Fringe
An Origin Story

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Necks and Balances

An Observer slices open the covering around one of the crates, checks the complex thingy underneath with another handheld thingy and declares the integrity to be stable. "Prepare for transport," he says, and then we're off into the opening credits.

Back at Etta's apartment, the Bishop-Dunhams are almost finished looting the place. Sad Walter asks if he can keep the small vial of Etta's perfume that he found: "It's the one she liked. It reminds me of her. Oh, my memory, it fails me. But my sense of smell helps me remember," he says. Olivia and Peter both nod, a little choked up themselves.

Peter's phone rings -- it's Videophone Astrid. Boy, cellphone technology has not advanced one bit in two decades! She says she has run into a bit of a "fire hazard" so this week's videotape quest is going to be a little delayed. She shows them the tape in the amber, which is right next to a small propane tank for Walter's hibachi and a gallon of ethanol. Walter wants to know why "Abner" left the propane tank there in the first place. "Someone wanted to cook bratwurst," says Astrid, coolly. All right, why is the ethanol not in the cupboard? Walter asks. "Because someone wanted to use the ethanol to clean the hibachi before they cooked the bratwurst," says Astrid. This sounds like it go on forever, like "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly." Hey, Walter, have you cracked Astrid's code yet? Even though it's largely his fault, he's still annoyed and says at this rate they won't get another tape until Wednesday. "More like Thursday," Astrid corrects. There's the sound of a phone ringing, and Walter's confused, having just signed off with Astrid, but it's actually Etta's phone, in Olivia's box of Etta's stuff.

They pull it out and stare fearfully at it, like maybe they think ETTA is calling, but eventually they answer. It's Anil, calling for Olivia. "I didn't know how else to reach you. I took a chance," he says, adding that it's important that they meet.

Then we're over to Manhattan, Peter and Olivia taking in the blackened circle left by the Observer shipment. Anil pulls up in a grey van, and gets out and tells them he's sorry for their loss. "She was special. Not just to me, but to the movement. I hope someday you'll understand how much," he says. Everyone looks awkwardly sad for a moment, before Walter asks what on Earth caused the blackened patch (nice work on the effect, by the way, with a car touching the radius half-blackened, half-untouched). Anil says they think it's the result of the Baldies opening up a shipping lane... from the future. Dun-dun-dun! "A wormhole," says Walter. "They're bringing back components for the air-degradation system that they're building in Central Park," says Anil, casing a glance over his shoulder to the park, beyond a wall full of Observer graffiti and "Go Ask Alice" in large letters. What, are people still listening to Jefferson Airplane two decades from now? The future really is bleak.

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Fringe

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