An Origin Story
Cast | Transcript


Henrietta's Apartment - Handy Discovery[]

(Peter looks at some of his daughters memorabilia and personal items while Olivia snoozes in her daughters bed. the side panel of a small wooden drawer catches his attention. a latch on the inside of the panel opens a secret door mounted behind a picture on the wall. inside is a vast arsenal of high-tech weaponry and equipment)

PETER: That's my girl. (starts loading the weapons in a shoulder bag, waking Olivia)

OLIVIA: (sits-up) I fell asleep. I keep waking up and thinking that I'm dreaming this terrible thing and then I realize that it's not a dream.

PETER: Yeah. I know.

OLIVIA: Why would we get her back just to lose her again? (accepts a hug. then cleans-up to leave. studies the pictures from her daughter's youth)

Manhattan Streets - A New Delivery[]

CONCERNED PEDESTRIANS: (as small streaks of electricity appear from thin air and make contact with objects) What is that? Hey, you feel that? Yeah. Where's it coming from? Whoa! Get off the street! Storm coming in or something?

(a Loyalist convoy drives into the anomaly with a flatbed tractor-trailer rig not far behind. they immediately unload their equipment and the Observers with them initiate the task they came to perform. one removes a small metal cube from a container, places it in a precise position in the middle of the street and activates the device. a large, black, two-dimensional portal opens in the middle of the street and three large white containers slip through.)

SUPERVISING OBSERVER: (cuts a small opening in the side of the cloth skirting covering one of the containers and checks the shipment) Integrity is stable. Prepare for transport.

LOYALIST CREWCHIEF: (to the flatbed truck driver) Come on through!


Henrietta's Apartment - Olfactory Token[]

PETER: Come on, Walter. It's time to go.

WALTER: It's this one. May I keep this? 'Etta's perfume. It's the one she liked. It reminds me of her. Oh, my memory, it fails me. But my sense of smell helps me remember.

PETER: It's yours.

WALTER: Thank you.

PETER: (answer cell phone) Hey, Astrid. Everything okay?

ASTRID: Hey. I've run into a bit of a fire hazard, so there's no tape yet.

PETER: (studies the image she is feeding him in Walter's lab) What is that?

ASTRID: You see that white tube-y thing? That is a propane tank for Walter's hibachi. And that see-through blob over there, that is a gallon of Ethanol.

WALTER: Abner, why did you leave the propane tank there in the first place?

ASTRID: Someone wanted to cook bratwurst.

WALTER: Why is the Ethanol there and not in the cupboard?

ASTRID: Because someone wanted to use the Ethanol to clean the hibachi before they cooked the bratwurst.

WALTER: At this rate, we won't get another tape until Wednesday.

ASTRID: More like Thursday.

WALTER: Well, thank you, Dear. Try and go as fast as you can. That's 'Etta's phone.

ANIL: Olivia. I didn't know if you'd answer.


ANIL: I didn't know how else to reach you. I took a chance.

OLIVIA: I understand.

ANIL: Olivia, it's important that we meet.

Manhattan Street - Cube Technology[]

ANIL: I'm so sorry for your loss. She was special. Not just to me, but to the movement. I hope someday you'll understand how much.

WALTER: What on Earth caused this?

ANIL: Well, we believe it's the result of The Baldies opening a shipping lane... from the future.

WALTER: A wormhole.

ANIL: The reports we heard say that it started with strange static electricity in the air.

OLIVIA: What are they shipping from the future?

ANIL: They're bringing back components for the air-degradation system that they're building in Central Park. Similar burn radiuses were reported in France and Egypt, where the other air-degradation systems were built. If they finish this machine, their air quality manipulation will be complete on all continents.

PETER: And our lifespan will be reduced to forty-five years. We know that already. 'Etta told us.

ANIL: If the pattern of what happened overseas holds, this is just the beginning of many more shipments. The Resistance wants to destroy the next one when it comes. I wanted to know if you knew anything about their language. If we're gonna sabotage a shipment, we need to know when it comes, and we're hoping the answer is in that book.

OLIVIA: Well, I'll see what Astrid can make of it. Where did you get it?

ANIL: It came as a package deal.

NIEMANN: Niemann.

ANIL: Okay, show them our visitor.

WALTER: You captured an Observer?

PETER: Good work.

ANIL: We caught him here yesterday. He was walking around taking measurements. Then this morning, this happened.

