|Air Date:||6 May 2010|
|Written by:|| Zack Stentz|
|Directed by:||Joe Chappelle|
|Guest Cast:|| Martha Plimpton as Sheriff Mathis|
Sebastian Roché as Thomas Newton
Patrick Gilmore as Bill Ferguson
Christine Chatelain as Krista Manning
Hamza Adam as Deputy
|Next:||Over There, Part 1|
|Transcript — Additional Images|
- Northwest Passage is the twenty-first episode of the second season of FRINGE. It first aired on May 6, 2010. Peter teams up with Sheriff Ann Mathis in Noyo County, Washington, after being implicated in a bizarre murder. Still intent on hiding his location from the science team, he provides her accurate insight into the alternate universe perpetrators. Walter flounders at home, concerned he may be recommitted.
SynopsisKrista Manning serves one of her regulars, Raymond, a long-haul trucker headed for Oakland, CA. She tells him his burger will be ready soon and she gives him a CD of mixed songs she feels fits his personality. She wanders to the other side of the cafe, where a new patron has found time to catch her fancy. Peter Bishop resumes the conversation that they had previously started. He is hopelessly intrigued with the the CDs that Krista assembles for her regulars customers. She claims she knows what music tracks to put on the CD because of the aura of the recipient. Peter is new in town, but she maybe able to put a CD together for him based on his name and where he is from. She says she will drop off the CD at his motel later that evening, after her shift. After they agree to meet later, Peter leaves. Krista burns the CD she promised, locks after her shift and heads to her vehicle to leave. As she prepares to enter her car, she is approached by an individual. The heavy tractor-trailer traffic speeds by, and a few seconds later she and her assailant vanish into the night. Krista regains
In the lobby of the Drake's Bay Motel, Peter wakes-up at six in the morning after having spent the night on the couch there. Tom is behind the desk at the motel and tells Peter that the pretty girl he was waiting for never arrived the previous evening. Peter retires to his room and lays down. As soon as he closes his eyes, the phone rings. Peter picks up the phone thinking Krista has called, but only odd noises and distorted voices can be heard on the line.After a short time in his room, Peter leaves town in his vehicle. He is having fun with his voice-activated navigation system Ann Mathis approaches him and introduces herself and Deputy Bill Ferguson. Peter identifies himself and confirms that he a customer at the cafe the previous night. Mathis asks if he remembers his waitress. Peter remembers Krista well... did something happen to her? Ferguson takes Peter's identification and walks to a patrol car to check the ID. Peter confirms that he and Krista had plans after her shift at the cafe, but she never showed up at his motel. The guy at the front desk can corroborate that Peter slept in the lobby all night while waiting. When Mathis leaves Peter alone for a minute, Peter sees Thomas Newton darting behind some of the loitering crowd and begins to move toward him. Newton appeared briefly before vanishing entirely. Mathis sees that Peter has moved from where she left him and wants to know who he was looking for in the crowd and where Peter thought he was going. Peter denies that he saw anyone... Mathis and Ferguson want to continue interviewing Peter, so they load him in the backseat of the patrol car and head off toward the station.
On the way to the station, Ferguson calls and checks on Peter's alibi at the motel. The deputy passes on Peter's decription and data - Peter corrects an oversight, he was registered under the name Stewart, not Bishop. Tom, at the motel, confirms Peter's alibi. Mathis wants to know why Peter was using an assumed name. Before Peter can reply, the Sheriff has a call from dispatch... search dogs found the body of a white female at the spillway near Route 219 and Mile-Marker Eight.
At the Noyo County Morgue, Peter Bishop and Ann Mathis begin inspecting Krista Manning's body. Peter says the victim seemed nice - did the Sheriff know her? Mathis shares that Manning went to school with her sister. Peter begins the lesson he promised and turns the victims head to expose the extraction point in her skull. He continues -- the temporal lobe is responsible for memory and the brain is the greatest recording device ever created. Sights, sounds, smells, are all recorded in perfect detail. What is being done to the victims is the segement brain that holds all of the subtle details, like what was said, what clothing was worn, what time it was... is being taken so it can be read. Mathis wants to know why the criminals just didn't come for Peter, then comments, how pink the remaining brain tissue is. Peter says that is not normal and only happens when the body spikes adrenaline and it has to be metabolized. Mathis puts the pen she has been using to write notes behind her ear then leans over the corpse be get a better view of the critical wound. Her pen slides from her ear into a fluid collection tray with plasma in it. Peter retrieves the pen and begins to clean it. He notices the motto on the pen... "find the crack"? Mathis explains that the pen was a gift from Deputy Ferguson after their first case together. The saying on the pen reminds her that in the darkness, there's always a crack, it's how the light gets in.
