Remember that near-accident that Olivia had on her way to her appointment with William Bell in Manhattan in the season finale? Well, the near-miss was in the alternate reality where Belly is hanging out. Back in this universe, Olivia didn't avoid the accident, but the FBI agents on scene -- including a questioning new agent, Amy Jessup (that last name can't be an accident, given a speech Broyles makes later -- someone here loves A Few Good Men) who looks to be spending a little time with the Fringe crew -- are confused because no one left Olivia's SUV and the doors are locked. After hearing about the accident, Walter and Peter show up, and shortly thereafter Olivia rockets through the windshield. Meanwhile, the other guy in the accident has wandered away and killed some dude in a nearby apartment, then, through the use of a Firewire, assumes his facial features.
But Olivia's not OK. She's comatose, and despite Broyles getting all Col. "You want me on that wall! You need me on that wall!" Jessup (or maybe because of it) with the investigating committee, Fringe division itself is having its life-support unplugged. But they didn't reckon on the touch of Peter, who awakens Olivia. She doesn't have a solid memory of where she went, but she's convinced someone's after her, and she needs to find something that's hidden.
Meanwhile, the facial shape-shifter doesn't know she's still alive, and sends a message to his superiors (via a typewriter that sends messages to an alternate dimension through a mirror -- I know) all "mission accomplished" and they tell him "Nuh-uh. She's still alive. The meeting happened. Interrogate her and then kill her."
Sneaking past security in a hospital is pretty easy if you can change yourself to look like Olivia's nurse, which is what the shape-shifter does, but by then Walter and Peter have conveniently figured out what's going on and chase the shape-shifter away. Or at least, they think they do -- but the shape-shifter in reality kills Charlie, and takes his appearance. And if you're thinking, "this is Fringe, so Charlie's probably not really dead," well, that's what the furnace in the basement of the hospital is for. Still, there's more than one of everything, right, Peter?
Peter, incidentally, after the run-in with the shape-shifter has nicked some crazy-wacko equipment that he gives to Broyles in order to convince the pencil-pushing senators that Fringe division gets results, dammit.
Also, Broyles does a little lip-locking with Nina Sharpe. Fringe with benefits!
The sound of a car accident ushers us into the season premiere of Fringe. Yes, there is more than one of everything, and that now applies to Fringe seasons as well. Some dude with blood on his face comes to in the driver's seat of his car, the source of his injury apparently the spiderwebbed windshield in front of him. He staggers out of his car and off down the Manhattan street. The other vehicle in the collision looks suspiciously like the FBI-issue SUV driven by one Olivia Dunham who, you may remember, narrowly missed a fender-bender in last year's season finale. Or did she? Yeah, she did. Only I think most of us have an idea of what might be going on here.
Bloody Face makes his way through the throng of people on the street, checking out doors along the street until he finds what he's looking for, which appears to be a door that isn't chained shut. He finds one, an apartment, and runs his thumbs down the buzzers for all the units, and his scattershot technique yields an open security door almost instantly. Nice work, Mabel in 3F: you just let a jewel thief in the building!
There's a guy putting trash in the garbage chute, when he's approached by Bloody Face. "You OK?" asks the new guy, who takes off his glasses to get a better look. Must be farsighted. Instead of answering, Bloody Face grabs the guy by the throat and pushes him backward into the apartment. See, Mabel? You see? There's going to be an apartment board hearing over this.
Bloody Face drags the poor tenant, unconscious or dead (probably dead), across his hardwood floor, glasses lying cinematically in the foreground. Bloody Face has wiped the blood off his face, and looks at himself in the mirror. He's looking at the man in the mirror. He's asking him to change his ways. Or at least his face: he pushes his palms up against his cheeks, and there's a cracking sound. He presses his fingers into his face and when he removes them, his face is all smushed up, like his flesh has the pliability of Play-Doh.
Then he pulls out a little gizmo that has a cord with a plate with three prongs on it, and he sticks it in the dead guy's mouth, pushing it into the roof of his mouth, and does the same thing with a similar attachment on the other end.
More cracking, and electronic whirring, and Previously Bloody Face looks to be in some pain. There's an episode of X-Files on the television, but it's one with Mulder and not Doggett, so that can't be the source of his distress. After a moment, his facePod has finished syncing, and Bloody Face now looks exactly like the dead guy lying on the floor. Then he yanks the cord out of his mouth, and I know my computer doesn't like it when I don't eject my iPod properly, so here's hoping he did that right.