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Fringe Fodder

Fringe 2-12 – Johari Window

”Smells like carrots."

Fringe 2-12 – Johari Window

Airdate: January 14, 2010


Fringe visits a small New York town that's very hostile to outsiders.

Key Points in this week’s mystery:

  • New York State Trooper Pekarski patrolling near Edina, New York, pick up a teen-age boy, Teddy. walking along the road, a runaway. The trooper talks compassionately with the boy. But then he glances back at the boy, who had appeared normal before, and slams on the brakes. The boy now appears to have a deformed face. Pekarski takes him to the patrol station where two other troopers also gawk at Teddy, and take his picture. The troopers discuss finally having proof of seeing "one of them", but before they can report this anywhere else, three men, also with misshapen heads, burst into the station and gun down the troopers.
  • The Fringe team heads to Edina. Walter is vaguely uneasy about the assignment. When they step out of the car, Olivia draws their attention to a hum in the air, and Walter begins singing a doggerel ditty in time with the hum, but can't explain why it popped into his head
  • The friendly local Sheriff Paul Velchik, introduces himself and explains that the "Edina Hum" comes from generators at a military base outside town.
  • The group has a coffee and discusses the case. They show him the picture of Teddy, and discuss numerous other reports of people with deformed faces in the area.
  • A local, Joe Falls, overhears their discussion and runs home to tell his wife Rose. Teddy is their son, is home, and appears normal.
  • Late at night, Peter and Olivia drive to their motel, Walter dozing in the back. They're run off the road by a car headed toward them. After the crash, only Peter is conscious. Someone gets out of the other car and begins firing a rifle at them. Peter gets Olivia's gun and returns file. Peter gets a glimpse of the gunman who appears unhuman. Peter thinks one of his shots hits the gunman, who nevertheless is able to drive off.
  • State police respond to the shooting, and an abandoned pickup is located a mile away toward Edina. When they examine the site Walter is distracted by a beautiful butterfly, which he captures, saying it will thrill "a certain lepidopterist" who will turn out to be Agent Astrid. Olivia makes a grimmer discovery, a blood trail that leads them to a body. But the body is not a creature, but a normal man.
  • Walter speculates that they're dealing with people or creatures with metamorphic capabilities - the ability to change shape.
  • Agent Broyles reports that the military may have had a project of experimentation on human subjects at the base near Edina in the 70’ s - Project Elephant - a name Walter's nonsense song may have referred to. Walter doesn't remember ever having worked on such a project.
  • When Agent Astrid gets her gift, she finds not a beautiful butterfly but an ugly moth. When Agent Astrid unwraps the tarp-covered body she finds not a normal looking man, but a… creature.
  • From the pickup's registration Olivia gets Falls's name, but an out of date address.
  • Peter and Olivia head back to Edina to try and find Falls's address, with Sheriff Velchik's help. They also ask to look at the town's property tax records. They find two things (1) all the F's are missing from the tax records, and (2) nobody ever moves in or out of Edina. Olivia phones Velchik who tells them he's found out Falls's address on the edge of town and agrees to meet them there.
  • In the lab, Wilson finds the man/creature and the butterfly/moth both suffered from the same genetic anomaly, explaining their mutation but not their transformation. Walter is now starting to think maybe he did work on Project Elephant, because he thinks he's seen this mutation before. Walter and Agent Astrid discover his nonsense song is a clue pointing to the Harkness Law Library on the Harvard campus. They go there and Walter locates a cache behind a heating vent consisting of junk food and old Army records - including pictures of people with facial deformities.
  • On emerging from his office Velchik encounters a crowd of concerned townspeople. He tells them "They don't know anything. I'll take care of it."
  • Walter and Agent Astrid drive to Edina, while Walter discusses the purpose of Project Elephant, which was to broadcast an electromagnetic pulse that would scramble the optic nerves and make soldiers invisible to the eye. Walter says he consulted briefly on the project, but after he left they discovered that prolonged exposure to the pulse causes mutations as a side effect. Walter has brought the moth/butterfly with them, and as they stop at the Edina city limits, it appears a beautiful butterfly once more.
  • Walter phones Peter and Olivia and tells them that the electromagnetic pulse must have been perfected to camouflage the mutations the original pulse caused. And only a scientist Edward Cobb could have perfected the pulse. Peter warns him to go home because the townspeople are apparently murdering people to protect their secret, but Walter hides this from Agent Astrid and they continue into town to locate the transmitter.
  • Rose Falls confronts Velchik and his deputy who are loading their shotguns and tells them "This can't go on," but Velchik brushes her protests aside and says they'll take care of it, just like they did that last federal marshall.
  • Agent Astrid spots a big antenna behind a house and she and Walter knock on the door. It's the Falls house, and only Teddy is home. Walter spots the names "Rose and Joe" over the door and says Rose was Cobb's daughter's name. Walter talks his way into the house, saying Teddy's grandfather was a friend of his. After Teddy gets nervous and asks them to leave, Walter says he just needs to go to the bathroom first, but instead sneaks down to the basement and disables the transmitter. Agent Astrid distracts Teddy with a game of Operation. Agent Astrid manages to stifle her amazement when Teddy suddenly shows mutant.
  • Arriving at the address Velchik gave them, Peter and Olivia find themselves in a running gun battle with the sheriff and deputy. Olivia shoots the deputy, but the sheriff gets the drop on them - but is then shot by Rose to the rescue.
  • In the aftermath, Rose lays out the whole story to Peter, Walter and Olivia. Cobb couldn't leave all the people horribly deformed so stayed and completed his 'camouflage ray'. The people chose to stay in Edina where the pulse would give them the appearance of normality.
  • Walter begs Agent Broyles to keep the town’s secret for the sake of the townspeople, since the people who killed the troopers have already been 'brought to justice'. A compassionate Broyles agrees.