OLIVIA: Well, did you get any information from him?


WALTER: What is it, Peter?

PETER: Whatever happened, it started here. Something incredibly powerful was sitting here. A square.

ANIL: A cube. Yeah, the Observer we caught yesterday... he had tech on him. It was a cube about that size. It had parts, and it came in a case.

PETER: I think that cube is the tech that opens the door. Can we get the one that you have?

ANIL: What do you want with it?

PETER: I'm thinking bigger than just one shipment. I wanna hit 'em harder. If the cube is what opens the door, maybe it's powerful enough to destroy it. Why stop at one shipment if we can destroy the entire corridor?

OLIVIA: Well, how would we do that?

PETER: I don't know. But look at the destruction that it causes. You're talking about a tremendous amount of energy.

ANIL: We don't understand this. We don't know how it works.

PETER: Not yet.

OLIVIA: Walter.

WALTER: Anil is right. We don't know exactly what we're dealing with here.

PETER: I've made up my mind.

WALTER: Do you have anything I could use to take samples of the carbon?

ANIL: Yeah. I have a collection kit in the van.

OLIVIA: I'll get it.

ANIL: Before you go on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

PETER: I'm not worried about being destroyed. It's the Observers who should be worried. If we're gonna take out this portal, we're gonna need that cube.

ANIL: Bring the cube.

NIEMANN: Copy that.


Walter's Lab - Cipher Clue[]

PETER: (gets shocked/burned by a component piece of the cube Anil gave to him) Son of a bitch!

ASTRID: (studies the data Anil gave to Olivia) If this really is a shipping manifest, then I'm expecting dates, times. I can't even differentiate which of these symbols are letters or numbers. This decryption program has been running for over an hour. I can do this, you know? It is understandable if you are overwhelmed. I mean, you're in shock.

OLIVIA: I think it's best if I just focus.

ASTRID: Oh, my gawd.


ASTRID: I've been looking at this all wrong. (writes on her notepad) What do you see?


ASTRID: To us, it's a ‘B’. But they don't think like us. To them, maybe this is a ‘B’ and a ‘C’ and an 8 and a 6 and a 56. This program is looking for a one-to-one correlation. Any of these symbols could have many different meanings, so... for every page, two hundred symbols -- it's just too large. There's too many possibilities. We have to run multiple decryption programs simultaneously. I need more computing power. Alot more.

OLIVIA: Okay, I'm gonna call Anil.

WALTER: Peter.

PETER: The amount of power coming off this thing is off the charts, and it's not even turned on. It's a strange alloy, but no magnetic properties.

WALTER: The only thing I know for certain... is that it has the ability to blow us to Kingdom Come. We don't even know if we're putting it together right. If you are still intent on doing this, I believe it is possible to destroy the shipping corridor. But it is extremely dangerous.

WALTER: Think of everything on top of this sheet as the future, where they are. When the Observers transport a shipment from their future to our present, they drop them down a wormhole that they created. Because the wormhole is stable at both ends, matter and energy in their future is unaffected. Life goes on undisturbed. However... if we were to collapse our end, sealing it off... everything they put down the wormhole... will just weight it down. The result is like a vacuum, sucking all matter and energy into itself, consuming it.

PETER: You wanna turn the wormhole into a black hole.


PETER: So we collapse the wormhole on our side, and all that's left on their side is a black hole and a hell of a lot of destruction. Excellent, Walter. So how would we do that? We'd need to use - -

WALTER: Anti-matter.

PETER: The batons that we got in 'Etta's apartment. Alright. I'd still need to get close enough to throw one into the corridor.

OLIVIA: That's not going to be easy. When the shipment arrives, it's gonna be crawling with Observers and armed Loyalists waiting for it.

WALTER: That's where the cube comes in. Do you remember the electric swirls of static electricity that were reported before the corridor opened? Imagine they're like a telephone ringing. Like a call from the future. The cube answers that call and the corridor is opened.

PETER: So we just have to answer the call first.

OLIVIA: But we haven't figured out how to turn the cube on.

PETER: The Observer that Anil captured. He certainly knows how to make it work.

WALTER: Anil couldn't get the Observer to make heads or tails of it either.

PETER: Well, Anil has his way of doing things, and I have mine.

OLIVIA: Now Peter, you're sure about this?

PETER: I'm sure we can't let 'em finish the air-degradation system.

