Season 1 Episode 19

The Road Not Taken

Aired Friday 9:00 PM May 05, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
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557 votes

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Episode Summary

Olivia begins seeing visions while awake that aren't really there. She uses these visions to help solve the case of a woman who spontaneously combusted. Meanwhile, Walter tries to prove that Bell isn't involved with the ZFT, while sightings of the Observer increase.

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  • The Road Not Taken

    "In one episode we get bored without smiles. Only with the assurance that if this was the trump card of the season and then we can start to cry. "I said last week. I had never been mentioned but the circumstances so require. To prove not only that I can fool myself badly (where is my faith?), But also "Fringe" can in the twinkling of an eye over the beast beast.

    After a "Midnight" that promised a lot and ended up giving too little, we got to the episode that, without much fuss, gives us the most genuine juice of this universe. The road begins to be clearer and there is the clear choice of a path, a theme. And this is where, or if he jumps off, or if the series definitely embraces. I, as a fanatic who has everything to do with the weather - not the weather, but the continuous - embark on the journey, not a little kid. From "Sliders" who longed for the return of parallel dimensions, those due to the fact that a simple change everything is brutally different. Well, my wait is over.

    The episode starts to prove immediately that this is not a filler. Again we return to the hunt group ZFT, now supported by revelation (obvious) that William Bell is involved in this organization to the neck. Alongside the most watched a guy, subject to the bizarre and deadly experiments. A girl catches fire and explodes spontaneously. The team then begins the investigation protagonists each drawing on their wisdom:

    Olivia (Anna Torv) starts having strange visions. Sees a different reality for a moment from our own, very similar but with distinct elements. These moments invade it for minutes and then return it to the real. Instead of a carbonized body sees two and instead of a building serene sees the same burning. Caught in these strange phenomena decides to start using them to solve the case at hand. The option comes out to be the right one: save the girl and discovers that even his superior Sanford Harris (Michael Gaston) is involved (ie a rather startling revelation!). At the end accountable with Walter (John Noble) and gives us the certainty that this ability to look at such "roads not chosen" is in fact his skill, his extraordinary capacity, product trials suffered as a child, who is coming to a head. Although not yet have realized the usefulness of this power in a possible war, I was completely surrendered to all the scenes in which she gives the "jump" to the other side and I was so sorry that had been so few. These are moments of pure fiction betting without fear in a narrative complex and difficult. A narrative that leaves us pondering the rest of the day.

    Peter (Joshua Jackson) also showed that after one knows fringe science things and it was thanks to the device that the girl was saved. A contraption he had built for his father. It was another good invention, a character who I think will have a crucial role in the unfolding of it all. As I said I have a strong suspicion that he was also the subject of experience as a child and that his power should be just around the bust.

    Walter reveals that he has a copy of the ZFT manifesto with a chapter on ethics that is not in the police version. Someone withdrew these pages to give the wrong idea from the words of Bell. The memory of the old scientist is not the best but in the end there he finds the object of the search, at the time the observer arrives and tells him it's time. What? I have no idea. Just know that Walter knows more of what it says, or rather Walter in the middle of crazy brain has clear idea of what happens and will happen.

    The trio add to this fantastic event can join the wink to the "Star Trek" (the next episode will see why, but do not know already) and shot (fatal or not) to Nina Sharp (Blair Brown).

    The die is cast and the cards are on the table. Each pawn in the right place. Come on the final gamemoreless
  • Great

    Well great episode. A lot of clues are now coming together, like always Peter is still in the dark of whats going on. Olivia and Walter seems to have a good grasp to whats going on. I like the epic end of that damn Sanford, gets annoying. Unfortunately, I have put up with him on The Mentalist ;(. Well anyway the observer came for Walter and said it's time to go. I wonder whats that all about, can't wait for the next episode.moreless
  • Jacksonville children.

    This week a woman suffer a self combustion and the Fringe group investigates. As the story move forward we learn that the woman and her twin (who manages to control her fire) was in the same Jacksonville drug trial Olivia was in. Olivia's specialabilities evolve and she seems to switch realitiesuncontrollably, she think she is going crazy. This doesn't stop superwoman Olivia though, when she get's a sudden opportunity in the "other" world, she takes it and the fringe's solve the case.

    We finally get rid of Harris in a mostsatisfying way. Somehow he always was a follower to the ZFT, I thought he just was regular creep.

    Finally Oliviaconfronts Walter with the drug trial, asking him how he could do experiments with children andwhat really went on. Walter starts to cry, saying that he doesn't remember.

    I really wonder how Walter was back in the day, I can't figure out if I should be mad or feel sorry for him. Did Belly use him or maybe even damaged his brain to make him forget? How bad is Belly and Massive Dynamic?

    Nina seems really upset, something is very wrong.....Total surprise end. Hope she survives.

    One of my favorites shows himself again, The Observer. Where are they going?

