Fringe 4.19 – Letters of Transit
Letters of Transit
Season 4 – Episode 19
Original US Air Date – April 20, 2012
Anna Torv . . . . . . . . . Olivia Dunham
Blair Brown . . . . . . . . . .Nina Sharp
Seth Gabel . . . . . . . . . .Lincoln Lee
Joshua Jackson . . . . . . . Peter Bishop
Jasika Nicole . . . . . Astrid Farnsworth
John Noble . . . . . . .Dr. Walter Bishop
Lance Reddick . . . . . . Phillip Broyles
In the year 2015 the Observers stopped watching and seized control of the planet. The surviving humans, dubbed “Natives”, tried to rebel but were quickly crushed. Some of them became Loyalists and joined forces with the Observers. Fringe Division was allowed to continue, but only to police the Natives. The Observers believed that the all resistance was crushed.
Blueverse(?) – 2036
A blonde woman enters what seems to be a run-down building but turns out to be a dance club catering to both humans and Observers. One of the Observers grabs a woman and the club owner intervenes, saying he needs to keep some women on his staff. When the Observer tells him to just get a new girl, the owner hits him.
Several security guards grab the owner and another Observer, who we learn is called Captain Widmark, comes over. He starts to scan the owners’ mind but the owner spits in his face. Widmark concentrates and blood spurts from the owner’s ears.
The blonde woman comes up behind the owner and knocks him out. She introduces herself as “Etta” and reveals that she is part of Fringe Division. She tells Widmark that human crime is her responsibility and places the owner under arrest. Widmark scans her and comments that she is what she seems to be.
Etta and the girl get the owner outside. The owner tells Etta that he deliberately pissed off the Observer so he wouldn’t read his mind. He asks how she got away with it and she says she was lucky, though he doesn’t seem to believe her. He says that if the Observers knew about her or people like her then they would kill her.
He leads her to a van and shows her what seems to be a covered body. He says there were two more but that he couldn’t get them. Before he can continue, he is shot by a Loyalist sniper. Etta jumps into the van and drives away.
After some distance she stops and looks in the back of the van again. She removes the cover to reveal Walter Bishop, encased in amber.
The next day Etta goes to Fringe Division and meets with her partner, Desmond Simon. She tells him about the death of the club owner and, when he questions her, admits that she had an “open order” with him. Desmond Simon tells her that the old Fringe team is gone and won’t be coming back. She surprises him by saying that she has found Walter.
She takes him to see Walter and they realize that he is holding a Quarantine Amber device and that he encased himself. Etta says that the owner told her that there were others with him and that if they can free Walter then he can lead them to them.
Meanwhile, Widmark comes to Fringe Division and contacts Broyles, apparently still in charge. (Broyles has a Loyalist tattoo on his face.) He talks about the owners killing and tells Broyles that if he cannot keep the Natives under control then he will be forced to do so himself and that Broyles won’t like his methods. When Broyles asks what Widmark did to get assigned to this time Widmark says that he likes animals.
Desmond Simon examines the amber and determines that he can turn it into gas, but only briefly. Etta goes to a locker to check out a piece of “Level 2″ technology. The clerk there warns her that not everyone trusts Simon because they think he lets the Resistance operate too freely in the city and warns that his friends are keeping an eye on both of them. She promises to be careful.
The device she has requisitioned is a crowd-control weapon that emits a blast of air. Simon converts the amber and she blasts Walter free. They then give Walter an injection to revive him and inform him that he has been trapped in amber for 20 years.
Etta has blueprints for a device which she says Walter and his team designed that was intended to get rid of the Observers and asks Walter if he can build it. Walter seems confused, thinks that Desmond Simon is Peter and asks for licorice and ring-dings. Simon does a brain scan on Walter and announces that the proximity to the amber blast horizon has caused his neural pathways to degrade.
Etta goes to the Ministry of Science where she meets with an elderly, wheelchair bound Nina Sharp. She asks about an order but Nina says it isn’t a priority then asks Etta to help her to her car.
Outside, Nina tells Etta that she has to be careful because she can’t hide her thoughts from the Observers the way Etta can. Etta leads her to Walter but Walter does not seem to recognize Nina and wanders off. Nina says that Walter and his team once saved the world, but that there were consequences.
