Bad Dreams

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Bad Dreams
Episode117.jpg
Season: 1 Episode: 17
Air Date: April 21, 2009
Written by: Akiva Goldsman
Directed by: Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: David Call as Nick Lane
Laurie Williams as Doctor Miller
Ari Graynor as Rachel
Lily Pilblad as Ella

Rebecca Naomi Jones as Risa Pears
Duane McLaughlin as Todd Pears
April Grace as Police Officer
Johanna Day as Mouse Willis
Victor Verhaeghe as Billy Willis
Ed Vassallo as Manager
Jim Coope as Detective
Kelly Briter as Ginger (Dancer)
Darren Copeland as Bouncer
Christine Toy Johnson as Doctor
Nelson Pena as Tech #1
Christian Pedersen as Tech #2
Shawn Andrew as Cop
Manuel Cabral as Man

Next: Midnight
Previously: Unleashed
Transcript  —  Additional Images
Introduction

Bad Dreams is the seventeenth episode of the first season of FRINGE. It first aired on April 21, 2009. Olivia witnesses a suicide in New York while asleep and dreaming in Boston. When a second deadly vision happens, Broyles puts his trust in Olivia and deploys the team to investigate further. As details emerge, Olivia uncovers new information regarding the ZFT manuscript, the experimental drug Cortexiphan, and that the case may be tied to her own past.

Synopsis

Prologue

A New York City school teacher, Risa Pears, pushes her 18-month old daughter, Lucy, home from the circus late in the evening in a stroller, through a fairly empty Grand Central Station. Three floating circus balloons -- red, yellow and blue -- are attached to the stroller, as mom sings a rhyme about elephants. Risa enters the underground tunnels using a MetroCard, and rushing, she misses the departing train. She sets the brakes on the stroller, trackside, waiting for the next train. Unknowingly, she is being watched from behind. Sooner than expected, another train approaches as Lucy plays with the attached balloons. Risa tells her daughter they are lucky. Lucy unties the red balloon and it floats upward. Risa reaches for the balloon, and as she does so, the front of the train pulls even with her. Immediately, someone with long blond hair and a dark coat rushes from behind her and pushes her in front of the train. From the other side of the tracks, through the subway car windows, we see that the murderer is Olivia Dunham. At that moment, Olivia jolts awake in her bed from the nightmare vision she had. Obviously very upset, Olivia gets out of bed.

Hours later, after the sun has risen, Olivia does sit-up exercises, chooses her clothing from a closet full of grays and blacks, and later sits in the kitchen solving a crossword puzzle with the morning news running on the television. Rachel enters the kitchen and notices that Olivia has consumed almost a full pot of coffee. Olivia hears a reference to the suspected suicide of Pears on the morning newscast and looks up to see a picture of the woman she had dreamed of murdering just hours before.

ACT I

At the Federal Building, Olivia asks Broyles' permission to investigate the suicide in New York. When Broyles questions her motives in pursuing the investigation, Olivia just asks him to trust her. Broyles gives her twenty-four hours. Broyles comments that Olivia has appeared distracted and on edge lately.

At the lab, Olivia has explained the situation to Walter and Peter. Peter assures her it was just a bad dream, while Walter examines her with a Geiger counter and nixes the possibility that Olivia teleported to New York. Walter muses about astral projection but nixes it as well. Olivia recalls the dream being so vivid she could actually smell the
Circus Mom
subway platform. Peter decides to go with her to investigate the scene in New York.

At Grand Central Station, an NYPD Officer greets Olivia and Peter. The victim's name was Risa and she was 28 years old. Olivia asks how they know the woman's death was a suicide. The detective tells her that it was all caught on tape. Before they reach the platform, Olivia tells Peter that there will be a red balloon floating on the ceiling. Sure enough, when the two arrive on the platform a red balloon is floating on the ceiling.

At the local police station, Olivia talks with the victim's husband, who says his wife had absolutely no reason to commit suicide. Then Olivia watches the footage of incident, dumbfounded as Risa very clearly jumps right in front of the approaching train. Olivia asks for a copy of the tape.

Back at the Harvard Lab, Olivia, Peter, and Walter watch the surveillance tape again. Olivia swears she remembers pushing Risa in front of the train. Walter reminds Olivia that dreams cannot always be taken literally. Walter suggests that perhaps Olivia killed Risa using the power of mind, but offers no scientific explanation. He concedes the idea is ridiculous... unless, of course, it happens again.

