Olivia tells Faux Agent Charlie that she ‘almost’ told Sharp everything, the one piece of information she held back was the name of the cryonics firm where the head was stored. But as she starts to call Broyles with the information the rendering app completes and her phone displays and image of … Charlie!

  • The battle is on and Charlie and Olivia duke it out in the alley. Charlie seems to have the upper hand, and phones the head’s location to his confederate, when Olivia fights back. Thanks to the intervention of a good Samaritan (who gets shot in the process of intervening) Charlie is distracted long enough for Olivia to retrieve her gun and plug Charlie with a shot to the vulnerable head.

  • Broyles tries to comfort Olivia over the death of ‘Charlie’ but also tells her the cryonics facility was raided fifteen minutes before the FBI could get there – the other side has the head.

  • Somewhere, the hijacker unwraps the head with Bell’s symbol on it, and there is a body already prepared for it to fit on.

Key points in the ongoing story arc:

  • Walter tells Olivia he thinks he can help her recover her memories – by drinking chopped up essence of flatworm.

  • With the ringing of the bell during Walter’s experiment, Olivia gains clear memories of her trip to see William Bell.

  • Bell tells Olivia “After all these years, it’s so nice to see you again.”

  • Bell tells Olivia that there were people trying to prevent their meeting.

  • Bell tells her she has a natural talent that assisted her in crossing the dimensions.

  • Walter and William Bell experimented on young children with drugs and Olivia was one of those children. She says she’s met others who were damaged by the experience. Bell apologizes, saying no damage was intended.

  • Bell says he and Walter knew a war was coming, and they knew they had to prepare a guardian – someone to watch the gate. Bell doesn’t know when, if ever he can go back, but he says the hybrids have been designed to easily cross over between the worlds.

  • Olivia doesn’t trust Bell and his company. She blames Bell for starting the war. Bell begs her to look past her anger and help prepare her world for the war, in which He, Bell, can be a powerful ally.

  • Bell says the shape shifters are looking for someone in Olivia’s world. Someone that can open the gate wide between the worlds. Of all the children he and Walter prepared, she was always the strongest, and must be the one to find the person first.

  • Bell draws a symbol that looks like three quarters of a circle with a line drawn at right angles near the end of each arc. He says this symbol of on their leader and that’s how she’ll know him. He tells her to show the symbol to Nina Sharp.

  • Bell looks at his watch, says they’re out of time, and rings a bell, following which Olivia begins to wake up on the lab floor.

  • Bell tells Olivia the Greek phrase she woke up saying when she came out of her coma, and tells her to tell it to Peter to get his help. And he tells her that he pulled her out of a moving car, and momentum can be deferred, but it must always be paid back.

  • Olivia shows the symbol to Nina Sharp, who doesn’t recognize it.

  • Nina tells Olivia that Bell feared if the door between the worlds was ever totally opened, one world would be destroyed.


Key points in personal stories:

  • Peter tells Olivia that he was scared to go to sleep after seeing “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – scared he would be replaced by a pod person.

  • Walter and Rebecca part with a kiss. Walter tried to apologize for using her for an experimental subject, but Rebecca says she’s grateful for the experience.



Why would a shape changer die because he’s “been in this body too long?” I thought we established it was their own body, shape changed to mimic someone else’s.

The team seemed to forget that the first shape shifter lost his (its?) shape shifting device, and just who it was that shot the nurse anyway.

Ever try to buy a mercury thermometer these days? I’d sure like to know where Faux Agent Charlie’s source was.

This episode was chock full of revelations, and the line between “this week’s mystery” and “story arc” was thin and indistinct. Many points could have been entered in either section.

Remains to be answered:

  1. Why does Bell have to stay in the other universe?
  2. Why is the other universe hostile to ours?

Next Week: "Dream Logic" Dreams are transforming people into killing machines.


Regular Cast:

Anna Torv _________ Agent Olivia Dunham
Joshua Jackson _____ Peter Bishop
John Noble ________ Dr. Walter Bishop
Lance Reddick ______ Agent Phillip Broyles
Kirk Acevedo _______ Agent Charlie Francis
__________________ Faux Agent Charlie
Blair Brown ________ Nina Sharp
Jasika Nicole _______ Agent Astrid Farnsworth

Guest cast:
Roger R. Cross _______ Hybrid
Sebastian Roché _____ Leader
Theresa Russell ______ Rebecca Kibner
Leonard Nimoy ______ William Bell
Ryan MacDonald _____ Brandon
Aaron Craven ________ Larson
Anna Van Hooft ______ Nina's Assistant
James Michalopoulos _ Security Guard
Andy Nez Truck ______ Driver
Amitai Marmorstein ___ Store Clerk

Posted by Cecil on October 15, 2009 8:28 PM
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