Wondering why Charlie Francis suddenly reappears during this episode?

Due to Fox's decision to cut the episode order of season one to only twenty episodes, one episode, Unearthed, was left unaired during that time slot. It aired in the middle of season two on January 11, 2010, in a special Monday night timeslot. Because Charlie Francis was alive during this episode, but not the series chronology, he appeared here after his death, to the confusion of fans who weren't aware that this episode was a holdover. Because the season one DVD collection had already been released by the time it aired, “Unearthed” was placed in with the season two collection as an unnumbered "missing" episode. In some collections, such as on streaming service HBO Max, it is catalogued as episode 21 of season 1.

Season 1
Season 1, Episode Aired During Season 2
Air date January 11, 2010
Written by David H. Goodman
Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Fred Toye
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Cast | Transcript

"Unearthed" is an unaired episode from Season One and was shown as the eleventh episode of Season Two. It does not contribute to the season's main storyline. It aired on a special night (Monday) and is included as a bonus episode on the Season Two DVD set as opposed to being integrated into the season. It is commonly referred to as "Season 1, Episode 21," although this designation is simply from a production standpoint, as it would not make sense in between the Season One finale and the Season Two premiere.


After a teenage girl is pronounced brain dead, her mother takes her off life support, but when doctors operate quickly to remove her organs, the deceased girl shockingly awakens screaming an alphanumeric code. Equally as perplexing as her resurrection is that she is now somehow able to speak Russian and possesses classified information only a high-ranking military officer would know. While the girl’s mind-bending condition intensifies, Walter dusts off some old lab videos and hypothesizes the unthinkable, sending Olivia and Peter to investigate the bewildering case.


A seventeen-year-old girl, Lisa Donovan, is declared braindead after suffering from a Cerebral Aneurism and is taken off life-support, expiring immediately. She is taken to an operating room, for organ donation, but just as a surgeon opens her up and is about to remove her organs, she suddenly wakes up and begins screaming: "Six-Eight-Three-Three-Nine-Alpha-Echo-Three-Five-Eight!". Fringe Division investigates, and it is soon determined that at the same time, a soldier named Andrew Rusk was murdered, making them believe Rusk's consciousness has possessed Lisa. The team discovers Rusk is on a mission to take revenge on his wife Teresa Rusk, who had him killed.

Walter Bishop posits that, due to heavy radiation exposure, Rusk's energy wasn't completely expended, and thus able to possess Lisa. Rusk possessed Lisa long enough to deal with his wife and until Lisa is eventually able to purge him from her consciousness.

In New York, a man is apparently killed in a car-crash, but suddenly he wakes up and begins speaking Russian.

Notable Quotes


''''''(watching an old film of Walter)

Walter: *on screen* "Hello, I'm Dr. Walter Bishop. This is test subject number six.

Peter: "What happened to subjects one through five?"
Walter: "I believe the university settled with them out of court. They probably never had to work again. Not that they could."

Walter: I would propose that Mr. Rusk stuck around to deal with unfinished business. And once he did, then, well Lisa was free to finally purge herself of him.
Maureen: How can we be sure?
Walter: Nisi credideritis, non intelligentis.
Maureen: I don't understand.
Walter: Latin translation of Isaiah 7:9.
Maureen: "Unless you believe, you will not understand."
Walter: Even as a scientist, sometimes I have to rely on faith.
Maureen: God keep you and yours safe, Dr. Bishop.
Walter: And you, ma'am.

Peter: At least they got you some nice balloons.
Lisa: I guess they couldn't find ones that said, "Welcome back from the dead."
Peter: Yeah, well, I imagine those would be more of a special-order kind of thing, don't you think?

Walter: Perhaps, if I could examine the girl, but you say her mother has refused that.
Astrid: After watching Walter's Scariest Home Videos, who can blame her?



Observer Sighting

  • The Observer can be seen walking behind Olivia as she speaks with Lisa Donavan's Mother at the steps of the Church.
  • "Unearthed" was filmed during the period of Season 1 but - because FOX ordered 23 episodes for 22 airdates - It is a standalone episode, aired as a bonus episode following the Christmas hiatus, with no direct ties to the ongoing arc. Posts about the episode airing on a special day (a Monday) appeared on Livejournal Fringe communities, including fringe_tv.
  • "Unearthed" was filmed before production moved to Vancouver after Season One.
  • The episode uses the Season One version of the opening credits, which do not include the words "Parallel Universes" or the hidden message.
  • Due to the fact the episode falls outside the Season 2 arc, the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the season features the episode as a special bonus feature on Disc 6, rather than placing it in the order in which it was broadcast. Nothing in the set, however, offers explanation for the episode.
  • At the end of the episode, when Lisa's mother asks how they can be sure that Lisa's consciousness is the only one remaining, Walter paraphrases the Latin from Isaiah 7:9 to "nisi credideritis non intelligitis" which Lisa's mother translates as "unless you believe you will not understand". The Latin Vulgate, however, reads "si non credideritus non permanebitis", which the King James translates as "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established".
  • Online reviews of the episode were mixed, with many reviewers and fans confused by the episode; reportedly, it was not widely indicated that this was a leftover episode from Season 1, leaving most viewers wondering about the sudden reappearance of Charlie Francis. Several reviews speculated that the episode might take place on an alternate Earth separate from both the Prime Universe and the Alternate Universe.
  • Although credited, Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) does not appear in this episode.
  • This episode is listed as the number 21 of Season One on HBO Max.


  • The FBI case file of Lisa Donovan, the 17 year old girl, shows her Date of Birth as 19 November, 1982. Assuming this is a season 1 episode, and takes place either in 2008 or 2009, this would place the girl's age at 26 or 27.
  • Before organs are removed from the donor, brain death must be verified (usually by two independent doctors with no prior connection to the patient), not the ventilator being switched off. The ventilation via endotracheal tube must continue until the aorta is cross-clamped, and only then be switched off. The first organ to be recovered is always the heart due its high oxygen demand, the last one the liver, not like it was shown here.
  • The fact that the episode was filmed during Season 1 also explains why Agent Dunham calls Charlie Francis to get leads on where Andrew Rusk's killer may have gone to the hospital. Charlie Francis was killed in Season 2 Episode 1.
  • Another indication that this episode filmed during season 1 is Astrid's hairstyle. In season 1 the afro is definitely bigger than season 2.


  • Light As a Feather by Jesse Harris


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