A teenage girl is declared dead and then wakes up screaming numbers when they take her organs. Seems like it is zombie time on Fringe, which I'm guessing means we don't get any good Observer or other side stuff, or more about Walter's missing brain pieces in this episode. Turns out zombie girl Lisa's has top-secret military codes in her head, and starts speaking Russian when told that there is a missing soldier who would know these codes. It seems that the formerly brain-dead girl somehow absorbed soldier Rusk's brain and made a psychic bond between them. They think he's somehow using her to communicate with the world. Meanwhile, her mom thinks that God is responsible for Lisa's sudden reanimation and doesn't want our Fringe friends poking around in her daughter's brain. Lisa, of course, decides to act like a teenager and runs off to a junkyard in order to see Rusk, where she sees someone else who killed Rusk. And all of a sudden Charlie is there. And not dead Charlie? Wait, what the hell is going on here? Turns out that this is a leftover episode. That's annoying. Stupid Fox, this is what DVDs are for. Not to play it on a different night, confuse everyone and then have characters alive again. That's just bizarre. They should have at least billed this as a bonus episode or something. New seems very misleading.
Anyway, in this random stupid standalone episode, that has an annoying girl who isn't a zombie but is somehow possessed, as soon as they find the dead guy, Lisa freaks out and has a seizure. Walter figures out that when Rusk died, his energy helped bring brain-dead Lisa back to life, and transferred his memories into Lisa's head. The priest and the mother are not impressed, and Walter gets all snippy, which is awesome. Finally, desperate mom agrees to send her daughter to Walter for an exorcism. Walter puts a lot of electrodes on her head, then teenage girl starts talking like Rusk and telling them how he died. And now Charlie is back, real Charlie, which is like seeing a zombie, too, and he's identified the murderer. They go to a gym, chase down Rusk's killer. Run, Charlie, run! And tackle.
Back at the lab, Lisa is awake as herself, but is still being controlled by Rusk or something needlessly confusing. And she runs off. During the interview with the killer, they find out that he was a bastard to his wife and the wife had him killed. Guess where Rusk-powered Lisa is? Yup, trying to kill the wife by setting her on fire with gasoline. Peter gets there and tries to rationalize with Lisa, but that doesn't go well, and Charlie tranqs her. And somehow this makes teen girl free from her inner angry wife-beating demon. Then there's some guy in a car accident in Times Square who is dead, then alive and speaking Russian, so we're to guess that Rusk isn't really all dead or whatever, but since this episode has never played a part in this season, does it matter? -- Angel Cohn
Shout-out to M. Giant for doing a M. Arvellous job of covering for me while I moved to the East Coast.
I guess there's not much point in showing "Previously on Fringe" scenes this time out, given that this is an orphan episode from last season. Some explanation, however, might have been appreciated, for anyone who might understandably be wondering why Charlie appears to be alive. Why bother showing this at all? Isn't this the kind of thing that gets dumped on a DVD? These are not the actions of a network that gives a crap about a show.
Anyway, we start in a hospital, where a tearful woman prays, rosary in hand, while a priest administers the last rites to a young woman, eyes closed, hooked up to various apparati. A doctor leans in and asks the crying woman if she's ready. The woman nods, and the doctor nods at an orderly, who turns off the life-support system. The young woman flat-lines in just a few seconds, and the doctor calls the time of death at 5:21 a.m., which at least means everybody should be able to get home in time to catch Good Morning America.
Scratch that! There's no time to waste, because they have a team assembled and waiting, says the doctor: "Ms. Donovan, I'm afraid we need to begin the procedures right away," and is it too much to hope that the procedure involves some sort of bionic something? No, probably just an organ donation. Ms. Donovan leans in, kisses the girl and says, "I love you."
Ewww! Gratuitous surgery shots! The surgeon tells the team that he's going to "begin with the kidneys" and jams his hand into the incision in the girl's torso -- at which points she sits up a little and grabs the doctor by the throat. "Oh my god, she's alive!" yells one of the nurses, who fortunately minored in Explaining Things You Observe at her nursing school. The girl starts yelling "Six-eight-three-three-nine-alpha-echo-three-five-eight!" At that very moment, an obese dude in California is using those numbers to win the lottery.
After the credits, we learn we're at Boston General Hospital, and Broyles is filling in the Fringe team on the weird case of Lisa Donovan, a high school junior who collapsed during gym class last week and slipped into a coma with a cerebral aneurysm. On the plus side, if your classmate collapses in gym class and goes into a coma, you automatically get straight A's, so that's something.
