Next morning, the Fringe Three are already on the case. Olivia pulls up to a security guard, flashes her FBI badge, and introduces the three of them. "And I'm perfectly sane," Walter informs the guard. That seems to convince him to raise the gate. The guard is of course not aware that Walter will break your heart several dozen times in the last hour, but I'm giving you a heads-up on that right now.
Inside, they've already met one of the doctors in charge, a Dr. West, who played the embittered mother in "Haunted," Trash's and my favorite episode ever of Law & Order: SVU. That's the one we call "32 Short Stories About Ice-T." Catch it in reruns some time. Anyway, she's leading them down the hospital corridor while telling them about Slater, who has been there for 14 years, apparently a classic case of paranoid schizophrenia. Right up until last night, that is. "So basically," Peter sums up, "Two guys broke in, cut a big hole in his head and did what, drove him sane?" She says yep, and they can't find any physical or medical sign of what they actually did to him aside from cracking open his noggin. Walter, who is clearly not thrilled to be here in the first place, starts to say something, is briefly distracted by a disturbance off-screen with one of the patients, then urgently asks to see the patient. With a calming hand on his shoulder, Peter assures Walter that they're on their way to do just that. "We're going to see a sane man," Walter insists. "I'd like to see him when he was a patient."
So the next thing we see is the four of them in Dr. West's office, watching a video of Slater when he was still batty. He's going on about the girl across the street with chrysanthemums in her hair, and gets almost violently angry when told by Dr. West she doesn't exist. Walter is clearly affected by seeing this, almost as though he has mental problems of his own. From there, their next stop is to meet with Slater himself, who's got a big bandage around his head but is amazingly lucid. "What struck me is that I felt unburdened," he says. "Like my mind had had a spring cleaning. Like I was suddenly--" "Free," Walter finishes. Slater can't remember anything about his visitors aside from how polite they were. The Fringe Three are done with him, so it's time for Slater to go talk to his wife, which makes him a little nervous: "They tell me that she came to visit me twice a week. I think I remember being horrible to her." West assures him it'll be fine, and leads him out of the room. "He's a lucky man," Walter muses. "Seventeen years I was in St. Claire's, never a single visitor." Yikes. Peter goes over and starts to say something, but Walter says he wasn't trying to make him feel guilty. "Just an observation." Looks like it worked, though. Olivia wades through the chest-deep awkward now filling the room to ask Walter if he has any theories about Slater's cure. He doesn't, but is looking forward to finding out: "A remedy for insanity, as you can imagine, I've thought long and hard about."