Olivia buys "No Sleep" pills in a drug store. Then she is seated for dinner in an upscale restaurant. At a table nearby, a woman gets angry with her husband when she suspects he was flirting with the waitress. The woman becomes very distraught, stands up, and starts yelling. He stands as well. She picks up a knife from the table. Olivia stands up, knocking her cup from the table. She walks over to the woman, takes her arm from behind, and drives the knife repeatedly into the husbands stomach. The man falls back into his chair. Olivia jolts awake -- it was another dream. She immediately calls Charlie and reports a murder.

ACT II

At St. Vincent's Hospital, Olivia and Peter are told by the victim's doctor that he isn't going to make it. The wife has been allowed to see him because she won't have another chance. Olivia questions the wife, suggesting that someone might have compelled her to do it. But the wife, guilt stricken,
Guilty?
says she doesn't know what happened. She suddenly became convinced her husband was going to leave her, anger overtook her, and she tried to kill him. Olivia becomes very distraught and begins posing leading questions to the woman suggesting that someone made her stab her husband. Noticing this, Peter interrupts and calls Olivia into the hall. He's concerned about her, because she is not making sense and she's running on no sleep.

Peter and Olivia go to the restaurant where the man was stabbed. Olivia notices a piece of broken cup on the floor beside a table. When the manager becomes flippant with her, she grabs him by the collar, forces him against a table, and demands that he tell her who was sitting at that table last night. He says a man with blond hair and a scar on his face was there, and Olivia says she knows who the man is.

Back at the lab, the team watches the surveillance footage from Risa's suicide looking for the blond with the scar. Sure enough, a blond man with a scar crosses the frame moments after Risa ends her life. He is now the link between the two crime scenes. Walter theorizes that perhaps Olivia has become this man in her dreams or is dreaming about the "unsub". Olivia wonders why and who he is.

ACT III

In the situation room at the Federal Building, an FBI technician runs a facial recognition program looking for the scarfaced blond from the surveillance footage. Broyles marches into the room, demanding to know why FBI resources are being used on a case he knows nothing about. The program gets a hit. The man is Nick Lane, a former inmate at St. Jude's Mental Hospital. Olivia and Broyles enter his office and close the door. Olivia hesitantly explains the situation, afraid she is sounding crazy. She needs to get to the bottom of this, maybe take a few days off. Broyles phones Charlie Francis and tells him to open a case file for Nick Lane with Olivia Dunham as point.

Peter and Olivia visit St. Jude's. Peter muses about Walter's experience as a patient in such an institute. They meet Doctor Miller and are taken to her office. She explains the Nick was there when she arrived and comments that he had a very comprehensive insurance policy from the military. He was there voluntarily, having checked himself in. She tells them that Nick checked himself out when a lawyer came to notify him that he had inherited a large sum of money. She tells them that Nick was sort of a special case, he was hyper-emotive. If he was happy he'd light up the room, but if he was sad, he would drag those around him down with him. Doctor Miller also tells them that he suffered from paranoid delusions.
ZFT Extract
Nick thought he had been recruited as a child for top-secret experiments that would prepare him to be a soldier in a coming war against denizens of a parallel universe. Olivia looks at Peter, spooked.

On the drive back, while Peter looks through Nick Lane's file, they call Astrid back at the lab. Astrid reads a section from the ZFT manuscript that discusses a coming war, just like Nick talked about in the hospital. Peter also learns that Nick Lane was born in 1979 in Jacksonville, Florida, the same place Olivia is from. Olivia says they have to talk with Walter.

In Walter's hotel room, Olivia questions Walter about Cortexiphan. Walter explains that William Bell, his old lab partner and the founder of Massive Dynamic, experimented with the drug. Walter comments that he had strong arguments with Belly about doing the experiments. Bell believed it would enhance a person's perception, and could, in some instances, give one the ability to change reality with their thoughts or feelings, or travel to another world. Given what Doctor Miller said about Nick's contagious feelings, Olivia theorizes that Nick's presence at both crime scenes "infected" the people around him. This caused the people to either harm themselves or others. Peter says this doesn't explain why Olivia is seeing what Nick is doing. Walter says that when William Bell administered these drugs to children, he often paired up test subjects in a type of "buddy system" so they didn't get scared. In some cases, a very strong bond developed between paired children. Olivia admits she may have been treated with Cortexiphan. Walter says if that is the case, he knows how to find Nick Lane.

