Season 2, Episode 6
Air date November 05, 2009
Written by Jeff Vlaming
J.H. Wyman
Directed by Jon Cassar
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Cast | Transcript

"Earthling" is the sixth episode of the second season of Fringe.


The Fringe Division is flummoxed by a case where victims are inexplicably disintegrated into ash. Agent Broyles takes a particular interest in the case, as it is revealed that he worked on this case in the past, and had been so involved that it cost him his marriage. He says that everyone who died had recently been to a hospital. The investigation reveals that Fringe science extends all the way to Russia.


Randy Dancik is waiting at home to surprise his wife, Natalie Dancik, but the light in the hallway keep flicking on and off. His wife arrives home, to see him sitting in his chair but he does not respond. He suddenly begins turning to ash. Later, Walter Bishop, Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham are at Dancik's house, Walter is examining the body. Walter says that they need to get the body back to the lab, Peter asks how they are going to get "Dusty" back. Walter says they need a Dirt Devil... a lot of Dirt Devils.

Back in the lab, Walter discovers that the victims lack the minute amount of radiation normally found in a human being. Meanwhile, corpses in a hospital morgue begin to turn to ash as a ghost-like figure stalks the halls. Walter states that it is a projection of a creature who is possessing someone. The case is linked back to Timur Vasiliev at the hospital, who then takes his brother Aleks Vasiliev, a former cosmonaut in a vegetative state, from the hospital. The thing is inside his brother, and the doctor uses car batteries to keep it under control.

Phillip Broyles says he has seen these killings before, and has a formula he was meant to solve. The case cost him his marriage. Walter is able to solve it for the doctor, who Broyles contacted, but not before the doctor also dies. The Fringe team discover that the creature is something from outer space that possessed the cosmonaut on a spacewalk. They cannot kill it, but are able to stop it when Broyles shoots the brother. The CIA takes over the case, and Agent Edwards visits Broyles. When Broyles asked what happened to the brother, the agent mentions "we had no choice, once he started breathing again" and looks up at the night sky.

Notable Quotes[]

Olivia: Walter, do you have any thoughts?
Walter: Reminds me of Christmas. Like a fire log that burns so hot it remains intact., holding the shape of its former self. You used to love that when you were a child. You'd poke the log with your little finger when it had cooled, and you'd draw genitalia on the reindeer decorations.
Peter: Happy memories, Walter.

Astrid: So this thing followed him from the hospital? I'm not going to sleep for weeks.

Broyles: I took the job to make the world a safer place for my family. Instead, I lost them.

Peter: Are you suggesting that this was some sort of Russian experiment?
Walter: Because they're from the other side of the world, Peter, is it so hard to believe they have their own stripe of the inconceivable? Really I'm always amazed at their advancements even 40 years ago. You wouldn't believe what those pinkos were up to.


  • The Observer can be seen at the airport to the right and behind Phillip Broyles as he talks to Olivia Dunham on his cellphone.
  • The X- Files connections: This episode's plot shares remarkable similarity with the plot of the The X-Files season 1 episode "Space." In that episode a former astronaut is plagued with an organism from space that has occupied his body. The hospital interior is the same hospital interior used in pilot episode and second theatrical movie of The X-Files. The character of "Van Horn" is portrayed by actor Gerard Plunkett, who portrayed the prominent recurring role of Doctor Calderon in two episodes on The X-FilesThis marks the sixth consecutive instance in which an actor who worked on The X-Files has a role in a Fringe episode.
  • Another The X-Files reference is the similar supernatural ability shown by the antagonist in the season 6 episode "Trevor." In that episode, Wilson "Pinker" Rawls displays an ability to physically pass through solid matter, but in doing so he strips out all its elements leaving behind a brittle, ash-like compound that crumbles when touched.
  • The cartoon the girl watches is Kimba, the white lion (Janguru Taitei), a Japanese anime series from the 1960's, created by Osamu Tezuka.
  • As of this episode, Kirk Acevedo no longer receives show star credit.
  • Although credited, Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) does not appear in this episode.


  • When the body of the character Randy is shown before and after combustion, his hands (thumbs in particular) have changed position.
  • When Senator Van Horn's and Broyles meet in the park, there is a man on a red bicycle passing by them twice in eleven seconds. Same direction, left to right.


  • "Freezing" by Mozella
  • "Straighten Up and Fly Right" by Nat King Cole
  • "Una Furtiva Lagrima" by Mario Lanza