New Show Recap

Fringe 4.15, “A Short Story About Love”

And we’re back!

Olivia sits in a restaurant, waiting for Nina to arrive. She’s late, as they’re all in a dither down at Massive Dynamic over what “that woman” did. Actually, Nina just wanted to give Olivia some time alone with her thoughts. Olivia confides that she’s in love with Peter, even though everyone thinks it makes no sense. She points out (again) that she has memories that Peter doesn’t have, therefore he couldn’t have implanted them. Olivia says she and Nina should meet for breakfast like this more often, and Nina reminds her that they do this every single week. Olivia agrees to talk to Walter about her fading memories.

Elsewhere, a woman, Jane is her name, enters her home after a funeral. A man stands in the shadows, dabbing on perfume. Jane turns on the light, sees him, and tries to make a run for it. He grabs her and after a moment, she stops fighting and they kiss. The man’s face is all scarred, like Harvey “Two-Face” Dent. It seems like that should be an important detail, but it’s not. Anyway, Jane realizes she doesn’t know Two-Face and starts struggling again. He smothers her with some Saran Wrap, then swabs her neck and wrists before leaving.

After the credits, Olivia shows up at Walter’s lab. He tells her the nanny cam he bought “on the interweb” to spy on the cleaning crew captured September’s abrupt departure. Walter points out a blip onscreen; he thinks something happened too fast for the naked eye to see. Astrid arrives with Walter’s latest delivery, a machine that can slow down video enough to make light particles visible. I guess you really can buy anything online. Olivia was hoping to talk to Walter about her problem, but he’s preoccupied with his new toy. Olivia turns back to the video, paused just after September disappeared. She looks sadly at the image of Peter.

No time for sadness, though, as she gets called to poor Jane Hall’s house. Jane has bruise-like marks on her neck. Broyles says they’re a reaction to a chemical residue on the killer’s hands. Jane is the second victim in a month with such marks. Both she and the other dead woman were recently widowed, their husbands’ dried-out bodies found in a field. Oh, and the husbands’ DNA was found on the dead women’s necks. So it looks like the husbands committed the murders, but Broyles rules that out; Jane’s husband’s body was just exhumed.

At Harvard, Walter studies the video with his special machine while an episode of Scooby Doo plays in the background. It’s kind of disappointing (though not surprising, come to think of it) that Walter’s a fan of Scooby Doo. Walter calls Peter with his findings, only to learn that Peter’s in a cab on his way to the bus station, and New York. Walter tells Peter the Observer may have done something to his eye.

Peter hauls ass to the lab, naturally, where he and Walter watch the footage of the Observer leaving something with Peter, unknown to the other Observers. Aw, it turns out Walter is more concerned with Peter’s well-being than with whatever mystery is afoot. Peter says he was following Walter’s advice to get away from Olivia. Walter admires Peter’s ability to do “the right thing” and tells him he’s a better man than Walter. Peter remembers that long-ago advice to “be a better man than your father.”

Walter extracts a tiny disk from Peter’s eye. On it is written an address: 228 ½ Morrow Street. Walter thinks the disk was meant to dissolve into Peter’s “mind’s eye” and compel him to go to that address. Some men arrive with Jane Hall’s body, and it looks like Peter is off on a mission.

Meanwhile, Two-Face is scrubbing down his lair. He prepares some kind of compound and lifts it to his nose to smell. Back at Harvard, Walter is examining Jane’s husband’s body, which is almost completely drained of moisture. He’s determined that the stuff on the dead women’s necks contained concentrated pheromones from their husbands. Lincoln stumbles over Peter’s belongings, because that’s all he’s good for these days, and Walter accidentally reveals that Peter was on his way to New York. Olivia has a sad.

At the moment, Peter is approaching 228 ½ Morrow Street on foot. He finds the place unlocked and unoccupied. It looks frozen in time – retro appliances and moon landing headlines tacked on the wall. Peter finds some Observer clothes in a closet.

Olivia tells Walter that her old memories are slipping away. She didn’t care when she thought she and Peter would be together, but now she desperately wants Walter to reverse the process. He says he’ll think of a way to help her. She notices that the dead couple in the lab are touching hands. Ew. I mean, her first thought probably isn’t “ew,” but seriously.

In a park, Two-Face (and his cute little dog) spot a happy couple posing for a photo. Two-Face offers to take their picture. Then he realizes they have a young son, and he moves on to another couple. We don’t see them, but the male half of the couple is named Andrew.

At the lab, Walter is making Astrid smell road kill, because of course he is. Walter is awful sometimes. In the adjacent office, Olivia has figured out that both dead couples had great, loving relationships. Lincoln tries to stare a hole in Olivia’s head, and tells her he’s there if she needs anything. She pats his hand. Ouch.

Walter informs them that he’s discovered a rancid note in the killer’s pheromone compound, typically used by perfumers. In this case, it’s something called castoria, which is only used by a few companies in the area. Astrid divvies up the addresses so she, Olivia and Lincoln can check them out.

On Morrow Street, Peter follows a beeping noise to some kind of homing device hidden away in a briefcase.

