|Air Date:||13 April 12|
|Written by:||Christine Lavaf|
|Directed by:||Jeannot Szwarc|
|Guest Cast:|| Jared Harris as David Jones|
Curtis Harris as Chris Broyles
Karen Holness as Diane Broyles
Chilton Crane as Mrs. Lee
|Next:||Letters Of Transit|
|Previously:||Everything In Its Right Place|
|Transcript — Additional Images|
The Consultant is the eighteenth episode of the fourth season of FRINGE. It first aired on April 13th, 2012. Walter visits Fringe Division in the alternate universe to lend his scientific expertise to the investigation of a recent destructive breach in the fabric between the two universes. David Jones initiates the next phase of his master plan. Colonel Broyles unknowingly raises suspicion with a DoD colleague.
It is a somber affair in the alternate universe as Captain Lincoln Lee is buried by his fellow military members, civilian co-workers and immediate family. The dark, overcast day and constant drizzle has many under umbrella as the Honor Guard and Casket Escort pay respect to Lee and his family as he arrives at his final resting place. FD Agent Farnsworth and FBI Agent Lee wait in the car during the procession and delivery of Lee to his parents. Farnsworth is sad at the loss of Lee and is decidely uncomfortable at funerals, having buried her father only a few months earlier. She never knows what to say at a funeral. Lee is hanging back not only because he is new to the close knit Fringe Division family, his presence and image, identical to Captain Lee, may disturb family and friends at the ceremony. Lee assures Farnsworth that there is 'nothing you can say' at a funeral. Captain Lee's parents struggle with the weight of their loss, while nearby, Colonel Broyles struggles with his own burden - having dealt them the loss of their son. Mrs. Lee's axiom, children shouldn't die before their parents, hits a nerve with Lieutenant Dunham - Fringe Division will bring Lincoln's murderers to justice. That promise falls on Colonel Broyles ears as well... his ethical burden just doubled.
In her holding cell at Fringe Headquarters in Manhatan, criminal provocateur, Nina Sharp gets a visit from Agent Dunham once she is back in civvies and on-task to make good her promise to Mr. and Mrs. Lee. The jump-suited Sharp, sitting across from Dunham in the windowless room, studies the electronic tablet Dunham brought for her. The document on it, signed by Secretary Bishop, is an authentic plea bargain that is on the table for Sharp to accept, or not, if she wants a reduced sentence for the crimes felonious she was caught committing in violation of the Liberty Island Bridge Treaty. Dunham encourages Sharp to take the deal – in exchange for revealing who exactly the mole that David Jones has embedded in the Department of Defense. The offer from the DoD boss is a one-time only deal that is getting ready to expire the second Dunham leaves the tiny cell. Just tell us who it was that tipped you guys off about the location of the shafeshifter prisoner transport, resulting in the death of Captain Lee. Last chance. Unless you want to stay here and rot with Jones and the rest of your crew? Sharp isn’t buying what Dunham is selling. She is not worried at all. Her face says as much. Sharp knows something big is about to happen… she definitely won’t be here much longer. The world is about to change. You think things are bad now – just wait – they are going to get much worse.Back in this universe, in Manhattan, Jeremy Delman’s workday has gone from zero-to-sour in less than a minute. Senior Executive Brian Bauer has assembled his subordinate team leaders in one of Aartz Holdings conference rooms with the sole intent of chastising and reading Delman the Riot Act in front of his peersraises him to the suspended ceiling. He appears to be shifting rapidly between dimensions in what seems to be one of the rifts that were abated when the two universes established the trans-dimensional bridge on Liberty Island. After only a few seconds in the anomaly, Bauer is violently deposited on the conference table below him – most of him that is. His legs seemed to have travelled elsewhere. Meeting adjourned.
Walter chides 'Ascot' for her daredevil ways behind the wheel… who drives that fast ? – the speed limit! Farnsworth disregards her ward with the typical respect her Teflon® ego brought to this baby-sitting assignment. As Peter and Peter’s girlfriend navigating toward them. With all the subtlety of a beauty salon gossip, Walter asks if he and Olivia have been ‘’making up for lost time’’ <wink-wink-nudge-nudge>. Astrid could care less, she just wants to know what the mission is... what are we in for? Olivia briefs the science team on what has been learned so far, Bauer and a second victim in the building died simultaneously. In both instances, each victim was lifted several feet in the air, then driven back down to the ground, dying on impact.
