"I can't balance the Equation. There's too many variables and not enough constants."
- I really love that Peter and Lincoln are not rivals since that would have been cliche. They are instead seen working very well together. In an interview with Jackson, he said that there’s no jealously (yet) between Lincoln and Peter over this Olivia since she’s not really his Olivia. I assume that he’ll feel the same way if he encounters Olivia and Lincoln in the Altverse at some point.
- I thought that it was interesting that Peter was trying to find some similarities between his dreams and Olivia’s. It was as if he was trying to find some connection to her which makes sense since at that point in the episode, he felt that he was home and that the people around him needed to be reminded of him. He asked her if she saw them both in a park with Walter on the swing set in her dreams and she responded with “What?!” He then asked her if she felt anything towards him when she saw him in her dreams and she replied “Why would I feel anything? You’re a stranger to me.” You’re killing me, Olivia. :) A part of me believed her since her surprise and confusion seemed genuine, but a small part of me also hopes that she is lying since she’s just not comfortable revealing personal details to this “stranger” just yet.
- Peter’s brown coat was atrocious in this episode! It was criminal. What more evidence do you need that Olivia doesn’t really know Peter very well in this timeline than the fact that she gave him a oversized brown coat to wear throughout the episode? The old Olivia would have known that our Peter is a peacoat kind of guy. I hope that Peter gets his Peacoats back!
- I absolutely loved John Noble’s acting when he exclaimed “Of course I know what a Faraday Cage is, a baboon would!” He is so determined to not look at Peter in the eye throughout the entire episode and refuses to call him by his name in order to impersonalize him. I was touched when he remarked how Peter’s idea for the Faraday Cage was a good one and that he was very smart. His pride is wonderful to see and reminds me of the old Walter. If this world is actually the world that Peter belongs in, then I think that Peter will win Walter back sooner than he will win Olivia back. Walter seems determined to not be invested in Peter because he (and the audience) knows that once he does, he will fall in love with his son all over again. Olivia seems curious about Peter, but seems far from being emotionally invested in him.
- I loved Peter’s and Olivia’s simultaneous response to volunteering to put the Faraday Cage on. Despite the fact that they are not really in sync with each other on numerous ocassions in this episode (for example, when Peter leans in closer when they are both in the lab, she seems annoyed and moves away), it’s nice to know that they can still have their moments where they are in sync with each other. It also reminded the audience of old times when they both shared the same desire to get the job done.
- Kate’s final message to Raymond was incredibly touching and moving: “Love me and live your life.” She is telling Raymond that although the present Kate is a shadow of who she used to be, he needs to stop trying to find ways to love the old Kate and to instead learn to love the new Kate (as she is) and to live his own life. This provides some intense foreshadowing regarding the situation that Peter might find himself in with Olivia.
- I think that the conversation between Peter and Olivia at the end of the episode was great in clarifying that the present Olivia is not the old one and that Peter is fully aware of the differences and is not making the same mistake that he made in season 3. I think that Peter wasn’t sad in this scene since he was optimistic that he could return to his timeline. It’s interesting that Olivia was the one that made the connection between Peter and his relationship with another version of her and that Peter wasn’t the one who brought it up initially. I really have to applaud Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson in this episode since they went from portraying their characters as lovers in the first scene, to strangers in the middle of the episode and finally to two people who have a new level of understanding about each other and themselves in the finale scene. The final image of him holding his airplane was wonderful since it harked back to Subject 13 when he found himself in a new world for the first time. His optimism is what got him through that and it will get him through this.
Some other thoughts (as if I haven’t given enough already!):
- I think that it’s beautiful that Peter is holding on to Olivia just like she held on to Peter in Season 3. I remember that when she came back in season 3, she said that holding on to him was what led her home and she asks why he didn’t hold on to her. Well, he is now and I love how the story is coming back full circle. Also, just like Peter guided her through the stormy waters, maybe Peter’s dreams of Olivia will keep him going.
- I can’t remember which review I got the following theory from. “Peter has now decided, based on the disruptions his presence is causing, that he doesn’t belong. These past couple of weeks he’s assumed that the timeline is what’s wrong, that it needs to be reset, but now he’s decided he’s in the wrong place. He needs to be removed, to get back to the world where the people he knows are surely waiting for him. I fear for Peter. He believes so strongly that he needs to go back and that that’s what he should do. But, I fear that he’ll realize that he can’t go back and that he actually does belong in this new timeline. What a huge disappointment that will be for him! Just to clarify, I do not believe this is the case, that he’s in the wrong time/space. The theory makes him feel better, less lonely. It makes him believe his Olivia, his Walter, and everyone else are missing him and would be glad to see him return. I also think he’s worried about what his continued presence in this place, somewhere that obviously doesn’t want him, will do to the people who do belong.”
- Peter is really the ultimate example of a displaced person. A person who doesn’t know exactly where or when their home is. And this will probably get even more confusing when he visits the other side in episode 4.08. To paraphrase Jackson, is home here, in this new “amber” timeline and everyone just needs to be reminded of him or is home someplace else where the people he loves are just waiting for him and miss him? Also, in the middle of the episode, Peter stated that the current problem was too difficult to solve since “there’s too many variables and not enough constants.” This is really interesting since it applies a lot to Peter’s current situation. There are multiple versions of our characters and multiple timelines, but there is only one Peter. He is the one constant that is surrounded by all the variables and his presence naturally throws things off such that the equation becomes unbalanced and cannot, possibly, be solved. It’s hard to see a happy ending for Peter since he has two choices: 1. He can go back home to the original timeline and still be the problem that he always was or 2. He can hide out in the yellow universe and live with people who do not remember or love him.
- Although I initially thought that the notion that Peter is destined to be with all Olivias (regardless of time or place) was romantic, I’m actually glad that, in fact, there is only one Olivia that he is destined to be with.
- The Glyphs for this episode spell “Living.” This can be combined with the glyphs from last week’s episode to spell “Still Living” which obviously relates to Peter. It also ties to the title of this episode in that despite leaving those we love behind, we have to keep on living.