Okay, you guys, I have only seen one episode of this show before and to say I was completely, totally lost would be an understatement, so please bear with me. A couple goes to a party in a Brooklyn building wherein creepy, unexplained things have been happening; it's heretofore seemingly been limited to Poltergeist-y events like appliances turning on and off of their own accord, but things get a bit more serious when a bunch of partygoers mysteriously plummet to their death.
Meanwhile, Walter is missing Olivia, so he invites her over for an awkward breakfast with Peter, but their conversation is interrupted by a summons from headquarters about the party deaths; turns out the patio furniture hit the sidewalk as well, so it would appear that the victims somehow fell through the balcony, and Olivia, after interviewing some of the residents who have not yet fled the place in fear, informs the Fringe team that the prevailing belief is that the place is haunted. Walter quickly arrives at the conclusion that, much like the alt-universe, their world is starting to come apart at the seams, and the tear is beginning right there. Peter and Olivia (especially the former) are skeptical, but agree to take seismic readings at the place, which affords them the opportunity to spend some time together, and just like that, they're kissing in a bar, but then Olivia pulls away – because Peter glimmered in that moment, illustrating her fear and making her wonder if she's incapable of being close to anyone.
Also glimmering is the titular apartment 6B, home to an elderly "Mrs. Merchant," and when Peter and Olivia investigate, Olivia can see that the woman is watching a specter that she says is the ghost of her husband, who's been stopping by regularly since his recent death. Walter theorizes that what she's seeing is actually the version of her husband in the alternate universe, and opines that if the fabric separating them is so thin that even people without Olivia's ability are seeing through it, it's not a very good sign at all, especially since he thinks that if a vortex opened up in their world, their Powers That Be would probably resort to the same drastic measures used in the alternate one. His solution? Take a page from the alternate universe and encase the building in amber before it gets any worse. Before it comes to that, though, Peter and Olivia come up with the idea that in the alternate universe, Mrs. Merchant died instead of her husband, and her grief and longing for him, combined with her alternate husband's grief and longing for his wife, is what created this relatively new soft spot. Walter agrees that the theory makes sense, but before they can do anything about it, the building erupts with more seismic activity, and with it threatening to collapse, it becomes a race to see if Peter and Olivia can convince Mrs. Merchant to let go of her husband emotionally and break the connection before they have to resort to the amber option.
The veil between the worlds gets so thin that everyone can see the shimmering, and Reddick is about to amber-ify everyone, but Peter manages to talk Mrs. Merchant down before Reddick activates the device. Walter, however, feels that this ending is merely a stay of execution, and that the world is doomed. Before that happens, though, Olivia comes over to Peter's house, and they make out without any shimmering, so they decide to give the horizontal mambo a try. (Off-camera, in case you were wondering about any Josh Jackson shirtlessness.) And in the alternate universe, Fauxlivia and Lincoln finally check out the building but find no more seismic activity, like way to be on the ball there. And hey, this show is really good! Guess I've got something to DVR on Friday nights now.
So as I said in the recaplet, I am coming to this show essentially cold; however, there are two mitigating factors at work. One, this episode did not turn out to be overly difficult to grasp, at least on what I imagine is a relative basis. And two, my good buddy and awesome writer and musician Kirk Hamilton was kind enough to give me a quick email rundown of the entire series to date, which not only got me ready but also convinced me that I should have been watching this show all along. Still, if I miss a nuance or two, please don't banish me to the alternate universe or anything. (Did I do that right?)
We start in Park Slope, which is helpfully clarified as being in Brooklyn, with a young heterosexual couple who are apparently going to a party full of close friends of the woman that the man has yet to meet. Since we will learn that these two are fairly serious about each other, I'm guessing that the reason for the delay in meeting her friends is that they live no closer than the Upper West Side. Also, we learn that they are headed to Apartment 7B, which given the episode title probably means they're not going to be particularly significant in the grand scheme of things. Unless they happen to fall through the floor into 6B, but what are the chances of that? They notice a woman emerge from the stairwell despite the fact that she's laden down with heavy bags, and naturally wonder if the elevator isn't working, but she assures them it is, and once they've gotten on, she adds, "Good luck." I don't think I'm alone when I say this would be enough at least to get me off the elevator, if not out of the borough entirely, but the two lovebirds give the woman's cryptic words nary a thought, while the woman, for her part, doesn't get out the door before she hears an ominous guttural sound coming from within, which, I suppose, she can take as validation of her choice to head Anywhere But Here. Outside, the doorman asks "Mrs. Marcelo" where she's heading, and upon hearing a hotel in Flatbush called the "Schrodinger" (oh, show. Oh, clever, clever show), asks her if she's leaving too. She tells him she hasn't slept in weeks and she can't take it anymore, and while "Jimmy" opines that it's not that bad, she firmly demurs, so he offers to hail her a cab...
...while upstairs, the couple has apparently survived the elevator ride without incident, and after the hostess greets them, the man thrusts a bottle in her face and asks, "California bubbly?" simultaneously placing himself into my Trying Too Hard and Dead To Me categories. Given the nature of this show, that second one could work out. The women send the dude out to the balcony, where many of the guests are apparently chillaxing, while they head into the kitchen to get drinks. What is not significant is all the discussion of relationship particulars, since we won't be seeing the couple past this scene; what is significant is that at some point the blender powers on of its own accord, prompting the hostess to complain that the stove did the same thing the day before. Well, if you'd stop with all the boring couples talk, your appliances wouldn't feel the need to editorialize. Also significant is when the guest takes a bite of a chicken skewer and immediately starts going into anaphylactic shock, like, I'm sorry for her but if you had that severe a peanut allergy wouldn't you be a LITTLE MORE DILIGENT (i.e., at all) about checking into what you stick in your mouth? Anyway, the woman manages to gasp that her medication is in her purse, so the male host rushes to get the new boyfriend, who had taken her purse and coat. He rushes to grab it...