We see Olivia swaggering down a street and entering a gentleman's club. She sits down and becomes engrossed with a pole dancer. The dancer notices Olivia and returns the attention. They kiss. We hear Olivia narrating Nick's feelings and actions. Walter has put Olivia into a hypnotic sleep state to enhance her psychic connection with Nick Lane. She is able to feel and see what he is doing. Olivia and the dancer, Ginger, leave together to find a hotel room. After the two have sex, Nick feels guilt and wishes he were dead. These emotions infect the dancer. She breaks a glass and slashes her neck. Olivia is very upset and Walter tells Peter to comfort her. Olivia now watches as Nick walks to his home which is almost under one of the city's bridges -- and then jolts awake. Now she knows where he lives.

ACT IV

Nick Lane wakes to his alarm, does his push-up exercises, chooses his clothing from a closet full of grays and blacks, and takes some medications. He gets his gun from a desk and suddenly focuses on his front door.

The next morning, the FBI raids Nick's apartment, but he's not there.
Torre Attack?
As they search the apartment, Charlie calls Olivia to see an entire wall of newspaper clippings, some from reputable sources, reporting strange scientific events and secret conspiracies.

Meanwhile, Nick walks down a city street, deep in thought. As he passes people, he's infecting them and they follow him.

Back at Nick's apartment, Walter studies a chess endgame and Peter studies the wall of clippings. Olivia wonders why all of this just started happening to Nick now, when he was dosed with Cortexiphan over twenty years ago. Peter draws a connection to the lawyer who showed up at the mental hospital with the inheritance. Olivia wonders if he was somehow "activated." Charlie enters, saying a security guard downtown identified Nick entering a building, not alone. Nick has people following him.

As Olivia, Peter, and Walter drive to the building, Walter theorizes that Nick is now a walking epidemic, infecting anyone in his vicinity. Peter says there's nothing they can do to stop him without also becoming infected. But Walter says Olivia may be immune from Nick's abilities because she too was treated with
Fallen Victim
Cortexiphan.

They arrive at the scene to discover a number of people standing on the roof of the building along the edge. The Fringe team pass a police cordon and are warned not to continue because an officer sent up is now also standing on the roof's edge. Olivia goes to the roof to confront Nick. He seems to recognize Olivia, but calls her "Olive." He wants to talk about their time together during the Cortexiphan trials, but Olivia doesn't remember any of it. Nick explains that he has followed orders. Nick suddenly draws a gun, telling Olivia he wants to stop feeling this way. He then gives her the gun and tells her to shoot him so all of this can end. As Olivia tries to reason with Nick, he becomes annoyed and a woman on the ledge jumps to her death, impacting a car on the ground by Walter and Peter. Nick repeats his request to have Olive shoot him.

ACT V

Olivia knows that if she doesn't shoot him, he will jump off the roof and bring everyone down with him. Olivia shoots him in the legs, and the people on the ledge collapse and then "wake up"..

In a sterile hallway, Broyles explains that Massive Dynamic is not being very forthcoming. Nina Sharp claims that the names of the children that were treated with Cortexiphan have been deleted from the records. They look through a window and see Nick Lane lying on a bed being kept in a drug-induced coma indefinitely. Broyles wonders why Olivia has no memory of the Cortexiphan trials but Nick does.

'Timeout' for Olive
Olivia arrives home to find Ella sleeping on the couch. As she puts Ella to bed, Ella claims that what was put in her (immunization virus) is alive. Charlie arrives, tells Olivia he is breaking about a thousand regulations and hands Olivia the file of clippings from Nick Lane's apartment.

At the lab, Walter searches through a filing box of videotapes. His eyes grow troubled when he reads the label of one video, which he then plays on a VCR. The video shows a little girl sitting in the corner of a charred room, frightened. William Bell asks if the "incident" is contained, questioning the damages, as well as any casualties. A female voice responds that the situation appears to be alright, but they are unable to locate "Brenner." Bell then asks what triggered the girl, and Walter answers, "Obviously she was upset, William!" Walter then consoles the girl, addressing her as "Olive."

Quotes

"I think they meant for us to forget. I just couldn't. I did what they told us. I waited Olive. The soldier to come is both natural and unnatural. I waited to be called up. You stay fit, stay focused and stay ready. I wore the blacks and grays. I blended in. But the call never came. It never came. Then, that man with the glasses, he showed up at the hospital. He spoke all the old words. He said they're coming. He needed warriors." - Nick Lane (to Olivia, explaining how his recent experiences brought him to the roof of a high-rise building, ready to commit suicide.)

Walter's Lab Notes

Bad Dreams

Bad DreamsTrimmed Copy of Typed Notes

  • The poetic effort appears to have been typed using the same typewriter from Ability with the elevated 'Y'.
  • The poem mimics the meter and narrative style of "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe.
  • The notes for this episode sit atop some clippings from Nick Lane's apartment. Two of the clippings are related and report the termination of Government-funded genetics programs. The one about Kelvin Genetics contains the sentence fragment "...taken by the employees."

