Fringe

Season 2 Episode 11

Unearthed

6
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 11, 2010 on FOX

Episode Recap

A priest is given the last rites to a brain-dead girl, Lisa Donovan, as her mother Maureen takes her off of life support, Lisa is then taken into surgery for organ removal. Suddenly she springs up and starts yelling... in Russian.

Broyles has the Fringe team meet at the hospital. He explains that Lisa collapsed a week ago and was diagnoses with a cerebral aneurysm. They checked what Lisa started shouting and determined that some of what she said was an alpha-numeric code. The lead surgeon had worked on an aircraft carrier and recognized them as missile launch codes. The Navy has sent Lt. Commander Will Turlough to confirm the numbers were launch codes for missiles on board the Gloucester. The first half of the sequence is the ID for a petty officer, Andrew Rusk. Turlough figures that Rusk gave the numbers to Lisa, and that he's now wanted for high treason. Rusk disappeared three days ago. Peter suggests that Lisa somehow made contact with Rusk when she was in her coma, and learned the launch codes and gained the ability to speak Russian. When they talk to Lisa, she starts speaking Russian again, despite the fact that Maureen insists her daughter doesn't know Russian.

Afterward, Peter discovers Walter in the coma ward apparently listening to patients. Walter explains that there are documented instances of coma patients waking up and claiming they moved about the world, spirit-like, and suggests the same thing happened to Lisa.

Olivia talks to Lisa's mother, Maureen, who admits that Lisa is running a fever. She notes that she argued with Lisa the morning that she collapsed, and then got to the hospital to discover that Lisa was brain-dead. Maureen believes that God gave Lisa back to her, and Olivia asks for permission to have Walter examine Lisa and find Rusk. Maureen doesn't believe there's any more that Lisa can tell her.

Lisa goes to the bathroom and runs some water. She looks up into the mirror and sees a Russian soldier standing behind her. She screams, and when her mother arrives, Lisa explains that she saw Rusk, the man in the photo.

A search of the hospital turns up no sign of Rusk. Teresa Rusk, Andrew's wife, visits Federal headquarters at Olivia's request. She has no idea who Lisa is, but recognizes the "my star" phrase Lisa said as a pet name Rusk had for his wife.

At the lab, Walter brings out an old tape showing an experiment he developed where he applied electrical stimuli to increase psychic ability. The area he experimented on that achieved the best results is the same place that Lisa had her aneurysm. Walter doesn't think he can do anything further without examining Lisa.

Olivia goes to the church where Lisa and Maureen attend and tries to explain that Rusk is somehow communicating through Lisa using psychic means. Maureen asks for a minute alone with Olivia and tells her that it's over now, and she believes it's best for Lisa if she put everything behind her. Olivia gives Maureen her card in case she changes her mind, and Maureen leaves with her daughter.

At the lab, Walter has been studying Tibetan teachings. They suggest that some can communicate with people who have already died. Peter is skeptical and doesn't agree with Maureen that God was involved. Olivia notes that her mother believed in God, but her faith didn't protect her from an abusive stepfather. They're interrupted when Lisa calls Olivia and tells her that she's still seeing Rusk, and her vision has led her to an auto junkyard. Peter and Olivia go there and find Lisa, who says that Rusk was there, along with someone else with a gun. She's sure the man shot and killed Rusk. Lisa can't identify the other man. Looking around, Peter finds a shell casing. Charlie and the FBI have searched the junkyard, and found Rusk's corpse in a trunk. Lisa screams and Olivia runs back to discover that she's having a seizure.

The team meets at the hospital, and the autopsy report confirms on Rusk that the man has been dead for three days. Meanwhile, the doctor tells Maureen that Lisa suffered a seizure, but there shouldn't be any permanent damage. Maureen wonders why Lisa is getting sicker, and the doctor admits she doesn't have an explanation for the seizures. Walter determines that Lisa's "rebirth" occurred at the same time that Rusk was killed. His energy jumpstarted Lisa and brought her back to life. Maureen's priest disagrees but Walter asks for a moment to prove his fantasies. He explains that Rusk's memories may somehow have become trapped in Lisa, causing the seizures. Maureen wonders if Walter can get the memories out and help Lisa. Walter says he needs her transferred to his lab. However, in private he admits that his theory doesn't account for Lisa's illness. Olivia suggests that Rusk's illness may have transferred into Lisa along with his memories.

Olivia meets with Commander Turlough and asks why he didn't inform them that Rusk was sick. He admits that he was and Olivia convinces him to explain that there was a reactor leak aboard the carrier, and Rusk was locked in the chamber for sixteen hours. He was taken to Pearl Harbor and given a highly experimental radiation inhibitor, and has been on medical leave ever since. Olivia asks for Rusk's medical records and leaves.

