Season 2 Episode 4

Momentum Deferred

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 08, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
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621 votes

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Episode Summary

Agent Dunham, still recovering from her traumatic visit to the alternate reality, is given a concoction by Walter to help her remember. Another woman being experimented on by Walter is introduced. Meanwhile the Fringe team look into a series of robberies that are linked to shapeshifting.

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  • Momentum Deferred

    For those who, like me, bounce for promotional promotional always looking for the next step, this fourth episode was awaited with great expectation. They promised us these small seconds by which those huge salivate minutes from the start of the season. They sold that moment. And ultimately what we bought?

    After all the promise was fulfilled. The great moment has been revealed and, because of its importance, is that he started the conversation. Olivia (Anna Torv) finally remembered his meeting with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) - about as we talked about - and it was really a fantastic scene. Since the color, to the temporal interruptions, through the voice of the legendary Nimoy, all engaged in a unique and seductive aura. We wanted to carefully squeeze every bit of information, each frame that is left to flee before our eyes, and we learned was this:

    The forces of another universe created the shapeshifters to fight this battle and this front is titled the "First Wave". What do you mean that these hybrids that mix meat and mercury, are just a taste of what is to come.

    Not everyone can pass through life to another universe. Hence the creation of this kind of soldier who is tougher. Even Bell himself accuses serious health problems.

    The shapshifters are looking for someone who can open a portal between two worlds. Hence the demand of the head with this symbol. We see at the end that the search was successful and that this valuable life be won.

    Of all the children that they prepared, Olivia is the strongest. Bell claims that she is the guardian of the portal.

    Ring the bell and come back to reality. These were the answers given. Issues are, of course. After all, why the two universes are at war? Who started all this and why? Does the fact that Walter (John Noble) has kidnapped the "other" Peter (Joshua Jackson) had unimaginable consequences? Where is Bell the other universe? And so on, until we realize that we have to wait. One thing is certain if the two worlds collide one of them will disappear. Word of Nina Sharp (Blair Brown).

    The rest of the episode had scenes very well devised, of which I highlight the times when the demand for shapshifter head right and Charlie (Kirk Acevedo) drinks desperately mercury thermometers. It was the final farewell of the character, the actor, and maybe a new phase for the series itself, which is now a range of new cards on the table.

    Despite the central moment and the whole mythology around the shapshifters - inevitably reminiscent of the "Terminator" - lacked some pace throughout the episode. The whole storyline of Walter and his old guinea pig was a huge waste of time. Served only to recognize that Peter reported on without any new data or disclosure. And why all that work in the bowling with an Actimel worm thing was once the site? And without sounding too boring, where is Agent Jessup (Meghan Markle)?!

    The best: The long-awaited meeting with William Bell.

    The worst: Walter ask to his son if he could go dating.moreless
  • Unexpected

    Wow what a show the best yet in my opinion. I hope they keep up this type of paste because everything is working out great and in great flow. Shapeshifter or first wave are on the move and got what they want. Olivia found out from Bell that she was created to be the guardian gate between two worlds. A romance spark between Walters former patient that can see who doesn't belong in this world. She looked at Peter and saw something, I don't know why they keep this a secret they through enough clues in here to know that hes not from this world its time to let this out. I wonder why Bell said your going to need Peter by your side, hope I'm not the only one wondering by this but Peter is a complete mystery.moreless

    What a great episode! First off, finally! Some action from Spock himself. We finally get to see the venerable Sci-Fi actor in his latest role yet as William Bell, associate and close friend to Walter Bishop.The episode starts off as usual with spills and chills, this time with Mercury Blood and the "Attack of the Shapeshifters" much like the one parading around now as Agent Francis. This is pretty much the Pay-Off episode as Olivia learns of what she saw when she was in the alternate dimension. The rest is a big huge mystery waiting to unfold as the other universe's biggest threat falls unto this world and agent dunham and her team might be the best chance at saving it. The episode is fraught with brilliance of Walter Bishop, an old ally, and of course freaky and gory situations. Superb ep, can't wait to see more.moreless
  • 'Momentum Deferred'! Hah! What an unfortunate pun, eh? How apt a title!

    'Momentum Deferred'! Hah! What an unfortunate pun, eh? How apt a title! Fringe has been doing exactly that for the last three weeks, kicking all the crucial narrative development to the curb in favour of delivering a load of half-arsed stand alone episodes that lack weight and feel like they've been written on the back of a beer mat. Fortunately for the somewhat ailing show, this episode doesn't live up to its title. Instead, it manages to be easily the best thing that the writing staff have done since season one's finale and in fact, it might even be better than that. Barely anything about the script feels blase or predictable, with the possible exception of Walter's encounter with his former experimental subject, which comes across as a little too tacked on, as if Miller and Stentz felt like they couldn't go an entire episode without including some sort of emotional investment for everybody. Mind, it does give John Noble an entirely new set of emotions to play around with so perhaps we'll forgive it.

