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Recap: Fringe, Episode 4.06, “And Those We’ve Left Behind”

Olivia’s napping on a playground. I’m guessing this is a dream, as Olivia has probably never napped on a playground in her life. Peter crawls up next to her and they’re all lovey-dovey.  Aw, and Walter’s playing on the swings nearby. Peter and Olivia agree that it’s “the perfect day,” and kiss. But Olivia’s troubled; she says Peter is the problem. Peter wakes up in bed, in his dark cell. Huh. I really thought Olivia was the one dreaming. The door to Peter’s cell opens, and Olivia stands in the doorway. She says there’s “something” going on with time that they think concerns Peter.

Central Village, Boston. A woman washes dishes in her apartment, promising to read to her young daughter when she’s done. The woman looks down and sees that the sink looks weird. When she turns around, the apartment looks like it’s been destroyed by a fire. She calls for her daughter Samantha, and heads to her room – but her little girl is now a baby in a crib. The woman carries the baby outside, where people have gathered to look at the fire-damaged building. The baby in her arms is now a little girl again. Samantha would like to know what’s going on, as would we all.

After the credits, Olivia and Peter are in her car, on the road. He says the world looks the way he remembers it. Olivia wants to talk about the reports of time anomalies, such as time loops. They think it might be related to Peter’s sudden appearance. Peter asks what Walter’s theory is and Olivia reminds him that Walter wants nothing to do with him.

Lincoln calls Olivia to report another incident. Is he a full-fledged Fringe agent now, or what? He’s in the burned-out apartment, along with other agents. Astrid is there, gathering data for Walter. I guess he’s had enough of the world outside the lab for a while. Walter determines that they’re not dealing with a breach from the other universe.

Olivia shows up with Peter and tells him to stay put. Broyles informs her there was a flash fire, during which a woman says her five-year-old turned into a baby. Samantha is looking for a beloved toy named Emily, which Peter finds for her. That’s kind of the opposite of staying put, but Olivia doesn’t seem to mind. Peter asks Olivia if she really thinks he caused the fire, but she doesn’t know. Astrid observes that the fire seems to have burned in the shape of a ball. Lincoln has learned that there was also a fire in the building four years earlier. Broyles wants Walter to examine Peter. He has to remind Olivia that Walter doesn’t get to pick and choose which cases he works on.

In the lab, Walter performs a perfunctory exam, referring to Peter as the “subject” and “it.” Lovely, and not at all awkward. He declares that Peter is not the cause of the time anomalies. Peter says he couldn’t possibly know that already, but Walter is completely ignoring him. He goes into his room to work on the “problem.” Peter is surprised to learn that Walter lives at the lab now.

Peter settles in at the lab to do the work himself. He thinks he might have damaged the space-time continuum when he reappeared. He says there are no rules for this sort of thing, but is sure that the re-occurrences will be exponentially worse. I’d say that’s Rule Number One, then. Or maybe Rule Number Two, right after “Don’t mess with.”

Elsewhere, it’s night and a group of teens are driving to a concert. They nearly collide with a passing train. It appears out of nowhere and disappears into what looks like a portal in space and time.

At the lab, Peter’s having no luck with his calculations. Has he been there all night, then? Olivia exposits that there have been 65 “time-slips” in the past 72 hours, all within a 40-mile radius of downtown Boston. She figures there must be unreported cases, because not everyone is going to call the police with their crazy story. She also determines that the apartment fire is in a time-anomaly category of its own.

Walter comes out and asks if Olivia wants a sandwich. She tells him they need help. He says, sure, just as soon as his lab’s free. I’m glad Walter’s being so mature about this. Peter is upset that Walter can’t even look at him. Olivia tells him that Walter was upset enough about the visions he was having about Peter, let alone his actual appearance. Peter has no knowledge or memory of appearing to Walter while he was “gone.” Olivia also admits that she dreamed about Peter before he appears.

Before they can have that conversation, Lincoln pops in, damn him, to report the phantom freight train. He and Olivia prepare to leave and Peter says he’ll go with them – and the next thing he knows, he’s walking up to the scene. One of the teens is saying that the space where the train appeared was spherical like a bubble or window.

Peter asks Lincoln how they got there. Lincoln’s all um, we drove and Peter says he thinks he just experienced a time jump. Back in the car, Lincoln has learned that the last train was run on those tracks four years ago. Peter’s happy a pattern is emerging – and then notices that they’re just arriving at the scene. Funny how Peter’s the only one being affected here, even though he’s not alone. Anyway, he’s getting annoyed.

