Fringe (2009/2010) – Grey Matters, and Unearthed

The cryogenic heads that were stolen in the previous season are back. Well, one of them is, and it’s reattached to a body, and in the form of Thomas Jerome Newton (Sebastian Roche) is going around removing slices of brain from patients who all, once investigated, seem to have a connection to Walter (John Noble) and travel to the other reality.

Grey Matters was written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz and first debuted on 10 December, 2009.

Newton is aided by Smith (Roger Cross). While Olivia (Anna Torv), Peter (Joshua Jackson), and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) try to figure out what is going on, amidst the discovery that Walter has had a piece of his brain removed, Walter gets kidnapped.

There is a mention of a doctor named Paris, a man who conducted the original brain slicing. Despite having no recall of visitors while he was in the hospital, Paris apparently visited Walter six times.

When the Fringe Division finally puts it all together, they realize that Walter has no recall of the door he created to access the other reality, because it was literally removed from his memory. To recall it, Newton plans to restore it to Walter’s brain, and his life may hang in the balance.

It’s smart, well-crafted, rapidly-paced, and delivers the reveal that Paris was none other than William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), protecting the doorway, its creators, and its secret.

Just wow.

So well-written.

And there are advances in the character and mythology arcs, and so many great little character beats. I love how fully realized this show is, from the off it just worked, and now in season two, it’s firing on all thrusters.

Unearthed is problematic. It’s obviously a first-season episode, and falls specifically along the mythology arc. It takes place Charlie’s (Kirk Acevedo) replacement with a shapeshifter, and could technically be episode 21 of season one.

Written by David H. Goodman and Andrew Kreisberg, the episode debuted during the winter mid-season break, on 11 January, 2010.

Olivia, Walter, and Peter are called in when a young woman, Lisa (Alice Kremelberg) amazingly comes back from the dead and seems to have a lot of strange military knowledge that she shouldn’t have.

Walter comes to believe that Lisa came back with a passenger, a soldier who was murdered, and the team goes to work on figuring out who did it… and why. And once the truth comes out, who will be safe, who won’t be, and how will it all end?

We’ll get back to the mythology arc next time, but this is a fun side jaunt and lets the series explore a spooky concept. And just as importantly, Charlie’s back (at least for this episode!).

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