Walter continues to stall at the lab, rather than scare off Marine. Peter arrives with the correct medical files and Walter realizes that the radiation and the drug allowed Rusk's energy to inhabit Lisa. Walter suggests that they give Lisa a mild hypnotic to relax her mind and give Rusk's memories the chance to escape. As Peter administers the drugs, he reassures Lisa and she likes having someone who isn't afraid of her. She admits that the other students at church and school consider her a freak since she woke up from her coma. Olivia arrives and Lisa wonders if Peter is romantically involved with Olivia, but he denies it. Meanwhile, Olivia asks Walter if Lisa could describe Rusk's last moments, and Walter agrees to give it a try.

They strap Lisa down as a precaution as the drug takes effect. She finally drifts into a relaxed state and Olivia asks her to concentrate on Rusk. Lisa has another convulsion and then starts speaking in Russian, demanding to know who Lisa is. Walter explains that Rusk's entire consciousness, perhaps his soul, was transferred to Lisa. Lisa's consciousness is suppressed. Maureen insists that they stop the experiment but Walter insists that it has to continue until the drugs run their course. Maureen insists that she can't lose Lisa again, and Walter assures her everything will be fine.

Once Astrid escorts Maureen away, Olivia talks to Rusk and tries to coax him out. She explains that she wants to find who killed him, but Rusk demands that they let him go. Finally he explains that someone hid in the back seat of his car, then forced him to drive to the junkyard. The killer then ordered Rusk to get down on his knees, but Rusk refused to die like that. He admits he didn't know the killer's name, but says that he saw blond on the killer's left arm. Rusk passes out, and Olivia goes to call the hospitals to see if any of them admitted a man with an injured arm.

Later, Lisa recovers consciousness in her own body and asks Peter if their plan worked. As Peter unstraps her, Olivia gets a call from Charlie. He's confirmed that Jake Selleg, a counter-terrorism agent with the Navy, checked in with the injury described.

Olivia and Charlie go to the gymnasium where Selleg works out. He runs and they chase after him. Charlie finally manages to tackle him.

At the lab, Lisa is looking at Rusk's body when Peter comes in. She realizes who he is and Peter leads her away. She asks for something to drink and Peter goes to get it. Walter is studying the EKG readings from Lisa when Peter comes in. He realizes that something is wrong with the brain scan: it shows that Lisa is still sleeping. Peter realizes that Rusk's dominant pattern is still in control and goes back to the lab: "Lisa" has left.

Olivia and Charlie interrogate Keller and explain that they're going to check the bullet from Rusk's skull against the gun in Kelleg's apartment. They ask who sent him to kill Rusk, and Kelleg says admits that Rusk deserved to die for what he did to Teresa. She worked at a bar that Kelleg frequented, and he learned that Rusk was beating her. She hired Kelleg to kill her husband. Kelleg took him to the junkyard and told him that Teresa hired him before he killed Rusk.

Rusk goes to his home and gets his gun.

Peter calls Olivia and tells her that Rusk has disappeared. Olivia realizes where he is going.

Teresa comes home and finds Lisa there. She speaks in Russian and calls him "My Star," and explains that he has the gun. He aims it at her and talks about how he got it for her from the service. Rusk says that he's been given a second chance and he isn't going to waste it. He orders her to kneel, ties her up, and starts pouring gasoline around the house.

Peter pulls up at the house while Olivia is still five minutes away. Inside, Teresa pleads with Rusk not to kill her. Peter comes in and tells Rusk to give it up. Rusk tells him to leave, but Peter refuses and tries to get through to Lisa. He understands what it means to be different, and Lisa has to fight for her chance. As Rusk prepares to pull the trigger, Charlie arrives and shoots her with a tranquilizer dart.

As Lisa is taken away, she appears to be back to normal and Peter promises to tell her what happened later. Olivia tells her that once she's checked out at the hospital, she'll be brought back to the lab. As Lisa is taken away, Peter admits that the book on Tibetan philosophy suggested that Lisa's consciousness was still there, and he took a chance.

Back at the lab, Walter confirms that Rusk's mental presence is gone. When Maureen wonders how they can be sure, Walter quotes Isaiah 7:9: "Unless you believe, you will not understand." He admits that sometimes even he has to rely on faith, and Maureen wishes him well in God's name. As Lisa goes, she tells Olivia not to wait too long before making her move on Peter.

Once the Donovans are gone, Olivia informs Peter and Walter that the Navy has denied their request to investigate Rusk's death. Walter doesn't believe the circumstances could happen again.

Later in New York City, a driver jumps the curb. The police check on the man, who appears to be dead. However, he suddenly arrives and then starts saying "My star" in Russian.
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