Holy Crap! Fringe is good again! I’m so taking credit for this. You’re all welcome.
And so: At the Philadelphia Mutual Savings Bank, we find a high-tech robbery in progress, led by super-liar and spy, Agent Loeb. Remember that technology Loeb used to pull an apple through a safe? Working on a timer, he uses it here to push himself and two other men through a wall in the bank to reach the room of safe deposit boxes. Two other men wait outside. Loeb finds and removes box 610, then the three men race against the clock to return through the wall. Only the last man runs out of time, and finds himself stuck in the wall, still alive. Loeb pulls out a gun and shoots him in the head!
The next day at the bank, Broyles debriefs the Fringe-ettes over the body of the corpse, informing them that this is the third safety deposit box stolen. We learn three important facts in this scene: one, that Olivia has never had a best friend, which she finds funny and Peter finds amazing. Also, her nickname at boarding school was Han, as in Solo. As in, teenage girls who watch Star Wars? I don’t think so. Finally, she knows Raul, the dead guy captured in a Han Solo-like freeze frame in the door. Girls who watch Star Wars? Okay, actually, that’s me.
At Wissenschaft prison, Mr. Jones receives a visit from his lawyer, Mr. Kohl. It’s Cromwell from The Tudors! I hope he sticks around. Jones ignores his appeal papers, instead asking Cromwell to deliver the message to Jones’ people to wire Loeb another $100,000 and the location of the next item. During Cromwell’s next visit, Jones asks that Cromwell tell his people to “procure” our favorite blonde detective. Cromwell should return the next day to finally address the appeal.
In Edison, N.J., Olivia visits Raul’s wife and learns that her memories of Raul actually belong to John Scott, not Olivia. In New York, at Massive Dynamic (we’re everywhere this week!), Nina Sharp has been trying to extract memories from Dead Scott’s head, but they’ve “hit a wall.” Sharp tells her pet scientist to push harder, even if it means damaging the memory fragments, as they’re in a race against “highly motivated individuals.”
The lab. Doc’s experiments show that in order to make themselves wall-walkable, Loeb and his minions are also becoming radioactive. Just enough so that they should start feeling ill soon, and thereby provide us with plot cues.
With nothing better to do, Olivia and Peter hit a bar in Cambridge to find an old friend of Raul’s, hoping to learn how he went from Marine to murdering thief. Drew the Bartender reveals that Raul hung out at a VA hospital on his return from the war. Olivia hopes to find the person(s) who recruited Raul, so she calls Broyles. While Broyles digs up the name of the hospital (and why this is classified and why only Broyles can find it, we don’t know- this is the kind of thing I do for my boss, all I’m saying), Peter challenges Olivia to enjoy herself over card tricks and whiskey. They do, and just look at these likeable personalities all aglow onscreen! It’s like real life, actual characters. Thanks for waking up, writers!
Olivia counts cards and tells Peter she has a thing for numbers, like remembering her best friend from high school’s license plate (I thought she didn’t have best friends?) or the numbers of the stolen safety deposit boxes: 233, 377, 610. Peter recognizes the numbers. Uh oh?
Peter and Olivia frantically consult Doc. The old mental patient explains the numbers are the Fibonacci sequence, so chill out, you two. That sequence is so 2003. When Peter reminds him those are the numbers to the stolen boxes, Doc claims it’s just a coincidence, unless … unless those are Doc’s safety deposit boxes!
Nicely done, writers! Now that’s a nice little twist. Doc struggles to remember what he hid in those boxes twenty-three years ago. He only recalls being highly paranoid at the time. Obviously now, we see for good reason.
At MD, Pet Scientist informs Sharp that John Scott’s memories must have transferred to Olivia via fringe science (see here). The explanation’s weak, but I’m sure it makes sense. Needless to say, they’ll be looking for Olivia.
