Concentrate And Ask Again

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Concentrate And Ask Again
Episode312.jpg
Season: 3 Episode: 12
Air Date: 04 February 2011
Written by: Matthew Pitts
Graham Roland
Directed by: Dennis Smith
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: Omid Abtahi as Simon Phillips
JR Bourne as Agent Edwards
Kevin Corrigan as Sam Weiss

Paul Jarrett as Warren Blake
Natalie Gibson as Grace
Carlos Diaz as Randall
Tyler McMaster as SWAT #1
Emmanuel Matovu as SWAT #2
Todd Scott as Aaron Downey
Alexandra Castillo as Doctor
Jody Thompson as Sara Downey
Richard Keats as Don
Ian Robison as George
Greg Webb as Dick
Judith Maxie as Hospital Chief
Anna Van Hooft as Nina’s Assistant
Matthew MacCaull as Vannoy
Sylvester Stuart as Dillon
Duncan Spencer as Agent #1
Adam Beauchesne as Waiter
Richard Stroh as Security #1
Aaron Sholomenko as Security #2

Next: Immortality
Previously: Reciprocity
Transcript  —  Additional Images
Introduction

Concentrate And Ask Again is the twelfth episode of the third season of FRINGE. It first aired on February 04, 2011. The investigation follows three men intent on revenge that are using a powderized bioweapon to assassinate those they blame for their losses. A hyper-sensitive test subject from Walter’s past agrees to assist with the difficult case and finds a new friend in Olivia.

Synopsis

Prologue
 At Massive Dynamic, Nina Sharp walks out of an elevator, down a stark hallway and swipes her keycard to gain access to a secure room. The room is full of artifacts and memorabilia from William Bell. Nina takes a moment to look around the room at the gathered items, including diplomas from Yale and Princeton that were awarded to Bell. Nina adjusts a thermostat on the wall to its' minimum setting, and a holographic vent grating fades away and reveals a safe with a digital keypad and a small - Stay out, this means you note. She opens the safe with the code 0-5-2-0-1-0. Inside the safe, are a few valued items: A small red Ford Mustang model car - that makes her smile, a stack of sketched logos for Massive Dynamic, an old picture of William and Walter, and an old picture
Secured Collectibles
of her and William. The final item in the safe is wrapped in cloth and contains a German edition of "The First People". Nina makes a quick phone call to have Agent Dunham summoned. Later, after Olivia has joined her in her office, Nina tells her that the various The First People books are not 'essentially' the same - they are 'precisely' the same, in all languages by the various authors. She has no idea why Bell was interested in the books. Nina thinks that the decrypted journal Bolivia left behind may shed some light on The First People or the device. Olivia disagrees... there was nothing in the journal about them. Nina is a little surprised - she did not know that Olivia had been given access to the files. Awkward! Olivia reading about Peter's time with the other Olivia? Olivia is fine with it, though her counterpart did seem to develop genuine feelings for Peter, above and beyond her mission of espionage and counterintelligence (Reciprocity). Her biggest concern is that Peter may have similar feelings for Bolivia, a better version of her.
Crunch Time At INtREPUS R&D
Nina helps her out. She and Bell had a "complicated relationship" too. The best advice Nina can offer is that if Olivia really wants to know what Peter is thinking, then ask him.

← At an INtREPUS office building, Warren Blake shares a birthday celebration with his coworkers. He is gifted with a Magic 8-Ball that promptly reports that the outlook is not so good when it comes to being awarded the Fowler Grant. Not disheartened, his colleagues render a warm birthday song along with a large cake with sparklers and candles. Later, in his office, Warren opens a recently delivered package and finds a curious offering. Inside is a child's rag doll with a pullstring. He removes the doll, examines it, then pulls the string. He is greeted by the repetitive laughter of a child, followed by a puff of blue powder that sprays from the doll. He immediately starts to choke, convulse and fall... his own weight is too heavy for his skeletal frame to bear. His arms and legs are disintegrating within him. His assistant, Grace, hears the commotion from down the hall and reaches him just after he collapses in bone-crushing pain. She finds Warren lumped on the floor and screams... he has been reduced to a structureless pile of skin, flesh and clothing.

