In Absentia
Cast | Transcript


Henrietta's Apartment - Recurring Nightmare Edit

PETER: You know, I think that I would be happy to stay here for the rest of my life.

OLIVIA: We should probably get her home soon, get her into a bath, which is never easy.

PETER: I nominate you for that one. ‘Etta. Come on, Kiddo. It's time to go home.

CROWD PANIC: Come on! Stay in the car, right now! We gotta go - - grab her! Hurry! Come on! Hurry! Grab her for me!

PETER: ‘Etta! ‘Etta, come here now! I got her!

CROWD PANIC: Over there! Come on! Stay in the car! Right now!

OLIVIA: What happened?

MEDIC: You were caught in a blast. You're safe now.

PETER: She was a... little girl.

OLIVIA: Peter?

TRIAGE NURSE: I'm sorry. No children were brought in.

PETER: That can't be right. She was standing right in front of me.

TRIAGE NURSE: People are lost all over the city.

PETER: She's around here someplace. Where are they taking the kids? ‘Etta!

OLIVIA: Peter!

PETER: ‘Etta!

(Olivia jolts awake from the nightmare she was envisioning)

PETER: You're okay. You were dreaming about her? You said her name.

OLIVIA: I'm still trembling.

PETER: For us, it's like it all just happened a couple of months ago. But it didn't. She's here, and we're here. We're okay now.

(joins the group gathered around Walter and the TTU interface)

PETER: Good morning.

ASTRID: Not for Walter. Something's wrong.

PETER: Why? What's up?

WALTER: Not the thing working can't it's not.

ASTRID: The Thought Unifier's having adverse effects. He's talking out of sequence.

WALTER: Two hours ago the Christmas Tree Macy's Sale to have a nap.

PETER: Get that thing off of him.


WALTER: I'm not an amateur, Peter. I need this contraption if I am to retrieve the plan to defeat the Observers from the depths of my memory.

PETER: We don't know if there's anything left to retrieve - and - we don't know what that thing is doing to you.

(as Walter utters a few Scandinavian phrases)

PETER: Swedish?

ASTRID: He was speaking Portuguese earlier.

OLIVIA: (joins the group) Good morning.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: I hope the floor wasn't too bad.

OLIVIA: Oh, no, I slept well. Thank you. Thanks. So how's it coming?

PETER: So far we know that, at some point in the past, Walter knew both Portuguese and Swedish. Other than that, nothing.

OLIVIA: Walter, you've always documented things. So are you absolutely sure that you didn't write anything down?

WALTER: I can't remember, but anything's possible.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Even if there were files, you can't go back to Harvard. We can't get in.

PETER: Why not?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: It was taken over by Observers five years ago. Some kind of base or... no one knows exactly. The entire four-mile radius is a No-Go Zone.

WALTER: What's wrong? Why can't we get into Harvard?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: It's been taken over by Observers, Walter.

WALTER: Well, that's not a problem for someone who's done acid.

OLIVIA: So are these barriers around Walter's Lab checkpoints?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Yeah. No one gets in without paperwork.

WALTER: Tunnels.

PETER: We don't have time to dig tunnels, Walter, or the manpower.

WALTER: We don't have to dig them. They're already there. Steam tunnels.

Boston Tunnels - Gaining Access Edit

WALTER: Right beneath us, two and a quarter miles of tunnels that house the steam pipes that heat Harvard. They stretch from the Cambridge Electric Company plant on Western Avenue, to Soldiers Field, to the Law School, to the science labs. They made sure the entrances were well-hidden. Few have seen the mysterious passageways. (steps and hears a hollow metallic sound under the soil and overgrowth) Peter. (after clearing the debris, lifts and opens the access door to find a metal ladder down to the tunnels) Yahtzee.

ACT I Edit

Walter's Lab - Decades Of Decay Edit

SECURITY: (above ground. Observers make there way around the 'privatized' Harvard campus) Your papers are in order. Please proceed.

WALTER: (as the team makes its' way through the steam tunnels to the Kresge Building and Walter's Lab) The temperature in the tunnels usually hovers around one hundred degrees, sometimes as high as one-twenty. You might want to take that coat off, Dear. Sometimes Belly and I would wear swim trunks and Speedos.

ASTRID: What was that?

WALTER: Quick, out of the way! (spots an artistic drawing of a dragon on the wall) Hey. I've been looking for you. This way. (after he knocks open a grating vent and the team climbs through. they cross the hall into his dark and dusty lab) Oh, my. (looks and the glowing golden mass that covers a quarter of his lab) I must have Ambered it.


