A New Day In The Old Town
|Talk||A New Day In The Old Town||Theories|
|A New Day In The Old Town|
|Air Date:||17 September 2009|
|Written by:|| J.J. Abrams |
|Directed by:||Akiva Goldsman|
|Guest Cast:|| Meghan Markle as Amy Jessup|
Luke Goss as Lloyd Parr
Ari Graynor as Rachel
Tegan Moss as Rebecca Kibner
Michael Mitchell as George Reed
|Next:||Night Of Desirable Objects|
|Previously:||There's More Than One Of Everything|
|Transcript — Additional Images|
- A New Day In The Old Town is the first episode of the second season of FRINGE. It first aired on September 17th, 2009. Olivia makes an unceremonious return from her visit to the alternate reality. Peter, Amy and Charlie race to locate an anonymous hostile force bent on eliminating one of the science team. Walter and Astrid return to the lab to isolate a bit of fringe science - and prepare for Peter’s birthday. Broyles and Nina find their way to Washington D.C. to face congressional scrutiny and defend the Fringe Division.
Manhattan. A heavyset, middle-aged, man named George Reed awakens to horns and sirens in his sedan, following an accident in the downtown streets. Blood trickles down his face from his scalp as he forces open his door and falls to the pavement. Regaining his awareness, he flees the scene on foot, looking for safe haven in the nearby buildings. He finds an apartment complex and rings all of the tenants at once, gaining access when one of them buzzes him in. Upstairs he finds Lloyd Parr in the hallway dropping his trash in the disposal chute. He makes small talk and quickly immobilizes Parr, then enters his apartment. Inside, with Parr laid-out on the floor, George begins to manually reconstruct his own face, crushing cheekbones and forehead in the process. He returns to Parr with a small device. Two wires hang from it, both with prongs on the ends. He forces the prongs into the roof of Parr's mouth, then does the same to himself with the other prong. After activating a switch on the control box, he begins to convulse - and physically morphs his own features to that of Lloyd Parr's.
In a grocery store in Boston, Peter tends to Walter as he wanders the aisles, boasting of culinary expertise - apparently, before Walter was Chair of Biochemistry at Harvard, he worked as a Sous Chef. Bored, Peter wants to leave, but Walter insists they continue, as he intends to make Peter custard for his birthday this upcoming Friday. Walter is certain that custard was Peter's favorite as a child, but Peter explains that he has never liked custard. Just then, Peter receives an important phone call.Back at the accident scene, Olivia is ejected through the driver's side of the windshield and soars thirty feet down the pavement. Bloody and motionless, Olivia rests there on her back, as everyone looks on in disbelief.
At New York General Hospital, Peter and Walter wait in the halls as Olivia is wheeled in for emergency treatment - a very gloomy diagnosis follows. Broyles meets Agent Jessup on the steps into the hospital to give her his orders regarding the Dunham accident - namely, that it was a typical accident, and the report is already complete. He tells her to sign the report and the case is closed. Inside, Walter takes exception with the attending physician when informed that Olivia's brain damage makes her unrepairable. Walter finds his way to intensive care and examines her for himself... and is saddened that she may very well be lost forever.On the other hand,
At the Federal Building in New York, dissatisfied with being manipulated by Broyles and stone-walled by Peter, Jessup takes it upon herself to continue researching and investigating the days incident and the Science Team. She calls up their personnel files, and then uses a special password to open many of the Pattern cases the team has solved since they were formed.
After the bar, Peter makes his way back to the hospital for a late night visit to the comatose Olivia. Inside, he finds Olivia's sister, Rachel, wandering the halls. She tells him she has only been back for a few hours, and that she left her daughter, Ella, with some friends. Somberly, she shares with Peter that Olivia had a living will with the stipulation no life support and that the hospital staff was going to take her off of life support the next morning. He quietly finds his way to Olivia's bedside and starts to say his final goodbyes... when she suddenly erupts with a quote in Greek, and bolts forward screaming, wide awake.
