Season 3, Episode 3:
Olivia, trapped in the alternate universe, has been conditioned with drugs to believe she is Fauxlivia, by Walternate, and has been integrated into the alternate Fringe team, though she continues to be haunted by images of Peter and Walter.
She, Charlie, and Lincoln Lee are called to the scene of an accident where a pedestrian has been run over by a bus, nearly duplicating events of a similar bus accident the day before, a statistical impossibility according to Astrid. Olivia finds a ballpoint pen at the scene, a rarity in the alternate universe due to the adoption of digital interfaces. Evidence suggests that the discovery of the pen by a bystander created a sequence of reactions that led to the victim's death. The next day, another pedestrian is wounded in a bus accident. As the Fringe team investigates the scene, finding another pen, a bystander is struck and killed by an ambulance. Olivia spots a suspicious man in the crowds, but he uses a seemingly random series of happenstance events to get away.
Olivia discovers ties between the three victims and a medical center. At the center, Dr. Levin explains how they help mentally challenged patients with experimental processes to boost their intelligence; Olivia observes one set of patients using pens as they are unable to cope with digital devices. When Olivia and Charlie discuss the victims with Dr. Levin, he is able to identify their culprit as Milo, a patient taking an experimental drug to boost his IQ exponentially. Though released to care of his sole remaining family member, his sister Madeline, he was scheduled to return to reverse the process for his own health and safety. Dr. Levin identifies all three victims as those charged to return Milo to the center, the last victim only having been selected the day before. They visit Madeline, who worries for the safety of her brother. She explains that Milo is able to predict the outcome of numerous events to the smallest detail, and only by showing him a toy horse, a connection to their deceased parents, can she break Milo's concentration. She provides Olivia and Charlie the location of the hotel where Milo is staying.
As they return to the city, Olivia and Charlie discuss plans with Astrid on how to capture Milo, but realize that since he can predict their every move, any plan would be futile, and approach the hotel directly. Milo leads Olivia on a chase through a construction area including a marked zone where the air is too thin, expecting to crush her under a load of cement bricks. Olivia, unaware what the warning signs for the zone mean, races through it instead of stopping to put on a respirator, nearly asphyxiating herself, and dodges the bricks in time to capture Milo. At the center, Dr. Levin notes that Milo's condition is too far advanced to reverse, and only a computer is able to keep up with his thoughts. Madeline sadly leaves the toy horse at Milo's side.
That evening, Olivia has another vision of Peter; the vision tries to break Olivia from the conditioning, pointing out that her lack of knowledge of the alternate universe saved her life.
- Allohistorical Allusion:
- Alternate Timeline: In the Alternate Universe -
- We see a veteran from the Aruba War. Do you think America just fought Aruba or took on the whole Kingdom of the Netherlands?
- They have the US Mail Service.
- They are dealing with a Smallpox outbreak in Texas.
- Ballpoint pens are uncommon.
- Avocados are hard to come by and expensive.
- Human subjects have to be returned to their original state at the end of drug trials.
- Call-Back: Olivia's mental image of Peter repeats Walter's "Perception is reality" speech from the first season.
- Didn't See That Coming: Milo is utterly stunned when his planned trap for Olivia fails, unable to even move because, for the first time, something happens he couldn't predict.Milo: That...isn't supposed...to happen.
- Disaster Dominoes
- Dumb Is Good
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Milo and Madeline.
- "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Milo goes to extreme lengths to avert this.
- Manchild: Milo
- No-Paper Future: The episode really drives home how paperless the other side is, in that a cheap store brand ballpoint catches the eye of the first victim and later tips off the Fringe team that something strange is going on.
- The Rain Man: Milo
- Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Effectively how Milo killed his victims.
- Scry vs. Scry: Astrid being asked to predict Milo's actions turns into this, complete with I Know You Know I Know.