A Short Story About Love
Season 4, Episode 15
Airdate March 23, 2012
Written by J.H. Wyman & Graham Roland
Directed by J.H. Wyman
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Cast | Transcript

"A Short Story About Love" is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Fringe.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

A disfigured man tries to use pheromones to replicate love... but has to kill couples who are in love to obtain it. Meanwhile, Olivia tries to deal with the onslaught of memories from her other self, and Peter considers leaving Boston.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The Fringe division tracks down a series of deaths of wives shortly after the passing of their respective husbands. Discovering traces of the husbands' DNA on the bodies of the wife, Walter Bishop (John Noble) suspects that the killer is using pheromones taken from the husband to get close to the wives, using the substances as a perfume. Further identifying castoreum within the pheromone mix, they identify the murderer as Anson Carr, a former and disgruntled employee of a perfume company afflicted with a rare skin disease. They arrive at Carr's home to find another husband, already dead, in a dehydration chamber, and race to protect his wife. When no attack befalls the wife, Olivia Dunham realizes that her husband may have been having an affair, and races to the mistress' home, stopping Carr before he can kill her. As he is taken away, he admits he was trying to discover what love was so that he could allow the entire world to share in it.

During the investigation, Olivia finds that the memories she is gaining from Peter Bishop's original timeline are overriding her original memories. Nina Sharp becomes concerned and suggests that Olivia talk to Walter to help reverse the memory loss. During the case, in talking with the latest victim's wife, Olivia realizes that she is truly in love with Peter. After the conclusion of the case, she admits to Nina that she will let the memory alterations continue, even if this means she will forget the times she spent with Nina during her childhood. Olivia asks Nina to forge a new relationship with her after her old memories disappear.

Simultaneous to these events, Peter has attempted to flee to New York City and points beyond to stay away from Olivia, fearing that staying near her would further erode her original memories. Walter calls him back, revealing that the Observer September implanted something in Peter's eye (from video taken by a nanny-cam he installed in the lab to watch the cleaners). The small disc reveals a nearby address, where Peter finds a stash of September's Observer equipment, including a GPS-like device that leads him to the beacon (as shown previously in The Arrival). Peter brings the beacon home and is ultimately able to activate it, causing September to appear. September states the beacon allowed him to return after the other Observers hid the universe from him. In response to Peter's questions about trying to return to his own timeline, September reveals that Peter is actually home; he was never truly erased from time as his love for his friends, and their love for him brought him back. September soon vanishes, and the beacon buries itself in the ground.

The episode closes as Peter and Olivia meet on the street and share a passionate kiss.

Notable Quotes[edit | edit source]

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.

Astrid: Walter, what is that? It is putrid.
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 70’s. Of course, in those days, “beaver” meant something else entirely.

Astrid: Uh, Walter wants to know which of you has fearless nasal passages?

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.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The Observer (September) interacts with Peter.

Music[edit | edit source]

  • "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" by Jon and Vangelis
  • "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane

Cypher[edit | edit source]

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