Fringe Recap: Subject 9

I would like to think that the Fringe team knew how displeasing last week’s episode was (to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to write a review because “semi-sentient mold forms psychic link with lonely emo boy; danger ensues; X-Files Star Trek ripoff etc etc stab stab” summed nearly everything up) and they went the extra distance to make this week’s episode, “Subject 9” super awesome!  And why was it so excellent, boys and girls?  Because it stuck to the show’s own mythos and delved more deeply and gave us more details than we’ve had in a long, long time.  First, let’s get the jumping and shrieking out of the way: 


Ok, I’m good now.  So the only good thing to come from last week’s fungus-fest was that we discovered that Walter and Olivia have both been seeing the same person!  Well, duh. Peter is haunting y’all, we knew this.  This week, something was done about it.  The show opened with a blue energy field hovering over Olivia’s bed and the metal objects in her room going crazy.  She woke up and reacted like any sane FBI agent would: grab her gun and get defensive!  The energy field dissipated before anything else happened – except that there was a minor time jump from 5:59am to 6am and back again.  She of course went to tell Walter, who was try to catch their ‘ghost’ on film with no luck.  This brought us back to Walter and Bell’s Cortexiphan trials, which I had personally been waiting to hear about.  Since Peter never existed, Olivia would have never met her fellow classmates when they helped retrieve him from Over There. After the blue energy field came back as Astrid and Olivia were examining her apartment, Walter experienced the time jump via the video camera and was reminded of a boy from the Cortexiphan trials who was able to attract metal to himself as he, too, formed an energy field. We were given some nice tidbits about the trials and got caught up with the current time line – much was the same, Olivia was still the strongest child tested, but this time she ran away (I do not blame her). A brief visit to Nina at Massive Dynamic (hi Nina! we’ve missed you!) reveals that Walter hates her guts but she and Olivia share a past, since Nina was in Olivia’s life when she was getting asked to prom. Intriguing!  Perhaps Walter is still angry at Nina’s interference at Reiden Lake and blames her for Peter’s death. 

The boy, who Walter remembers as Subject 9, is named Cameron James.  Oh Fringe, you so silly with your pop culture references.  They track Cameron to his New York City apartment and Walter leaves the lab for the first time in three years, mostly to prove that he doesn’t need to go back to St. Claire’s.  This reclusive quality is one I do not like about new, Peter-less Walter.  Walter needs to be set free in the world to shout about strawberry-flavored death and run around crime scenes covered in slime!  However, NYC is perhaps not the best place to go after leaving extended isolation, and Walter has a panic attack over the potential for germs in his hotel room. Olivia bandages his hands after his outburst and takes him out for root beer floats, providing the fans with a nice familial scene.  Moments of bonding have been few since this season began with Peter, the heart of the team, missing in action.  Establishing a father-daughter-like bond between Olivia and Walter is much needed for both of their characters, especially since Olivia did not fare well with her own stepfather.  Plus, we all knew that after this trip, Olivia was never going to send Walter back to St. Claire’s.  They are fam-i-ly (everybody sing)! 


Their bonding is interrupted by the blue energy field that once again goes after Olivia, shaking Walter up to the point where he has refused soup from the paramedic – now we know he’s upset!  Olivia manages to get the crime scene under control with a mere letter from Broyles and Broyles’ superior, who I’m guessing is the President or some such. Walter and Olivia head back over to Cameron’s apartment, where he bolts from her and runs smack into Walter in the lobby.  The energy field returns and Cameron manages to stop it, prompting Walter to speculate that Cameron + proximity to electricity = destruction of the field once and for all.  Cameron harnesses his abilities at a nearby power station and we see Peter within the field, as does Olivia.  She stops Cameron from destroying the energy, but we realize that his efforts have concentrated and released the source of the energy – Peter!!!!  He comes up gasping for air in the middle of Reiden Lake, reborn onto this plane of existence, and there is much rejoicing!!!!!! 

Except no one remembers him, but he remembers everything. Especially his confused girlfriend Olivia!  And, thus, we get what the glyphs spell out this week: a RESET


-Walter trying the camera trick after watching ‘The Matrix”: lol Walter, never change

-“And don’t worry, I’ve packed a sandwich!”

-“Stab the ice cream!”

-“…based on nothing but an extreme dislike of raisin toast!” 

(everything with Walter involves food)

My Thoughts

Thinking about Olivia’s evil stepfather makes me wonder who her real father is – and when he’s going to show up.  Is he William Bell? Is that why she was a medium for his spirit? 

Has Nina still lost a hand or is she just making a fashion statement with her gloves?

Where the heck was Peter?  Could he see them the whole time? Can’t wait to see where they take this.  I’m glad Peter remembers everything – if he didn’t, that would be lame.  Also, now we get to see Olivia and Peter fall in love all over again.  I think the Fringe writers have solved that whole ‘what do you do when your two leads finally make good on all that sexual tension’ problem that many shows have suffered from.  Try and erase one person from the timeline only to pop back into an alternate timeline after haunting your woman as a scary blue energy force!  I’m sure it would have worked on ‘Friends’ or “Mad About You’.

Well done, Fringe team.  I give this epsiode 10 out of 10 Red Vines!  Here is some more gratuitous Peter-gazing, this time with his lady love, to tide us over until 2 weeks from now, when Fringe resumes. Why must they torture us so? 

Written by: Amy Imhoff

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