Episode 1.17 : Bad Dreams

  • Fringe
    • Episode Premiere : April 21, 2009
    • Distributor : Fox TV
    • Genre : Sci-Fi, Mystery, Drama
    • Seasons : 1
    • Show Period : 2008 - 2013
    • Production Company: Bad Robot
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

  • Director Akiva Goldsman
  • Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman
  • Main Cast

  • Additional Cast
    • Ari Graynor as Rachel,
    • Lily Pilyblad,
    • David Call,
    • Laurie Williams,
    • Victor Verhaege,
    • Johanna Day,
    • Kelly Briter,
    • Ed Vassallo,
    • Darren Copeland,
    • Rebeccas Naomi Jones,
    • Duane McLaughlin

The Story

A YOUNG MOTHER pushes her daughter in a stroller down into the subway station. It's late and there is no one else around. As she reaches the bottom of the stairs, she misses her train and is forced to wait for the next one. She stands at the edge of the platform singing to her daughter. In the background the next train approaches. Her daughter fiddles with the string of a red balloon attached to the arm of the stroller, untying it -- sending it floating up to the ceiling. The mom reacts, reaching for the string at the very edge of the platform. But someone approaches her from behind, and just as the train is about to pass by, pushes her onto the tracks to her death. When the train passes, Olivia is standing on the platform; it was she who pushed the mom onto the tracks.

Olivia jolts awake in her bed. She was having a nightmare. She can't get back to sleep, so she starts her day -- works out, makes coffee, watches the news. Rachel comes into the kitchen, but their conversation is interrupted when Olivia sees a television news report about a woman who threw herself in front of a subway train in New York City. Olivia is astonished to see the victim was the same woman from her dream.

FBI headquarters. Olivia asks Broyles's permission to investigate the suicide in New York. When Broyles questions her motives in pursuing the investigation, Olivia just asks him to he trust her. Broyles gives her 24 hours.

At the lab, Olivia explains the situation to Walter and Peter. Peter assures her it was just a bad dream, while Walter examines her with a Geiger counter and nixes the possibility that Olivia teleported to New York. Olivia recalls the dream being so vivid she could actually smell the subway platform. Peter decides to go with her to investigate the scene in New York.

At Grand Central Station, an NYPD DETECTIVE greets Olivia and Peter. The victim's name was RISA. Olivia asks how they know the woman's death was a suicide. The detective tells her that it was all caught on tape. Before they reach the platform, Olivia tells Peter that there will be a red balloon floating on the ceiling. Sure enough, when the two arrive on the platform a red balloon is floating on the ceiling.

At the local police station, Olivia talks with the victim's HUSBAND, who says his wife had absolutely no reason to commit suicide. Then Olivia watches the footage of incident, dumbfounded as Risa very clearly jumps right in front of the approaching train. Olivia asks for a copy of the tape.

Back at the Harvard Lab, Olivia, Peter, and Walter watch the tape again. Olivia swears she remembers pushing Risa in front of the train. Walter suggests that perhaps Olivia killed Risa using the power of mind, but offers no scientific explanation. He concedes the idea is ridiculous... unless, of course, it happens again.

Olivia buys sleeping pills from a drug store, and then she sits down to dinner by herself at a fancy restaurant. At the next table, a couple begins to bicker. The quarrel escalates quickly into a full-blown yelling match, and then the wife holds up her dinner knife. Olivia gets up from her table (spilling her coffee in the process), takes control of the woman's arm, and begins stabbing the man in the stomach. As the man falls into his chair, Olivia jolts awake -- it was another dream. She immediately calls Charlie and reports a murder.

At St. Vincent's Hospital, Olivia and Peter are told by the victim's doctor that he isn't going to make it. The wife has been allowed to see him because she won't have another chance. Olivia questions the wife, suggesting that someone might have compelled her to do it. But the wife, guilt stricken, says she doesn't know what happened. She suddenly became convinced her husband was going to leave her, anger overtook her, and she tried to kill him. Peter interrupts and pulls Olivia into the hall. He's concerned about her, because she is not making sense and she's running on no sleep.

Peter and Olivia go to the restaurant where the man was stabbed. Olivia sees the broken coffee cup and asks the manager who was sitting there at the time of the attack. He says a man with blonde hair and a scar on his face was there. Olivia says she knows who the man is.

Back at the lab, the team watches the surveillance footage from Risa's suicide again. Sure enough, a blond man with a scar crosses the frame moments after Risa ends her life. He is now the link between the two crime scenes. Walter theorizes that perhaps Olivia has become this man in her dreams, watching through his eyes.

