Fringe Observiews 4.15 A Short Story About Love ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Observiews 4.15 A Short Story About Love

      Email Post       3/30/2012 12:15:00 AM      

Welcome to the Observiews for Season 4 of Fringe. I call them Observiews because they are more visual observations than deep thinking reviews, if that makes sense.

Screen caps from this episode are taken from Dialog is from

All observations are mine and therefore could be totally off the wall and/or wrong. I have not read or looked at any recaps or reviews. I could also have missed a few things, oh well…

4.15 A Short Story About Love
I want to start off with this because I think it was so cool that Fox allowed that.
Birdandbear and Fringenuity – you guys rock!

Glyphs spelled: QUILL
Watching the preview, it made sense.

The Observer was at the end talking with Peter. I’ll get back to that.

There are white tulips on every table.
White tulips have become my favorite flowers. 
Walter chose them as a sign of forgiveness from God in 2.17 White Tulip. 
Alice Merchant had them on her table in 3.14 6B.
Peter and Olivia met in a white tulip field in 1985 (3.15 Subject 13). 
Mrs. Keenan had some as well on her sideboard (4.13 A Better Human Being). 
And these are (were) mine. I came home with them from work last year the day Fringe got renewed for Season 4. One of my Fringe friends gave them to me to cheer me up. 
And another Fringe friend gave me this pillow for my birthday.  

OLIVIA: “I’m in love with Peter.”
Yep!  Hold on to that, Olivia.

NINA: “Now, as for your feelings about Peter, all wounds heal over time.”
OLIVIA: “Yeah. I just wish the time would move a little quicker.”
NINA: “Well, that's a coincidence, because we just filed a patent on that last week.”
I know Nina was just trying to cheer Olivia up but I thought of Massive Dynamic’s motto: “What don’t we do!”

OLIVIA: “It's good to be with you. We should do this more often.”
Olivia said that to Rachel as well in 2.21 Over There Part 1 and then we've never seen Rachel again.

OLIVIA: “What's wrong?”
NINA: “We always have breakfast together on Saturday mornings. We were here last week. Are you saying you don't remember? I'm worried. You're having these experiences at what cost?”

I was thinking about Walter explaining Peter’s story to Olivia in 2.15 Peter
WALTER: “I always knew that one day I'd have to pay the price for my deception.”
OLIVIA: “Well, we're not really sure what the cost is yet, are we?”

I guess this was the creepiest guy yet on Fringe.
And to make it worse because of the pheromones he extracted from their husbands, his female victims were blind to sight and only acted on what they smelled, at least for a few minutes. 

Back at the lab.

Walter is distressed because he is out of mm’s.
First time we hear Walter talk about mm’s. They were Olivia’s thing in 1.15 Inner Child. 

WALTER: “Come on Tommy, let's see what we can find on that tape.”
4.01 Neither Here Nor There
FBI AGENT: “'nite Doctor Bishop.” WALTER: “'nite Tommy.” FBI AGENT: “It's Tim, sir.”
WALTER: “Good night, Timmy.”

ASTRID: “How are you feeling?”
OLIVIA: “I’m fine.”
Standard answer for our Olivia, no matter how she feels. LOL

Olivia was going to talk to Walter but his mind was “firmly” somewhere else.
Walter purchased a teddy bear-witness on the interweb with a built in camera that taped September’s disappearance and he is looking at that video now.
On the TV behind Walter plays Scooby Doo.
I thought of the title song, you know like “September, where are you.”

As Olivia goes off to a case, Walter discovers something on the video and calls Peter.
He is in a cab going to New York, away from Olivia. I’ll get back to that. 

Anyway, Peter comes back and Walter shows him the video.
The video shows two other Observers getting September. Before they totally disappear, September is doing something to Peter’s eye that went unnoticed by the others.

WALTER: “I told you what the right thing, ethically, was to do... leaving Olivia... But I don't know that I would have had the strength to do it myself.”
PETER: “Is that your way of thanking me for taking your advice?”
WALTER: “It's a... particularly obtuse way to admit that you're a better man than I am.”
PETER: ‘Einai kalytero anthropo apo ton patera toy’.
WALTER: “Is that Greek?”
PETER: “Yeah, it means be a better man than your father. It's something I was told a long time ago.
But it is very strange to hear you say it.”