Inside, a good thirty stories above the surrounding city in Aartz’s conference room, Walter begins his initial forensic review of Bauer. The bones in the lower half of Hand of God theory, if you will, against sinners. These injuries, however, are not consistent with the eyewitness accounts. A crushed spinal column and hip bones pushed up through the torso means high velocity impact, not a drop from about ten feet. The collapsed heavy-duty conference table beneath Bauer supports that supposition too. Nearby, Olivia spends a few moments with Delman, who shares his impression of the volatile proceedings that were underway when the boss got tossed to the table. Bauer was one to flare, but this time he was at his worst when he died – it seemed like an ‘invisible hand’ swooped him up and spiked him. Olivia steps away from the interview when she gets a cell phone call. Walter continues the autopsia cadaverum and asks Astrid to check her corpse too… yep, they both have significant abrasions laterally across the abdomen. Peter recognizes immediately what they have here – seatbelt injuries that one would get from a high speed vehicle crash. Olivia joins the conversation following her call from the office: Broyles just received notice of a third victim with identical injuries who died at the same time as these two… except he, a pilot, was a half dozen miles away on the other side of the East River – in his Brooklyn apartment. Walter sees it now. These two were in a plane crash, the third victim – their pilot. How can that be, Walter? The team waits and watches as Walter theorizes silently. His reflection in the big screen television on the conference room wall suggests the probable explanation. The crash originated in the parallel universe.
Back at Fringe Division Headquarters, Agent Farnsworth reports to Colonel Broyles in his office with an update on their immediate findings following a communiqué from the science team in this universe. Farnsworth confirms NTSB for that. Agent Dunham joins the pair as Farnsworth gets her marching orders and returns to the Situation Room. Alone with Colonel Broyles, Dunham hands over a list of personnel on the books that have the credentials to qualify as Jones insider. There are 108 individuals on the list, each with the level of operational access needed to be in the loop regarding the prisoner transport attack. She wants to start background checks and electronic surveillance on them right away, in order to plug the leak and avenge Captain Lee. The Colonel is noticeably less gung-ho than his Lieutenant – many of the folks on her list are part of DoD, and high ranking. If she wants to cut through all of the red tape to begin such a large surveillance detail, he will make the effort, but it will take some time. In the meantime, Colonel Broyles needs Dunham to take point on the Division’s case-of-the-day… the Teaneck, New Jersey, plane crash that seems to have pierced the trans-dimensional brane between the two universes. Her first task is to head out to Liberty Island with Agent Lee and meet the science consultant they are sending across the bridge from this universe’s Fringe Task Force.
Back on this side of the Liberty Island Bridge, Olivia escorts science consultant extraôrdinaire, Doctor Walter Bishop, through the security screening process established by the Treaty between the universes. Giddy with excitement, Walter uses the lavatory before the ‘lengthy trip’ to the parallel dimension, aka. fifty feet down that hallway over there. With his hand on a portable lie detector, the interview with the MP on sentry duty goes quickly; Pacemaker? No. Smallpox? No. Tuberculosis? No. Malaria? No. Medications? Mostly recreational. That seems like it might be a showstopper… Olivia gives it a quiet wave-off, no worries Sergeant. Alright then, clear to pass – ‘status-of-forces’ clause in the treaty. Set to go, Walter takes Olivia’s arm and steps into the scanning chamber with briefcase in hand. The bright lights and computer-generated voice startles the Doctor on his first venture through the portal. The whole event takes only a few seconds and, once across, Olivia deposits Walter in a nearby conference room along with the medical bag she was carrying. Before she leaves, Olivia double-checks with Walter on her standing offer - you sure that you don't want me to go with you? Walter will be fine, besides he needs her to facilitate Peter’s efforts back at the lab with the corpses that are going to be delivered there. He just needs to get the samples from the victims here so they can compare them. Not to mention – the new love birds, she and Peter, could use a little time together. Walter is very appreciative of her trust is this instance, given his reclusive eccentricities since his release from St. Claire’s, this is a big step in his social rehabilitation. Olivia smiles in agreement. Agents Dunham and Lee arrive to assume escort duty with their consultant and share smiles and platitudes all around. Bolivia wants to move along and heads for the exit with Walter. Olivia takes a few seconds with Lee - - how is her counterpart doing with the loss of her Lincoln Lee? As well as can be expected... considering, she is really motivated to find the people responsible. Olivia offers Lee a little motivational perk… Dunham is lucky to have his help. Oh, and take care of Walter. Done.