Back at the Sheriff's office, Deputy Ferguson asks Peter to sign his statement, if is accurate. Peter signs and says he is changing accomodations - he will be at the Northwest Passage motel using the name Gene Cowan. Ferguson offers him an escort from law enforcement, since Peter seems to be a target of the criminals. Peter declines the escort, then leaves. He will be fine now that he knows with certainty that Newton is in the area. Mathis and Ferguson talk about Peter after he departs for the motel. As smart and knowing as Peter seems, Ferguson doesn't believe that Peter is entirely legitimate... why does the Sheriff trust Peter? She offers her only explanation - she is a good judge of character.
On the way to his new motel, Peter stops at a gun shop that is closed. He rings and is greeted through the peep slot in the door. Peter holds up a roll of cash and offers to make opening-up worthwhile. After checking-in at the Northwest Passage, Peter puts a large duffel bag on the bed and extracts a shotgun. Later, as he files the tips of the bullets for his 9-millimeter pistol, the phone rings. He answers and hears electronic static and distorted voices on the line. Concerned, he hangs up the phone only to have it start ringing again. He grabs the receiver quickly and angrily demands to know what they want from him. It's not Newton... Sheriff Mathis needs to talk to him. Peter is worried that someone learned of his whereabouts through her, or someone in her office. That's why she is calling Peter -- Deputy Ferguson has disappeared.
Peter joins the Sheriff in her office and learns that she hasn't spoken to Ferguson in two hours. She says Ferguson returned to the river bank and bridge where the victim was found. He feels he may have overlooked something there. Peter figures that Ferguson went missing about thirty minutes before he received the last odd phone call. The Sheriff wonders if they used her deputy to find Peter like they used Krista. She also wants to know what make Peter so special, and why they haven't abducted him. Peter claims he has no idea what it all means. Mathis wants to get serious and bring in Peter's FBI friends, they have expertise and resources. Peter believes that Newton will disappear as so as the FBI shows any presence in the matter. Mathis questions Peter's honesty in the matter. The phone calls he claims he received aren't on any records and apparently didn't happen. Peter reminds her how sophisticated the criminals are that they are after, and the technology to make phone calls disappear has been around since the 1970's, even he can do that. Peter softens his tone after studying her body language. She doesn't want him to be right because that means Deputy Ferguson is most likely dead. Mathis is growing frustrated... she can't verify anything he has told her because it is either classified or incredible. She is going to call The Bureau. Peter gets her to hold on her call by reminding her that her partner is missing, he did talk to Krista, and he did get the strange phone calls. If she calls for federal help, he is certain that they will never find Ferguson.
At the Bishop house, Olivia leads Walter and Astrid in through the front door. Walter is incensed that he was made to wait at the police station -- it's the makers of the toaster pastries that should be in jail. Astrid secures the front door then reminds Walter that he is home and safe. She walks to join him and notices how grossly disheveled the house has become since Peter fled the hospital. Astrid checks the nearly empty refrigerator and asks why Walter he tell her he needed help. He insist that he needs to learn to care for myself, in case Peter does not return. More that that, Walter fears that he will be returned to St. Claire's Hospital if he can't function in the real-world by himself. Olivia assures him she won't let them take him back to the mental care facility.
Alone on the bridge, Sheriff Mathis hears a gunshot from the nearby forest. She runs toward the commotion with her pistol drawn, calling and trying to locate Peter. As Mathis starts her search for Peter, he continues to try and stalk Thomas Newton. Peter briefly catches a glimpse of Newton as Newton dashes between trees in the dense undergrowth. Peter runs after Newton, then stops to survey the area when he hears the same odd electronic noises he heard when he was phoned at the motel. Mathis finds Peter and asks him what he saw. Peter tells her he saw Newton and one other man. He wants to know why she didn't see them... they should have run right past her.