ACT I

 At the INtREPUS office, the science team gathers less than two hours after the attack on Warren Blake. Broyles informs the team that the Boston Police Department have already evacuated the building and established a quarantine area when they heard the murder may have been from a
Unique Delivery Method - Bioweapon From Madison
biological attack. So far, the death of Doctor Blake, a scientist in the company's Research and Development Department, hasn't been matched with any known biological or chemical weapon. Olivia and the Bishop's enter Blake's office after donning their protective gear. Walter inspects Blake and determines that there isn't a single bone left in his body. The blue substance covering his face must have been inhaled, causing his fatal condition. Walter finds it ingenious - that the substance destroyed his bone matter, but was nonreactive with anything else... undoubtedly the work of a highly proficient chemist. Peter looks around and finds the rag doll. He pulls the drawstring and gets a quick laugh from the doll and a small eruption of blue powder... bonus points for the creepy factor. Olivia figures the attack was personal - the card that came with the doll says 'from Madison', and the box the doll came in has no return address - the package was too big to just drop into a mail box.
 In Walter's Lab, Olivia checks the security footage from the Post Office in Chelsea. The package with the rag doll was delivered from there two days earlier. She also quietly notes that the coffee Peter picked-up for her has milk in it, instead of what he normally gets for her, sugar only. Astrid's
Finger-licking Good Experimentation
research shows that Doctor Blake was noted for his work in curing disease and saving thousands of lives in underdeveloped countries. Walter is busy testing the rag doll in an isolation chamber. The chicken bone he placed inside with the doll starts to disintegrate when he exposes it to the blue powder. Astrid thinks his testing is excessive, an excuse to eat greasy fried chicken and usurp his diet. Walter doesn't deny the claim. He thinks the molecules in the powder bond with calcium, and that the powder is capsulized to preserve the agent until it is delivered. Walter recalls that he and Bell worked on a similar delivery technique in the 1970's, trying to find a method to vaccinate people without their knowledge. They discontinued the project when they suspected the government might try to use the research to develop biological weapons. Olivia gets a lead on the suspect just as Walter deduces that the components inside the rag doll are military grade. Astrid confirms Olivia's lead. The suspect is a former Marine, Aaron Downey, from nearby Quincy. Downey has no criminal record, but he has been out of The Service for four years, so it is unlikely that he acquired the biological weapon that long ago. Olivia calls immediately to set-up a tactical raid on Downey's residence.
 At Downey's home in Quincy, a dozen armed officers force entry into the house wearing protective masks. They search the house and find no signs of the suspect or airborne contaminants.
Recovered Half The Stolen Ordinance
The team searches the house once it is cleared and Olivia finds a kettle on the stove that is still warm - they must have just missed Downey. Later, as Peter searches an upstairs bedroom, Olivia reads the file they have on Downey: His service record was impeccable, he abruptly resigned his commission four years earlier, and he bought the house with just cash after disappearing for a long while. Peter finds a photo album with multiple pictures of the same woman - maybe she knows where Downey is. Olivia changes the subject... her coffee - after all of the coffee he has bought her, today he got the order wrong. Is that how the other Olivia takes her coffee? Does he still think about her? Peter confesses that he thinks about her all of the time. Then he remembers how Bolivia used his feelings to manipulate him, and then lied to him and everyone else. Bolivia was not better than Olivia, Peter just thought that he was bringing out a different side in Olivia. So... sorry about the coffee. Olivia heads downstairs to join Broyles, they found a large case with half of its' heavy duty cannisters missing - stolen military ordinance with missing serial numbers. Still upstairs looking for clues in the bedroom, Peter hears a phone ring outside then sees a man dash across the hip roof next to the second story bedroom window. He runs after him and jumps from roof to roof. After they both jump to the ground, the man he is chasing dashes into the street and is badly struck by a passing vehicle.

ACT II

 At the hospital, the attending doctor explains to the team that Downey has brain damage and is unconscious. If he were to regain consciousness, he would not be able to talk, swallow, or breathe without a machine. Walter looks at Aaron's chart and notices a small amount of cerebral activity still occurring. This gives him an idea... he must return to the lab to think about. The woman in the photo album is Downey's ex-wife.