Still on Liberty Island, Dunham escorts Lee and Bishop to the ferry dock for a short ride to this Bridge is healing her world. Wheeler offers his sorrow to Dunham about losing her partner. The William Bell accomplished, transporting matter from one side to the other and even merging tiny portions of both universes, but it never occurred to them that events in one universe could cause a reaction in the other. Dunham’s instincts tell her that David Jones might be involved somehow. Prisoner Sharp warned that things were going to get a lot worse, and then an hour later, this plane crash thing happened and qualified her prophecy. Walter doesn’t discount Jones involvement, but if he is part of this, then Jones is working in scientific territory he and Bell never conceived.
It is after dark in Manhatan and Walter is just getting started with the something is out of kilter. What is wrong is that the hand should be vibrating at a “perfect C”, not a 'G', like it is. If the two parallel victims had swapped universes, then they would be expected to continue to resonate at the same frequency as their respective origin universe, even in death. Somehow, in this case, both vicitms now resonate at the harmonic constant of this universe. The folks that were drawn here from Walter’s universe have been retuned to match this universe. Walter is fairly certain that the plane crash is the true cause of death, and not the ‘retuning’ they suffered, still, the two events must probably be linked. Lee has an idea, gather any flight-related recordings they have for analysis. Lieutenant Dunham can handle that - satellites record all in-flight communications in her universe.
Not much later, the trio gathers in the Situation Room around Agent Farnsworth as she plays the recorded radio conversation of the doomed aircraft from earlier in the day. Air Traffic Control is directing the departure of the small commercial plane at eight thousand feet as it proceeds to the Southwest. The pilot is concerned about the turbulence he is experiencing and is asking for clearance
Elsewhere in the metropolitan area, David Jones sits on a public bench in a busy late night district, sipping his tea. His colleague is late and apologizes for the tardiness as he sits with the master criminal. Jones is fine with the delay… this tea is one of his favorites and will be missed once everything changes. Jones’ cohort has positive news – their experiment with the aircraft that crashed turned-out better than they had anticipated. About the next experiment… does Jones have a preference for the target? Handing over the briefcase he brought with him, Jones does not, and welcomes the surprise of his accomplice’s choosing.→
Back in this universe, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Jones’ accomplice retains the briefcase he was given and has found a taxi cab to serve as his next test sample. Sitting in the back of the cab, the man fiddlesgoes to pay for her pet needs… Jones’ device activates and sends Ms Guerring hurdling half way across the pet supply store as if she had been in a violent wreck. When her body comes to rest, nearly half a liter of river water drains from her lungs. curled across the pet store floor in her universe.
Inside one of the conference rooms on Liberty Island, Astrid has made the trip from Boston and meets with her counterpart, Agent Farnsworth, so they can coordinate with both Guerring crime scenes simultaneously in their respective universes. Astrid presents her parallel self with the gift of coffee, something the Fringe Division technician thought she would never have the pleasure of experiencing again - - a delightful tracks down Walter, who has fixated on a large bag of animal chow… for pet badgers, nonetheless. The two Astrids compare facts as they pass details from the field to one another. First, they confirm that they are both dealing with the same victim, Nancy Guerring. Next, the injuries. A broken left arm. Check. Peter has a question – what exactly does Walter have him searching the vehicle for? Is the device large, or small? Unknown. Walter isn’t sure. Peter finishes his inspection of the trunk of the cab, then moves to the rear passenger section where he finds the briefcase left by Jones’ man. Olivia joins him as he pries the case open and finds the actuating device – a large metallic plate with multiple electronic leads to a familiar power source. It is Amphilicite – which confirms that Jones is behind all of this.
After investigating the incident at the pet store, Agent Dunham leads her team back to Headquarters for a face-to-face with Colonel Broyles. He is curious to learn if the crash in his realm of responsibility, the aircraft in New Jersey, had a similar device to the one that Peter found in his universe. Dunham tells him no, but postulates that it was likely destroyed because of the excessive damage during
southern Manhatan, and this meeting with Colonel Broyles in a public venue was planned. David Jones has a fresh assignment for the Colonel – one that only a few individuals could accomplish. Avoiding their typical faux-polite banter, Jones hands-over a small mechanical device with two lengthy prongs extending from the palm-sized gizmo. Jones won’t explain what it does, just that Broyles needs to follow his directive of placing it on the control panel of the Machine on Liberty Island - the one that established the stable space-time environment that both universes now enjoy. Does Jones realize that machine is healing both worlds? He does. Does Broyles need to be reminded who Jones is healing. Take it… install it tomorrow before sunset. Reluctantly, Broyles accepts the tasking.
