The Road Not Taken
The Fringe Division investigates the case of a woman (Jennifer Ferrin) who “spontaneously combusts” in the middle of a busy New York street. The team discovers that the victim is the subject of a ZFT experiment to cultivate pyrokinesis. As they investigate, Olivia experiences “visions” while awake. Walter suggests she is seeing a parallel universe which has branched off from our own. Olivia and Peter visit an agoraphobic website designer (Clint Howard) who is apparently aware of William Bell, the drug trials, and the coming war, although his credibility comes into question when he believes himself to be a character in the plot of Star Trek. Using information from her visions, Olivia tracks down the victim’s twin sister, who only moments before was kidnapped for more ZFT experimentation. Harris is revealed to be responsible for the crimes, and while closing in on him, Olivia gets locked in a room with the twin sister, whose unstable pyrokinetic abilities threaten both their lives. With Olivia’s guidance, the woman focuses her energy on Harris and incinerates him. Olivia finds out that the sisters were part of the same nootropic drug trial that she was as a child. She presses Walter to reveal why he and William Bell were developing “supersoldiers,” but Walter reveals only that it was for protection against some impending doom that he cannot recall. Meanwhile, Walter reveals that the ZFT manuscript was written by William Bell, and the copy of the manuscript ZFT uses is missing a chapter dealing with ethics. He locates the original, but the Observer shows up and takes Walter away, cryptically stating: “It is time to go.” Nina Sharp visits Broyles to discuss the Observer, and is later shot in her hotel by two masked gunmen using silenced weapons.