Fringe

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B | 1 USERS: C
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You Can't Call It Cheating, Because She Reminds Me of You
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

We're in a train station where a well-dressed man with salt and pepper hair -- he very much looks like he should be married to Mary Poppins, but maybe it's just the umbrella -- appears to be waiting for someone getting off the train. When the dude gets off the train, Mr. Mary Poppins follows briskly behind him and then jabs buddy in the leg with the tip of his umbrella. "Excuse me!" says the jabbee, indignantly, and Mr. Mary Poppins quickly apologizes and continues on his way.

And then we see buddy strolling up to his home in Rye, New York -- well, strolling is the wrong word, because he's now limping -- and going in through the front door. Across the street, Mr. Mary Poppins waits.

Inside, the man is now blinking and staggering around his beautiful home, all dark wood fixtures and flooring, lots of windows and natural light. If you're going to collapse after being drugged by a stranger, this is as good a place as any to do it.

When he comes to, he's lying down and covered in spattered blood, restrained on a table, plastic sheeting encircling the table. Behind the sheeting, we can see Mr. Mary Poppins calling medical assistance: "Yeah, he's injured very badly. Please hurry. Cheers." He hangs up and comes in and picks up a syringe lying next to his victim, and gets it ready -- and then very sincerely says, "I'm so sorry, sir. But there's no other way," and then injects his victim in the neck. The man gasps and chokes and starts to convulse, and then stills as he closes his eyes.

Then the paramedics are getting their gear out of the back of the ambulance and apprehensively discussing the fact that they don't have any details about this call, which is "never a good sign" although they're moving a LITTLE slowly for paramedics who are at this point assuming worst-case scenario. Then they see the blood-spattered plastic sheeting and one calls it in as a homicide while the other ventures inside the makeshift operating room. He pulls back the blanket and finds a gaping hole where the man's heart should be. Like most guys, he gets all, "Dude! You have GOT to see this!" with his partner -- and then buddy on the table gasps, opens his eyes, and croaks out "Don't let me die!" much to the EMT's horror.

And then there's Mr. Mary Poppins, back at the train station, carrying the well-known organ-sized cooler, waiting for his train to come in. Credits.

And there's Broyles carrying his coffee into his office in the morning, finding a very chipper Olivia sitting there. "Guess you weren't expecting me back so soon," she chirps, and I think it's more like that Broyles probably hates having people in his office when he's not there.

So apparently Olivia's all fine and raring to go, and she explains to Broyles that Walternate's main priority (and I know Walter is the one that came up with the nickname, but I still enjoy the fact that that's what they actually call him) is learning how to cross universes safely, and he was using Olivia to discover how. Broyles wants to know if he's close, and Olivia is all, "Shyeah! He synthesized Cortexiphan, duh!" and then she talks about how driven Walternate is: "The way he sees things, it's his world or ours." Broyles looks like he kind of wishes Walternate was on their side instead of Walter, who is mainly driven to find new ways to get high.

Anyway, Olivia wants to see the analysis of the remaining pieces of the doomsday machine, and Broyles is all, "Sure, once you're back to work" which kind of surprises her, and he tells her that she's on leave until further notice: "To say you've experienced a trauma is an understatement. You need to process what you've endured over the past two months." You're never going to believe this, but Olivia thinks she's fine but she acknowledges that the last few months have taken their toll: "But I made a promise to a friend over there, and I swore that I would do everything that I can to heal both worlds. I need to go back to work." She doesn't say that she's talking about Col. Broyles, and this Broyles kind of dances around that too. He thinks for a moment and then asks, "This friend that you're talking about, what was he like?" Was he breathing? Did he have all of his limbs? Olivia smiles and says he wasn't that unlike Broyles: "He was honorable, committed. He feared for his family, for their future." Wait, so he had children? And he was still married and very close to his wife? Not to mention he was a colonel. You'd better step it up, Broyles. Of course, you are still alive, at least. Then they stare at each other for five hours.

Over at the Bishop house, Peter is bellowing at Walter, who's looking for his toolkit, and finds it in the bathroom. "I'd forgotten that a couple of nights ago, I used my cauterizer to remove an uncomfortable growth between my--" "-- less information the better," finishes Peter, helping his dad on with his coat. These two have the timing of an old vaudeville routine.

During the car ride, Walter presses Peter to tell Olivia that he had sex with Fauxlivia, and Peter does not want to have the conversation at all, and after they arrive at their destination, Walter simply says that Peter knows better than most the pain that a lie can inflict. "Yes, I do, which is why, even though I expect it's going to fundamentally change how she feels how about me, I am going to tell Olivia everything. OK?" Walter says Peter is a good man, and Olivia knows that. Yeah, well, Walter's high if he thinks that will make a difference to Olivia.

So they get out of the car and are surprised to see Olivia arrive with Broyles. Walter's delighted to see her, whilst Peter is much more awkward: "Shouldn't you be resting?" he says, like nice welcome, and she makes shy eyes at him while Broyles says she's been cleared for duty, so Peter says welcome back.

And then Broyles briefs them on the situation, about how the guy inside really puts the cavity in "chest cavity," and it turns out the guy died three minutes after the EMTs found him. But Walter's absolutely giddy at the case featuring someone who was conscious and speaking without a functional cardiovascular system.

Inside, Walter looks at the innards of this poor bastard -- truly, truly disgusting work, not for the faint of heart -- and gets a hankering for some pickled herring, because the victim reminds him of the "blood eagle," a Norse method of torture that involves breaking the ribs and spreading them out to resemble blood-stained wings, which is an image I've been trying to erase ever since I watched the episode. Look, guys, Television Without Pity wrapped up the medieval-torture Rae Dawn Chong Challenge ages ago. We're on a new one, now. "So we're looking for a Viking?" says Peter, kidding, only Walter seems to take the question seriously and says, "These incisions have been made with precision. This is beautiful work. Definitely not a Viking."

Looking a little closer, Peter and Walter notice scar tissue on the various aortas and ventricles and what-have-you left behind, meaning this person had had heart surgery before, so Peter runs off to snoop through the medicine cabinet, which he's hopefully doing for legitimate investigative purposes.

Walter tells Olivia and Broyles that it's difficult to determine the cause of death, because the normal signs don't apply. To demonstrate, Walter taps the guy's wrist and his hand jerks, indicating he still has reflexes. "And yet his heart was removed at least four hours ago. By now, rigor mortis should be starting to set in," says Walter. Broyles asks if they're even sure if the guy is actually dead, and the best Walter can say is that the guy appears "more dead than not," which has described many people I've met and worked with in my life.

Olivia raises the possibility of organ harvest, but Peter pops in with a basket of pharmaceuticals that punctures that theory. "OK, so you wouldn't steal a heart from someone this sick if you were selling it," says Olivia. No, because that would be unethical? Huh? Anyway, Broyles dispatches Olivia and Peter to talk

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