Fringe (2008–2013)
15 user 6 critic

Brown Betty 

Walter has just smoked a drug that he calls "Brown Betty" when Olivia arrives at the laboratory to leave Ella with Astrid. The girl asks Walter to tell a story and he creates a detective story where the Fringe Division are the characters.


Seith Mann


J.J. Abrams (created by), Alex Kurtzman (created by) | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Anna Torv ... Olivia Dunham
Joshua Jackson ... Peter Bishop
Lance Reddick ... Phillip Broyles
Blair Brown ... Nina Sharp
Jasika Nicole ... Astrid Farnsworth / Esther Figglesworth
John Noble ... Dr. Walter Bishop
Michael Cerveris ... September / Gemini
Ari Graynor ... Rachel / Kelsie
Ryan McDonald ... Brandon Fayette
Lily Pilblad ... Ella
Candus Churchill ... Dead Singer / Corpse #3
Sarah Hayward Sarah Hayward ... Nurse (as Sarah Ann Hayward)
Tom Pickett ... Dead Singer / Corpse #1
John Prowse ... Dead Singer / Corpse #2
Erica Van Briel ... Assistant


Walter tells Ella and Astrid a story. It's a detective story in which Olivia, who's a detective, is hired to investigate the disappearance of Peter Bishop. Helped by Astrid aka Esther, Olivia fights both Nina Sharp and September aka Gemini to get to the truth. Olivia teams up with Peter to reach a happy ending. Written by Andreea Ward

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Did You Know?


Interestingly, during this musical episode, the two regular cast members of Fringe (2008) who have the most Broadway musical experience do not ever sing. Blair Brown (Nina) has had singing roles in Broadway productions of "The Threepenny Opera" and "Cabaret." And Michael Cerveris (The Observer/September) is better-known as a Broadway leading man than as a television or film actor; he has had lead roles in Broadway musicals such as The Who's "Tommy," "Titanic," "Assassins," "Sweeney Todd," "Lovemusik," and "Evita"; was nominated for Tonys for all but one of these; and won a Tony for "Assassins." In 2015, Cerveris won another Tony Award, this time for the musical "Fun Home." See more »


During one scene where Olivia visits Nina, there is a Windows logo on the back of a flat screen monitor. The time period this episode often portrays would have been before Windows existed. However, this is all part of Walters "noir" story, where characters also use mobile communication devices. See more »


Peter Bishop: [as Miles Davis' Freddie the Freeloader plays...] Do you like jazz?
Olivia Dunham: Jazz?
Peter Bishop: Miles, Duke, Louie, John Coltrane. You can tell a lot about a person by the music they listen to. And whether or not they dance.
Olivia Dunham: Jazz- not so much, but dancing? Sure.
Peter Bishop: Well, I guess we're opposites. I hate to dance.
See more »


References The Princess Bride (1987) See more »


The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Performed by Lance Reddick
Written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi
See more »

User Reviews

Typically bad, but not the worst episode ever
2 May 2010 | by jlk4imdbSee all my reviews

Sorry orizano, but giving this episode 9 out of 10 is just pure fanboyism.

Most musical episodes of normally non-musical shows are bad. This episode was no exception. It was neither a "character builder" nor something to advance the story arc much.

The only positives I can see from this episode was several appearances by Gene the cow, a cool looking prop (I won't spoil anything by saying what it is), and Olivia looking period lovely.

The negatives were many: the mixing of modern devices into the story require the repeated tired excuse of Walter's "imagination," Olivia (Anna Torv) is a pretty weak singer, the song choices were uninspired, the few amusing moments were unexceptional, and the plot was very muddled.

It was possibly not a complete throwaway episode, but I can't think of anything that one would miss by never seeing it.

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

29 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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