 The team brings her in and learns about Warren Blake. Her ex-husband finally did it, he had talked about killing Blake after they lost their child in her seventh month of pregnancy, but she never took him seriously. Sara explains to Olivia and Peter that Aaron was in the military up until four years ago. He decided to leave the military for a contract job overseas, and when he came back, they started the family they had wanted. Seven months into the pregnancy the baby died, and the couple learned that Aaron passed on a DNA pathogen that left the baby without a skeleton. The baby's name was going to be Madison. Aaron believed he had been exposed to the pathogen when he was overseas, and that Blake, who was in charge of the project, was responsible. Sara adds that the same thing happened to two others who were with Aaron overseas. She did not know the names of the other two men. Outside of the interview room, Peter receives a phone call. Walter is calling from a roadside phone booth in New Hampshire. He is out of gas, money, and is hungry.

 Peter and Olivia find Walter, bring him gas for his car, and ask him where he was going. He explains that he is going to find a man named Simon Philips, a Cortexiphan trial patient that was released from the program after he developed the ability to read minds. Peter questions Walter's motives for kicking the kid out, wondering aloud whether Walter was scared that Simon would find out his secret, that Peter had been taken from the other universe. Walter explains that the only way he knows to find out what Aaron knows about the bioweapon attacks is to "re-activate" Simon's ability to read minds.

 The trio arrives in Washington, Vermont and approaches Simon's secluded home in the woods. Walter goes around to the side of the house to urinate, finishes his business, and turns around to find Simon pointing a pistol at him. Simon instantly starts to repeat the things that Walter is thinking, proving his ability is not dormant. Olivia finds the two and points her pistol at Simon. Simon calms down when he is unable to read her mind and learns she was in the drug trial too. Simon is overwhelmed by Walter's thoughts and collapses. Inside Simon's cabin, Olivia and Simon talk. He tells her how refreshing it is to have a real conversation after twenty years. Around the house are drawings, all of the same woman. Simon tells Olivia that he can't control his ability, and that is why he lives in seclusion. Olivia reassures Simon that she understands that it is hard to deal with their abilities, but that he has the power to help people with it. She asks him if he would return to Boston with them to help with an investigation. Simon is apprehensive at first, but he agrees to cooperate with them.

 In the lobby of the Canopy One Defense Corp building, three men are getting on an elevator. Inside they find a doll with a note on it that says "Happy Birthday From: Carla." As the elevator ascends, the three men are heard screaming: another attack.

ACT III

 At the hospital, patients are moved from surrounding rooms, so Simon can visit Downey and read his mind without pain or distraction. Olivia coaches Simon to concentrate and train his thoughts. At first the thoughts are too jumbled, then Simon has Olivia ask specific questions to illicit more focused thinking. She asks who was involved in the attack and a rush of thoughts come to Simon, making him nauseous. After vomiting, Simon quickly writes as many of the thoughts he heard on a pad of paper for Olivia. The list includes: peas, grasshopper, carrots, oxidized, vegetable plate, Maryann, Project Jellyfish, stat, NK8749J, doctors, dawns early light, powder canister, etc.... The team discusses the list and determines that Project Jellyfish is probably their lead after Walter explains that the jellyfish is one of the only creatures with no bones. Olivia feels bad for Simon, and Peter immediately says that although she might think it, she is nothing like Simon. Broyles enters and tells them there has been another bio-attack, this time at Canopy One Defense Corp.

 Olivia talks to Simon, who asks whether the information he gave them was helpful. Olivia says she's not sure yet, but meanwhile she asks about the picture that Simon is currently drawing. He seems to be working on another drawing of the woman whose pictures are all over his house. Simon tells Olivia that it is a woman who works at a local coffee shop and that she is perfect. Olivia assumes, correctly, that Simon has never met this woman. Simon then proceeds to explain that he is scared to meet her due to his ability and the fact that he would be able to tell what she thought of him, regardless of what she claimed her feelings were. Olivia tells Simon that he shouldn't be scared of what he thinks might happen, because he doesn't know for sure. Simon tells her that no one should be able to read another person's thoughts, but Olivia tells him that she wouldn't mind having his ability, if only for a short while. She, personally, would like to know what Peter is thinking, presumably about Bolivia.