Still in her bed, Olivia's monitors are very active as she is questioned by the doctor to determine her orientation, and memory. Rachel is there to comfort her, but Olivia needs to speak to Peter. She has no memory of what has happened to her and confides in Peter that "He" told her something, but she doesn't know who "He" is. She is certain that there is something important that she has to do, but she just doesn't know what - however, she is certain that lives are in danger. Everyone's. Olivia expresses her fears and worries, telling Peter she wants her gun.At the FederalCharlie, or the case file on Olivia's accident. When he explains his plight to reception, his credentials are confiscated and shredded, as they are no longer valid. When he continues to make a fuss, he is asked to leave. Just when he is about to be forcibly removed, Agent Jessup intercepts the escort and takes responsibility for Peter. Peter and Amy get in her car and head for nearby Lexington. She has the file he wants to see with her, which contains surveillance photos from the time of the accident with George Reed clearly visible. However, the two find Reed dead in his nearby Boston area home, so he could not have been chasing Olivia around Manhattan. Walter joins the investigation at Reed's house and determines that the corpse has expelled all of its excess water, and he needs to examine it further in his lab. Amy continues to press Peter for information about
Shape-changer Lloyd Parr enters an antique office equipment store in the Bronx and asks about a 'Selectric 251', but is told no such model exists. After demanding to still see the 251, the owner realizes that he is "one of them", and is granted access to a back room with an old typewriter on a desk, next to a mirror. The proprietor is savvy to the process, but tells the Shape Changer he is "not going to wait around forever", as the last such activity was six years prior. Parr enters the back room, rolls in a sheet of paper and begins typing. He claims to have terminated the target, prevented a meeting and now desires extraction. Looking at the typewriter in the adjacent mirror, he sees the keys activate, but the paper in his typewriter prints what is being typed. He is being told he failed - that the target lives and that the meeting occurred. He then receives new orders - interrogate and kill the target.
At Walter's Lab, Peter escorts Amy in for her first visit. He tells her of the great things that have happened there and warns her of the bizarre, letting her know she still has time to turn back. Jessup refuses after coming this far.Charlie visits Olivia in the hospital and shares a somber story from his past, where he lost a partner and was shot in the process as a rookie police officer. The moral of the story is to be prepared for anything, and keep a gun under your pillow. Olivia smiles at the humor but starts to struggle with the fact that she cannot remember what happened to her. She is scared, and confides to Charlie how her hands shake when attempting to load her
Walter's examination of Reed's corpse reveals the shape-changer's prong marks in the mouth. He was reminded of a video of an experiment that he and William Bell conducted in the 1970's where they gave massive amounts of hallucinogens to a young woman, in an effort to stimulate her chakras. In her altered state, the woman describes a shape-changer who used a device that was pronged into the victims' mouths. Astrid starts to research records of cases with similar prong marks.Nina Sharp stands toe-to-toe with Broyles, reminding him that Fringe Division's work is of the utmost importance, and must not be shutdown. After a quick speech to bolster Broyles confidence, Nina gives him a fairly romantic kiss, then leaves him to attend to other business.
While visiting a forensics morgue to view another victim of the shape-changer, Peter and Amy realize that they are up against a soldier. An individual that will stay on mission until the objective is achieved. They then realize that Olivia is the target and that they need to get to her immediately.
At Olivia's hospital, shape changer Lloyd Parr takes over the body of a nurse and tries to get Olivia to divulge what she remembers. Olivia recalls that she seemed to go somewhere else and meet with someone, but then "came back" to the accident. She also remembers that there is something hidden that she must find, but she does not remember where or what it is. The Shape Changer nurse then jumps on top of Olivia and begins strangling her. Charlie, Peter and Jessup arrive in time to stop the attack, shooting the Shape Changer in the back, but she escapes out the window. As Peter and Amy converge on the soldier, they hear shots fired and run to find Charlie standing over the body of the nurse, with the shape-shifting device beside her on the ground.
Visiting Olivia bedside, and thinking they are now all safe, Peter tells Olivia that the Greek phrase she said to him earlier was something that his mother used to repeat to him every night before bed, about protecting those close to you. It translates to "be a better man than your father".
Peter then meets with Broyles and hands him the broken device found on the shape changer. "We're calling the shots now," says Peter. With this evidence, Fringe Division is reopened.Amy continues her research, reviewing recent Pattern-related case files on her computer. She appears to be matching chapter and verse from the Book of Revelations from the New Testament to prior cases.
Olivia reclines in her hospital bed. Hands steady, she loads a magazine with bullets and slips it into her pistol... confident, locked, and loaded.
In the bowels of the hospital, Charlie rolls a laundry cart up to a central furnace and opens the door to it. After tossing aside a few bags of laundry, he reaches into the basket and lifts the dead body of Agent Charlie Francis out, tossing him into the furnace for cremation.
- The Observer crosses the blocked street in front of the empty crash vehicles.
- Walter claims a new addiction to "Moules à la crème normande". It doesn't exist as such: it's either "Moules à la crème" or "Moules à la Normande" (mussels with cream).
