“If you want to bowl, we close in fifteen minutes.”
– Sam Weiss

Olivia’s car crash was no ordinary accident. She doesn’t remember it yet, but she journeyed to the alternate universe. She has been affected by that journey in ways that she doesn’t quite yet understand.

Olivia has all the usual signs of someone who has had an accident: cuts; scrapes; bruises; and a cane to support herself while she walks. But she has been affected on a more fundamental level than that. The first sign that something is awry with her is that she seems to have developed hypersensitive hearing which comes and goes. It ends up being useful in solving this episode’s case, but otherwise, it’s an annoyance. Besides, Olivia doesn’t want hypersensitive hearing. She doesn’t want special abilities. They feel foreign to her, in much the same way that Nina describes her battle with cancer:

“I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer. Beside the fear, my most overwhelming sensation was one of betrayal, the realization that my own body was fundamentally foreign to me, that it was a threat.”
– Nina

Of course, as we’ll find out later, what Nina says about having fought cancer is total bullshit, because she never had the disease. But Nina’s words to Olivia here are startlingly accurate. Too accurate, in fact. Since Nina isn’t speaking the truth about cancer, she’s either making a story up to help Olivia feel better or describing another ordeal but replacing it with cancer. In any case, it does seem as if Nina genuinely wants to help, considering that it is she who refers Olivia to Sam Weiss, and what Nina says perfectly captures how Olivia is feeling at the moment, particularly in the use of the word “betrayal” to describe her symptoms. Olivia feels as if her own body is betraying her, as if she can’t trust it anymore. If her own body can develop an ability that comes and goes as it pleases, then it can’t be trusted to be there for her in a tense or dangerous situation. For now, her super-hearing can merely be annoying at times, but what if other symptoms begin to manifest themselves? What if they’re not just irritating, but also debilitating? Is it possible that she could become sick, like Jones did after being teleported? What if things get worse?

“Have the headaches started yet?”
– Sam Weiss

As Sam portends, they almost certainly will.

But the symptoms of her journey to the alternate universe are actually the least of Olivia’s worries. (It’s alarming how messed up her life can be, isn’t it?) Her trusted friend and confidant, Charlie, has been replaced by a shapeshifter. The biggest betrayal that Olivia is about to face isn’t going to come from within her body; it’s going to come from a man whom she thought she could trust.

For more information on the Fringe rewatch project, please click here.

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