Fringe, S4 Ep4 – Subject 9

Peter in the energy

If you’ll remember, the last episode of this show with a similar title was called “Subject 13”, and it was a flashback where we learned more about young Olivia during her time in the Cortexiphan trials. So one might theorize that this would be a flashback about someone else who was in the Cortexiphan trials — and one would be half right.

The blue energy first appears

Wait, can't all threats be successfully shot at?

We open with (adult) Olivia asleep in bed. It’s morning. Suddenly a non-sunlight source of light starts gathering, floating above her bed. It’s blue and glowy and looks like it’s made of energy. As it gets closer to Olivia, the clock ticks over to 6:00 and her alarm goes off. She wakes up, sees the weird blue thing and springs out of bed, grabbing her gun out of the top drawer of her bedside table and aiming it at the thing (good instincts, but I’m not sure how that would help).

It disappears — and then we pan back to the clock which ticks over again from 5:59 to 6:00, starting the alarm again. Olivia gets up from where she had been crouched in the corner next to her bed, and sees that a bunch of things are all gathered in one place under where the blue energy was. They’re all things that have metal in them, including a framed picture that I believe is of Rachel and Ella.

Harvard. Olivia comes in, and Walter tells her that he’s trying to capture on film the apparition that’s been haunting them. He has 28 motion-activated cameras arranged in a circle so that this can happen. Olivia asks why he can’t just use a single video camera, and Walter says he theorizes that the apparition is out of phase with our reality (good guess) and perhaps can only be seen from one specific angle — explaining why no one but Walter has seen him so far. Thus, one of these cameras may capture that angle. He adds that he got the idea from watching the fight scenes in The Matrix. Hee! Oh, hey, I just thought of something — where is the wound he very memorably made in his eye at the end of last episode? It seems like it’s been a maximum of one day since then.

Anyway, all this reminds Walter to ask if Olivia has had anymore dreams of this guy. Olivia says no, but something else

Energy burn

It's because he's hot. Oh, whoops, is that a spoiler?

weird happened. She explains about the weird energy that was there when she woke up that morning. She says that it was making a droning noise, and it seemed powerful. Then, looking uncomfortable, she takes off her suit jacket and rolls up her left sleeve to reveal a blistered red burn. “It touched me.” Now she wants to know if Walter thinks she could be doing this — like when she was a child and she set fire to that room? Walter doesn’t know, but he thinks she needs to have the burn scraped for DNA. Ow! Also… why? I don’t get that.

As Walter sets down Olivia’s jacket, he notices an open envelope in the pocket. It’s from St. Claire’s, and addressed to Olivia Dunham. Olivia and Astrid are busy scraping the burn (not a euphemism), so Walter surreptitiously opens the letter. The doctor we saw last week recommends that Walter be re-committed to St. Claire’s for long-term evaluation. Further down, there’s the spot where Olivia is supposed to check whether she agrees to send him back or not. It’s still blank, and a trembling Walter puts the letter back where he found it. When Astrid and Olivia come back over, he acts like nothing’s wrong and just tells Olivia he’ll need an atmospheric sample from her apartment.

At Olivia’s apartment, Astrid is measuring the radiation near the fallen metal objects. I guess Olivia had the foresight not to put them back this morning. Anyway, Astrid tells Walter through her earpiece that radiation is definitely higher there. Walter tells Olivia to go to another room — say, the bathroom — and find another metal object so they can test whether those become magnetized as well. As she goes to do so, there’s some interference on Walter’s video feed. Then he hears Olivia scream for Astrid, and Astrid’s camera moves to the bathroom, where the door slams and there is commotion. Walter asks what’s going on, and then we’re back in the bedroom and Astrid is unconcerned except to wonder what Walter is talking about. Huh.

Ducking and coveringAnd then Olivia screams again, and Astrid runs to the bathroom, the same way we saw before. Inside the bathroom as the door slams shut of its own free will, the blue energy appears again in front of Olivia. Her medicine cabinet rattles behind her, and she ducks just before it blows open and all the metal things inside are sucked toward the energy. Then, after a moment, it disappears and the objects fall. A frantic Astrid gets the door open. No one’s hurt, but everyone’s alarmed and confused. Credits.

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