What Lies Below
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|Talk||What Lies Below||Theories|
|What Lies Below|
|Air Date:||21 Jan 2010|
|Written by:||Jeff Vlaming|
|Directed by:||Deran Sarafian|
|Guest Cast:|| Geoff Pierson as Arnold McFadden|
Demore Barnes as Bill Hubert
Conrad Coates as Vincent Ames
Natassia Malthe as Linda (Reception)
David Richmond-Peck as Det. Kassel
Jason Bax as CDC Suit
|Next:||The Bishop Revival|
|Transcript — Additional Images|
- What Lies Below is the thirteenth episode of the second season of FRINGE. It first aired on January 21, 2010. A man enters an office in Boston, becomes disoriented, collapses and his veins erupt and spray blood everywhere. Olivia and Peter arrive and discover that a lethal virus – with ties to something very valuable – is spreading. The CDC moves to quarantine the building and eradicate the pathogens, trapping Peter and Olivia with the exposed office employees. Walter, Broyles and Astrid frantically search for a solution to the life-threatening circumstances.
SynopsisLinda he thinks something is wrong with the other passenger from the elevator. Vandenkemp wanders away from the reception desk and Linda tells him he has to sign in. The ill man staggers away and collapses on the floor. Mike rushes to his side and directs Linda to phone 9-1-1. Linda starts to make the call, and Vincent Ames joins Mike to assist while Mike administers CPR. Others from the office gather around and look on as the CPR fails, and Vandenkemp dies. Suddenly, the dead man's body begins to convulse and spasm - a fine red mist erupts from his lungs and sprays the on-lookers.
At the Boston Children's Science Center, Astrid marches through the crowd looking for someone and is greeted by a member of the Center that wants to help her. He assumes she is looking for a child. She gives him the news... she is looking for Doctor Walter Bishop, a different kind of special needs individual. Nearby, Walter has found a youthful audience and is teaching them about the Victoria and the sailing voyage it took around the planet - killing most of it's crew. He explains the great cost associated with exploration... that there is always a price to pay when you open new doors. He then draws an analogy for the kids with monsters under the bed... if you don't look for them, you won't find them - so then, they can't eat you. But the good news is, if the monster does eat you, your siblings may have learned something in the process. Disconcerted with the graphic, impromptu lecture, a woman interrupts and wants to know if Walter works at the Center. Later, as Walter and Astrid leave the Center, he complains of the injustice of having his membership revoked. Astrid chides him for terrifying the children, then answers a call from Olivia - she and Walter are needed at Vitas Petrol.At Vitas Petrol, Olivia and Peter exit the elevator and enter the reception area where Vandenkemp died. Introductions are made and Detective Kassel tells Olivia what he has learned so far. Witness statements are being taken, the Medical Examiner is on the way and Radjan Vandenkemp holds a Dutch license. Olivia excuses herself, leaving Peter with Kassel, and starts to conduct witness interviews. Linda tells Olivia that Vandenkemp didn't have an appointment, and no one knew him or was expecting him. Vincent Ames introduces himself to Olivia, he is the Vice President of Geotechnical Engineering for Vitas Petrol and wants to know when his people can leave. Linda adds that the bike courier, Mike rode the elevator
Broyles meets Walter and Astrid in front of Vitas Petrol and tells them what he knows about the victim so far. The fifty year-old dead man is believed to be from the Netherlands and it appears his veins ruptured. Walter surmises that vasculitis could be a cause, or arteriovenous fistula, resulting in extremely high blood pressure. As the three approach the main entrance, Walter notices Mike is trying to exit with a bleeding nose. Walter grabs the door and holds it shut just as Mike starts to exhale a fine red mist from his mouth, then collapses. Walter tells Broyles the building must be quarantined immediately, a contagion may be responsible and no one can leave or enter. From the stairs above the entrance, Peter sees the situation with Mike at the entrance, and realizes, he and Olivia are to be locked inside with the others.
Outside of Vitas Petrol, Walter tells Peter on the phone that he needs to find out more about Vandenkemp in order to determine what infected him. Walter wants to know where Vandenkemp came from, who he was coming to see, who knows him. Peter doesn't know anything yet. Walter tells him to be careful and that the CDC has arrived. Astrid assures Walter things will be alright.
