Fringe, S4 Ep3 – Alone in the World

Fungus-infested morgue

When Olivia and Lincoln get back, Walter explains to them that what they’re dealing with is not a colony of fungi, but a single organism. Groooossss. It can communicate and even develop a psychic bond with the boy. He describes the sort of brain-looking parts of the thing (demonstrating with the incubation chamber) as the equivalents of neurons, and the tendrils are like the dendrites linking them together. I repeat: grooossss. But perfect for this show. He sums up by saying, “Gus is a growing, evolving mind.” Yes, he has named the organism Gus. I’m guessing because it’s a fungus? Get it? Olivia and Lincoln look amused/bemused by this, which only makes sense. Walter surmises that the destruction of the colony at the morgue didn’t affect Aaron because that smaller colony at the morgue couldn’t connect to the larger one at the tunnel, and therefore it was mindless, with no link to Aaron. Furthermore, the reason for this bond in the first place is because Gus, too, feels lonely.

Broyles calls at that moment to let them know that there’s been another attack — and this death was six miles from the tunnel. The Boston sewers apparently run directly under the tunnel, so the fungus is spreading through the lines. Obviously something needs to be done, and fast. Broyles is on Olivia’s speakerphone, so Walter speaks up to remind him that Walter still needs to find a way to sever the connection between the fungus and the boy (gee, I wonder why C.S. Lewis didn’t decide to call the book that instead of talking about a horse?) or it destroying the fungus will kill him. When Broyles tries to explain that he does understand that, but they still need to destroy the fungus ASAP, Walter starts to freak out and yells, “You’re going to kill Peter!”

Aaron, not Peter

It's weird, but it is sweet, too.

Olivia freezes, then puts her arm around Walter (which is definitely a Peterless timeline thing, because that never happens) and tells him he means Aaron. Broyles tells Walter that he has two hours to figure something out. After that, he’ll have to move no matter the consequences. Walter goes to get Astrid’s help charting Aaron’s brain functions, and Broyles tells Olivia and Lincoln to be ready to move out. They’re going to need more than flamethrowers.

When the two of them join Broyles in the field, we learn that this help will be coming from Nina Sharp and Massive Dynamic. They’ve sent a tech with a potent toxin to be injected into Gus, but unfortunately we get no Blair Brown this episode. It’s been an hour since Broyles’ ultimatum, and Olivia calls to… check in. Yes, again with the checking in. Walter and Astrid have isolated the two brainwaves going on inside Aaron’s head, and he thinks the connection is in Aaron’s frontal lobe. But he doesn’t know how to sever it, and Olivia Jack Bauers him that they’re running out of time. Walter admits that the only option he sees right now is to remove that infected part of Aaron’s brain. Olivia is horrified at the idea of him giving the boy a lobotomy, and Walter isn’t pleased, either, but he says he can’t think of anything else and he has to save Aaron’s life at all costs. We are, in fact, well acquainted with the lengths Walter will go in order to save his son. Also, Olivia? Hold that thought about your horror of lobotomies until the end of the episode, okay?

Olivia encourages Walter to think of something else and tells him she’ll try to ask Broyles for more time. But just as she hangs up, Broyles tells her the fungus has reached ‘midtown’, which I am informed is not a term that people in Boston really use in referring to their city. But anyway, it’s starting to get way out of control and they’re out of time. He says he’s sorry, but Olivia and he both know that they can’t sacrifice thousands of lives to save one boy. Olivia takes a deep breath and calls Walter back to pass on the bad news.

Alien Bounty Hunter weapon

Remember that thing?

Walter redoubles his efforts to think of a solution as Olivia, Lincoln, and the Massive Dynamic tech look in the tunnel (I guess — it’s somewhere underground) with night vision goggles and NO OTHER PROTECTION for a good central site to inject the toxin. It doesn’t take long to find it. When the tech takes out the thing he’s going to use to inject it, it looks very much like the stiletto thingy that the Alien Bounty Hunter uses to kill other shape-shifter aliens in The X-Files.

The tech asks for Olivia’s order to make the injection. She cringes, but gives it. Aww. And then if you’ve ever watched any TV or movies, you can guess what happens when the dude injects the poison: Gus attacks him. At the same time, Aaron jerks upright in bed and shouts, “No!”

A desperate Astrid runs to get Walter, telling him Aaron’s blood pressure has dropped and he’s unconscious. Walter doesn’t know what to do — and then he suddenly thinks of something. He runs out to look at the brain scans, and says that the creature’s hold is also in the limbic system of the brain. That’s what controls emotions. He needs to wake Aaron up.

Meanwhile, Olivia reports to Broyles that the toxin has been administered and the tech is dead. In that order, like, I know it’s very important to kill the fungus, but the poor MD guy doesn’t even get a name, much less first consideration. Broyles orders his agents to fall back — but of course, the fungus has a hold on Lincoln now and he can’t move. Olivia calls for help, and mentions that the fungicide doesn’t seem to be working.

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