 Back in Nina's office, Broyles is informed that "officially," Project Jellyfish never existed. Nina's CIA contact, Agent Edwards, explains that the project participants were inoculated, and the pathogen passed onto their children. The CIA Agent Edwards also tells Broyles that along with the house Downey was given by the government, he was also given 25 acres of farmland just south of Boston.

 In Pembroke, MA, inside a barn on the property owned by Downey, two men perform a weaponization test. A human dummy is set up wearing a vest rigged with more canisters of the chemical. The two men put on safety goggles and one hits a detonator. The vest erupts with a blue powder and it seems the two men are ready for the next stage of their crime spree.

ACT IV

Walter, in a Haz-Mat suit, walks out of the barn in Pembroke, MA. He takes off his mask and says that the powder has fully oxidized and that they are safe to go in. Inside the discover a large scale map of the next attack, but do not know the location. On the wall, Olivia and Broyles discuss an article about Congressman Jim Thorn, who used to be an army general, and possibly the one that approved Project Jellyfish. Broyles immediately decides to alert Thurn's security guards of the situation. In the meantime, Peter has found a piece of paper that has Maryann Douglas Wing printed on it. Olivia verifies that this is a section of the Fine Arts Museum, and Broyles adds in the Thurn is having a fundraiser there. This must be the next target.

 At the Maryann Douglas Wing of the Fine Arts Musuem, Olivia is planning to walk Simon around in an attempt to discover the suspects by reading their minds. Before they begin their search, an agent explains to Olivia that if one of the suspects is about to push the trigger, she must be able to shoot him through the mouth in order to severe the spinal cord and keep his finger from pushing down.

 Olivia and Simon begin their search below in one of the service corridors. They are quickly approached by a man who tells them that they aren't supposed to be there, but they give an excuse that Simon does not feel well and that they need a bathroom. The man points them to where they need to go, and leaves. Simon identifies this man as one of the suspects and Olivia pursues him. She pulls her gun and looks around, but cannot find the man. The man, meanwhile, is hiding between some crates, waiting to ambush Olivia. Luckily, the reflection off of a plate gives away the suspects location and Olivia is able to shoot him before he gets a chance to do the same to her. Olivia then checks the man for the vest device, and determines that the last remaining suspect must be wearing it. She calls in her report and tells them that her and Simon are going back out there to find the last suspect.

ACT V

 Inside the reception area at the Fine Art Museum, Olivia and Simon mingle their way through the guests looking for the last assassin. Simon, overwhelmed by all of the thoughts he is hearing, manages to point out the target, who is worried about his missing partner.
Lost wife on the balcony... found bullet in the throat.
Olivia moves to intercept the man before he reaches the Congressman's security detail. Vannoy makes it to the security detail on the upper level observation deck and claims that he is looking for his wife... she may be on the balcony behind them. The security man tells Vannoy he needs to find another exit. The assassin instantly displays his triggering switch and prepares to detonate the dispersal device he is wearing. Before he has a chance, Olivia fires across the crowded expanse into the base of the criminal's skull, so he cannot activate the trigger. The crowd panics and moves away. The security man checks the dead assassin and finds the bioweapon they were warned about, and gives a nod of confirmation to Olivia. Down below, Simon remains cowered next to the stairwell. Olivia checks on him and gives a reassuring nod of success. Later, as the assassins are wheeled-out in bodybags, Peter joins Olivia with compliments and coffee. The coffee is just the way she likes it, not her counterpart, and the compliment is genuine... she looks great in her formal gown. Nearby, Simon sits and waits for Olivia to remove him from all of the surrounding chaos. Walter approaches him and thinks deeply about saying something, but thinks better of it. Simon looks back at him and says nothing.

