The Wife:

I was a little worried when I saw the Wereupine in the cold open. I thought this episode was going to be yet another in a long series of MOTWs that have nothing to do with the show’s mytharc, but luckily, Fringe took this MOTW to get back on track with the masterplot of the show. After the initial plane crashed caused by said Wereupine, Olivia recognizes the name Marshall Bowman on the manifest, whom she immediately knows is the unidentified Wereupine, a creature with porcupine features but a human skeletal structure that is absolutely hilarious-looking. (Knowing that Marshall Bowman is the name of Grace’s father on Secret Life of the American Teenager, I will now assume that Brenda Hampton is somehow involved in The Pattern.)

While Walter examines the Wereupine carcass back at the lab, Olivia and Charlie get a rundown of Bowman’s clientele. From this list, she recognizes the name Daniel Hicks, and Agent Francis is very suspicious about how she knows this information. Deciding to go for broke, Olivia explains that she knows because her consciousness is linked to John Scott’s; she can see his memories and these two men are in Scott’s memory. At the lab, Walter finds a glass disc embedded in Bowman’s palm, just like the one they found in the DEA agent a few episodes back. He also determines that Bowman was dosed with a virus that changed his genetic structure and begins formulating a potential antidote.

Olivia and Francis go off to find Hicks, but during his interrogation, he starts to bleed profusely from the nose, the same way that Bowman did before he made his fatal transformation into a Wereupine on a plane. Fortunately, Walter immediately knows to get him sedatives to suspend the process, but Olivia demands to get the information she needs out of Hicks before he succumbs, screaming in his face that she wants to know who dosed him. He musters only the word “Conrad” before going under. Walter takes Hicks back to the lab and keeps him in a medically induced coma. Not wanting to wait around and see, Olivia asks Walter to cut open Hicks’ palm to find the shiny clear disc that she suspects will be hidden within. Walter obliges, because he likes cutting things open. Sure enough, they find a disc.

With two discs in hand, Olivia marches into Broyles’ office and tells him that she wants to dig up her former lover and partner’s body to extract a disc from his hand as well, certain that the men she’s currently dealing with who are turning into Wereupines were coconspirators in John’s treachery. Broyles tells his that he simply can’t do that because John Scott’s body was never actually buried. Together, they march off to Massive Dynamic where Nina Sharp introduces Olivia to John’s preserved body, which is actually John, not a clone or robot soldier as previously thought by me. Nina has kept John’s body in a state of suspended animation in order to keep the data on the clear disc drive embedded in his palm intact, after finding that the drives blank when removed from their hosts. The partial data they’ve been able to recover from Scott’s disc, however, is the most crushing blow to Olivia: it indicates that Scott was part of a bioterrorist cell and that the Conrad Hicks spoke of was plotting a mass weapon sale. Olivia suspects that he’s planning to put his new transformative virus out on the market, so she asks Walter to put her back in the tank to access John Scott’s memories and learn more about all the parties involved in his alleged terror cell.

So this is what it's like to watch yourself have sex.

So this is what it's like to watch yourself have sex.

Inside the tank/John Scott’s head, Olivia sees herself with John in the hotel room in which they used to carry out their affair. As before, Memory John recognizes non-memory Olivia and tries to talk to her. He doesn’t understand why she’s asking him about Conrad, Hicks and Bowman and, in a moment of panic, she grabs his gun from the bed and shoots him as he approaches her. Seeing signs of distress, Peter wants to pull her out of the tank, but Walter insists that they have to re-establish contact with her before they can do so.

Olivia resurfaces in an alley and finds Scott again, who is able to lead her to Conrad this time. He shows her an image of himself ready to assassinate Conrad, but that he was unable to do it because he didn’t know who he was looking for yet. He tells her that Bowman, Hicks and himself are not what she thinks they are; they’re actually part of a secret NSA task force created to take down Conrad and other bioterrorists. Presumably to do this, they had to infiltrate the terror cell itself. I’m not sure we can trust this information, but so far Memory John Scott hasn’t lied to us yet, and I am generally willing to believe that an FBI procedural about the supernatural should be fraught with double-agents, double-crosses and tons of secret task forces and conspiracies. John instructs Olivia to talk to Hicks as he starts to fade from her consciousness, as Hicks is the only one left who can help her find out where Conrad’s massive weapon sale is about to go down.

Peter seems to think that Memory John might still be lying to Olivia like Actual John did, but Olivia is keen to heed the advice of her spectral lover. Astrid, sensing that Peter may have cast some doubts over this whole thing, asks Olivia to go with her instincts, and so she does. Olivia asks Walter to administer the antidote to Hicks so that he can guide her through the sale on an untraceable two-way radio. The Feds set up the sale for Olivia, and Peter tags along because “shady deals with shady guys in shady rooms is what I do.” Peter proves to be a valuable asset, helping Olivia finesse the trust of the salesmen without the aid of Hicks on a two-way radio. When they question his association with dealer Ernesto, Hicks tells Olivia to say that Ernesto met Peter at Oxford. When they ask for more specifics that Hicks can’t provide, Peter steps in and questions why it would matter where they met, but tells them that he and Ernesto met at the White Horse tavern. Listening in, Charlie is amazed at how Peter is able to pull things like that out of his ass. (England, by the way, has hundreds of White Horse taverns, but Peter is good enough at this game to mention one on a road near Oxford, making his lie both general and specific and therefore utterly believable.) This earns enough trust to get the virus and its antidote out on the table, the antidote being the only thing in the world that can fully reverse the effects of the virus. Walter realizes that his antidote will fail, and shortly thereafter, Hicks starts to bleed and sputter again, forcing Walter to tranq him and leaving Olivia completely in the lurch. Conrad calls to announce that he’s coming to join the meeting and the room suddenly becomes extremely volatile. Conrad’s agents want to know why Ernesto wouldn’t call to tell them he was sending someone else in his place, and Olivia, without Hicks in her ear, has no idea what to say. Peter jumps in to save them as guns are drawn by announcing that Ernesto’s been sick and he didn’t want anyone to know. Conrad arrives just as Olivia manages to deliver the code word to set off the raid by stating that Ernesto has been sick since just before Christmas. Although Conrad himself contradicts this information, it doesn’t matter because the raid comes through just in time.

After all is said and done, Olivia returns to Walter’s lab, asking to be connected to Scott’s mind again, but Walter informs her that it might not be possible as she showed signs that Scott was fading out of her consciousness. Still, he allows her to go under, where she meets with Memory John at the lake and he slips the engagement ring he never got to give her onto her finger before he disappears from her mind, presumably, forever.

All in all, this was a much better episode than last week, especially for connecting an MOTW plot to the show’s master plot. Also, anytime Peter gets to show off his incredible skills at lying and reading people, I’m generally pretty happy. Every part of that raid was well-written, suspenseful and well-executed. I’m also very appreciative of Walter’s One-Half Nipple Rule, wherein the average litter born to a creature is generally one half the number of nipples. This is a useful thing to keep in mind.

The Husband:

Me? I was bored about halfway through. I hear Mr. Jones is coming back next week, though, so I’ll be ready for some extra-awesome times.

But what is it with J.J. Abrams and planes? The Fringe pilot wasn’t enough?

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