At the FBI, Olivia runs a facial recognition program on the man from the footage. His name is NICK LANE, a former inmate at St. Jude's mental hospital. Broyles enters now, fuming. He wants to know why FBI resources are being used on a case he knows nothing about. Olivia hesitantly explains the situation, afraid of sounding crazy. She says she needs to get to the bottom of this, or maybe take a few days off. Broyles gives her clearance to open the case and use whatever resources she needs.

Peter and Olivia visit St. Jude's and speak with DR. MILLER. She says Nick checked himself out when a lawyer came to notify him that he had inherited a large sum of money. She tells them that Nick was sort of a special case. He was hyper-emotive. If he was happy he'd light up the room, but if he was sad, he would drag those around him down with him. Dr. Miller also tells them that he had paranoid delusions. Nick thought he had been recruited as a child for top-secret experiments that would prepare him to be a soldier in a coming war. Olivia looks at Peter, spooked.

Peter and Olivia call Astrid back at the lab. Astrid reads a section from the ZFT Manifesto (last seen in "Ability") that discusses a coming war, just like Nick talked about in the hospital. Peter finds that Nick Lane was born in 1979 in Jacksonville, Florida, the same place Olivia is from.

At Walter's hotel, Olivia questions Walter about Cortexiphan. Walter explains that William Bell, his old lab partner and the founder of Massive Dynamic, created Cortexiphan. He believed it would enhance a person's perception, and could, in some instances, give one the ability to change reality with their thoughts or feelings. Given what Dr. Miller said about Nick's contagious feelings, Olivia theorizes that Nick's presence at both crime scenes "infected" the people around him. This caused the people to either harm themselves or others. But why is Olivia seeing what Nick is doing? Walter says that when William Bell administered these drugs to children, he often paired up test subjects in a type of buddy system so they didn't get scared. In some cases, a very strong bond developed between paired children. Olivia admits she may have been treated with Cortexiphan. Walter says if that is the case, he knows how to find Nick Lane.

Walter puts Olivia into a hypnotic sleep state to enhance her psychic connection with Nick Lane. She is able to feel and see what he is doing. He picks up a dancer at a strip club and they leave together. After the two have sex, Nick feels guilt and wishes he were dead. These emotions spread to the dancer, who breaks a bottle and slashes her neck. Olivia now watches as Nick returns home -- and then jolts awake. Now she knows where he lives.

The next morning the FBI raids Nick's apartment, but he's not there. As they search the apartment, Olivia finds an entire wall of newspaper clippings, some from reputable sources and other not, reporting strange scientific events and secret conspiracies.

Meanwhile, Nick walks down a city street, clearly upset. As he passes people, he seemingly infects them with his depressed thoughts and they begin to follow him.

Back at Nick's apartment, Olivia wonders why all of this just started happening to Nick now, when he was dosed with Cortexiphan over twenty years ago. Peter draws a connection to the lawyer who showed up at the mental hospital with the inheritance. Olivia wonders if he was somehow "activated." Charlie enters, saying a security guard downtown identified Nick entering a building followed by a flock of people.

As Olivia, Peter, and Walter drive to the building, Walter theorizes that Nick is now a walking epidemic, infecting anyone in his vicinity. Peter says there's nothing they can do to stop him without also becoming infected. But Walter says Olivia may be immune from Nick's abilities because she too was treated with Cortexiphan.

They arrive at the scene to discover a crowd of people standing on the roof of the building along the edge. Olivia goes to the roof to confront Nick. He seems to recognize Olivia, but calls her "Olive." He wants to talk about their time together during the Cortexiphan trials, but Olivia doesn't remember any of it. Nick draws a gun. He wants to stop feeling this way. Then he gives the gun to Olivia and tells her to shoot him so all of this can end. As he becomes overwhelmed with emotion, one of the people on the ledge jumps to their death. If Olivia doesn't shoot him, he will jump and bring everyone with him. Olivia shoots him in the legs, and the people on the ledge regain control of their emotions and retreat from the side of the building.

At an undisclosed location, Broyles shows Olivia an isolation chamber, where Nick Lane is being kept in a drug-induced coma.

Olivia arrives home and puts Ella to bed. Charlie arrives and gives Olivia Nick's file along with the newspaper clippings from his apartment.

At the lab, Walter sits by himself, watching an old video from his files. The video shows a little girl sitting in the corner of a charred room, frightened. A voice not heard before asks what triggered the girl. Then Walter's voice answers, "Obviously she was upset, William." Walter then addresses the girl as "Olive."






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