Broyles says Lisa's mother made the decision to take her off life support. "And then she woke up from the dead screaming random numbers," finishes Olivia, like let Broyles finish briefing you before you jump to conclusions already, and Broyles says the numbers weren't random (he introduces a Navy officer standing in the hallway in uniform as Lt.-Cmdr. Turlough) but were an alphanumeric code. The lead surgeon recognized the pattern as identification for sailors in the U.S. because he did two tours on an aircraft carrier. Well, of course he did. "That's when I got the call," says Turlough, all eager to jump in. He explains that the first half of the sequence is ID information for a petty officer named Andrew Rusk -- Turlough has a file and everything -- and the second half are launch codes for ICBM missiles on a nuclear submarine Rusk was stationed on, the U.S.S. Gloucester. Olivia asks how classified launch codes got into the hands of a 17-year-old girl, and Peter at least wants to dismiss the obvious right off by asking if there's some sort of relationship between Rusk and Lisa. "As far as we can tell, there's never been any contact between Lisa Donovan and Andrew Rusk," says Turlough. "I suppose that's where we come in," says Walter.
So the team goes in to interview this poor girl who is doing remarkably well for a recently comatose teen who probably still has the surgeon's fingerprints on her left kidney. She looks at a picture of Rusk and says she's never seen him before, and she doesn't know where the numbers came from (she doesn't even remember saying them).
And then Peter is practically flirting with Lisa, saying at least they got her some nice balloons, like, she's SEVENTEEN, Peter, for god's sake, and she jokes that they couldn't find ones that said, "Welcome back from the dead," and then Peter jokes about those being a special order, and thank God Olivia interrupts, because I think this inane chatter could have gone on forever, and asks if the name "Andrew Rusk" rings a bell. "Maya zvezdochka. Shto samnoy," says Lisa, freaking out her mother. "She's speaking Russian," says Peter. "But she doesn't speak Russian," says Lisa's worried mother. Then Lisa snaps out of it, and asks her mom what's happening to her, and Ms. Donovan boots the Fringe crew out of the hospital room so Lisa can rest.
In the hallway, Turlough explains that Rusk is fluent in Russian: "He would have learned it during his training." Peter asks him if "little star" means anything, because that's what "maya zvezdochka" means, and in response to a question no one asked, Peter explains that he dated a Russian girl for a while, and if I were Peter I don't know that I'd be explaining that I know the Russian word for "little" because I dated a Russian girl for a while, and then Olivia wonders where Walter has wandered off to. "Where's Walter?" she asks, which turns out to be one of the least fun children's books ever. Oh, there he is, watching an old woman sleeping in the extended-care ward.
Peter finds him, and starts to chew him out, and his dad shushes him because he's trying to listen to the sleeping woman. "These people are in comas. They can't hear you," snaps Peter.
Walter apologizes to Coma Lady on behalf of his son, and Peter asks if Walter honestly thinks he's communicating with her. "No one truly understands the nature of human consciousness, Peter," says Walter. "I've read documented cases of coma patients waking up and claiming that they had moved, spirit-like, to remote locations and witnessed events they couldn't possible have knowledge of." Which is already Walter's working theory of what happened to Lisa Donovan, naturally. Peter mocks it rather rudely, and I hope that Peter's going to shed some of his skepticism before too long, because that got old in The X-Files, where it's like Season 6 and with all Scully had seen by that point she was still constantly going, "That's ridiculous!" to Mulder's theories. Of course, I have to remember that this episode was supposed to have aired a long time ago already.
Meanwhile, Olivia is hanging out at the nurse's station when Lisa's mom wanders over, and says Lisa's running a fever and the doctors want to run some more tests. She's carrying a little bit of guilt, too, having fought with Lisa the day she collapsed, over Lisa not being allowed to take the family car to school. And then she collapsed and by the time Ms. Donovan got to the hospital, Lisa was in a coma. Well, look at the bright side: if it had happened while she was driving, you might have lost your daughter and your car.
Gripping the crucifix around her neck, she says, "You know, I never thought that I would get a chance to tell her how much I loved her again. God gave her back to me." There really is no such thing as a casual mention of faith on television shows, is there? By this point it's clear that faith vs. science is going to be a subplot on this episode, which has been done to frigging death, hasn't it (albeit not on this show)? Or maybe it's just because only a few days ago I happened to watch The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which, apart from being a complete snoozefest, featured exactly this kind of conflict.
Anyway, Olivia asks Ms. Donovan if Walter Bishop can examine Lisa. "What for?" asks Ms. Donovan. What for? Your comatose and then clinically dead daughter woke up on the operating table and now knows launch codes for nuclear submarines and speaks Russian. What for? "There's nothing more that she can tell you," says Ms. Donovan.
And then there's Lisa, hobbling into a unisex bathroom, and here's a thought: maybe DON'T let the girl who knows the nuclear launch codes out of your sight, NAVY, and when she washes her face she looks in the mirr