Season Finale Part 1
Several people in an office complex suddenly exhibit signs of spontaneous combustion and die; others witnessing it realize that the symptom is onset by movement and stand perfectly still as help arrives. As Fringe division investigates, they find a device planted in the building’s escalator system that released nanites into those that rode it, triggering the combustion by body movement. One survivor, Jessica (Rebecca Mader), offers to be a test subject for Walter (John Noble) as he tries to discover a cure. When Jessica’s body temperature starts to rapidly rise before the cure is synthesized, Olivia (Anna Torv) uses her Cortexiphan abilities to slow Jessica’s system, which stops the nanites and allows Peter (Joshua Jackson) to inject the cure into her system.
The Fringe team finds that David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) had planted the device, and worry that despite the deactivation of the bridge, he is still trying to collapse both universes to create a third one. Walter studies the design of the device and recognizes that the nanites were not developed by Jones but by William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), and begins to suspect Bell is alive. Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) rejects this theory, explaining that, in the new timeline, Bell had committed suicide in a car accident in 2005 to end his suffering from lymphoma. Disbelieving Nina, Walter returns to St. Claire’s Mental Institution and finds the scent of Bell among one of the log books that dated back to when Walter believed he had visited, and continues to assert this claim.
Unknown to Fringe division, Jones reports to William Bell aboard the container ship (seen in “Nothing As It Seems”) about the success of the nanites. Bell ponders this over a chessboard that he states he has been playing for forty years, and instructing Jones to his next action, commenting that sacrificing the bishop will win him the game.
Later, a column of light suddenly appears over Beacon Hill, burning a hole through a building and into the ground. Walter identifies it as sunlight, reflected to satellites likely under Jones’ control, aimed to ignite an oil reservoir deep below Boston. He directs Peter and Olivia to the most likely location Jones is controlling the satellites from. They find two antennas that must be disabled simultaneously, requiring them to split up to do so. Though they are successful in stopping the beam, Peter is attacked by Jones. Olivia utilizes her Cortexiphan abilities again, and is able to telekinetically control Peter’s body, allowing him to get the upper hand, throwing Jones into one of the antennas. The electrical shock sends Jones’ body, previously altered by his teleportation, into deterioration, and he realizes too late that he was the bishop to be sacrificed before crumbling into ash.
Walter discovers evidence of Chilean almonds on one of the log sheets from St. Claire’s, Bell’s favorite food. He and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) travel to the warehouse of the shipping company that imported the almonds, finding it abandoned with one man, armed with a gun, stating the company went out of business three years prior. Astrid implores Walter to leave but, he is enticed by a strange sound from the back of the warehouse, finding several shipping containers being moved about with the noises coming from them. They are discovered by henchman and attempt fleeing. Astrid is shot, and as Walter tends to her, William Bell appears, reintroducing himself to his old friend.
“Brave New World” is the two-part finale of the fourth season of the Fox science-fiction drama television series Fringe, and the series’ 86th and 87th episodes overall. It first aired May 4, 2012 on FOX Network.
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