|Season 2, Episode 5|
|Airdate||October 15, 2009|
|Written by||Josh Singer|
|Directed by||Paul Edwards|
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|Cast | Transcript|
Olivia asks for guidance from Sam Weiss at the bowling alley before joining the Fringe team in their investigation of a businessman in Seattle, who attacked his boss spontaneously for no apparent reason and has been unconscious for 16 hours since. When he wakes up, he has no recollection of the attack, his hair turns white, and he dies. A series of similar incidents in the Seattle area occur that appear to have waking nightmares in common.
In Seattle, a man named Greg Leader hallucinates that his boss and coworkers are demons, leading Greg to attack and murder the boss. Greg is hospitalized and falls asleep for sixteen hours; when Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop interview him in the hospital, he tells them his boss was a demon out of a bad dream before suffering a seizure and having his hair turn white. Walter Bishop posits that Greg died from "acute exhaustion". However, believing Seattle to be like the mental institution, Walter desires to go home in Boston and run tests on the corpse from there.
Olivia and Peter learn Greg was being treated for a sleep disorder, and that his dreams had involved demons until they stopped several months ago. Another hallucinating victim turns up in Seattle and dies. The Fringe team discover that both victims had a brain-computer interface chip attached to their thalamus, the part of the brain controlling dreams. Phillip Broyles and Nina Sharp reveal new information leading to the sleep researcher Dr Laxmeesh Nayak who implanted the chips. Another victim named Diana Lamia hallucinates at a restaurant and kills a coworker before similarly dying of exhaustion.
Olivia and Peter first suspect Dr Nayak's research assistant Zack Miller but find him dead. Back in Boston Walter believes the chips lead to mind control and tests this on the FBI agent Kashner assigned to him while Peter and Olivia are away. However, during these tests Walter soon changes his theory; the dreams are being stolen from their hosts to cause a "high" in Dr Nayak, who is receiving them and has two personalities. Peter and Olivia shut down the dream equipment before Nayak kills another victim, but the doctor dies in the process. The final scene shows Peter dreaming about his childhood when Walter kidnaps him, an event Peter normally has no memory of; Peter wakes up confused but still unaware of what his father did.
In a side plot, Olivia is grieving for her partner Charlie Francis, whom she discovered was murdered by a shapeshifter. Sam Weiss helps her work through it by giving her a "project" that requires her to collect business cards from people wearing the color red. She is told to grab random letters from the names, that once unscrambled read "you're gonna be fine", which were the first words that Charlie ever spoke to her.
Walter: Don't worry, son. I promise to wear my shorts to bed so that if you bring any young ladies home, there won't be any embarrassing moments.
Kashner: (watching a skull-cracking) Do this kind of thing often?
Astrid: Brains? No. Although Walter gets particularly excited whenever we do.
Walter: The ride back was invigorating. The turbulence over Ohio was like being in the belly of a seizing whale. I screamed like a little girl.
Astrid: I'm sure that went over well with the rest of the passengers.
- When Dr Laxmeesh Nayak's patients are gathered at the hospital to have their chips removed and Olivia Dunham is talking with a nurse about contacting pharmacies, The Observer can be seen descending a flight of stairs in the background.
- The X- Files connections: the character of "Steve" is portrayed by actor Brendan Beiser, who portrayed the prominent recurring, and fan-favorite character of Agent Sean Pendrell on The X-Files. This marks the fifth consecutive instance in which an actor who worked on The X-Files has a role in a Fringe episode.
- Kirk Acevedo is credited, but only appears in a picture during the episode; when Olivia is telling Peter Bishop about how she met Charlie Francis.
- When we see Peter having the dream near the end of the episode, a poster on the wall of the Challenger Mission 11 shows the date June 28, 1984. The last Challenger Mission was 10 launched January 28, 1986, and ended in disaster. This may be the first glimpse of Peter in the alternate universe.
- The clue for this episode appears to be a graffiti on the wall right after the fight between Olivia and the Shape-Shifter, reading "To sleep, perchance to dream", alluding to the theme of dreams in the episode.
- The photo of the pilot loses his shoulder insignia between different shots.
- Near the end of the episode, the pilot is flying towards a suspension bridge. There are no suspension bridges in Seattle. However the Tacoma Narrows (suspension) bridge is not far from Sea-Tac, the airport shared by both cities, so this may not be a goof.
- "From the Beginning" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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