Brave New World: Part 1
Season 4, Episode 21
Air date May 4, 2012
Written by J.H. Wyman & Jeff Pinkner & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Joe Chappelle
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Brave New World: Part 2
Cast | Transcript

"Brave New World: Part 1" is the twenty-first episode of the fourth season of Fringe.


A mysterious Fringe event causing people to spontaneously combust forces Walter to revisit his painful past while the Fringe team faces off against David Robert Jones to save the world, or worlds.



Victims of Bell.

Several people in an office complex suddenly exhibit signs of spontaneous combustion and die; others witnessing it realize that the symptom is onset by movement and stand perfectly still as help arrives. As Fringe division investigates, they find a device planted in the building's escalator system that released



nanites into those that rode it, triggering the combustion by body movement. One survivor, Jessica (Rebecca Mader), offers to be a test subject for Walter (John Noble) as he tries to discover a cure. When Jessica's body temperature starts to rapidly rise before the cure is synthesized, Olivia (Anna Torv) unintentionally uses her Cortexiphan abilities to slow Jessica's system, which stops the nanites and allows Peter (Joshua Jackson) to inject the cure into her system.

The Fringe team finds that David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) had planted the device, and worry that despite the deactivation of the bridge, he is still trying to collapse both universes to create a third one. Walter studies the design of the device and recognizes that the nanites were not developed by Jones but by William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), and begins to suspect Bell is alive. Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) rejects this theory, explaining that, in the new timeline, Bell had committed suicide in a car accident on Christmas Eve 2005 to end his suffering from lymphoma. But Walter remembers Bell visiting him in St. Claire's Mental Institution on New Year's Eve 2005. Convinced that Bell is alive and faked his death, Walter returns to St. Claire's and finds the scent of Bell among one of the logbooks that dated back to when Walter believed he had visited and borrows the log book.


David Robert Jones

Unknown to Fringe division, Jones reports to William Bell aboard the container ship (seen in "Nothing As It Seems") about how the Fringe team has cured the nanites. Bell ponders this over a chessboard that he states he has been playing for forty years, and instructing Jones to his next action, commenting that sacrificing the bishop will win him the game. Later, a column of light suddenly appears over Beacon Hill, burning a hole through a building and


Peter fights Jones.

into the ground. Walter identifies it as sunlight, reflected by satellites likely under Jones' control, aimed to ignite an oil reservoir deep below Boston. He directs Peter and Olivia to the most likely location Jones is controlling the satellites from. They find two antennas that must be disabled simultaneously, requiring them to split up to do so. Though they are successful in stopping the beam, Peter is attacked by Jones. Olivia, watching from another building, utilizes her Cortexiphan abilities again to telekinetically control Peter's body, allowing him to get the upper hand, throwing Jones into one of the antennas. The electrical shock sends Jones' body, previously altered by his teleportation, into deterioration, and he realizes too late that he was the bishop to be sacrificed before crumbling



into ash.


Astrid and Walter investigate.

Walter discovers evidence of Chilean almonds on one of the log sheets from St. Claire's, a favorite snack of Bell's. He and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) travel to the warehouse of the shipping company that imported the almonds, finding it abandoned with one man stating the company went


Astrid is shot.

out of business three years prior. Astrid implores Walter to leave when she notices this man has a gun under his jacket, but he is enticed by a strange sound from the back of the warehouse, finding several shipping containers being moved about with the noises coming from them.


William Bell reveals himself.

They are discovered by a henchman and attempt to flee. Astrid is shot, and as Walter tends to her, William Bell appears, reintroducing himself to his old friend.

Notable Quotes[]

Jessica: What are you?
Walter: I'm human. What are you? Is this some sort of alien invasion? Are you part of a strike f...
Jessica: No, I mean--I mean, what are you doing here?

Walter: Despite their itty-bitty size, each of them is capable of storing an enormous amount of energy and it would seem they could be overloaded by the biokinetic energy stored in the cells of anyone infected.
Peter: You mean these people's movement is what's activating the nanites?
Walter: That's what I just said.

Bell: In this game, the skill one must have above all else is patience. The board changes, but very slowly. the art of chess, the art is knowing when a piece is most valuable, and then, in that very moment, being willing to sacrifice it. For in the vacuum created in the loss of what is most precious, opportunity abounds. Influence is maximized, and desire becomes destiny.


  • The Observer can be seen behind the ambulance prior to Walter and Astrid being given access to the crime scene.
  • The original title for the two-part season four finale was "End Game" but it was later changed.
  • The new administrator of St. Claire's (Dr Benlo) is played by Samantha Noble, the daughter of John Noble (Walter Bishop). “Benlo” is an anagram of “Noble”.
  • Although credited, Seth Gabel (Lincoln Lee) does not appear in this episode.
  • Peters refers to Ghostbusters saying "It's sorta like don't cross the streams".


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