“It’s every human being’s right to know love.”
Alan Carr locked his victims in what appeared to be an iron lung crossed with a ricer in order to distill their pheromones and experience the love of his victims’ partners for a few brief moments. While his deeds were despicable, it was impossible not to sympathize with him and his silent, conversation-less existence: he rarely spoke and was rarely spoken to. He was quietly, desperately, lonely.
His parallel in this episode was Peter, who had very few lines and spent most of the episode following the Observer’s scavenger hunt for the glowy phallic object rather than cause more trouble for Olivia, who is—final verdict!—“his” Olivia. Carr killed the men for their pheromones and the women so they would not have to live in grief, aware of what they had lost. Peter, now, can finally and with full confidence embrace the woman that he’s been so conflicted about for so long.
Lincoln, on the other hand, had a subtle tragic-love moment. I’m not a Peter/Olivia shipper any more than I am a Lincoln/Olivia shipper: I want as many characters to be happy as possible, in whatever forms that happiness takes. But I did feel pity for Lincoln, slipping so easily into the “just-friends” mode with Olivia. Does she even remember their almost-relationship? Surely Lincoln hasn’t forgotten his conversation with Fauxlivia, and her dismissal of the other Lincoln Lee’s attentions. Lincoln’s parallel was, rather obviously but still touchingly, Sutter’s wife.
Like Lincoln, Olivia saw herself in Sutter’s wife. It’s no surprise, really: isn’t that the dominant emotional arc of this show? Each character (except maybe Astrid) has shut him or herself off from love since the beginning of the series, and we want them to find that hopefully possibility again. Walter admired Peter for being willing to leave this Olivia behind, and was reminded of his own unwillingness to do the same for Peter and other-Peter. He’s opened himself to this new Peter because he has the possibility of hope—hope for redemptive love in Peter’s eyes, which he seems to be finding.
Olivia said, “If Peter was going to be with me, then I didn’t think about the consequences. I didn’t care.” But now she is: the price of love is the mind that loves. At first, Olivia didn’t want to lose herself, her memories, her entire life (of love, hate indifference, etc.) to gain Peter. Now, though, she wants to avoid closing herself off and open herself to a life that isn’t hers, just to have the possibility of love.
As we’ve left it, she does not know that she has made the right decision. (Which makes it all the more right, I suppose.) And we do not know that this means for the reality that she is slowly forgetting: did it never happen? Will it linger if enough people want it to remain un-erased, the way Peter lingered? While the romantic heart of the show has been unbroken, the mythological ramifications are yet to be fully explored.
Organic Ocular Suggestion:
• The Observer: “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.”
• I fully expected dehydration-victim Sutter to spring back to life like the victim in Se7en.
• Did the credits look browner this week, or was it just because I watched this episode on a different screen? And what color do you think they’ll be next week?
• Speaking of a different screen: my DVR didn’t record this episode, and because I hate watching TV on my laptop (yes, I’m old), I put it off…long enough to realize that Fox has a bizarre policy of only releasing episodes for a day, then unreleasing them for the next eight days. Grr!
Four out of four teddy bears.
(Josie Kafka reviews episodes of Fringe, Awake, Vampire Diaries, and Game of Thrones for billiedoux.com. Winter is coming!)