Episode Report Card
Daniel: B | Grade It Now!
Astrid Needs a Latitude Adjustment
arted to play the recording or anything. He asks for directions to the child development centre because he needs something there. I know he owns the place, but given his history, maybe they should keep Walter in the dark as to exactly where the child development centre is. Don't need him experimenting on children's brain chemistry or anything.

After Walter leaves, Nina suggests that Peter go with him, because yesterday Walter spent fifteen minutes in front of a utility closet, thinking it was an elevator. Like, so much for Walter's genius IQ. Peter goes, and Fauxlivia asks Nina if Astrid could take a look at the research: "She might pick up something that your code breakers missed."

Nina says sure -- Walter's ownership has some benefits -- and then she asks if the fabulous Bishop boys are OK. Olivia says they are, except for the fact that Walter doesn't agree with Peter trying to figure out Walternate's doomsday machine. "You know, you two go back a long way. Maybe you could talk to him," suggests Fauxlivia, leading to a completely contrived conversation where Fauxlivia reveals that she hasn't tried herself, and Nina's all, "that's not like you!" Fauxlivia covers by saying that "it's complicated" between the two of them, and she doesn't want to make it worse. She may as well have a flashing neon "I'm lying" sign on her forehead. Nina, who to my mind appears suspicious but not wanting to press the issue, agrees to talk to Walter.

Then Fauxlivia's phone rings, and she's off to Alford, Massachusetts with Broyles, to a communications tower where Homeland Security traced the broadcast. "When they tried to contact the tower employees, they didn't get a response," he explains to Fauxlivia as they approach the tower. The state police officer with them says the break-in happened around 10:30. "Security system was state of the art. Whoever did this was a pro, but there's something else," she says.

Broyles and Olivia enter the building at the base of the tower and make their way past a couple of dead employees, one with a bullet hole right in his forehead. And then they see it: a silver Nintendo GameCube, plugged into the tower. What's more, it seems to be floating.

After the commercial break, an agent has removed the front panel and is poking and prodding at the circuitry inside. Fauxlivia asks, "How the hell is it doing that?" and Broyles says it's not really floating, that there is some sort of magnetics inside. With that, the agent unplugs a connection and the GameCube clunks onto the shelf. Fauxlivia asks if this was the source of the number broadcast. "It's definitely wired to output a transmission," he says, and then he asks for the front panel and the fingerprint powder, and I'm kind of surprised it hasn't already been dusted, and he finds a big fingerprint. "It's impossible to do microelectronics with gloves on," says Broyles, who I would think would have a much higher threshold for things that are considered impossible, but anyway. He wants to get the machine to Walter.

Over at Harvard, Astrid is grouchily accepting several file boxes worth of Massive Dynamic's research on numbers stations, and Peter gets off the phone with Fauxlivia and lets everyone now that they think they found the device that uploaded last night's broadcast and they're analyzing the fingerprints they found at the radio tower. And then there's this confusing sequence of moos, only one of which comes from Gene, and I say confusing because I didn't watch this episode with super-special headphones or anything and so didn't understand Peter's consternation, but it turns out a couple of the moos came from some kind of farm sounds Speak 'N Spell, which Astrid is surprised to see is the property of Massive Dynamic. "It's not theft if you own the company," explains Walter, who says that he's found a way to listen to the tape of the numbers broadcast without losing what faculties he has left.

"The key is analog demodulation," says Walter, and I have no idea what happens next, but it involves a "Jimi Hendrix wah-wah pedal" and the Speak N' Spell, and Walter is able to separate the numbers broadcast from the amnesia pulse. "So we still don't know where the numbers are coming from, but I suspect that the device that Agent Dunham found is the source of the pulse," says Walter. Astrid wants to know the key question: why? Peter's got a theory: "Because they cracked the code, or they came damn close to figuring out what numbers stations are. And somebody wants to keep that a secret," he says, and Walter seems to be over his snit and tells Peter he sounded "very Sherlock Holmes" there. "That would make you Watson, dear," Walter says to Astrid, who might consider switching, considering Walter can pronounce "Watson" correctly and didn't call her "Watchman" or "Jetson" or some such.

But the good mood can't last forever, because Peter notices that Walter has taken the soundboard he was using to run diagnostics on the doomsday weapon, and Walter tries to pretend he was using it to "down-convert the signal" whatever that means, but Peter catches him in a lie because the thing isn't even plugged in, so Walter just angrily says, "I was focused on solving the case at hand. I'm not concerned with preserving your wretched experiment," and he stomps off into his office, and Peter follows him so that they can argue some more, with Walter urging Peter to stop "playing with fire," and Peter sits down and calmly reminds Walter that when he touched the device on the other side, it came alive in his hands: "Like it was bonded directly to me. How can you expect me to ignore that?" Walter doesn't have any kind of answer for that, and at any rate their interminable argument is interrupted by Astrid coming in to tell them that Fauxlivia has a picture of the suspect based on his prints, so she's taking it to the Woomer house to show them, Becky having been released from the hospital.

Elsewhere, near another communications tower (although it's probably the same one just being reused for this scene) some dude skulks through the bushes, carrying another GameCube. When we finally his face, it's another J.J. Abrams flashback, since it's geeky Marshall from Alias, my favorite character from that show apart from Alias herself. He's got one blue eye and one brown eye, so that's new.

And it's a picture of Two-Colour-Eyes Marshall -- known here as "Joseph Feller -- that Fauxlivia is showing to Laird Woomer whilst explaining that his last known address was Milwaukee, but that was in 1997. Laird says he's never seen him before. Peter asks if he minds if they "poke around a little bit" and check out Becky's computer and her address book, and Laird says OK.

Meanwhile Feller is inside the communications tower and he's hooking up his new GameCube, which actually looks less complicated than my home entertainment system.

Over at the Woomers', Walter is talking to Becky. He gives her a card and tells her to read it and then do what it says. "'Stand up, then sit down,'" reads Becky, and she does so. Walter then reminds her that earlier he told her the names of three things: "Cat, horse, cotton candy," says Becky. Uh, things you see on the farm! Uh, things you can eat at the fair! Pass! Pass! She pulls her knitting from a nearby basket and says she doesn't remember doing it, even though she supposes it's for the baby. She gets emotional as she tells Walter that she doesn't recognize Aaron, or "that man who is out there." Walter tries to console her by telling her that "the human brain is a miracle" and calls it a storage unit for everything she has ever known, seen or felt. "It's all still in there, whether or not you're conscious of that," he says. This does seem to make Becky feel better.

And Peter's got a list of everybody that Becky talked to about the numbers stations. He points to the list and asks Fauxlivia if she recognizes anyone. "Ed Markham," Fauxlivia says, reading the name Peter's pointing to. She shrugs. "Bookstore owner, purveyor of rare manuscripts, your favorite ladies' man?" says Peter, surprised, so Fauxlivia gives a phoney

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