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Fringe 2-21 - Northwest Passage

”I put the location about…. here.”

Fringe 2-21 – Northwest Passage - Preview
Airdate: May 6, 2010


Peter's on the lam - well, from Walter anyway - and encounters mysteries in a small town in Washington. Do these things follow him?

Key Points in this week’s mystery:

  • Peter’s drive has taken him to a highway diner in Yoyo County, Washington, where he flirts with a waitress, Krista, asking for a special CD song mix like she makes for her regulars. She agrees to bring it to his motel after work, but Peter waits all night in the motel lobby and she never shows up.
  • Krista never shows up because she’s abducted and tortured. Someone removes a piece of her brain.
  • Peter receives a phone call in the motel that’s nothing but meaningless noise – except the meaningless noise sounds a lot like the transmission from the other world we heard two weeks ago in “The Man from the Other Side”.
  • Thinking he’s been stood up Peter heads out for Portland, but stops when he sees crime scene tape at the diner. He quickly becomes a suspect to female Sheriff Mathis and her friend, male Deputy Ferguson, especially when they find he was staying at the motel under a false name, but he has a perfect alibi from the motel clerk who spent the entire night in the lobby with him. He spots evil shape-changer Newton in the crowd but is stopped from pursuing by the suspicious sheriff.
  • As they drive to the station, a call comes in – Krista’s body has been found in a remote location. Sitting in the back seat Peter hears that the victims skull has been opened and he asks the sheriff to find out if a piece of her temporal lobe is missing. It has been and the cops’ suspicions go into overdrive.
  • Back at the station, Peter produces his FBI consultant’s identification, which they confirm with a call to Broyles, and he tells them he’s seen other similar cases and suspects that the ‘suspects’ in those cases are looking for him, and used the information in Krista’s brain to find out where he was. Broyles’ agrees to keep the information secret from Walter.
  • Peter reasons from the unusual pinkness of Krista’s brain tissue that she was having an adrenalin spike when she died. Yeah, I reckon kidnapping, torture and death will do that to you.
  • Peter tells the Sheriff and deputy he’s checking into a different motel under a different assumed name and that, together, they’re going to catch these killers.
  • Peter arms himself with the assistance of a gun shop owner who’s willing to bypass all those boring FBI checks for sufficient cash, and as he sits in his new motel under his new name making dum-dums of his bullets, receives another suspicious telephone call. A second call comes in from the sheriff, and Peter demands to know who she told where he is. She says she hasn’t told anyone, but deputy Ferguson has disappeared.
  • The sheriff is really worried about Ferguson, and Peter realizes their relationship is more than just professional.
  • The sheriff and Peter investigate opposite ends of a remote highway bridge, the last place Ferguson was known to be. Peter sees a flash in the woods and hears more other-worldly transmission noises, then sees Newton and anther shapeshifter. Newton raises a gun and fires some sort of syringe full of green fluid into an innocent pine tree. I’m sure if the pine tree had a central nervous system it would be unconscious now. Peter replies with a few of his new dum-dum bullets, but the shapeshifters disappear.
  • The sheriff comes running as Peter pursues noises in the woods. She never saw the suspects though Peter says they must have run right past her. When Peter sees blood on her sleeve, paranoia sets in and he points his gun at her, and she raises hers at him. Is she a shapeshifter? He gives her a trivia test that convinces him she’s herself, especially when she can show that the blood is hers and is red, not silver.
  • A call comes in that a body has been found and the sheriff’s heart drops, but it turns out to be a female that Peter doesn’t recognize, another waitress at a different cafe. She’s had her brain picked as well. Peter questions the sister of the deceased aggressively – a little too aggressively for the more compassionate sheriff, who backs him off the grief-stricken woman.
  • Peter worries over the fact he can find no connection to the second murdered waitress. As Mathis drives him back to his motel, the find the waitress’s truck, which looks as if it’s been pulled over by a cop – or a shapeshifter pretending to be a cop. Mathis worries that it could be Ferguson being imitated.
  • Peter comes up with an idea – measuring the amount of adrenaline buildup in the bodies of the two waitresses, which will tell them how long there was between their abduction and their deaths, and triangulating from the places of their abduction to find where the central lab where their brain surgery took place is.
  • Peter’s calculations indicate the kill zone of the victims must lie in a particular area. The sheriff says there’s an abandoned dairy farm in that area. She drives Peter there and interviews Craig, the farmer, about the dairy complex. He says nobody goes around there anymore, and shows them a map. Mathis plays a little trivia with Craig, to assure themselves he’s not a shapeshifter, then goes to radio for help with the search while Peter studies the map in Craig’s farmhouse.
  • Crag volunteers to help search, but Peter warns him off. Craig says he’ll go get the keys. Peter noodles around in the living room and finds a CD – the one Krista burned for him the night she was abducted (marked “for Peter from Boston” in Sharpie). Craig attacks him with a hammer. Peter fights back and subdues him. Craig pleads that he ‘just wanted to be close to’ the girls.
  • With Craig in custody, Peter and Sheriff Mathis search the dairy and find restraints, bottle full of body tissue floating in liquid, weird instruments… and deputy Ferguson tied up and in a neck brace, but still alive in a back room.

