Peck says Walter's asking him to just leave Arlette there, and Walter sadly nods. And FINALLY the tac team arrives, like maybe they stopped for a CIGARETTE they took so long, and Walter rushes to let them know that he's OK and to try to protect Peck, who takes advantage of the distraction to jump back in time again. Walter's yelling at the agents, "No, please! Gentlemen, please! Don't you see? We won't remember this! Don't you see? We won't remember anything!" So ... they should do what, exactly, Walter?
A cop gets out of his car to look at several dead bodies scattered around the sidewalk, and radios that he needs backup. The dispatch asks for his 20, and he's at 412 Inman St. Inside, Peck feverishly works on an equation on his blackboard.
And the Fringers are already trying to track down Peck, so this jump took him back only a couple of hours, since the Fringe team is just now discovering that Arlette Turling's cellphone signal is being handled by a tower near MIT. Broyles calls to tell them that Peck's back at his residence, which you can find easily if you look for the six corpses that are outside. "We have to take him down before he jumps again," says Broyles.
The rest of the Fringe team arrives as the tactical team sets up, not particularly worried about tipping Peck off this time. He's watching from a second-storey window in his apartment.
Then he sits down at his desk and takes out a piece of paper. He's very calm about putting on his glasses -- not in a hurry, despite the SWAT team trying to bust into his place. It's slow going for them, because he's piled all kinds of furniture behind the door. At least the tac team set up RIGHT OUTSIDE this time instead of three miles away. He scribbles something down on the paper, and puts it in an envelope that he marks "Carol Bryce -- MIT."
Meanwhile, snipers are getting into position on a nearby roof. I'm no SWAT team coordinator or anything, but I probably would have had those guys in place before I started battering the door down.
We can see Peck -- still writing his damn pen pal at MIT -- in the sight of one of the sharpshooters, who radios to Broyles that they've got the shot. "Take it," says Broyles. Walter looks a little distressed -- although in this version of the Choose Your Own Adventure, he didn't wind up having his heart-to-heart with Peck.
Fortunately for Peck, he's got a mirror on his desk and he spots the laser site on his forehead. He hits the floor just in time, the bullet shattering the window but missing him. The tac team busts down the door, but he's already vibrating and shimmying and making his jump right back to that open field with the hot-air balloon, where he kills the grass in a large radius. I don't know about Boston, but where I come from, you leave a hot-air balloon unattended? You may as well just put a big "STEAL ME" sign on it.
He takes off running to the city, as we watch Arlette make her way to her car. She gets in, and he's right behind her. They smile at each other and make up -- we don't hear any actual dialogue, just music -- a moment before a truck comes barreling into the car on the driver's side (blink and you miss The Observer standing in a doorway down the street).
Over at MIT, Carol Bryce takes an envelope -- the one Peck wrote on just before he jumped back -- from her filing cabinet. She sits down at her desk. Inside the brown envelope is a white one addressed to Walter Bishop, on Yukon Street, with a Post-It note that reads, "Deliver to W. Bishop, March 18, 2010." So ... I guess he mailed that at some point as he was racing down the street to be with his fiancée before she died? Does that make sense? I mean, why would he just leave it on his desk before he jumped, since he knew Walter was part of the team investigating the deaths? Oh, not as dramatic. Oh, hold on, scratch that. He probably just had it on him when he died and since her name is on it, it was delivered to her. As usual, I'm an idiot.
A colleague strolls by and tells her that he hasn't seen her look at the letter for a while. "It's been almost a year since Alistair died," he says. Bryce says today's the day she's supposed to send it. Her moron colleague tells her to open it. Yeah, wait until the day you're supposed to deliver it, and then open it. He justifies this by saying, "Apparently, Alistair felt whatever it is, he could put it in your trust." If anything, that's a reason not to open it! Bryce points out that Peck wouldn't have sealed it if he wanted her to see what's inside. Well, that and it's ADDRESSED TO SOMEONE ELSE. She puts it back on her desk.
And we go back to where we started, with Walter working on the letter to Peter. He finishes it, puts it in an envelope and seals it up. He stands up from the desk, and then picks up a picture of him and his son. Well, his alternate-universe son, anyway. It's a recent shot, taken sometime after he got out of the mental institution. He studies it for a moment, and seems to get slightly emotional, and he sadly walks over to the fireplace and tosses the letter in.
That's just before Peter strolls in, cheerfully telling his dad that he fixed Walter's turntable: "I'd tell you to keep it out of the lab this time, but I know you won't," he says, good-naturedly. Walter, sounding as sad as Eeyore, thanks his son. "I thought maybe you'd like some music to cheer you up. Walter, I know that you've been in a funk for the last couple of weeks. If there's something you want to talk to me about..." says Peter, but Walter does his best to brighten up and says a decision was weighing on him.
Peter, not sounding entirely convinced, says he's going to go hit the hay, and Walter looks at the fireplace, where the letter still hasn't burned up and is now flipped over so you can see the name PETER on it.
He hears the thump of mail hitting the floor in the front entryway, and he goes to pick them up. He finds the envelope, which used to say "Walter Bishop" but now says "W. Bishop," and he lingers on it. Opening it, he finds a simple sketch of a white tulip, rendered in just a few strokes. Peck's not a bad artist! Walter looks up, and quietly nods to himself.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter, and he acknowledges that the time-travel explanation makes a hell of a lot more sense than Superman reversing the earth's rotation. Follow him on Twitter or email him at danieljdaniel[at]gmail.com.