Fringe
The Recordist

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History Is Written By the Losers

Back along the dirt road, a convoy of loyalists rolls up and pulls over in the dark, headlights illuminating a tire track. The leader asks where the road leads. "Higher into the mountains," is the response, and the loyalists get back in their vehicles and continue on their way. Watching them come, through some sort of high-tech telescopic infrared binocular jobbie, is Etta.

After the commercial break, River's at home in either his tent or the encampment publishing house that is producing Fringe: The Comic when his dad comes in to talk him and tell him that there's a lot more to the word "coward" and the word "hero' than he thinks. Dude, no one said "coward." I mean, everybody thought it, but... River's not really looking like he gives a single fuck at first, but his dad explains that being scared of something doesn't mean you're a coward. "You're a coward if you know what needs to be done and you don't it," he says, and then lists all the things he stands to lose -- which includes River. "I told him I love you so much, I wouldn't know how to say goodbye," says Edwin adding that he promised River's dead mother that he'd protect River no matter what, but now he's conflicted because there's a time for recording history and a time for making it. Not hard to see which time Edwin thinks it is now, and he tells his now-listening son that he's decided to help the Fringe squad, and do his part. River says he doesn't want to lose his dad, which fair point. Edwin says he doesn't want to lose River either: "But protecting you means making sure there's a world out there that you can thrive in," he says, adding that he loves him. River says he understands. "No, you don't," says Edwin. "But you will one day, when you have children of your own." He hugs River. I can say, speaking from experience, that all those times your parents said to you, "You'll understand when you have kids of your own"? Totally true.

Elsewhere, the Fringers are watching some more cleaned-up video that Astrid has sent them, which makes it clear that the mineral they're looking for is a crystallized form of quartz that will somehow create a powerful energy source. Exactly how will be outlined in Tape Six or Seven. Videotape Walter himself can't even remember, but he has calculated that they need about eighteen kilograms of the stuff, about forty pounds' worth.

Edwin shows up, with the news that he contacted the camp and they're willing to trade for two kilos of copper. What's with all the metric in the good ol' U.S. of A? Are the Observers Canadian? Walter says that's more than enough, and Olivia wants to saddle up and get going, but Edwin, seemingly shamefully, says he's not going with them. He doesn't give a reason -- perhaps letting his apparent cowardice speak for itself or maybe even something a little more benign, like not wanting to leave River alone. Peter tells him it's OK, and takes the solar technology schematics to give to this Ivan fellow to trade for the copper. Peter and Olivia head out -- after Walter halts them to wish them a final "Be careful!"

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