As Olivia questions one of the teens, Peter finds some kind of dust on the car the kids were in. He easily yanks off a piece of the bumper, but when he goes to show the others, he’s back in the car and they’re driving away from the scene. He tells them he was just found high levels of neutron radiation, and the teens need to be tested for radiation poisoning. Peter also notes human technology is the only thing responsible for that kind of radiation: someone is causing the time anomalies.

In a home, somewhere else, a woman named Kate sits working on some kind of equation. A man named Raymond, played by Stephen Root, enters and is counting down to something on his watch. Kate breaks her pencil, and he brings her a red pen so she can continue working. He kisses her hair, and then she disappears. He goes in the kitchen to finish preparing a tray and takes it in to Kate, who is now sitting in a chair in another room staring into space. She has no idea who Raymond is.

At the lab, Walter is in his room blasting music on his headphones and studiously ignoring Olivia and Peter as they work. He is such a teenager. Peter wants to find a pattern to locate the source of the radiation and the time anomalies. Lincoln arrives with reports of trees appearing in a parking garage and garbage materializing on a golf course, both dating to four years ago. Walter can’t keep quiet anymore, and comes out to inform them that the pattern they’re looking for is Fibonacci’s golden spire, and the source can be found at the center.

At their home in Brookline, MA (and why couldn’t you tell us this a couple of scenes ago, show?), Raymond rubs Kate’s feet. She’s worried they’re going to miss Christmas. He promises, “We’re going to have all the Christmases in the world!” Why does “all the Christmases in the world” sound so ominous? Raymond gets on his laptop in the garage. It looks like he’s working from the equation Kate was writing while she was lucid. Raymond fires up a machine. A timer hanging from the ceiling reads 0:00. Ray flips a switch and the timer changes to 47:00 and starts counting down. He heads upstairs, picking up his conversation with Kate where they left off before she disappeared. He looks at his watch, which is also counting down.

The Fringe agents are knocking on doors to find the source of the radiation. I can’t help thinking there’s got to be a more efficient way to do that. Peter asks Olivia if they were at the park with Walter in her dreams, because this is the perfect time for that sort of conversation. He asks if she seemed to know him, or felt anything? She snottily says, “You’re a stranger. What would I feel?” Damn, everybody’s so nasty in this reality.

Chez Radiation Source, Raymond is getting a book out for Kate when he realizes the cops are outside. He drags her into the basement to show her that he’s made a machine for her that creates 47-minute time chambers. If she completes her work, they can keep the window open “indefinitely.” She asks him what year it is, and he has to tell her that “out there” it’s 2011, not 2007 like she thinks it is. Outside, an agent walking up to the front door passes through some kind of field and then, shortly after, disintegrates.

After the break, Walter is instructing Olivia to spray fingerprint powder in the air, momentarily revealing the time bubble surrounding the house. Peter says they need a mobile Faraday cage to get inside and turn off whatever’s creating the bubble. Olivia is going to tell Walter what they need but he sneers that “even a baboon” would know what a Faraday cage is, and hangs up. He starts barking out a list of supplies to Astrid. Meanwhile, Lincoln thinks maybe they can use the golden spire to figure out when the next time event will occur. He and Peter go to get a map.

Inside, Kate says her work was supposed to remain theoretical. She and Raymond get into an argument and he yells, “We don’t have time!” She softly asks why he built the machine. He says he lost her. Outside, Broyles has identified the home’s owners. Raymond is an electrical engineer and Kate is a professor emeritus of theoretical physics, or was until she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Lincoln and Peter have determined the next event is going to occur at an underwater tunnel – that didn’t exist four years ago. Dun dun DUN. Broyles sends Lincoln down there to coordinate an evacuation with the police. Astrid arrives with the Walter Bishop Faraday Harness (patent pending).

Olivia’s ready to strap it on and head inside, but Peter points out that he should go in since he has a background in science. Walter’s not sure if the harness will protect Peter once he gets inside the bubble. Peter cautiously steps inside. “He’s very smart,” Walter concedes from the lab.

Kate tells Raymond that she’s just solved the puzzle, but hasn’t yet written down the answer. Peter heads inside the house, finding a newspaper from 2007. He goes into the basement and Raymond knocks him out from behind. Kate is horrified, but not horrified enough to call out before her husband bashed someone in the head.

