A Better Human Being
|Talk||A Better Human Being||Theories|
|A Better Human Being|
|Air Date:||17 Feb 2012|
|Written by:|| Robert Chiappetta (story)|
Glen Whitman (story)
Monica Owusu-Breen (teleplay)
Alison Schapker (teleplay)
|Directed by:||Joe Chappelle|
|Guest Cast:|| Harrison Thomas as Sean Keenan|
John Aylward as Owen Frank
Mark Gash as Daniel Greene
|Next:||The End Of All Things|
|Previously:||Welcome To Westfield|
|Transcript — Additional Images|
A Better Human Being is the thirteenth episode of the fourth season of FRINGE. It first aired on 17 February, 2012. The science team investigates a patient at a mental hospital who appears to be connected to a series of murders. Olivia channels all of the experiences and feelings her counterpart felt and had for Peter. Nina's involvement in the grand scheme begins to reveal itself.
At the Mental Hospital in Deerfield, Massachusetts, Sean Keenan wanders around the darkened dining hall completely focused on the multiple voices that are rattling around his disoriented mind. Sean has no problem coaching the voices with the task they seem to be sharing – be quiet, it is almost time, etc.... The fact that he is alone in a health care institution doesn’t seem to diminish his participation in the felony home intrusion by three men in Douglaston, New York. Sean sees, senses and hears what the three men are seeing, sensing and hearing as they enter the house of their intended target. In his kitchen, homeowner Michael Greene is ready for his late night snack, a bag of popcorn. Greene’s biggest concern, while he is silently stalked, is how to avoid burning his fingers on Astrid to collect him. Keenan has been in hospitals for the past three years, since he was fourteen. At Deerfield, the third facility he has called home, Keenan has never had grandiose or violent hallucinations. His visualization of the crime the night before is the first time he has acted so demonstratively. Olivia is having 'a time of her own' as a flash of memory floods her senses - visualizing herself and Peter walking through the halls of St. Claire's Hospital, years earlier. Sean meets the task force investigators and has one question... are the voices he hears in his head real? Olivia doesn't know enough to answer his question and asks Sean if he recognizes a photo of the victim. Sean does not - and assures everyone that he had no part in Greene's death... the voices were responsible. Lee takes a softer tone, Walter has an idea. If Sean would be willing to stop his medications, it might help clear-up his memory and help the investigation. Later, as Astrid collects Sean's medical records, Walter suggests that the professional diagnosis of Sean, schizophrenia, is fundamentally flawed. The voices he hears don't persecute him. In fact they aren't even related to him at all. Sean may actually be hearing the real thoughts of other people - a psychological symbiotic bond, or even mental telepathy. Sean may not be delusional. The fact that Sean is at the hospital voluntarily may make it easier for Olivia to convince his physician to stop his drug regime. Before she can tend to that task, Olivia has another memory flash. Still at St. Claire's, she and Peter prepare to extract Walter to aid the Fringe Task Force... something that they
At his campus home in Cambridge, Peter answers the knock at his front door. Olivia has stopped by for an evening visit - not necessarily weird, but she does want to look around his quarters - if he doesn't mind too much. Not a problem for Peter... is she feeling alright? Immediately, Olivia starts to channel all of the memories she has been inundated with lately: Walter sleeping in the family room, the 6B case, William Bell, transiting universes with her innate ability, the Jacksonville ordeal - even the passion they shared. Olivia remembers all of his Olivia's memories - particularly the fear they shared when he stepped into the ancient device to bridge the two universes. Peter is at a loss trying to cope with her issues... something must be wrong with her. She knows better - she remembers everything they had together.
