THIS EPISODE CLUE
- The clue from “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11″ for “In Absentia” is likely the green angel display — foreshadowing Etta using the “Angel Device” on Gael, who also happens to be wearing green.
- Continuing the theme of “perspective“, here we glimpse Olivia’s recollection of the day Etta was taken. As contrasted in the images above and below, there are subtle differences between her memory of events and Peter’s, among them:
- The blanket is green vs red.
- Peter is wearing a brown shirt vs light blue/gray.
- Olivia and Peter are both prominent in Peter’s nightmare, Peter is largely obscured throughout Olivia’s account.
- All in all, Peter’s account of events is pretty reliable in relation to Olivia’s. In other words, there are not many major differences between their accounts, though we could of course question the ‘reliability’ of both perspectives. (Perhaps an Etta dream would confirm which is most accurate?).
- However, the underlying differences seem to speak for themselves and play into their eventual separation. They might also say something about how both characters view their relationship now — remember, these are dreams/nightmares so their current anxieties and emotions are likely being reflected.
- Does Peter have more hopeful that their marriage can be saved while Olivia is less sure? Just one perspective that could be extrapolated from the above comparison.
- Further, the above caps seem to reinforce Peter’s nagging guilt over what happened to Etta — notice how he ‘puts himself’ in the frame with Etta as the building collapses. He would spend his days looking for her instead of fighting the Observers. By contrast, Olivia’s mind focuses more intently on the destroyed building, illustrating her sense of responsibility to the bigger picture, to her job (or “destiny”, if you prefer).
- That both parents loved Etta is not really in question, but you could certainly extrapolate their respective approaches to dealing with grief. Again, since this is a flashback through a dream, it’s a way to show the audience what happened (or versions of what happened) directly through the internal lens of both characters. A kind of two-in-one job.
- There are other interesting bits to observe, including the fact that in some respects Peter’s nightmare, once the Observers arrive, seems slightly more frantic than Olivia’s, which again plays into his self-placed guilt.