Deep in the woods, Peter approaches the Sheriff, then becomes very suspicious when he sees blood on her jacket sleeve. He levels his pistol at her, and she returns the favor - wanting to know what he is doing. He demands to know who she is. She repeats her demand, for him to lower his weapon. Peter thinks he may be facing one of the shape-shifters and decides to test for knowledge. He wants to know what she dropped in the morgue, and who gave her the object she dropped? Pistols still pointing at one another, she blurts that she dropped the pen that Deputy Ferguson gave her. Not completely convinced yet, Peter wants to know why she has blood on her jacket. Mathis tells him she injured her wrist when she fell while running. Peter asks to see the injury, he needs to know that her blood is red. She shows him, curious as to what other color her blood might be. They both holster their weapons and end the stand-off.Back at the Sheriff's vehicle on the bridge, Peter dresses Ann Mathis' wrist wound and
Ann Mathis and Peter Bishop arrive at the new crime scene and exit her vehicle to join the Deputies surrounding the victim. Mathis hesitates and Peter offers to check and see if it is Deputy Ferguson that was murdered. Mathis declines the offer and walks to where the victim was hastily dumped at the edge of the rock quarry. The victim is female and has part of her skull missing. Peter does not recognize her.
Back at her office, Sheriff Mathis interviews Heather. The latest victim is her sister, Gwynn. They were supposed to meet the previous evening, but when Gwynn did not show at her sister's place, Heather figured that she must have been too tired to visit. Peter asks a few questions to try and determine if he had crossed paths when Gwynn recently -- making her a target for Newton. Could Gwynn have been at the Hill-Top Cafe? Did she frequent the gas station over on Route 202? Or the Drake's Bay Motel? Heather doesn't believe so. Sheriff Mathis halts Peter's line of questioning when it becomes obvious that Heather doesn't have the answers that Peter is looking for.
At the Bishop's home, Astrid has joined Walter in the kitchen to help clean dishes and to restore order to the chaos of Walter's life. Walter puts a record on the phonograph, takes a bite from his frosty fudge bar, then returns to drying the dishes Astrid has just cleaned. He asserts that the Hadron Super Collider is less complicated than his dishwasher. Astrid prods him... the dishwasher works fine if you don't use laundry detergent in it. Walter takes his medicine and concedes that after her years of training to become a Federal Agent, he doubts she had dreams of babysitting a helpless old man. She doesn't consider him helpless - just a little disorganized. Astrid hands him the miniature double-decker toy car he took from the Zelazney Building and Walter suddenly becomes excited and terse. He has an idea... objects from the other universe have a distinctive energy signature, a glimmer. It may be possible to build a new device to read that energy. Since Peter emits that same glimmer, they can use the device to help find him.Mathis drives along a dark, all-season
At the Federal Building, Broyle's sits behind a desk and asks Olivia how Walter is managing. Olivia tells Broyles that Peter's absence has been difficult for Walter, and that he is concerned that he will be sent back to St. Claire's. Broyle's wants to know if Walter will be able to function if Peter does not return. Olivia, certain that Peter will come back, studies Broyles for a second, reads his body language, then confronts her supervisor directly -- Does he know something about Peter? Has he spoken to Peter?
Back at the morgue in Noyo County, Peter has calculated that the adrenaline spikes from the first victim were forty-two minutes apart, and fifty-seven minutes apart for the second victim. Peter uses a compass to calculate on a map that, at a safe rate of speed from the opposites sides of Noyo County where the two woman were abducted, the probable location of Newton is a narrow strip of land where the two circles from the victims overlap. Mathis questions his method - he is assuming that the victims were killed in the same location. Peter defends his analysis... complex medical equipment was used to operate on the victim's, and it's not easy to move an operating room. It is just easier bring the victims to a specified location... someplace out of the way. Sheriff Mathis points to the narrow target area on Peter's map and recognizes the derelict dairy farm there as out of the way.Mathis
Inside his trailer, Craig shows the investigators a blueprint of the property that highlights the main structures on the hill. The
Peter avoids getting clubed with the hammer, wrestles Craig to the ground, punches him in the face a few times and demands to know who Craig is and where Newton is. Sheriff Mathis rushes in and tells Peter to stop. Craig admits he wanted to be close to the girls, but he couldn't stop. Mathis demands to know where Deputy Bill Ferguson is and what has been done to him.
