Fringe
In Absentia

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Will You Still Need Me When I’m 64? (In Like Twenty Seconds)

Olivia relates Gael's story about joining the loyalists to save what was left of his family, but Etta's unmoved and says Gael's lying, because that's what they're trained to do. "He has no son," says Etta, adding that Gael gave up the code because he saw weakness in Olivia's eyes, that maybe he could manipulate Olivia into letting him go. Man, poor Gael. They're talking about him like he's not even there! At least not until Etta says, for his benefit, that it's not gonna happen, and calls him "sweetheart" for good measure.

Olivia tries again, says she understands how hurt she must be. Etta stops that cold with "You don't know my world" and Olivia's forced to acknowledge that that's true, but she had hoped that wherever Etta was, she hadn't been hardened by what had happened to her. Being ripped from her parents when she was three? Yeah, no reason why Etta shouldn't have been hardened by that. "It's not that I don't see what the Observers have brought, I do. But what concerns me more is what they've taken away," says Olivia. Etta says this is the world: "It is what it is," and steps out -- telling Gael not to move -- before Olivia can say she's also disappointed in her leaning on meaningless tautologies.

When she's gone, Gael gives Olivia an address. 143 Dunstable Street, No. 7. "His name is Oscar," he says. Jesus, unless whatever universe or timeline or whatever this is doesn't have Sesame Street, it's awfully cruel to name a kid Oscar, isn't it? Oh dear lord -- if there's a reference this season to "President Romney" then we'll know that's the case.

Olivia says she keeps her word, and Gael says he knows she does.

Out in the lab, Peter's taking a turn with the laser when Etta comes over to Walter and says she needs a sedative. Walter's more than happy to provide drugs to anyone who wants them, even his granddaughter, without any questions why. Then she comes back in and gives Olivia a communications device, telling her if Walter needs anything else for the laser, she'll get it, and then she leaves with Gael.

Looks like the laser's a perfect success though, in that in every other instance we've seen amber can only be cut out in chunks but I guess here they've been able to cut the camera out or melt the amber closest to it or some bullshit, whatever. Peter reaches in to pull it out -- it's still got some residual amber on it so it won't look too clean, like NICE TRY. "There you are," he says.

After a commercial break, Etta's driving on a gravel road out in the middle of nowhere, Gael snoozing in the back of the van. Then he wakes up on the ground, Etta standing by the van, holding a gun. He pulls himself up a sitting position, and puts his hands up. "You don't have a son, do you," says Etta. It's not really a question. Gael admits that he was hoping, right up until the last minute, that Olivia could convince her. "You were right about me. I became a loyalist because I'm a coward," he says.

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