"Fringe" The Cure (TV Episode 2008) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • A number of people in a diner die of radiation exposure and Olivia and the Bishops believe a woman who disappeared two weeks earlier was the source.

  • Agent Dunham and the Bishops investigate the deaths of a group of people who died from radiation poisoning in a diner. They believe the source of the radiation was Emily Kramer, a young woman who had vanished two weeks previously and was probably being held against her will. When another young woman, Claire Williams, disappears the investigators believe someone may be conducting experiments. Dr. Bishop believes the emanations from Kramer were microwaves and she may in fact have been developed as a walking weapon. They trace the research to the head of a pharmaceutical firm David Esterbrook, who has a history of promoting off the wall ideas. Nina Sharp has information and strikes a bargain with Peter Bishop.

  • A woman is dumped from a van on a street of Massachusetts without memories and dizzy by two men wearing hazmat suits. She goes to a diner and the owner calls a police officer. He interrogates the woman, she becomes upset and everybody inside the diner dies from radiation and her head blows-up. Agent Dunham is assigned to investigate the case with Dr. Walter and Peter Bishop and they find that the woman was Emily Kramer suffered the rare and incurable disease "Bellini's lymphocemia" but she was cured by radiation. When another woman, Claire Williams, with the same disease vanishes, Dunham and Peter learn that they had been submitted to an experimental treatment by David Esterbrook from the Intrepus, the competitor of Massive Dynamic. But how will they find the location of the secret laboratory?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Milford, Mass.

    A van pulls up in the middle of the night and two men in full HAZMAT protective suits throw a woman in the middle of the street. She walks dazedly down the street and into a diner.

    She sits at the counter and coughs. A man brings her some soup and tells the chef to call "Marty" (Wiliam Hill) because there's a woman there who might be in trouble and need help. The woman has marks on her wrists. The man asks what happened but she says nothing.

    Marty, a cop, walks in and sits next to her and starts talking. She says she was born in Boston. She doesn't remember where home is, "they did things." She says they gave her a red medicine, but she doesn't know what it is. There was also a blue one. They confused her and hurt her. She doesn't want to go with Marty. He says she's not in trouble but when she resists, he handcuffs her. He calls it in and people in the diner start bleeding from their eyes and screaming. It happens to the woman too, and then her head explodes. Yep, that's right, explodes.

    The Fringies hit the scene. Olivia (Anna Torv)'s ramped up, not entertained by Walter (John Noble)'s usual oddities. Broyles (Lance Reddick) briefs: all they know is that the people inside the now sealed off diner were exposed to high levels of radiation. The woman is Emily Kramer (Maria Dizzia), she hasn't been seen for two weeks. Her parents say she wouldn't have run away. The level of radiation coming from her body is three times higher than the others. Dr. Bishop would very much like to know where he can get a cool HAZMAT suit.

    They suit up and go inside, where it's as gross as a place where a head exploded would be. Emily had some sort of rare incurable cancer which seems to be in remission, which is impossible.

    Olivia meets with Emily's Dr. Patel (Alok Tewari) to ask about her treatment. It didn't include radiation. He gets her records.

    At the lab, the Bishops perform an autopsy on headless Emily. They notice the marks on her wrists, indicating she was held. She has needle marks. Dr. B says she was being given drugs that he hasn't seen before.

    Dr. B thinks maybe they were performing a field trial by letting her go.

    Olivia gets a call as Dr. B is theorizing the people might try again with another woman.

    Off to Acton, where Claire Williams (Marjan Neshat) has gone missing. She has the same disease. Olivia and Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo) visit her husband. Waiting on the porch, Francis tries to empathize, noting it must be hard for her to deal with on that day, her birthday.

    The husband doesn't know Emily. He describes how awful the disease was and then how it was like a miracle six weeks ago when her disease went away.

    Cut to Claire in a lab with people in HAZMAT suits. They inject her with something as she lies strapped to a table.

    A Goateed Man tells the woman treating her that the last one was a test, this one counts. Claire is an even better candidate, the woman says.

    At the lab, Dr. B recreates the diner scene using a papaya dressed like Mr. Potato Head. He puts it under glass and it undergoes "gooification," seeping fluids then exploding for a lab smoothie. It's like how a microwave cooks food, Peter (Joshua Jackson) says, declining Dr. B's offer to recreate the experiment on a gerbil.

    He thinks there are microscopic capsules in Emily's blood that allowed her to cook people and also saved her life. Like time-release chemo. Olivia mentions that 83 percent of kidnapped victims are taken by someone they know. She and Peter visit Emily's parents.

    In the car there Peter wonders if this using people for experiments is part of the Pattern. Peter suggests waiting because her family is mid-wake. Olivia, in a snit still, is having none of it. She goes upstairs and starts going through Emily's things. Her mom busts in, but listens when Olivia mentions Claire's name. They were in the same support group. A photo of Emily with Claire and her husband proves he was lying about knowing her.

