The Transformation

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The Transformation
Episode113.jpg
Season: 1 Episode: 13
Air Date: 03 Feb 2009
Written by: J.R. Orci
Zack Whedon
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: Mark Valley as John Scott
Neal Huff as Marshall Bowman
Armando Riesco as Gavin
Felix Solis as Daniel Hicks
Ari Graynor as Rachel
Lily Pilblad as Ella
Al Sapienza as Conrad Moreau

Olivia Jones as Melissa
Mike Realba as Flight Attendant
Ash Roeca as Agent #2
Chris Lapanta as Gavin’s Man
Dina Ann Comolli as Soccer Mom
Guiesseppe Jones as Agent
Darby Totten as Agent Simmons

Next: Ability
Previously: The No-Brainer
Transcript  —  Additional Images
Introduction

The Transformation is the thirteenth episode of the first season of FRINGE. It first aired on February 3, 2009. The team delves into a bizarre case when the freakish corpse of a passenger is discovered at the crash site of another international aviation disaster. Olivia's memories tip the team toward a promising lead, but the bigger picture and mysterious threat eludes them. With limited options and insufficient intelligence, Olivia and Peter go undercover to expose an international bio-arms merchant.

Synopsis

Prologue
On board VertusAir Flight 718, a man sits writing in his notebook, when suddenly his nose begins to bleed. He goes to the bathroom where he checks his teeth, tongue, and eyes. He swabs his mouth, dabs the swab into a vial filled with a clear liquid, then panics as the liquid turns red.
Not A Frequent Flyer
In the cabin, he grabs a flight attendant and tells her he's in trouble, that he needs to be sedated. As the flight crew tries to calm him, his nose begins to bleed again. He makes one final plea: keep him in the bathroom no matter what happens. Inside the bathroom, while Bowman examines himself, a tooth falls out. He groans in agony, doubles over in pain, and drops to the floor. Quills, growing from his back, burst through his shirt. It becomes quiet and the flight crew are considering their options when the door splinters and a large bipedal beast emerges into the cabin and begins attacking passengers.

ACT I

At a soccer field in Scarsdale, NY, a mom packs her son's equipment into the back of her minivan after soccer practice, then turns to see an airliner plummeting from the sky and crashing in the distance.

Meanwhile, at Olivia's apartment, Ella plays dress-up with her aunt's clothes and jewelry. Rachel tells her to go wash up and pulls an engagement ring off of Ella's finger; it's Olivia's. Rachel pries, and Olivia comes clean about John Scott - how he betrayed both her and his country. As the two discuss their failed relationships, Olivia gets the call about the plane crash.

At the crash site, the team surveys the wreckage. Broyles tells them that 147 passengers died in the crash and leads them to what look like the charred remains of an animal. Walter flips the carcass onto it's back. Charlie calls Olivia over and gives her a copy of the manifest and passports. As she flips through the passport photos, one tweaks a memory, the one of Marshall Bowman.

Olivia has a memory flash: she is sitting in an undisclosed location with Marshall Bowman and another man. They speak vaguely about a product that's a "horror show", before Marshall calls her John. As Olivia returns to reality, she tells Charlie that Marshall Bowman is their guy. Knowing this is a hunch, Charlie skeptically goes to investigate further.

↓ In Walter's lab, Walter performs an autopsy on the beast. He suggests that whatever caused the transformation altered his internal organs. Walter
Monster Autopsy
notices something hard in the beast's palm and removes a small glass disk.

At the Federal Building, Olivia goes through Bowman's file of US clients and sees a familiar face: Daniel Hicks, the other man Olivia was sitting with during her memory flash earlier. Broyles arrives and plays the last 60 seconds of the black box recording and the beast attack. Afterward, Olivia tells Charlie that Daniel Hicks was the man Marshall Bowman was flying to meet. Charlie, uncomfortable with Olivia asking him to bring Hicks in for questioning on another hunch, presses her for answers. She explains that she and John Scott shared consciousness through a procedure performed in Walter's lab, and she believes she is experiencing John's memories. Charlie agrees to bring Hicks in for questioning despite having a thousand questions.