WALTER: To protect it, I imagine.

OLIVIA: What is it?

WALTER: It's my BetaMax recorder on a tripod. Look where it's standing. Look at the blast pattern. This is the Amber point of origin. I must have been standing right here When I Ambered this lab. I don't think I wrote anything down. I think I was making a video.

ASTRID: The question is, is the tape still in there?

WALTER: There's only one way to find out. (looks at the licorice whips on the countertop embedded in the Amber) When did I switch to Grape? (a door down the exterior hallway closes and the team goes into alert mode)

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (levels her weapon at the bearded security man that wanders in) On your knees.

GAEL MANFRETTI: (as the science team surrounds him) Who are you people?

PETER: What are you doing here?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: He's a Loyalist. He's not gonna tell us anything. (as Olivia cuffs and searches their new prisoner. reads the documentation he was carrying) Gael Manfretti.

OLIVIA: (searches the backpack he was carrying) Nothing but bread crumbs.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (snarky) Baldies feed you well, Gael?

PETER: (later. once their prisoner has been fully secured) Maybe this was part of his patrol.

OLIVIA: Why would he have come here? I mean, the place is abandoned.

ASTRID: For all we know, we tripped some silent alarm.

PETER: Either way, someone's gonna notice him missing sooner or later.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: We need to stay. If that camera's the key to helping Walter remember, we have to get it.

WALTER: I need the laser.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: What about the device I used to free you with?

WALTER: No, it won't work. The Amber's too thick. It'll probably push the camera further in. I need a proper laser.

OLIVIA: Well, Walter, could you make one?

WALTER: Where there's a will, there's a way.

PETER: (as he and Olivia examine a nearby junction and fuse boxes) There's no power. At all.

OLIVIA: All the Ambering must have blown everything.

PETER: Yeah, Walter, I think it's blown all the way back to the Campus Sub-station.

WALTER: Well, a laser needs power, Peter.

ASTRID: The substation's in the basement of the Science Building. That's the only way we're gonna get power.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: We can get there using the tunnels.

ASTRID: Well, wait a minute. We don't even know if it's the Science Building anymore. We have no idea what's in there or what could be waiting for us.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: We don't. (looks at her prisoner) But he does. I'm sure he knows plenty. (joins her prisoner alone and closes the door for privacy)

Walter's Lab - Unfriendly Persuasion Edit

HENRIETTA BISHOP: You don't seem to talk much. I'm gonna give you one more chance. What do you know about the Science Building? (getting a stonewall stare back at her) You're a real open book. It's okay. (steps to the far side of the office and brings out a small device from her pack) I'm good at opening books.

GAEL MANFRETTI: Where did you get that?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (as she activates the device and attaches it to her Loyalist prisoner's extremities) It's not important. What's important is that I have it. (after she steps back and prepares to trigger the device) What do they use the Science Building for?

(a 'no reply' reply gets the man in his late-30's a ten second electronic joyride from hell. he convulses so violently that he appears to shift in and out of sub-atomic phase. now gray and harried, the security drone looks to have aged at least a decade in the last twenty seconds)

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (menacing) I don't think you want to waste any more precious time.


Walter's Lab - Angel Device Edit

WALTER: Criterion Collection, forgive me.

ASTRID: Walter, it's just a laser disc player. We need the laser. Peter.

WALTER: No, no. No, it should be me.

ASTRID: Walter, I don't think this laser disc tube can generate enough power. We need a better gain ratio.

WALTER: Flying vermin. You'd think after twenty-one years the Observers would have found a way to get rid of them first. Or at least found a use for them. Maybe freeze-dry them and hand them out to the poor as sustenance. We're gonna need a helium-neon mix. There should be one or two canisters...

ASTRID: the storage room off my office.

OLIVIA: (points to the office) I'll get them.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: I’m gonna ask you again. What do we need to know about the Science Building?

OLIVIA: ‘Etta? What are you doing?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: It's called an Angel Device. It stirs up and destabilizes every atom in his body. Full-charge steals around twenty-five, thirty years. But this is a long way from a full charge. He's so disorientated by the process he loses the will to lie. Or he holds out until his heart fails. But most of them give us what we need to know. And if they don't? What are you doing?

OLIVIA: I’m giving him water.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: You want to kill him, go ahead. That's how you'll do it. He can't have water yet. Not for another three hours. He's not worth a single tear. Loyalists sell out their own kind like rats. I know you just woke up, but look around you, Mom. Can't you see what the Observers have brought? This is war. And we're losing.