    Back at his house he says Claire and Emily were treating themselves along with other rich patients. He says they found the cure three months ago, time-release radioactive capsules. He didn't tell Olivia because he was afraid they'd stop him. Their doctor knew about it.

    Back with Claire, the woman injects her red medicine, but also something blue that will "make her special."

    Olivia revisits Dr. Patel. He says all he did was give "them" updates, the drug company. She wants names, instead he turns around and pulls a gun on her. He says the name "Dr. David Esterbrook (Chris Eigemman)," then he blows his head off.

    Olivia goes back to the office, watching a suicide not making her birthday happy. She riffles through her mail. Francis tells her he found Esterbrook, with Intrepus drug company. It's Goatee Man. The company is looking into prenatal gene therapy, human-animal hybridization, all the fun stuff.

    He's in Manhattan speaking on a humanitarian aid forum. Olivia doesn't expect him to confess, but wants to see it in his eyes. She introduces herself to him, pretending to be a science groupie. She chats him up about the boundaries of science being pushed and he says the only limitation isn't money, but resolve. She says she wasn't entirely honest, she knows Dr. Patel. She tells him he's dead and she already got what she wanted from her ruse. He says that she probably wants to start a family some day and it'd be shame if anything got in her way.

    Broyles gets a call.

    At the lab, Broyles intercepts Olivia. He's not impressed that she tried to intimidate a suspect in a high-profile place. She says Esterbrook is guilty and assumes he'll get away with it. She couldn't give a damn about politics. He says she should, because she's endangered their whole mission.

    Claire, still strapped to the table, watches as someone lets a hairless rat loose in the room with her. Esterbrook walks into the observation room and asks for a progress report. The woman tells him Claire will be ready to go in the morning. He says he'll call the client. The rat explodes.

    Olivia can't find anything on Esterbrook. Peter checks on her and her snideness ticks him off. She apologizes and tells him how her step-father beat her mother and she never called the police. One day when Olivia was nine, he broke her mom's nose then drove off. When she heard him coming back, she got his gun and shot him. But he lived and disappeared. Every year on her birthday he sends her a card and she blames herself for not finishing him.

    Peter says all Olivia has to do to get Esterbrook is talk to Nina Sharp (Blair Brown), Massive Dynamic must have corporate espionage on Intrepus. But she can't do that.

    Peter leaves.

    He finds Nina at an equestrian center. She knows who he is. He lays out his theory of human testing. He asks, hypothetically, where Intrepus might be conducting its research. She tells him she and his dad were "quite close" when they were much younger.

    Then she offers him a deal: she'll give him the location but someday he, with his odd but valuable connections around the world, will have to return it at a future date.

    In the lab, Dr. B smells the hyacinth scent he detected in headless Emily's body. He figures out the compound, it would be blue. He thinks they were using her as a weapon and the compound was the trigger. He says he can make a cure.

    Peter finds Olivia and gives her the address of the facility where Claire is being held. He tells her he has a friend who tracked it down because radioactive isotopes are detectable by heat-sensing spy satellites and he has a friend who hacked in, or something. Olivia relays that bit of news to Charlie on the phone and Dr. B overhears and starts to correct her that they aren't visible from heat signatures, but Peter cuts him off. Dr. B gives her the antidote in a syringe and they prep for a tactical assault.

    Later on site, they bust in shooting. Olivia finds the woman in the basement. She flips a radioactive switch. Claire starts to convulse in the other room and Olivia, sealed off from outside, puts the needle through a small door. As Claire flops around and her head starts pounding, Olivia commands her to jab the needle in her neck. When her eyes start bleeding, Claire musters the courage and jabs away. Her radiation levels return to normal.

    At Intrepus, Olivia confronts Esterbrook, who denies knowing who Claire is. Olivia tells her his employee, Elizabeth (Jane Kim), confessed. He says the words of a disgruntled employee don't count for anything. She responds by telling him she's tipped off the media and his board of directors won't be pleased to see him involved in a murder investigation.

    Back at the office, Olivia goes through her mail. She visits Broyles, who has heard about her stunt with Esterbrook. She defends being emotional, putting aside that it's what men always say about the woman they work with (she actually says that, awesome), but says it's what makes her good at her job. She says she hopes he won't fire her. He says she's not getting off that easy but he'll see her tomorrow.

    Cut to Nina Sharp in her limo, listening to a news report about Intrepus and Esterbrook that mentions it's good news for their competitors, Massive Dynamic, whose stock has risen.

    Olivia hears it and visits the Bishops. She talks with Peter, saying she knows where he got his info. She wants to know the price, what Nina wanted. He says he can handle it. She thanks him.

    He says there was no letter today, was there? No.

    At home, Olivia finds a letter under her door - no stamp. It's unsigned and says only: "Thinking of You."

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