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Many a Hand Has Scaled the Grand Old Face of the Plateau
w what she was doing, and Lee interrupts her to tell her that nothing happened: "You and I, we're good," he says, and they smile at each other.

Meanwhile, alt-Charlie's looking at the body of the woman, with an EMT telling him that she died on impact. Charlie says, "Still have any fingerprints?" which is interesting (unless this isn't an alternate-universe thing and alt-Charlie's only asking because she's all scratched up), and the EMT tells him her right hand is probably his best bet. So he pushes a finger onto a pad on his little doohickey, and he's informed that this is 32-year-old Jillian Foster, who's from Hoboken. Anything else, asks the EMT, and alt-Charlie looks at the scattered flowers and says she liked daisies. Probably Springsteen and Bon Jovi too. Unless they don't exist in this universe. Question: would the lack of a Bon Jovi make up for a lack of a Springsteen?

Meanwhile, Olivia's interviewing the bus driver, who's crying because he'd never hit anyone before, and he felt horrible for weeks after hitting a pigeon, and unless pigeons are considered rare, exotic birds over here, he really ought to get over that.

And Lee's using a Fringe doohickey to check the area for environmental degradation, but doesn't find any: "Molecular cohesion is intact," he says, and one of the other agents asks why this is a Fringe case, then. Lee doesn't answer, but he looks around a little more, and spots the pen by the mailbox.

He shows it to alt-Charlie and Olivia, and asks when the last time was that they saw one of those. "God, a pen? I don't know. Preschool, maybe," says Olivia, and alt-Charlie says he didn't know they even still made them. This one looks new, though, with no dents or scratches, and I'd like to point out that I have a case full of old pens on my desk, none of which have "dents or scratches," and Lee says he found it by the mailbox, which is where Olivia says the bike-messenger swerved "so he wouldn't hit some old guy that was bending down."

Lee looks thoughtful, and alt-Charlie asks if they're just supposed to stand there and watch him think. "It's pretty rare finding one of these just lying around," says Lee, and Olivia thinks maybe the old guy bent down to pick it up, causing the bike messenger to swerve and hit the stand. "Like the pen started some kind of ... chain reaction," says Lee.

Suddenly, Olivia sees Peter across the street. Just standing there looking at her, with a half-frown. She stares across the street long enough for alt-Charlie and Lee to ask her what's up, by which point Peter's gone, and she just says she thought she recognized someone. She shrugs it off, and they get back to brainstorming. "So... Fringe event or not?" says alt-Charlie, holding the pen. "Not sure yet. But something weird definitely happened here," says Lee. Olivia agrees, but she's NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT THE PEN, guys.

So over at Fauxlivia's apartment, Frank is making supper and watching television, which is running some story that there's fear the smallpox outbreak in North Texas is spreading (remember, Texas is two states in this universe). He looks at a dry-erase schedule on the fridge and notes a week that he's on call -- wait, so is it just ballpoint pens that are rare? But the usefulness of some sort of WRITING IMPLEMENT is still acknowledged? Come on.

Anyway, Olivia comes home and thanks him for making supper, and he wants to know how things were today, and she says they were pretty good, and then she asks about the smallpox outbreak (twenty-two cases), because she heard things were pretty bad, and she wants to know if "Atlanta called," and Frank says no one has assigned him yet, and Olivia reminds him for some reason that he's a virologist and smallpox is one of his areas of expertise, so he may as well start packing. But he wants to talk about her and what it was like for her to be back at work. But she's kind of cagey about it, and finally explains about seeing Peter.

"Do you remember the Secretary's son -- the one who was kidnapped when he was a boy?" she says, and Frank does, so Olivia says it was him: "But it wasn't really him. It was -- it was like I was hallucinating or something," she says, and maybe Olivia and Frank should be questioning how she knows that it was the Secretary's son, given that adult Peter doesn't really look like the kid who played Peter as a boy, but anyway Frank asks if she told Broyles (no) and he suggests that she shouldn't be on field duty, and she says she needs her life back, and he says, "and I love your gung-ho attitude," I mean, he actually speaks the words "I love your gung-ho attitude," and he says it's fine if she needs help, and she reminds him that it was just her first day back so it's not surprising "that there's a trace," and he says he can take himself off call, but that's not what she wants.

And then she tries to lighten things up and change the subject by looking at the food he's making and wondering where he got the avocados and how much he paid for them, and he makes her promise to tell Broyles if this happens again, and she agrees. And then she asks if they can eat, and they can, but Olivia still looks slightly perturbed at what's going on. Or maybe she's worried about avocados blowing the household grocery budget.

Over at alt-Fringe, Lee and alt-Charlie are discussing the accidents: both involved distraction (but as Lee points out, that's the root of pretty much every accident) but they can't find any connection between the victims. The first guy has been working at a hospital for the past fifteen years, while the second victim has been working at Gregson Electric for little more than a year.

Charlie wonders if maybe they just are freak accidents, but Lee says Olivia thinks he's right, about there being chain reactions that led up to the crashes. "OK. Well now that you two have, uh, rediscovered your Vulcan mind-meld, do you think she's doing OK?" says Charlie, and now I'm wondering just who played Spock in Earth-2. Anyway, Lee thinks she is doing OK, but Charlie's a little uncomfortable, which Lee says isn't a shocker: "You let a doppelganger cold-cock you with a bottle because you didn't pick up on the fact that she wasn't your partner," he says. Charlie scoffs that Lee would have known any better, but Lee maintains he knows Olivia better. "Right, 'cause you kissed her one time," says Charlie, and Lee protests that he couldn't have known she had a boyfriend. Then Charlie asks this: "When she was having her breakdown, she kept on and on about how they were trying to make her believe she was somebody else, that this wasn't her life. This is gonna sound nuts. What if she's telling the truth? What if it's not the real her?" Lee thinks that is nuts, and they laugh it off, with Charlie getting in a final point that you cannot tell the Olivias apart.

But then Lee, looking through pictures of the crime scene from yesterday, notices a ballpoint pen on the ground near the victim. "Get Liv, tell her we got something. Someone is causing these accidents on purpose." Charlie wants to know how that's even possible: "I mean, what would be the odds?"

Well, Bad-Astrid's got the odds: zero-point-zero-zero-zero. Impossible. (I don't know who came up with "Bad-Astrid," but I LOVE IT.) Lee reminds her that they "see impossible every day," and she corrects him, pointing out that they see improbable every day. "You're asking me if it is possible to use a ballpoint pen to set off a chain of events that culminates in someone getting killed by a bus twice?" she asks. Olivia points out that since there are so few ballpoint pens out there, that finding one at both crime scenes is an anomaly itself. Which is kind of hilarious, because that means Olivia thinks it would be weirder for two ballpoint pens (as rare as they are) to just turn up at a crime scene than for someone to have orchestrated this chaos. You can understand Bad-Astrid's decisiveness, is what I'm saying.

Lee asks about the "variables," which really gets Bad-Astrid going: "Thirty-seven people in the intersection

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