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Fringe 2-19 – The Man from the Other Side

”You run, I’ll cover you.” ”No, YOU run, I’ll cover YOU.”

Fringe 2-19 – The Man from the Other Side
Airdate: April 22, 2010


Shapeshifters are killing teenagers on our side of the world-line. How is Massive Dynamic involved? (Best guess: deeply.) Peter tells Olivia some family truths. Walter struggles to recover the memories Newton stole from him.

Key Points in this week’s mystery:

  • Somehow a couple of randy teenagers in Worcester (that's pronounced "Wooster"), Mass, think a spooky vacant building would be a great place to get stoned and make out. A light and a bursting window causes the male half of the pair to go investigate. Have these kids never seen ONE horror movie? Don't they know there's only one ending to (a) teen sex, in (b) spooky abandoned places, and (c) going off alone? We're not breaking any stereotypes here. He finds three blobs of protoplasm growing on the factory floor and pokes one of them with a shovel, only to have another blob grow arms and legs behind his back and poke him in turn, then plug into the roof of his mouth and it's shape stealin' Time! Then blob one returns to the car as him and assists blob 2 in stealing his gf's shape.
  • When the team finds the other teen's body in the building , they also find one protoplasmic blob that never got a chance to be a people. Walter performs some field autopsy.
  • Shapeshifters 1 and 2 meet with Newton.
  • Walter theorizes that the shapeshifters come over in embryonic form.
  • The FBI discovers there was interference on local television about the time the teens were being murdered. Walter theorizes this was from the transmission into our dimension. Slowed down, it sounds like a language. Off they go to the chief geek at Massive Dynamic, who says the transmission is not a language but trigonometric equations. He says the waves of the transmission are like, but out of synch with, waves his lab has detected from our sun. But they will be in synch tomorrow at 3:31 PM.
  • Newton makes arrangements to meet the other two shapeshifters at a location tomorrow at 3:20 PM. They raise the possibility of aborting 'the operation' since they're short one man, but Newton says they won't have another opportunity for seven months.
  • As bank manager McAlister comes out to his car, female shapeshifter asks him for directions.
  • Agent Astrid tells Peter Walter is working on mundane tasks to aid in jogging his memory, trying to recover what he told Newton, so he can anticipate how Newton will try to breach the dimensions.
  • Walter announces he's figured out a way to find out what the shapeshifters are up to, with six car batteries, 10 gauge wire, a voltage changer, and, oh, a fresh corpse.
  • Newton comes to the bank to meet McAllister, (who is now shapeshifter #2). They go to the safe deposit vault and set up a device in the vault.
  • Walter's plan is to help the shapeshifter blob complete a shape-shift - using the body for a template. The power goes off when they begin, but the blob begins to metamorph. The process doesn't finish, but they manage to get the name "Daniel Verona" from the blob before it dies. As he dies, the shapeshifter apologizes to Walter.
  • The FBI take Daniel Verona into custody. He is not a shapeshifter. He's a very puzzled medical examiner from Boston General.
  • Newton phones 911 to report a man having a heart attack - but the man is himself (with help from a pill.) After his "death", the "body" is delivered to the morgue. As soon as it's alone, the body bag is unzipped from the inside, and Newton crawls out and sets up another device in the morgue.
  • Walter figures out that Newton is attempting another transference between worlds, using devices set up in a triangle to harmonize the vibrations between the worlds.
  • A telephone lineman (who is now shapeshifter #1) places a device in junction box on a pole.
  • Boston PD has found the body of the branch manager. Taking his bank as one point on an equilateral triangle, and Verona's lab as another, the Fringe team now figures they have two points of the triangle. The third point would then be on one side or the other. And the centers would lie equidistant between the three points giving them two possible locations for the nexus of Newton's operation. One is in Hyde park, the other in the middle of the Charles River. So obviously Hyde Park, Peter says. Olivia points out that there's an abandoned railroad bridge over the Charles at that point and the water would help carry away excess heat the procedure would generate.
  • Newton is setting up equipment at the bridge, accompanied by shapeshifters 1 & 2 now appearing as bank manager and lineman. The bridge has a missing section in the middle. A police car pulls up on the bridge (on the other side of the missing section from them), and Newton orders them to "go deal with it".
  • Walter has worked up a “world vibration harmonizer disrupter” to interrupt the process, but it’s got to be taken onto the bridge. Walter warns that the vibrations set up by the devices could literally tear a human being apart. He and Peter and Olivia rush to the location where they’re stopped by two policemen (shapeshifters 1&2). Olivia figures them out when one of them uses a cell phone to ‘call his sergeant’ and she plugs one in the head, which bleeds mercury. The other one engages Peter and Olivia in a gunfight.
  • Walter seeing the middle of the river beginning to vibrate, takes the car and drives it to the end of the bridge. Peter rushes out to help him set up his equipment. Olivia finally kills the second shapeshifter as Broyles drives up with more FBI. The vibration canceller isn’t working and Peter diagnoses it as a software problem which he can fix, and urges Olivia and Broyles to take Walter off the bridge and clear everyone else away. One agent stays with Peter.
  • As Peter frantically works with the equipment, the ‘missing’ portion of the bridge begins to phase in and out of reality. Peter sees a dark figure casually strolling down that segment. The vibrations build up and the agent who isn’t ‘literally’ wearing a red shirt, shatters into tiny bits. Peter is only knocked on his kiester. The strolling figure continues strolling – in the direction away from Peter and toward Newton. Peter’s display now reads “Cancellation Frequency Locked” and the other-worldly portion of the bridge wobbles and shatters into tiny bits as well, and Peter takes another trip to kiester-land, and this time unconscious-land as well.
  • Peter wakes in the hospital. Olivia is there, hovering. It’s 36 hours later. Peter says he’s fine and asks to see Walter – alone. Peter has a strange look on his face. He says he saw the other man on the bridge and what the vibrations did to the FBI agent, but they didn’t kill the man from the other side – or Peter. “I’m not from here, am I? You didn’t just open up a hole to the other side – you went through to the other side, and brought me back. That’s why I survived Newton’s device, why I can’t remember my childhood, why my mother committed suicide, isn’t it? She knew, didn’t she? And when I left, the guilt was too much for her to live with. The lie.” Peter talks coldly, and won’t listen to any explanation Walter tries to give. “I am not. Your. Son. I’d like to be alone now.”
  • Newton is talking to the man who ‘came over’ he tells him to sleep for a while and hopefully he’ll be stabilized when he wakes. They shake hands, but we never hear him speak or see his face.
  • Walter asks Agent Astrid to drive him to the hospital, but Olivia arrives to tell him Peter checked himself out and disappeared, and doesn’t answer his cell. “He’s gone.”