Much later that night, in Agent Dunham’s apartment, Walter slips from his guest room vectored on a bladder relief mission to the adjacent bathroom. Sitting on the floor in front of the living room coffee table, Bolivia Dunham, normally averse to hard alcohol, has the evidence from Lee's murder - everything points to a traitor within the ranks. But she has no leads and is pressed to give Lee’s parents what few items he kept at work; a Certificate of Valor and an ID badge. Dunham wants to give them a solved case, not mementos. The few sips she just imbibed in were meant to foster a touch of courage, instead, the booze only summoned a touch of nausea. Walter feels her anguish and thinks he can help…big skillet of scrambled protein ready to serve in only minutes. Dunham is stressing over the fact that her instincts are telling she has missed some critical detail in her investigation. Walter is familiar with the sentiment – remarkably, sleep helps the brain in most instances, allowing one to process evidence while they are resting the body. Yeah. Maybe, but she doesn’t have any evidence to start with, nada. Walter hearkens the fictitious tales of Sherlock Holmes… one of the detective's axioms was - ’No evidence, is evidence, in and of itself’. Suggesting? Dunham starts to process the concept. No evidence might suggest that?... only a really high-ranking mole would have the authority to cover their tracks, or the latitude to ensure that zero evidence were available – someone who could alter classified details. Off the top of his head, Walter targets the top dog. How about Colonel Broyles? Dunham immediately rejects the speculation. No way. Broyles? Walter reminds her, particularly in the case of a double agent, no one should be above suspicion. Dunham’s face droops as the concept sinks-in. Maybe it is Broyles.
None the worse for wear, Agent Dunham makes her first priority in the morning a girls-only chat with Ms Sharp in her jail cell. Sharp, more concerned with what’s on the menu, takes notice when Dunham enters her cell, disconnects the camera on the wall and starts a casual ‘didja know’ dialogue with her prisoner. Dunham identified the mole – sorry – and has Colonel Broyles in custody now, and he is telling
Back in the Situation Room, Agents Dunham and Lee confer on her little chat with Sharp. Did Sharp just confirm Broyles involvement? Or was she lying? What does she gain by lying? Lee
A half mile West of Liberty Island, Colonel Broyles sits in his parked vehicle in the lot next to the excursion ferry pier – his only method of access to the trans-dimensional bridge and the Wave Sink Device that he has been manipulated into sabotaging. With the pronged handheld electronic device given to him by Jones, Broyles leaves his vehicle and walks to the security checkpoint for the next departing vessel. There is resolve in his cadence.
In the Situation Room, Agent Farnsworth has been keeping an eye on current operations and receives an alert that Broyles I.D. just processed through the Liberty Island database. Dunham is on the phone to Diane Broyles, who has no idea where her husband is or what he is up to. Farnsworth reports the data hit and Lee and Dunham speculate that the Colonel may have any number of targets he would be after on the island.
After all of the dust settles, Walter makes his way to the island and prepares to step back into his own world. Dunham and Lee are there to see him off. Her ear-to-ear smile, big daughterly hug and heartfelt thanks lets Walter know he has a solid friendship the next time they scramble eggs together. Walter offers a little fatherly advice before he goes – don’t judge. Like Broyles, one can’t be certain of how far they’ll bend or break the rules when it comes to saving the life of a loved one. This is one topic Walter is quite familiar with. After Walter steps away, Dunham questions Lee… what? You’re not going to cross back over with Walter? Nope. Lee is in it for the long haul. Shapeshifters murdered both of their partners and until they nail those responsible (Jones), Lee is staying put. Plus, he can help her with her immediate grief.
Finally back home in his lab after three days in the parallel universe, Walter discovers what Jones might have in store for the rest of humanity. Peter and Olivia hurry to join Walter after he summoned them while they were away. Walter believes the two incidents, one in each universe, were tests… not to see what damage could be generated, but primarily to measure readings; readings of a generated frequency that could link both universes. Jones isn’t trying to figure out a way to cause simultaneous damage on both sides of The Bridge, his plan is more grandiose than that. Jones objective is to collapse both universes.
- The Observer climbs the stairs behind Jones when Broyles meets him to take the device for Liberty Island
- Bad Robot Lore. The creative team behind FRINGE, Bad Robot Productions, also created the popular LOST television series. Heavy in mytharc, threads from LOST were used as trivia teasers here. The 108 listed individuals mentioned by Agent Dunham and repeated referral to Aartz, a popular character, are prime examples.
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on The Consultant/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- What does Jones intend to do with the Wave Sink Device?