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Recap: Fringe, Episode 4.1, “Neither Here Nor There”

Previously, on Fringe: Peter sacrificed himself to create a “bridge” between the universes. Now no one remembers him.

Now: Olivia and Fauxlivia snark at each other as they exchange boxes of case files. I’m kind of surprised they don’t run a paperless office on the other side. Olivia tells Fauxlivia that she and Walternate are completely untrustworthy. I’m also kind of surprised Fauxlivia doesn’t have a problem with the Walter from her universe being referred to as “Walternate.” Olivia tells Fauxlivia that just because she was living her life for a while, it doesn’t mean that she knows her. Fauxlivia seems more hardened than she was at the end of Season 3, perhaps because now she hasn’t been influenced by her feelings for Peter or becoming a mother.

As Olivia walks away, we see Peter briefly flicker into sight. That’s going to be happening throughout the episode, and probably for episodes to come. I won’t mention every instance because “¦ well, hell, I’ll probably miss a few. But just so you know, that’s going on.

In a diner, “our” Observer (the one who initially changed the “proper” course of events) meets with what I think of as his supervisor. Our Observer knows that “traces” of Peter keep “bleeding through” even though he’s been erased from existence. The supervisor gives our Observer a little device about the size and shape of a pen, and tells him he has to fix things. “They can never know the boy lived to be a man,” he says. Our Observer says he’ll take care of it.

After the title sequence (which is yellow now, by the way), Agent Lincoln Lee goes to pick up his partner Robert at his house in Hartford, CT. Lincoln pals around with Robert’s wife and kids. They’re obviously close friends as well as partners.

At work, they find themselves chasing a man with a gun into a maze of abandoned buildings. They split up and Lincoln catches the bad guy (we later learn he’s an arms dealer but that’s not really important), cuffing him to a pipe. He yells for Robert but gets no response. When he finally finds him, he’s on the floor and a man with a translucent face is crouching over him. Some kind of particles are floating in the air between them. The man escapes by crashing through a couple of windows into another building. Lincoln goes to his partner, who’s dead. As he watches, Robert’s face starts to become translucent.

Fringe arrives on the scene. Yay, Astrid’s working in the field with Olivia like a real grown-up agent! And her hair looks awesome. On a less shallow note, she’s on the line with Walter, but experiencing feedback.

As Olivia talks to Lincoln, two Observers (ours and another Observer) watch. “He used to know her.” “Yes,” ours agrees. “Before things changed.” Olivia can only tell Lincoln that she’s with a “special division.” Lincoln isn’t happy to hear that Fringe is going to be taking Robert’s body. He says that maybe Olivia doesn’t understand what it means to have a partner, and asks to speak with someone else. Olivia replies, “There is no one else. There’s just me.” Ah, so meaningful. She drives off (without Astrid, it looks like) but Lincoln memorizes the license plate number.

At Walter’s Harvard lab, he’s complaining that “this whole place has felt funny for the last week,” which is of course the amount of time that’s passed between Seasons 3 and 4. Walter definitely does not trust Walternate. Astrid reminds him that the feeling is probably mutual.

Lincoln lets himself in and Walter thrusts a dead bird at him. He injects the bird with something and it starts flying around the room. Olivia comes out of an inner office and demands to know what Lincoln’s doing there. The bird plummets to the floor, dead. Walter says there are kinks to work out, but “it’s a start.” Oh dear God, whose dead body is he thinking about reanimating?

Olivia tells Lincoln he’s in trouble for tapping into traffic cam feeds to find her. He refuses to leave and threatens to tell the papers about this secret division and Walter’s little bird experiment. Walter helpfully tells him the ear he’s growing under a dome might make for a better story. I really missed Walter this summer.

Lincoln doesn’t complete the call, as Broyles has just called with news of another translucent body. Lincoln gets Olivia to let him join her; he might notice something important since he was at the other crime scene. Walter gives Astrid a repaired earpiece and she joins Olivia and Lincoln.

They find a woman in her car, crashed into a lamp post. Her face is translucent. The cops are questioning some kids nearby who may have witnessed the crash. Astrid calls Walter, but has to wait until he’s done making popcorn, because the microwave is causing interference. She has a camera so Walter can do a remote preliminary exam. Poor Astrid is stuck checking the woman’s anus.

Olivia learns that the dead woman was Nadine Park, a commuter who parked at a train station a few blocks away. They figure the perp attacked her from the backseat, causing her to crash. The people the police questioned didn’t see anything, but Lincoln notices a woman sitting quietly by herself.

Olivia questions the woman, also named Olivia. She reluctantly shows Olivia the picture of the killer she captured with her phone’s camera. Olivia compliments Lincoln’s powers of observation. He tells her he could help more if he had more information. She admits that there have been more than two of these murders.

