Fringe Season 4 Episode 5 “Novation” (contains plot spoilers)

(SPOILERS) I was very excited about Episode 5 “Novation”, now that Peter has returned and really interested to see where the story would go, dealing with the Peter’s return, and the fact that none of them remember him, and if the timeline will actually readjust!! Are the observers simply going to stand by and let Peter’s return happen without any ramifications??

The episode kicks off with Olivia and the Fringe Team trying to understand where Peter, a man unknown to them, has come from, why he has all this knowledge of past Fringe cases and why he is saying he is Walter’s son! Peter refuses to talk to anyone other than Walter and ends up being imprisoned in Fridge headquarters. Nice!

The Fringe case for this episode involves the lovely shapeshifter who we saw at the end of the episode ‘Neither Here nor There’ as she tries to gain information on a biochemical researcher, Dr Malcolm Truss, who used to work for Massive Dynamic and the illustrious William Bell. In doing so, she murders both the doctor’s ex-wife and her boyfriend, gains the information she needed and goes on her merry way to locate the doctor. The Fringe team believe that she is trying to gain access on research conducted by the doctor and Massive Dynamic on cell cloning, research that William Bell put a stop to, believing that some things were best not meddled with!!! Interesting philosophy after all the other things he and Walter did!!!

Another adjusted timeline change for you….. it becomes apparent in the episode that Nina Sharp brought up Olivia and her sister as Olivia killed her stepfather, around the same time that she ran away from the cortexiphan trials!! If you remember, in the original timeline, Olivia tried to kill her stepfather, but failed, and he had been sending a birthday card to her every year since, to remind her that she had failed!! During a conversation between Walter and Nina, Walter says that he blames Nina for this happening and also for Peter’s death (when he drowned in the pond). He believes that if she hadn’t interfered, Peter would still be alive today! We then have another really deep emotional moment from Walter where he believes that anyone else would see the opportunity to see their dead son as a grown man a blessing, but Walter doesn’t think he deserves it, believes that Peter being taken away from him was his punishment.
Back to the case, the shapeshifter tracks down the doctor, and convinces him that she is desperate for him to continue his research on cell cloning, and they go to his secret lab where he begins to continue his previous experiments.  Meanwhile, the wondrous brain of Peter Bishop, from his prison cell, gets to work to establish where the location of the shapeshifter is, in an attempt to persuade the team that he ‘s genuine and that he knows about their technology. I was thinking at this point though, the Fringe team might think he’s a spy at some point from the parallel universe!! Dunno!! We’ll see what happens…
Peter manages to pinpoint the shapeshifters location through a tracking device, and the Fringe team goes en route to the doctor’s lab. Meanwhile, the doctor injects the shapeshifter with what he thinks will cure her, and she reacts and suddenly takes on the form of his ex-wife. He quickly realises that she has murdered his ex-wife, tries to trick her by attempting to give her something that would destroy her, but the shapeshifter is too intelligent, and under her guard, he continues to develop a cure. As he finishes, the Fringe team turn up and storm the lab, the shapeshifter grabs the cure, and attacks the team, heading for the roof and then disappears. The team then discover a body in the water, that turns out to be an FBI agent Olivia came across on the roof who had been injured but instead was the shapeshifter, and had now escaped. Finally, we see the shapeshifter using a typewriter, the same that Fauxlivia used in previous series to communicate with the other side, typing that the cure has been a success. After a moment, the typewriter starts to type on its own, giving her further instructions and that the ‘others’ will be sent!!!!! Eekk!! Is this the parallel universe? Could this be coming from another universe!! Heck!
For me, I found this episode really sad, particularly because of Walter and Peter, wonderfully acted by Noble and Jackson. Peter pleads with Walter to help him figure out why no-one can remember him, but Walter is afraid of doing more damage, struggles to even look at Peter, and has accepted that he is to be punished for what has happened in the past, thus leaving Peter in a bit of a pickle. Without Walter’s brilliant brain, Peter will struggle to figure this out on his own, and strangely enough, it almost feels that the viewer is in Peter’s shoes, willing and wanting this to be figured out so everyone can go back to playing happy families!! Not quite, but you get my gist!!
However, I believe that the problem may sort itself out, one way or another, as we see Olivia experiencing a distortion of time, similar to that in the previous episode, although, this time she seems more aware. With time trying to adjust itself, maybe Olivia and Walter will start to remember things that they don’t quite understand, and begin to delve in deeper to what it means, what Peter means to them etc etc. What is clear is the series is getting more and more interesting with each episode and with the very welcome return of Peter, I, again, can’t wait for the next episode!!

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