Previously on Fringe: YES WE KNOW THEY DON’T REMEMBER PETER ALREADY. Ahem. Sorry, but that doesn’t get any less painful every time I hear it.
Anyway, we open on a trembling hand holding a wallet insert picture of a smiling little boy. A quiet voice in the background says, “Tell me about the day the picture was taken.”
The man holding it haltingly describes a time when he was six years old and went camping. We see that his trembling is partly from being cold, since his lips are blue. He talks about how happy that time was, and the quiet voice keeps encouraging him to keep talking, while adjusting a dial on a machine.
The machine is connected to a beaker full of glowy blue liquid, that has a clear plastic tube running into it. And the tube is connected to the back of his head, where there is a hole drilled through his skull into his brain! Eww! The poor guy continues to describe the events surrounding the picture. And when the other man asks him how the events made him feel, poor shivering Hole-in-the-head whimpers, “Happy.” And then the tear that he’s crying freezes solid. Credits. (Still amber.)
In the lab, Walter is talking about some “horrid creatures”, and at first I thought he was talking to himself, which would be entirely possible, but it turns out he’s describing the shape-shifters to Our Lincoln. As he continues to rant about how loathsome they are, he is covering every reflective surface in the lab with a blanket or cloth. Also, it becomes clear that it’s everything and everyone from Over There that he really hates.
Astrid comes in and tries to reason with him, reminding him that they’re supposed to be letting bygones be bygones. Walter snaps that even he doesn’t have drugs strong enough to make him forget that they kidnapped Olivia and took her to the Other Side. Huh! Lincoln – and the viewing audience – are surprised to hear this. It turns out Fauxlivia still took Our Olivia’s place, and still bought Walter’s affection with pastries. Her mission was to steal pieces of the Machine from Over Here, and they then intended to use the Machine to destroy Our Universe.
Astrid interrupts his tirade to firmly remind him that the destruction never happened. Also, methinks the Walter doth protest too much, since Astrid mentioned in the premiere that the Other Side has plenty of reason to hate Walter. When we’ll learn what exactly Walter himself did to the other universe in this Peterless timeline, I don’t know.
As Walter spreads a towel over the computer screen Lincoln was using, he suddenly remembers that there’s another mirror in the back storage closet. Hilariously, as he walks off, he calls back, “Kennedy! Help me!” An annoyed Linc calls, “Lincoln!” in response. I really, really hope Walter continues to call him by other names of presidents. That would be amazing. Astrid thanks Lincoln as he goes off to help Walter on his OCD quest.
Olivia comes in then, and asks Astrid about the “redecorating”. Astrid just shrugs and explains, “Walter. Olivia smiles in response, and gosh darn it, Anna Torv’s smile is so radiant.
Then Olivia notices the files that Linc was looking through, and is surprised to learn that he’s here already. Astrid points out that he just lost his partner, and he’s new in town and doesn’t know anyone, and maybe he’s feeling lonely…
Olivia picks up on the oh-so-subtle signals and says, “No. Not going to happen.” Astrid wants to know why not, and Olivia blah-de-blahs about how workplace romances never work for her, and anyway, Lincoln’s not her type.
Astrid rolls her eyes. “Do you ever think that your type just doesn’t exist?” HA! Nice, show. That’s about as subtle as Astrid’s hints were earlier, but I really don’t mind the anvils. I see it as a reminder from the writers that we need to hang in there, and meanwhile here are these obvious Peter references to keep us going until Peter comes back in the flesh.
Olivia just gives Astrid a look, and I like this new closer dynamic between them. So Olivia’s cell rings, and it’s Broyles.