Fringe

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A Clone Again, Naturally
to Peter, who does a better job than before. Peter weakly tells his dad that he wants his dad to have his lucky silver dollar if he dies. Walter's all, "Peter..." but Peter says, "It's OK. I'm not scared." Walter then promises that nothing's going to happen to him, and he should get some rest. "Wake me for dinner? I don't wanna miss it," whispers Peter, and Walter says Peter's not going to miss anything, and they hug, but Peter's arm just flops off of Walter's back. He's gone. Wow, Dr. Bishop. You're bad at this.

Walter realizes what has happened, and lays his lifeless son back down on the bed, and John Noble provides us with the first of a few clips that should land him the Emmy for this season, retroactively for last season, and possibly give him enough credit to just give him next year's Emmy already, for GOD'S sake. I don't know how much of it is because I'm a parent, and how much is because I'm a big baby (the following movies, which in no way constitute a full list, make me tear up: Eight Below, whenever a dog dies, or you think one has; Monsters, Inc., when Sully says goodbye to Boo and she opens the closet and he's gone; Toy Story 2, when Jessie falls under the bed as Emily has her first slumber party and eventually winds up in a box on the side of the road), but I found the room getting dusty more than once or twice this episode. Walter trembles as he presses his forehead against his son's.

Then we're at the graveyard (we pan across an overgrown tombstone belonging to "--inia --ters," as near as I can tell. Just in case it's important), and it looks like the only attendees are Walter and Elizabeth, Carla, and Nina Sharp, whose hair is a lot longer than it will be 25 years from now. We don't hear what the priest is saying, just listen to the minor piano chords as the coffin is lowered into the grave. Carla and Nina step away as Elizabeth starts to break down, and the gravediggers are like right over the Walters' SHOULDERS for God's sake, like "aren't you done grieving your dead son yet? 'Cause I wouldn't mind getting out of here early tonight if I could. I got a thing." I mean, good GOD.

Walter puts Elizabeth in the waiting car, and Nina walks over to talk to him, removing her sunglasses. Good lord, they made her look younger too. I think they might have digitally inserted stock footage of her from The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. She awkwardly tries to tell him how much William wanted to be there, but those dang meetings in Berlin, that she doesn't need to tell Walter how important they are to both of them. Walter doesn't look like he's really buying it. "He wanted me to make sure that you know how terrible he feels," she says. Which is kind of awful if it's true and not just Nina being a good sidekick, isn't it? "Make sure he knows how awful I feel," is what Bell said? "Yes, I understand. I'm glad you came," says Walter, kind of pointedly, and ducks Nina's attempt to touch him and walks around to the other side of the car.

Back in the Walter household, Elizabeth laments that they didn't give Peter a good life: "He practically never got out of the house." He was always too sick, says Walter. "He didn't go to a proper school. He didn't have any proper friends. He had no family but us. We kept him so well, we never let anyone else get to know him," she counters, and he quietly says that they did the best they could, and were dealt with what we were given. Walter sounds like he believes that's true, yet feels like it's still not good enough. In the second this-is-all-he-needs-for-three-Emmys clip, Walter says, "He knew he was loved." And you think maybe you can't feel sadder than when you're watching Walter's face slowly crumple, but then he looks at his wife and adds, pleadingly, "Didn't he?" and your heart shatters. Elizabeth gets up and walks away -- not angrily or accusingly or anything.

Later, it's dark. Walter sits on the bed while Elizabeth sleeps. She wakes up, sees him, asks what's wrong and notes that he feels cold -- has he been outside?

He asks her to come with him, and he takes her into Peter's bedroom, where he's set up his magic multi-universe window. She asks what it is, but instead of answering, he just turns it on, and Elizabeth can see Peter, sitting up in bed, playing with a toy. "Walter, what is this? How's this possible? How are you doing this?" she whispers. Walter gives his basic "window to another universe" non-explanation that fails to make Elizabeth's head explode, and after a moment he turns it off, which upsets her, and she pleads with him to turn it back on. He explains that he just wanted her to know that there's another Peter out there who will grow up safe and happy and normal, just not here. "And we must take comfort in this. And we must begin to move on," he says. You know, you probably could have saved the "we must begin to move on" part of the speech for at least the day after your son's funeral. Elizabeth kind of looks at him like "are you serious with this shit?" but then seems to accept it and walks out of Peter's room.

Walter, back in his lab, flicks on his magic window to watch Walternate toil away (and also drink -- Walter, not Walternate).

And then Walter notices something, and he stands up. "The compounds you're using for the cure ... not random at all. You are very, very smart." Just then, Walternate seems to be distracted by something just off screen, so Walter swivels the screen, and we can see Walternate talking to The Observer, while also gesturing at his experiment. Then the experiment goes blue, and Walter goes all giddy, at least until he realizes that Walternate has his back turned on the experiment, talking to the strange bald dude, and doesn't turn back until after the solution has gone back to its milky colour. Walternate never saw it blue, and he shakes his head, while Walter futilely pleads with him: "No! You had it, the cure! All you have to do is stabilize the compound, and you can save him. You can save him!" In anger, Walter throws his glass at the window, spiderwebbing the glass and knocking it over, which is going to be awfully tough to explain to the warranty people.

And then it's back to the past, as a zeppelin hovers over 1985 alterna-New York, while two Observers stroll out of a showing of the blockbuster movie Back to the Future. Amusingly, they seem to be carrying Slurpees -- possibly Tabasco-flavoured. Of course, this is the universe where Eric Stoltz was allowed to finish filming and went on to another successful sitcom in Spin City, while Michael J. Fox eventually had a memorable turn in Pulp Fiction as a drug dealer. Neither of the two Observers -- who are dismissing humans' cute ideas regarding time travel as mere "entertainment -- is the one we always see pop up, but that one does show up to tell them that he's made a big mistake. Are they speaking even more slowly than normal?

They already know about the screwup, and want to know what he was doing in the lab anyway. He's all, "observing! Duh!" and points out that it was an important moment, and there was no other way to witness it, but Walternate somehow managed to spot the hairless guy in a suit standing in the middle of his lab.

The killjoy Observers point out that it's the boy who's important, not the moment, and he needs to take action to restore balance: "You will have an opportunity to fix this," says one of them. We'll call him "Jerry." Oh, and now the scene is over.

Back at the lab, Carla arrives, surprised to see Walter already there and working (he's been there all night). She's very much the 1985 Astrid, it seems. Walter's been building some kind of contraption, and he explains that Walternate found a cure for Peter: "It's not too late. I can save him," says Walter. Carla gently points out that Peter's dead, and Walter says he's talking about the Peter on the other side. He explains about Walternate missing the solution, because he was distracted by a man in the lab. "And when he returned, the positive result had failed, and so he moved on." Carla fi

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