Fringe
A Short Story About Love

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A Perfume of One's Own

Jane stands at her answer machine for a moment, looking sad, and then the light switches on behind her, revealing Scarface. Jane spins around, startled. "Who are you?" she asks. Actually, she doesn't seem quite startled enough, but she's already had a shitty day. Then she breaks for the door, but Scarface catches her and throws her against the wall, holding her by the throat. She struggles, but then she calms down even as tears roll down her cheeks. And then she's kissing the guy, melted-cheese face and everything. And she's into it. She smiles, and then strokes his face, and looks into his eyes -- and then the spell appears to be broken. The fear is back, and with good reason -- Scarface whips out a roll of cellophane and quickly wraps her head up and then holds her close as she struggles, suffocating. Eventually, the struggling stops. He lays her body down -- her lifeless face made all the creepier by the cellophane, which is actually one of the more unsettling things I've seen this show started -- then takes a Q-tip and swabs her neck and wrists. He puts the Q-tip in a vial marked "Jane Hall sample" and then leaves.

After the opening credits, Walter in his Harvard lab is thrilled to see Olivia show up, even if she didn't bring him any M&Ms (he's run out, apparently). He's listening to "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane.

Excitedly, he shows her a nannycam teddy bear -- that he bought "on the Interweb," naturally -- to keep an eye on the cleaning crew. But it picked up their encounter with the disappearing Observer. They watch the video -- and just in case we've forgotten that a big deal was made about the tray tipping over for seemingly no reason, Olivia mentions it again. More important, there's a split-second blur in the middle of the screen and Walter thinks something happened too quickly to have been caught by the human eye.

That's where Astrid comes in, literally, with some equipment Walter requisitioned from MIT -- an apparatus that can slow videotape down. "The playback rate is so decelerated that you can actually see light particles," he says. That... sounds like nonsense, yes?

As Walter goes off to do some magic science, Astrid asks Olivia how she's doing. Olivia says she's fine. There's an awkward pause and then Olivia admits she came to talk to Walter, but his mind appears to be firmly somewhere else. Well, surely Olivia considered the possibility that Walter might be fixated on something or other.

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Fringe

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