Fringe

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Twin-Twin Situation
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Over on Liberty Island, alt-Bradon is dorkily asking Olivia questions about how she's doing, after being back with Fringe division for eight days, like is she having any headaches, that kind of thing, and Olivia slyly says she does feel like she keeps getting asked the same questions over and over again: "Is that a lingering symptom?" and Brandon unsmilingly reminds her that she had a severe mental break, so he has to ask her these questions.

Then Walternate oozes into the room, doing his best to appear to be charming and not all Lex Luthory, and he apologizes for the "poking and prodding," and tells her she looks well, and he asks if she got the "dossier" he sent over, and I kind of think that "dossier" is a word I should really try to use more often in day-to-day conversation.

And apparently the dossier is about how the "other" Olivia Dunham can cross between universes. "Thus far, we've developed some means of our own, but each of them has dangerous side effects," says Walternate, who tells her -- even though all this stuff is probably in the "dossier" -- that they think Olivia might have the same abilities, so they need to put her through a series of experiments to see if they're right. "I'm sure you understand what this would mean to our cause," he tells her quietly. Oh, but by all means, if you're not up to it, she should just say no. Not fair! "Yeah, our whole universe could be destroyed if you don't take this test, but DON'T SWEAT IT."

And then all of a sudden Olivia's all by herself and she's popping a pill from a bottle in her backpack, and she opens a locker and there's Peter in the reflection. "You can take as many pills as you want. I'm not going anywhere," he says. Olivia says that he's not there, and then Peter starts prattling on about how she only agreed to take the test because she wants things to go back to normal. "Unfortunately, that's not gonna happen. Because you're not their Olivia. And you can keep on telling yourself that you're fine, but you're not fine," he says. Yeah, point of order: of all the words that may be used to describe Olivia Dunham, "fine" might actually be quite near the top of the list. "And I'm not a lingering symptom," says Peter, who I imagine knows quite a lot about lingering symptoms. "You can't ignore me," he concludes, and Olivia shuts the locker door, and Peter's gone.

Over to the Franklin Street Station in Brooklyn, with a shrine immortalizing the victims trapped in the wall of amber underground. There are a couple of guys who seem to be cutting into the amber with what appear to be some kind of laser blowtorches. The carve a massive Toblerone-shaped wedge out of the amber and lay it down on the floor, and then start using some kind of handheld pen lasers on the thing, telling each other to be careful and whatever. They cut off sections of the slab until it's apparent they're cutting a person out of the amber, and when we see his face, we see he looks just like one of his liberators, who puts his head close and determines the amber man is not breathing. His cohort, all pessimistic, says, "He's dead," which just means that there has to be a syringe somewhere close by that they can jam into the dude's neck. Still nothing, and then some smoke from all the cutting reaches some kind of detector on the ceiling that starts going off, warning them about a quarantine area breach. Which reminds me that when you set your clocks back an hour is the perfect time to make sure you've got working batteries in your quarantine breach detector.

Since the needle didn't work, living twin starts pounding on amber twin's chest, possibly because he saw that one episode of Lost where Jack started whaling on Charlie's chest for ten solid minutes, bringing him back from the dead. And that works here too, with the amber guy suddenly coughing and regaining consciousness, so his liberators get to work at cutting the rest of his body free.

And then that's done, but by this point the amber smoke has started to curl around the leg of the non-twin, immobilizing him. Shit just got real! His colleague tries to pull him free, but it's no use, so Buddy picks up his twin. "Wilner, I'm sorry. He's my brother," he says, carrying his twin out while the smoke solidifies around Wilner, poor bastard.

After the red credits (which I enjoy beyond any kind of rational explanation), the alt-Fringe team is on scene, marveling at the homemade laser knife. Lincoln Lee notes that the equipment is "pretty sophisticated tech for looters," and alt-Charlie says, "You gotta hand it to 'em. No one's ever removed anything from the quarantine zone, yet they keep trying." Lee notes that there are a lot of purses and wallets in there: "Like Cary Grant said: 'the stuff that dreams are made of.'" For anyone keeping track of the differences between universes, that means that Cary Grant has Humphrey Bogart's role in The Maltese Falcon.

After Charlie skips out, seemingly to flesh out some kind of hunch, Olivia comes in, with Lee gently reminding her that this is the third time this week she's been late: "You gotta stop taking the Nixon Parkway." Nixon Parkway? Is that a real thing in this universe? Are there also playgrounds named after Cheney? Olivia must be late because of all the sweat and beard stubble clogging up traffic. Lee says Olivia seems a "little rundown," which must be nice for her to hear, and she chalks it up to Frank being on assignment and how she never sleeps well when he's gone.

And then we're watching some sort of alt-History Channel documentary about rips in the fabric of this universe, that alt-Charlie just happened to watch a couple of weeks ago, and which happens to have footage of the amber in this particular station. Which is how they notice that there has been a new addition: "Meet our thief," he says, as they check out the frozen Wilner. "Must have gotten caught in the reseal," says Lee. A quick scan reveals the guy to be Mark Wilner, who's got a couple counts of burglary. "Breaking into amber seems awfully ambitious for a small-time crook," says Olivia, and by this time Lee is checking out the shards of amber on the floor, including one that's moulded in the shape of a face. "Something tells me he wasn't after purses," he says.

Elsewhere, Walternate is at some nice bar looking at newspaper clippings from the time his Peter was kidnapped, so that must be fun for him. Alt-Broyles comes in and says, "So this is where the powerful hide out," and Walternate says "Just those that need to do some thinking before they head home," and I guess the audio's a little wonky on my computer because I assume that should have been "need to do some drinking."

Anyway, Walternate knows about the case that Broyles is working on, the man being removed from amber. Broyles doesn't know why someone would go to the trouble, and Walternate gives him a little history lesson about how when he developed the amber, people were becoming afraid to leave their homes. Yeah, well, I imagine everyone feels a lot more secure since 63 people were swallowed up in the breach at Harvard Yard, and hundreds since.

Broyles tries the "small price to pay for the greater good argument," adding that people understand that, but Walternate knows that if people find out amber victims can be removed and resuscitated, "the outcry would be akin to revolt." Hell, Broyles doesn't look all that impressed right now: "Quarantine victims are alive?" he says, and Walternate says that they are, theoretically, but removing them would "weaken the structural integrity" of the amber. Sounds plausible -- but wouldn't the people themselves weaken the structural integrity just being there? Like knots in wood? Anyway, Broyles says they'll recover the guy before anyone finds out.

And then Walternate tells him that Olivia has agreed to submit to the tests, which are stressful, and Broyles promises to let Walternate know if he sees any unusual behaviour. And then Walternate ominously intones something about restoring "balance" to their world. "Whate

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