Olivia can’t get an answer from Peter, on account of him being unconscious and all. Lincoln calls her, mid-evacuation. He sends live video of the time anomaly forming inside the tunnel. Meanwhile, Peter comes to in the basement while Raymond is trying to explain himself to Kate. Peter grabs the bat lying on the floor, which Raymond conveniently forgot about. He threatens to shut the machine down, Hulk-smash style, but Raymond and Kate warn him that if it isn’t done properly, it will rip a hole in space and time. Kate agrees to shut the machine down if Raymond gets immunity. She tells Peter that Raymond couldn’t have known people would get hurt. Well, this is why you don’t conduct theoretical physics experiments IN YOUR BASEMENT with a laptop and bits and pieces you bought on eBay.

Peter goes to the edge of the bubble to relay Kate’s message. Raymond tells Kate he doesn’t want to live without her or give up on her. He begs her to write down the completed equation, as the timer counts down from 4:40. He says he can rebuild the machine somewhere else, like the freaking FBI isn’t going to be keeping tabs on him, and Kate can find a way for the machine not to endanger people. Kate starts writing.

In the tunnel, a wall of water starts pouring in. Peter tells Kate and Raymond the immunity has been okay-ed. Kate tells Raymond she loves him. He shuts off the machine and she disappears. Down in the tunnel, the oncoming wall of water disappears.

Agents pack up the contents of the house while Raymond soothes Kate. He tells her a nurse will stay with her while he goes to answer some questions. I’m thinking he’s going to be a while. He checks his notebook, which I don’t know how he thinks he’s going to hide from the FBI, only to find that Kate has crossed out all of his work with a black marker. I can’t imagine how he didn’t notice she was doing that instead of actually writing. She’s left him a note in the back of the book: “Raymond, I Love You. How you repay me “¦ Just love me and live your life.”

Back at headquarters, Olivia tells Peter she needs a few minutes, but he can grab a snack from the kitchen while he waits. We see her talking to Lincoln and we don’t hear what she says, but I’m going to pretend she’s talking about Peter and dreams and feelings and whatnot, and certainly not making a date with Lincoln. I like Lincoln, but no.

Broyles congratulates Peter on a job well done, but Peter says it probably was his return that allowed Raymond to finally start seeing results three days ago. Peter believes he’s in the wrong place (rather than the universe itself being wrong), and the people he knows and loves must be somewhere else, waiting for him to figure out how to find them. I keep reminding myself that we were promised no more than two universes, so Peter must be wrong. Broyles offers him the use of a house Walter owns, which is the house Peter and Walter were living in before the re-set. I don’t think Walter’s going to take that well.

Olivia drops Peter off at the house. She warns him an agent will be posted outside, but says she’ll try to convince Walter to help Peter. “I was important to you, wasn’t I?” Or rather, the “other version” of her was. Wow, way to rub salt in the wound. Peter says, “She was. She is.” Olivia says she hopes Peter gets back to “her,” and he thanks her and says “Me too.” Olivia leaves Peter alone in the house.

Next time: the fall finale. BOO, hiatus.

3 replies on “Recap: Fringe, Episode 4.06, “And Those We’ve Left Behind””

In the realm of Fringe (and according to the real theories behind this universe stuff), a different timeline technically is a different universe.  They could play it either way, although I fall in your camp as far as not wanting this altered universe to be completely new to us.  Did you catch the Lost/Red Sox reference?  Oh Abrams.

No, you’re definitely right that a new timeline means a new universe, but I was under the impression that with Fringe we’re supposed to suspend our disbelief (you know, SOME MORE) and operate under the assumption that there’s no universe where Peter lived to adulthood and worked with Fringe, fathered a child with Fauxlivia and ended up sleeping with Olivia. Like, that’s not still playing out somewhere, with everyone mourning adult Peter and wondering where he disappeared to.

I may be a little cranky about this because dammit, I was promised no more than two universes. I don’t think I can handle more than two universes! Bow to my whims, JJ Abrams!

(And I totally missed the Red Sox reference because, um, sports.)

You don’t remember Jack and his dad riffing on “Not until the Red Sox win the World Series”…and then they did! ???  If only my memory for stupid bullshit would apply itself to something that I could actually be paid for.

I think (hope) we’re still operating in the two universes we’ve seen, just as if Peter had never existed in either one.  I really hope that baby Henry doesn’t spring back into existence.  We don’t need Aaron all over again, and I certainly don’t want to see foxy Lincoln angling to play daddy to a baby that isn’t his.  We don’t have time for that.

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