Two 12-year-old bullies are killed by some kind of fungal growth that causes corpses to explode in spores (killing hard-working and slack-ass morgue attendants alike). The Fringe team (it's all Earth-1 this week) connect the fungus (which Walter names "Gus”) to the bullied kid, to whom Walter takes a particular shine, mainly because the boy, Aaron, reminds him of Peter. You know, Walter's son who died when he was a boy. And, as Walter tells the skeptical kid, the other Peter, who came from the other universe, only to drown in the lake immediately upon the return trip.
The fungal growth is essentially a big neural system that has formed a psychic bond with the boy, what with hom feeling so alone. That means that attempts to destroy the killer fungus result in pain (or death) for the boy, and Walter doesn't want to lose Peter again (or Aaron a first time). Fortunately, all it takes to break Aaron's psychic bond with Gus is for Walter to give him a speech about how he actually isn't alone.
Meanwhile, Walter's feeling like he's going completely insane, but at least he knows enough to try to hide it from the hard-ass head of St. Claire's, who's checking on him. Fortunately, he's got a plan to fix it. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be based on scientific OH MY GOD HE'S GIVING HIMSELF A FRONTAL LOBOTOMY. Olivia intervenes, at which point Walter confesses to having hallucinations of a man who's calling for help. Olivia's all, "Uh, you mean this guy?” and shows him a drawing she made (of Peter) of a man she's been seeing in her dreams the last few weeks. Ol' Bloody One-Eye Walter is relieved to find out that this reflection isn't just his own psychosis. And now that they know this guy is real? "We have to find him,” says Walter. Looks like Joshua Jackson's vacation may be coming to an end.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He thinks the mold wasn't any worse than the cupboard where he kept the potatoes when he was single. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.
Walter anxiously taps his corduroy-slippered feet on the ugly rug in his office/bedroom. He's avoiding a question from one Dr. Bruce Sumner, who you all might remember as the hard-ass head of St. Claire's, the one who, in a previous version of this universe, was unconvinced that Walter was better outside of the asylum and so instigated shenanigans to trap Walter back on the inside. In some version in some universe this guy has to die with a syringe in his neck, right? Also, there was that whole thing in Die Hard 2 where he tried to kill John McClane, which I have yet to forgive him for. I mean, there's a reason I spent a couple of hours coming up with fake titles for Die Hard 5 on Twitter.
Anyway, what he wants to know is whether Walter is keeping up with the new medication he prescribed, and Walter says, "For the most part. With my own modifications, of course," which the Sumner doesn't comment on. Probably not aware that "my own modifications" consists of weed. He does, however, comment on how distracted Walter seems, which Walter -- who can't at all maintain eye contact -- chalks up to Sumner's coming at an inopportune time: "I'm in the middle of some very important work, and I'm anxious to resume," he says. Turns out in this reset universe, Sumner's monthly visits are a condition of Walter's release from St. Claire's. He says the agents assigned to Walter have reported "certain patterns of unusual behaviour." This is Walter you're talking about, you're going to have to be a little more speci-- oh, mirrors. He wants to know about the mirrors. And the television. "Virtually every reflective surface in and around your lab has been covered or obscured by you," says Sumner. Walter tries to pretend that it's an experiment, but Sumner's an asshole, not an idiot. "So this had nothing to do with your lab being haunted," he says, going to the part of the report that says Walter has claimed more than once to have seen a strange man in the lab who no one else has seen and who sometimes talks to Walter.
Walter unconvincingly chalks it up to minor hallucinations weeks ago brought on by his self-medication, and he's better now. "So you haven't had any more of these hallucinations since?" says Sumner, leaning back and setting his clipboard standing up on his legs, at which point we see that Sumner buys his clipboard at Mirror-Polish Office Supplies. I don't think Sumner did it on purpose, but it's hard to tell with him. Anyway, Walter sees Peter's face in the back of Sumner's clipboard, but croaks out a "no" anyway. Sumner leans forward and tells Walter it's important he be completely honest with Sumner so he can figure out the best excuse to throw Walter back in the crazy house. I mean that's not what he says, but you have to read between the lines!