Fringe
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Darkness in the Center of Town

Over to Southern Vermont now, along a lonely stretch of road with a truck driver singing along to a song -- something about crazy dreams -- when the radio starts cutting out. It's not the signal, it's the radio itself, and soon the other instruments on his dashboard are likewise going haywire, as are the lights on his rig. Presumably the CB radio won't tell him just where Smokey is. He rolls to a stop behind a line of cars with similarly flickering headlights that then go dead completely. He climbs from his cab, and then notices that several small objects in his truck -- pliers, screwdriver, sunglasses -- are floating, and then they drop to the ground. Perplexed, he joins the other confused motorists, who have gotten out of their cars and are staring at lights in the sky. Just when you're thinking (hoping?) it's a UFO abduction -- it has the feel of one of those X-Files episodes where people got abducted -- the lights turn out to be a plane, albeit one that's much too close to the ground as it passes overhead, tilting to the left, and it crashes just beyond the line of trees behind them, throwing up a huge fireball. As people clutch each other, all their vehicles start up again in unison, headlights shining and radios broadcasting crazy-dream country music. One guy looks around, embarrassed, as everyone realizes he was blasting Lady Antebellum in his car.

After the amber opening credits, Olivia's arriving not at the crash site but the stretch of highway where the vehicles all lost power. Broyles welcomes her to Vermont, forgetting to point out that it's for lovers, and explains about Atlantic flight 591 passing overhead crashed after their electrical and hydraulic systems failed. Nearby, Astrid's having trouble raising Walter on her phone.

Broyles says they think whatever caused the crash originated here, and he fills her in on the vehicles losing power three hours ago. Olivia figures it's some sort of interference, and asks if there are any high-frequency towers around. Broyles says there aren't, and at any rate that wouldn't explain some of the stranger events described by the witnesses here, like the objects suspended in midair.

By this point, Astrid is yelling into the phone at Walter, asking if he can hear that, until he says, from behind her, "For God's sake, woman, lower your decibels!" He and a grinning Peter have just arrived. Walter's presence surprises everybody, and Olivia congratulates Peter on getting him to leave the lab. Peter says it was his idea. Broyles figures Walter finally just got tired of being caged up, but Olivia says he's been much more open overall lately. The next step is Walter leaving the door open while he's going to the bathroom, so let's not celebrate just yet.

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Fringe

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