Back in Walter's lab, Peter receives a call from Olivia and informs her that the blood work confirms that it is Marshall Bowman. He tells her that a "designer virus" rewrote Bowman's genetic code and that he wouldn't have survived the transformation even if the plane hadn't crashed. Peter also streams her a video of the glass disk they found in Bowman's hand, which Olivia recognizes as similar to the one found in DEA Agent Evelina Mendoza's hand months earlier.

Back at the Federal Building, Charlie and Olivia interrogate Daniel Hicks. Daniel says Marshall Bowman was his overseas banker, but Olivia and Charlie don't buy it. They show Hicks a photo of Bowman's remains, saying they believe he and Bowman were planning on buying and distributing a deadly virus. Hicks denies it, but not before his nose starts to bleed. Walter and Peter look on from the observation room. Walter tells Peter they need to get sedatives immediately, as Hicks is undergoing the same transformation Bowman did. Hicks begins to experience crippling pain. Walter and Peter arrive in the interrogation room with a med-kit, as Walter believes he can suspend the transformation process. Olivia, however, stops him short and tells Hicks he needs to talk before they will help him. Hicks chokes out the name "Conrad", and Walter doses him with the sedative

ACT II

At the lab, Olivia digs through some of John Scott's files looking for anything he may have had involving a "Conrad". Astrid reports that she cannot find a link between a Conrad and Daniel Hicks in the DHS database. Walter runs tests on a sedated Hicks and tells Olivia that he's slowed the process and has already synthesized a preliminary sample of an antidote. Olivia takes Hicks' hand and tells Walter to cut it open. Lodged inside is a familiar glass disk.

Olivia returns to Broyle's office to show him the disks. She asks if there is a report from the NSA on the disks and asks permission to exhume John Scott's body. She believes John was working with Bowman and Hicks and that John may have a glass disk on his body too. Broyles interrupts her tirade and, looking uncomfortable, tells her that it is not possible. The disks never went to the NSA.

Visiting John Scott

At Massive Dynamic, Broyles tells Olivia that he asked Massive Dynamic for help with the disks. They meet Nina Sharp and she leads Broyles and Olivia into a laboratory, where John Scott's body lies in a stasis. Nina assures Olivia that it was not her choice to conceal the truth about John's body from Olivia and informs Olivia that they did, in fact, find a disk in John's hand. It appears to be a data storage device that they've been trying to analyze, but apparently the information degrades when the host dies. Using John's body and DNA, they retrieved a small amount of data that seems to implicate John as part of a bio-terrorist cell. It also contained information on Conrad, a scientist who they believe develops chemical and biological weapons for sale on the black market. Broyles says they have intelligence from a french informant, only three hours old, that a major weapons sale is going down later that day in Chicago, but the exact location and time is unknown. The informant only knows the name of the man behind the sale is Conrad.

Olivia tells Peter about the tip on the virus sale and she believes John knew the location where the deal is going to go down, and that information may have been preserved in her own mind. She wants Walter to prep the tank.

ACT III

Dreamscape Sniper

Walter guides Olivia through a dreamscape, in an attempt to access John's memories. She finds herself in the motel where she and John used to meet. She sees herself and John Scott enter the room in the midst of one of their secret encounters. When the other Olivia goes to the bathroom, John is left alone, and in spite of Walter's insistence that it's impossible for her to communicate with him because this is only a memory, John does exactly that. However, Olivia gets spooked, takes a gun and tells John repeatedly to stay back. When he advances too close, she shoots him. Her vitals spike. It is too dangerous to wake her, so Walter tries to reconnect with her. Olivia finds herself in a deserted city alley. Suddenly John appears and leads her to the end of the alley where a car is turning the corner on the street. John tells her it is Conrad but he didn't know at the time. He points to a balcony, where another John Scott holds a sniper rifle. He says he was trying to kill Conrad, but he failed. John explains he was working with Bowman and Hicks on a secret NSA task force. Olivia says doesn't believe him and she needs proof. John tells her it was black ops and cannot be confirmed, but that she can trust Hicks. John disappears and his voice tells her to trust Hicks. Olivia's vitals spike again and Walter and Peter pull her out of the tank.

