FRINGE: What Lies Below - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE: What Lies Below

January 22, 2010 by  

When I was kid, my sister used to get a lot of nose bleeds. I don’t remembering my mom panicking about it. She would just tilt my sister’s head back and hold her nose closed with a towel until the bleeding stopped. This would SO not happen in my house today. If one of my little ones ever randomly started bleeding from the nose, particularly from just one nostril, I’d be calling 911 or rushing them to the ER. I won’t deny that I have the unlucky combination of an over-active imagination and a healthy dose of hypochondria, but anyone who watches even half the TV that I do, knows that bleeding from one nostril surely spells doom. Tonight’s episode completely reinforced this message. Peter, bleeding from one nostril, equals bad — VERY BAD!!!!

How to Treat a 75,000 Year Old Virus

A man is visiting an oil company, with the purpose of selling competitive secrets to one of its executives. He shares an elevator with a bike messenger on the way up to his meeting. As he exits the elevator, he begins to look ill. Blood begins to run from his nose and he falls to the floor. The bike messenger tries to revive him, but cannot. The man’s face takes on a cracked appearance and some sort of red mist sprays from his mouth as he dies.

Peter and Olivia are called to the scene. Walter and Astrid arrive a short while later, just in time to see the bike messenger die at the front door, in the same manner as the man from the elevator. Walter immediately recognizes the potential spread of a harmful virus and calls for the building to be quarantined, even though Peter and Olivia will be trapped inside. Shortly afterwards, the CDC arrive and begin to take over the investigation, but Walter will have no part of being excluded, especially once Peter becomes infected (by accidentally coming into contact with the dead man’s blood).

There is a lot of action and drama in this episode but not as many details to follow as in other cases. Once the competitive secrets, info from an exploratory oil drill, are found in the rental car of the dead man, Walter deduces that the virus is a very old virus that was previously responsible for wiping out life on the entire planet. Walter finds a way to test for the virus. He and Astrid enter the building (in hazmat suits) and run the tests. Anyone who is not infected, including Olivia, is released from the building. Peter and 11 others are kept quarantined.

Walter and Astrid also remain in the building and Walter, in a state of panic, says to Astrid that he must not “let Peter die again”. Astrid uses her soothing influence to talk Walter through things and she triggers his mind to a potential solution. If the virus had wiped out the entire planet 75,000 years ago, then there would be no life today. Since life remained, something must have happened to stop it – ash (“Ash”, “Astrid”, “NO, ASH!!!”) from a massive volcanic eruption. Quickly testing what they can find on hand in the form of sulfur against the infected samples, Walter and Astrid figure out how to stop the virus.

Unfortunately, they are almost too late because the CDC had already brought in the Army to sacrifice the infected individuals, rather than risk the further spread of the virus and its consequence, the possible decimation of all life on the planet. To keep this from happening, Olivia volunteers to enter the building and turn on the ventilation system so that a sedative can be pumped in through the vents, temporarily knocking out the victims, while the materials for Walter’s cure are gathered. She’s ultimately successful in her mission, but gets into a major smack down with an angry Peter on the way. In the end, no other lives are lost, Peter is cured, and the planet is saved – hooray!!

Monsters Under the Bed

As usual, the episode was packed with plenty of endearing moments between Walter and Astrid. The two obviously trust each other a great deal, but when Astrid confronted Walter about what he said about Peter dying again, he doesn’t elaborate. “Some things are meant to be left alone, Agent Farnsworth”. The question is, now that Astrid knows this information, however nebulous it might be, what is she going to do with it? Will she keep it to herself or mention it to Peter and/or Olivia? She protects Walter, week in and week out. Will she protect his secret, as well?

P.S. For all you code crackers – tonight’s word was WINDOW.

Gretchen is a stay-at-home mom of two awesome little girls who has the good fortune of being married to a husband who is completely cool with her slightly out of control television addiction. During her precious few sleeping hours, Gretchen frequently finds herself ridding the world of pesky vampires and demons, as well as taking down fake secret branches of the CIA.


3 Responses to “FRINGE: What Lies Below”

  1. John on January 22nd, 2010 1:00 pm

    To answer your question: I am guessing Astrid says nothing (or asks Peter or Olivia an open ended question (e.g. Did Peter nearly die once or some such thing) but doesn’t follow up it) since the show wants to keep Peter in the dark as long as possible.

    I did have a problem with this episode – This show isn’t built on realism, but I can’t accept that a virus would know its host was confined and compel him to try and escape so it could spread to other people.

  2. OldDarth on January 22nd, 2010 1:15 pm

    When a stand alone storyline impinges on one of the running ones it always good.

    Great that Astrid has suspicions about Peter. It finally gives her character something to do besides being Walter’s straightman.

    Now the question will be how long will the show keep Astrid stewing about this knowledge? Hopefully, only for an episode or two.

    Is there a visit to a certain cemetery upcoming for Agent Farnsworth?

  3. Kimber on January 24th, 2010 10:10 am

    I’m going to go ahead and say that I really enjoyed the Peter-in-a-muscle-shirt portion of this show. Even if he was stark-raving mad! It was a really good stand-alone, and as always I enjoyed the Astrid/Walter dynamic. I like that they work together, and that Astrid brings some sanity to Walter.

    As for whether Astrid will share her knowledge of Walter’s little slip about Peter dying “again” … I think she will stay mum. For now. I can see it coming up later in conversation with Olivia or Peter, perhaps they’ll joke about something and she’ll let it slip. On one hand I can see her respecting Walter and what he told her, and not passing the info on. But I can also see her trying to wrap her brain around the idea, and perhaps – as OldDarth said about – looking into it for her own desires and maybe finding Real Peter Bishop’s gravestone.