The Same Old Story

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The Same Old Story
Episode102.jpg
Season: 1 Episode: 2
Air Date: 16 Sep 2008
Written by: Jeff Pinkner
Alex Kurtzman
J.J. Abrams
Roberto Orci
Directed by: Paul Edwards
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: Derek Cecil as Christopher Penrose
Mark Blum as Claus Penrose
Betty Gilpin as Loraine Alcott
Mark Valley as John Scott
Michael Cerveris as The Observer

Bernie McInerney as Old Christopher
Elizabeth Stanley as Stacy
Carmen Goodine as Amy
Ty Jones as Doctor Steel
Jack O'Connell as Male Resident
Jacqueline Hendy as Nina's Assistant
Danielle Skraastad as Nurse
Kathy Searle as Reporter

Next: The Ghost Network
Previously: Pilot
Transcript  —  Additional Images
Introduction

The Same Old Story is the second episode of the first season of FRINGE. The episode first aired on September 16, 2008. A woman conceives, carries to full-term and births a baby in the span of minutes, dying in the process; the baby dies after aging 80 years in three hours. This leads the investigators on a search for a serial killer harvesting brain parts for his own survival and raises questions about biotech cloning of 'cultivated soldiers'.

Synopsis

Prologue
In Room 112 at the Scarlet Red Motel in a Boston suburb, a young man is getting out of his bed after a romantic interlude with a local bar-fly, Loraine Daisy Alcott. Just as the man steps into the bathroom and opens a medical bag filled with instruments, he hears Loraine scream. She has suddenly suffered severe pain, seizing her stomach and crawling out the door. Christopher abandons his mysterious preparations - but takes the medical bag - and helps Loraine into the
"Loraine"

car.

En route to the Wallace Bromley Medical Center, Loraine's stomach is growing and undulating. Christopher moves her to the curb outside the hospital and leaves. In the emergency room, doctors ask how far she is into her term; she has no idea she's even pregnant. As she goes into labor and the doctors prepare to deliver the baby, they hear a nauseating tearing sound. Loraine dies. The doctors quickly perform a caesarian section. When they see what is inside, their eyes widen with fear and a nurse screams in horror.

ACT I

In downtown Boston, Special Agent Phillip Broyles meets with the members of a cloistered oversight committee whose mission is to investigate
The Oversight Committee
The Pattern. Membership on the committee is unknown, but it does include Nina Sharp, who is senior enough to criticize Broyles about his newest selections for the science team assigned to uncover details about the bizarre cases. Broyles looks through a folder that includes pictures of Olivia Dunham and the Bishops. Shortly thereafter, Broyles calls Dunham, a Special Agent of the FBI, whom he recently appointed to lead the investigation, and tells her to assemble her team.

When Olivia arrives at Walter's and Peter's hotel to pick them up, Peter finds Walter huddled in the closet. Without the familiar sound of "Row Row Row Your Boat" sung by one of his fellow inmates at the mental asylum where he spent the last 17 years, Walter just can't fall asleep.

At the hospital, Broyles explains that the Jane Doe (soon to be identified as Loraine Alcott) died shortly after arrival, and the baby she birthed grew into an old man and died of "natural causes"... all within a three hours. As Walter inspects the body of this bizarre man-baby, Olivia and Peter head to the hotel to investigate the crime scene.

Peter finds a strange orange gel in the bathroom. In the bedroom, Olivia recognizes the tell-tale signs of a serial-killer case she had worked with her former partner (and secret lover) John Scott.

ACT II

Upset about the trust she placed in John, Olivia explained to Peter that the previous serial-killer, in New Jersey and New York, would take a woman to a motel, paralyze her, then use surgical tools to go through the nasal cavity and remove her pituitary gland. If Olivia's right, this is the same murderer -- and he's going to kill again.

Meanwhile, the killer enters a club and picks up an attractive young woman, his next victim. He brings her back to a warehouse loft. While she looks at the view of a bridge through the window, the killer prepares a syringe - which he suddenly jabs into her neck.

When Peter returns to the lab, Walter says that he has fantastic news: he remembers where he parked
Walter's Hidden Treasure
his car seventeen years ago. Together they head to a locked garage, where they find Walter's station wagon parked exactly where he left it - with Walter's files stashed inside for safe keeping. Peter reveals his mechanical skills by bringing the old car back to life.

His memory jogged by his old files, Walter finally recalls having worked with Dr. Claus Penrose on experiments dealing with rapid growth thirty years ago. It turns out Claus is currently a professor at Boston College. Meanwhile, the killer continues his gruesome work, finishing off the young woman at the warehouse.

ACT III

At Boston College, Olivia and Peter question Claus Penrose. He remembers the work he did with Walter, and to this day feels it was morally wrong. As a result, he quit working
Experimental Error
for the U.S. government after only one year. Charlie calls to inform Olivia that they've found the latest victim, and she was right: this must be the same killer, because the victim's pituitary gland has been removed.

With the latest body back at the lab, Walter finally remembers the specifics of his project with Penrose. The U.S. Army had tasked them with finding a way to cultivate soldiers, who could mature to prime fighting age in a short period of time. But the project failed because they could never stop the aging process. Walter hypothesizes to Peter and Olivia that someone must have made a breakthrough, and the killer is in fact the product of the experiment. The killer must extract the pituitary gland from his victims' brains in order to keep his own aging process in check. And he transmitted his own rapid-aging condition to the child he conceived with Loraine during their one-night stand. He goes to admonish that condoms are not always effective and that "you, too" or "you two" should remember that.