When Olivia has recovered, she asks Peter how it's going. He says they aren't sure that the antidote will work. Olivia decides, given the urgency of the situation, they need to wake Hicks. Peter argues that it is a bad idea. He speculates that John and Hicks may be working with Conrad, and they may be using Olivia to tip off Conrad. Astrid encourages Olivia to trust her instincts: does she think John is for real? Olivia decides to proceed and calls Broyles.

ACT IV

Walter wakes Hicks up with adrenaline, then gives him the antidote he developed. Astrid tells Hicks that they know about his work with agent Scott and now they need his help.

At the Federal Building, Broyles briefs his agents that a large weapons buy is planned to go down later today in Chicago. They have arrested the prospective buyer at the O'Hara airport in Chicago but he is uncooperative. The also have an informant in custody with knowledge of the players. Olivia is fitted with an untraceable two-way radio implanted in her ear so that she can talk to the team and Daniel Hicks, who will tell her how to communicate with the sellers. The transaction will take place at 16h00 in room 1021 at the Fairchild Hotel and Conrad will not be present, but his intermediaries will. Teams of agents will be standing by to raid the premises, but not until Olivia says the go signal "Christmas".

In a temporary operations room at the hotel, Charlie and a surveillance team watch the sellers on camera as they arrive in a van.
Meeting The Dealers
Meanwhile, Olivia sits with Peter in the lobby of the hotel. Olivia talks via earbud with Astrid, Walter and Hicks back in the lab and asks about her bonafides. Hicks says Conrad's men will be suspicious, but she should tell them that she used to work with "Anderson", and that "Ernesto got called back to the basement and couldn't come".

When the dealers arrive, Olivia and Peter intercept them in the lobby. After establishing their bonafides, they all go up to a room together and they sweep her and Peter for wires, but find nothing. On request, Peter gives them the case of money. They count it. One of the men, Gavin, asks Peter where he met "Anderson". Hicks tells Olivia to say he met Anderson at Oxford. She does, but Gavin presses further, wondering where they met on campus. Peter surprises Olivia with unexpected knowledge of the Oxford area by saying they met at a Thai restaurant called the White Horse.

One of Gavin's associates brings in a large case and opens it to reveal two flasks, carefully packed in foam. Gavin gets a call, and he informs Olivia that Conrad is on his way and would like to meet them. He then offers a reverse-mutator for the virus, a cure included as a bonus with the sale. Gavin muses as to why Ernesto didn't call to say he wouldn't make it. As Walter listens in the lab, he watches Hicks starting to shake and realizes that the antidote isn't working. It's only delaying the transformation. Unfortunately, Hicks begins to convulse and is unable to tell her the right answer. While Walter sedates Hicks, Olivia is forced to stall, and Gavin demands to know whom Ernesto was meeting. Peter and Olivia exchange nervous glances.

ACT V

 Gavin repeats his question and guns appear. Peter tries a desperate gambit, saying he doesn't want to die to protect "Ernesto's dirty little secret".
Quick Thinker
He tells Gavin that Ernesto is dying. Conrad arrives and wants to know who they are, so Gavin updates him. Olivia elaborates by saying that Ernesto "found out the day before Christmas". Conrad spoke to Ernesto that morning and orders Peter and Olivia killed, but before his associates can execute the command, FBI agents storm the room and arrest everyone.

 In his office, Broyles tells Olivia that Conrad was a french citizen who manufactured and distributed biological weapons and was wanted in connection with at least half a dozen attacks. Broyles tells her that even in spite of the success of the case, John Scott will still be viewed as a traitor by the department, because the truth of his story cannot be proven. Olivia says she knows the truth and that's enough for her.