- Agent Jessup misquotes Shakespeare. She says "There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt....," before Peter interrupts. The correct quote, from Hamlet, is - "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
- When Peter is in the lobby of the Boston Federal Building, the real name of the building is visible through the glass front - the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre - a University of British Columbia library.
- Walter mangles Astrid's name again. This time Astérix - Like Agent Farnsworth... an eager, diminutive, fearless and cunning warrior. Asterix was from Northwest Europe (Gaul) in the first century, and is a cartoon/comic book character created in the 60's in France. Asterix character
- Production Notes
- Studio. This is the first episode filmed under the FB2 Films Inc. banner at the Vancouver Film Studios in British Columbia.
- Runtime. This episode set the new show standard for a typical runtime of 42-43 minutes. This amends the production standard set in Season 1 of 48-50 minutes for a typical episode.
- Commercial. The Season 1 practice of announcing the length of commercial interruptions has been eliminated for Season 2.
- Media Extras. Walter's Lab Notes and the video-on-demand Episode Recap are not available from the network website for Season 2.
- Recurring Themes
- Memory Loss. In There's More Than One Of Everything, Walter became highly frustrated at his beach house with his inability to remember, and to find the device he needed to patch the soft-spots between universes. Olivia displayed the same level of frustration with her memory, and what it was exactly she was supposed to do.
- Antiquated Typewriters. Lloyd Parr uses an older electric model to communicate across multi-dimensional space/time. Walter's and Bell's manual typewriter, with the elevated 'y', was the star of the first season.
- Alternate Universe. Olivia crashing out of a car that she was not in, and the unmanned typewriter in the mirror communicating with the shape changing soldier.
- Cultural References
- The X-Files. Inside Lloyd Parr's apartment, an episode plays on the TV. The Senator's rant about funding at the sub-committee meeting is laced with references. FRINGE has been compared to the FBI sci-fi drama The X-Files throughout its' freshman season.
- Leary. Walter refers to hallucinogenics and Leary. Timothy Leary was a drug culture icon in the 1960's and 70's, and was well-known for his efforts with LSD, and the introduction of psychedelic drugs to manipulate personal behavior and spirituality.
- Literary Techniques
- Ironic Twist. When Charlie visits Olivia in the hospital, he tells her a story from his early days in the police force when a brutalized woman (who had just murdered his partner) shoots him, nearly taking his life. At the end of the episode, an ironic (literary) twist benchmarks Charlie's death. The Shape Changer assumed the form of a woman that had just gone through a brutal transformation, bringing his earlier tale "full circle" (in a "God-sparing" fashion)... satisfying his destiny for not having died as a junior officer.
- Fin de Siècle. Peter's speech to Broyles, "...from now on, we're calling the shots... we're done reacting... we're not gonna be too late anymore!" is the literary style of grandiose bravado combined with a shared prospect of unavoidable radical change and anticipated finality.
- Storyline Analysis
- The shape changing soldier communicates with controlling influences through the use of a unique typewriter. He types his message on a single sheet of paper, and mysteriously receives a reply back on the same paper. In his Lab Notes (The Equation), Walter appears to have had a dialogue using the same method of communication.
|A pirate flag (skull and crossbones) appears on a TV monitor (There's More Than One Of Everything). This is a clue to the Shape Changer ability to remodel his skull and bones in A New Day In The Old Town.|
• Can't Find My Way Home by Blind Faith
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on A New Day In The Old Town/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- Are the collision at the beginning of this episode and the previous near-collision (There's More Than One Of Everything) the same event?
- If so, when and how did Olivia enter the other dimension?
- If so, when and how did Olivia exit that other dimension?
- Would Olivia have stayed in the vehicle, not fly through the windshield, if the seatbelt in her SUV were fastened?
- What is Olivia supposed to find, and where is it hidden?
- Shape Changer
- Is the Shape Changer associated with the Observer?
- Is the Shape Changer associated with those who sent the assassin to retrieve The Beacon? (The Arrival)
- Why did the Shape Changer abandon the changing device?
- How did the Shape Changer dispose of the hospital nurse?
- Who gave Agent Jessup the password to open the highly classified Fringe Division case files?
- Does the password 112885627 have any significant meaning?
- Does the index of New Testament references assigned to Fringe cases have a significance above and beyond the agent's assessment?
- Is Amy authoring the index herself, or entering references she has read in each file?
- The Bishops
- Was young Peter "shape-changed" by Walter?
- Was the Greek phrase referring to Walter Bishop in this universe, or the alternative one?
- The Typewriter
- Who sent the return message on the typewriter?
- Is William Bell associated with the bridging of universes through typewriters?
- Was the mirror necessary, or was it a visual gimmick for the audience's benefit?