Elsewhere, Monsignor Howard has been called to the hospital -- a real hospital, with natural light and non-creepy people walking the halls. The hospital administrator greets him, and we learn that Howard has been called to perform last rites on a patient, that several other area priests balked at the request due to "the news reports," and that no one knows what is wrong with this female patient, though she did test positive for TB. Howard is slightly surprised that there are still new cases of TB. The monsignor is warned that the sight of this woman is "quite shocking," and I should hope none of us were all that surprised when Howard entered the room to find the Shelley Thing in the bed. Lord knows how he manages to recognize her with her face all deformed like it is, but he looks down at her wheezing face and says, "...Shelley?"
After the break, we flash back to 1962, in the waning days of Briarcliff's incarnation as a tubercular ward. Monsignor Timothy Howard is let in to meet with the ward's chief doctor, Arthur Arden. The origins of monstrosity, indeed. The contrast between the ward then -- sunlight streaming in through the windows -- versus now, when it's a filthy, despairing room filled with the sounds of French singing nuns, is stark. Even with beds upon beds of patients dying of TB, this still feels happier. Arden is rather chilly toward Howard, understandably so since this is the man who bought his hospital and is kicking him to the curb. He points Howard toward one patient, a former nurse, who won't make it until morning "if she's lucky." Howard performs last rites on this poor soul while Arden stands behind him and rolls his eyes.
Next thing we know, the two men are loading this woman's sheet-covered body into a container bound for the incinerator (this would be the tunnel that, years later, Kit and Grace and Lana would try to escape from). Arden speaks ruefully of the thousands of patients who died within these walls, cremated and long since forgotten. He refers to them as "wasted opportunities" and makes sure to pointedly drop mention of his "research" to Howard. Research that will now end with the purchase of Briarcliff. Howard is intrigued enough, so Arden goes on: he's working on an "immune booster," a bacterial cocktail or sorts that would actually make people impervious to most disease. The next step in his research, of course, is human trials. Howard imagines it would be tough to find volunteers, but Arden tells him that there are certain people whose lives "otherwise serve no purpose." By contributing to his studies, these people would be contributing to the greater good. "A good that would not go unnoticed," he says, "even by Rome." Ah, the magic word for Timothy Howard.