Was “A Short Story About Love” a serial killer, or did it advance the overarching story?
- The resolution of the Peter/Olivia flip-flopping gives the story a chance to move forward with purpose.
- Peter’s journey to September’s MythosDen brought about some useful answers/insights.
- I really enjoyed Nina’s contributions to this episode.
- Some of the cinematic and musical choices seemed to bring more out of the episode.
- The episode is unfortunate in that it further highlights several problems, such as the fact that Mr. high IQ Peter didn’t consider the possibility that he was already home.
- ..Meanwhile, Jones wreaks havoc, the universe is under threat, and the Fringe Team are chasing random serial killers. It may be reflective of larger themes, but it’s is an ongoing issue the show has yet to figure out.
- Significantly, the serial killer story didn’t move the needle on the main story.
- The lack of Broyles is a shame, particularly as Lincoln looks evermore the plot device.
- The opening scene was interesting and visual. A sombre reflection of where Olivia is following her ‘split’ with Peter.
- The villain-of-the-week, serial killer Anson Carr, was certainly creepy.
- But while he had some quirks, he felt rather one-dimensional. He was also captured with relative ease, and I felt his admission to Olivia was overly talky and unearned.
- I look for these standalone elements to impact the central story (not just reflect the themes). I feel that’s where serial and procedural work better together. That said, it was a “short story about love,” so my expectations were not floored.
- Peter’s mission to retrieve the Beacon was one of the more engaging elements. It was great to see continuation from the previous installment and have Peter follow the clues to September’s apartment (a sad indictment of Observerdom!), before locating the Beguiling Beacon.
- I’m sure some fans will call contrivance over September’s ‘theory,’ and the lack of scientific explanation from the time-travelling scientist as to how Peter returned home – and to be fair there are some holes in the bucket.
- But it works well enough for me, and isn’t far removed from where I was at the start of the season when it seemed very clear (perhaps too clear, hence the subsequent run-around) that our heroes were subconsciously holding on to Peter and vice-versa.
- So while we’ve speculated this, that and the other, I do think the answer — that Peter has been home all along — is the natural one. The surprising thing is that Peter hadn’t given serious thought to this notion until the spoon was half way down his throat.
- It’s also problematic that Peter should just take the word of the guy who let him drown and almost erased him from existence. But I guess dramatically it makes sense for Peter to believe, though maybe he should dial down his impulsiveness.
- What I liked about September’s appearance (aside from the fact that our hopeless romantic lives and has officially gone rogue) is the how much he enjoyed giving Peter the good news. I mean, look at his little face.
- While the love story was more about Olivia and Peter, the one that really resonated with me was that of Olivia and Nina. The latter’s capacity to let go of the Olivia she knows, so that she may pursue her heart and experience a kind of happiness, speaks volumes for the character.
- It can be easy to be selfish in love, or with those that you love, but Nina was heartbreakingly attuned to Olivia’s needs and is a champion of her independence. (perhaps something gleaned from her own mother, who gets a nod).
- Their ‘goodbye’ conversation felt like it was taking place in a dream or something, such was the sense of surreal acceptance.
N: “How long do we have?”
O: “I don’t know, neither does Walter”
- Similar to how the final scene of last season’s finale resonated with me, this moment with Olivia and Nina had that kind of appeal. Characters moving to a ‘new place’ out of necessity, yet desperately holding onto their invisible connections, while speaking words of wisdom.
- I do find it interesting that Olivia essentially stopped competing with herself, admitting that her memories are from a better version. It wasn’t too long ago that this ‘better version’ was Altlivia, and that was a problem.
- But there’s a proximity difference that makes it easier for her to accept.
- This better Olivia is her, just with more experience in love. So I can understand why she’d be defeatist, because it’s not really defeatism. She wants to succeed, even if that means throwing her ‘old memories’ under the bus.
- While Olivia could be deemed brave, it’s actually a psychological game that she’s playing with herself. She may have been whinier than a whine merchant, of late, but she’s not stupid.
- Sure, it’s disconcerting to see someone devalue their life, but her experience has got her to the point where she’s made the choice to toggle on, and it’s not a ridiculous decision in and of itself.
- So again, I’m pleased with Nina’s capacity to let go, and also Olivia’s indelible note:
“When the day comes, if I don’t remember this. I want you to try and build something with me again. Don’t give up on me. I love you Nina.”
- And who doesn’t love Nina? With her orange hair and heart of gold.
- Nice to hear Walter tell Peter that he’s a better man than he is. A callback that landed in the sweet spot.
- Poor Lincoln, he offers Olivia anything (wink-wink), and all he gets is the hand of friendship. I don’t that love affair, but it must be difficult for him to see a potential kindred spirit switcheroo on him. That said, it was only soup, dude.
- The difference between loving someone and being in love with them — commentary played out over Olivia and Lincoln, who are both reflecting in different directions.
- For what it’s worth, I’m glad Olivia made a choice irrespective of Peter’s floundering. Don’t want her to devolve into a helpless buttercup, now.
- The Observers took September from Walter’s lab. They ‘hid the universe’ from him and locked him up.
- Peter activating the Beacon allowed September to find his way back.
- Peter has been home all along. September believes their love for one another prevented him from being completely erased.
- What next for September? How will he escape the wrath of December? Consequences of his actions?
- When and how will Walter and the others remember? Will they?
- Will Olivia completely forget her ‘old’ memories? Any consequences?
Fringe has largely been more about the science of humanity than hard-core science; something built on the back of the incredible father/son journey, with Olivia driving the story forward (until a certain point in Season 3). For me, the Peter/Olivia romance has fragmented the story, but I almost fainted when P&O run-hugged.
As for Peter’s discovery, nothing’s really changed, in that we still have characters who are different versions of themselves as a result of his ‘disappearance.’ But this stage of the resolution was needed. Most of all, I like the idea that our heroes have been allowed to experience new perspectives, lose certain prejudices and grow. A worthwhile experience for them to undergo, though padded out for melodrama. Now let’s move on to the main course.
Best Moment: Olivia and Nina saying goodbye.
Best Performer: Blair Brown
Best Quotable: Nina/Olivia farewell.