Recap – Fringe 2.12 – What Lies Below

A bike courier arrives at the Vitas Petroleum building, locks up his bike and heads inside. He meets a man in a suit in the elevator – they are both going to the 16th floor. The courier tells the man that he doesn’t look well. The comment is immediately followed by the man’s nose starting to bleed.

On the 16th floor, the courier delivers his package to the receptionist. The man, on the other hand, passes out in the waiting room. His face goes all vein-y. Various suited individuals look on as the courier tries to perform CPR but the man is dead. His last act is to aspirate a bloody mist, covering the courier and most of the people in the lobby.

Meanwhile, at the Boston Children’s Science Center, Astrid is looking for Walter, whom she lost. Again. A staffer asks her which school the missing child attends. Oh, he’s an adult. Special needs? You have no idea. They find Walter lecturing a group of children about the Magellan expedition, which set out to prove the world was round. He started with 237. Eighteen came back. When a child asks what happened to them, Walter tells them about their painful, horrific deaths. If that weren’t enough, he goes on to traumatize them with a “monster under the bed” hypothetical. He is quite angry a few minutes later in the parking lot as Astrid leads him away. He feels that the museum had no call to revoke his membership for frightening children.

Vincent Ames, a petroleum executive talks to Peter about the dead guy. Yep, he just DFO’d. I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Ames. “Lucky you.” Team Fringe has identified the dead guy as a Mr. Vandencamp. Nobody in the office knows him, nobody was expecting him. Ames asks if they can leave yet. After talking to Broyles in the lobby, Peter and Olivia tell him no. The courier is in the restroom washing his face; he has a nosebleed just like Vandencamp did. Olivia and Peter determine that the courier is the least likely suspect. The courier heads down to the lobby, just as Walter and Olivia pull up. They are about to enter the building with Broyles when Walter sees the courier through the glass door. The courier’s face goes all vein-y and Walter jams the door so the courier can’t get out of the building. The courier aspirates a bloody mist all over the interior of the glass door and collapses, dead. Walter tells Broyles that they must seal off and quarantine the building.

Walter talks on the phone to Peter, who informs his father they still no nothing about the dead guy. Walter tells Peter that the CDC has arrived and to be careful. Inside, Ames is upset that they are holding everyone. He panics a little when the ventilation is shut off but Olivia assures him that it is just to keep the virus contained.

While the CDC Head Honcho (sorry, Fringe on IMDB is horrible at giving names and actors) asks Broyles if this is an act of bioterrorism, Walter is busy being Walter. He enters the containment tent in his street clothes (whereas everyone is running around in full biohazard gear) and tells them he wants a sample. Broyles and Astrid are quickly called over. Walter sits in handcuffs on a gurney. As Broyles tries to tell CDC-man, Walter is a valuable consultant and will likely be able to help. Eventually Walter stops insulting the man when he realizes that being civil will get him further… and get him a blood sample. CDC-man tells a scientist we’ll call Hector (Ha, you get credit – I know you from The Unit) to escort Walter to his lab and not to let the sample out of his sight.

Inside, Olivia tells Peter than she can’t find Vandencamp’s name on any internal document going back for two months. She did, however, notice that Ames had two appointments for this morning and he cancelled them late last night. It’s kind of suspicious that he’s in the office if he cancelled them, n’est pas? Peter notes that others trapped in the office are calling their families. Does Olivia want to call her sister? She dodges the question.

A suit comes over to tell them that they have a problem. The receptionist has a nose bleed. And she wasn’t anywhere near Vandencamp or the courier. How long did it take before she started showing symptoms? 30 minutes after the courier gave Vandencamp CPR. Peter leads her into a quiet room and makes a pallet on the floor, telling her to rest.

While he’s settling the woman down, Olivia draws Ames aside. He admits that Vandencamp called him for a meeting, saying that he (Vandencamp) had something that he (Ames) would find valuable. Ames was supposed to meet him at the office before anyone else arrived. But he has no idea what it was because Vandencamp didn’t have anything on him when he died.

Broyles tells Olivia that they have backtracked Vandencamp’s movements. He was on a plane and at a hotel but nobody from either location is showing symptoms. Olivia asks if he’s heard from Walter. Not yet.

That is because things aren’t going very well. As Walter preps the sample, he talks to Astrid about the virus’s personality. “Um, Walter,” she says, “it’s a virus not a person.” He’s not that crazy, Astrid. He only meant that they have individual characteristics. All viruses will not react the same way and, like all living things, they have a primary drive to survive. Alas, not in the lab. Hector tells them that the virus was too delicate and did not survive its trip through the centrifuge. At least they know it’s not airborne, now, but Walter needs a new sample.

Peter again asks Olivia to call her sister but their conversation is interrupted when they see someone ghost by in the hall. They chase after the figure and Peter catches her in the lobby. The receptionist screams and pushes Peter. He stumbles over the dead body and lands in a blood pool. The receptionist dives out a window and lands on a vehicle in the parking lot. Her last breath is a bloody mist, which really doesn’t go far.

