Peter walks away.
Peter walks away and Olivia thinks: I'm done chasing him.
If her memories from his timeline--that other timeline, the previous timeline--are correct, she'd chased him down before, followed him all the way to another universe, and gotten herself brainwashed for the trouble. It's too much to ask to go through that all again.
Lincoln arrives, unconcealed concern written across his face, and Olivia smiles at him as reassuringly as she can. He takes charge, coordinating with the agency forensics team as they swarm over the place and take Jones' machine into custody, while Olivia sits in the back of an ambulance and waves off the medics' attempts to drug her. Peter probably hadn't been wrong about the diazepam, but she's already having trouble identifying all the discrete memories in her head and the last thing she wants is a drug haze confusing the issue.
It's clarity she needs now, and somehow she's found it in the wake of Peter's denial. Olivia knows she should have been more frightened about the prospect of her memories, her life, being overwritten, but somehow it'd seemed...natural. Desired, even, as the feelings about Peter rushed in. Endorphins might be to blame, Walter would suggest, the feeling of being in love overwhelming her better sense. Now, though, the shock of his rejection seems to have cut through the ecstatic shroud.
Lincoln finishes with the team and makes his way over. "How are you doing?"
It's sweet, the anxiety he's trying and failing to hide, and Olivia sympathizes with his frustration. So much happened, so fast, that he's been left behind. That never should have happened, Peter or otherwise; Lincoln's her *partner.* "Better," she says, and it's not a lie. "There's still a lot to sort out."
"Do you still feel..." he pauses, obviously trying to find the right way to phrase the impossible. "Are you still remembering Peter's timeline? "Lincoln frowns as he says it, the theory difficult to fully grasp. It takes awhile, Olivia knows, to really accept all the realities of Fringe Division.
"I'm remembering both," she says, and that's true too, even if some memories are blurrier than others. "I think we should go back to the lab."
Lincoln accedes, clearly wanting Walter's assessment of her "better," and on the drive back Olivia contemplates the two worlds in her head.
*Here,* she'd run away from the Cortexiphan trials and never looked back. She'd shot and killed her stepfather, suffered through her mother's death, and been taken in by Nina Sharp. (Nina is fine, Lincoln assures her, and even with her emotions muted Olivia is glad to hear that. Pissed as hell about her detention, he adds wryly, and she laughs.) Everything had come easy after that: the military, college, the FBI. She'd investigated the impossible with Walter and Astrid, and been generally content with her life.
*There,* she'd run away from the Cortexiphan trials but went back after meeting a boy--Peter, she realizes with a shock, that old memory surfacing at last. She'd shot but not killed her stepfather, and his mocking birthday cards had followed her for the rest of her life. She'd suffered through her mother's death--some things were universal constants--and fought for her place in the military, in college, in the FBI. She'd investigated the impossible with Walter and Astrid and Peter, and things had been...a lot more complicated.
"Complicated" isn't a reason to choose between lifetimes. But when Olivia looks around at the rest of her life--*this* life, occurring in *this* timeline, the one all other human beings on the planet were still living in--it becomes apparent that she isn't willing to forget it all for a man who'd walked away.
By the time they reach the Harvard campus it's not anger that's driving her, or at least not only anger. Olivia walks into the lab, head finally clear, voice strong and direct. "Walter, my memories are slipping. They're disappearing. If Peter was going to be with me, I didn't think about the consequences. I just didn't care."
She hears herself say that and hides the wince from Walter's concerned eyes. It doesn't even *sound* like her, the willingness to throw away her entire life for a man. If Walter's right, if it's her "empathy" that's caused her to echo Peter's feelings, she's happy to be rid of the interloper memories.
If he's wrong....
Her mouth firms with resolve and she goes ahead anyway. "I want you to try and stop it. I want you to see if you can reverse it. I just-- I want to go back to who I was.
"I don't want to feel like this anymore."
Walter starts rushing around the lab, barking orders to Astrid, laying out his equipment. He'll do his best for her, Olivia knows. From the beginning, even misguided, he's always done his best.
But there's a deep ambivalence lurking at the back of her mind, a feeling that it's not going to work. Everything's repeating in the same old patterns and Olivia remembers what she'd said to Broyles, when all this first started: "I just want to go back to before."
And his eyes, knowing and prophetic. "Dunham, I don't think you can."