Season 1, Episode 16
Airdate April 14, 2009
Written by Zack Whedon
J.R. Orci
Directed by Brad Anderson
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Cast | Transcript

"Unleashed" is the sixteenth episode of the first season of Fringe.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

As animal rights activists ransack a laboratory, they get more than they bargained for when one of the caged "animals" unleashes a ferocious appetite. Leaving grotesquely mutilated dead bodies in its wake, the scientifically-engineered beast with the body of a lion, claws of an eagle, fangs of a viper, skin of a rhinoceros and tail of a serpent attacks Charlie. With Charlie's life on the line, Walter must come face-to-face with both his past and the beast.  

Plot[edit | edit source]

Animal rights activists ransack a laboratory and unwittingly release a beast with a ferocious appetite. As they flee in an SUV, the creature follows and grotesquely mutilates them. The Fringe team consisting of FBI agents Olivia Dunham, Charlie Francis, Philip Broyles, and civilian consultants Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop arrives, and Walter sees evidence of different creatures' marks on the bodies. Olivia realizes one of them is missing, and after interviewing a student at MIT to try to identify the victims, she realizes they were animal rights activists. While conducting autopsies on the bodies, an animal control team at a different site is killed by the creature after investigating a call.

While investigating the animal control team deaths, the creature attacks Charlie but fails to kill him after Olivia arrives on the scene. Walter explains he believes the creature is a man-made chimera, which has the best genetic traits of many different creatures, including a tiger, snake, and porcupine. He had tried to create the creature years before, but his experiments failed and conclude that someone else must have taken up his research. Though initially thinking Charlie was healthy after the attack, they realize the chimera's stinger injected him with its larvae, and that he has less than 24 hours to live.

After experimenting with poison fails to kill the larvae in Charlie's body, Walter believes that mixing the chimera's blood with Charlie's will stop the larvae from attacking and bursting out of his body, as they did in the other victims' corpses. Olivia learns one of the victims, Jonathan Swift, was the son of a scientist who tests on animals and was killed while breaking into his father's lab. They also realize the chimera was created based on work by one of Walter's peers, not Walter himself.

After several sightings, the Fringe team move into some nearby storm drains to bait the chimera with its larvae. Feeling somewhat responsible, Walter locks himself in with the chimera and ingests some poison that will kill him within the hour, believing that if it kills him, the chimera will only be killing itself. He manages to shoot the chimera in time however and they use its blood to find a cure for Charlie. Although not shown, Walter is also treated with the antidote for his poison.

Notable Quotes[edit | edit source]

Walter: Check-in on Agent Francis. Let's look in on our little friends.
Astrid: It didn't work.
Walter: Ever the pessimist. (pauses) Look.
Olivia: They're dying.
Charlie: What happens now?
Walter: Now you crap 'em out.

Astrid: So this thing has the claws of a lion and the fangs of a snake?
Walter: It reminds me of a woman I once knew in Cleveland.
Peter: Walter, these punctures are over four inches apart. And that would make this snake eight-feet long.
Walter: Her name was Harriet something.
Olivia: How is everything?
Peter: Well, apparently you're looking for a lion-snake named Harriet.

Walter: The spread of the digits, V-shaped. It's too wide for one of those creatures. Configuration closer to that of an eagle. Of course much, much larger.
Peter: Hey, we're looking for Big Bird.
Walter: Don't be ridiculous. Perhaps a pterodactyl.

Walter: This is quite delicious.
Peter: Where did you get that?
Walter: In the car, uneaten.
Peter: What is the matter with you?
Walter: Oh, forgive my son. He's been in a mood all day.
Peter: I just figured "don't eat the evidence" goes without saying.

Olivia: Walter, have you got any idea what kind of animal would be in a lab that could do this?
Walter: Well, judging by the wounds, I'd say two or three different ones, actually.
Peter: Right, a motley crew of lab animals got together and decided to exact their revenge on mankind.

Peter: It's an omelette.
Walter: It's not an omelette!
Peter: Oh, my...ugh! Walter, why is there an ear in the omelette?
Walter: It was an experiment. It was a protein-rich incubator. It was growing.
Peter: It was growing? That's perfect.
Walter: No, it's not perfect. You just ruined it.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Goof[edit | edit source]

  • When Walter goes in search of the monster himself, the first part of his journey has him coming past the same broken gate that all three had walked past when they first entered the sewer.
  • Judging by the size of the structure, the "sewer" is actually a storm drain. Though both gravity-flow structures, the terms "sewer" and "storm drain" are not interchangeable. Sewers carry sewage to treatment plants and storm drains carry stormwater to oceans.
  • The larvae of the creature are ordinary zophobas, the larvae of a species of the darkling beetle - often referred to as "mealworms".
  • When Walter is performing the second ultrasound on Charlie, he is constantly moving the transceiver in a circular motion, yet the image on the screen is still, showing the same worms in the same area.

Music[edit | edit source]

  • "No You Girls" by Franz Ferdinand
  • "Trashcan" by Delta Spirit

Cypher[edit | edit source]

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