Key points in the ongoing story arc:

  • Walter tries to tell Peter the story of his origin, but is interrupted by a call from Olivia, summoning Peter and Walter to the site of the shape-changers' murders.
  • Peter has found a family picture in Walter's lab journal, and tells Olivia that he thinks Walter's acting so funny because he's trying to work up the courage to tell Peter that his mother committed suicide rather than dying in an auto accident as Walter had told him. Peter already knows the truth. Olivia reminds Peter that Walter loves him very much.
  • It would have been really embarrassing for Olivia if that policeman had bled blood instead of mercury.

Key points in Personal Stories:

  • In the beginning of the episode, Walter is rearranging family pictures, looking for the perfect arrangement.
  • Walter's favorite pie is pecan.
  • Walter grows and rolls his own doobies.
  • Walter is a Trekkie.
  • Agent Astrid is becoming so simpatico with Walter that they often speak in unison.
  • Walter is touched when Peter calls him "Dad".
  • Guess Walter should have found a way to break the truth to Peter and explain his side of the story, because as it is, Peter’s taken about as bad a slant on it as he could have – and worse than Walter deserves.

Tonight’s Secret Word: BRIDGE

Both the literal one, and the bridge between worlds.

Best Quotes:

Walter: As the Laplanders say…

Walter and Agent Astrid together: There’s more than one way to roast a reindeer.


A lot of trouble gone to and resources expended to bring one man over. Is it a personal vendetta by alt-Walter? Does he have the pull in the other world to arrange this? Why didn’t Walter track alt-Walter’s career after stealing (however unintentionally) his son.

How will Peter feel when (if) he discovers it was his mother who couldn’t give him back up when Walter wanted to?

Fans at TV.Com voted this the best episode of Fringe, ever, displacing White Tulip after one week. In fact the last four episodes in a row have been voted ‘best ever’ in their turn.

Remains to be answered:

  1. Why didn't the third shapeshifter make it? The poke with the shovel? Couldn't find a body to copy?
  2. How did the two shapeshifters get to the other side of the bridge to intercept the policemen?
  3. Well it seems to be Newton 2 – Fringe 0, now.
  4. Why all that effort to bring one man over? Earlier there was speculation on a machine, or an army as the object of the transfer.
  5. Who is the mysterious man brought over? The recognition and apology by shapeshifter #3 would seem to indicate he recognized Walter. Was it alt-Walter? The previews seem to suggest this, as well.

Next Episode: "Brown Betty"

The previews suggest next week’s episode is being done as a 50’s style film-noir detective story, with alt-Walter being the shamus looking for ‘something that was stolen from me’. And possibly it’s a musical as well! But it may be all a fantasy tale told by Walter. (“Prisoner” fans will recognize the motif.)


Regular Cast:

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

Guest cast:

Ryan McDonald _______ Brandon/Shapeshifter #1
Katie Findlay _________ Jill/Shapeshifter #2
Sebastian Roché ______ Thomas Jerome Newton/Shapeshifter chief
Peter Bryant _________ Ben McAlister / Shapeshifter #2
James Pizzinato ______ Dave
James Tsai __________ David Wu /Lineman/Shapeshifter #1
Shawn MacDonald ___ Daniel Verona/saved by the FBI

Posted by Cecil on April 22, 2010 6:30 PM
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