Up on the hill in one of the derelict dairy buildings, Mathis and Bishop search one of the darkened outbuildings - one that is full of medical equipment. With here weapon drawn and her flashlight probing the dark corners of each room, Ann Mathis calls for Bill. She finds him, still breathing. Peter inspects the officers skull, finds ink marks for an incision, but Deputy Ferguson has not been operated. Peter leaves the makeshift operating room to call for an ambulance. Sheriff Mathis holds and comforts her good friend.Standing outside the dairy after her back-up forces have arrived, Ann approaches Peter as he rinses the blood from his hands. He doesn't know what to say to her. She tells him he saved her partners' life and tracked a killer - what else is there to say? She feels for him, knowing that he is lost and trying to find his path in life. She tells him, whatever he can't or won't tell her about himself... she gets the impression that he is looking for
In Walter's lab, he and Astrid are finishing work on the device he imagines will be able to detect objects with the energy signature of the alternate universe. Astrid has prepared the spectrograph, then double-checks Walter's work. He has entered the wrong numbers. Walter says the numbers are correct, but Astrid insist that they are not. Astrid realizes that Walter's error was intentional, he is not serious about finding Peter. Walter admits that he is worried Peter will not forgive him. Walter clings to his hope for forgiveness and his hope that Peter will come to understand why Walter did the things he did. Olivia returns to the lab from Broyles office with news. Peter is in Washington and she wants Walter to join her on a trip there.Krista Manning assembled for him. He rests his eyes for just a few seconds, opens them, and is startled to find Thomas Newton standing a few feet from his bed. Peter bolts up and starts for his weapon. Newton points a pistol directly at Peter and quietly encourages him to cease. Newton turns his head and summons "Mister Secretary" from the hallway. In walks the cool, collected and identical version of Walter Bishop. He starts the conversation... "Hello Son."
- The Observer stands with the crowd behind the crime scene tape outside of the Hill-Top Cafe during Peter's initial interview with Sheriff Mathis.
- Historically, the "Northwest Passage" is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of Canada and its' islands. It was sought by explorers for centuries as a fair weather trade route between the Pacific Basin and Europe. In previous centuries, this shortcut saved months on a sailing voyage between the two regions, but at a great risk to sailor's life among the treacherous ice packs and volatile weather.
- The working title Northwest Passage evolved into the popular cult television show Twin Peaks and was, like Noyo County, set in the rural woods of Washington State. The working title was adjusted to deconflict with the name of a real city.
- In the context of the show, "Northwest Passage" is the name of the hotel Peter moves to when he spends more time in Noyo County than planned. Newton and Mister Secretary locate him there.
- Peter offers his next assumed name as Gene Cowan... word play about his good friend back at the lab - Gene The Cow.
- Peter picks up a Bazooka Joe bubble gum wrapper with a foreshadowing punchline - "You can't get THERE - from HERE" - different from the original wrapper.
- Recurring Themes
- Non-Voluntary Brain Surgery. The unsolicited surgical acts against Krista and Gwynn were similar to actions taken by Newton in Grey Matters, however, Newton made an effort to insure the recovery of those patients.
- Shapeshifters. Peter explains to Mathis that shapeshifters have different blood color and may assume the body form of authority figures.
- Episode References
- Zelazney Building. The architecture firm that was pushed (harmonically resonated) into this universe. (Jacksonville)
- Glimmer. Objects and people from the other side emit a glimmering energy signature. (Jacksonville)
- Mister Secretary. The previously unidentified man from the alternate universe (The Man From The Other Side) - now confirmed as the 1985 scientist referred to as Walternate or US Secretary of State Walter Bishop (Peter).
|Walter's game of Operation with Ella (Brown Betty) foreshadowed the makeshift medical procedures in this episode.|
• Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band
• Classical Gas by Mason Williams
• She's Doing Fine by Violet Sedan Chair
• Is There A Ghost? by Band Of Horses
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on Northwest Passage/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- Was Thomas Newton recovering sections of brain in Noyo County to place them in Mister Secretary?
- If so, were they originally extracted from Mister Secretary, then planted in the Noyo County victims?
- Was Thomas Newton removing brain pieces from the victims at the dairy farm, or was it the work of the owner, Craig?
- Did the handheld device causing the odd noises locate Peter, as he suspected?
- Did the device allow for Newton and his associate to rapidly vanish or camouflage?
- What was the intent of Newton when he attempted to dart Peter?
- When Peter sees Newton nearby, then vanish, is Peter hallucinating?
- Is he in a dream state when he meets Newton and Walternate?
- Is he sensing activities in the alternate universe?
- Did the music on his CD influence his mental state/awareness?
- Did the garbled phone calls he receive induce hallucination?