It's been what, a month and a half? I'd totally forgotten that this show even exists. Remember how Olivia was abducted? Well, she escapes before they even run the opening credits, but not before Olivia's captors perform a spinal tap on her, and she gets a glance at a masked kidnapper's shoes (it's Mitchell Loeb, although Olivia doesn't know that yet). She manages to bust loose and take some evidence with her, and calls Broyles for some backup so they can take apart the building where she was found. Only when the cavalry arrives, they tranquilize Olivia. See, someone's been assigned to review the Fringe operation to make sure it's operating the way it ought to be. And it makes no sense whatsoever that the man who's appointed to the job would be Broyles' old (former) friend, and it makes even less sense that this guy would be appointed when the lead agent once put him away (or at least tried to) for sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, a scientist is killed by a giant slug that crawls out of his mouth, and the FBI tries to put a colleague of his under protective custody, but that's before they know Mitchell is evil. Walter figures out that the slug is actually the common cold virus on a massive scale, grown from the same substance Olivia found in the vials in the place where she was captured. And when she notices Mitchell's shoes, the jig is just about up, but that's after Mitchell kills the other epidemiologist as well.
Olivia goes looking for evidence at Mitchell's place, and winds up awkwardly chatting with Samantha Loeb, who is advised by her husband to kill Olivia. Samantha fails, but Olivia manages to put a bullet right in her forehead. She then uses a photograph of dead Samantha to angry up Mitchell, who confesses to everything, but rants cryptically about knowing who the two sides are, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I imagine still has to be worked out yet by the writers.
Astrid comes in, and asks if they've heard from Olivia. They haven't. "She's missing," says Astrid, and I literally thought, "Still? It's been a MONTH AND A HALF."
We go to Olivia now, strapped down tightly to some kind of cart that is badly in need of some WD-40 to the wheels. She seems more or less out of it. Due to the head restraint, she can only watch the lights pass by overhead. She's in one of those dank and nefarious places where pipes run everywhere, so you know whoever's got her is up to no good.
Olivia's wheeled up to some guy wearing some kind of rubber old-man face mask (the other two dudes are not wearing masks). "Who are you?" she asks the guy. He doesn't speak. She asks what he wants. He doesn't answer at first, because he's busy readying a needle. "This won't take long," he says, his voice clearly being disguised somehow. "I bet you say that to all the girls," says Olivia, because the best possible thing she can do in this situation is antagonize her captors. "Turn her over," says Facemask. I bet you say that to all -- never mind. The others guys spin Olivia upside-down, still strapped to what is now the underside of the cart.
Over at Boston Federal Building, Broyles is yelling at everyone to fill them in on Olivia's abduction, and the rest of the agents spring into action, which they probably could have done LAST NIGHT ALREADY, which was when she was taken, after all. He introduces Charlie as his "second in command," which I guess applies to the abduction investigation, since Charlie doesn't have the clearance for the Fringe stuff.
Back at the crazy industrial lab, Facemask is fiddling with things while Olivia stares at the floor, looking for the dry ice machine that's sending the steam up all over the place. She notices that Facemask is wearing black tasseled loafers, which is kind of annoying in that we already know just how she's going to identify her abductor later on.
"Try not to move," he tells Olivia (I'll bet you say that to all the -- OK, I'll stop now), and then jabs a needle into her back. Olivia screams. Later, in another room, he strips off his mad-scientist gear and takes off the mask. It's Mitchell Loeb. He tells some suit standing there to get his car ready because he's going back to the office.
Back in the chamber of steamy horrors, Olivia asks one of the other guys for some water. They seem reluctant. "If you're going to kill me, may I please have some water," she says. Well, OK Just as long as I still get to kill you, is what the dude thinks.
Now, I'm no shadowy henchman, but I'd know better than to actually hand the FBI agent a glass beaker and also loosen her restraints so she can sit up. This guy gets a beaker to the side of the face for his trouble, but he kinda deserves it. And hey, here are some sharp surgical tools within handy grabbing distance! Olivia grabs a scalpel and wings it at the other guy like she's some kind of American ninja, pulls herself up off the bed and starts kicking and swinging like an utter badass. After dispatching the two stupid henchmen, she whips off her surgical gown (the black tanktop underneath is much more stylin' kickass agent than the gown is) and hightails it.
