|Season 4, Episode 17|
|Airdate||April 6, 2012|
|Written by||Story by: J.R. Orci & Matthew Pitts|
|Directed by||David Moxness|
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Nothing As It Seems
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|Cast | Transcript|
Heading over to the Other Side, Agent Lincoln Lee and the other Fringe Division track a vigilante who is leaving mutilated corpses in his wake. They soon learn they are dealing with a prototype creation of Jones', and Lee must decide if he can put aside his prejudices to teach the creature that it doesn't have to be Jones' puppet.
Agent Lee volunteers to go to Other Side to deliver the Prime Universe’s files on Jones since he has nothing better to do and everyone else is preoccupied.
On the Other Side, a woman is attacked by a mugger only to be rescued by a shadowy figure. The figure lets the woman flee but advances on the terrified mugger when he sees the stranger's appearance.
Arriving on the Other Side, Agent Lee meets Bolivia for the debrief, but she ropes him into a case the Other Side is working on involving a vigilante. The Other Side denizens are also in a good mood, as the energy from the Bridge is having a restorative effect on their universe; the atmosphere is improving, rifts are sealing, and as a result, Amber zones are being reopened to the public.
At the crime scene, they discover the mugger's body has been warped beyond recognition while the Vigilante, now wearing the mugger's face, is removing his things from an abandoned church. He flees when some workers sent to work on deactivating the Amber get unusual readings. Entering the church, they find the basement is full of mutilated bodies and heads.
Arriving at the church, Lincoln and the Fringe team investigate. Bolivia finds evidence that someone or something was living down there and she and her Lincoln realize the creature fled because the Amber was being unsealed. While examining a body, Lincoln finds a puncture mark in its palate and develops a theory.
He asks alternate Astrid to run a scan to find out times of death for the bodies and match them up with camera sightings of the victims. The team is shocked to find that the victims are showing up on the cameras days after their deaths. Agent Lee declares they are dealing with a Shapeshifter.
At a soup kitchen the vigilante shapeshifter sits down to eat when another homeless man points out a wound on his neck. The wound looks like a tumorous mass and the panicked shapeshifter flees.
Colonel Broyles is skeptical of Lee's claims that the vigilante is a shapeshifter as Jones has no reason to send one of them out to attack criminals. He says Agent Lee is just obsessing since his partner was killed by a Shapeshifter. Agent Lee points out the wounds on the victims’ match the biomechanical shapeshifters' M.O.'s in the Prime Universe. After they leave, Broyles contacts alternate Nina to inform her the "mistake" is still alive and she sends an assassin out to deal with it.
Elsewhere, the shapeshifter attacks a drug den where he pins down a drug dealer unaware that a second one is hiding in the next room. Holding his victim down, the shapeshifter then helps a tentacle-like appendage emerge from his mouth which latches on to the other man's palate and starts feeding. The second dealer calls the police and Fringe team intercept and blockade the area. Lincoln is separated from the group and attacked by the shapeshifter, who surprisingly spares Lincoln's life and then is quickly captured by the team. Broyles informs Nina who gets the assassin in position.
Curious about the Shapeshifter sparing him, Lee convinces Bolivia to let him talk to it to get information about Jones and the other Shapeshifters. Looking through its stolen goods, he finds a picture of a boy and wonders aloud if the creature was keeping trophies of its victims. The silent shapeshifter then speaks, saying the picture belongs to him and Lee speculates if the creature was a father before Jones got to him.
The creature -- who is called Canaan -- says the boy was his girlfriend's son but they both left him and then acted like he never existed. All he ever wanted was to be remembered, or at least missed by someone and Jones approached him promising to make him special and the first of a new breed. Lincoln realizes that the creature is a prototype shapeshifter, but Jones abandoned him when he turned out flawed. Aside from his vampiric need to survive on DNA, he still has his humanity and is not mindlessly obedient. Lee tries to convince Canaan that he doesn't have to protect Jones as the scientist sees him only as a failed experiment, but Canaan doesn't believe him.
The team prepares to move Canaan only to be ambushed by the assassin from the roof. No one can get a clear shot until Bolivia hits him with a near-impossible shot, though not before he hits alternate Lincoln in the chest. Before he is taken to the hospital, Alternate Lincoln tells Bolivia that someone in Fringe Division must have let Jones know their procedure for transferring Canaan. Lincoln angrily confronts Canaan, pointing out the attack was meant for him. He tells the confused and distraught creature it has to now choose between being his own man or a broken puppet.
At a secret base, alternate Nina oversees the conversion of more shapeshifters as the assassin returns. He tells her he took care of Canaan, but he is angry that Bolivia nearly killed him in the process, to Nina's amusement. Suddenly alarms go off as the base's computer detects a hack and Nina realizes too late that the man in front of her is actually the prototype shapeshifter. She tries to flee but is caught by Fringe agents.
Exploring the base the team comes across much useful information on Jones' operation, the most significant find being a tracking grid of all active shapeshifters. During this time, word gets to the team that Alternate Lincoln did not survive his injuries, which devastates Bolivia.
Lincoln takes Canaan over the bridge to meet with Peter and Walter to see if they can undo the damage caused by Jones's experiments on him and give him a new home in the Prime Universe. Lincoln tells Bolivia that he is going to stay in the alternate universe for a while to help track down the shapeshifters.
Lincoln: Peter Bishop believes he was trying to activate some kind of latent ability.
Bolivia: What, are we talking heat vision, or communicating with fish?
Lincoln: Maybe Batman's moved to the Bronx.
Bolivia: What's a "batman"?
Lincoln: The Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight. Billionaire playboy puts on a cape to clean up the streets of Gotham.
Lee: Oh, you mean Mantis.
Lincoln: Seriously? Your superhero is an insect?
Bolivia: Oh, what, 'cause nothing says "badass" like a flying rat?
Lincoln: No problem, just... they can handle things fine without me.
Lee: Well, that's the difference between us. My world wouldn't survive without me.
Lincoln: Yeah. I noticed that about you. Your unwavering confidence.
Lincoln: Bordering on self-aggrandizing narcissism.
- The Observer can be seen in the background beneath a CLOSED sign right before the sniper opens fire.
- On a bus stop sign, when the woman comes out of her office building, you can see a travel poster advertising a visit to the USSR
- As Colonel Broyles is informed that Nina Sharp has been taken into custody, the alternate Astrid addresses him as "Agent Broyles", and Broyles did not correct her as he had done previously with Agent Lee when he had also mistakenly addressed Broyles as "Agent" instead of "Colonel".