Season 1 Episode 13

The Transformation

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 03, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
579 votes

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Episode Summary

Olivia and Peter go undercover to investigate after the discovery of bizarre remains at a jumbo jet's crash site.

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  • The Transformation

    Maybe this will I say then might look something heard from a broken record, but it is still true: "Fringe" can, in almost all its episodes, have openings spectacular views of the best currently on television, but the rest of the episode very rarely can match what we proposed at the beginning. Exposes excellently the case, but can not get the promised development.

    This episode suffers from this same problem. While it can be more balanced than some of the other, it still disappointed not to go over a style to "The X Files" (perhaps for fear of comparisons) and prefer to stay within its formula. And after that, you ask, 'then, but after all, at the beginning criticized the series for being too "The X-Files" and now, criticizing it for not being "The X Files" enough? "Yes, it is true that, initially, I too like the series "The X Files", and gave this comparison a negative connotation, but simply the lack of originality and not the narrative style. In fact, if you want to do a series like this, nothing better than having as examples those who had recognized qualities. And "The X Files" is one.

    I loved the virus / experience of the week. Much to her comic books. Very hulkiana. And I thought it had enormous potential. But the rest of the episode was passed around the capture of the man who produced the virus - which brought up the episode great moments of tension and the possibility of seeing for the first time Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) truly infiltrated - , and this was not exactly the way I wanted to see be taken. And do not want something else more thereof. For example, and using the new "The X Files", after an early episode like this, there could be several ways that Mulder and Scully would have pursued, would be more of a scientific or supernatural, and we never know for sure what the scenario that would be chosen. In "Fringe," no. The episode is always on the search for understanding of science and the people who are behind the phenomenon. No surprise there. We know from the outset that, as strange as the phenomenon is starting, the path is always the same: there is always someone behind the phenomenon that seems to be associated with a secret organization. Nothing is ever the natural order. Nothing is ever the supernatural order. It is always scientific. It is always the responsibility of man. There was only one episode that made us doubt the essence, "The Arrival", and no more. What, in 13 episodes is too little.

    But not only the weak development of the initial idea was this episode. Another problem identified was that, in addition to the formula that repeats itself, the fact that the series is starting to repeat what already too well not usually the norm. In the beginning, back to being presented with the fascination of the people behind the series of aircraft disasters, and, later, Olivia will yet again into the tank in order to find out more about the memories of John Scott (Mark Valley .) During the visit to Massive Dynamic, we reaffirmed the death of John Scott. So this means that each time the character will appear, to say that Olivia is in the tank?

    In the end, we still have time to plot clich. As alleged that the memories of John Scott Olivia has no longer even are, but are manifestations of his consciousness, we learn that, after all, the great betrayer was just infiltrate, but as was part of a top secret operation, which no one would admit that it existed, could not see his name cleared of charges of treason. Really? I've seen this type of plot in over one hundred films and more than a dozen series. Still, there'll have to suck it again. But there is not enough imagination to create different stories?

    Still, and despite having been an episode that left me somewhat disappointed by what I mentioned earlier, this does not invalidate it has its merits and, as had also mentioned in the first few paragraphs of text, was notable more narrative balance compared to standard, so as well as the tension of the scenes in which the Olivia and Peter meet the bad history, turned out to be better than usual. And, without doubt, better than that "thing" last week.moreless
  • One of the best so far

    This episode was one of the best so far. It wraps up Olivia's and John Scott's relationship and moves along the story nicely. We get to learn about what John was actually doing and who he was working with. The episode begins with a guy on a plane and he turns into some kind of monster and crashes the plane. The Fringe team must investigate this and see why he turned into the monster. This was a great episode and it continues with the main story.moreless
  • Olivia's back into the mind of John Scott

