Season 1 Episode 17

Bad Dreams

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Apr 21, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
579 votes

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Episode Summary

A suicide incident occurs at Grand Central Station, and Olivia dreams about it. Meanwhile, shocking details emerge about the ZFT manuscript and Olivia's past.

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  • Bad Dreams

    I had a dream, he said. A dream tragically interrupted. I had a dream, she said. A dream that tragically has to be resolved.

    Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) wakes from a nightmare. Pushes him to the line a couple of meters even before this move. It was just a bad dream, he thought. This even see his face on television that they allegedly pushed. The mother of a child that has died and police labels the case of suicide. The cameras and all the circumstances point to it but the player knows that sleep was there, knows that is the case of the week itself.

    Right here the episode inserts some freshness narrative: the beautiful FBI agent is the aberration to be investigated. By itself. This puts the monster of the week and deepens the main story, uncovering a little over the past Dunham. Of crime on crime, we realize that your childhood is directly related to what is happening. Those tests that she was subjected as a child, previously introduced, linking it to another person, another subject of study. William Bell, the scientist responsible for these injections emparelhava children and could be created between them a bond so strong that it would be for life. That's what happened. She sees through the eyes of his old "friend" Nick Lane (David Call) and its ability to infect people with their deepest emotions.

    As Joy:

    - Both the beginning and the end are great scenes of the supernatural. If the tense start, with the image of Dunham standing in line, shiver in the spine, the end, with people in the eaves of the building (reminiscent of "The Happening"), is a stunning photograph that freezes in the body;

    - Deepen the past of the protagonist was an important step in the history of the series. If, on the one hand, we learned more about its importance as a unique person, on the other hand, we realize that the recruitment was done on a grand scale and preparing a sort of war between parallel worlds. This is one of my favorite subjects and it is with great anticipation that I await the unfolding of this battle. Do all of these experiments are intended to create an army to defend humanity against the "other" dimension? Does it actually is all done for our good? Does the "other", the bad do not already have undercover agents on the ground? Is the Observer a kind of arbiter of this "game"? Is it??;

    - What Walter (John Noble) was involved in much of the antics we knew already. But this was "Bad Dreams" that we knew the extent of that involvement. He collaborated in testing and Olivia begin now to think how far is that Peter (Joshua Jackson) will not have a skill and is not about to be recruited;

    Or as Sorrow:

    - I wish they gave more emphasis to Astrid (Jasika Nicole). He liked to see the character more action and maybe have a more important role in the unfolding of history. It may be the owner of a twist there any further forward.

    - Despite the tension be in the right house, the episode lacked some pace. Too many stops in the action did not help the natural flow of events;

    Finally, this was a solid episode that essentially the series prepares for a big event. Come to him, we're here, rather than present, more than ready.moreless
  • Getting somewhere

    We learned more about Olivia and the big event that's suppose to come. Now we know that there could be others out there just like Olivia that can control people, have a feeling thats just the beginning of it. I wonder how this is all going to play out especially Walter has the video tape of Olivia when she was little. In that tape she lost control and hurt someone I believe. Other thing I notice is that Walter asked Peter to help her calm down and Peter touched her and she calm down, that was weird maybe there is something more to that. Also the thing about Peter, Walter wants to keep quiet about Peters medical record and assumed that Olivia knew but didn't. I wonder what that's all about, the paint is set now its time to start painting the canvas.moreless
  • Amazing episode which reminds me how much I love this show!

    Olivia dreams that she is commiting murders all around the city, which become true next day, what leads the Fringe division to investigate.

    Fringe is such a great series, and this episodes proves my point. There a bunch of awesome episodes, but I gotta say that this is one of the best. Not good enough to defeat the first one, but good enough to defeat many others, the Bad Dreams episode might be one of my favorites. The show gets better and better, so interesting and so thrilling, full of suspense. Fringe is one of the best shows, and this episode proves it!moreless
  • Now THAT's more like it.

    Now THAT's more like it. 'Bad Dreams' pulls off that most tricky of feats and manages to incorporate a thoroughly engaging self-contained 'curiosity of the week' into a narrative that advances the season-spanning plot. As a result, this feels like something of a treat, marrying the two most commendable elements of the show in one highly entertaining package. Predicating the story on Olivia is a deft structural decision as it guarantees the viewer's engagement from the get go and while it is evident to everyone with even an ounce of sense that it is not she who is prompting these horrific events, that hardly seems to matter. The writing staff do an excellent job of illustrating the kind of fear and horror that would inevitably result from these sort of prophetic dreams, and Anna Torv certainly rises to the challenge in her portrayal of the character. To make matters more palatable, the story doesn't spend 35 minutes believing that 'Olive' is the culprit and then the remaining 10 reeling from the 'shock' that she isn't; no, this is brushed aside after the first act as ZFT connections are unpacked and contemplated. The plot moves at a decidedly brisk pace, opening up a number of interesting points to ponder along the way, and builds to a fantastic crescendo as first Olivia, Peter and Walter get a marvellous scene together in the Bishops' apartment and then Dunham gets to confront her ex-testing partner on the rooftop. The set-up of this sequence is fantastic: watching the guy slowly acquire 'followers' is decidedly disturbing and, just to place the icing on the cake, we have THAT squirmy moment when one of the bodies falls to her excruciatingly believable death. Massive kudos to Akiva Goldsman (writing AND directing this one, to maximise the realisation of artistic vision) for keeping the camera fixed during this moment and not following her descent: the impact is far stronger this way. In fact, Goldsman does an excellent job with the orchestration of action throughout the episode, as evidenced by both the deliciously eerie pre-titles sequence and the slow-building horror of the scene in the restaurant. And then there's that closing moment, hinting further at Walter's former involvement in Olivia's life which is obviously going to have a massive impact in future episodes. Excellent stuff then, with some token same-sex snoggage to boot.moreless
  • Amazing episode!!! Warning, spoilers contained below.

