Back in season 1, Jones wanted Olivia to turn the lights off, not on, but it's possible that that is another way that the writers used to signify differences in this timeline, although I think that it's a lot more possible that she can turn lights on and off. I am so happy that we see the light box again because unless I'm mistaken, we haven't seen it since "The Road Not Taken" (1.19). It's clear to me that Jones isn't aware that the timeline has been altered, and I say that because when Olivia says that they've already met and one of Jones' henchmen suggests that it's a side effect, Jones says, "She's not the first to say that to me." That sounds like a dismissal to me; it sounds like, "No, if it were just her, I might consider it, but it isn't just her." It's clear that Jones is taking advantage of Olivia's empathetic strength, which reminds me a lot of ALIAS; if you've ever seen that series (which if you haven't, you should), then you know that Sydney also had a high propensity to feel empathy toward others, and the "bad guys" would sometimes take advantage of that; they knew that she would sooner cooperate if they tortured someone else (even if it was someone she didn't know) than if they hurt her. Jones tells Olivia that every creature needs incentive and motivation to accomplish a task, so that makes me wonder what that was back in season 1; did she have one?
Olivia, in this episode, is so good, and I don't mean good as in the opposite of evil; I mean that she is immensely clever and resourceful, and saying that Anna Torv is an incredible actress is a serious understatement. She talks to Nina, asking her to help her remember their relationship, and we learn later that she suspected that Nina wasn't Blueverse Nina, so she tested her, and she manipulated her and Jones so that she could have Peter there to help her escape. I knew very early on that Nina was not Blueverse Nina; the writers love pulling fast ones on us, so I strongly suspected that the Nina in the Blueverse that was being interrogated by Broyles and Lincoln, swearing up and down that she was innocent was telling the truth, and I was right. I find it odd, though, how Nina says that there is no other explanation regarding her implication than that there was a Shapeshifter involved because they're aware of the Redverse; the Shapeshifters come from there, and obviously, there are doubles over there. Don't get me wrong; they've never encountered Meana (named by Blair herself) before, so they may have assumed that she didn't exist, but that, to me, seems like a premature assumption, and I'm very surprised that no one suggests the possibility, especially since it had happened before to Olivia.
Like I said, Anna is a superb actress; when she pretends to ask for Nina's help remembering their relationship, Nina says that eventually, while she was still a child, she stopped calling Nina Ms. Sharp and started calling her Nina, and we find out later that that wasn't true, that she stopped calling her Ms. Sharp when she graduated from high school, and when Nina says this, you can clearly see the look of disappointment in Olivia's eyes as she realizes that she was right about Nina, that she isn't her Nina. After this is all realized and before Nina and Jones escape, Jones says to Olivia, "Your love for this man must be something quite profound," so I wonder if they will try this again, try igniting Olivia's emotions by threatening Peter. The ending of the episode is heartbreaking, but I told people not to worry; I told them it was bound just to be a temporary obstacle, that the two of them would be back together soon, and now that we have seen "A Short Story About Love" (4.15) and "Nothing as It Seems" (4.16), we know that that is true. It seems sort of like a reversed "Marionette" (3.09) scene, except Peter is calling it quits with Olivia instead of the other way around, and, of course, the situation is different, and Lincoln is now angry with Peter because he's interested in Olivia, and he's losing her; he must be really angry because Peter once told him that he will not be a problem because that is not his Olivia.
We were thrown a bit of a curveball this week because the screen showing the mental link between Peter and September identifies September as Mr. X, and Ari Margolis threw that curveball to us, as well, since he showed us that clip in the promo, leading us to believe that the notorious Mr. X from "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" (3.19) would be a factor in this episode, something that is not true; it's most likely just that Walter, not knowing what to call September, identified him as Mr. X. I absolutely love the scene between Peter and September within September's mind, and this is when we finally learn who the Observers are; it seems to be part of a ship, and since we now know that the Observers are from the future, it's possible that they travel through space, much like the Star Trek future, which is only a few centuries forward. We learn that the Observers are a group of scientists that come from a possible future of humanity that are trying to observe their beginnings. Ultimately, I'm satisfied with that explanation, but I definitely still want more. Why are they hairless? What is the weird code in which they write? How do they catch bullets? Is the Child from "Inner Child" (1.15) an Observer? If so, why was he abandoned, and why didn't he age? Why don't they taste much of anything? How is Mosley connected to them? We still need those answers, and I really hope that we get them.
We also learn that Henry being born to Redverse Olivia was not supposed to have happened, and that leads us to wonder why. Does (or did, for that matter) Henry have (had?) special powers? Is Olivia technically the first Observer, with Henry (or whatever his/her name should have been) being the first lineage to the Observers, or are the Observers an anomaly, the result of Henry having been born to Redverse Olivia? Are the Observers willing to sacrifice themselves, everyone other than September, that is? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense because Redverse Olivia doesn't have superhuman powers, but I don't know how else to explain the Observers wanting to get rid of Peter. September definitely has different motives than the other Observers, as he tells Peter that Peter needs to be with Blueverse Olivia, even though if he had never intervened (which he apparently wasn't supposed to have done), they probably never would have met; depending on which interference you refer to, either Peter would have been cured and would have lived his life over there, or he would have died in the lake. September says that the Observers can travel within and outside of time, and I'm not sure what that means, and apparently, Walter, in Peter's original timeline, told Peter that the Observers have the same physiology as humans, which I don't remember; in fact, he definitely tells Peter near the end of "The Firefly" (3.10) that they are not human, and I don't understand why September thinks that Peter is important even though the other Observers apparently don't. I'm so happy that my VHS/cassette tape analogy was right on the money, and I may treat myself to a sprinkle sandwich (but not really); I give this episode 10 territorial Lincolns.