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Fringe 2-20 - Brown Betty

”It was a gin joint just like all the other gin joints in town, see. And there were a lot of gin joints in this town. And I was just a mug like all the other mugs in this town, see. And there were a lot of mugs in this town. But she was my moll, my squeeze, my gat-girl, and she wasn't like all the other molls - she was special. See? She was unique.”

Fringe 2-20 - Brown Betty - Preview
Airdate: April 29, 2010


Put the inter-dimensional war on hold while we enjoy this musical interlude.

We'll depart from the usual format tonight - the entire show is a fantasy tale spun by Walter for the amusement of Ella, Olivia's niece. Olivia's watching Ella for her sister Rachel, but has to leave briefly and asks Agent Astrid to babysit (one more duty the FBI never told her about). But Ella wants Walter to tell her a story - despite Walter having no practice at it - he never told Peter stories when Peter was a boy. But, he says, his mother was a great story teller and so he launches into it. Oh, by the way, Brown Betty is Walter's name for his special dynamite hash blend, which he was smoking though a bubble pipe at the beginning of the episode.

Key Points in this week’s story:

  • Once upon a time there was this detective named Olivia. She had a broken heart.
  • Olivia is approached by a woman Rachel, who wants help finding her boyfriend, Peter Bishop, who's hiding because he's in trouble with a gambler - Big Eddie.
  • Peter is in hiding because he's stolen a special item - a glass heart.
  • Olivia looks for help from a cop, Lt. Broyles, whom she finds singing in a speakeasy. She wants him to identify a symbol she found on a piece of paper Peter's apartment.
  • Broyles identifies the symbol as the logo of a shadowy corporation, Massive Dynamic.
  • Olivia goes to Massive Dynamic and meets Nina Sharp who tells her Peter Bishop is a con man, and dangerous.
  • After Olivia leaves Massive Dynamic she gets a call from Rachel, who is attacked as she makes the call. Olivia goes to Rachel's apartment and finds her dead - her heart ripped out (quite a story to tell a young girl about a character who is her mother!)
  • Broyles tips Olivia that Peter Bishop worked for Dr. Walter Bishop, and she goes to see him.
  • Walter tells Olivia that despite the same last names they were not related, though Walter had come to view Peter as if he were his own son. But, he says, Peter stole something from him. His heart. His glass heart. Walter opens his shirt and opens a door in his chest to reveal a hollow cavity within with mechanical components, and an empty area where a heart should be. He says he's existing temporarily on batteries but will die without the heart.
  • Walter proudly shows off his latest invention, "singing corpses", who rise from tables in the lab and sing a chorus before sinking back down. Should liven up funerals.
  • Agent Astrid, known in the story as Ester Figglesworth, Olivia's long-unpaid assistant is currently making a singing audition for a job in a mental hospital.
  • As Olivia leaves the lab, she's assaulted in the parking lot by a mysterious bald man who cuts her and warns her to not let her heart go where it doesn't belong.
  • Ester returns to Olivia's employ and advises her to draw the object the bald man cut her with and take it to the patent office to be identified. The Patent Office clerk is Brandon and identifies the object as a laser, recently patented by - who else? - Massive Dynamic.
  • At Massive Dynamic, Nina Sharp tells Olivia that the laser was intended as a surgical tool and the one that cut her was stolen by a mysterious association of bald guys they call "The Watchers".
  • Back at the office Ester tells Olivia that Massive Dynamic is run by a shadowy person named William Bell who hasn't been seen for years.
  • Olivia, sneaking in to Massive Dynamic, overhears a conversation (on a picture phone!) between Sharp and Bell that seems to imply that they are lovers, have been separated, but may be together again soon. Olivia is attacked and captured by 'Watchers'. She awakens in a warehouse, where she is interviewed by Nina Sharp, then stuffed in a box, carried somewhere, and thrown into a body of water. The box begins to fill and Olivia panics.
  • The trunk is opened by none other than Peter Bishop, who says he'd heard she was looking for him and so was following her.
  • He takes her to his hideout and after a shower and breakfast she's feeling much better. He asks her if she likes jazz and dancing. He thinks she'd be a good dancer. She's suspicious at first and asks why he stole Walter's heart. "Is that what he told you?" he asks and leads her to a map. It has 147 pins in it, each one representing a child injured by Walter's experiments, he says. "His ideas come from the dreams of children - he turns them into nightmares."
  • Peter opens his shirt and displays a panel just like Walter's. He opens it and shows he has a glass heart - it's his, he says, and Walter wants it.
  • Watchers have found Peter's hideout and invade the house. Olivia fights them off, but when she finds Peter he's lying against a wall, his chest cavity open and his glass heart gone. He coaches Olivia into placing batteries in his chest to allow him to live for a while without the heart.
  • As she works they have a conversation. "Why did you become detective?" "To care for people. "Then who cares for you?"
  • Later Peter tells her "I thought I knew who I was but I was wrong."
  • Together they confront Walter. Walter begs for forgiveness, "I can change. I can make up for all the harm I've done." Peter tells him, "Too late. Walter, there are just some things you can't change." They leave him, a broken dying man in a wheel chair.
  • Ella breaks in and says that's the wrong ending - fairy tales always start "Once Upon a Time", and end "Happily Ever After" She spins he own ending.
  • Walter begs "Give me another chance." Peter looks in his eyes and sees there's still some good in them. So Peter says OK and gives his heart to Walter and Peter and Olivia dance and live happily ever after.
  • Walter agrees Ella's ending is much better.
  • Olivia returns and tells Walter they've still been unable to locate Peter, but says they will, eventually. Agent Astrid takes Walter home and they enter the lonely house.
  • Across the street, an Observer, September, reports by phone that "The boy has not returned, and I don't think Dr. Bishop remembers my warning."


Tonight’s Secret Word: HEART

Walter's. Peter’s. Ours?


A lot revealed in the story about Walter's feelings. The imagery of a missing heart is dramatic, and notice Walter's story makes it equally his own and Peter's.

Next Episode: "Northwest Passage" - 05/06/2010


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:

Lilly Pilyblad _______ Ella
Ari Graynor _______ Rachel Dunham
Ryan McDonald ____ Brandon
Michael Cerveris ___ September (Observer)

Posted by Cecil on April 29, 2010 3:05 AM
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