WALTER: (from the main floor) ‘Etta!

HENRIETTA BISHOP: I'll be right back. Just don't get too near him. (in the lab) Walter, what's up?

WALTER: Don't you wear a necklace?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: The clasp was loose. I took it off to try to fix it. Why?

WALTER: Then you won't mind me melting it down.

PETER: Don't worry. We just need the silver for solder.

WALTER: Thank you.

Walter's Lab - Loyalist Tales Edit

GAEL MANFRETTI: How do I look?

OLIVIA: Like you're in pain.

GAEL MANFRETTI: You know, my absence won't go unnoticed.

OLIVIA: I don't believe that anybody's coming to look for you. See, I don't think that you're here because we were seen or because we triggered some sort of alert. I think that you came here to feed the birds. Look, I’m guessing you're probably not even supposed to be in this building, so even if you are missed, this would be the last place anybody would look. You need to tell her what she wants to know - now. You need to tell her before you get worse. You've already lost years of your life. Now come on. You must have something to live for. I'm trying to help you.

GAEL MANFRETTI: You don't have the authority to do that. Do you?

OLIVIA: Well, what authority do I need?

GAEL MANFRETTI: You know a Loyalist just doesn't walk away when they've been captured by the Resistance.

OLIVIA: How can you be so sure?

GAEL MANFRETTI: Where are you from?


GAEL MANFRETTI: You're new to the Resistance.

OLIVIA: I've been around a lot longer than you may think.

GAEL MANFRETTI: Look... I'm not gonna survive this. And I’m not afraid to die, so I will tell her what she needs to know if you will go and tell my son I'm not coming home... And that I loved him very much. I don't want him to keep looking for me. I don't want him hoping he'll see me again. I've seen that too many times, people waiting for people who never come home. (as his captor returns and prepares another charge from the Angel Device, he gets a contractual nod from Olivia) Everyone has an access code. You can't get in without one.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: And what's in the building?

GAEL MANFRETTI: The main power grid is still there. Other than that, I don't know. I don't go below the First Floor. We don't ask. Rumors mainly.

OLIVIA: What kind of rumors?

GAEL MANFRETTI: Experiments.


GAEL MANFRETTI: On everything. My access code is a two-part code. The first part is 0-1-0-5-6-7.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: And the second part?


Walter's Lab - Ocular Planning Edit

OLIVIA: Can we beat an ocular scanner? We have his code to access the building, but there are scanners at every point.

PETER: Well, that didn't take long. What's wrong? (after his daughter has joined the group) Where did this come from?

WALTER: Barbaric. What has the world come to? How could the Resistance create such a device?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: We didn't. The Loyalists did. It's old Second-Gen Observer Tech. It was designed to prepare Observers for time travel. But, as you can see, the Loyalists figured out a new way to use it on us. No reason we shouldn't use it on them.

OLIVIA: (checks the noise outside) It's just a transport truck. We're okay.

WALTER: Well, as far as ocular scanners go, the only surefire way is to bring him with you.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: It's impossible. Look at him.

WALTER: I'm gonna look at your eye. And, if you can't bring him with you, there's only one way. (checks Manfretti's pupil dilation)


OLIVIA: Walter, you can't.

WALTER: Of course I can. Rather easily in fact. Astril, I’m gonna need a sharp scalpel and my long-handled stainless spoon.


Walter's Lab - Optical Procedure Edit

WALTER: (sitting over a dusty work bench, he attempts to surgically manipulate a single eyeball with the optical nerve hanging from the back of it. To Astrid) I'll need another. Pay attention to the texture. Make sure it's spongy. (to everyone) You know, the Viet Namese consider pigs' eyes to be a delicacy.

ASTRID: Even ones that have been sitting in formaldehyde for twenty years? (returns with next eye)

WALTER: Yes, that should do nicely.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Are you sure this will work, Walter?

WALTER: "In a pig's eye." I wonder what the origin of that term - -

ASTRID: Walter.

WALTER: Certainly. An iris is like a fingerprint. Each has its own unique pattern. And, if we can mimic that pattern, we can trick the scanner into thinking that this pig's eye is our tattooed friend there.

PETER: (in a separate part of the lab getting a fake tattoo stenciled on his right jowl) The world has changed so much. It can be difficult to understand it.

OLIVIA: I'm not sure I want to understand it.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (sees the fake tattoo) Not bad.

PETER: Yeah?

OLIVIA: (to Henrietta) You're next.

PETER: How's he doing?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: He's getting there. (to Olivia after Peter leaves and she settles in for stenciling) Thank you.

