Fringe Episode Recap: "What Lies Below" Season 2, Episode 13

Network TV dramas have a long history of the "quarantine" episode. It's usually in medical dramas like House or ER, but many long-running dramas seem to eventually work it into their episode roster. "What Lies Below" represented Fringe's stab at the "quarantine" episode and considering how often it's been done, it remained a pretty effective hour of television. When the team investigates a death at Vitas Petrol they soon learn it was a contagious pathogen responsible but not before Olivia and Peter are trapped inside by the quarantine.

I don't consider myself a germaphobe but I am particularly susceptible to getting extremely creeped out when popular fiction tackles the subject of viruses, pathogens and diseases. Wolfgang Petersen's Outbreak freaked me out 15 years ago and I haven't been able to look at a capuchin monkey the same way since. This episode was going to work in giving me the willies just with the subject matter. But the scenes of the victims succumbing to the pathogen were extremely effective, mostly because of the spewing blood, or "spraying" as it was dubbed. The scene where Peter falls in a victim's blood and then proceeds to try to wash himself was also beautifully done; he and Olivia hardly say anything, just share knowing looks as he scrubs himself furiously. That said more than any dialogue.

Walter and Astrid go back to the lab to figure out what kind of pathogen it is they're dealing with while Broyles attempts to deal with the trigger happy CDC agent (hey there, Captain Matthews from Dexter). They all eventually figure out that the virus came from an oil dig and that it's trying to force its hosts to get outside. Part of me wanted to say how illogical and silly this was but the other part remembered the secretary throwing herself out the window and crushing a van and decided I could go with it.

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