    Next one!!moreless
  • A decent episode with a good amount of information revealed, just not as good as it could have been. Warning, spoilers contained below

    Another pretty good episode. These visions Olivia has, when explained made sense, but they really don't make it easy for her if she can't control them. We find out also in this episode that Harris is working for ZFT, but we don't really find out much else other than that because he is killed due to his own experiment (well sort of). Really good way to take out that sucker, I always hated the guy. What I didn't like watching, but what I knew was going to happen and what had to happen, was Olivia confronting Walter about what he and Bell did to her and the other kids. Even though what Walter did seems un-forgivable, somehow I think Walter really didn't mean any harm, and that Bell might be the kind of guy that takes things too far. Also in this episode near the end, the Observer takes Walter away somewhere, and Nina is shot. Nina being shot probably has something to do with what she said to Broyles, but it still doesn't explain what exactly she did tell him.moreless
  • Outstanding!

    Easily one of the best shows of the season and a perfect set up for the season finale. This show has so many similarities with the X-Files. Like the X-Files, the shows that deal with the main mythology are without a doubt the best shows and that is why the 2nd half of the season took this show to a whole new level. The idea of parallel universes just gets more and more intriguing especially now that we know Olivia actually has the ability to see or travel between them. This show just gets better and better with each passing episode. I cant wait to see the finale!!moreless
Jennifer Ferrin

Jennifer Ferrin

Nancy Lewis

Guest Star

Michael Gaston

Michael Gaston

Sanford Harris

Guest Star

Clint Howard

Clint Howard

Emmanuel Grayson

Guest Star

Michael Cerveris

Michael Cerveris

The Observer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Walter: It's possible we're dealing with a case of spontaneous human combustion.
      Peter: I thought that was just a myth.
      Walter: Oh, a myth is just an unverified fact.

    • Walter: Matter is just energy waiting to happen. The average adult at rest contains enough potential energy to explode with the force of five very large hydrogen bombs.
      Peter: You know, theoretically, you're actually right.
      Walter: Ho ho ho ho! My son finally agrees with me. Agent Farnsworth, take a note of that.

    • Astrid: You know, Walter, working with you, it's amazing the sort of things you get used to.
      Walter: You're not the first person to tell me that.

    • Walter: I was prone to hide things because I was afraid that someone would unlock all my secrets. I didn't realize the someone would be me.

    • Walter: Lab rule #1: Do not borrow Walter's equipment without asking.

    • Olivia: I feel like I'm losing my mind.
      Walter: Oh, I don't think so. If you were actually going insane, you'd likely have no idea what's happening. Take it from me.

    • Olivia: What process?
      Emmanuel Grayson: To create super soldiers.
      Olivia: Super-soldiers.
      Emmanuel Grayson: Yes. Like Khan Noonian Singh.To defend us in the coming war.
      Olivia: What war?
      Peter: I'm sorry. The Khan?
      Emmanuel Grayson: Yes.
      Peter: As in The Wrath of...?
      Emmanuel Grayson: Yes.
      Peter: Let me guess. This war, it's against...
      Emmanuel Grayson: The Romulans. Renegade Romulans from the future, here to change the timeline. The sworn enemy of the Federation.
      Peter: The Federation. That would be the United Federation of Planets.
      Emmanuel Grayson: Yes.
      Peter: Hmm. And you know this because?
      Emmanuel Grayson: I am the son of Sarek.
      Peter: Which makes you Spock.
      Emmanuel Grayson: Yes.
      Peter: Well, Mr. Spock, thank you for your time. We'll let you get back to the bridge now.
      Emmanuel Grayson: Live long and prosper.

    • Walter: I've seen this woman before. Why does she look so familiar?
      Peter: Maybe because you dissected her twin sister yesterday. Remember? Blond girl about 5'7". Really well done. Melted fillings.
      Walter: Oh, right.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Music: Traveling Riverside Blues (Robert Johnson)

    • Injoke: When viewing the charred remains on the street, Walter is holding a Slusho drink. Slusho is a fictional beverage created by J.J. Abrams and has appeared in the TV shows Alias and Heroes and the movies Cloverfield and Star Trek (2009).

    • Injokes: As well as featuring a sneak preview commercial of the Star Trek movie directed by J.J. Abrams that premiered three days after this episode first aired, there are several references to Star Trek. Emmanuel Grayson has the same last name as Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson, he refers to himself as Spock, son of Sarek, and he references both Khan Noonian Singh from the original series episode "Space Seed" and the second Star Trek movie. Finally, his description of Romulans traveling back in time to alter history is the plot of Abrams' movie. Actor Clint Howard, who played Grayson, appeared in the original series, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager as different characters. Grayson's apartment address is 1701, a reference to the Enterprise's ID number of 1701.

    • International Airdates:
      U.K: May 24, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Norway: May 31, 2009, on TVN
      Finland: June 8, 2009 on MTV3
      Belgium: July 30, 2009 on RTBF2
      Germany: August 3, 2009 on ProSieben
      Sweden: August 6, 2009 on Kanal 5
      France: August 12, 2009 on TF1
      Latin America: August 17, 2009 on WB
      Poland: January 28, 2010 on TVN
      Slovakia: February 21, 2010 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: April 16, 2010 on Nova Cinema


    • Title:
      Referencing the poem "The Road Not Taken", by Robert Frost. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

    • Peter: There's something strange in your neighborhood.
      Walter: Who you going to call?
      Referencing the 1984 movie Ghostbusters and the theme song of the same name, sung by Ray Parker Jr. and nominated for an Academy Award.