 Later, Olivia returns to the lab. Walter says the others took Hicks to the hospital to recover. The reverse-mutator they recovered during the raid worked. Olivia asks Walter for a favor: she wants to go back in the tank one more time. Walter hesitates, saying that Olivia's brainwaves are returning to normal and each time Olivia goes in, she loses more of her connection to John, which means that her brain is successfully purging his memories. Regardless, Olivia goes into the tank, and in the dreamscape, she finds John on a wooden dock by a lake. Olivia apologizes for doubting him, and he brushes it off and says it's all right. He then gives her the engagement ring, saying that he wants her to have it despite knowing they can never be together. The two embrace and kiss as John tells her that he loves her. When she opens her eyes, he's gone, and she is standing alone on the dock. We see Olivia in the tank. She whispers "I love you too" and a slight smile appears on her lips.

Quotes

"One of the advantages of being the Defense Department's biggest contractor is that Massive Dynamic has money to develop technologies generations beyond that of the US government." - Broyles (to Olivia, revealing insight on their association with Nina Sharp)

"Bishops' House of Horrors" - Peter (answering the phone light-heartedly after dissecting the man-beast that was Marshall Bowman)

Walter's Lab Notes

Project 269, Exploration 20Trimmed Copy of Typed Notes

  • Project 269 Exploration 20
    This is the fourth set of notes, along with those from Pilot, In Which We Meet Mr. Jones and The Dreamscape, that features Project 269 (Explorations 17, 18, 19 and 20). Project 269 deals with the transfer of thoughts.
"Scott's consciousness has become lodged in the plumbing of Dunham's brain, interrupting the free flow of neural impulses. Additional thoughts, encountering the obstruction yet failing to dislodge it, accumulate in the reservoir of the mind. Overflow naturally results — and as homeowners know too well, the watery mess oft contains bits of the obstruction, unpleasant reminders of the past."

Trivia

General
  • The Observer is standing on the soccer field just before the plane crash.
  • 147 people were killed on VertusAir Flight 718. The identical number killed on Glatterflug Flight 627 (Pilot).
  • Flight 718. United Airlines Flt 718 struck TWA Flight 2 over the Grand Canyon in June 1956, resulting in the crash of both planes and 128 fatalities. At the time it was the worst aviation disaster in history
Recurring Themes
  • Genetic Manipulation. Grotesque Deformity
Cultural References
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau. A novel by H. G. Wells from the late 1800's were human-animal hybrids were created by the eccentric Moreau... not dissimilar to the activities Conrad Moreau engaged in during this episode.

Previously

NextEpisodeClue112.jpg
NextEpisodeClue112.jpg
NextEpisodeClue112.jpg
NextEpisodeClue112.jpg
NextEpisodeClue112.jpg
    As Olivia and the Bishops investigate the death of a car salesman (The No-Brainer) - a sign advertising leases for $718 is seen behind Walter - foreshadowing the crash of Flight 718 in the opening scenes of The Transformation.

Music

  • Oxygen by Colbie Calliat

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on The Transformation/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 were Marshall Bowman and Daniel Hicks dosed with the virus, and by whom?
  • Why did Nina Sharp not tell Olivia they know she shared consciousness with John Scott?
  • If the virus eventually kills its victim, what is the purpose of it other than for show?
  • What is the object seen falling off Flight 718 moments before it crashes?
  • What is "the basement" that Ernesto returned to?
  • Why did Ernesto want to buy the transformation drugs created by Conrad Moreau?
  • Why is Walter so sure Olivia cannot be seen by people in her memory recollection, especially when he is unsure about most things?
  • Why is there no conflict between Olivia's own memories and John Scott's borrowed memories when she recalls an event with both of them present?
  • Why does Nina use her artificial hand on the identification plate to open the door?

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