Nina tells them that there are pieces of Walter’s brain stored in the old Massive Dynamic building and by using them they may be able to restore his mind, but the facility is near where the Observers are headquartered and that they will need letters of transit to get there.
Penny and Desmond Etta and Simon get the letter and take Walter into the city, but he sees an Observer and starts yelling that he is a monster. The Observer ignores him but a Loyalist guard stops them and asks to see their papers. Etta and Simon manage to convince him that Walter is their grandfather, that they are taking him to see his wife’s grave and that he is mentally disturbed. The guard grudgingly lets them go but warns if he sees them again he won’t be so lenient.
The three arrive at the old Massive Dynamic building and enter through the parking garage. They have an entry code but an alarm still alerts security. The agent on duty notifies Broyles of the break in and Broyles informs Widmark.
Etta, Simon and Walter find where the brain tissue is stored. They prepare the tissue and inject it and Walter passes out. While they wait for him to recover Etta and Simon talk about their past. Simon says he was at Stanford in 2015 when the Observers invaded. He saw the invasion on TV and didn’t know until then that his parents were part of the Resistance and that they sent him away for his own safety. For her part, Etta says that she was 4 when she last saw her parents and can’t even remember what they looked like.
In the parking garage, an Observer and several Loyalists find the three’s footprints. The Observer tells them to shoot first and that he will scan their minds later.
Walter wakes up and it is immediately obvious that he is much more stable. Etta and Simon introduce themselves again and Walter seems to recognize Etta but instead asks if the Observers are still there.
Walter tells them that the Observers come from the year 2609 where they did something that poisoned both the air and the water and that they have come back in time to retake their planet. Etta shows him the blueprints and Walter confirms that he can build the device but that it will take time. Etta then asks if he knows where the rest of his team is and he says that he does.
They hear the approaching Loyalist team and Walter opens a panel, saying that he and Bell always had secret ways out. They escape, but the Observer sees the panel and blows it open. Walter stops and assembles an anti-matter device, leaving it in a storage room. The three then complete their escape. The Observer and his team arrive in the room and he sees the device, but too late. The device explodes and the building collapses.
Walter leads them into the sewers where at least two figures are encased in amber. Walter starts working on the amber and Simon asks Etta how he could have recognized her but she does not answer.
Back at Fringe headquarters, Broyles gets a report about Simon being seen at the transit station. He gives orders to activate Simon’s tracker and to assemble a team.
In the sewers, Simon is saying that Walter is who they have been waiting for; someone who can defy the Observers. Walter, becoming more irritable as his old brain patterns take back over, tells him to shut up. They activate the device and pull the first figure from the amber. It is Astrid. As Etta gives her an injection Simon realizes that he has broken the amber device.
Astrid recovers and looks into the amber where we see a second figure; William Bell. Astrid notices that Walter is holding something but he indicates that she should be quiet.
Etta and Simon are attempting to fix the amber device and discover that a signal is interfering with it. Simon realizes that his tracker has been activated and gives the device to Etta, telling her to activate it on his signal. She hesitates but he insists and she does.
Some time later, Broyles and his team arrive to find Simon embedded in the amber, seemingly in the act of pushing someone out. Broyles looks around and finds a piece of licorice.
Elsewhere, on a subway train, Astrid asks Walter why he left Bell in the amber. Walter says it was because of what Bell did to Olivia and says that he has the situation in hand. As he does, he opens the bag he is carrying to show William Bell’s hand, severed at the wrist and still encased in amber.
Etta is standing at the back of the train, looking behind them. She is fingering an amulet hanging around her neck (as she has done multiple times during the episode) and we now see that it is a spent bullet.
Someone comes up behind her and we see that it is Peter. He sees that she appears upset and assures her that they will do everything they can to rescue Simon but that does not seem to be what is bothering her. She asks him if he recognizes her and he says he doesn’t know how he could, given that he has been in amber for 20 years.
He suddenly stops and realizes that her full name is “Henrietta”.
“Hi Dad.” she tells him.
Father and daughter embrace as the train leaves the city.