Inside the infected office building, Ames wants to know why the police are holding people inside the building. Peter tells Ames and his employees that they are being quarantined because of a virus contamination, and that the CDC has arrived. Linda asks about Mike and Olivia tells her that he was infected and is now dead. Those that had been near Mike and Vandenkemp become agitated and concerned about which of them might have been infected too. The airflow in the building stops and Olivia tells everyone that she had that done to prevent the spread of any airborne virus. Olivia directs the gathered employees to split into groups and go to separate meeting rooms as a precaution. Those who were near Vandenkemp go to one room, those who were not go to another room.Amid the ruckus of first responders in the plaza outside of Vitas Petrol, CDC Field Director Arnold McFadden locates Broyles and introduces himself. He bio-terror attack. Broyles tells him doesn't know yet, but that it is a possibility that is being looked into. McFadden directs an aide to get a CDC Team in the lobby and to establish a barricade at a two-block radius around the building. A helicopter above the skyscraper surveys the area.
In a CDC equipment tent, Walter enters and demands a dozen samples and directions to a centrifuge. The scientist on-hand, Bill Hubert, wants to know who Walter is. Minutes later, Astrid locates Broyles and gives him the news that Walter has been arrested. Broyles finds the equipment tent and Walter - demanding to be released. The officer detaining Walter tells Broyles that the doctor claims to be FBI, but has no credentials or identification. Broyles verifies Walter's connection to the investigation, and also let's McFadden know that Walter's son is inside Vitas Petrol. Walter spells out his plan to Broyles... he needs to return to his lab with a blood sample to determine what pathogen they are dealing with. McFadden understands Walter's desire to assist and assures him that he is very experienced with pathogens. Walter snaps back that he was Chairman of Biochemistry at Harvard and has little patience for small-minded bureaucrats. Broyles calms Walter down and Walter apologizes to McFadden. Walter explains what he knows so far about the infection - he must return to his lab to answer the questions he has. Again, Broyles vouches for Walter. McFadden concedes and directs Hubert to escort Walter, and the samples, to the lab.Sitting in front of a computer in the Geotechnical Engineering Division of Vitas Petrol, Olivia fails to find Vandenkemp in their database. Peter tells her that the others they are quarantined with are contacting families, then suggests she contact her Rachel, to let her know about the situation. Olivia is concentrating on the database and notices that Ames had adjusted his plans for that morning, clearing his schedule. Kassel approaches them and tells them they have a problem, Linda is slumped in the hallway and her nose is bleeding. Peter takes her to the break room, has her lay down, covers her with a coat and leaves to talk to Olivia. They talk about how much time Linda might have and are approached by most of the quarantined employees. Fear starts to spread at the thought that Linda did not have any contact with the infected blood. Olivia slips any from the panicked group and corners Ames... she knows Vandenkemp was there to see him. Why? Ames folds and admits Vandenkemp was there to sell him some information from a competitor - something to do with a recent oil reserve discovery. Ames does not know which competitor it is but says what Vandenkemp wanted to show him was valuable. They were supposed to meet before any of the staff arrived for work. Ames says Vandenkemp did not have anything with him and he knows the meeting with Vandenkemp violates a dozen Federal laws. Regardless, he'd rather go to prison than die of the infection that is spreading around.
Outside, the quarantine goes into place as decontamination chambers are placed around the exits of the building.
Broyles calls Olivia and shares what has been learned so far in the investigation - VandenKemp was an oil consultant and flew from Dubai to Logan International Airport three days prior. None of the passengers they have contacted have shown any sign of infection. Agents have visited Vandenkemp's hotel and no symptoms of infection occurred there. There are no leads that the oil consultant was selling information either.
At his lab, Walter attempts to isolate the strain of the virus to understand its personality. He explains that viruses seem to have minds of their own. Rabies, for example, inflicts its host with fear of water because it cannot survive in water. Hubert prepares samples of the infected blood and places them in centrifuge. Walter lectures Astrid on the nature of viruses and concludes that humans aren't at the top of the food chain like they think they are - viruses are. Hubert examines the first blood test sample and reports it wouldn't isolate and was too fragile to provide much information. Walter is certain now that it is not an airborne virus. He needs a better sample.Peter joins Olivia on a couch in an isolated part of the office for a quiet chat. She tell him Broyles doesn't have anything yet on
Olivia responds to the screams and finds Peter recovering to his feet - infected blood covers his hands and arms. Peter hurries to the restroom to wash-up and Olivia takes a phone call. Broyles is on the other end of the call and demands to know what is happening. Concerned. Olivia joins Peter as he tries to quickly wash-off the blood. Olivia takes a break in the hallway only to see Peter rush back to Vandenkemp's body and start to search for anything that might help the investigation. Olivia approaches, keeping her distance, and tells what he is doing is insane. Peter figures he is infected now so this is his last chance to figure out what Vandenkemp was trying to sell. He finds the keys to a rental car... what Vandenkemp was trying to sell might be in the car.
