Fringe Episode 3.14
Written By: Robert Chiappetta & Glen Whitman
Directed By: Tom Yatsko
Original Airdate: 18 February 2011
In This Episode...
The Fringe team investigates what appears to be a mass suicide: half a dozen partygoers leap to their death from the balcony of a beautiful old building in Brooklyn. But if they had jumped, or even fallen, the bodies would have landed much farther away. Instead, they are directly below the balcony, as if they had just slipped through. On a hunch, Walter starts flipping a coin. All ten times, it came up heads. The laws of physics are disrupted here. Like the red universe, this world is starting to come apart at the seams.
Olivia tells Broyles about the amber quarantine on the other side, and he starts putting the same protocols into place - as a last resort. A glow comes from one of the apartments, 6B. Liv and Peter investigate, and see an elderly woman, Alice, transfixed by the glowy specter of her dead husband, Derek. Liv can see Derek; Peter can't, and the image disappears quickly. Alice lost her husband a few months ago, when the flip of a coin sent Derek to fix the fusebox, and he was electrocuted. Walter figures it out. In the other universe, Alice lost the coin toss, and she died. The inability of the living spouses to let their significant other go tore through the universes, allowing them to see each other.
Peter and Liv brainstorm. Maybe it is emotion, not physics, that are causing the temporal tears. Liv theorizes that if she can just get Alice to let go of Derek, maybe the tear can repair itself. With the FBI team in place outside, Broyles authorizes Liv and Peter to try to talk Alice into letting Derek go. They get up there, and Liv begs Alice to believe her - that is not her Derek. Peter tries next, begging her to focus on the years that she actually had with Derek. She starts to weaken, but Derek pulls her back. That is, until, Derek says their daughters miss her. On this side, Alice and Derek never had kids, so Alice realizes that is not her husband and she lets him go. Good thing, too, because Walter had reluctantly given Broyles the go-ahead to quarantine the building with Liv and Peter inside. The seismic activity stops, Derek fades away, and after a talk with Olivia, Alice is at peace.
Also: Olivia finally weakens towards Peter. "I have seen what the two of us had together," Peter tells her. "It is beautiful. Who is stopping us now?" Liv worries that it is no longer Fauxlivia preventing them from being together, but her own fears. She kisses him, and her fear makes him shimmer. At the end of the episode, with the rift mended, Liv shows up at Peter's house. "I want what you want." They kiss, he doesn't glimmer, and she takes him upstairs.
Dig It or Bury It?
I loved the "haunted house" angle. That was how the rift presented: shaking ground, flickering lights, appliances that function erratically. It was an important episode in the overarching story, but it was really, really emotional. Normally, I'm not into that stuff - you know, "feelings" and all, but this was handled well. Not overly mushy.
In the Red Universe...
Fauxlivia and Lincoln visit the same building because Astrid reported level four seismic activity there. However, when the arrive, they detect nothing. Liv asks Derek a few questions. - he didn't notice anything weird. Liv cancels the quarantine. "If there was a rift here, it is closed now."
Walter tries to play matchmaker by preparing a blueberry pancake candlelight breakfast for Peter and Olivia. It doesn't help alleviate the awkwardness. He is puzzled. "Perhaps I should have made a frittata."
Next week's episode takes place when Peter and Olivia were children. Not only did they meet back then, they were destined to be together.