Amber 31422
Season 3, Episode 5
Air date November 4, 2010
Written by Josh Singer
Ethan Gross
Directed by David Straiton
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Cast | Transcript

"Amber 31422" is the fifth episode of the third season of Fringe.


The alternate universe Fringe Division investigates a shocking breach of security when a twin frees his brother from a quarantined Amber area. As the team sets out to crack this sophisticated case, Walternate experiments with Olivia again and she re-enters the tank. Meanwhile, visions of Peter continue to haunt Olivia about returning to the "other side."


In the Alternate Universe, Olivia Dunham is having a checkup to make sure she is in good health after her supposed mental breakdown. She checks out and is approached by Walternate who tells her that they want to see if she is like the "other" Olivia so they can find a better way to defend their universe. Of course only if she is willing after her ordeal; she is, which pleases Walternate.

Elsewhere in a quarantine area, two men work in a subway cutting into the amber. Mark Wilner says the idea is crazy and they should steal the valuables but Joshua Rose says what they are cutting out is valuable as they finally remove a slab. Cutting away the top of the slab they reveal the body of a man who is Matthew Rose, the twin brother of Joshua. Getting to work his twin places resuscitation equipment on the man; despite his partners' protests, the man is dead. After a few failed attempt the twin suddenly shudders and takes in a haggard breath to the amazement of the two men. The revived man is scared and disorientated but his twin says he promised he would save him.

Just then warning alarms sound saying quarantine is breached and Amber mist fills the room; capturing Mark while the twin is able to drag his brother to safety.

Later the Fringe team is investigating the scene of the crime which they assume to be the work of looters who came to steal valuables from the Amber victims. Olivia, however, noted the discarded equipment saying whoever

Fringe team

Fringe team.

was here were professionals and not simple looters. Charlie Francis (Alternate Universe) asks for a video system showing a program about the amber zones and notes there is a new individual in the amber. The team also discover the remains of the slab bearing the imprint of the freed man's face realizing someone removed a body.

Phillip Broyles (Alternate Universe) meets with Walternate who has been informed on the case about the man in the Amber. He somberly recalls the day he made the amber and despite its use to contain breaches it has caught hundreds of people in it. Broyles says its a necessary sacrifice to keep the universe together and people understand this. Walternate then says people would not be so understanding is they knew the truth and reveals to a shocked Broyles that the amber victims are in fact alive trapped in suspended animation. If this removed man was revived and presented to the public it would lead to outcry akin to revolt has the victims have become part of the ambers integrity and despite this people would never condone to the imprisonment of their loved ones. Broyles says he will find the man whatever ever his status and deal with him discreetly.



Elsewhere the removed man is recovering in bed while a woman watched him; tearful at the sight of his weakened condition and that he can not see her properly. The twin comes in and tells her his body is just adjusting to being out of the amber and he will be fine in a while.

At Joshua's apartment, they discover he has a twin brother Matthew before they are forced to evacuate from a rigged bomb. They travel to Matthew's home in the suburbs, meeting the brother, his wife Danielle Rose and children. Matthew professes to no knowledge of the location of his brother. Olivia is suspicious but without evidence cannot explore further; the viewer is shown that Olivia's suspicion is correct as Matthew was the one trapped in the amber, having tried to come to warn his brother about the quarantine. Joshua, having posed as Matthew for the last few years, was the one that freed him and spoke to Fringe. The brothers switch places again when Olivia requests a more detailed identity check from Matthew, which he passes successfully.

Thinking everything is fine now Joshua is prepared to leave only to angrily confronted by Mathew's wife. She reveals that Mathew was conscious the entire time he was trapped; his mind frozen on the terrifying thought of what would happen to his family without him. She tells him just freeing Mathew will never make up for the torture he endured and may still endure if Fringe gets a hold of him.


Believing Joshua will attempt another break-in but will avoid putting innocents in danger, the Fringe team identifies three remotely-located banks and split up to cover them. Olivia is at the bank that Joshua has targeted, but he knocks her out when she investigates. As he energizes the molecular destabilizer, the Fringe team detects the event and converges on the bank. Matthew eventually joins Joshua, again trying to warn him off, but quickly realizes Joshua has purposely entered the bank to be trapped in the amber; Joshua believes this to be his way to

Joshua in amber

Joshua in amber

repay Matthew and to force the Fringe team to end their investigation. Since Mathew is the first successful amber revive Fringe would either kill him to protect their secret or lock him up and experiment on him. As the quarantine is set up, Matthew escapes while Charlie Francis (Alternate Universe) and Lincoln Lee (Alternate Universe) rescue Olivia in time before the amber sets. Olivia returns to Matthew the next day and confirms the case is closed, but not before collecting a skin sample that, should she ever need it, conclusively proves that it was Matthew in the amber before.


Olivia crosses over.

As the episode ends, Olivia's hallucination of Peter Bishop points out to her that there is a way to tell if she is from the prime universe: by confirming her memories of her niece Ella Blake, who did not survive birth in the parallel

Calling ella

Olivia calling Ella.

universe. During Olivia's final test in the tank, she is again able to cross over to the gift shop in the prime universe. She is able to recall Ella's number and calls her, but is brought back to the parallel universe before ending the call. As she is removed from the tank, she lies, telling Walternate the test did not work.

Notable Quotes[]

Walternate: Nature doesn't recognize good and evil, Phillip. Nature only recognizes balance and imbalance. I intend to restore balance to our world. Whatever it takes.

Peter: You can take as many pills as you want. I'm not going anywhere.
Olivia: You're not here.
Peter: Look, I understand why you agreed to take the test. You just want things to go back to normal, to be the Olivia that you think you should be, but unfortunately, that's not gonna happen. Because you're not their Olivia. And you can keep on telling yourself that you're fine, but you're not fine. You're not sleeping. And I'm not a lingering symptom. You can't ignore me.


  • The Observer can be seen on the far left side of the screen as the Fringe team spots Olivia Dunham's car.
  • Walternate's quote "Only those that risk going too far can possibly know how far they can go" is a reference to the poet T.S. Elliot and was originally mentioned by Walter Bishop in "The Box", attributing it to William Bell.
  • Although credited, Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) does not appear in this episode.
  • When Olivia, Charlie and Lincoln are searching Joshua Rose's home, they find research that implies that Joshua could walk through walls to gain access to bank vaults. This is a direct reference to the season one episode Safe, where bank robbers use a device that produces vibrations strong enough to change the molecular makeup of the walls, allowing them to walk through them and easily rob vaults without leaving a trace behind.


  • I Can't Get Started by Oscar Peterson