‘Fringe’ Goes Back To Season One For ‘Unearthed,’ A Never-Before-Seen Episode

Fringe” is a show that’s built entirely on the idea of opposing alternate realities, and that central premise is about to leak over into our realm of reality.

According to Sci Fi Wire, Fox has decided to air an episode of “Fringe” titled “Unearthed” on Monday, January 11th, in an effort to combat NBC’s “Heroes” return. The catch? “Unearthed,” while a new episode for viewers, is hardly a new episode for the “Fringe” cast and crew — it was originally filmed as a season one episode.

“Rumors had floated around that there was a missing [’Fringe’] episode that had been filmed in season one but had never aired. Well, those rumors are true,” reports Sci Fi Wire. “There’s no explanation from Fox as to why the episode was never aired, although their theory is ’Is it from an alternate universe?'”

Fox is probably just playing coy, but let’s take a minute to wonder about that possibility — what if “Unearthed” was told from the perspective of the rarely seen alternate universe? It would certainly explain why Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo) is resurfacing, given the character’s unceremonious demise early on in season two. How amazing would it be if we watched this entire episode, only to learn at the very end that the characters we were following were the unfamiliar alternates?

That’s not likely to happen, however. For one, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) only exists in one reality, and while he’s originally from the alternate one, he’s currently living in “our” real world. On top of that, we would know Charlie’s alternate as soon as we saw him based on the distinct scar on his face. (Editor’s note: Unless this is the episode in which he earns that scar…. Just something to think about.)

The episode’s plot description does no favors for the theory, either. “Unearthed” allegedly focuses on a young girl who is pronounced dead, and when she’s taken off of life support, she “wakes up screaming in alphanumeric code.” The fact that the investigation is being handled by Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter indicates that this is a real world “Fringe” mystery. The inclusion of Charlie means that this episode fits in with season one continuity.

All of which is to say, “Unearthed” is going to be one bizarre experience for people not already familiar with the episode’s confounding production story.

Do you find it bizarre that “Fringe” will revert to its season one continuity for “Unearthed” in January? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!