Peter risks life and limb and discovery by the Observers and the Loyalists, siphoning gas and bartering in a pawn shop so he can buy a silver chain for Etta. She needs one to put the bullet on so she can wear it again, the bullet she found among her mother's things, the bullet that saved the world more than two decades ago. Etta never finds out it was buried in her mother's brain, but I'm hoping that little connection proves significant in that death on this show isn't necessarily forever. Because let's just skip to the end here: they killed Etta.
In the course of this episode's installment of this season's videogame-like gathering of objects needed for the big boss battle at the end, Windmark shoots Etta, leaving her gunshot in an empty warehouse as bait for the rest of the team. It succeeds, to a degree, and Etta knows that her parents need to get lost before they're captured too. She's bleeding out and knows she'll slow her parents down, so she sets off the counter on an antimatter bomb. I imagine Peter might have been very tempted to stay by Etta's side even as the bomb went off, taking him out of this awful, horrible universe that gave his family a second chance only days before ripping it away again.
Olivia, I suspect, much like two decades ago, will be the driving force to save the world again, although I can say you shouldn't underestimate the rage of a father towards anyone who would harm a single hair on his daughter's head. If Peter doesn't kill Windmark in the season finale, I will be sorely tempted to go into the Television Without Pity site and change every single grade on every episode, retroactively, to an F. That's right, I'll go Bachelor on its ass. I just wonder if Olivia will be more likely to want to still save the world, but Peter will have to be convinced it's still worth saving.
It might even be too early for Peter to realize that it was his venturing into a pawn shop -- where his thoughts were read by an Observer and he drew suspicion -- that touched off the chain of events that ended with his daughter being killed. But that's coming. Oh, is that coming.
Also: the Observers found the Resistance mole who'd been warning them of the Observers' movements, and he unwillingly gives up the Harvard lab. The Fringe team gets out in time but has to reamber the lab to make it appear that no one was been there, or else they'll never get through the rest of the videotapes. I don't know if this was explained, but I guess all of the videotapes are still in the lab as opposed to being scattered around the city. It's just the plans and ingredients -- in this case a huge complicated formula that's too complicated for Walter to read (done by September) stashed in Penn Station
Etta's death felt particularly unsettling because of the reunion with Broyles, who it turns out -- not the biggest surprise -- is a mole for the Resistance, having been recruited by Etta herself, after he met her a few years ago and instantly recognized by him as Olivia's daughter. (He saw her from behind, so let's all hope her recognized her for her hair and posture.) It's a touching reunion, although if I'm Broyles, I'm probably a little bummed that the amber has preserved the Fringers in their youth (Olivia and Peter, anyway) while he now looks at least as old as Walter. He is codenamed "The Dove," which I approve of, probably for Prince-related reasons.
I think Etta's death is going to turn the crusade from a hopeful resistance to an even darker revenge drama, but I'm not ruling out her return; this episode featured Walter revealed yet another secret spot, this one a trove of artifacts from all the Fringe cases they've solved, including the body of porcupine man, and his cracked window into alternative universes. This show's not above a good deus ex machina, and I'll be happy if they use one to save Etta. I know, I know, she was only in for a few episodes. And arguably bringing her back will feel like a cheat that lessens the emotional impact of this episode. But things are already bleak enough -- the Fringe team are desperate enough that for their foray into the heavily guarded Penn Station, they use that gas that seals up people's orifices. Remember that creepy stuff? That stuff isn't incapacitating; it's lethal.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. Look, he cries at the end of Monsters, Inc. What do you think this did to him? Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.
It's Boston and for just a split-second, I thought we might be back in the present day and not the dystopian wasteland of the future. But then you see the oil drum fire and that always means dystopian wasteland and/or union strike. Peter siphons gas from a car, looking over his shoulders constantly, the sound of a siren in the background.
Then he finds a second-hand shop -- there's one of those wind-up cymbal-playing monkeys in the window and it makes Peter laugh, which is weird because those things usually creep non-insane people out.
The proprietor, seeing Peter's gas can, thinks he's here to barter, but Peter says "Not tonight" and he picks up a pillow with "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans" cross-stitched on it. The store owner says it's been here for a while. "I guess it hits close to home," he says. Or maybe even in humanity's bleakest moments, no one's wasting money on a grungy used pillow in a pawnshop. Gross.
Peter finds one of those old electronic Simon games, the kind people played before there were really good videogames at home. The shopkeep offers to give him a good deal, but that's not what Peter's here for either. Well, given that you're a fugitive hiding from people who can read your mind, maybe you should think about picking up the pace and getting what you ARE here for instead of browsing the gross lice-infested wares? He's about to tell the store owner what he wants but then an Observer is all, "This is what you're looking for," and he's holding out a silver chain. It's not menacing -- at least no more than the Observers' general baseline menace -- but the mood in the room sours, especially as the Observer tells Peter it will look good on the young blonde woman. Peter closes his eyes, and we start to hear his voice, jumbled. "What is baseball?" asks the Observer suddenly, telling Peter he's thinking about the Red Sox. God, typical Bostonian. "It's a sport. It was, anyway," says Peter. The Observer says he's upsetting Peter and that he doesn't like to be read. I'd imagine most people don't, buddy, but Peter obviously knows it wouldn't be wise to appear aggravated. "Who's upset?" he says, as nonchalantly as he can muster, adding for complete non-suspicion that he has nothing to hide. But the Observer keeps probing and Peter keeps concentrating; the Observer asks who the young blonde woman is. Peter overpays for the necklace and gets the hell out of there, only to be followed by the Observer, who tells a couple of Loyalists outside to detain him. Peter cracks the Observer across the face with the gas jug and makes a run for it.