Recap: Fringe S01 E17 "Bad Dreams"

aka: Fringe S 01 E 17
Season 1, Episode 17:

Bad Dreams

Olivia dreams of pushing a woman she's never met into the path of a subway train in New York. The next morning, she learns that the woman in her dream is real and that she actually died in the same way, but there was nobody else around and the death is ruled a suicide. After another death, Olivia fears that she's somehow astral-projecting herself across the country and committing murders, but as the Fringe team investigates, they learn that her dreams are the results of the cortexiphan experiments: as preparation for the conflict described in the ZFT manifesto, Walter and William Bell experimented on several dozen children and the one that Olivia was buddied with, Nick Lane, has the ability to project his emotions into other people. His depression and suicidal tendencies are causing people to kill themselves or other people, and because of the psychic link established between Olivia and Lane as children, she is seeing his murders in her dreams.

At the end of the episode, Olivia is forced to shoot Lane (non-fatally) to keep him from jumping off the roof of a building and taking a dozen people with him. Lane is placed in a medically-induced coma to keep his abilities from affecting anyone else. Walter digs out a videotape from his files, one on which he and William Bell documented the aftermath of a pyrokinetic incident caused by "Olive" — young Olivia Dunham.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Driven to Suicide: Literally! Nick Lane hates himself, and his emotion drives other people to kill themselves or loved ones. In the end, he (unwillingly?) rallies a lot of people on a rooftop, with the intention of jumping. When Olivia finds him, he begs her to kill him now before he jumps and ends up taking all people around him along with him.
  • Emotion Bomb: Nick Lane force his emotions on other people, making them act erratically upon them. Since he's lonely, depressed and suicidal, this makes lots of people either kill themselves or kill loved ones out of fear of being abandoned. According to his psychiatrist, the same holds true for his positive emotions, as we later see in Season 2.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Nick was "Olive"'s best friend and partner during the Cortexiphan experiments, but Olivia doesn't remember any of it. The implication is that Walter and William erased the children's memories, or just Olivia's. Despite that, Nick is still very fond of her.

Alternative Title(s):

Fringe S 01 E 17