 Washington, Vermont. Olivia drives Simon home through the dark woods. Once there, she walks him to the front porch and offers an encouraging thought – his life doesn’t need to be one of isolation - go meet the woman that fascinates him. His ability should not stop him from living his life. Simon knows better - no one is supposed to know what another person is thinking. Although he can’t read her mind, he did read Peter’s – and wrote down his thoughts for her. Olivia takes the envelope he hands her and leaves without reading it.

 Massive Dynamic. Nina sits in her office
Anagram Champion - 2011
and reviews the multiple copies of The First People book she has spread out before her. Something dawns on her about the names of the various authors. She writes the name of the author of the German version of the book and quickly rearranges the letters into another name - the name of a good friend.
Sam's got some 'splainin to do'
← It’s after hours in the bowling alley, and Sam Weiss is busy sweeping the lanes. Nina has slipped into the building undetected and is intent on confronting Sam on two topics. First, why does it seem that he is the author of The First People books? And second, what is the device intended for? Why has he never mentioned any of this to her before? Sam avoids the question of authorship and talks about the device, unaware, until now, that it had been found. Peter Bishop is who she needs to worry about, not him. The device is specifically in tune with Peter and his frequency, and that frequency depends on his state-of-mind. That state-of-mind could be determined by whichever Olivia he chooses. The universe that survives will belong to the Olivia he chooses. Nina is confident that Peter will save this universe. Sam warns her that she should not be so sure of that.

 In her apartment, Olivia sits and reads the simple, hand-written note she was given. - He still has feelings for her.

Quotes

"What I can tell you is this... that device can either be used as a tool of creation or as a weapon of destruction. Depends on your point of view. And Peter Bishop is uniquely tuned to operate it. Whatever frequency Peter's vibrating at will determine how the machine reacts... depends on his state of mind, which, in turn, will depend on who he ends up with. Olivia from here or Olivia from over there. Whichever one he chooses, it'll be her universe that survives." - Sam Weiss (to Nina, explaining Peter's connection to the device and the grave impact it may have)

Trivia

General
  • The Observer saunters into Congressman Thorn's gala fundraiser just before Olivia intercepts the final assassin.
  • Walter drinks the popular fictional Slusho after Peter and Olivia arrive in New Hampshire with food for him and fuel for his station wagon.
  • While reading Walter's mind, Simon hears "Z2 = Z1 squared plus C", part of the base formula for the Mandelbrot Set at the core of complex fractal geometry.
  • One of the twenty possible answers inside the Magic 8-Ball is Concentrate And Ask Again.
Recurring Themes
  • Anagram and Sam Weiss. Nina discovers anagrams for The First People authors lead to Sam. Olivia discovered a secret message hidden in a therapeutic anagram task (Dream Logic) assigned by Sam.
  • Combination. Nina uses the code 0-5-2-0-1-0 to open the hidden safe at Massive Dynamic. Walter uses the code 05-20-10 to open the locked daycare building (Jacksonville) that he conducted the Cortexiphan test trials in. His rationale... "I always use the same combination, though I can't remember the significance".
Episode Reference
  • The First People. Nina mentions that The First People book led them to the coordinates of the pieces of Wave Sink Device. (6955 kHz)

Previously

NextEpisodeClue312.jpg
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NextEpisodeClue312.jpg
    The blue recycle bin (Reciprocity) in the alleyway where Peter kills a fleeing shapeshifter is labeled with a "Powder Blue" sticker, foreshadowing the blue powder bioweapon wielded throughout this episode.

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on Concentrate And Ask Again/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • Are there more undocumented Cortexiphan test subjects?
  • What was the objective of Project Jellyfish?
  • Did Simon learn about Peter and Walter's most recent secret (Reciprocity) when he read their minds?
  • How does Sam Weiss know about The First People and the device?
    • Is he responsible for copying the book into different languages?
    • If yes, why was it important to distribute in multiple languages?
    • If he is the original author, what was his primary motive for writing the book?
  • Did Sam Weiss tell Nina the truth during her visit?
  • Must Peter choose between Olivia and Bolivia?
    • If he chooses neither, is there a negative/positive consequence?
  • Does the note ("He still has feelings for her.") refer to Peter and Bolivia?



Episodes

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything

Transcripts

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything