Momentum Deferred
Season 2, Episode 4
Air date October 08, 2009
Written by Ashley Miller
Zack Stentz
Directed by Joe Chappelle
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Cast | Transcript

"Momentum Deferred" is the fourth episode of the second season of Fringe.


Recuperating from the traumatic and alarming meeting with Massive Dynamic founder William Bell, Agent Dunham consumes a powerful “fringe” concoction that Dr. Bishop prescribes to stimulate her memory. Meanwhile, the Fringe Division investigates a series of robbery cases that are tied to shape-shifting. As clues are tracked and memories are jogged, another woman experimented on by Dr. Bishop is introduced and a flashback reveals more about Olivia’s visit to the alternate reality. 


Fringe Division investigates a series of robberies in which frozen human heads were stolen. Kurt Larsen, one of the guards who was shot during the robbery turns out to be a Shape-shifter. The Shape-shifter impersonating Charlie Francis meets up with Smith, a fellow shapeshifter who is yet to find the correct head, suggesting that they are looking for a specific head. Charlie is sick and weak, having inhabited the same body for too long. Massive Dynamic attempts to construct an image of the last stolen identity from a broken Shape-shifting device. Walter Bishop knows someone who can identify people from the other side and calls her into the lab. Rebecca Kibner agrees to redo an experiment she took part in years ago where she took LSD and had wires hooked up to her head. Olivia Dunham watches on and begins having flashbacks about her trip when Peter Bishop rings a bell.

William Bell tells Olivia about the shape-shifters and that they are looking for a man with omega (the last letter of the Greek alphabet) on his body. He then tells her that because she was pulled from a moving car, she needs to return the same way, therefore leading to her accident.

Charlie appears to be dying. He meets up with Olivia, who tells him about her memories. Astrid Farnsworth's computer finishes the construction, revealing the shape-shifter to be Charlie. Olivia gets the call immediately and is forced to fight Charlie. After an innocent bystander is killed, Olivia gets the upper hand and kills Charlie. Later, she cries over his death.

Walter decides to go home with Rebecca. As she climbs into the car, she sees Peter glow. She had earlier told Walter that she can see people from the other side glow, suggesting that he is not from this world.

Olivia has talks with Nina Sharp, in which Nina tells her Bell's theory about the two realities colliding and only one remaining after the collision. The shape-shifters find the head they are looking for.

Notable Quotes[]

Walter: Let's see how this thing operates.
Astrid: What are you saying, that this is not a person?
Walter: My dear, I'm not certain that you're not simply a figment of my imagination.

Walter: Do you think she'll remember me?
Peter: I think she might. I'm gonna guess there's not too many men in her life who have strapped her to a table and pumped her full of a massive amount of psychedelics

William Bell: As I once said to Walter, physics is a bitch.

Peter: Walter, I thought that we agreed this was a stupid idea.
Walter: Oh, no, you decided. I still maintain that the principle is perfectly sound.
Peter: He wants you to eat worms.
Walter: Not just worms, flatworms!

Nina: So, can you fix it?
Brandon: You understand you're asking me if I can repair a piece of technology that is entirely unlike anything that has ever existed here on Earth?
Nina: Brandon...
Brandon: Now that I have one that works, I can do it in three hours... tops.

Walter: Agent Francis, hello.
Charlie: Hey.
Walter: You all right? You look pale.
Charlie: Yeah, I didn't get much sleep last night.
Walter: Oh. I may be able to help you with that. A little cannabis before bedtime does wonders, huh?


  • The Observer watches the conversation outside Massive Dynamic.
  • The X-Files connections: the character of Smith is played by Roger R. Cross, who played numerous characters on The X-Files from 1994 to 1998, portraying respectively, Agent Rice, Lieutenant Brophy, Officer Green, and Private Kittel, in 4 different, unrelated minor roles in separate episodes. This marks the fourth consecutive instance in which an actor who worked on The X-Files has a role in a Fringe episode. 


  • "I've Seen All Good People" by Yes.