Spoiler Heavy Reviews: Fringe – A Short Story About Love

by Kevin on March 25, 2012

First: a confession. Over the last few weeks, my recaps of Fringe have slipped both in length and quality, which is something I’m not terribly proud of. Sure, my excuses are a full-time job and a different, much larger writing project I’ve been working on, plus just having bought our first house; still, because my recaps have my name on them, it’s important to give them my best work.

Having said that, we find ourselves at the home stretch, and what might very well be the last eight episodes of Fringe. The last month we saw some interesting developments in this season’s will-Peter-get-home story, and a strange twist in David Robert Jones’ evil plot that seems to once again involve Olivia using her Cortexiphan-inspired powers to… well, to do something. And sadly, neither of those plots are referenced this week.

“A Short Story About Love” opens with Olivia, about to enjoy a Saturday morning breakfast with Nina, a weekly routine she discovers she has no memory of. Her new memories, those of the “other” Olivia, are causing her joy in her newfound love of Peter, but at what cost (as Nina asks)?

Peter attempts to take the high road—or, more accurately, the bus route to New York, in order to distance himself from Olivia in hopes of not infecting her with his false memories. Of course, it can’t be all Peter, since many of Olivia’s memories are of cases, names, and places that Peter doesn’t know, but I suppose we’ll get more on that before this season is up.

Meanwhile, in our FOTW story, we have a Son of Sam-style killer and a lot of questionable science, with couples in love being targeted using concentrated chemicals and pheromones. The episode attempts to attach the sad stories to Olivia’s struggles with what she thinks is a lifelong love of Peter, which unfortunately doesn’t really work, because we all know that her feelings for Peter aren’t entirely natural. But if our killer is right, and “love” as a concept can be boiled down to a few chemicals and some beaver extract (har har), then maybe the source of her feelings doesn’t entirely matter.

And so by the end of “Short Story,” Olivia decides to let whatever’s happening to her “run its course,” replacing her own memories with the Peter-filled ones for the sake of love. Love, naturally, is what brought Peter back into the universe, and what will bring our two lovebirds back together, at least for the next few episodes.

Kevin’s Grade: B

The Good

  • “I went beaver hunting in Eastern Canada in the 70s. Of course, back in those days, ‘beaver’ meant something else entirely.” Gross.
  • Peter’s side story, exploring the Observer’s bachelor pad and playing with his futuristic toys, was kind of fun, if only because the episode didn’t really overdo it. That’s a lot of hats.

The Bad

  • “You have been home all along.” Ah, the old Wizard Of Oz/Planet Of The Apes ending.

The Weird

  • Walter watches Scooby Doo in the lab while he works.
  • The return of “Be a better man than your father.” Timely!
  • “The Friends of Mr. Cairo” is a strange choice.

Things to Think About

  • When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?!

Next Week: 4.16 “Nothing As It Seems,” which is one of Fringe’s mantras. Plus, mutants!!

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