Episode 4.04 : Subject 9

  • Fringe
    • Episode Premiere : October 14, 2011
    • Distributor : Fox TV
    • Genre : Sci-Fi, Mystery, Drama
    • Seasons : 4
    • Show Period : 2008 - 2013
    • Production Company: Bad Robot
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

It's 5:59 a.m., and Olivia's asleep. Suddenly, metal objects on her bedside table slide off, and an energy mass appears. The alarm beeps at 6. Olivia wakes up, sees the energy coming at her, and pulls her gun. The energy dissipates - and it's 5:59 again. The alarm beeps at 6. Olivia looks at the objects on the floor.

At Harvard, Olivia tells Walter and Astrid what happened. Removing her jacket, she shows a burn where the energy touched her forearm. She asks Walter if she's causing it, like when she was a child and set fire to the room? Walter just tells Astrid to get a scraping for DNA.

In Olivia's jacket, Walter finds an evaluation form seeking Olivia's input on Dr. Sumner's recommendation to re-institutionalize him. Walter, distressed, puts it back before Olivia sees.

Astrid examines the magnetized metal objects in Olivia's bedroom as Olivia heads to the bathroom to get something metal to test. Over Astrid's earpiece feed, Walter hears Olivia shout, sees the bathroom door slam, and hears Astrid yell. But when he asks what's happening, Astrid's still examining the objects. Then Olivia shouts, and what Walter saw on the feed actually happens.

Walter recalls something similar from 25 years ago, when he and William Bell held the Cortexiphan trials. One boy displayed an ability for astral projection, or being able to travel outside his body. But a harmful side effect caused him to create a distortion in the magnetic field and attract metal objects to himself. Belly theorized that the children would share a psychic link, a deep emotional bond. Olivia was always the strongest, so maybe this person, whom Walter can only remember as "Subject 9," is reaching out to her.

At Massive Dynamic, Nina Sharp shows Olivia and Astrid the Cortexiphan files as Walter insults Nina over Astrid's comm. Their warm relationship apparently disappeared when Peter did. Also, Nina jokes about a boy asking Olivia to the prom, indicating their relationship has changed too. Similarly, Astrid knows nothing about the Cortexiphan trials. Olivia explains that their goal was to tap into children's extrasensory capabilities: telekinesis, pyrokinesis, even the ability to cross over to another universe without a bridge. Olivia ran away from the program, and it ended a few years later. She finds the file on Subject 9, aka Cameron James.

Walter insists on going to New York with Olivia, even though he hasn't left the lab in three years. Cameron's not home, so Olivia jimmies the lock. She finds mail addressed to Mark Little, but Walter says it must be the same person - there's no metal anywhere. A neighbor says Mark won't be back till morning.

Walter freaks out about germs in their hotel, breaking things and cutting his hands. Olivia bandages them, oddly amused that this unflappable investigator of Fringe events is terrified by harmless germs. Walter says Elizabeth, his wife, used to say he was a man of contradictions. They laugh. He explains Elizabeth committed suicide after their Peter died, which Olivia didn't know. She suggests they get a root beer float.

In the diner, Walter giddily demonstrates the proper way to drink a root beer float. Turning serious, he admits that he saw the letter. But after all, they're not family, so if he ceases to be useful . . . Olivia's reply is cut short when the energy appears. It's a close call; she only escapes because the mass hits a car and disperses.

On the way back to Cameron's, Walter berates himself for what he did to 37 innocent children. Olivia leaves him outside and visits Mark Little. When she mentions Cameron James, he runs and crashes into Walter. The lobby elevator bangs open and shut, and the chandelier swings wildly. Cameron recognizes "Olive" from the trials, but he hasn't thought about her in years - or astral projected. He's left with only side effects; whenever he gets upset, metal starts flying. His name's different now because Cameron James was his father, who plundered his Cortexiphan trust fund to buy drugs. Walter's very sorry.

Suddenly the energy appears, with a flash of Peter inside. Somehow, Cameron disperses it. Walter theorizes that the electromagnetism is actually a side effect of field distortions in time. Like the video feed: Walter witnessed effect before cause. Cameron could neutralize the electromagnetism and shatter the energy mass - if he can focus his emotions to harness his ability.

They head to a power grid and wait. Olivia tells Cameron that, like him, she hasn't heard about any of the other kids. She hasn't had side effects, either. The energy forms, and Cameron steps up. But when Olivia sees Peter, she tells Cameron to stop. She fires her gun overhead to break his concentration . . .

. . . and Peter Bishop pops up in the middle of Reiden Lake! A father and son who've been fishing row toward him, as an Observer watches.

Olivia tells Walter that she suddenly felt the mystery man only wanted her help. Broyles calls about a man who's just been pulled from Reiden Lake. He knows things no one outside this division could know - and claims to know all of THEM. Walter says that he had a house at Reiden Lake.

At the hospital, Olivia goes to see this man. Walter spots the form in her jacket and can't help peeking: She doesn't recommend re-institutionalization.

Peter says, "Olivia, thank God you're here." She looks at him blankly and asks, "Who are you?"

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