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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Episode 10: Vice & a Transport Device

FROM ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER KIMBERLY ROOTS: We begin this week in Philadelphia, where Mitchell Loeb and his crew break into a bank. They set up a larger-scale version of his apple experiment from a couple episodes back and then walk through a solid wall to gain access to the vault. The effects look pretty cool. They cut a safe-deposit box out of the wall and haul it through the wall, but there’s a mishap and one member of the team is left in the vault. As the window of time draws to a close, the man gets unstuck and starts to exit … just as the wall solidifies around his torso. Uncaring, Loeb shoots the trapped man in the forehead and orders the crew to take off.
A chatty Peter and Olivia arrive at the crime scene with Walter in tow. Before they get down to business, we learn that Olivia has a sister and went to boarding school. Enough with the pleasantries, kids: There’s work to be done. Phillip Broyles alerts them to three similar heists in the recent past, and Olivia recognizes the man in the wall as Raul Lugo, someone from her Marine unit. Far away in Germany, Robert Jones—who gave Olivia the code “Little Hill” a few episodes back—is meeting with his lawyer in prison. The lawyer tells Jones the Philly job was successful. That pleases Jones, who orders his lawyer to wire 100,000 dollars to Loeb and to bring him some seemingly random items, including sunblock, when he returns the next day.
Olivia arrives at Lugo’s home in Edison, New Jersey, a place she knows well from when she hung out with Lugo and his wife during her Marine years. Except—oops! — when Lugo’s estranged wife doesn’t recognize Olivia but confirms some memories she has, Olivia realizes John’s memories and her own have become so enmeshed, she can’t tell them apart anymore. Meanwhile, at Massive Dynamic, a scientist informs Nina Sharp that they’ve hit a wall retrieving John’s memories. Sharp’s not happy. Later, the scientist figures out that some of John’s memories may be in Olivia’s mind. Sharp gets a look on her face like she’s plotting something really evil.
At Harvard, Walter examines Lugo’s hand and theorizes that the bank crew used high-powered vibration to make the wall’s molecular structure permeable. The unfortunate side effect? Radiation poisoning. Peter and Olivia go to a bar to talk to Lugo’s friend; when that lead turns up dry, they drink and talk about Olivia’s uncanny ability to remember any number she sees. She rattles off the numbers of the missing safe-deposit boxes and Peter realizes they’re part of the Fibonacci sequence: Each is the sum of the previous two. When they tell Walter, he realizes that the boxes are his, taken out under pseudonyms, but he can’t remember why.
After the FBI crew misses another of Loeb’s jobs—this one in Providence, Rhode Island—they do manage to catch one of the team members. He’s a former Marine, one of Lugo’s pals from the VA Hospital, and Peter correctly diagnoses him with radiation sickness. The man claims not to know Loeb or what he’s doing, saying he was only hired as a freelance goon, but does remember something about meeting up at a field in Westford, Massachusetts. Olivia goes to a map and finds Little Hill Field there, and connects the dots. In Germany, Jones again meets with his lawyer and asks him to procure one more thing: Olivia. Eew.
At the lab, Walter remembers that Peter was deathly ill as a child. In an effort to find the one man who could help him, even though he’d been dead for years, Walter invented a machine that “in theory, could retrieve anyone from anywhere,” he recalls. But when Peter recovered on his own, the machine wasn’t necessary. The pieces, he posits, may be in the boxes Loeb’s men stole.
Indeed, at Little Hill Field, Loeb’s men have the device all set up. In Germany, Jones meets with his lawyer one more time, snaps his neck, and dons the dead man’s suit. He steps into the corner, rubs some sunblock on his face, pops a pill, and waits … as a light starts to shine around him. Back in America, Olivia’s on her way to the field when a car runs her off the road. Men jump out and tranquilize her, then carry her away. All of a sudden, Jones appears in Little Hill Field. Loeb meets him and gives him the news he wants to hear. “Well then,” Jones says, all smarmy and creepy. “Let’s not keep her waiting.”
Broyles calls Sharp to tell her Olivia’s missing. When he implies that Sharp’s got her stashed somewhere, she falls all over herself denying it. Might the lady protest too much?
THE BOTTOM LINE: By manipulating molecules to gain a specific result, Robert Jones, Mitchell Loeb, and their ilk are playing God—yet there’s very little question of whether they’re the good guys or the bad guys. Walter’s recollection about why the transporting device was first built (to save Peter’s life) puts him in the same category. Whether the machine is built to save a little boy’s life or to amass personal wealth and stature seems to be moot when such deity-like powers are up for grabs.
[Editor’s note: This will be the last Fringe recap for 2008. New episodes begin in January.]