Key points in the ongoing story arc:

  • Walter, grieving for Peter comes up with the idea of inventing a device to detect the energy vibrations given off by other-worldly objects and use it to find Peter.
  • Peter listens to the mix-CD Krista made him in his motel room. As he lies back, Newton walks into the room, a gun covering Peter. Newton calls “Mr. Secretary” and into the room walks - OK, we all knew this was coming - Walternate. “Hello, son.” BAM – Bad Robot.

Key points in Personal Stories:

  • Back in Boston, Walter tries to shop for himself, incompetently. He frightens the staff and other shoppers with his reactions to the contents of the packages he reads.
  • Agent Astrid bails Walter out. Olivia is there when they come home. Walter worries that - without Peter - he’ll get sent back to the loony bin, but Olivia says she won’t let that happen.
  • The sheriff takes the news about shapeshifters amazingly well, saying she reads books about UFOs.
  • Another duty the FBI never told Astrid about: Agent Astrid helps Walter with cleanup chores, cautioning him not to use laundry detergent in the dishwasher.
  • Broyles questions Olivia about Walter’s ability to function if Peter doesn’t come back.
  • When Sheriff Mathis sympathizes with Peter’s search for meaning in things that have no meaning, Peter says “I don’t know who I am anymore.” She tells him her family was murdered when she was in college and she still fantasizes about finding the killer, but she’s ‘found her place’ and hopes someday he will too.

  • Walter tests his glimmer-detecting device, but Agent Astrid tells him she knows he’s put in the wrong numbers but she knows that he knows that. Walter confesses he worries about what happens if he finds Peter and Peter still won’t forgive him. Olivia walks in to tell Walter that she’s found Peter in Washington State, and invites Walter to go with her. Walter goes.

Tonight’s Secret Word: RETURN

Whose? No one is returning in this episode. Speaking of Peter in the future?

Best Quotes:

Walter: The Hadron Super Collider is less complicated than that infernal dishwater.
Astrid: Next time, don't use laundry detergent, and the dishwasher will work fine.
Sheriff Mathis: You're FBI, huh? What exactly is a civilian consultant?
Peter: Sometimes people with certain areas of expertise can offer them to the Bureau on a consulting basis. My area of expertise is weird.
Deputy Ferguson: You mean difficult to explain?
Peter: No, I mean the strange, the inexplicable.
Walter: You know what you're putting into our bodies? Death! Delicious strawberry-flavored death!


I have to congratulate the director of this episode on getting a superb performance from Martha Plimpton as Sheriff Mathis, an actress I usually can’t stand, especially in her former juvenile roles.

OK, I’m sensing some disconnect here. Was Craig operating completely alone, a crazed psycho killer who just happened to harvest temporal lobe samples from his victims. If so, did Newton track Peter by means having nothing to do with the victims?

Or was Craig providing the bodies (living or dead) to Newton, then taking seconds?

Why kidnap Deputy Ferguson – was Ferguson on to him?

Why all that effort (two weeks ago) to get one man over to our side – Walternate’s obsession with his missing son? Has the whole schmear just been a quest for one family’s reunification with no ulterior designs on our world? Or is Peter somehow the key to invasion?

Next Episode: "Over There, Part 1"

Olivia asks an Observer to ‘help us cross over’. Walter worries “My son is going to be responsible for the end of the world.” Today is the day to cross over to the other side. Walternate briefs some shapeshifters - “Today is the day for which you were created. These invaders must be found quickly.” Shots are fired. Alternate mom hugs Peter. “I’ve missed you so much.”

Two episodes left – next week is part one of a two-part finale.


New Feature: Fringe Polls


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:

Christine Chatelain __ Krista
Martha Plimpton ____ Sheriff Tracy Mathis
Patrick Gilmore _____ Deputy Ferguson
Sebastian Roché ____ Thomas Jerome Newton
Hamza Adam _______ Deputy
Paul Herbert (II) _____ Tom
Darren Moore ______ Gun Store Owner
Scott Patey ________ Stock Boy
Juan Riedinger _____ Craig
Christian Tessier ____ Shapeshifter
Marie West ________ Heather

Posted by Cecil on May 12, 2010 7:40 PM
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