Olivia said that to Peter when she woke up after her car accident in 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town.
William Bell told it to Olivia when she was on the other side (retrospective) in 2.04 Momentum Deferred. Which begs the question: how did Bell know that phrase if it was Peter’s mom who said to Peter. I know William Bell introduced Elizabeth to Walter, as Walter says in 2.07 Of Human Action. Hmm!
Peter used that phrase to trick Fauxlivia in 3.08 Entrada.
Olivia concentrated on that phrase in English to practice on the quantum entangled typewriter in order to activate her abilities to be able to turn the machine off in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss. 

Walter found what the Observer had put in Peter’s eye. If Walter wouldn’t have found it early, it would have etched itself into Peter’s brain, compelling to do what it said.
Well then it’s a good thing you found it early. Thank you teddy bear. 

Walter said: “I suspect this message, if left alone to run its course, would have fully dissolved, taking its place firmly in your mind's eye.”

Nina also used the phrase/term “mind’s eye” in 1.09 The Dreamscape
OLIVIA: “See, I believe that your cooperation is an illusion. It never leads to something tangible. It only leads to more questions. And that's the point, isn't it? To keep us all asking questions? All just chasing our own tails?”
NINA: “Are you sure you're feeling well, Miss Dunham? I think perhaps you're perceiving things that are entirely in your mind's eye.”

Ok, so back to what Walter found. It’s an address: 228 ½ Morrow Street.
I think it’s also interesting that Walter used a schematic of the machine to shine it on. Coincidence or are we’re going to see some more of the machine?

Creepy guy Anson Carr cleaning out the dehydration chamber.
As Astrid said in 2.06 Earthling: “I’m not gonna sleep for weeks.”

Anson's lair is very green.

Walter is not wearing gloves this time, yuck! And of course it wouldn’t be Walter without some food in his hands.
Behold the power of potato chips! I’ll get back to that, lol.

WALTER: “Among other things that are lost with such... dehydration... are pheromones. It wasn't only Mr. Hall's DNA found on his widow's neck. Specifically, it was a very concentrated solution of Mark's pheromones, which is what's causing the burning on the victim's neck.”
OLIVIA: “Why would somebody concentrate pheromones?”
WALTER: “They control our moods, our appetites... Who we give our hearts to.”
Poor Lincoln. His hopes are diminishing by the hour. 

This explanation about pheromones is from 4.13 A Better Human Being 
and works for this episode as well. 
WALTER: “Miraculous creatures [bees]. Tens of thousands of them working together to feed, shelter, and protect their colony. And like our suspects... they communicate over long distances. Their glands produce pheromones. Chemical compound that acts as a message. That message is received by their antennae, and then the bees respond.”

Walter asks to examine the first victim and as Lincoln leaves he trips over Peter’s stuff.  And of course Olivia was unaware that he had left in the first place.
Was it this incident that made her think again about talking to Walter to see if he could do something about her memories? Sigh!
Maybe the episode title should have been: 
Broken Hearts

Meanwhile Peter is checking out the address.
Interesting that the doors are numbered except for the one Peter needs to go in.

The apartment is very green as well.
And the lamp is the same that was on Walter’s desk in 3.20 6:02 AM EST. 
And I’m assuming the porcupine on the calender is the clue for next week.
And the apartment reminded me of 2.08 August. 
And why do the Observers always have dishes when they don’t really eat.

Back at the lab Olivia is (sounds like it) pleading with Walter to do something.
OLIVIA: “Walter, my memories are slipping. They're disappearing.”
WALTER: “Your own memories? You said to me they're in the back of your mind.”
OLIVIA: “Well, I didn't tell anybody that it was happening, because if Peter was gonna be with me, then I didn't think about the consequences. I just didn't care. But it's getting worse, Walter, whatever it is that's happening. And I want you to try and stop it. I want you to see if you can reverse it. I just -- I want to go back to who I was.”
WALTER: “Olivia...”
That was so beautiful. Usually it’s someone comforting Walter but this time he’s the one giving it. 