Key points in the ongoing story arc:

  • None apparent. But see analysis.


Key points in personal stories:

  • Agent Astrid collects butterflies.
  • Walter defends Peter's claim to have fired at "a creature" when the state police become skeptical and doubt him.
  • Olivia tells Peter that she couldn't sleep the night she shot her first criminal.
  • Walter was a friend of Arthur C. Clarke.
  • I'm not sure, but I think I heard Walter calls Agent Astrid "Asterisk", or possibly "Asterix". Has he done this before?
  • When Peter complements Walter's courage in standing up for the townspeople, Walter says "I'm glad you choose to see me that way. Very glad indeed."


Tonight’s Secret Word: MUTATE

Another fairly obvious one.

Best Quotes:

"Just follow the mooing." Peter, directing the gurney handlers bringing Joe Falls's body into the lab for autopsy.


I said above that there were no apparent revelations in the uber-story of the interdimensional war, as I have on several other reviews. But my mind keeps constructing scenarios where every single weird Fringe investigation might tie in to that conflict. Maybe this 'electronic camouflage' may turn out to be useful in the battles to come. Who knows, it would be thrilling if they could tie it all together in some fashion.

Remains to be answered:

  1. What about Walter's "I'm glad you choose to see me that way" remark? Is he fearing the approach of a day when Peter, learning he was snatched from another dimension when Peter 1.0 died, may see Walter in another light?

Next Week: "What Lies Below"

Peter is trapped on the inside of a quarantine, zone. And appears to getting paranoid.


Regular Cast:

Anna Torv _________ Agent Olivia Dunham
Joshua Jackson _____ Peter Bishop
John Noble ________ Dr. Walter Bishop
Lance Reddick ______ Agent Phillip Broyles
Blair Brown ________ Nina Sharp

Guest cast:

Kwesi Ameyaw ___ Agent Frug
Teach Grant _____ Trooper Bobby
Jacob Blair ______ Trooper Jerry
David Orth ______ Trooper Pekarski
J.J. Makaro ______ Deputy Bill
Martin Cummins _ Joe Falls
Laura Mennell ___ Rose Falls
Liam James _____ Teddy Falls
Michael O'Neill __ Sheriff Paul Velchik
Sean Rogerson __ Glen Brown

Posted by Cecil on January 21, 2010 3:18 AM
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