Forced Perspective
Season 4, Episode 10
Forced Perspective
Airdate January 27, 2012
Written by Ethan Gross
Directed by David Solomon
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Cast | Transcript

"Forced Perspective" is the tenth episode of the fourth season of Fringe.


Olivia copes with an ominous warning from the Observers; Peter and the team track a girl with the ability to predict death.


Olivia is seen thinking and talking with Broyles about what the bald man (also known as September) said about how Olivia has to die. Broyles believes that the man threatened her whereas Olivia believes that he was trying to warn her about her future. Broyles wants Olivia to be extra cautious, but Olivia wants to continue doing her job to the best of her ability.

A teenage girl (Alexis Raich) is seen drawing across the street when she sees a man walking with his coworker. She chases after the man and gives him her drawing of his death. Right after she runs away, the man is killed by a girder from a construction site he was walking near, replicating exactly what her drawing of him was. The Fringe division arrives at the scene and learns of this girl and her drawing. They find out that her name is Emily Mallum by indentifying her after looking at security footage from around the area. Olivia and Lincoln Lee are asking people in a building when they encounter Emily's father Jim Mallum (Currie Graham). He and the rest of the Mallums lie to the Fringe agents, pretending they don't know who Emily is. However, Olivia notices a backpack just like Emily's in the Mallums' apartment and knows they were lying.

Just as Olivia and Lincoln are leaving the building, they run into Emily outside. They start asking her questions about her drawings and her ability to see deaths right before they occur when Jim runs out, not wanting Emily to answer any more questions. Jim tells them that he has been moving his family around the country constantly to avoid who he believes are people from Massive Dynamic trying to experiment with Emily's ability. Right before Jim and Emily leaves, Olivia leaves them her card, asking them to call if they ever need any help.

Olivia goes to confront Nina Sharp about Emily. Nina admits that Massive Dynamic was interested in Emily and wanted to study her abilities. As Olivia and Nina are talking, Olivia compares what they did to Emily to what happened to her as a child in the Cortexiphan trials. Olivia then receives a call from Emily, wanting to tell Olivia something.

Olivia finds Emily sitting on a park bench near a lake, where Emily then shows her drawing of a pile of dead bodies after seeing a man on the bus and failing to catch up to him to warn him. She tells Olivia about her "gift," how whenever she is near people who are about to die, she sees images of their death in her mind. She also says that no matter what she has tried to do to prevent it from happening, her visions have always come true, and she worries about the pile of bodies she saw.

As the drawing does not say much as to where it will happen, Olivia decides that Walter can help Emily. Walter believes that Emily's brain is able to pick up on a type of vibrations that flow backward in time as traumatic events happen. Olivia alerts Jim as to Emily's whereabouts, and after his consent, they follow through on an idea Peter has of Walter hypnotizing Emily to let her explore the moment she got her vision of the dead bodies. As she walks around within her vision, she notices a sign (where Peter realizes is a courthouse) and that the deaths are the result of an explosion. She is also able to help the Fringe team identify the man she saw on the bus that sparked her vision, Albert Duncan. They realize that Duncan wants to blow up the courthouse, and the judge who ruled against him in a child custody case that he believes ruined his life. Peter gets the idea to block the radio frequency that the radio detonator is on, which stops the detonator from working. Duncan, however, reveals that he has a second bomb attached to him, but Olivia succeeds in talking him out of detonating the bomb. Everyone is alive, and Duncan is taken into custody.

Olivia calls Emily to say thank you for helping them with the case, but Jim is the one who hears the message. He goes to Emily's room to pass on the message when he discovers her missing. He believes that the black van he saw earlier that day kidnapped her, alerting the Fringe team what happened. It turns out, though, that the black van was just a dry cleaning delivery van. Olivia suddenly realizes where Emily went and tells Jim to meet her at Emily's park bench by the lake. Olivia finds Emily sitting in the cold and calls for help. Jim sits down next to her and tries to convince her to hold on until help comes. Olivia then notices the drawing beside Emily: Emily and Jim sitting on the park bench with Olivia watching them. She realizes that Emily is dying. Jim embraces Emily as she dies from a sort of stroke that resulted from the overload of electrical activity in her brain, the very thing that gave her her ability.

Later on, Olivia and Peter are talking about Observers and how they are able to exist in time simultaneously. She wonders if whatever they say will happen can be changed, and Peter replies saying that he doesn't think it can as they have already seen it happen. In the evening, Nina visits Olivia at her apartment where Olivia tells Nina about her migraines. Nina promises to send her some of Massive Dynamic's new medicine that can help with her migraines. As Nina and Olivia are inside the apartment, an Observer is seen watching them from the outside.

Notable QuotesEdit

Walter: Hello, Olivia. We're discussing cis-acting meiotic double-break strand hot spots.
Astrid: Don't worry, Olivia, I have no idea what he's talking about either.

Peter: I can't say you're gonna get his full attention, per se. He's a little wired up today. He's already electrocuted himself three times.
Walter: Which reminds me, I can't feel my urine response yet. I should probably go empty my bladder again.

Emily: Everyone has a purpose. I saved those people today. Maybe that was mine.


  • An Observer, but not September, watches while Nina tends to Olivia inside her apartment.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Agent Broyles addresses Olivia by her first name.


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