    So this episode starts off with a bang as Olivia dreams she pushes someone into an oncoming train, and when she awakes, what she did in the dream is reality. Only difference being Olivia was not there and it was said to be a suicide. Really great episode full of information that I have just been dying to know! Amazing really, this episode had it all, and more still! I like the use of the green and red lights to put Olivia under, it was interesting to see them in use again, but for a different purpose. I also thought this was one of the best most interesting episodes of the season, definitely had me guessing and wondering. The most shocking secret comes at the end of the episode, where we see Walter watching old tapes where it sounds like he was involved with what happened to Olivia. How will she take this and what is Walter hiding? Only time will tell, and I can't wait to find out!!!moreless
Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Peter Bishop

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick

Phillip Broyles

Kirk Acevedo

Kirk Acevedo

Charlie Francis

Jasika Nicole

Jasika Nicole

Astrid Farnsworth

John Noble

John Noble

Dr. Walter Bishop

Anna Torv

Anna Torv

Olivia Dunham

David Call

David Call

Nick Lane

Guest Star

Johanna Day

Johanna Day

Mouse Willis

Guest Star

Victor Verhaeghe

Victor Verhaeghe

Billy Willis

Guest Star

Ari Graynor

Ari Graynor

Rachel Dunham

Recurring Role

Lily Pilblad

Lily Pilblad


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • When the woman falls from the roof and hits the car, you hear people screaming with horror, but the people watching from the other side of the road don't react at all, presumably as the effect was added in post-production.

    • The train station where the suicide occurs is incorrectly labeled as "Grand Central Station." Its correct name is Grand Central Terminal.

    • During the scene on the rooftop, the camera shows a shot of the street and sidewalk below from Nick Lane's perspective. In the shot, you can clearly see several pedestrians walking down the sidewalk in both directions. The police wouldn't allow anyone to walk through an area that had been taped off.

    • Trivia: As Nick Lane proceeds to the rooftop, the umbrella of a street vendor says "Night Stalker Energy Drink" This is a clue toward the next episode, "Midnight."

    • Trivia: William Bell makes his first two "appearances": as a voice on the videotape (voiced by an uncredited Leonard Nimoy) Dr. Bishop is watching, and also is partially visible (his eyes) on a photograph in Nick Lane's apartment.

    • Trivia: The glyph code for the episode is "Belly."

    • Trivia: The Observer can be seen walking past an ambulance about 10 seconds after Olivia arrives on the scene of the people standing on top of the building.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Agent: We've got a hit.
      Charlie: Subject's name is Nick Lane. Uh, former address is St. Jude's Mental Hospital.
      Walter: Well, I'm not going there.

    • Walter: I thought you might have teleported to New York in your sleep and killed her. Wouldn't that have been wondrous?

    • Walter: Astral...
      Astrid: (correcting him) Astrid.
      Walter: ...projection. Spirit walk!

    • Peter: She had a bad dream.
      Olivia: No, I could smell the platform. I saw her baby staring at me. I saw her face before I saw the news. How is that possible?
      Walter: Opium?

    • Walter: What is mankind's oldest dream?
      Astrid: World peace?
      Walter: Oh, hardly. It's a social construct imposed by an awareness of our own mortality.
      Astrid: Should have gone with "great taste, less filling."

    • Walter: That's a curious word. So it's got nothing to do with going underwater?
      Astrid: No. "unsub" stands for unidentified subject.
      Walter: Actually, it should more logically mean going above water.
      Peter: And still no.
      Walter: I certainly hope we find him. (whispering to Peter) Who we looking for?

    • Peter: You know, until this year I'd never actually been to a mental hospital.
      Olivia: Learn to like new things.

    • Walter: Where's the fire? I always loved that expression, which is curious, since my lab assistant was killed in a fire.

    • Walter: I've always wanted a two-headed goat. Where can I get a subscription?

    • Peter: Why do I get the feeling you're not telling us everything?
      Walter: Because I don't know everything.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music: Starstruck (Lady Gaga), Via Veneto (Lou Monte)

    • International Airdates:
      United Kingdom: May 3, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Norway: May 17, 2009 on TVN
      Finland: May 25, 2009 on MTV3
      Germany: July 20, 2009 on ProSieben
      Belgium: July 23, 2009 on RTBF2
      Sweden: July 23, 2009 on Kanal 5
      France: August 5, 2009 on TF1
      Poland: January 14, 2010 on TVN
      Slovakia: February 7, 2010 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: April 2, 2010 on Nova Cinema

    • Number 47: The number 47 is prominently seen on Nick's clipping board.