After Broyles raises Lincoln’s clearance and makes him sign a confidentiality agreement, he and Olivia take him to a room full of bodies, all killed in the past three days. They’ve been unable to find a link between the victims. Lincoln informs them that Robert was taking iron pills for Crohn’s disease. Broyles leaves the room with this information. Lincoln tells Olivia that Robert was like family, “something I never thought I’d find.”

Our Observer is buying parts at an antique shop. The shopkeeper asks him why he needs the parts. He calmly tells him he’s building something to erase someone from time. The Observers have a lot to learn about discretion.

Nadine’s body is brought to the lab. Olivia and Astrid go looking for Walter. It’s odd that they can’t find him because he’s afraid to leave the lab. Aw. Lincoln finds him in the deprivation tank, hiding from someone he saw in the mirror. Olivia calms him down and Astrid goes to get him some dry clothes. Olivia explains to Lincoln that Walter is only sometimes functional but “is often quite brilliant.” She speculates that he never had anything to tether him to the world. Double aw. Walter notices Nadine’s engagement ring. He says there’s nothing sadder than when two people are meant to be together but something intervenes. Okay, show. I think we get it. No need to beat us over the head.

Anyway, Walter has determined that the victims all had diseases stemming from heavy metal poisoning. Even stranger, all their blood metal levels post-mortem were normal. Olivia realizes their killer is taking metal from the victims’ blood. We see him injecting himself with something and making notes in a journal.

Lincoln is upset when he learns Fringe is planning to keep the victims’ bodies and tell their loved ones they went missing. What, they couldn’t just say the victims were killed in such a way that retrieving remains wasn’t possible? Lincoln asks Olivia if she can imagine what it would be like to have a “hole” in her life. Gee, I wonder. Walter coldly says, “People die. It happens. Sometimes they even die twice.” I’m confused. I was under the impression that Peter never existed in this reality, so who is Walter talking about? Does he somehow remember having a little boy? And if Peter never existed, how did the whole inter-universal war get started? So many questions I have for you, show.

Anyway. Olivia and Lincoln figure out that the killer has four kill zones, revolving around commuter stations. Olivia dispatches teams to watch the stations. Meanwhile, the killer is still in his lair. He looks in a mirror, pleased with the effects of the injection he just took. Whatever, his face still looks all grody and see-through to me.

Olivia and Lincoln are waiting in her car outside Avon Station. She tells him how she lost her partner three years ago, so she knows how he feels. They get word that the killer has been sighted, and chase him into a labyrinth of chemical labs and industrial warehouses. They find one agent dead and another bleeding to death. Lincoln stays with the man and makes a tourniquet while Olivia chases down the shooter. When she finds him, he’s burning evidence in one of the buildings. She has a gun but he proceeds to beat her ass most thoroughly. Seriously, I’m surprised she doesn’t black out, as much as he’s knocking her around.

She’s finally able to shoot him, which Lincoln hears outside. He sees her standing in a window and knows she wasn’t the one who got shot. Then the man on the ground is able to grit out, “There’s more than one!” After a bit of cat-and-mouse, Lincoln shoots the second suspect to death. Then he realizes the man has Robert’s face! He’s all, “Who are these things? What were they looking for?” Olivia says the real question is what, not who.

As the cops arrive to haul the bodies away, yet another translucent individual spies on the scene. And she’s wearing Nadine’s face. We see her skin become more and more opaque.

Back at headquarters, Lincoln goes through a box of Robert’s effects. Someone hands him an envelope containing some sort of official certificate. At the lab, Astrid is unable to make anything out of the papers the killer was burning. Lincoln stops by to thank Olivia for getting Robert’s body released. I’d like to know how they explained that one. Olivia says she wanted to give Robert (and Lincoln) the closure he deserves. Meanwhile, Walter has found a device in the body he’s examining. It looks similar to the ones employed by the shapeshifters in the past. Walter immediately suspects Walternate, as the technology is clearly “not from here.” Lincoln’s all, China? Hee, precious.

Olivia takes him with her on a little trip to the “bridge.” “I know what it’s like to have a hole in my life,” she confides. “It’s been there as long as I can remember.” She tells Lincoln that she joined Fringe to find answers, but “sometimes answers lead to more questions.”

When they arrive, Lincoln looks up through the glass ceiling. One side shows clouds in a sunny sky, while on the other side an airship passes by at night. Olivia gives Fauxlivia the device that’s powering the new shapeshifters. “I’ll look into it,” Fauxlivia sneers before leaving.

Outside Walter’s lab, our Observer prepares to fire up his device, but is unable to go through with it. Inside, Walter, who lives in a sort of studio space at the lab (and if that isn’t just the saddest thing ever), gets ready for bed. When he turns off the TV, he sees Peter reflected in the screen. He is, understandably, freaked out. The guard responds to his scream but is unprepared to handle the situation. He leaves the room, presumably to get backup. How interesting that Walter is the only one who can see (and hear, and we’ll find out) Peter, as he’s the person least likely to be believed.

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