Back at the loft, the killer meets with a confidante, and it's none other than Claus Penrose, revealing the killer's name as Christopher - his son. Christopher is in increasing pain, and he needs the pituitary from another victim.

In the laboratory, Walter posits that they may be able to recover the last image the previous victim saw from her optic nerve. But to do so, they will need a sophisticated piece of equipment - equipment for which only one company, Massive Dynamic, holds the patent.

The "Pregnant" Dunham
Olivia heads to Massive Dynamic to meet Chief Operating Officer Nina Sharp to borrow an electronic pulse camera. While waiting in a reception area with Phillip Broyles, Dunham asks him if it is true that she was not randomly selected to work on the case of Flight 627. Broyles responds by asking Dunham if she was "safe" the last time she was intimate with John Scott. When Dunham hesitates, Broyles asks, "You weren't, were you?" At this point Dunham is overcome with pain. Her belly begins to expand in a manner similar to Loraine Alcott's. An employee of Massive Dynamic announces that Nina Sharp will see Dunham and Dunham realizes that she was imagining the pain. Broyles is not in the room. Just before loaning Dunham the camera, Sharp comments that others must have assumed that Dunham and Scott were intimate.

Olivia takes the camera to the lab. Walter and Peter assemble the machine and start the process of extracting images from the victim's eye.

Christopher enters another bar, Henry's, and finds his next victim, bringing her back to the loft. Meanwhile, Olivia's team manages to extract a single image from the last victim's optic nerve: a bridge, which they are able to identify as Sergeant Bridge in Stoughton, Mass. They match the angle and triangulate the location to a building in a warehouse district.

ACT IV

Comparing the Images
Olivia and Peter race to the warehouse loft, where they find the next victim strapped to a table - and Claus Penrose waiting for them. Olivia hears a rattle and moves to chase Christopher, leaving Peter to guard Penrose. Penrose adjusts the victim's IV drip and her vitals spike, giving him just enough time to run. Peter, forced to choose between going after Penrose or saving the victim, assembles a make-shift defibrillator (with Walter's help via cell phone) and shocks the victim's heart back to life. Elsewhere, Olivia corners Christopher. But he no longer looks at all like the man who murdered all those women. He's a gray-haired man now, aging decades right before Olivia's eyes. With his dying breath, he confesses that he was an experiment - that someone made him. And blinded by love, his father refused to let him die.

ACT V

Later, Olivia returns the pulse camera to Nina, who surprises her by offering her a position at Massive Dynamic. Back at the FBI, Broyles reminds Olivia that everything associated with these cases is strictly confidential, and even though people such as Nina Sharp do have some clearance, she is not to discuss cases with anyone.

At some point, Walter begins to ask Olivia to keep secret what she knows of his file regarding Peter's background. She says that she does not know what he is talking about, and he indicates that Peter was also the result of some sort of experiment. Realizing that his secret is safe, he
Pod Of Penrose's
drops the subject.

That night, Peter and Walter are in their hotel room. Walter again struggles with insomnia, keeping his son awake by reciting the Fibonacci numbers with omissions. In an attempt to lull his father to sleep, Peter offers an annoyed rendition of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." As Walter closes his eyes, the scene shifts to an undisclosed location, where there are three young adult men in what appears to be a hospital room. One man is lying in a hospital-type bed; the two identical men on either side of him appear to be in incubators.

Quotes

"I called you together tonight to introduce you to my new team, who will now be responsible for investigating all these events. — hopefully they will have more success than our last." - Broyles (to the Oversight Committee about the fresh replacements to the task force)

Walter's Lab Notes

Project 397 Exploration 23
Project 397 Exploration 23Trimmed Copy of Typed Notes
  • The plate bears a grilled cheese sandwich which appears to have been cut, or consumed, to the approximate shape of a golden rectangle (1.618:1).
  • A photograph of a hellenic sphinx and a typed reference to that object being the symbol of Army Intelligence.
  • He continues his tirade against St. Claire's, and the lack of correct ratios in their facilities.
  • Walter compares the final visual image of the victim to the ancient blind prophet, Tiresias, who may have been blinded by the gods for revealing their secrets.

Trivia

General
  • The Observer stands at the hospital desk where the rapid-aging "man-baby" lies dead.
  • The combination to Walter's garage was 31 41 59 - the first 6 digits of Pi.
  • Walter's car is an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
  • Pseudo-folliculitis Nuchae reveals Dr. Penrose had 'razor-burn' on the back of his neck. Facial 'razor-burn' is called Pseudo-folliculitis Barbae.
  • The numbers Walter mutters to try and lull himself to sleep are: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and then after his son interrupts him: 1, 233, 377, 2, 21, 610... These are from the Fibonacci number sequence.
  • The sphinx used as a symbol by U.S. Army Intelligence is of the Egyptian form, not the Hellenic.
Continuity Error
  • The warehouse and bridge identified as - in the Stoughton Warehouse District - are shown located near a large waterway. There are no bodies of water that size, nor any major bridges, located in, or adjacent to, Stoughton, Massachusetts. Map

Previously

NextEpisodeClue101.jpg
NextEpisodeClue101.jpg
NextEpisodeClue101.jpg
NextEpisodeClue101.jpg
NextEpisodeClue101.jpg
    The nefarious scientist behind cloning and aging experiments is alluded to in the Pilot episode. On a flyer, opposite the Massive Dynamic Building, a rebus of a pen and a rose, alludes to Doctor Claus Penrose.

Music

Young Men Dead by The Black Angels
Skin Head by The Glass Helmets

- The music group "Skin Head" may be a fictitious band.

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on The Same Old Story/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.

  • Is the Committee a Government body?
  • Why do the three men on tables all look like one another?

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