Peter strips down in the bathrooms and scrubs the blood off his hands and arms. Olivia waits in the hallway, silently freaking out. She sees someone else flit through the hall. It’s Peter, heading back to the lobby. She finds him going through Vandencamp’s pockets. She tries to stop him but Peter insists that if he weren’t infected before, he is now. The least he can do is use it for his advantage. He finds a car key and admires Vandencamp’s legal sense – never take anything incriminating into a meeting.

Astrid and Walter return to the scene. Walter has a theory about why the woman jumped. He thinks that the virus “knew” it was trapped inside the building and since the purpose of a virus is to reproduce and spread. Broyles is skeptical to say the least but does not voice his “are you *that* crazy?” response.

CDC-man has located the car. In the trunk is a core sample from an exploratory dig. It should be in an airtight container but it’s not, indicating it was probably stolen. Walter asks the depth that the sample is from. 10 miles down, and it’s teeming with the virus. Walter says that they have brought a thousands-year-old virus up to the surface. Fortunately, now that they have a sample, he can develop a tox screen. As he and Astrid head off to do that, CDC-man tells a flunkie to request authorization for a level-6 eradication from the State Department.

Inside, Peter notices that his nose is bleeding. He hides the evidence. He returns to the room where Walter (in full protective gear) is testing to see if people have the virus. He takes a cheek swab and dips it in the solution. If the solution turns black, you’re infected. Ames is worried, but clear. Another suit tests positive. Olivia tests uninfected. Peter takes a cheek swab but swaps it out for a clean swab. Walter tells him he tested clean. Peter and Olivia join the “clean” group which is authorized to leave. Peter is last in line. He almost makes it out of the building when one of the guards on the door notices that his nose is bleeding. They force Peter back into the building. Peter goes nuts – he’s gotta get outside! He pleads with Olivia and then turns aggressive when she refuses to help him.

Olivia calls Astrid to tell her that the test was wrong and that Peter was infected. Then she joins Broyles and CDC-man in the conversation about a level-6 eradication. CDC-man shows a projection of what will happen if they virus gets out. Yes, the whole world will be infected – we’ve seen those red maps before. A level-6 eradication means the army goes in and shoots the infected people. But there are 13 other people in there (plus Peter). He knows, but they can’t risk it.

When Walter realizes that Peter is one of the infected, he takes of his helmet. Astrid tells him that he must help Peter from the outside but he refuses to leave. Olivia warns them that the Army is coming to kill all the infected people. Astrid passes along Walter’s refusal to leave to Olivia and Broyles, and takes off her helmet as well.

Astrid and Walter take Vandencamp’s body to a room where they can study it. Walter knows that something killed the virus the first time, but what was it. He starts to panic and says, “I can’t let Peter die again.” Astrid gives him “bzuh?” face but lets it go. She calms him down by reminding him it is not hopeless. If some of Magellan’s crew could survive, they could come up with an antidote to save Peter. Walter says “ash” and Astrid corrects him with “Astrid.” No, ash. The sulphur in ash killed the virus (I’m not too sure where this came from, I was a little bored and not paying close attention by this point.) Anyway, if it worked the first time it could work again. They ransack the refrigerator in the lunchroom and discover horseradish, which has sulfa in it. Anyway, they run a test and it works. They have a cure. But are they in time?

CDC-man says no. As they watch Peter try to break through the front glass doors with a fire extinguisher, he tells Olivia and Broyles that even with the cure, there is no time to synthesize it. Olivia suggests that they run Fentanol through the building to knock everyone out while they make the cure. He’s willing to try that but doesn’t want to risk one of his men going inside to turn the ventilation back on. Olivia volunteers and Broyles okays it. CDC-man gives her 15 minutes.

In the lobby, Peter notices the action. He goes to the security desk and watches a camera show Olivia sneaking in the back. He intercepts her in the basement while she uses a blueprint to guide her to the ventilation room. They tussle, each getting in a few shots. Eventually he knocks her down and steals her gun. There is some kind of internal struggle as he decides whether or not to shoot her but he decides to use the gun to get out of the building. Peter gets into an elevator. Olivia rushes to the ventilation power board and turns it on.

Upstairs, Astrid hears the ventilation come back on and tells Walter to put his helmet back on. Army men enter the building and open the doors Peter’s elevator. He is passed out on the floor, still holding the gun.

He comes to after Walter gives him an injection of the cure. He apologizes to Olivia. “It’s okay, you weren’t yourself,” she says. “Luckily, you were,” he replies. Walter steps out to clear his head in the night air. Astrid follows him. “Walter, when you said, ‘I can’t let Peter die again?’ what did you mean by that?”

“Some things are meant to be left alone, Agent Farnsworth,” Walter retorts.

But this is “Fringe”, and you know they won’t be. Mwah-ha-ha.

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