OLIVIA: “I don't want to feel like this anymore.”
WALTER: “I'll think of something.”

I had to think of 2.14 Jacksonville where Olivia says she has a freakishly good memory. And 1.17 Bad Dreams where Peter says: “Must be a terrible thing to not be able to trust your own mind.”
And since all this started when David Robert Jones appeared I still wonder if the “wrong timeline” memories were planted. 

And since this is Fringe, in a macabre way, this is really romantic. Not even death could keep them apart.

The park had a blue feeling to it. The ends of the bench were blue.
And Oliver was just very much dressed in blue.
I should not forget to mention that the lab also a very blue feeling to it.

Back at the lab Astrid has to suffer Walter and be his lab rat.
WALTER: “Smell this.” ASTRID: “Walter, what is that? It is putrid!”
The other time “putrid” is used was 1.14 Ability extracting the gas trapped in Tommy’s body. 
WALTER: “Mortius bestia -- roadkill. Specifically, an aromatic excretion from the castor sacs of the North American beaver used primarily for marking and mating. I went beaver hunting in Eastern Canada in the '70s. Of course, in those days, ‘beaver’ meant something else entirely.” So is Walter talking "dirty"?
ASTRID: “Walter, why would you make me wear this and smell roadkill?”
WALTER: “Because I have been smelling things for the past hour, and I've lost my objectivity.”
Oh, Walter. (this is a bit out of order, sorry)
3.11 Reciprocity
WALTER: “Don't worry. I've snorted worse. A few good whiffs and my brain should be able to begin to regrow its missing parts.”
NINA: “And what if the serum is not based on your DNA?”
WALTER: “Well, I'll probably get a rash.”

In the back office
LINCOLN: “Are you okay? I mean, with all you've been through in the past few days...You know, if you ever... need anything...I'm here.”
OLIVIA: “I know.”

This reminded me of 1.09 The Dreamscape
PETER: “Olivia, if you need me, I’m here.”
OLIVIA: “Yeah, I know.”

At first I thought, no Olivia, wrong guy. I think I realized though that her touch with Lincoln seems just friendly versus her touch with Peter in 4.13 A Better Human Being (right). 

Walter made a discovery.
WALTER: “For thousands of years, perfume makers have used a single disparate, rancid note to counterbalance all of the other sweet and unctuous scents in a fragrance. The ancient Mesopotamians used fish oil. The Greeks used animal carcass. The Egyptians used afterbirth. But used in proportion so that the human nose cannot detect the unique odor.”
OLIVIA: “You're saying our suspect is making a perfume?”
WALTER: “No. But like perfume, the chemical compound that our perpetrator is using to lure the opposite sex...Does contain a rancid note. I found this on Jane Hall's neck, mixed with the pheromones of her dead mate.”
ASTRID: “It's an ingredient called castoreum.”

Peter is in the Observer’s apartment looking around. A signal is activated and he looks for something. I’m assuming this signal was specifically tuned to Peter. He finds September’s briefcase.
The briefcase contains his book (see above on the table) and the specs (1.04 The Arrival).
Very cool view.
The briefcase also contains a transponder.
So Peter is going to follow it.

In the meantime Astrid discovered the bad guy.
Looks like something happened Valentine’s Day because he has been sick on that day for the last 3 years (2009, 2010, and 2011).

Again, there is mostly green in Anson’s lair, except in the tank…
The song playing when he looks at the picture is “The Friends Of Mr. Cairo” by Jon and Vangelis.

Olivia and Lincoln arrived there too late but were able to identify the next victim.

In the meantime, Peter had followed the signal on the transponder into the woods. He finds a beacon.
Like the one from 1.04 The Arrival.

Olivia and Lincoln set a trap at Dianna Sutter’s house which was the next victim.

OLIVIA: “You must have loved each other very much.”
DIANNA: “We were married the summer after our senior year at Brown. This August, it... would have been 15 years. We were best friends in college. He was always helping me get over a broken heart from one boy or another. He couldn't understand why I kept letting it happen...What I was looking for.”
DIANNA: “He couldn't really understand the difference between loving someone and being in love with them. It's different, you know. But people get tired... of looking and hoping.”
I can almost see the wheels turning in Olivia’s mind. 
And also in Lincoln’s. I think he knows he’s just not gonna win this one. 

