"A Short Story About Love" Review
Let’s start with the case-of-the-week. “A Short Story About Love” introduces us to Anson Carr, a crazed former perfume employee intent on finding the secrets of love. I know, it sounds ridiculous… and it kind of was. Still, much of the suspense is handled well, and the way Carr seduces his victims is bizarre and compelling. Likewise, the classic Silence of the Lambs fakeout was a nice way to up the tension, when we learn about the husband’s mistress.
The overall case is decent, but it’s a heavy-handed metaphor for what’s really going on with Olivia. As much as I enjoyed “A Short Story About Love,” it wasn’t very subtle, even bordering on melodramatic at points. Regardless, Fringe is a show so often trapped by obscure science, that a little cheese is okay every now and then. They’ve earned it.
I love that the writers brought back the beacon from the observer-centric Season 1 episode, “The Arrival.” We kind of learn what it does, but I’m hoping the writers expand on it more in the remainder of the season. At the very least, it allows September to re-enter the timeline, where he reveals definitively that this is the Olivia Peter knows.
I appreciate that Fringe finally answers this question, and the resolution was what I’d anticipated from the beginning of the season. After all, if someone was erased from the timeline, it stands to reason that everyone else’s life would be altogether different. It’s the classic time-travel paradox. However, Fringe tricked us into thinking this was a new timeline, and I understand if fans feel cheated by this reveal. After all, the back and forth “Is this/isn’t this Olivia?” got very jumbled in the last few episodes.
It’s also notable that Olivia decides to allow the old memories to take hold. The setup was effective, since it’s easy to agree with Nina Sharp. Would you really give up everything for memories that may not be yours to begin with? When we learn that this is the Olivia we know, her decision takes on a new importance. We now respect her. It was some clever writing that can only happen in the complex, multi-dimensional Fringe landscape.
The end is lovely as a confident Peter and Olivia embrace. It felt like a series finale, and I honestly wouldn’t have been too disappointed if the show ended here. But no, we have another seven episodes to go, and we’ll see where it goes from there. A renewal hasn’t been announced, and things are looking a bit bleak, but we’ll just have to wait it out.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on “A Short Story About Love.” Were you disappointed with the reveal that we’re in the same timeline? Or, was this a relief? As always, let me know in the comments.