OLIVIA: For what?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: When I said it was logical for me to go turn the power on instead of you. That I know protocol if something goes off track and that Peter should go because he's the engineer. I appreciate you respecting my experience. 'Cause I know you'd rather it be you. I know you like to be in control. So do I. (gaining a look of respect from her long lost mother)

WALTER: I did my best, but it has to be exact.

PETER: (holds-up the eye that Walter altered) Well, is this exact?

WALTER: We'll find out.

Science Building - Walking In Edit

PETER: (to the Observers standing in the elevator lobby after being visually scrutinized while he waits with Henrietta. casually polite) Gentlemen.

Walter's Lab - Loyalist Coward Edit

OLIVIA: Why does someone join the Loyalists?

GAEL MANFRETTI: Pain. There were Resistance Fighters near my building. They were gonna blow up a city bus full of them.

OLIVIA: Invaders.

GAEL MANFRETTI: My children were outside. One of them was killed. My oldest boy.

OLIVIA: I'm sorry. I know something about losing a child.

GAEL MANFRETTI: So, after that moment, I just wanted to be safe. You know, I was angry at the Resistance because... it's hopeless. So I do this job. They give us a safe place to live, get taken care of, they look after us. And I don't have to worry, at least about my boy. I'll never understand you people. You can't win. The world would be a much safer place if you just stopped trying to fight them.

Medical Science Wing - Sneaking In Edit

(Henrietta and Peter stroll confidently through the interior of the Science Building headed for the Medical Wing. She gets to the cipher lock door and enters the access code Manfretti gave her. He holds out the eye that Walter duplicated to fool the retinal scanner needed to confirm the security access. none is granted)

LOYALIST GUARD: (as he watches tracking signatures and access requests from around the campus on a monitor) What's Manfretti doing in Building Four? That's not his sector.

LOYALIST RADIOMAN: Manfretti, come in, over. (Olivia grabs the radio. very concerned) Manfretti?

OLIVIA: (to her prisoner) Answer it. We had an agreement. Now answer it. (holds-out the tactical radio so he can talk into it)

GAEL MANFRETTI: Hey, there. What's up?

LOYALIST RADIOMAN: The Hell you doing accessing the Medical Science Wing? You're supposed to be in Sector Seven.

OLIVIA: Tell them that you needed to change a fuse.

GAEL MANFRETTI: A fuse blew. I went to fix it.

LOYALIST GUARD: Since when does Security change fuses? Who asked you to do that?


LOYALIST RADIOMAN: Big Guy 19, really?


LOYALIST GUARD: Change your stupid fuse and get back to your post.

(after a worrisome delay, the locks to the Medical Wing security door unlatch and Peter and Henrietta enter unchallenged)

OLIVIA: (to her prisoner) You knew if they went to that area they wouldn't be cleared.

GAEL MANFRETTI: No, I didn't. I've never been anywhere I wasn't supposed to be.

Medical Wing - Unexpected Findings Edit

(the walk towards the electronics bay they need to access to restore power to Walter's lab is unsettling. in one of the medical bays, a bald female sits in an examination chair wearing a patient gown. another bay contains a bald scientist in a lab jacket with multiple beakers of bubbling liquid. another room has a single container with the head a single human attached to electrodes. he opens his eyes and blinks)

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Simon? (recognizing her fellow Fringe Division agent and best friend)

PETER: (trying to stop her as she draws her weapon and prepares to rain down hell on the scientists that beheaded her trusted colleague) ‘Etta? ‘Etta, no, no, stop, stop. What are you doing? We have to keep on moving. (forcibly holding her back) Think of the tape. Think about what's on it. Think about your future. There will be a time for vengeance and a time for grieving, but it is not now. Stop. Stop. (earnestly) They'll pay for what they've done. (as she submits to reason, though her rage continues to well) I promise.


Walter's Lab - Power Flowing Edit

GAEL MANFRETTI: Do you really think you can win?

OLIVIA: Well, we have to win. So that all the people that died, including your son, didn't die for nothing.

PETER: (to Henrietta) Now. (she throws the Master panel breaker to close the re-energized circuit)

WALTER: (as his lab comes alive with electronics that were left on so long ago) Let there be light.

ASTRID: Walter, we have to turn them off or someone could see us.

WALTER: Wait. Let's see if this still works. (twice claps his hands loudly. much of the electronics power-off) Yes. (to Astrid) You ready?


WALTER: (grabs the freshly powered laser at starts blasting the Amber from around his video camera) Invigorating. (offers the laser wand to Astrid) You want a go?