As they wait Olivia discovers that Dianna’s husband wasn’t in love with his wife but had an affair and that’s where Anson Carr is waiting.

OLIVIA: “Do you know how much pain you caused?”
ANSON CARR: “I don't want you to think that I did it for me. I mean, not just for me. We're not meant to be alone. It's every human being's right to know love. And had I succeeded... had I found the right chemicals -- just the right... balance... I could have given the world... what you have.”
OLIVIA: “What do I have?”
ANSON CARR: “Love. I can smell that you're in love.”
He means Peter, right?
And I’m sorry but this must be the most horrible pick up line I’ve ever heard. 

So Olivia goes to New York to see Nina. I’ll get back to New York at the end.

OLIVIA: “I met a woman today. She'd just lost her husband, and as she was talking about him and her marriage, as much as she wanted to be, she -- she wasn't in love.
As I was listening to her... I realized what she was saying. She had let go of the possibility of love... of finding love. And I could see myself in her. I didn't like who I was. Now, all of these... memories and feelings that I'm experiencing, they're from a -- a better version of me. I've decided to let things run their course.”
This is the second time Olivia compares herself with a better version of her. 
3.12 Concentrate And Ask Again. 
OLIVIA: “Just makes me wonder if maybe he feels the same way. And I would understand if he did. I--I was her for a while and she's-- she's like me, but better.”

NINA: “Oh, you had an emotional day, and you don't have to decide anything right now.”
OLIVIA: “I've made my decision.”
NINA: “You have so much in your life, Olive. Are you just gonna let that all disappear? And be replaced by what? Memories of a life that you didn't live?”
OLIVIA: “Yes.” That was very firm!
NINA: “Well, how long do we have?” OLIVIA: “I don't know. Neither does Walter.” NINA: “Hmm.
Well, my mother used to say, ‘Encourage the quest for happiness in your children, even if it takes them very far away from you’.”
OLIVIA: “When the day comes... if I don't remember this... I want you to try and build something with me again. Don't give up on me. I love you, Nina.”
NINA: “I love you, Olive.”
I thought that was very beautiful and courageous and almost out of her comfort zone the way Olivia opened herself up and let someone in. And it felt very sincere from both of them. 

Peter took the beacon home and is trying to activate it but nothing seems to work.
Behold the power of potato chips, lol. Or as Astrid says in 1.11 Bound: “like father like son.”
As the beacon activates it shoots a blue ray through the ceiling and September appears.
SEPTEMBER: “Thank you.”
PETER: “For what?”
SEPTEMBER: “They hid the universe from me. They locked me out.”
PETER: “You mean the other Observers.”
SEPTEMBER: “Yes. What I led you to is a beacon. I needed you to activate it so I could find my way back.
So the beacon is a transportation device for Observers? And I guess the other Observers are somewhat bad guys.

PETER: “So I helped you. Then I need you to help me now.
I have tried everything that I can think of... everything that I know how to do to get back home, and none of it has worked. And nobody here can help me. But you can. I know you can. Please... help me get back home.”
SEPTEMBER: “You have been home all along.”
PETER: “I don't understand. I was erased.”
SEPTEMBER: “There is no scientific explanation. But I have a theory based on a uniquely human principle.
I believe you could not be fully erased because the people who care about you would not let you go. And you... would not let them go. I believe you call it ‘love’.”
PETER: “And Olivia?”
SEPTEMBER: “She is your Olivia.”

YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!! I knew it. 

So after Olivia is done talking with Nina she goes… Did she go home or is this still New York? 
Or does it matter because Peter is “there”.
I was thinking about him going to New York where Olivia was not. The line from 3.17 Stowaway pops back into my head: “sometimes when one walks away from his fate, it leads one directly to fate's doorstep.” And in this case literally.
Awwww! My P/O shipper’s heart is still leaping. And if you remember the glyphs from 4.14 The End Of All Things, they spelled UNITE.
I do have to say though, just because the title of the episode was “A Short Story about Love” shouldn’t have made the kiss short. And I don’t mean to burst any bubbles but we better enjoy this (watch the episode over and over) because this is Fringe and this happiness probably won’t last long. 


