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.
Life after death has been an obsession of mine. Specifically in what happens to a person after they die. So this episode was especially appealing, even if it was not memorable.
Seventeen-year-old Lisa Donovan was brain-dead as a result of a cerebral aneurysm. Just when she was about to have her organ extracted, she revives. She sits up repeating an alpha-neumeric sequence. It immediately reminds me of Olivia waking up suddenly in "A New Day In The Old Town".
The real mystery to investigate here is how a teenage girl could have access to classified military codes. The Navy provided information on Petty Officer Andrew Rusk, who was last assigned to a nuclear submarine. This was his personal identification number. Not only that. Lisa also knew Rusk's Russian pet name for his wife.
One explanation was that Lisa and Rusk shared a psychic link. It was only inconceivable since they have never met. Lisa's aneurysm occurred in her left frontal lobe. Specifically her Broca's Area, the part of the brain that processes language, which Walter proved had the most dramatic effect on a person's ability to create psychic bonds.
Lisa's continued visions of Andrew Rusk lead to the discovery of his murder. The relative time of Rusk's death and Lisa's rebirth was enough to convince Walter that Rusk's sudden dispatched energy was what brought Lisa back to life along with his memories and consciousness. Not that unlike Olivia carrying John Scott's memory.
Lisa's mother reluctantly allowed Walter to 'exorcise' Rusk from her daughter. Through the procedure they learned how Rusk died. Unfortunately, this gave Rusk the opportunity to take possession of Lisa momentarily in an attempt to exact revenge. I don't know what everybody thought. It was not clear to me who it was Peter reached. Rusk or Lisa?
Whatever the reason why this episode did not air in the first season aside, a lot of recurring themes stand out.
Faith and Second Chances:
Lisa's mother got her daughter back.
I never thought that I would... get a chance to tell her how much I loved her again. -- God gave her back to me.Much in the way Walter told Peck in "White Tulip", that he never believed in God until he took Peter from the other side.
Walter was always an advocate for talking to the dead, as seen in the Pilot and "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones".
Peter contextualized Tibetan philosophy even when he did not truly believed it, despite his experiences. (Leads me to think this episode was shot earlier in season 1.)
The near-death experiencer can often converse with those who have already died.
Innermost subtle consciousness is ever present. It never leaves the body even in death.If Peter Bishop Never Existed...
Perhaps Walter would have better luck in talking Andrew Rusk out of his unfinished business.