OLIVIA: Well, I know that. But Anil said that it would take them some time.

PETER: We have this opportunity now.

OLIVIA: Yeah, but what about Walter's plan? We have a mission. This could put that in jeopardy.

PETER: I'm not doubting Walter's plan. But what do we have? Pieces we don't know how to put together. A scroll with physics we can't decipher, a thought unifier that doesn't work, and a box of rocks from a mine. That's what our daughter died for so far. If we can do this, we have something tangible - - a real victory. It could take them years to recover.

OLIVIA: Okay, I wanna hurt them too.

PETER: So then what is it? What, Olivia? Are you worried about me?

OLIVIA: Yes. Yes, I am. I'm afraid.

PETER: Nothing's gonna happen to me. I can do this. We can do this. Our daughter dedicated her life to freeing us. And now, we're gonna dedicate ours to making sure that that means something. When we win, when we beat them, I want everyone to know that 'Etta is responsible for the world being saved.

OLIVIA: I want that too.

PETER: Then we have to do this. And we can, Olivia. Together. Wish me luck.

Anil's Hideout - A New Friend[]

ANIL: Hey.

PETER: What's the concoction?

ANIL: A wee bit of this, a wee bit of that. Cryoprotectants, osmolytes. Small molecules within their blood preventing damage to their vital organs. Compounds that act as natural anti-freeze.

PETER: Anti-freeze?

ANIL: Yeah, it keeps them tethered to this location. They're actually not as hearty as you'd think. Their abilities are aided by tech.

PETER: Yeah, I've heard that. Well, hello there.

ANIL: Right. Let's wake this bastard up. Good morning, Sunshine. Come on! Rise and shine! That's it. That's the cold stare I know and love. You dead fish. This is my friend. He's meaner than I am. So I guess you know where that leaves you. You good?

PETER: Good. Thank you. You recognize this, right? You're gonna help me put it together.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: You do not have use for it.

PETER: Oh, but I do have a use for it. I just need to know how it fits together, and I need to know what powers it, and I need to know how it works. To do that... I need to turn it on.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: You must understand your compatriots have gleaned no information from me. You will not either. You believe you are more capable of success where others have failed.

PETER: You read me. See if you can read my thoughts right now. Anything? It's okay. I know you know. I can feel you banging around inside there. But it doesn't matter what you find out. 'Cause you and I both know... you're never walking out of here. Whatever the closest thing it is to fear that you can feel, I know that you're feeling it right now. You're not the only one with a skill for reading people.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: You don't even know what you don't know.

PETER: We'll see.


Anil's Hideout - Ant Hill Metaphor[]

PETER: You and I both know the variation of a magnetic field produces an electric current if the pieces of the cube are assembled in the proper order. But what's the proper order? Oh, that's right. You're not going to tell me.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: You are pleased with yourself.

PETER: I'm feeling optimistic... if that's what you mean.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: Your skill is impressive, but it is of no consequence.

PETER: You have no idea what we're capable of.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: I think of you as I would an ant colony as I pass by it. I don't care about the workings of the colony, why one ant is mad at another or why one ant would kill another or not. To me, it is insignificant. And like an ant colony, you are oblivious to your limitations. You think the black over your head is dark skies... when it is really our shoe.

PETER: You talk a good game. But the truth is you're worried.

Walter's Lab - Another Videotape[]

OLIVIA: Walter, I thought that you said it was gonna take some time before we were able to free another tape.

WALTER: This tape was never in Amber. I found it in my desk. It's a video of one of ‘Etta's birthdays. It would be incredibly difficult to watch, but I believe it's important for you and Peter to see it.

OLIVIA: Walter, I am holding on by a thread. You do understand that?

WALTER: I heard you... when you were talking to Peter. You told him that you were afraid. He assumed that you meant you were afraid for his safety, and of course you are, but I think we both know it's more than that. You're afraid that you will lose each other again. I'm trying to tell you that I see what you see. And that's why this tape is so important. You must watch it and remember what you both had, what you still are, and you must hold on to that. You must face this pain together. The pain is her legacy to you both. It's proof that she was here. I have experience with this - - this sort of pain, and you can't escape it by building walls around your heart. Or by breaking the universe. Or by vengeance. You lost each other once... but you have another chance.

OLIVIA: I can't.

ASTRID: I'm sorry.