In a nearby parking lot, two men in bio-hazard suits open the trunk of Vandenkemp's rental car and remove a thick briefcase. Walter has returned from the lab and shares his hypothesis about the behavior of the virus. He believes the virus is driven to spread itself and needs other organisms to do so. Vandenkemp's pathogen waited until it was surrounded by people before it started to spread. Even after it infected others, the virus sensed that it was contained in a building, and wanted to leave the building to continue spreading. Broyles suggests the hypothesis seems far-fetched, but Walter disagrees - the actions of the courier and the receptionist support that. The group joins Field Director McFadden in a tent where the briefcase is being examined in a contamination chamber. A drill core sample from an exploratory oil dig is found inside the briefcase. Microscopic examination reveals the virus they are dealing with.
In one of the CDC tents, McFadden reports that the drilling sample from Vandenkemp's briefcase was stolen from Solum Oil Corp. Normal procedure, would be to store the sample in a protective, airtight case. Broyles adds that the sample may have been removed from any protective casing in order to make it easier to smuggle. It came from ten miles down. The oil sample is from ten miles deep, leading Walter to surmise that it is a seventy-five thousand years old year-old - and possibly responsible for wiping out ice age mammals. Walter will need time to develop a cure, but can quickly develop a tox screen that will determine who has been infected.← Walter, Astrid and Bill Hubert have Walter's test. As he hands out sampling equipment, his nose trickles a small amount of blood. Minutes later, with no blood on his face, Peter joins Olivia with her test group and fails to report his condition. Ames is the first to test and passes when his mouth swab shows no sign of the contagion. Olivia sends him off with the promise that she'll be in touch with him about his criminal activities. Olivia tests next and shows no sign of the virus. Peter takes his turn, swabs his mouth, then deliberately flips the swab over so that Walter tests the wrong end of it. Walter is relieved that Peter is not infected.
A short while later, the first group of infection free detainees are being released at the entry control point established by the CDC. Olivia and Peter are among them. Just after Olivia clears the checkpoint, Peter's nose begins to bleed and he is wrestled back into the lobby, yelling that he has to get outside. Upstairs, some of the employees are failing their tests and being isolated from the others. Locked inside, Peter begs Olivia through the solid glass for release - he is fine! Broyles watches from nearby as Peter grows frantic about getting out of the building.Kassel gets the good news. Astrid answers her
Upstairs at Vitas Petrol the testing equipment has been packed and the testing team prepares to leave. Walter makes a demonstrative gesture by unzipping his bio-hazard suit and removing his helmet. Astrid warns him, then is reminded that the virus isn't the airborne variety, but is transmitted by bodily fluids, like blood and saliva. Hubert joins them and tells them it is time to leave. Astrid encourages Walter to leave - they can help Peter from outside. Astrid, who has removed her helmet too, calls Olivia to inform her that Walter won't leave, he believes he can develop a cure there. Olivia tells Astrid they have to leave, she believes that the CDC intends to kill the infected as part of their eradication plan. Astrid insists that she and Walter will be fine, then quickly terminates the phone call.Astrid and Walter carry Vandenkemp to the kitchen area and place him on the table. As they scrub-up and re-glove, Walter starts to postulate why modern man started to persevere 100,000 years ago, developing the ability to defeat this particular virus. Was it slower metabolism? Evolving blood types? Perhaps the virus is not specific to one organism...? Astrid wants to know what she can do. Walter grows somber - he can't let Peter die - again. Walter fears there is nothing he can do. Astrid works to rally Walter's spirit, reminding him of the story he told the children at the Science Center. Most of the crew of the Victoria died, but not all. Walter makes a connection, 75,000 years ago the virus wiped the planet clean, but we - modern man - are still here. Something killed the active virus. Walter's mind kicks into high gear. Ash. Mount Toba.sulfuric ash covered the planet. Walter asks Astrid to check the refrigerator for something that might have sulfur. As she inventories the contents of the refrigerator she mentions horseradish - that is what Walter wants - the glycoside in horseradish is high in sulfur. He quickly prepares a dose and Astrid adds it to a test vial... it defeats the virus. Walter calls Olivia and shares his recommended sulfide solution.
