Fringe
Stowaway

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Why Would You Wanna Live in This World?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

I presume that after Olivia started speaking with William Bell's voice, Peter immediately started crying and curled up in a fetal position. And now the rest of the Fringe team is involved, with Bellivia laid out on a stretcher while Astrid affixes electrodes to her... his? Oh, this is going to be annoying, I can see that already. You know what? Bell's a man trapped in a woman's body, so I'm just going to go with his own gender self-actualization and refer to Bellivia as him. And dear god I hope this doesn't go much more than an episode or two.

Anyway, Bellivia's saying that he understands their concerns, but Olivia's fine, simply resting. Unsurprisingly, Broyles would like a little clarification on that, and Bellivia explains that Olivia's conscious mind, her awareness, is in a state of rest. And this is exactly as he planned it: way back when Olivia first met him on the other side. "I gave her a cup of tea. The soooooul magnets were in that tea." So: soooooul roofies, then? Peter's standing there all grouchy, arms folded, as I imagine you would if your girlfriend, who you've FINALLY started having sex with, were to become inhabited with the consciousness of an octogenarian scientist who recently died.

I suppose to make sure that this isn't just Olivia pulling a big gag on everybody, Walter's checking out the brain's electrical activity. There are two distinct patterns he points out: "This one, active. That's you, Belly," he says, and he giggles, and so does Bellivia, while Astrid looks at Walter wide-eyed and Peter glares. "The other one inert. Like the brain waves of a long, dreamless sleep, which suggests that Olivia was aware of none of this."

Bell acknowledges that it might take some time to get used to. But hey, can't you see it from his side? Imagine how he feels! He never realized a bra was so binding! He starts snickering, and Walter laughs too, until Astrid gives him a subtle headshake, because the rest of the gang is unsurprisingly not made more comfortable about the situation by Bell talking about Olivia's breasts.

While Astrid takes the electrodes off, Broyles wants to make sure Bellivia's not making this a permanent arrangement. Bellivia says he just has to find a more suitable home to move to, and Olivia's brain can accommodate his consciousness for several weeks before anything would happen to her. Peter's all, "Weeks? Fuck that!" but Bellivia says he's confident Walter will find a stable home long before that. Twenty-four hours, forty-eight hours at the most, he says, and then he tells Astrid that she has lovely hands, which creeps her out terribly, and she withdraws them (but politely thanks him). Peter can't believe Broyles is seriously considering this, but Bellivia asks what they should do instead. "If I leave Olivia's brain now without finding a suitable host, I would die. And don't you think that my life is worth an extended nap?" Uh, can't your soul just go back to wherever it's been since your physical body died? Oh, no, because that would be ridiculous. Walter pleads Bell's case, saying William can help them understand Walternate's plan. Walter's like a kid pleading with his parents to keep a dog that followed him home. All Peter's interested in is getting Olivia back, and Broyles agrees to forty-eight hours to find a more suitable host: "Then I want you out of my agent. Or I'll have Dr. Bishop figure out how to drive you out. Agreed?" Bell agrees: "You have my word, young man." Peter doesn't look too happy about it, and quickly agrees to retrieve Bell's files from Massive Dynamic, specifically the one labeled re-entry.

Over in Roxbury -- a name that I hope someday I will be able to disassociate from that mind-bogglingly annoying Saturday Night Live sketch -- it looks like the middle of the night, some poor guy is sitting slumped on the roof of a building when a blonde woman joins him. "That was fast," he says, and she tells him he said she didn't have much time. Thunder crashes, and he says she was right, that it's going to rain. "There is hope in raindrops. Isn't that what you said? What does that even mean?" he says, and she explains, crouching beside him, that every drop of rain holds the promise of regrowth, each has a purpose, even if it doesn't know it. "I think we can feel that way, that we don't have a purpose. But we do."

He looks at her for a moment, and then bolds to the edge of the roof, stopping himself from going over and down what looks like four or five storeys, and she yells, "Jim!" and then he asks if she believes what she's saying about purpose, since she knows how he feels, and she said she knows pain and said she wants to kill herself too, and she agrees, and so he asks her what her reason to stick around is. Has she found her purpose? She looks haunted and doesn't answer. He lets himself start to fall backward -- if you can't be melodramatic when you're killing yourself, when can you? -- but she grabs hold and somehow manages not to be dragged over with him despite him being twice her size. She's braced against the low wall that's stopping him from going right over, and he tells her that she did her best, but he doesn't believe in hope anymore; all he knows is that they're all going to die. She stares at him, anguished, and then finally lifts her legs up and they go plunging over the wall together, flattening the roof of some poor bastard's taxicab directly underneath them, Jim under her, blood splattering the white frame of the cab, which we should all sincerely hope doesn't belong to Travis Bickle.

And then, her fingers twitch, and she opens her eyes, and she gets herself up and off of Jim, and off the car. Gingerly, her nose bleeding, she slides off the hood of the car and looks at her blood-spattered hands, and then notices the onlookers staring at her in disbelief from across the street. Considering Jim broke her fall and she doesn't appear unscathed by the drop, you'd think at least one of them would try to help, but they all just stare at her, and she turns and walks away.

After the opening credits, Peter's delivering the re-entry files to Bell, now outfitted in a white lab coat. He says he needs a computer with access to social service and medical databases would be useful. Peter's standing there with his arms crossed again, profoundly unsettled by the whole thing. Oblivious, Bell explains that he needs the host to be biological, able to cognate, but without its own governing consciousness. A human brain would be ideal, but not a prerequisite. Put him in a monkey. Put him in a monkey!

Bell comes across a picture of the Peter Doomsday device on the desk and looks at it, then looks at Peter and says that even if Walter learns more about the machine, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able to prevent whatever's going to happen. "That just could simply be your fate," he says. Now there's a theme that we'll have hammered into our heads by the end of the episode.

Peter's much too hard-headed to believe in fate, and promises Bell he won't be getting in the machine. Bell tells him -- Olivia cocking an eyebrow Nimoy-style -- that sometimes when one walks away from his fate, it leads one directly to fate's doorstep. It's really nice of Bell to come back from the dead and take over the body of Peter's girlfriend, especially if he's going to be an unrelenting downer about this.

Thankfully for everyone's spirits, Astrid comes in, saying Broyles just sent over something that he needs to see. And so out in the lab they watch a video taken by one of the onlookers across the street from the suicide the night before, one of those instances in movies or television where somebody just happens to be taking video for no particular reason. The camera is focused on a couple of buddies, so the video misses the actual fall, but they do show her getting up and walking away. "Nobody could have survived that impact," says Peter -- and he doesn't point out that they didn't actually see the impact in the video -- and Walter suggests that per

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