Over There Part I
Season 2 Episode 21 (Aired: May 5 th, 2010 on FOX)
Walter is evil, Olivia finds her counterpart has a life, Peter tries to settle in and William Bell sneaks around in the dark.
In the parallel universe the Fringe team gets orders to investigate and possibly quarantine another anomaly. Here they're part of a military operation originated and supervised by the minister of defense, Walter Bishop (John Noble), himself. At the last minute the quarantine, which would have cost more than 10.000 lives, is cancelled. At the site of the "incident" they find a horribly disfigured body. What piques their interest, though, is the dollar bill they find on him portraying the wrong guy.
Peter (Joshua Jackson) followed his real father to the parallel universe and Walter and Olivia mope in their own ways. Olivia (Anna Torv) has gone to a bar, where she's found by an Observer who drops an envelope next to her. The document seems to show Peter, who's eyes emit an energy beam, and a drawing of some kind of machinery. Next, she gets a panicky call from Walter who knows there's something important he has to remember about Peter. Once he sees the document, he knows he was supposed to prevent Peter from destroying the world.
Suspecting Massive Dynamic to build weapons for the other side, the Fringe team orders a search of the company. Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) identifies the design from the document as one of William Bell's, but is adamant on it never being realized. Down in the laboratories a technician explains why it is so tricky to travel between universes. In reality they don't exist next to each other but overlap. To get to the other side the body's cells need to separate on an atomic level to allow the universe to pass through you. Problem is when they come back together, they don't come together with the same cohesion. Bell managed to go back and forth, but how, they have no record thereof. However, the technician suspects Bell has become molecularly unstable, like the object he uses to illustrate the side effects of crossing between universes, which disintegrates in a burst of light and energy. Olivia turns to Walter but he cautions that the method he once used is by no means less dangerous. It weakened the very fabric of reality and to do so again could instantly shatter both worlds. Sharp regrets that she cannot be of help. She sent Bell messages but if he received them, he hasn't been able to make contact. Like Bell, though, Olivia has the ability to cross over, she suggests.
Olivia is not convinced. She flashed over for a few seconds, or Bell pulled her over, whatever it was, she wasn't controlling it - at least not on her own. Walter suggests they round up some of the other children from the drug trials. Three of them developed special abilities that they now learn to control with help from Massive Dynamic. Among them is Nick (David Call), Olivia's childhood pal. Walter, with hard won insight into what he and Bell put them through, apologizes for his past actions and the need to use them again for their means. The group agrees to help, but asks to be allowed out to spent the night doing what's important to them.
Olivia's boss has his doubts but she trusts Nina Sharp to get the message through to Bell telling him when and where to meet them. The next day Walter orchestrates the participants in a circle and talks them through the process of passing over. They all make it more or less intact but one. The horribly disfigured man discovered by the Fringe team from the other side spent the night healing terminally ill patients and upon arriving manifested tumors all over his body.
The alternate Fringe team then is called to report to the secretary of defense where for the first time they're told that the holes in the fabric of space are not the result of natural disaster, as the public is told, but man made and that beyond them expands another universe.
At home, Peter awakes from unconsciousness three days after his arrival in the parallel universe. He tentatively reconnects with his real mother, realizing that memories that before made no sense to him were in fact real and part of his repressed existence in this universe as a child.
Meanwhile Olivia, Walter, Nick and Sally (Pascale Hutton) run into problems. They find they can't use public transport, Sally starts to feel ill, and instead of William Bell the alternate Fringe division shows up at the meeting point and opens fire on them. Nick is killed and Sally explodes into fire taking out the soldier closest to her. The distraction allows Olivia and Walter to escape separately. Walter, who is wounded, makes it to a hospital, where he collapses. Olivia looks up her alternate's address and finds that unlike herself, she has a boyfriend and a life. It's there that Bell (Leonard Nimoy) catches up with her. Time is short as the episode ends with a shot of alternate Walter assembling the contraption from the Observer's document now that he is in possession of the missing piece to set it to work.
Reviews for Over There Part 1:
There were many exciting, even moving moments last night. The meeting between our Olivia and Leonard Nimoy’s Bell was typically fraught with cryptic ambiguity. (The question always is, should she believe what he’s telling her, and the answer is always put off, but Nimoy knows how to play cryptic ambiguity with the skill of a Mr. Spock.)
Of course, the greatest comeback belongs to William Bell, played brilliantly but briefly by Leonard Nimoy. Presumably, next week's second half will have a much higher Bell quotient, especially as he and Olivia have to locate and assist the badly injured Walter Bishop. I can't wait to see William and Walter in action once and for all.
Leonard Nimoy, Dr. William Bell on "Fringe": The "Star Trek" icon's guest role as the genius scientist now residing in the alternate world was an inspired bit of writing. Not that he's the world's best actor, but Nimoy's witty presence elevated the Fox sci-fi series to greatness. The season finale, May 20, will feature his character prominently.