Florence, Massachusetts, Dunham and Lee join Sean's mother at her home, hoping to find some information that might explain the DNA evidence that suggests Sean is hearing voices of young men that may be brothers of his. Mrs. Keenan is a little stunned to find out that Sean's schizophrenia, something that he has been treated for most of his adult life, may have been inaccurately diagnosed. But what else could it be - someone claiming to constantly hear voices? Mom and Dad Keenan only had the one child, but that was because they were infertile and had to implant using in-vitro. Sean may indeed have half-brothers... but that would be from his anonymous biological father. Doctor Owen Frank was the specialist that performed the impregnation techniques... he came with good references from a friend and was noted for enlisting quality donors. Keenan finds it odd that she was contacted only a few days on the same topic - a reporter named Daniel Greene was interested in some sort of a piece on I.V.F., but he never called back after he left his initial message. In case Greene does call her back, Keenan has some of the paperwork about her pregnancy ready for him to review. When Keenan leaves the room to retrieve the files,
In a comfortable, well-appointed retirement facility, the days news plays on the big screen television in the lounge. 'Local hero Daniel Greene, an acclaimed author and journalist, was found dead in his Douglaston...' -- the caregiver watching the newscast along with Doctor Owen Frank is
Back in the dining hall at Deerfield Hospital, Sean and Astrid sit in front of their serving trays as a few of the patients there loiter about and finish-off their midday meal. Sean has a voracious appetite and can't seem to get enough food in his mouth between words. Astrid explains to Sean that his incredible hunger is one of the side effects of the detoxification regime he agreed to with Walter. Sean does find enough time between mouthfuls to share a few coherent, well-placed words -- he thinks Astrid is pretty. She politely accepts his compliment and candidly answers his next question - Yes. She does trust Walter. Almost on cue, Walter's detox plan seems to be working just fine when Sean starts to hear the voices again - minus the fog of the medications he was taking. Astrid wants to know what he is hearing as they sit there. Sean can't distinguish anything in the clutter - now there are too many voices.
Just outside of Roxbury, Olivia and Peter are directed through the retirement home's dayroom to the side of Owen Frank. The retired medico has just started in on the afternoon newspaper when Olivia flashes her badge and ID. Frank is all about the cooperation and freely admits the dead journalist in the news stopped in recently to research the work Frank had conducted in his old clinic.
Back in Deerfield, Sean paces the room as Astrid takes notes. The hive mind is swarming and Sean is getting the 9-1-1 from the others. They are in trouble and growing scared. The situation has them worried and feeling threatened.
Agent Lee joins Walter in the lab just as Olivia's lab sample results start to print-out for study. Walter doesn't like what he sees. Lee reports that Olivia and Peter know where Frank has stored his research and that they are on their way to recover it. Walter can't be bothered with that now - he needs Lee to haul him down to Liberty Island to confront Nina. He suspects he knows what is happening to Olivia.
With their flashlights in hand, Olivia and Peter search a large commercial storage lot in the Back Bay section of Boston for Unit F-2251. The walk and the cold air gets Olivia gabbing about their whole Pilot), it was rigged with SemTex explosive plastique. Whoa. Peter has a revelation. Walter cannot possible be correct. Olivia has not been reading his memories into her own psyche. She could not have possibly learned about SemTex from him - because he is just hearing about it from her now, for the first time. He can't be projecting a memory of something he was never aware of. As emotionally ambivalent as Peter feels, Olivia is going to stay upbeat - she likes the way she feels about him. It doesn't intimidate her one bit. Olivia gets busy picking the padlock on the access door to Frank's storage unit and opens it in record time... easy to do when isn't actually locked.
In Deerfield Hospital, Sean begins to channel a new set of actions and thoughts by his killer kin. Astrid follows along as Sean describes the latest connection. The group feels threatened and is going to kill again. This time a woman is among the multiple targets. Who are they after Sean?
