Fifteen people trying to crack a code broadcast on shortwave radio wind up with retrograde amnesia, which you hope at least lets them start fresh with a new hobby that's actually interesting. But the Fringe team wants to figure out the source of the transmissions, not judge.
The broadcast -- a series of numbers that gives shellshocked Lost fans flashbacks -- is traced to a silver box, installed by a man who gives Alias fans flashbacks. Looking for help, the Fringe team turns to Markham, who gives them a book about pre-dinosaur humans who were wiped out by a cataclysm, and a chart in the book corresponds perfectly with the numbers being broadcast -- which are separate from the amnesia-causing attack by the guy from Alias.
The Fringers close in on him, only Fauxlivia’s way ahead of them, mainly because he’s a shapeshifter from the other side, and she takes him out -- out of his building, many stories up, and he plunges to his death before Fringe can learn anything from him. She’s running scared herself because her non-Olivia-like behavior is starting to raise some red flags among the people who know Olivia. Except Peter, who seems to remain oblivious.
It’s Astrid who cracks the case by determining the numbers are latitude and longitude locations -- which seems kinda too simple for a puzzle that seems to have stumped so many people who have gone before, but anyway… the closest location broadcast turns up a piece of the Alterverse doomsday machine, and Walter finally comes around to Peter’s insistence that they study the device. Following all the shenanigans, Fauxlivia’s latest instructions are: “Initiate Phase Two.”
A lighthouse on a rocky coastline illuminates the letters that inform us we are in Stockton Harbour, Maine. Inside the lighthouse, the keeper descends the spiral staircase to the radio room to answer a request for clearance.
"Tide is coming in strong. Pulling a fog bank from the east. It's close to shore, so watch yourself and take it slow," says the lighthouse keeper, kinda sounding like he forgot to add, "And keep your eyes peeled for Smokey." They back and forth for a moment (the lighthouse keeper has "hung a lantern" out for them), and then the keeper becomes engrossed in his laptop, chatting with someone about tuning to 6955 kHz.
Over to New York's Chinatown, where a couple of roommates are preparing for the evening, one by primping and talking about Mia bringing her "one-hundred percent hot" friend June, and the other by staring at a white board covered with rows and columns of numbers. "It's about to come on!" says the numbers guy, going to his laptop where he appears to be in the same chat server as the lighthouse guy. "Shen, are you seriously not coming?" whines his roommate, and Shen says that when he cracks this thing, people are gonna write books about him. Perhaps, but they're going to be the kind of books not read by Mia and June, guy. In the chat room, he asks if Recluse_09 is there.
She is, over in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and she's got a husband with a little baby who are going to make tea for her while she does her whathaveyou on the computer. "It's starting," she says, and she starts up a reel-to-reel recorder, and we hear beeping and someone speaking in a foreign language and a music box playing.
It quickly becomes apparent that the woman speaking is reciting numbers, which is confirmed when we watch Becky type them in. Did anyone who ever watched Lost not immediately get suspicious? Especially when the numbers we see entered on screen -- 15, 8, 42 -- are three of the six Lost numbers? Even Becky looks a little taken aback. Clearly she's thinking, "Oh, not the Lost numbers bullshit! This is a completely different show!" And then her head jerks back and she appears to be having a seizure or a migraine or a "mizure," which is also afflicting Shen back in Chinatown as well as the lighthouse keeper, who pitches forward, smacking his head on the desk.
Moments later he straightens up, while a ship is trying to make contact over the radio. Murray (the lighthouse keeper) just looks around, confused. Over in Chinatown, Shen's roommate has come back because he forgot his ID, and he comes in to see Shen standing staring at the whiteboard. "Shen? Are you OK?" Shen stares at him.