Back at Boston Federal Building, Broyles is giving some poor schmoe on the other end of the line his best seething fury, when he's interrupted by an agent who tells them a "Sanford Harris" is on the line.
Broyles takes it and tells Harris that they're in something of a crisis. Sanford's all, "Look, I'm right here at Bureaucratic Douchebag HQ" and tells Broyles they go back too far for him to say something diplomatic that Broyles will see right through: "I'm calling about Fringe division." He says Internal Affairs has asked him to do a full review to make sure everything's running as it should. Well, that oughta take about five minutes: "Why is there a COW in here?"
Back at the poorest guarded secret hideout ever, Olivia makes her way into another room where an agent sits reading the newspaper or the racing form or whatever, and doesn't notice her in time to prevent her from knocking him out. She grabs his gun and stuffs it down the front of her pants. Has she learned nothing from Plaxico Burress? She glances around the room, and picks up a vial from a tray, with SAMPLE and some numbers on it. She grabs a half-dozen and drops them in a coffee thermos. Oh, and hey! Here's a cellphone and car keys conveniently on the table! Anything else that might facilitate the getaway? A map of Boston? Some bridge tokens? Can they do more to make your stay more comfortable? Recommend a nice nearby restaurant? Arrange for tickets to the Celtics game? Olivia starts running again, pausing to shoot a guy who tries to stop her by yelling "hey!" She runs outside and starts pushing the button on the keychain to beep the car. She finds the vehicle, a black SUV, gets in, and peels out of there.
She phones Broyles. "Where the hell have you been?" he snaps. Aw, she missed you too. She tells him she needs maybe twenty agents to swarm a building, and gives him the address.
She pulls off onto a side street, where, after looking around, she gets out and buries the thermos in a mound of dirt, and only after that's done does what's just happened to her seems to hit her, and she breaks down. But only just for a little bit.
She's back in the car she swiped when some agents come careering around the corner, sirens and lights flashing. She gets out of her car to greet them, and is somewhat surprised when they draw their guns on her and order her onto the ground. "Where's Broyles?" she yells, and again they yell for her to get down. "What's going on here?" she screams, and then turns to run, whereupon she is tranqued and collapses on the ground. Everything fades to white, so for a moment it was like we were watching the opening segment of Six Feet Under.
Eventually she comes to, and she's lying in a hospital bed. Sitting next to her is Sanford Harris, who looks at her as she wakes up. "Quite a day, Agent Dunham," he says. She discovers she's handcuffed to the bed, and not in the good way. Harris tells her she's in Boston Hospital. "You probably didn't think you'd see me again so soon," he says.
She tells him not to take this the wrong way, but she doesn't think of him all that often. Good to see her biting wit wasn't damaged in the abduction. He gets up and slithers over to her. He figures she must get "some satisfaction" for what she did to him. "My conviction wasn't a point of pride for you?" he says. She just stares at him and asks why she's cuffed to the bed. He tells her that this is the kind of authority he wields here. He says that her conviction of him for sexual assault was overturned, and now Homeland Security, for which he is a consultant, has him reviewing Fringe division. So he's a longtime friend of Broyles and the one who Olivia almost put in jail? I guess the guy who assigned Harris to review the unit of his old friend and his arch-nemesis must have missed the day they taught conflict of interest.
And now he's questioning her sanity and loyalty, and that of the people she's surrounded herself with, which serves as a reintroduction of the characters that's blatantly for new viewers to get up to speed on John Scott, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop, or as Harris calls them, "A traitor, a criminal and a lunatic." To be fair, he presents a fairly convincing case. He asks her what that says about her.
She stares at him. "Am I under arrest?" she asks. Harris gets up, and tells her that it goes without saying that she's not to investigate her own abduction. Then he holds up the handcuff key and tosses it on her lap before strolling out while Olivia frees he