The third target is about to receive police protection. The swing shift is holding down the fort at Frank's retirement facility when two uniformed law enforcers approach the front desk trying to locate him. Doctor Frank lives on the Third Floor and the facilitator at the front desk escorts the police there. Before his security detail can get to him, Owen Frank has two young male visitors step into his room. At first he thinks they are there to visit Dubrow, who had the room before he did. Then it strikes him - these are his sons. The boys don't bother to introduce themselves to Dad, they just suffocate him with a handy pillow. The two uniformed officers arrive too late - Frank is just starting rigor mortis. Lock down the building!Sean Keenan is going through a bout of angst at having lost the multiple conversations occurring between his ears. He likes his TV loud and chaotic to fill the void, and snaps at his Mom when she turns the TV off for her own sanity. Astrid checks in on Sean before leaving and learns why he is so snippy. With the voices gone, he feels extraordinarily lonely. It was like having someone in the room with you - even if you couldn't see them, there was comfort in their presence. Astrid understands why Sean might be afraid of his new independence from the hive-mind... this is the first time in his entire life that he has been able to hear himself think above the din of his genetic compatriots. Astrid has gotten to know Sean fairly well in the past day - she is confident he has lots of great thoughts of his own.
Wrapping-up things for the night, Olivia pulls into a gas station and stops at one of the pumps. Peter wants to know how she feels about the case... were the genetic mutants Owen Frank's research and then killed him? Olivia doesn't have an opinion, either pro or con. She still has their own interpersonal relationship rattling around her mind. If she remembers correctly, this would be the part of their day where the two of them would decide in whose home they were going to spend the night. She is certain of this memory, and doesn't want to ignore the possibility of returning to that level of intimacy. However, she doesn't want to corner Peter, or needlessly have him dismiss the possibility of them returning to the romantic aspect of their good friendship. Peter fesses-up. Returning to what they once had is all he has been thinking about too. And when he looks into her eyes, he just knows it's the same Olivia he once shared his alternate existence with. A romantic smooch and four nearly tearful eyes seal the deal - Olivia and Peter are officially an item again... for the first time. The romantic interlude is short-lived when a bladder
At Massive Dynamic Headquarters in central Manhattan, Nina leads Walter and Agent Lee into the high tech vault space containing the Cortexiphan. Behind the vault door and steel grating, a second-tier biometric security system keeps the wall vaults locked in the environmental conditions needed for the contents. Nina enters her codes then allows the sytem to scan in her one organic hand. A refrigerated locker opens a few yards away and the experimental drug is presented for inspection... all twenty vials. Nina declares the security problem solved - now what can be done to help Olivia with her Cortexiphan problem. Lee doesn't have any more information about Olivia than what he has already shared. Walter is skeptical about the Cortexiphan. Held up to the light - it looks like the real thing. Cortexiphan has been replaced.
Back at the gas station, Peter has grown tired of waiting in the car for Olivia while she uses the 'Little Federal Agents' room inside the store. He comes inside and has a quick look around. The uni-gender toilet is unoccupied and the clerk at the cash register doesn't recall Olivia when Peter describes her.
Abducted and groggy, Olivia regains a portion of her senses in a dilapidated room in an old abandoned institution. Strapped to an office chair with tie-wraps, Nina's distressed voice calls out to her. Facing Olivia, a few feet away, is Nina. She is similarly restrained and appears to be under as much duress as the Fringe Agent. Sisters in captivity, or so it seems.
- The Observer walks past the cashier's window at the gas station as Peter goes inside to check on Olivia.
- SLUSHO. Advertising for a new line of SLUSHO products - SLUSHO! Pops - is posted in the window at the convenience store where Olivia stops for fuel.
|The "Killer Bees" mascot name on the exterior of Coolidge High School (Welcome To Westfield) foreshadows the revelation that the murderous trio eliminating those that know of their unique genetic profile are acting like Bees, using a collective (hive) mentality|
• The Ghost Who Walks by Karen Elson
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on A Better Human Being/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- How did the hive of half-brothers learn that Greene and Frank were planning to publish Frank's research about their genetic abilities?
- Why was Olivia abducted?
- Was Nina abducted, or complicit in Olivia's abduction?
- Is Nina in the holding cell with Olivia, or is it a clone/shape-shifter?
- If not, is it Nina Sharp from the alternate universe?