In Absentia

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Daniel: B+ | Grade It Now!
Will You Still Need Me When I’m 64? (In Like Twenty Seconds)

Anyway, they find the hatch underneath the grass and the dirt, and they pull it open and peer inside. If the shot taken from the perspective of someone in the tunnel looking up at Peter and Walter peering in doesn't remind you of Lost, then you never watched Lost. "Yahtzee," says Walter, happily, because we don't have to wait until next season to find out what's down there.

So while the Observers mill about through security checkpoints above ground, the Fringe squad makes its way through the steam tunnels, Walter explaining that the temperature sometimes reaches as high as 120. "Sometimes Belly and I would wear swim trunks and Speedos," he says, and before we have to contemplate that regrettable image for very long, the group is forced to duck out of the way of a pipe literally blowing off steam.

A painting of a dragon on a pillar is what tells Walter they've arrived at the right spot, so they climb a nearby ladder and out a heating duct or whatever into the lab, dark and covered in cobwebs. Well, part of it is, anyway. Half the lab is encased in amber. "Why?" asks Peter. Uh, maybe the same reason all of you did it to yourselves? For protection. Walter peers into the amber and sees his Betamax recorder (wait, did he amber the lab in 1982?) on a tripod, and judging from the blast pattern of the amber, he must have been standing right in front of the camera when he triggered the amber. "I don't think I wrote anything down. I think I was making a video," he says.

So the question is whether the tape is in there and there's only one way to find out: A complicated process that will take the rest of the episode to come to fruition. Equally perplexing for Walter, who spots a half-eaten package of licorice encased in the amber: "When did I switch to grape?"

There's the sound of someone entering the lab, and as always in television and movies, the gang is able to instantly and silently duck out of sight as a loyalist soldier comes traipsing in. He's soon confronted by gun-toting Etta, who orders him on his knees. Peter asks what he's doing there. "He's a loyalist. He's not gonna tell us anything," says Etta, securing the guy's hands behind his back.

Olivia finds his ID -- Gael Manfretti -- and a bag of bread crumbs, prompting Etta to comment sarcastically on how well "the baldies"' feed him.

So now what do they do? Olivia's puzzled as to what the guy's even doing here, since the place is abandoned. Astrid suggests they tripped a silent alarm (although sending just one soldier to check it out seems foolish).

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