I loved the interaction between Olivia and Walter and Olivia and Nina. Again emotions and expressions were right on and of course when Peter finally realized that this was his Olivia. This still leaves me with questions that I can’t formulate right now.

Here is something else I noticed.
It’s hard to see but there are elephants on the TV screen. I did some digging and that’s what I found:
When the god Siva was away, his consort Parvati was lonely and desired a son. She covered her body with scented lotion, rubbed off the dirt, formed it into a young man, and directed him to guard her home.
2.18 The Man From The Other Side.
In this case it had to do with the universes vibration in different frequencies.
Elephants have well innervated trunks and an exceptional sense of hearing and smell. The hearing receptors reside not only in ears, but also in trunks that are sensitive to vibrations, and most significantly feet, which have special receptors for low frequency sound and are exceptionally well innervated. Elephants communicate by sound over large distances of several kilometers partly through the ground, which is important for their social lives. Elephants have been observed listening by putting their trunks on the ground and by careful positioning their feet.

Also the Military project in 2.11 Johari Window was called “Project Elephant” and in 4.07 Wallflower there were elephants in Eugene’s trophy collection.

First time the "Q" glyph appeared.

Can’t wait to find out what happens. Keep watching!

“In the end I have to believe in HOPE”


Briar said...

Great tour of the episode - thank you again. I suppose Massive Dynamic must have perfected their "speeing up time" device, since the observers presumably used it selectively, to speed up time for themselves when they recovered September from the Lab.

I am not sure we can call them "bad". September seems to have formed a different conclusion from them about how to achieve their objectives (presumably preservation of the timelines, but they can't seem to decide who is important to do this, since once they all agreed it was Peter, and possibly Henry, if he is born to Peter and our Olivia, and now they don't). Since it was his original error that caused the problem (unless the error is in fact essential to establishing the right timeline, but they don't realise this - paradox! The Observer affects what he observes anyway - quantum theory - which makes their very presence reckless, so what crisis has driven them to make this risky move, evidently against their nature?) it is hardly likely that the other Observers would regard his actions with favour.

cortexifan said...

thanks. I guess I should have used a different word than bad. I think what I was trying to say is that they are not as human as August or September and therefor disagree with his actions, I guess.

Zepp said...

Its very good these considerations, cortexifan, as always. Thanks by the post. I really enjoyed this episode, more especially by the performance of the actors than the plot in general. The scenes that I drew most attention was a conversation in front of a bar, between Nina and Olivia, and the meeting - unexpected - between September and Peter. These two scenes, for me, has several qualifying adjectives for both actors, and writers, as also for the Direction and Photography of this scenes, really. I would classify these moments in this episode of Fringe, as excellent, well interpreted and well directed. Very good really. And the final scene, even if an authentic "cliché", sounded wonderful, like, "finally the two together, really." Anyway, for me it was a great episode, in the style of Fringe.

joao said...

We must never forget the line Peter said in the end of season 3, before he disappears: "The observers are us. More specifically you, Walter.." I still believe they were sent from a future Walter to fix the course of things...

Dennis said...


No, Peter is talking about the "First People", not the Observers:

From the "The Day We Died" transcript:

PETER: I understand now. Walter? Walter! I understand now. I understand what the machine does. I know what it's capable of, and I know where it came from.

WALTER: The First People?

PETER: Yes, The First People, Walter, but The First People are us -- you, most specifically and maybe Ella and Astrid -- I don't know. I don't know who it was that took the machine back through time. But I know something else. I've seen Doomsday, and it is worse than anything you could possibly imagine. This isn't a war that can be won. Our two worlds are inextricable. If one side dies, we all die. So I've torn holes in both the universes and they lead here, to this room. A bridge so that we can begin to work together to fix --

pMaestro said...

Part of the poignancy of that final scene was created, of course, by the equally poignant soundtrack.

(The rest of this posting deals with music theory speak so read on at your own risk.)