    This episode started on an airplane with one passenger suffering from an ailment caused by fringe science. This guy becomes a beast and kills everyone on board; Olivia once again indulges herself into the mind of John Scott to get answers by getting herself in her bra and panties, surely who thought of this, though I'm not complaining. She learns that John was possibly working for a Black Ops cell inside the government and so were the two dudes that turned into man-bear-pigs. The memories of John were helping to determine why and who was trying to sell the man-bear-pig-dog virus and Olivia tracking down the sources through the memories of John. Peter tagged along with Olivia to sting out the Baddies and grab with Bio-Weapons. Walter continues to humour us all with some more great one liners 'the one nipple rule' still intriguing to see that Massive Dynamic were keeping his body although is does seem now that John's memories have now gone from Olivia's Mind. This was a much better episode than the previous one as it indulges into the mythology of the whole show.moreless
  • Let's hope this is a sign of things to come.

    So, Zack Whedon, eh? Yup, you guessed it folks, that's Joss' brother; you know, the one whose new show is about to premiere on US TV and all the critics appear to be giving it a bit of a slamming. Zack has nothing to worry about though because 'The Transformation' is the best episode of Fringe in a while and sees the show taking an about turn from the nosedive it looked set to take in the wake of its return to our screens a few weeks ago. The annoying FBI agent intent on ruining Olivia's career is pushed to the wayside. The irritating sister and daughter, there only to give the show a chance to have a few schmaltzy heart to heart moments? Barely to be seen and when she is, it's actually relevant to the overall plot. The overall plot, meanwhile, actually offers the viewer answers (shock of shocks!) and, even more remarkably, appears to put to bed the whole John Scott narrative. Well I never! I thought we'd be clinging onto the one for at least another four seasons. And while I'm certainly not convinced that we've seen the last of the bugger, it's encouraging that the programme is at least tying the loose ends up so that it wouldn't be a bone of contention if we didn't. Thus, he tells Olivia what he was doing while she's in that bloody tank again, Massive Dynamic and Broyles reveal to Dunham that they've kept John's body and they actually explain what for, and, get this, Bishop tells her that her mind is successfully venting Scott's memories and that she'll soon be rid of him. To wit, she gets bank into the flaming tank and agrees to that marriage proposal he was always going to make. Awww. Well, that just about covers every dangling plot strand related to the whole ex-partner business and, for now at least, closes the door on this avenue. I couldn't be happier. It was, after all, more than a little contrived and essentially simply a distraction from the business of Pattern-related case solving.

    Speaking of which, the investigation is pretty neatly handled this week. The premise is deliciously disgusting, its continued execution delightfully disturbing (the teeth removal on the plane is just... euck) and that undercover scene is decidedly dramatic: you could cut yourself on the tension in that one, even if it is obvious that the black ops guy is going to have another virus-induced spasm before he can reveal the crucial information. Much, much better than recent efforts this and, encouragingly, it seems to close a few less desirable narrative doors rather firmly. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come.moreless
  • Great episode where a man turns into a giant porcupine.

    The episode starts out on a plane with a man writing in a journal and his nose starts to bleed. He tries to get help from the flight crew but the think he is a terrorist or crazy. He goes into the bathroom where he proceeds to transform into another creature that looks like a giant porcupine and busts out and attacks the plane causing it to crash, kill all passengers. The team is called to the site by Phillip Broyles to investigate the remains of what is believed to be an animal, but Olivia determines by a vision from John Scott that it is Marshall Bowman a man John had worked with. There is another man in the vision she doesn't know. Later back at the FBI Olivia identifies the other man as Daniel Hicks. They bring him in for questioning and he start to transform like Marshall Bowman did, but they tranquilize him to slow it down. Olivia decides to go back in the tank to talk to John Scott and he tells her to talk to Daniel Hicks and he will give them information. It is learned that a man named Conrad is bringing in the virus to sell it in Chicago. Olivia and Peter go undercover as the buyers after the real buyer is arrested. They go through a gambit of questions until the say that one man is sick. They get made when Conrad comes in the room and Olivia says the man has been sick since "Christmas". Conrad tells his men to kill them, but the FBI busts down the doors to arrest Conrad and his team. They had an antidote to the virus and Daniel Hicks was saved. Olivia is back at the lab and Walter comes in and she requests to go into the tank again to talk to John.moreless
Felix Solis

