Join us for our Fringe Summer re-watch, where we review every episode of Fringe during the summer hiatus. Comments are welcome as we dig into the connections made over three seasons.
“And you say the headaches haven’t started? Let me know when they do.” – Sam Weiss
Fractured is one of those episodes that includes more arc information and yet you learn so much more about a few of the key characters that you're not sure what hit you when you've finished watching the episode. The opening scene is a cop, Gillespi, receiving a call from the "colonel" and he is given orders to meet a man dressed in black with a briefcase at a train station. We aren't given any more information other than what Gillespi is given and when he confronts the man in question he begins to crystallize and then explodes, killing everyone around him. Wicked, right? What other show out there can expand on an exploding crystallized man?
We then pan to Olivia at the bowling alley with Sam Weiss relearning how to tie her shoes. As she fumbles with the laces, Sam is evasive in his answers to her questions and Olivia only grows more frustrated. We learn through Sam though that the link between him and Nina Sharp is that he helped her learn how to use her fancy hand replacement. Sam makes the quick assumption that Olivia isn't sleeping very much and that the lingering from the accident is eating away at her quickly fading sanity and she doesn't argue his accusation. He sends her home after he helps her finish tying her shoe and is instructed to come back once the headaches have hit.
Next scene is Peter reading off apartment listings while Walter is doing a side task and Astrid is browsing through the FBI case data frame. Walter is obstinate that he likes where they are staying regardless of how uncomfortable it is for Peter, but before the tension between father and son can grow too much Astrid speaks up about an odd case involving an explosion without any bomb residue. The Fringe team is on the case.
On site they make the conclusion that the fragmented crystals they keep finding are actually bits of a man and that was the cause of the many deaths around them. Walter and Astrid return to the lab to put back together the man that was Gillespi while Olivia and Peter go to meet with Gillespi's wife to ask her some questions. This is of course when Olivia's headaches kick in, causing her to see bits of what happened on the other side while she manages to escape to the bathroom to be sick. On that stroke of luck she discovers a loose tile in the bathroom wall under the sink and finds a stash of injectable drugs that Gillespi's wife knows nothing about.
This marks the second time the Fringe team gets proactive on a case in an attempt to save more lives and beat the bad guys to the punch. Peter is now stepping up more in helping with the detective work more than the science. Unfortunately, Olivia is more stubborn then ever at keeping everyone, and especially Peter, from seeing the toll the accident is still having on her body.
Meanwhile Astrid strikes up conversation with Walter about finding a new apartment and he expresses his fondness of the area he lives in currently and the apple fritter he discovered while taking a wrong turn on a street while on a walk.
“You never would’ve discovered the apple fritter if you hadn’t turned the wrong way down the street, would you?” – Astrid
This sentence speaks more than for apple fritters, I think. The theme of what if's is simply stated in this scenario and just a simple switch of words and you've got a lot deeper of a question.
The first man we meet from Peter’s past, “Joe” a computer tech who plays with the security videos and helps them figure out that high radio frequencies can sometimes interrupt video feeds and that the disturbance happened before the bomb went off.
Peter eventually gets the idea to go to Iraq in search for more information on what happened to Gillespi there and mentions it to Broyles with Olivia there. I have to say of all the patented Olivia-looks, this was one of my favorites and clearly says "dangitall". They fly out and find another man from Peter's past and one who isn't as excited as the first to see him. We learn that Big Eddie isn’t the only person out there that hates him. Peter seems to truly regret his past as it is revealed to Olivia. I like to think the man Peter approaches sees this, but chances are it’s the thought of his refusal costing lives that gets him to cave. Olivia, to her credit, doesn’t press him too hard for answers. A few shots of a questionable drink choice later and they're meeting with a doctor who was part of "Project Tin Man" and experiment that saved few and condemned many. He was able to tell them three other names that gave them the final lead they needed.
Peter and Olivia race back and they're able to catch enough lead time to set up a hidden reception for Burgess, one of the tin man test subjects, with hopes of also catching the colonel. Walter and Peter convince Broyles to leave open the frequency so they can use it to triangulate the location of the colonel. Unfortunately, the triangulating program is locked when the frequency starts and it’s up to Olivia and Peter to counteract the attack from the inside. We learn that Peter kind of fights like a girl and Olivia get’s to take out her frustration on technology by beating the remote with her cane and team Fringe saves the day yet again.
In the end Olivia finally snaps at Sam Weiss due to her lack of patience in the progress they aren't making and she unwittingly helps heal herself when she walks to him without her cane.
We end the episode with Broyles interviewing the colonel about his "mission". We find out the colonel is against the observers. He claims the observers are starting a war using our own science against us and that they are learning what they need to know until they can kill us all. Seems pretty futile to me, but if anyone is going to decode those guys it’s going to be team Fringe and not this guy.
Interesting things we learned from "Fractured":
- Not surprising, Peter speaks Arabic, but Olivia does as well
- Mr. Watermelon, Mr. Papaya’s friend bites the crystal.
- Gene is apparently sensitive to people eating her fellow species in the lab.
- Lesson #1 for Olivia, per Sam Weiss seems to be “patience”.
This was a very heavy Peter episode in that he played a part in almost every new discovery from the what the bomb was made of, the video surveillance work, and his networking with his contact in Iraq to to get the lead required to save the next unwitting bomb and many other lives. I think it's safe to say that many more lives would be lost in the delay of solving this case without Peter.