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Fringe Recap: “6B”

We open in Park Slope. A couple is making their way into a high-rise to see “the Kimballs” in 7C. The male half is meeting his girlfriend’s friends for the first time. As they wait for the elevator, a woman struggles downstairs with several suitcases. She assures them that the elevator is working and says “Good luck.” The woman, Mrs. Moncello, chats with the doorman. She’s on her way to a hotel and we learn that there’s a tenant exodus underway due to the weird things going on in the building.

Upstairs, the couple ““ Sylvia and Chris ““ enter 7C. There’s a gathering going on, and everybody yuppies around with appetizers for a minute until the blender turns itself on. Mrs. Kimball is more pissed off than freaked out; this kind of thing has been going on in the building for a while. Mr. Kimball is amused for some reason, but says he’ll call the building manager. Their tiff is interrupted by Sylvia having an allergic reaction to what she just ate. She starts gasping for breath and Mr. Kimball runs to get Chris, who I guess knows where Sylvia’s purse is.

We cut to Mrs. Moncello getting in a cab and then, BLAM, some people and furniture come smashing down to the ground from several floors up. Yeah, that’s definitely not normal.

Chez Bishop, Walter putters around fixing breakfast. He’s invited Olivia over (he says he misses her) and has “forgotten” to tell Peter until now. Peter asks him not to interfere in their awkward, awkward relationship. Olivia shows up and Walter makes himself scarce. (He also turns on some soft mood music. Hee.) Peter clues Olivia in to Walter’s ulterior motive. She’s like, “Bye, then,” but Peter wants to “talk about what’s bothering” her. Um, did he miss “¦ well, everything? Olivia breaks it down for him and tells him he hasn’t been completely honest about his feelings. He blames her for not letting people in (no, seriously) and Olivia reminds him that “she’s the one who took it away from us, not me.” Peter asks “Who’s the one stopping us now?” and I’m going to pretend she was about to give him an earful before her phone rings. Weird shit is going down, and the team is needed.

Walter takes a break from getting a snack from a street cart to check out the crime scene. A total of six people ““ and a set of patio furniture — are out on the sidewalk, despite the fact that the sixth-floor balcony they came from is fine. Walter wonders if they’re dealing with some kind of flash mob suicide. Peter points out that people don’t usually bring furniture with them when they commit suicide.

Olivia questions the doorman. “Maybe it’s true what they say about this place,” he says. Olivia asks him to clarify, but we don’t get to hear his answer as we cut to an older woman peeking down from her window. She looks vaguely concerned.

Olivia questions the Kimballs while Peter and Walter examine the balcony. It looks like the victims fell through the floor of the balcony, rather than over the side. Olivia’s learned that the Rosencrantz building is believed to be haunted and half the tenants have already moved. Burst water pipes, odd sounds, electricity going off and on. Peter says it sounds like most older buildings. While they’re talking, Walter’s flipping a coin. He tells them he’s gotten heads 10 times out of 10, which leads him to believe that their universe (like the other) is starting to come apart at the seams.

In the lab, Walter is peevish, to say the least, about the “hole which could potentially lead to a vortex.” He wants to get readings and sends Olivia and Peter to set up a seismograph at the Rosencrantz. Then he asks ““ nay, demands ““ that Astrid find the file from the case they worked in “The Ghost Network” which was their first encounter with Amber 31422. Walter (maybe understandably) is being kind of a dick.

Peter and Olivia notify Walter that the seismograph is set up outside the Rosencrantz. He wants them to monitor it, despite the chilly weather. They blow it off and go across the street to a bar to get warm. Meanwhile, Mrs. Merchant ““ the woman who was looking out the window ““ enters the Rosencrantz and goes into her apartment, 6B. She’s alone and looks to be settling in for the evening.

Across the street, Peter cues up the jukebox and Olivia actually makes a joke. “For Once In My Life” starts playing and they seem to be relaxing. Aw, this is nice. Olivia kisses Peter but freaks out immediately afterward. She runs outside to compose herself and, naturally, Peter follows. She tells Peter that she saw him “glimmer” when they kissed. She’s afraid she can’t fix what’s broken between them and seems to think that the fault ultimately lies with her. Not “Her” her, Olivia “her.” Right. Poor broken Olivia. This is just sad. Suddenly, a glowing in a window of the Rosencrantz catches her attention.

Upstairs, Mrs. Merchant is looking through a photo album. There’s an otherworldly glow in the room and Mrs. Merchant looks up with a smile on her face. The seismograph is going wild. Peter and Olivia dash upstairs and burst into 6B, where Mrs. Merchant is hanging out with what she says is her husband’s ghost.

After the break, Walter checks 6B for radiation leakage but finds none. He doesn’t believe in ghosts because he hasn’t been contacted yet by the late William Bell (I guess you gotta draw a line somewhere), but can’t say what is going on.

