This is news to Wedeck, Vreede, Demetri and Mark. NSA Agent Levy goes on to explain that a few months ago, the NSA intercepted a call on an FBI agent's mobile phone, and the origins of said call had been professionally secured. Noh's righteous snit fit about the NSA eavesdropping on FBI calls is sidetracked by Mark musing that this could be the call from the woman about Demetri's pending murder, and if that's the case, the NSA will have a recording of the call. Demetri asks how to get a recording of the call and Levy looks very uncomfortable. She says, "I'm sorry. It's classified signals intelligence."
Demetri says, "I'm running out of time, so if you have any information on who that was or how I'm going to be killed --" "I'm not authorized --" Levy starts, but Demetri interrupts with an impassioned "Come on!" Although this fails to sway Levy, the collective glaring power of Mark, Wedeck and Demetri does the job. We are apparently wasting our time (and moral high ground) with renditions and Gitmo if all it takes for people to fold is the tripartite ogle. Or does this ocular intimidation work only on wimpy Americans?
Back to Japan's answer to Initech, Nakahara. Keiko is in her cube and is super-bored. She's got a little robot arm -- I'd like to think it's the one that she built as a teenager) -- and she's watching it move jellybeans from one bowl to another. She recalls her flashforward: sprinting down a street as fireworks spark in the sky. And then Keiko turns back to her computer. Instead of working, she loads a favorite YouTube clip of a guitar player -- think of this as a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Jesse Camp [it's Bob Dylan doing "Shelter From the Storm" in concert in 1976; you can find this version on his Hard Rain live album -- Ed.] -- and begins mimicking the fingerwork in her cubicle. Then work indignity #1 is visited upon her: Keiko is caught out by a coworker. And then comes work indignity #2: she's summoned to a meeting with the eponymous founder of the firm ... only because the men sitting around the table want her to serve them tea. Her coworker helpfully points out, "You're the only female in the department. They're not going to hire another woman just to serve tea." (Apparently this serve-the-men tea thing is still common in the workplace over there.) Keiko pours the tea and each little cup is like a hot little liquid humiliation.
Back in L.A., Nicole is helping Bryce with his language lessons. She bats her eyes and says dreamily, "It's so cool you're learning a language for someone you haven't even met yet." Bryce is like, "But I will meet her. [pause] I'm hearing myself and I sound crazy." Nicole swoons, "But it's a good kind of crazy. Love crazy." Nicole sounds like she knows of what she speaks.
Zip! It's an AA meeting. Aaron is folding chairs and Mark lingers to help, and to oh, so casually ask if maybe Aaron took it upon himself to send Olivia a text about how Mark was drinking in his flashforward. Aaron seems genuinely baffled by who would do such a thing, and Mark continues to needle him about how freaked out he is. Aaron finally asks, "Are you trying to say something, Mark?" Try, yes. Succeed, no. Aaron finally says, "You know how many hours I've spent listening to your crap, your doubt, your self-pity?" Mark says, "I thought you were my sponsor." Aaron points out that "sponsor" is not synonymous with "punching bag." Mark self-righteously says, "I think I have the right to ask you if you're communicating with my wife behind my back." Aaron fumes, "You son of a bitch. After all the time we've spent together, you think I'd do that?" Mark huffs that he just doesn't know anymore. Aaron storms off, clangs some chairs together to let off steam, then comes over to say, "I tell you what: Why don't you get a sponsor you can really trust?" He then pats Mark's cheek none-too-gently. Since Mark is somewhat frail, he practically falls over from the love taps. Aaron storms off, leaving Mark alone to think about what he's done. Or perhaps to notice that Aaron never directly denied what Mark accused him of.
After Keiko's bad day at work, she's blowing off steam by wandering around Tokyo's tattoo district. She walks into a shop and asks for a tattoo. The artist rebuffs her, but Keiko insists that she's serious. The artist dismissively says, "You look like an office girl. If you get that, what will they think of you at work?" Keiko says, "I don't care." The tattoo artist continues, "The nail that stands out gets hammered down." Keiko says, "I'm not doing it for them."
At the FBI office, Mark apprises Wedeck of the progress on Demetri's call (they've got it) and then awkwardly segues into, "Did you send Olivia a text?" Wedeck asks, "Why would I send your wife a text?" Mark's all, "You're one of only two people I've told ... and I recall you were pretty pissed that I was drinking, and the implications it had for our investigation." Without even looking away from his computer screen, Wedeck says, "I see. You were thinking I was so angry and so petty that I'd run out and text your wife about it." When he puts it that way, Mark does sound kind of silly. Wedeck kicks Mark out of his office. Again, not a direct answer to the question, but again, I'm loving how each man has verbally bitch-slapped Mark. That needs to be a regular feature on this show.
Meanwhile, Bryce is finding out from a patient that the t-shirt Keiko is wearing in his flashforward comes from Sushi Arahida, a restaurant near the university district in Tsukuba. And -- o happy contrivance! -- there's only one restaurant like this, so the odds of finding the mystery lady (i.e. Keiko) have just narrowed.
Olivia waylays him in the hall. She's so moved by Bryce's plight that she's done some research and made some calls, and she's managed to get him enrolled in a medical trial for treatment by trifectumab in Houston. Bryce is all, "Thanks, but I believe that I'm not supposed to do a damn thing for my health between now and April because, after all, I'm alive in my flashfoward and surely there's no point in preparing for anything between now and then! Other than learning Japanese, I mean." Olivia says, "You're only going to hear me say this once: Maybe the reason you're alive in your flashforward is because you're going to take this drug and get better." She must really care about Bryce to resort to this line of reasoning. He should be touched. A more jerky boss would have said, "Maybe you're going to meet this girl in a restaurant to tell her that you're riddled with cancer and going to die the minute the check arrives." Olivia begs him, "Go to Houston. If you need a couple of days, take a couple of days."
Bryce does take a couple of days -- to go to Japan. Oh my God, it is so good that none of his patients are aware of what a numbskull he is. Let's hope they're not surfing Mosaic, anyway.
Bryce shows up at Sushi Arahida and manages to stammer his way through a rudimentary conversation -- albeit one that ends up with him awkwardly asking about Keiko. A few of the sushi chefs recognize the picture as Bryce exclaims, "I love you," instead of "I love her." Bryce gets the name "Keiko," and the restaurant staff actually directs him toward the Arahida household.
Which, by the way, is in serious discord. Keiko's just quit her job, explaining, "It's becoming a cemetery for my soul." Her mother heatedly says, "We worked our entire lives in that restaurant for you, so you could become somebody. You can't quit!" Keiko replies, "I'm not a child anymore. Maybe it's not the life you wanted for me. I have my own dreams, my own life. I'm not going to live it for you. And that means I can pick my own husband." Her baffled mother insists, "You would be lucky to have Mr. Ito for your husband." Keiko and her mom then debate the merits of imagination in a spouse (guess who's on the pro side?) and Keiko finally says, "There's somebody else out there for me." We then get a second picture of Keiko's flashforward: s