Meanwhile, Astrid has learned that a man named Anson Carr (the killer formerly known as Two-Face) was recently fired from one of those local companies for stealing castoria. At the moment, Carr has poor Andrew locked in a tank in his lair. He turns on some music and begins extracting Andrew’s pheromones. Also, he takes a moment to gaze at a woman’s photo he has stashed in a little wooden box.

The Fringe team arrives at the lair, but they’ve just missed Carr. Lincoln finds Andrew’s dessicated body. They find his ID nearby, noting that he’s married.

Meanwhile, Peter follows the homing device to some woods in Foxboro, MA. The device stops beeping, and a conical object emerges from the ground. I know Peter wants to avoid Olivia, but surely Fringe could spare an agent or two to help with this quest? I just imagine Peter sitting in the back of a taxi, racking up a huge bill and driving some cabbie crazy with all that damn beeping.

Andrew’s wife arrives at their home in Milton, MA. She’s taking out the trash when Olivia and company descend on her front door. She cries when she hears that Andrew’s dead. He’d asked her for a ride home but she said she was too busy. The Fringe team arranges themselves in and around her house, waiting for Carr to arrive.

Olivia and Lincoln are positioned at opposite ends of the living room. Olivia tells Andrew’s wife not to look at them, in case Carr is watching, but apparently it’s okay for her to talk. It comes out that she and Andrew were friends in college, but while she loved him they were never in love. Lincoln has a sad.

Carr waits outside, dabbing on his disgusting perfume. Olivia thinks to ask Andrew’s wife if he was having an affair – of course he was – and if she knows the woman’s name.

Andrew’s girlfriend, meanwhile, has discovered Carr inside her home. She tries to run but he catches her, holding her until the pheromones kick in and she relaxes. They kiss, and then the pheromones wear off. Carr apologizes and starts choking her. Olivia and her team swoop in just in time – if they were lying in wait, they cut it awfully close – and stop Carr.

Carr is arrested and put in the back of a car. He tries to feed Olivia some nonsense about how he wasn’t killing for himself; or rather, not just for himself but for the good of mankind. “We’re not meant to be alone,” he says. He says if he’d found the right combination he “could’ve given the world what you have.” So I guess we’re supposed to believe he has the ability to “smell love” on people. I guess we’re also supposed to believe he was varying his experiment and not just doing the same thing over and over again. Other things they don’t get into: how Carr’s face got scarred, what the deal is with the woman in the photo, where he got his pheromone-extraction tank, why his employer didn’t try to recover the stolen castoria, what is going to happen to Carr’s cute little dog, and probably a whole bunch of other things I haven’t thought of. Anyway, Olivia has enough of his blathering and shuts the door in his face.

Later, she drops in on Nina. I must say, evil or not, the woman has fantastic taste in décor. Olivia says she could see herself, someone who gave up on the idea of love, in Andrew’s wife. She believes the Olivia who loves Peter is “a better version” of herself, and she’s decided to let her old memories fade. Nina is appalled but wants Olivia to be happy. Olivia asks her to try to re-build a relationship with her if/when Olivia forgets her. They exchange I-love-yous. Interestingly, I don’t think the Olivia we knew, the one who grew up without a mother, would be so open to the idea of love and letting her old “self” go.

Peter, meanwhile, is at home trying to make sense of the object he found in the woods. Suddenly, it emits a beam of light, which Peter follows up to the second floor, where he finds September, looking decidedly healthier than the last time we saw him. Seems the other Observers locked September out of the universe and hid it from him. That’s just mean, you guys. The device in the woods was a beacon to help him find his way back. Peter begs him to return the favor, and help him get home. September tells him, flat-out, that he is home. “And Olivia?” Peter asks warily.

“She is your Olivia,” September says, and thank you, Jeebus, that that matter is finally settled. September believes Peter couldn’t be fully erased because the people he loves wouldn’t let him go, and vice versa. Um, also, hey remember that machine September built but decided not to turn on? Doesn’t that have a little something to do with it?

Or “¦ maybe it’s the overwhelming and uniquely human power of love. Whichever. Anyway, the house starts shaking and September disappears. Peter rushes downstairs to find the beacon machine is also gone, leaving a wicked scorch mark in its place. Oh, Walter is going to love that.

Olivia arrives … home, I guess? I don’t believe we’ve ever seen the exterior of this Olivia’s pad. I envy her ability to find on-street parking at this time of night in the city. She sees Peter walking toward her. They run toward each other, and hug, and spin around, and kiss, and it’s completely cheesy but I love it anyway. It’s no “The Constant,” but I’ll take it.

4 replies on “Fringe 4.15, “A Short Story About Love””

This wasn’t the first time that an observer indicated that he hadn’t known what love was.  If they’re a human future that doesn’t experience love, their efforts to course-correct things become more interesting.  I’m wondering if cortexiphan is going to end up not being what we thought it was.


Yay for finally revealing what all of us were thinking except for those random times when they tried to trick us but we weren’t having it and it was still in the back of our minds!  Only two universes.  Only two Olivias.  Only one Peter.

Now Nina can go back to full evil mode.

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