Peter and Olivia's theme is in g minor staring with a descending five-note motif in a distantly related key of E flat major that goes to g minor, then an E flat 6th phrase to F major, finally cadencing back home to g minor. What was so amazing about the final scene was that the final cadence went not to g minor but to the relative (and psychologically happier) key of B flat major. Talk about an emotional and dramatic resolution.

cortexifan said...

that was awesome. I'll have to watch it again and listen carefully.

chillip said...

Speaking of September and his love comment, isn't the reason Peter is still here because September wouldn't perform the erasure, er, correction?

There is a tie here I'm pretty sure.

A lot of excellent finds -- elephants indeed.

The white tulips just jumped out at me in the beginning. Hard for me to miss as I find that scene in Subject 13 to be about as good as Fringe gets.

And with the bees...when that popped up it made me think that some were so connected, so strong that they could "feel" across the various timelines and since there is one Peter, Peter and Olivia are impossible to keep apart in any timeline.

An excellent review.

History said...

Yes, thanks A Lot
You Noticed A Lot of Things
you Are A Great Observer ;D
And Why the observer have Months names?

cortexifan said...

September says in 4.14 The End Of All Things that their names are code designations given to members of their scientific team. Could have something to do with constellations of stars... just a thought, I don't really know. Maybe we'll find out more later :)

pMaestro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pMaestro said...


Here are two clips for you to compare. The first is, well, the first time Olivia and Peter really kiss at the end of Season Two. Notice how much bass there is and how understated the theme is. The cyclical feel of the theme lends itself to a sense of despondency as well: (starts at 1:40)

Now compare this with the most recent kiss. Notice how the strings are louder, stronger, and ultimately in a higher register with more polyphonic lines happening. And the kiss happens (not by chance) on a suspended 4-3 F chord with a poignant and brief resolution to B flat (no major or minor). (starts at 0:22)

Enjoy! Let me know what you think ...

cortexifan said...

thanks, that was awesome. The recent kiss sounds happier although it's the same music as in S2 right? My musical language is a bit rusty. Haven't picked up my guitar in a few months either and I'm getting old so my hearing is going :)

pMaestro said...

cortexifan, yes indeed. The whole point I was trying to make, musical technobabble aside, was that the musical resolution of P/O's theme mirrored the dramatic resolution. Glad you enjoyed this! (I'm a professional musician by trade so these sorts of observations are part and parcel of how I enjoy shows like Fringe.)

joao said...

Dennis, you are correct... I mixed the phrase up. I didn't understand why the BZZZT though.

cortexifan said...

thank you for sharing this. I listen to the sound tracks all the time and two pieces stand out. S1, track 6: I see frozen people. I can just hear the violin's speak.
And the other one is S2 track 8 Forest of Dreams and track 9 Where Dunham fears to tread. I like to listen to those with head phones on because they come alive.
That's the other thing I like about Fringe. It's an orchestra playing and Chris Tilton and Michael Giacchino are geniuses. Just listening to the music you can imagine the scenes.
Should have my S3 soundtrack by the end of next week.

chillip said...

also, on elephants, there are at least two elephant moments in subject 13 (olivia when she first hears she has to go home early and right before peter discovers olivia's drawings) as well.

Anonymous said...

i contacted, he made my lover to come back, someone recommended me to him, because i was tired of bad life suffering after my lover left me, i got kids who needs proper care and education, i have lots of debts, and my lover left with nothing, but today i am happy that my return lover spell was successful, my lover is back in peace, i cant stop stopped given this testimonies

Anonymous said...

prophetharry has made me and my lover happy again, my husband came back home and he took me out for shopping, but he never used to do this before, amazingly can make things happen!

Jackson said...

I was introduced to this spell caster by a
co-worker of mine because i was looking for help on how to get my ex
girlfriend back. I felt all was lost, but cocoma stepped in after I
contacted him. He saw the problem and told me when things fell apart. I had
him to cast the Obstacle Breaker and Ultimate Return My Lover Spell since
things was blocking my girlfriend to come to me and four days after the
spells was casted my girl came back to me.if you are looking for a genue
spell caster you can contact him via

Post a Comment

Formatting Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i >italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">link</a> = link

Anonymous posting has been turned off.


Viral & Official FOX Websites

FTV Members


Powered by Blogger
Designed by Spot