(Peter and Henrietta return through the steam tunnel access. someone is in a mood as Henrietta heads straight the prisoner in one of the inner offices)

Walter's Lab - Lost Humanity Edit

OLIVIA: (privately) Peter? (concerned) What happened? (learns about what was witnessed and joins her daughter) ‘Etta. I'm really sorry about Agent Foster.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (to Olivia) Freedom has its costs. Simon knew that. (to Manfretti) Get up. You're traveling.

OLIVIA: Where are you taking him?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: He's useless to us now. I'm turning him over to the Resistance.

OLIVIA: He says no one ever comes back.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: And Resistance Fighters don't come back when they're taken in by Loyalists. HQ will get whatever else they can from him and dispose of him, and the world will be a tiny bit safer.

OLIVIA: Look, I know you're upset right now, but he did give us the code.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Yeah, of course he did. It's natural human instinct. To live as long as possible. It's the same quality they use to turn us into slaves.

OLIVIA: He joined them in order to protect what was left of his family, you know, his son.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: He's a liar. That's what they're trained to do. He has no son. He gave you the code because he saw in your eyes a weakness. He saw in your eyes that you could be manipulated, that maybe, maybe he could convince you to let him go. But that's not gonna happen, Sweetheart.

OLIVIA: ‘Etta, I understand how hurt you must be.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: You don't know my world.

OLIVIA: You're right. I don't know your world. But I had hoped for you that, wherever you were, you weren't hardened by what had happened to you. And it's not that I don't see what the Observers have brought, I do. But what concerns me more is what they've taken away.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: This is The World. It is what it is. (to her prisoner as she steps out for a minute) Don't move.

GAEL MANFRETTI: (to Olivia once they are alone) 143 Dunstable Street. Number Seven. His name is Oscar.

OLIVIA: I keep my word.

GAEL MANFRETTI: I know you do.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Walter. I need a sedative.

WALTER: That can be arranged.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: (gives Olivia a handheld device) That's a comm device. If Walter needs anything else for the laser, I'll be able to get it for him. (leaves with Manfretti)

PETER: (as he reaches into the chasm in the Amber left by the laser and extracts the camera locked inside by Walter) There you are.

ACT V Edit

Remote Farm - Catch & Release Edit

HENRIETTA BISHOP: You don't have a son, do you?

GAEL MANFRETTI: No. I was hoping, right up until the last minute, that she could somehow convince you. You were right about me. I became a Loyalist because I’m a coward.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Get out of here.

GAEL MANFRETTI: I'm gonna fight. For the Resistance. I want you to know that.

HENRIETTA BISHOP: You don't have to lie anymore. I already let you go.

GAEL MANFRETTI: Well, that's why this time I'm hoping you believe me. I mean, this can come in useful. There aren't many Resistance Fighters with an active Tat I.D. You said 'I saw something in her eyes'. You were right. There was a certainty that I've never seen before, and I don't know how to explain it other than to say I felt... for the first time... that we were supposed to win. Why are you letting me live?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: Something that I saw in her eyes as well. Pity.

GAEL MANFRETTI: Pity for who?

HENRIETTA BISHOP: For all of us.

Walter's Lab - Videotape Directive #1 Edit

WALTER: Got it. (as he free the cassette tape from the camera)

PETER: It looks like the heat from the laser might have damaged the PVC.

ASTRID: It might have damaged the tape. (to Walter) I told you we should have gone slower.

RECORDED WALTER: Whoever you are, if you found this tape, you've retrieved it from Amber. If you are watching this, then you know very well that the Observers have invaded. I am most probably dead, and unfortunately my plan to stop them has failed. I have documented all the parts of the plan on videotapes. You must recover each tape and follow the instructions on each of those tapes to retrieve all the parts of the plan. Once you do so, what you need to do will be clear to you. If successful, this plan will restore us and rid the world of the Observers. You were chosen for this. This is your destiny. I understand if you're frightened. It will not be easy, but I trust that the same will that brought you here will keep you going. It - - (disappears into static as the tape tracking fails)

WALTER: Gentle, Peter.

(Olivia receives a videolink of her daughter letting her prisoner go and the message)

HENRIETTA BISHOP: I'm on my way back.


PETER: Here we go.

RECORDED WALTER: ...but I trust that the same will that brought you here will keep you going. It is important that you follow the tapes. You must begin this journey right away. You are Humanity's only hope! Now you must retrieve the first tape. (camera goes blank as taped Walter Ambers his lab twenty years prior)