Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fringe 1x09: "Dreamscape"

Over at Massive Dynamic, up-and-coming employee Mark Young is viciously attacked by a razor-sharp swarm of butterflies and leaps out a window to his death in what is probably the worst commercial for Lunesta ever.

Of course, as Walter and the Fringe Buddies discover, there weren't really any butterflies. Mark was dosed with an experimental hallucinogen so strong that his own mind, convinced it was being slashed to death, inflicted the wounds on his body.

Olivia finds more when she receives a mysterious email from her Dead Boyfriend John that leads her to a hidden lab containing crates of live toads - creatures whose venomous skin forms the basis of the compound that was given to Mark. While it helps the investigation, Olivia is starting to get just a wee bit peeved over having to time-share her brain with Dead Boyfriend John's memories, so she demands Walter put her back in the Hot Tub Telepathy Machine from the pilot episode in order to try and purge the rest of Dead Boyfriend John's memories while finding out more about Mark and how he died.

Meanwhile, Peter gads about town with an ol' gal pal of his, who drops cryptic hints about how much Deep Shit he'll be in if he continues to stay in Boston. Peter digs himself even deeper into the Deep Shit when he beats the crap out of his gal pal's abusive husband - sure, he gets the satisfaction of wailing on a guy who beat up his friend, but he also alerts Mysterious Bad Dudes to his presence.

Back in the Hot Tub Telepathy Machine, Olivia explores Dead Boyfriend John's memories, looking for where and how John knew Mark Young. Apparently, Mark was selling Massive Dynamic's Mad Science Secrets on the black market through a dealer named George Morales - with the help of Dead Boyfriend John. Yikes. However, while Walter insists that Dead Boyfriend John's presence in Olivia's head is only a memory, and that he can't actually see or hear her while she's exploring his thoughts - he turns his head and looks at her when she mentions Mark Young's name, which suggests otherwise.

The Fringe Buddies locate and subdue George and try to get him to confess to murdering Mark. However, George is willing to offer something better - in return for protection. George tells Olivia that Massive Dynamic poisoned Mark to make an example of him for anyone else who tried to sell their secrets to outside sources. Before Olivia can pump him for more evidence, however, George is dosed with the venom and as he hallucinates having his throat slashed by Dead Boyfriend John, his own jugular opens up on its own.

So nothing was really accomplished this episode. No one really knows who killed Mark, and while Olivia wants to return to Dead Boyfriend John's memories for more answers, Walter refuses, explaining that Olivia risks catastrophic brain damage if she does so again and he'd like to develop a safer method first.

However, Olivia receives one last e-mail from Dead Boyfriend John - telling her that he did see her in his own memories.

Mad Science:
  • Mentally-inflicted Physical Wounds
  • Fear-Inducing Hallucinogens
  • Memory Exploration
Best Death Scene: Mark Young's death by butterflies. Because no one suspects the butterfly.

Mad Science Questions:
  • So if John Scott can see Olivia in the dreamscape, does this mean his ghost is real, and not just a shard of memory?
  • What sort of trouble is Peter in, especially now that those Mysterious Bad Dudes know he's in Boston?

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