Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fringe 4.18: "The Consultant"

“In the case of a mole, nobody should be above suspicion. Frankly, I’m still upset about Nixon.”

“The Consultant” was another intriguing Other Side-based episode. I liked the episode, even though I didn’t feel that the plot was quite as strong as “Everything in its Right Place.” I appreciated that we finally got the big reveal that Colonel Broyles is the Other Side mole. It’s something we viewers have known for kind of a while now, and it was nice to finally get the characters on the same page. It was also fun to see Walter adapting to spending some time on the Other Side, and I wish the show had actually devoted a bit more time to that. We’re dealing with a version of Walter who until recently refused to even leave the lab, and now he’s in a parallel universe. I would have liked to have seen a little more of Walter marveling at how different life is on the Other Side. His bonding with Alt-livia was sweet, but I wanted more. I thought it was interesting how the case in this episode really brought together the two universes and showed how interconnected they could be. The events David Robert Jones set in motion in this episode were only dress rehearsals, and that makes me quite nervous to find out what he has planned for the main event. Well, I suppose part of what he had planned was the task he asked Colonel Broyles to complete, but since there was always a chance that Colonel Broyles would stop giving into the blackmail, he must have a backup even more nefarious plan.

The episode opens with Alt-Lincoln’s funeral, where it’s raining, of course. Gotta have the right atmosphere. Lincoln and Alt-Astrid are watching the proceedings from a nearby car. Over by the grave, Alt-livia talks with Alt-Lincoln’s parents. She tells his parents that Fringe Division will get justice for Alt-Lincoln. Colonel Broyles looks on uncomfortably as this conversation is happening. Which makes sense, considering he’s kind of responsible for Alt-Lincoln’s death and all. Trying to make good on her vow, Alt-livia pays a visit to Evil!Nina. She offers Evil!Nina a reduced prison sentence in exchange for information on the Fringe Division mole. Evil!Nina refuses, saying that Alt-livia should be concerned for the whole world, not just Alt-Lincoln’s family. And also, Evil!Nina doesn’t think she’ll be in jail much longer. I guess she thinks David Robert Jones or Broyles will rescue her. Like either of them could really care less.

Over on our side, we see a rather contentious business meeting. A guy named Delman is getting yelled at by his boss in front of all his coworkers for messing up a presentation and losing an account. The boss doing the yelling and another coworker were supposed to be on a flight to Baltimore, presumably or another business meeting, but they had to cancel because of the screw-up. As he’s yelling, the boss suddenly flies up to the ceiling, crashes to the floor, and dies. Because this is really strange, of course our Fringe team investigates. Both the boss and the other guy who was supposed to be on the Baltimore flight died, and when the team examines their bodies, it looks like they were in a car crash or something. Then the team gets word of a third, similar death. This victim was a pilot. Plane crash, anyone?

The Fringe team on the Other Side confirms that there was indeed a plane crash involving the same victims on their side. After Colonel Broyles mentions this to Alt-livia, Alt-livia tries to request permission to investigate the mole. Colonel Broyles brushes her of and assigns her to the plane crash case instead. Our Olivia brings Walter to the bridge because he’s going to consult for the Other Side on this particular case. He needs to get samples from the Other Side victims’ bodies in order to figure out what happened. Walter hooks up one of the bodies to tuning forks, and it vibrates at a different frequency than it’s supposed to. In fact, the body part vibrates at the same frequency at which it’s supposed to operate on our side. The team hypothesizes that this process of “tuning” one side to be on the same frequency as the other is responsible for the plane crash and the double victims. We quickly cut to David Robert Jones meeting with a minion, and he confirms that he’s behind what has been going on, and he’s planning another similar attack.

Colonel Broyles arrives home after work to the unfortunate circumstance of finding his son in the living room chatting with David Robert Jones. Colonel Broyles sends his son out of the room and has a rather hostile conversation with David Robert Jones. Jones gives Colonel Broyles an injection kit and implies that the injections have been saving Broyles’ son’s life. The kid has some sort of mysterious illness, which reminds me of what happened to Peter when he was a kid. Colonel Broyles is getting the injection kits in exchange for helping Jones with his nefarious plans. I’m glad we’ve finally gotten some motivation for Broyles, because he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would betray his team for anything less. Jones threatens that Colonel Broyles is going to have to do more unpleasant things before his debt for the injections is paid.

We next see some other mayhem Jones has planned. The minion he was talking to earlier gets out of a cab, and a woman gets in. We start flipping back and forth between her life in both worlds (she’s in a store in the world where she isn’t in a cab), and a light on a device in the cab is blinking. All of a sudden, the cab crashes, and much like the scene in the beginning of the episode, the woman flies across the store in the other universe and dies. This one was especially gross, because the car crashed into water, so the doppelganger in the store starts vomiting up water as she dies. Both Fringe teams investigate, with the Astrids communicating each team’s findings to each other at the bridge. The crashed cab is on our side, and the store is on the Other Side. Peter’s looking through the cab for the tuning device, and he finally finds it. It is powered by amphylacite, David Robert Jones’ signature.

Walter is going to stay at Alt-livia’s for the night, since the investigation is still ongoing, and while she’s gathering her things at the end of the day, Walter has a chat with Colonel Broyles. They both have in common their history of doing something morally questionable to save their sons, so this is interesting. Colonel Broyles asks Walter if he would have made a different choice about crossing over and kidnapping Peter all those years ago if he could do it all again. Walter says that now he’s met adult Peter, the answer is no. He absolutely would have rescued Peter again, despite the dire consequences. While Alt-livia’s gathering her things, Alt-Astrid tells her that she’s investigated everyone on their list of possible moles, and nobody really stood out.

Colonel Broyles meets up with David Robert Jones again, and Jones gives Broyles a device. Colonel Broyles is supposed to affix the device to the machine in the Bridge. The device is supposed to destroy the bridge, and quite possibly destroy both universes. Colonel Broyles goes home and gives his son his meds, and he’s really happy to hear about his son’s good day. His son was picked first for a kickball game, and he found out a girl likes him. This is obviously designed to make us think that Colonel Broyles is going to go through with destroying the bridge. Across town at Alt-livia’s apartment, Walter finds a drunk Alt-livia looking at evidence from Alt-Lincoln’s murder. She’s really upset because she still can’t solve the case or identify the mole, and she has to deliver Alt-Lincoln’s belongings to his parents. Walter makes eggs as a hangover cure, and they talk about the mole issue. Walter suggests Colonel Broyles as the potential mole, and Alt-livia pays a visit to Evil!Nina to try and confirm it. She manages to get Evil!Nina to say that Colonel Broyles is indeed the mole. Alt-livia tells Lincoln what she learned, and Alt-Astrid tells them that nobody can find Colonel Broyles.

Meanwhile, we see Colonel Broyles pull up to Liberty Island in his car. Colonel Broyles swiping his Show Me at the entrance alerts Fringe HQ to his location, and Alt-livia and Lincoln take off running. They get to the bridge just as Colonel Broyles is meeting up with our Broyles. It turns out Colonel Broyles was turning himself in. The bridge won’t be destroyed, today at least. Walter goes home to our side, and Lincoln still doesn’t. He wants to solve the David Robert Jones case once and for all, and he thinks he needs to stay on the Other Side to do that. Back at our side’s lab, Walter calls Olivia and Peter, and they arrive right away. He’s been running some tests on the device from the cab, and not only was it supposed to destroy the bridge. It was supposed to completely collapse both universes.

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