OLIVIA: It's okay.

ASTRID: Um, We did it. We decoded the book. It is a shipping manifest. The next shipment is this afternoon.


Anil's Hideout - Cube Assembly[]

PETER: Now, this next piece... if I attach this incorrectly...

CAPTURED OBSERVER: ... We will be obliterated.

PETER: But how do I do it? Which way is the right way? Four possibilities. Three of them are wrong. And I'm relying on you to tell me.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: Then you are relying on a faulty premise. I do not fear death. Whatever choice you make, it makes no difference.

PETER: Consciously, yeah. That may be true. But your origins are human. No matter how advanced you become, you will endeavor to stay alive at all costs. In extreme situations, your body will react on a subconscious, organic level. There are 'tells' your conscious mind can't control. For instance... good news... and your pupils dilate. Bad news... and they contract. Not just a theory. In fact, I'm sure of it.



OLIVIA: The corridor is opening near Lexington and 86th today. We have about thirty minutes.

PETER: I see.

OLIVIA: Will you be ready? Peter? Peter, are you still there?

PETER: I'm on my way.

Lexington & 86th - Anti-Matter Attack[]

LOYALIST RADIO: Let 'em know we're clear. Holding positions. We have to shut the whole area down. Eastbound as well. Wait for primary reading.

ANIL: It's activated.

OBSERVER TECHNICIAN: I have not activated the stabilizing mechanism.

SUPERVISING OBSERVER: Something is wrong.

OLIVIA: Yeah, it is that type of gun.

ANIL: Let's go! Let's go!



PETER: What's wrong?

OLIVIA: I mean, we destroyed it. We created a black hole. How could they recover so quickly?


Anil's Hideout - Extreme Prejudice[]

WALTER: I can't explain it. If the corridor were sealed at this end, then a black hole must have manifested in the other. The Observers on that side would have been sucked into the vortex, their operation crippled for years. It should've worked. It must've worked.

OLIVIA: Hey, where are you going?

PETER: To get answers!

OLIVIA: Peter! Hey, Walter, can I call you back? Peter! Peter?

PETER: You can leave. I'll take it from here. Why didn't it work?

CAPTURED OBSERVER: You don't even know what you don't know. Before going on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. Your friend was correct. Emotions get in the way of judgment.

PETER: Emotions did not get the better of me. I read your tells to help me assemble the device.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: Your assertion regarding the involuntary response of the body to physical threat was interesting but highly antiquated. It does not apply to us. In truth, there was a fly on the window. As my cerebral cortex registered it, there was a small irregularity in my heartbeat, causing a slight deregulation of my oxygen to my brain which in turn affected my oculomotor nerve. This oculomotor nerve is what caused my pupil to dilate. That's what you picked up on, my observation of a fly. But you ascribed meaning to something that was not there. You saw what you wanted to see. You believed what you wanted to believe, because that's what your emotions do. They ascribe meaning to something that is not there. They fool your perception as to what is real.

PETER: No. you're wrong.

CAPTURED OBSERVER: A dog does not smile, no matter how many times your kind might think it does. You put together the device because of your intuition and your knowledge and your experience as an engineer. You simply needed confidence, so you made sure you saw what you needed in my reactions. You blame us for her death, but it is irrelevant. She was here, now she is simply not here.

PETER: Did you feel that? She is not simply gone. She will be remembered! Unlike you. If I kill you right now, no one will remember you. No one will miss you.


PETER: You are nothing but tech. I would be ten times what you are if I had that tech in my head. You're wrong about emotions not being real. My feelings for her are very real. Can you feel that? The pain of a piece of you being torn out? That's the pain a father feels when he loses a child.

Walter's Lab - A Child Remembered[]

RECORDED PETER: Think you can do it in one again?

RECORDED HENRIETTA: I'm gonna do it again.

RECORDED PETER: Oh, my gawd! You're a pro! You did it.


RECORDED PETER: Take that out.

RECORDED HENRIETTA: Take that out and take that. Kiss Mommy.

RECORDED PETER: Good, Your Highness? Watch out, I'm coming for your cake! If you're gonna open a present, which one would you like to open first?


OLIVIA: Peter. Peter I want you to come home. I don't want to lose you.

PETER: It's okay, Olivia.

OLIVIA: 'Etta would want us to be together, you know? She would want us to survive this. I just - - I love you.

PETER: I love you too.