Olivia visits a VA hospital in D.C., per Broyles’ excellent administrative work. She tries unsuccessfully to intimidate a doctor; but please, blondes are never taken seriously, especially by doctors. Which explains House and Dr. Chase, no? An orderly helps her out. Raul played chess regularly with three other men. “The Chess Club,” the orderly calls them. It’s like a code name for a bad Batman villain. Or an awesome one.
In Boston’s FBI building, Agent Francis discovers a Chess Club minion bought three one way tickets to Providence, R.I., where the Chess Club and Loeb are currently en route to the next crime scene. Peter helps Doc remember the name of the bank he used.
In the bank, where Olivia and Francis discover box 987 missing (the next number in the sequence). The duo surprise attacks Loeb’s van as the Chess Club packs up. The van peels out, leaving behind Mr. Eastwick. It would make sense for Loeb to shoot Eastwick once he realizes Eastwick’s impending capture, especially after he willingly shot Raul. He doesn’t, so plot/character inconsistencies, but in the end, Eastwick now belongs to the FBI.
Olivia unsuccessfully questions a visibly ill Eastwick. She’s not very good at this, is she? The man’s a zombie, and she can’t get anything! Peter takes over and plays up the “you’re dying of radiation poisoning and I’m going to watch and laugh” card, until Eastwick caves. He tells them once Loeb has all the pieces, which he does now, he’s heading to a field in Westford.
Later, Olivia pinpoints the exact location: Little Field airstrip, which makes sense because that was the code name given in a previous episode. And off they go!
But first: Doc and Peter search through files to find clues as to what Doc was hiding. Peter performs magic illusions, which triggers Doc’s memory. Peter fell seriously ill as a child with a form of bird flu. Naturally, Doc developed a time traveling device to locate a doctor, who died in 1936, to cure Peter. He’s “pretty sure” that’s what he tried to hide. Peter’s recovery meant the device went untested, but the idea was a device able to pull any one from any where. Or does he mean, from any “when?”
Loeb and the Chess Club set up equipment at Little Field, using the items Loeb has collected from the safety deposit boxes. In Germany, Cromwell meets with Jones. He pulls out the appeal request. Then Jones steps from the shadows and snaps Cromwell’s neck!
Do I need to outline the stupidity in this? Like why was Jones free and unescorted all of a sudden? And why kill Cromwell? Cromwell’s awesome! And it was pointless. Oh, writers. Jones dresses in Cromwell’s suit, and I think we all know where this is headed.
Olivia races in her un-green SUV to Westford, GPS yammering away, and that’s a lot of faith in a GPS system. I’m just saying, because we got lost trying to pull into Giants Stadium once, listening to one of those things. Suddenly, she’s cut off by more sinister, fuel efficient SUVs. Cornered, she stops and makes a run for it. She’s shot, hopefully with a sedative, and we hear “target captured.”
At Little Hill, the Chess Club carefully constructs their Star Trek Transporter (yes, this girl watches Star Trek, too), as Mr. Jones preps in prison. Press a few buttons, blah blah blah, science action, power up, and Mr. Jones teleports to Little Field. Ta da! Does it seem worth all that effort now? I don’t know.
Nina Sharp answers her phone in London, with Broyles placing the blame on Sharp for Olivia’s disappearance. She resents the implication. Girl, please! In Connecticut, Jones approaches Loeb and asks if they had any trouble capturing Olivia. Not with these writers on board!
And we’re off until January! A surprisingly good, enjoyable episode. I’m shocked but pleased. And now, a few questions:
Who knew Doc built the time traveling device twenty-three years ago and where he hid it?
The Chess Club: Can I get a copyright on that before DC does?
Does anyone care that the cliffhanger isn’t really a cliffhanger?
Can the show sustain more than two good episodes in a row?
What do I have to do to get a little more John Scott on this show? That’s actually my only serious question.
Enjoy the holidays, Fringe-icans! And remember, stay away from buses and planes!
Season 1, Episode 10: Safe (originally aired December 2, 2008)
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Photographs courtesy of Fox and IMDbPro