    Everything else, however, is fairly riproaring and beguiling stuff, and just to make things even more palatable, loaded with actual answers. The shapeshifter storyline is pulsatingly dramatic once you've got past the absurdity of it all (I mean come on, wasn't this supposed to be about 'fringe science'? Things within the realm of possibility? Mercury-blooded robotic shapeshifters from a parallel universe? Um, yeah, see that all the time!) The story moves along at a brisk pace, starting in curiosity as Curtis from 24 rummages through a bunch of severed heads and ending in the unfortunate death of Agent Francis at the hands of good old Dunham. We get a truckload of Leonard Nimoy, which can be nothing but a good thing, and his dialogue with Olivia actually offers up a whole host of explanations, as well as fresh intrigue, which is definitely refreshing to see.

    More often than not, this show spends time piling on the questions rather than answering them, so this feels like something of a treat. You start to feel like your patience and persistence is paying off - writers and producers, this is what we need to see more of, and if you insist on doing hours that are independent of the central mythology, at least load them with the abundant level of intrigue and number of layers that we see here. You can do it guys... now don't let us down again.moreless
  • The return of William Bell

    Olivia's memories finally kick-in in the middle of an on-going investigation triggered by "Charlie"'s colleagues. Intriguing how it was Bell the one who sent the message to Peter instead of his mother and how adamant is Bell that the strongest one of his children should keep Peter by her side, as if that would be a problem all things considered.

    However Bell explains to Olivia that he can't go back where he belongs he either omits or doesn't know if Peter can cross over to where he belongs so Olivia remains as unaware of Peter's true origins as Peter is about the true nature of Walter and Rebeca Kibner's relationship.

    The most important piece of information Bell shares with Dunham is the existance of hybrids like "Charlie", that not only allows Olivia to stop the shapeshifter impersonating agent Francis but also gives us a hint as to why it's so dificult to cross over from one Universe to another, Olivia and Peter being the only few sucessful cases up to date.moreless
Theresa Russell

Theresa Russell

Rebecca Kibner

Guest Star

Aaron Craven

Aaron Craven


Guest Star

Anna Van Hooft

Anna Van Hooft

Nina's Assistant

Guest Star

Sebastian Roché

Sebastian Roché

Thomas Jerome Newton

Recurring Role

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

William Bell

Recurring Role

Ryan McDonald

Ryan McDonald


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: As the shape-shifter beats Olivia, graffiti on the wall says "To Sleep Perchance to Dream." This is a clue toward the next episode, "Dream Logic," where dreams play a major part in the story.

    • Trivia: The Observer can be seen with his back to the camera in the foreground as Olivia and the shapeshifter leave Massive Dynamic.

    • Trivia: The glyph code for this episode is MEMORY.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Peter: Walter, I thought that we agreed this was a stupid idea.
      Walter: Oh, no, you decided. I still maintain that the principle is perfectly sound.
      Peter: He wants you to eat worms.
      Walter: Not just worms, flatworms!

    • Walter: Agent Francis, hello.
      Charlie: Hey.
      Walter: You all right? You look pale.
      Charlie: Yeah, I didn't get much sleep last night.
      Walter: Oh. I may be able to help you with that. A little cannabis before bedtime does wonders, huh?

    • Walter: Let's see how this thing operates.
      Astrid: What are you saying, that this is not a person?
      Walter: My dear, I'm not certain that you're not simply a figment of my imagination.

    • Nina: So, can you fix it?
      Brandon: You understand you're asking me if I can repair a piece of technology that is entirely unlike anything that has ever existed here on Earth?
      Nina: Brandon...
      Brandon: Now that I have one that works, I can do it in three hours... tops.

    • Walter: Do you think she'll remember me?
      Peter: I think she might. I'm gonna guess there's not too many men in her life who have strapped her to a table and pumped her full of a massive amount of psychedelics.

    • William Bell: A storm is coming, perhaps the last and worst storm of all. And when it is over, I fear there will be little left of our world. The shape-shifters on your side are looking for someone, someone to open the door between universes. And if they find him, there will be no stopping them.

    • William Bell: As I once said to Walter, physics is a bitch.

    • Rebecca: Oh, Walter, what you did... you made me special.
      Walter: The truth is... I believe you were always special.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Injoke: Thomas Jerome Newton is the name of David Bowie's alien in the 1976 movie The Man Who Fell to Earth.

    • International Airdates:
      UK: October 25, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Latin America: November 3, 2009 on WB
      Sweden: December 10, 2009 on Kanal 5
      Australia: January 13, 2010 on GO!
      Germany: March 29, 2010 on ProSieben
      Poland: September 30, 2010 on TVN
      Finland: October 13, 2010 on MTV3
      Czech Republic: December 17, 2010 on Nova Cinema
      Slovakia: April 2, 2012 on Markiza

    • Injoke: "Charlie" drinks the mercury from a Slusho cup. Slusho has appeared in other J.J. Abrams productions such as Lost, Star Trek, and Cloverfield, starting in a Season 1 episode of Alias where Vaughn offers one to Sydney Bristow and tells her "They're delicious."

    • Music: I've Seen All Good People (Yes)

    • Leonard Nimoy is listed as Special Appearance By.


    • Olivia Which version? Don Siegel or Philip Kaufman?
      As per the previous line, Olivia is referencing Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The 1956 movie directed by Don Siegel was based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. The remake in 1978 is the Philip Kaufman version. Leonard Nimoy starred in the remake, although no one here comments on his strong resemblance to William Bell. Other remakes included Body Snatchers in 1993 and The Invasion in 2007.