|Air Date:||14 April 2009|
|Written by:|| Zack Whedon |
|Directed by:||Brad Anderson|
|Guest Cast:|| David Pittu as Robert Swift |
Kiersten Warren as Sonia Francis
Ari Graynor as Rachel
Lily Pilblad as Ella
Craig Alan Edwards as Matt
|Transcript — Additional Images|
Unleashed is the sixteenth episode of the first season of FRINGE. It first aired on April 14th, 2009. Animal rights activists ransack a laboratory and get more than they bargained for after they unleash a ferocious hybrid creature. Walter's early work in 'Radical Transgenics' resurfaces after decades, and nearly costs Charlie Francis his life. Doctor Bishop's internal torment simmers as he struggles with his sanity again, frequently erupting at others, and taking rash action.
Olivia Dunham is reading a bedtime story to Ella and her phone rings. It is Peter Bishop asking to speak with Rachel. Olivia gives the telephone to Rachel who walks into another room, laughing. Olivia returns to reading the story, which is about a bear being warned that there is a monster ahead in its path, but it is clear that Olivia is puzzled by Peter's call. Ella interrupts the story, seeking reassurance that there are no monsters. Olivia assures her that monsters are not real.At Swift Research's animal testing facility, four anti-testing anarchists break in. One disables the alarms, another spray paints the security camera, while the remaining two free animals from their cages. As one starts spray painting the walls, another says they need to leave quickly. The spray painter, Jonathan Swift, notices a heavy door and tells the others that he will check it out. Opening the door triggers a silent alarm.
Geneticist Cameron Deglmann, is awoken at home at 11:47 PM. His PDA displays a coded message. Deglmann rushes to the testing facility in his SUV. Jonathan discovers another door and opens it too. Deglmann enters the facility wielding a gun. He sees the activists and confronts them. Then he notices that the heavy door is open and sees Jonathan appear. He asks if Jonathan opened the other door. Jonathan replies that of course he did. Deglmann walks to the door and tells everyone to leave immediately. Suddenly a slurping sound is heard and Deglmann is pulled into the room. When he briefly reappears with blood streaming from his mouth, the protestors panic and flee. Jonathan, the last one out of the building, is suddenly dragged back inside and another slurping sound is heard.
The others scramble into their vehicle and speed away. As they are racing away and frantically discussing what to do, something strikes the vehicle. The driver panics, the vehicle turns sideways, and rolls off the road into the woods. One anarchist is unconscious and the others are dazed. Suddenly the female protestor sees something approaching and hears a rustling in the leaves - then screams.
Peter arrives at the lab with a coffee for himself and Astrid. Noticing an omelet on a lab bench, Peter gets a knife and fork and cuts into it to have a taste but is interrupted by an irate Walter who chastises Peter for destroying his incubator. It contained a growing human ear. This incites a row between Walter, criticizing Peter for not being more careful in the lab, and Peter, chastising Walter for not thinking of others. Astrid interrupts them with the news that Olivia has called.
At the accident site, Broyles briefs the team that the victims look like they were attacked by a non-indigenous animal. Walter is excited by the state of the bodies and posits that whatever attacked them had enormous claws. No identification was found on the bodies. Olivia discovers a lock-pick gun and notices four soft drink cups, but there were only three victims. Someone may have gotten away. Charlie volunteers to check the hospitals for potential victims. Peter points out that the soft drinks are from a fast food joint near MIT. Olivia suggest checking the student database to identify the victims.
Olivia arrives at a house which appears to be a residence for students. The door is opened by Carl and Olivia asks about a Chris Hawkins. Carl reveals that Chris was a animal rights activist, involved with a group call 'Animals First'.
Back at the lab, Walter and Astrid are performing an autopsy as Peter watches. Walter discovers two large holes in the victim's back which may be attributed to a very large snake. Olivia arrives and lets everyone know that the victims are animal rights activists. She asks what could have attacked the victims. Walter says it looks like two or three different animals. Olivia asks Astrid to check with animal testing labs near the crime scene to see about a break in. Walter extracts a large stinger from one of the victims and it worries him.
Back at the lab, Olivia asks Peter about his call to Rachel. Peter replies that they were trying to recall the name of a pop song - does it bother her? Olivia says no, though her body language suggest otherwise. Walter is seen shuffling through a box of old files. He pulls out a folder, and becomes very anxious as he reads it. Olivia gets a call about the "monster" sighting and sets out to meet Charlie. Walter tells her to be careful.
