Knowing that it’s more the setup portion of the two-part season finale — and knowing that there will be more to come after next week — makes it much each easier to handle “Brave New World.”
In what felt almost like a Law & Order-esque episode structure, the first half was given over to what at first felt was a standard-issue Fringe case, with people spontaneously combusting. But it’s not a surprise when it turns out to have been orchestrated by David Robert Jones, who tampered with an escalator and infected people with nanites that turn biokinetic energy into heat — meaning that people had to stop moving so the nanites wouldn’t incinerate them from within. One of the lucky ones (i.e. ones who stopped moving in time) volunteers for the dangerous transport to Walter’s lab so he can work on a fix for the problem. That fix turns out, when the woman starts overheating anyway, to be “let Olivia’s rediscovered telekinesis save her.”
But Walter discovers that the nanites are of William Bell’s design, and has decided that Belly is still alive, partly because he suddenly remembers Bell visiting him at St. Claire’s after Bell was supposed to have died. No one else believes Walter, so he filches the logbook from St. Claire’s and then bakes it with some Cortexiphan and pig brain in lemon pie, in order to regenerate Bell’s sign-in DNA into Bell tissue, proving that Bell was alive then. Well, what would you have done?
So while Walter goes hunting (with Astrid) for Bell, we have learned that Jones is in fact working for Bell, and their new scheme is to use satellites to direct a devastating beam of sunlight through a Boston building towards an underground oil reservoir. I mean, you can imagine what would happen if that ignited, even if there’s no Exxon Spill Inferno kids’ game that Walter can use to demonstrate. Peter and Olivia work to switch off the satellites, fighting Jones in the process. Well, Peter gets his ass kicked by Jones, and then Olivia uses her telekinesis to use Peter’s body like a puppet to fight Jones. And then Jones dies, realizing that the chess-game metaphor Bell used, about sacrificing a bishop, wasn’t as much about killing Walter or Peter, but sacrificing Jones. So he’s an honorary bishop!