Fringe

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Many a Hand Has Scaled the Grand Old Face of the Plateau
nly be interpreted by a machine."

Madeline says, "So, the machine is talking to him?" and Olivia gives her some guff about how Milo no longer thinks in terms that they would be able to comprehend," instead of saying, "Yeah, maybe instead of solving ridiculously difficult problems he should be out killing people."

So Madeline goes in to see Milo, and she takes his hand, stilling it for a moment and shutting him up. He doesn't look at her, and her eyes water, and in a moment he starts babbling away again, so she puts the little horse figurine on the table and walks away.

Over to Liberty Island now, in Brandon's lab. Walternate strides in, saying something about how he envies Brandon being there, with nothing to distract him, and then he sees some folded clothes, and as Brandon embarrassedly says he didn't realize Walternate was coming, Walternate says, "These are my son's clothes." Brandon explains that he thought if he used items from the other side, it would provide an associative loop to spark Olivia to cross over. Walternate collects himself to say it's "good thinking" and wants to know when it will be ready. Brandon says they're close, but all the test subjects he's hooked up to the chair have experienced high levels of anxiety, causing his readings to fluctuate.

Walternate says the solution is obvious: submerge the subject in water. Brandon's all, "Sensory-deprivation tank. Of course. The womb-like atmosphere naturally provides a state of relaxation," he says. Hey, maybe we'll go back to the old days where Olivia was in the tank in her bra like every other episode!

Brandon asks Walternate if he misses being a scientist, and Walternate stiffly says that he's still a scientist: "I just have a much larger laboratory," he says, which is kind of an awesome answer, even considering that Walternate is actually kind of evil (albeit understandably so).

And it looks like Frank is packing for North Texas, and Olivia is marveling that he doesn't know how he does it, since she's never done packing till the cab actually arrives, and he says, "Well, I'm off to deal with diseased people in North Texas, so it's not like I have to look good," he says, whatever that's supposed to mean. Oh, and nice attitude. I feel sorry for the smallpox-ridden North Texans who are going to be thinking, "Oh, shit, we're doomed. This asshole couldn't even have been bothered to shave," and then they make cooey small talk at each other, and then the phone rings which Frank says is probably the cab, which means their earlier exchange over never being finished packing until the cab arrives makes even LESS sense somehow.

And Frank goes to see about the cab, which is when Hallucination Peter shows up for Olivia again, explaining that she survived because she didn't know the protocol: "If you'd stopped for oxygen, you'd be dead right now. But you did something he couldn't factor in. You kept running. You know why you did that. It's the same reason you thought you saw Walter in the hospital. It's the same reason why you think you're seeing me now. You're not from this world, Olivia. You're not her."

She tells Peter that he's not real, and he gives her some classic Peter mumbo-jumbo about real being just a matter of perception, and he strolls towards her: "I'm a part of you that you have to hold onto. You can't forget who you are, Olivia. You can't forget where you're from. You can't forget this," he says, and touches her chin and leans in and plants a kiss on her lips. She closes her eyes, and then Frank strolls in and asks if she's OK, and she covers by saying he surprised her, and she's going to miss him. They hug, and Frank leaves, and Olivia looks haunted.

Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He learned everything he needs to know about probabilities in Las Vegas this past summer . Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at danieljdaniel[at]gmail.com.

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