Trivia

General
  • The Observer crosses the street as Olivia and Peter arrive at the scene where Nick Lane is threatening to jump from a building.
  • The television station Olivia is watching, WRQE-2, does not exist.
  • This is the first time in which a form of William Bell has been portrayed in an episode - i.e. his voice - other than just by name.
  • Shot in Grand Central Station, the subway scene is not on the #7 platform as indicated, but the Shuttle platform.
  • It is not possible to roll a stroller through the type of turnstile Risa Pears took at the station.
  • The article entitled "Genetically Modified Children: The Future of the Super Human Race" has nothing to do with the content below it - information about the public availability of private cell phone records.
  • Doctor Nick Lane is an English biologist who has written several books and numerous articles about evolution.
  • Nellie The Elephant was written in 1957 by Ralph Butler and Peter Hart. In some English-speaking countries, due to its rhythm, singing it can be used to help set the pace of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.
Continuity Errors
  • Walter roams Nick Lane's apartment and remarks on the chess game in progress - The Torre Attack. The board is configured for the latter stages of a chess game with many pieces eliminated. The Torre Attack is an opening sequence, first five moves total, with no pieces eliminated.
  • As visualized by Olivia, Nick Lane sits on Ginger's bed, watching her in the other room as she stands and stares into the mirror... wearing only her shorts. Lane walks into the room behind her to help her slit her own throat... and she is wearing a top, as well.
Recurring Themes
  • Genetic Engineering. Experimental testing of young children with adverse physiological and psychological after-effects.
  • Plummet. Falling from high-rise building (The Dreamscape) in New York City and squarely impacting a parked vehicle.
Episode References
  • A component of the "test box" (Ability) is seen in is seen in Nick Lane's apartment, when he retrieves a gun from a drawer.
Storyline Analysis
  • Walter invokes that Lane has been a 'busy bee' when he sees the chess board in Lane's apartment. Incorrectly identified as the Torre Attack, that particular opening in chess has certain implications for the saga... "it is a system with hidden dynamic potential" — "it is not particularly advantageous for the one deploying it" - BUT - "it allows the one using the tactic to set the agenda from the start, preventing many counterattacks." — "It has quick-strike potential if the opponent is careless or unfamiliar with the subtleties of the tactic."

Previously

NextEpisodeClue117.jpg
NextEpisodeClue117.jpg
NextEpisodeClue117.jpg
NextEpisodeClue117.jpg
NextEpisodeClue117.jpg
    From the MIT fraternity house (Unleashed) - the keg is labeled with a big "Red Balloon Lager" sticker. This foreshadowed the big red balloon in Bad Dreams, that was part of Olivia's vision of victim, Risa Pears, in Grand Central Station.

Music

Starstruck by Lady GaGa
Via Veneto by Lou Monte
G.I.T. Get It Together by The Jackson 5

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on Bad Dreams/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • Why is Boston morning news reporting on delays to the morning commute in New York?
  • What type of vaccinations did Ella receive?
Nick Lane
  • After picking up his gun, did Nick Lane sense someone coming to his apartment?
  • Who is the partially revealed face above the 'Government Funds Secret Drug Trials' article?
  • Where/what is the facility Nick Lane is being kept - and who runs the facility?
The 'Olive' Video
  • Who was the female talking?
  • What caused the damage to young Olivia's room?
  • Was the scar on Lane's face a result of Olivia's incident as a child?
  • Why was "Brenner" missing in the closing scene on the video cassette tape?
Cortexiphan Kids
  • Can Nick Lane's description be used to identify these children?
    • Is someone using the characteristics to find them?
  • Why were three year old children made to forget the experiments? By whom?
  • What are the consequences of Walter disagreeing with the experiments?
    • Was he made to forget, like the children were?
    • Was he also framed for the fire so he would be committed to St. Claires, and out of the way?
Olivia
  • Why did Nick Lane, as well as Walter (in the video), call Olivia 'Olive'?
  • When Olivia referred to Rachel dating two men, was she referring to current events?
    • Who are the men?
    • Is Peter one?
  • Who's the man moaning in Olivia's apartment at the end of the episode?
Walter
  • Why does Walter neglect to use a project and experiment number in his notes about the bad dreams?
  • Where does the modern looking hypnotic state machine come from?
    • Is the machine based on the flashing light technology discoverd in 'The Equation'?
    • Why isn't Walter using his usual drug cocktail?

Episodes

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything

Transcripts

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything