|Season 2, Episode 2|
|Airdate||September 24, 2009|
|Written by|| Jeff Pinkner |
|Directed by||Brad Anderson|
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"A New Day In The Old Town"
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|Cast | Transcript|
A highway construction worker in rural Pennsylvania goes missing when he is mysteriously drawn into an underground tunnel filled with human remains. Meanwhile, back in the lab, Walter is attempting to simulate travel between realities on frogs. When it's discovered that the disappearance in Pennsylvania is not an isolated incident, the Fringe team travels to the crime scene to unearth evidence.
After three weeks, Olivia Dunham is finally ready to check out of the hospital. Upon her leaving, the Shape-shifter who is impersonating Charlie Francis watches her go, whose assignment is to get Olivia to confide in him about what happened with William Bell. Walter Bishop has been investigating her disappearance and still can't explain what happened to her during the time she went missing from her car accident and when she flew through the window. One thing is for sure: she came back with heightened senses that help her to solve the latest fringe case. Olivia jumps right back in -- ready or not.
When Raymond, a construction worker, goes missing in Pennsylvania, our Fringe team arrives on the scene following a lead that this is the seventh disappearance with the same circumstances. While investigating, Walter secures some blue goop, while Peter talks the brusque local Sheriff, C. Howard Golightly, into releasing the town's citizen files into his and Olivia's possession.
Later, Walter discovers the blue goop he collected at the crime scene is both a paralytic and partially comprised of human DNA. Meanwhile, while reviewing the townspeople's files, Olivia ties one man to the scene all of the disappearances: Andre Hughes, formerly a doctor.
Peter Bishop and Olivia head back to Pennsylvania to question Andre. Olivia swears she hears someone else breathing in the house. After she's checked the house for others unsuccessfully, they eventually bring Andre in for questioning. Andre reveals an important bit of information -- his wife died giving birth to their child some years ago. But even as Andre further convinces our team of his innocence, he refuses to let them draw his blood so that they can see if his DNA matches that found in the blue goop. This refusal makes our team suspicious. Later, in his cell, Andre crafts a noose out of the mesh lighting wire and hangs himself.
Let's not forget, while attempting to solve a case, Olivia is STILL recovering from her accident. During a follow-up visit with her doctor, Nina Sharp shows up recommending that Olivia see a specialist to help her recover after everything she's been through. Olivia accepts the card of a Sam Weiss, whom Nina thinks can help Olivia.
At Walter's request, the team exhumes the graves of Eve Line and Baby Boy Hughes only to discover that the baby boy has burrowed his way out of his grave. Back at the lab, Walter performs an autopsy on Eve Line's remains only to discover she had advanced Lupus -- a disease that would have prevented her from having children. Walter determines that Andre, a former doctor, altered his baby in the womb so that it could survive in spite of its mother's Lupus. The baby somehow survived. Olivia tells them that she is certain she heard someone in Andre's house when they were there earlier.
At Andre's house, Olivia and Peter search the house and eventually make their way to the basement where they find a tunnel (like the one we saw burrowed under Baby Boy Hughes' coffin) in the wall. As Peter searches for a shovel, Olivia is attacked! She is dragged violently into the tunnel by the sickly looking man-creature, where we find our victim from the beginning and Officer Golightly.
Peter comes to the rescue and wounds Baby Boy Hughes, who attempts to burrow his way out, only to collapse the driveway. A car comes crashing down, crushing the wretched man-creature. When a swarm of FBI agents arrive later, they discover a number of bear traps. Andre knew he was responsible for the killings and was trying to capture his son before he took more lives.
Back at her apartment, Olivia relaxes in a hot bath. She begins to hear things again, but this time it's worse. She can hear everything: an insect as it crawls along her windowsill, drips from faucets, bubbles popping, neighbors speaking, bugs flying, traffic, the disturbing hum of the overhead lights. This is enough to force her to take Nina's recommendation about Sam Weiss.
Olivia shows up at a bowling alley, where Sam Weiss works. He's been waiting for her...
Charlie returns to the mysterious typewriter shop to get his latest instructions. The typewriter sends him a message that reads, DO SOMETHING TO HELP OLIVIA REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED.
Peter: How's it going, Walter?
Walter: I plan to urinate in 23 minutes.
Peter: Good to know.
Walter: I'm telling you because I'm going to need help unzipping my fly. I can't feel my hand
Peter: Did you check the drawers?
Olivia: Nope. Anything I've forgotten, they can keep. I don't want to spend another minute here. I'm, uh, no good at sitting around.
Peter: You're also no good at letting people help you.
Olivia: Oh, I'll let you carry my suitcase.
Sheriff Golightly: Be damned if I know what to make of it.
Walter: Well, we're all victims of our own gene pool. Someone must have peed in yours.
- The Observer stands in field near Hughes house just before Amy Jessup finds the bible. Despite his close proximity to a large number of FBI agents, no one appears to notice him.
- The X-Files connections: continuing a theme of similarites and suggestions of the same universe as the show The X-Files , this episode bears a remarkable similarity index to many The X-Files episodes, inculding "Field Trip", "Hungry" and especially "Home." Most notably, the houses in Home and this episode appear to be the exact same houses, (, , ) both episodes have remarkably similar plots, as well as a very similar opening scene, in "Home" shot of a deceased baby's hand peaking above ground is used, and in this episode, a shot of Baby Boy Hughes's hand peaking out of the ground. Aside from those aspects, two actors who have appeared prominently in X-Files episodes also make appearances in this episode. Charles Martin Smith, who played Doctor Osbourne in "F. Emasculata", plays Sheriff C. Howard Golightly; and John Savage, who played Oral Pettie in "Theef", plays Andre Hughes in this episode.
- Once again, the Fringe team shuttle back and forth between Boston and Pennsylvania, and between Boston and New York, without concern over the length of time involved.
- When Junior Agent Amy Jessup is reading a piece of newspaper found in the Bible, it can be seen that some paragraphs are repeated.
- Jessup alerts Olivia that Andre might have killed his wife and child, despite finding no evidence to suggest such a claim. It's implied that the "evidence" that she found to make this claim was the bible that she found, but all that was showed was a newspaper clip saying that the "cause of their deaths was unknown" and a soothing note from a Reverend.
- The legal process in this episode was deeply flawed. Olivia illegally searched Andre's home and found nothing suspicious, yet brought him in for questioning anyway, in the FBI office in a city several hours away, despite Andre not being a suspect in the case. Granted, this must have been done with his consent, though the inconvenience would be plenty good enough of a reason for Andre to refuse without arousing suspicion. Even worse, Peter mentions that they "scoured [Andre's] house" and confiscated his lab equipment to examine, which means that the FBI had permission to search the home and take what they please of someone who wasn't arrested, and wasn't even a suspect in the case. Then, with still no evidence at all (see above), they got an exhumation order to dig up Andre's dead wife and child.
- While examining the body of Mrs. Hughes, Walter states that she would have had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, often simply called "lupus") and thus hadn't be able to get pregnant. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which sure could complicate a pregnancy, but doesn't make it impossible.
- "Poor Little Fool" by Rick Nelson
- "Dear Mr. Fantasy" by Traffic