Driving along Route 30, Charlie notices the Animal Control truck. He opens the driver's door and a mauled body slumps over. Hearing noises from the woods, Charlie goes to investigate and finds another body. We see an articulated tail drop down from a tree behind Charlie. Olivia arrives and while checking the truck, hears some shots, then a yell. She rushes to find a body on the ground and Charlie propped up against a tree, alive but injured. Charlie describes the creature as big.
Under the watchful eye of Walter, Charlie is being treated at the scene by a paramedic. Walter insists on obtaining the stinger found in Charlie's chest; then asks leading questions about the creature's features before suggesting that it is someone's transgenic creation, a species hybrid. Astrid calls Olivia with a lead on a lab near the original crime scene.
Olivia arrives at Swift Research and is greeted by a distracted Dr. Robert Swift. She asks him about the nature of his work and he responds that they do cosmetic and pharmaceutical trials on animals. When she tells him about the attack on animal rights activists, he asks what this has to do with him. He explains a painter walking by as routine maintenance. When Olivia asks to look around, he tells her that because of the client confidentiality issues, she needs a warrant.
Back at the Harvard lab, Walter finally shows his notes and confesses that twenty years ago, while working for Kelvin Genetics, he tried to create a transgenic creature. His efforts failed, but someone must have continued his work. Astrid notices something moving in one of the body bags. They unzip it to discover larvae crawling about and then the chest bursts open revealing many more. Walter deduces that the creature's stinger must be used to implant eggs into a host. As Olivia hears this, it dawns on her that Charlie was stung. As Charlie and Sonia, his wife, are going to bed; the doorbell rings. It's Olivia to tell Charlie there may be a problem for him.
In the lab using an ultrasound, Walter confirms that Charlie is infested with larvae. They have spread throughout Charlie's system and cannot simply be removed. Walter is very upset by the news. Then Walter has the idea that the larvae can be poisoned with trichlorimide and asks Astrid to draw 25 ml of blood. Olivia tells Charlie the previous victim had 24 hours after being stung. Charlie calculates that he has 16 hours left.
At a playground containing climbing structures and plastic sewer piping, a young boy is playing while his mother chats on the phone. We catch a glimpse of the monster's tail.
Back at the Federal Building, Olivia discusses with Broyles the results of her search for other victims and a connection between Walter's experiments at Kelvin Genetics and Swift Research. She is surprised there have been no sightings in over ten hours. Peter calls to let her know the poisoning won't work as it also poisons Charlie's blood. Walter thinks that transfusing Charlie with a mix of his own and the creature's blood would confuse the larvae. The would think it is their mother's blood, stop feeding, and starve themselves to death. But they need to catch the creature.
Back at the playground, we see the young boy playing in the sewer pipes. His mother becomes worried and calls him. She pulls him out of the piping just as he appears to have spotted the creature along an intersection in the pipes.
Olivia has returned to the lab where she and Peter are using a map to try to detect a pattern in the creature sightings. Olivia deduces that the creature is traveling in the sewers. Walter agrees this is quite possible and then realizing the creature could be anywhere, becomes very distraught. Charlie groans in agony and convulses. We see that the larvae moving under his skin.
While plotting the latest "monster" sighting, Olivia receives a call from Carl Bussler. He reports that Jonathan Swift, another classmate and animal rights activist, hasn't shown up for class in days. Olivia immediately returns to Swift Research and confronts Doctor Swift. When she points out that his son may be infected and that an agent is dying, Swift breaks down and confesses. Olivia updates Astrid over the phone as Swift is arrested.
Astrid relays the information to Walter and Peter. Swift was collaborating with geneticist Cameron Deglmann and Walter is not responsible for the creature. Walter's says his own work was inspired by Deglmann. Astrid further reports that the creature is a composite of a Gila Monster, a parasitic wasp, a species of bat, ... An excited Walter interrupts, explaining that the bat's unique immune system accounts for the lack of rejection in the hybrid. When hearing that this knowledge doesn't help Charlie, Astrid asks if the creature can be baited. This prompts Walter to postulate a method of luring the bat using its sensitive hearing and maternal instincts. By setting larvae in the sewers, they can make the creature come to them. Among the supplies, Walter includes 50 caliber incendiary rounds.
The team has assembled all the needed equipment, including the required weapons, and set off to capture the creature. Olivia reassures Charlie that they will be back shortly. As they leave, Walter pockets the vial of trichlorimide.
