As if things weren't already bizarre on Fringe's alternate Earth -- the Dodgers are still in Brooklyn instead of moving to Los Angeles, Back to the Future starred Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox, Berkeley Breathed's comic strip character Opus is a peahen instead of a penguin -- now comes the disturbing revelation that DC Comics character Batman doesn't exist in this strange parallel world.
In tonight's episode, "Everything in Its Right Place," written by J.R. Orci, Matt Pitts and David Fury, FBI agent Lincoln Lee travels to the alternate Earth and assists his Fringe Division counterpart Captain Lee and Olivia Dunham with a mysterious vigilante case where criminals have gone missing, junkies have vanished, and victims have called in claiming that their assailants were attacked mid-crime.
"Maybe Batman's moved to the Bronx," jokes Agent Lee, causing the puzzled alternate Olivia to ask what a Batman is. "The Caped Crusader, The Dark Knight..." explains Agent Lee, "...Billionaire playboy puts on a cape to clean up the streets of Gotham?"
"Oh, you mean M.A.N.T.I.S.," replies Captain Lee, referring to the short-lived FOX TV series starring Carl Lumbly that aired from August 1994 to March 1995. Like Batman, M.A.N.T.I.S. (short for Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System) was a superhero vigilante that used a vast array of technology to fight crime, but he wore a powered exoskeleton that allowed his paralyzed body to walk and also gave him other superhuman abilities.
Agent Lee, however, isn't impressed. "Seriously? Your superhero is an insect?"
"Oh, what," counters the alternate Olivia, "because nothing says badass like a flying rat?"
If you'd like to check out the scene, you can watch it below thanks to the kindness of YouTube user LovecraftsSon...