Felix Solis

Daniel Hicks

Guest Star

Neal Huff

Neal Huff

Marshall Bowman

Guest Star

Armando Riesco

Armando Riesco


Guest Star

Ari Graynor

Ari Graynor

Rachel Dunham

Recurring Role

Lily Pilblad

Lily Pilblad


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Trivia: The glyph cipher spells AVIAN.

    • In the introduction, when the transformation occurs to Bowman, the close-up shot shows spikes growing through his shirt. However, in the next shot his shirt is cleanly cut instead of being stuck on his back.

    • Trivia: In the shot of the "real" Olivia entering the hotel in her dreamscape, a motel sign reflected in the window has the letters "ZFT" on it. This is a clue toward the next episode, "Ability."

    • When Walter asks for a forceps (an instrument used for handling tissue), Astrid actually hands him a hemostat (a clamp used to clamp bleeding blood vessels).

    • At 9.10 mins into the show Marshall Bowman's ID is clearly shown with a date of birth of July 1st 1963, making him 45 as at the air date of 2/3/2009. At 11.42 mins agent Francis declares Bowman is 42 years old, which could only be true if the show was set in 2005 or 2006. Furthermore, the issuance date and the expiration date are the same: July 23th 1998.

    • Trivia: The Observer can be seen at the Scarsdale soccer field, far left standing to the left of a parked car and a SUV, in the opening shot.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Bowman: What weapons do you have? What weapons?!?
      Male Flight Attendant: We have a taser in the cockpit which I will use on you if you don't calm down.
      Bowman: Taser won't do a thing. It'll just piss me off.

    • Astrid: It also gave him four extra nipples.
      Peter: Maybe he mutated into an opossum.
      Walter: No, opossum's have 15 mammaries, unlike most mammals, who have an even number of nipples. Hence, the one half rule regarding nipples.
      Astrid: The one half nipple rule?
      Peter: You just had to ask, didn't you?
      Walter: The typical number of young in the litter is usually equal to half the number nipples on the animal. The number of nipples being the maximum litter size. Humans, for example, one child is the typical. Maximum, twins. Barring extraordinary cases when the young exceed the number of nipples.
      Peter: God, I hope I never have to hear him say the word "nipple" again.

    • Peter: (answering the phone) Bishop's House of Horrors.

    • Olivia: Cut open his hand.
      Peter: What?
      Olivia: I want to see if there's a disk in it like Bowman's.
      Walter: I like cutting.

    • Olivia: Prep Hicks. Ready or not, we're administering the antidote.
      Walter: An experiment. How exhilarating.

    • Walter: Sorry to wake you. Little worse than adrenaline. Except, perhaps, lice, which is a nightmare.

    • Walter: This is an antidote. While I can't guarantee will actually work, I do have a recorded IQ of...
      Astrid: 196.
      Walter: Really?

    • Olivia: You didn't have to come with me, you know.
      Peter: Shady deals with shady guys in shady hotels is my M.O. And typically, if someone is going to kill you, it's a good idea to have an ally in the room.
      Olivia: I'm not scared.
      Peter: Being fearless doesn't mean you're being safe.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Music: Oxygen (Colbie Caillat)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: March 29, 2009 on TVN
      Finland: March 30, 2009 on MTV3
      United Kingdom: April 5, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Germany: June 22, 2009 on ProSieben
      Sweden: June 25, 2009 on Kanal 5
      Belgium: July 9, 2009 on RTBF2
      France: July 22, 2009 on TF1
      Poland: December 3, 2009 on TVN
      Slovakia: January 10, 2010 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: March 19, 2010 on Nova Cinema