← Outside of Vitas Petrol, armed troops are gathering and taking offensive positions around the exits. McFadden is on the phone and is relaying the press statements he wants released - after the families of the deceased have been notified. Olivia approaches him with the good news, Walter has developed a cure. McFadden reviews the treatment Walter suggested and tells her it will take several hours to get the supplies needed. They don't have enough time, the infected are about to break their way out of Vitas Petrol. Broyles suggests an option - fill the building with Fentanyl gas. Pumping it inside would knock out the infected long enough to synthesize a cure. He can have a gas truck on the scene in ten minutes. McFadden reminds Broyles that the ventilation system is off, so the gas won't spread. He won't risk sending any more of CDC people inside to turn the ventilation on. Olivia volunteers for the task. McFadden tells her she has fifteen minutes to get it done.crazed state like the others, runs past the security desk and notices on one of the monitors that Olivia has infiltrated the building. Broyles ask her location over a handheld tactical radio. She reports that she is in an elevator headed to the parking garage. Peter stares at the monitor, then looks around the area trying to figure out a path to intercept Olivia. The truck arrives with the Fentanyl gas and the operator puts on a protective mask and reels out the hose to deliver the gas. Olivia exits the elevator at her destination and departs for the garage. Peter ambushes her there and almost knocks her down. She draws her pistol, points it at him and assures him she is there to help him. He wants the gun. Olivia tells him the forces outside are going to shoot him. Peter, now extremely paranoid, knows the cure is out there, but that they are being lied to about it. Olivia hesitates in shooting him, then is grabbed. They fight for control of the gun, and when it slips away, Peter gets to it first. He orders her to stay down, then runs away with the weapon.
Broyles attempts to contact her on the radio and gets no reply. He quickly calls Astrid to see if the ventilation is working - it is not. McFadden joins Broyles and tells him the time he alloted is over, he has to deploy his people. Broyles wants ten more minutes. He does not receive it. Peter is in the elevator and headed high in the building. He checks the pistol and prepares it for use. Military personnel wearing bio-hazard equipment enter an emergency exit to the building with rifles at the ready. Olivia succeeds in her task to locate the circuit panel to the ventilation and restore air circulation. The Fentanyl team receives word that the ventilation system is operating and start to pump gas into the air intake inlet. Gas starts to fill the building and Astrid and Walter put on the helmets they removed earlier. The elevator that Peter is riding starts to fill with gas too. The three armed troops are waiting for the elevator with rifles leveled. The door opens and Peter is passed-out on the floor with his finger on the trigger.
In a CDC tent, Peter regains awareness slowly while Olivia, Astrid and Walter hover next to him. He thanks them and apologizes to Olivia. Walter steps out for some air and studies the busy environment around him. Astrid joins him outside. She is curious about what he meant when he said he can't let Peter die again. His reply: Some things are meant to be left alone, Agent Farnsworth. He walks off leaving her with a concerned look on her face
- The Observer passes in the background when CDC Field Director McFadden asks a subordinate to call the State Department to get approval for a "Level-6 Eradication".
- Anagram. The target of the virus outbreak/attack is the Boston office of Vitas Petrol... which morphs into Viral Test Op. (operation)
- Chemical Agent. Broyles summons a truck full of Fentanyl to quell the remaining population of the Vitas Petrol Building. Fentanyl is 100 times more effective as Morphine, and is suspected as the deterrent used against the terrorists during the Moscow hostage situation.
- Recurring Themes
- High Fall Onto Vehicle. Like previous Fringe Division cases (The Dreamscape) (Bad Dreams), receptionist Linda plummets from a tall building and squarely impacts the roof of an automobile.
- Storyline Analysis
- Forbidden Planet. Peter watches the classic 1956 science-fiction movie as he waits to escape the building. In the clip, Robby The Robot's monologue references a plotline where an extinct superior race left a huge subterranean industrial and scientific complex miles below the planet's surface.
- Episode References
- Rachel. Olivia doesn't want to bother her sister with the deadly circumstances she is facing now because Rachel had a hard time coping with the nearly fatal situation Olivia previously faced. (A New Day In The Old Town).
|The storage box marked Magellan Files near his library hiding place (Johari Window) foretells Walter's recollection of the explorer's travel, and the potential for decimation/extinction exploration can bring.|
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on What Lies Below/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- Does Astrid believe Walter when he suggested that Peter had died at some point in the past?
- Why is the CDC Field Director seeking approval for "Level-Six" eradication (in Boston) from the State Department - when that governmental organization only coordinates activities beyond the borders of the nation?
- Was Vandenkemp aware that he was infected before entering the enclosed elevator?
- The pathogen manifests itself (blood sputum) when it feels contained (enclosed/restrained) - are there any other conditions that trigger this symptom?
- When the infected spew a fine mist of vaporized blood in their death spasm, is that the only method of transferring the pathogen?
- Solum Oil Corporation
- Where is Solum Oil Corporation based?
- Why was Solum Oil Corporation extracting soil samples at 10 miles depth at the "Pioneer Valley Project" in Massachusetts?
- Was Solum Oil Corporation deliberately trying to retrieve a deadly virus during their deep drilling project?
- Vitas Petrol
- How was the liberated soil sample going to benefit the competition, Vitas Petrol?
- Was Vandenkemp's viral death a deliberate attack on the Vitas Petrol office?