Fringe (2008–2013)
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The Road Not Taken 

The Fringe team investigate a case of spontaneous human combustion. Olivia starts experiencing visions of the alternate Universe. She uses this ability to solve the case.


(as Frederick E.O. Toye)


(created by), (created by) | 4 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Susan Pratt / Nancy Lewis
Emmanuel Grayson
Bus Driver
Isaac Winters
Cheryl Sarkaria ...
Tech Agent (as Cheryl Ann Leaser)
Ignacio Rada ...
ND Agent


When a woman bursts into flames and explodes, Olivia and Peter start to look into it, and Olivia starts seeing things -- which Walter explains as possibly her seeing an alternate reality. The investigation leads back to the experiment Olivia was part of as a child, and points to a high member of the FBI as well as links to Massive Dynamic. Meanwhile Nina comes to Broyles with her concern that The Observer has been sighted again, and frequently. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Walter remembers Astrid's name for the first time, but when he turns to her he finds the Observer there instead. No one else witnesses it. See more »


At the beginning when Walter is showing Peter and Olivia the comparison of the typewriter and the Manifesto, the "y"'s are not the same style. See more »


Dr. Walter Bishop: This typewriter's Belly's. I remember the day he purchased it. It was raining.
See more »


References Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) See more »


End Title Theme
Written by Michael Giacchino
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User Reviews

Writing from the future..
24 January 2015 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

This review written in 2015.

The reason I decided to rewatch this episode is that there is a current debate afoot about Nolan's Interstellar, the 3 hour extravaganza whose position in film history, as this is written, is uncertain.

Leaving aside the length and editing -- talking about Interstellar -- the focus of the debate is science vs. humanism. Although Nolan tries to cram both into his film -- "cram" being the operative word -- it is not clear whether he succeeds.

Which brings us back to this episode of FRINGE.

The episode itself is OK. It meets or exceeds past standards for the series.

The mini-lecture on parallel universes struck a chord with viewers, as you can see in the social media archives from the air-date.

But here is the key. As time goes on, all I will remember from this episode is when John Noble breaks into tears as Torv's character finally confronts him with ... experimenting on children.

This episode of FRINGE I think unintentionally settles the debate about science vs. humanism.

Humanism always wins. Always.

But not always right away.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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