Just as we are about to get cozy with Fauxlivia (Anna Torv) and Frank, we are wrenched in another direction to discover that some poor guy, our episodic victim du jour, who seems to have some sort of cock roach like beetle insect inside him that squirms out through his mouth. If you don’t like getting down and dirty with bugs, this episode is not for you.
Next, should we feel sorry for poor Frank, who has decided to propose to Fauxlivia? He’s dumb enough to confide in Agent Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel), who immediately spills the beans to Fauxlivia. Did Frank confide in this man because he knew that he’s a blabbermouth? Or does he choose his confidants poorly? Either way, Fauxlivia now knows and does not seem to be over the moon about it. Despite her love of Frank, will she be able to keep her secret?
Flash to a public washroom where our evil scientist arrives and helps himself to at least one of the insects that are now crawling around on the floor after gorging their little selves on the insides of the poor victim. But these are no ordinary creepy crawlies. They are beetles that were thought to be extinct.
Later, Fauxlivia discovers that the insects do not live outside the body for long. Turns out, after speaking to a bug expert, she learns that the beetles were exclusive to sheep. However in the alternate universe sheep had died out years ago.
We fade to Alt Walter Bishop (John Noble) also known as Walternate with the important title of Mr. Secretary. Seems he is responsible for some seriously twisted testing on human subjects. The subjects typically die within thirty minutes of administering of an injection of what is no doubt “alt cortexiphan”. Except one, the youngest subject does not die immediately. instead he has developed telekinetic abilities before succumbing.
Alt Brandon (Ryan McDonald) recommends using children. Walternate refuses to use children in his experiments making him different than Walter in our universe who did use children in the Cortexiphan trials. This reveals that Walternate is not so bad after all.
We then meet a new character, a lab worker named Mona Foster (Julie McNiven, a wonderful actress recently seen in Stargate Universe as Ginn). Mona helps Bolivia and Alt Charlie learn more about the beetles that figure prominently in the story arc.
Back to Fauxlivia who runs across Frank, helping out for the CDC. A very competent military woman, Alt Astrid (Jasika Nicole), at the Empire air ship port where the victim was discovered, suggests putting out a Fringe Alert regarding the beetle. Frank seems very impressed with her. Could Frank’s reaction to Alt-Astrid go somewhere in the future? It looks very possible.
More investigations follow when they discover that a scientist who’s whole life was wrapped up in this particular beetle went to pieces when the sheep that hosted it disappeared. There had been a symbiotic relationship between the sheep and the bugs. The scene ends when the next victim du jour, a data systems employee is shown dead in a crashed car.
Our evil scientist is named Dr. Armand Silva (Alon Aboutboul), who, had been speaking to the victim in a coffee shop, is catching the beetles in a plastic tub as they fall from the victim.
It seems that Dr. Silva has discovered a much more convenient way to harvest his specimens as Agent Alt Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo) and Bolivia discover.
At least he isn’t using children. And the bugs making their way out of the victims are getting bigger. Another growing clue.
As Walternate struggles with feelings of doubt regarding past decisions with his mistress named Reiko (Joan Chen), he reaffirms that there are lines he won’t cross but others he will such as having a mistress.
We return to Fauxlivia and Frank who explains that Dr. Silva was working on a vaccine for the Avian flu. He was using the Skelter Beetles before the natural sheep hosts had all died out. So, now we have motive. Dr. Silva has altered the beetle’s host so he can complete his work.
But Frank has another surprise for Fauxlivia. He produces an engagement ring. His timing is, of course, terrible, but Olivia accepts anyway. Her reaction to Frank’s proposal suggests that she is not entirely sure about accepting. Frank seems to pick up on this and asks her, “seriously?” We know that she is not startled by the proposal, having been given advance notice by blabbermouth Agent Lee, so her reaction confirms that there is something else going on.
Fauxlivia heads to a warehouse in Brooklyn. She and Agent Lee investigate. Lee gets himself locked into a freezer. On her own, and unaware she has lost her backup, she hears a noise. It’s a monkey in a cage that startles her. She slips, falls backward and knocks herself out among broken glass containers…full of the beetles.
Has she become infected? Fauxlivia wakes up in a chair, handcuffed. We see Dr. Silva has given Fauxlivia something to drink. Since the drink appears to be the way the previous victims have become infected, it appears that Fauxlivia is next.
We learn from Dr. Silva that since the sheep have died out he has to sacrifice some humans for the greater good by using them as his subjects. Meanwhile, Fauxlivia’s partner escapes and calls the Fringe team in. Believing that Fauxlivia is infected, she is rushed to the hospital. Lee holds gun to Silva’s head. He’s ready to kill the scientist if he doesn’t save Fauxlivia.
In the ambulance, Frank is about to inject Olivia with an anti parasitic medication when they discover via ultrasound that she is not infected, she’s pregnant. It turns out that Dr. Silva is infected. He reacts badly as a beetle emerges from his neck. He manages to place the beetle, a queen, into a container before he dies.
Once Fauxlivia is in hospital and we know she is safe and well, Frank comes by. Naturally, he is relieved that she and the baby are fine. However, we learn that Frank is not the father. He asks if Olivia loves the father. She doesn’t answer him. Poor Frank. His parting words, “You were going to marry me.” What is going on here?
Why make the baby Peter’s? The answer is obvious. The writers needed a way to bring Peter back. We know he’s a good man. Once he knows he’s about to become a father, of course he will want to be involved. But will a baby be enough? Will Peter sacrifice his own world for a child?
Walter Bishop receives a phone call. There may be a way to bring Peter back from the other universe, giving us a clue to happenings in a future episode.
Walternate shows up at Olivia’s and tells her she is the mother of his future grandchild. Walternate has likely already figured out that Fauxlivia’s pregnancy could bring Peter back to this alternate universe. If it does happen, will grandfather Walternate be a great grandpa?
Of note is that the live viewing ratings have dropped a little this week to 1.4 (as noted by TV By The Numbers). However, the DVR numbers for the series account for an additional percentage of viewings each week raising the rating to a 2.2. The problem is that DVR viewings are weighted lower because people often skip through the commercials that adversely affects the advertisers who actually pay for series such as Fringe .
Alternate Reality Fringe haters may be congratulating each other over their boycott of Alternate Fringe episodes. That is a pity. They missed a good episode this week. Maybe they will choose to illegally download the episode so that they are technically boycotting the show, but getting to watch it anyway – Let’s call it the “Buy (steal) Your Cake and Eat It Too” concept.
But here is a thought, if you want to kill the show, support illegal downloading and insist that your friends do not watch the Alternate Universe episodes. Do exactly the same stupid things that the Stargate Universe haters did – do everything you can to not watch the show who became so passionate about that the network decided to cancel the series completely. That will show them, will it not? Yeah right! (not).
A suggestion; if you want episodes written the way you think would meet your specific goals or desires, why not write your own Fan Fiction? Then your characters will be exactly the way you want them to be. Or, better yet, learn from the mistakes of a certain minority of Stargate fans, and do not mess up a good thing. I suggest you support Fringe and watch live. Thank you.
Fringe returns this FringeFriday, February 18, 2011 at 9 PM EST/PST. Be sure to watch live for the awesome all hell breaks loose episode “6B” to support a program that certainly deserves a fourth season. This is when Walternate apparently activates the doomsday device with the piece seen earlier in Immortality!
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ArcticGoddess1 (Patricia Stewart-Bertrand).