The team enter the sewers and navigate to a suitable intersection where the larva's 'sound' will travel widely and set the bait. Back at the lab, Charlie phones his wife. Walter leaves to "use the facilities". He walks through a doorway, closes the large metal mesh gate, and locks it with a steel bar. Peter hearing the noise, races to him and demands that he open it up. Walter explains that he could have been responsible for the creature and needs to clean up this mess. He swallows the trichlorimide, explaining that he will stop the creature even if eaten. If he does survive, there is an antidote in the lab, that he needs to take within the hour. Walter turns and heads down the tunnel.
Walter continues down the tunnel while Peter is breaking down the hatch. Walter seems to sense the creature and notices some fluid dripping from the ceiling. The creature, which is clinging to the ceiling, crawls through a doorway and reveals itself. It drops to the floor and faces Walter. At that moment Olivia and Peter, having managed to break through, appear and distract the beast. It's tail knocks Walter down as it charges the newcomers. Two shots are heard and the creature slumps to the ground in front of Peter and Olivia. Walter is slumping against a wall, smoking gun in hand.
Back at the lab, Walter is injected with the antidote and a solution is prepared for Charlie. Walter connects an intravenous drip to Charlie. They set up the ultrasound and watch the larvae die as the solution takes effect. When Charlie asks what's next, Walter tells him he'll have to crap them out.
Charlie gets home late and crawls into bed with his sleeping wife. Olivia arrives home to find Rachel and Ella asleep on the couch. Olivia crawls into her own bed and turns out the light. Then she notices the howling wind and turns the light back on.
Project 709, Exploration 16 — Trimmed Copy of Typed Notes
- The most recent exploration appears to have been typed using the same typewriter from Ability with the elevated 'Y'.
- The notes for this episode sit atop the notes from several previous explorations.
- The Exploration 16 notes are phrased in a flow of consciousness and display schizophrenia. Walter postulates in standard capitalization, then yells at himself in uppercase.
- The Observer walks behind an on-air TV news reporter as she tells of the recent animal attacks.
- Upon realizing the beast has "the claws of a lion and the fangs of a snake," Walter is reminded of a woman named Harriet he once knew in Cleveland.
- Actors Kirk Acevedo and Kiersten Warren (Agent and Mrs. Francis) have been married since May 2005, in real-life.
- WNKW-42, the station employing the female reporter does not exist. Those call letters have been used in other shows.
- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, author of Gulliver's Travels, a classic of English literature.
- Walter sings of Van Amburgh and animals, as he searches the sewer alone for the creature. This likely refers to the famous animal tamer from the mid 1800's - Isacc Van Amburgh. Apart from the intense cruelty utilized by Amburgh in his large cat acts, he is known for invoking Genesis - "...that men should have dominion over every animal on the earth."
- Recurring Themes
- Transgenetic Manipulation. The hybrid animal in this episode, in addition to the human-animal trans gene hybrid mutation (The Transformation).
- Children's Stories. Olivia reads another tale from Tomas Christensen to Ella. 'Burlap Bear Goes To The Woods' foreshadows the events in the episode. The first tale for Ella was 'What's That Noise?' (Bound) .
- Storyline Analysis
- Walter sings "Van Amburgh's Menagerie" - a song about a traveling zoo. The two parts of the song he sings mirror the action on the screen:
- Van Amburgh is the man, who goes to all the shows, He goes into the lion's cage, and tells you all he knows; He sticks his head in the lion's mouth [and keeps it there a-while, And when he pulls it out again, he greets you with a smile.]
- That Hyena in the next cage, most terrible to relate, Got awful hungry the other day, and ate up his female mate; He’s a very ferocious beast, don't go near him little boys, For when he's angry he shakes his tail, and makes this awful noise.
- Literary Techniques
- Chekhov's Gun. One of the last things said by Rachel in the previous episode is "I created a monster!" speaking of her daughter who has become "drunk with power."
|From the laundromat (Inner Child) - victim Samantha Gilmore was sporting a large tattoo of the mythical beast known as the Griffin - this foreshadowed the large Transgenic Beast on the loose in Unleashed.|
• No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand
• Trashcan by Delta Spirit
• Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on Unleashed/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- Why does Walter's mood swing to extreme in critical situations?
- For what purpose was the genetically-designed hybrid animal created?
- As Astrid read aloud the animals used to create the hybrid, she was cut short - was there another animal on the list?
- Does the rattlesnake-like noise heard during the last scene suggest that there is another monster out there?
- How did Swift Research contain the hybrid creature?
- How did Deglmann expect to restrain the hybrid creature by himself?