Olivia talks to Mrs. Merchant, who’s still looking through the album. She explains that she and the late Mr. Merchant (whose name is Derek) never had children and traveled a lot in their 45 years together. He fancied himself a photographer and would lie about being with National Geographic to get into restricted areas. ANYWAY, a few months ago, they tossed a coin to see who would have to check a blown fuse, as they often did for more bothersome chores. Mr. Merchant lost in more ways than one; a short in the wiring killed him. A few days later, as Alice Merchant was contemplating her own death, Derek suddenly appeared to her.

After Walter learns that the Merchants lived in the building for 40 years, he explains to Olivia and Peter that what Olivia and Mrs. Merchant saw was not a ghost but a glimpse of the other universe. (He can’t explain, though, how Mrs. Merchant is also able to see the other side.) Back in the lab, Walter needlessly breaks a pane of glass to demonstrate how the vortex at the Rosencrantz might break open. Thanks, Mr. Wizard. Astrid, doing actual work, has found the Amber file. Walter thinks encasing the building ““ or maybe the entire block ““ in Amber is their only hope.

At Massive Dynamic, Nina confirms that they do have the technological know-how to do it. Broyles doesn’t like the idea, but is willing to run it up the chain of command. Peter and Olivia are going to look at building records to find another way, while Walter and Brandon start making the Amber. Walter finds himself understanding some of what’s been driving his counterpart all these years.

Peter is still perplexed by why Mrs. Merchant is able to see the other side, as only Olivia has been able to do so until now. He and Olivia theorize that on the other side, Alice is the one who lost the coin toss and was killed. Her longing, and that of the Other Derek, in the same place at the same time, made them able to see each other. I think that’s how it works, anyway. When they run the idea past Walter, he agrees that what he calls “emotional quantum entanglement” could be at work. People, rather than physics, are what’s making this happen. Whatever you say, show. Whatever the reason, Olivia finds out that things are getting worse at the Rosencrantz.
Teams move into place around the building, so I guess the president is on board with the plan. Olivia and Peter run their theory ““ something about emotion-driven brain chemicals and their similarity to Cortexiphan ““ past Broyles. Just then, they find out that Alice is refusing to leave the building. Walter doesn’t think getting Alice away from the building will help at this point, but confirms that getting her to let go of what she thinks of as “her” husband might.
Peter and Olivia head inside to talk to her, the lights flickering wildly as the soft spot widens. Olivia tries to explain what’s going on, but Alice doesn’t want to listen to her. Broyles orders Peter and Olivia out but they totally ignore him. (Can you imagine Olivia’s evaluation meetings?)

Things are bad enough that even Peter can see Derek now. Outside, everyone can see the glow coming from 6B. Broyles orders Peter and Olivia out again, and again they ignore him. Walter instructs Broyles on how to work the remote detonator and they’re all but ready to push the button. Derek wants to know who the hell the people with Alice are. (Which makes me wonder: why the hell hasn’t Fringe division swooped down and Amberized Derek’s building by now?) Peter takes a turn trying to convince Alice. He tells her she was lucky enough to have a lifetime with the person she loved and now she has to let go and enjoy her pictures and mementos. I mean, basically. It sounds nicer than that (are you listening, Olivia?) when he says it. Alice isn’t fazed by that, but Derek telling her that “the girls” miss her makes her realize the mistake she’s made. She gently informs Derek that his wife is gone. The vortex closes.

In the aftermath. Alice admits that she doesn’t quite understand what just happened, but is more open to the seemingly impossible. She thinks maybe she will see her husband again someday.

At Massive Dynamic, Nina tries to convince Walter that he did the right thing. He saved lives but is despondent about what is yet to come, and worried that he doesn’t know how to stop the universe from unraveling. Nina tells him that he has to learn. Nina is not very good at pep talks.

Olivia comes to see Peter at home. They toast to their (temporary) success. Olivia, moved by what Peter said to Alice, tells him, “I want what you want.” Peter’s all, OKAY THEN EXCLAMATION POINT. They kiss and after Olivia tells Peter he isn’t glowing. they head upstairs. You know Walter is going to be all kinds of inappropriate the morning after.

At the other Rosencrantz building, Fauxlivia and Lincoln check out the “Class 4 event” Altstrid reported. All of their readings, though, are normal. They question Mr. Merchant, who says he hasn’t seen anything strange. Lincoln cancels the quarantine protocol. Inside his apartment, Mr. Merchant sits down with his own photo album. Aw.

Next time: it’s revealed that Peter and Olivia were introduced as kids in hopes that she could take him back to his universe. I’m dying to know how their memories were altered. Knowing Walter, I’m guessing drugs were involved.

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