Season 4, Episode 5
Fringe-ep405 3
Air date November 4, 2011
Written by J.R. Orci & Graham Roland
Directed by Paul Holahan
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Cast | Transcript

"Novation" is the fifth episode of the fourth season of Fringe.


In the aftermath of recent shocking events, things really escalate when the translucent shapeshifters return. As the threat and circumstances intensify, a former Massive Dynamic scientist Malcolm Truss enters the fold. Meanwhile, Nina Sharp pays Walter a visit to the lab.


Discussing peter bishop

Determining the origin of Peter Bishop

Olivia (Anna Torv) and the others of Fringe division attempt to determine the origin of Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), who purports himself as Walter's (John Noble) son who had died as a young boy in the original timeline. Peter refuses to speak to anyone but Walter, but Walter is very reluctant to accept Peter's story. Peter is held at Fringe headquarters in secure facilities.



The Fringe division is brought to investigate the violent murders of a woman and her live-in boyfriend in her home. They find that she was earlier married to Malcolm Truss, a former Massive Dynamic biochemical researcher, and believe her murder was an attempt to access his aborted research on cell cloning by one of the new shapeshifters, Nadine (Michelle Krusiec), previously seen in "Neither Here Nor There." While at Massive Dynamic, it is revealed that Nina Sharp raised Olivia and her sister after Olivia killed her stepfather and ran away from Walter's Cortexiphan trials; Walter resents Nina for both this and for her interference that led to young Peter's death. Fringe is unable to locate Truss before Nadine does, and begin a manhunt to track him down. Meanwhile, Nadine has tried to convince Truss that she is a patient in need of his cloning research, and coerces him to take her to his unmarked laboratory to synthesize the cure. It's revealed she has a daughter, Haley.


Truss and Nadine

As Fringe division attempts to work out Truss' location, Peter, from his cell, uses the intercom electronics to try to convince Olivia and the others that he knows about shapeshifter technology. Under guard, Peter is able to use one of the memory discs previously recovered by Fringe to identify a tracking signal allowing Fringe to set off to Truss' laboratory. Truss has come to discover Nadine's truth after she temporarily loses control and takes the form of his former wife, but under threat of death, continues to synthesize the cure.



Truss finishes the cure just as the FBI and Fringe division surround the warehouse containing the lab. After being given the cure, Nadine attempts to fight off the agents but appears to be shot and fall into the water below. Only after recovering the body do they recognize that Nadine took the place of a fallen agent and has escaped their grasp. Nadine uses a Hermes 3000 typewriter stored in a locker at a Boston train station to type a report informing them of the success of Truss' cure; moments later, the typewriter, on its own, types out further instruments for her including saying other Organic Shape-Shifters are coming. Walter, after trying to resolve his issues with Peter, returns to Fringe to inform Peter that he refuses to accept him as his son and only as an anomaly to be studied. Meanwhile, Olivia experiences an unexplained time fluctuation.

Notable Quotes[]

Walter: Every day... for the past 25 years... I tried to imagine what you would be like as a man... my son. But I don't deserve this. I don't deserve you. I realize now this was my punishment. You were sent to tempt me, to see if I would repeat the mistakes of the past. You shouldn't be here.
Peter: Walter, no.
Walter: Wherever you came from, however you got here, it doesn't matter. I can't help you.
Peter: Walter, you don't understand.
Walter: I tried to help a boy, a version of my son, 25 years ago. But that boy was never my son... and neither are you.

Walter: Seeing this man has brought up many things I've tried to forget. That night at the lake, you begged me to stop, but I couldn't. I couldn't watch Peter die, not again. I couldn't stand by and do nothing.
Nina: Walter...
Walter: I've hated you. For 25 years, I hated you. Had you not been there, the vial wouldn't have been broken, and I would've healed Peter on the Other Side. he wouldn't' have fallen through the ice. I blamed you for the death of my son. I blamed you. I couldn't live with myself... because you were right. I'd crossed the line. For the sake of one life, I destroyed two worlds. And over the years, I've come to terms with the fact that I deserve to be punished... to suffer.
Nina: No. Walter, you're not that man anymore. I've watched you. Working with the Fringe Division, you've done everything in your power to heal the damage.
Walter: I saw him, Nina... the man. I saw my boy in that man's eyes. The way he looked that night in the ice... floating away from me. God help me, I... saw the eyes of my boy in a man's face. That filled me with... indescribable joy. but I don't deserve joy. For anyone else, this would be received as a miracle--to get a glimpse of their dead son. Why should I be rewarded for what I've done?
Nina: Because maybe you've suffered enough. No, I can't explain it, Walter. I don't know why he's here, I don't know where he's come from. But maybe you've just been given a second chance.


  • The Observer can be seen on the far right of the screen as Olivia Dunham arrives at Karen Truss' house and an EMT wheels a stretcher right to left behind her.
  • The Shapeshifter uses a Hermes 3000-brand typewriter. Hermes Trismegistus ("Three-times blessed") was the mythical alchemist who purportedly discovered the Philosopher's Stone referred to in the opening credits.
  • Malcolm Truss, played by Arye Gross, lives in Eden, Vermont, Gross also stared in the movie, Big Eden (2000).



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