We're in a doctor's office. A gloomy-looking man with a bandage on his right hand speaks one word: "Malignant?" Looks like another feel-good episode! Actually, the doctor jumps right in to say it's small, still in the early days and with radiation, this type of carcinoma is ninety-five per cent treatable. Ninety-five? That's almost ninety-six! This carcinomatous Chet Williams does not seem cheered by those odds, nor comforted by the doctors bearded sincerity, nor amused by his joke that those are better odds than you get driving up the Mass Pike.
So the doctor breaks out the big guns (speaking patient-comfortwise): He gets up from behind his desk and sits on the front of it, facing Chet. "I've known you what, twenty years? We're going to get through this." Chet still doesn't speak.
Then he has to suffer the indignity of going from a cancer diagnosis to waiting for his bus on a bench that proclaims "Life's better in the sun." He's sitting there, brooding, when a man sits down next to him, holding some sort of small blue-glowing cylinder in his right hand. "Tissue connectivity. That's what goes last," says the man, who we'll find out later is Neil Chung. (No, not the same guy from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Chung.) Chet's all, wha? So Neil elaborates that the cure -- radiation -- will make him sick and weak, but it won't work, because the cancer has multiplied. Then it's chemotherapy, but the cell replication rate is too high. Neil's got Chet's attention now, as he explains about hurting, aching, burning bones and renal failure. You know, I'm not one who subscribes to the "I wish it were the good ol' days" mindset, but there was a time when it was considered rude to discuss renal failure at a bus stop. Neil checks his little blue cylinder and then puts it in his pocket. "And soon, you lose all mobility below the waist. Impotence, incontinence and, finally, full respiratory failure. All from one tiny mole."
And now Chet's a little more on board with this ninety-five percent survival rate that his doctor was talking about. "You're the other five percent," says Neil. The bus arrives, blocking our view. When it pulls away again, Neil's gone and Chet's lying motionless on the bench, streaks of blood running from his eyes. Nobody appears to have gotten off and there's no screaming, so maybe the bus is empty and no one saw what happened? As for the bus driver, well, as long as Neil had exact change, the bus driver's got no problem with him.
After the opening credits, we get the extra-special leg-cam showing us someone clad in Earth-2's Fringe Division's stylish urban-war black and grey camouflage. It's the Farnsworthbot, using the bridge to cross over to the other side. She gazes up in wonder at a Statue of Liberty not made of bronze...
... and then we're back to Earth-2 where Col. Broyles has summoned Fauxlivia and Lincoln Bee to his office to tell them that the bridge was activated an hour ago by an agent crossing over to the other side without any mission imperative. Fauxlivia's wondering if someone defected, but Col. Broyles says he can't imagine that's the case, as it was Farnsworthbot who went. Lincoln Bee wants to know who gave her clearance, and Col. Broyles points out that she's got the same security clearance as any senior Fringe agent, and is in fact responsible for processing transit papers and clearance; it just never occurred to them that she'd use it for herself.
Col. Broyles doesn't know what she's doing over there -- she went off the grid right after crossing over -- but he wants to send a team of agents to retrieve her. Fauxlivia says Farnsworthbot doesn't do anything without a reason. "After the day she's had, I got a hunch where she's headed. I'll go get her," she says, although we don't know yet what kind of day she's had.
So back over to our universe, where Peter and Walter are working in the lab, with Walter hankering for some eggs: "I had a marvelous dream last night in which eggs played a prominent part," he says, which probably means he farted all night long too. Peter grumbles that they've only been working for three hours, and they've already taken two food breaks. "At this rate, I'll never get home," he gripes, like you'd think Peter would be used to this at this point. Walter's egg-dream-recollection-induced smile fades, and he starts petulantly saying that he likes the other boy, the one who plays chess and doesn't starve him. That would be Lincoln Lee. Peter rolls his eyes and explains, as Walter childishly scoots off to his chessboard, that Lincoln's in Hartford for his goddaughter's birthday, and Peter will be happy to play with Walter after they're finished their work. "Frankly, I don't think you'd be much of a challenge," sniffs Walter, and Peter stomps off all, "I got a challenge for ya" but says "Why don't we fix the machine?" instead of "It's in my pants."
The door opens and closes, and Walter doesn't look up from the chessboard. When Farnsworthbot says "Hello," he responds in kind and then realizes that Astrid is always willing to keep cramming food down his gullet, and he asks "Astro" if she'd like to share some delightful scrambled eggs? "It's Astrid," says Farnsworthbot. Walter's surprised to be corrected (I'm surprised that he's even aware that he would need to be corrected), and he turns around, and looks for a moment at Farnsworth, who's standing there, looking awkward and self-conscious. "You're not you, are you?" says Walter.
After the commercial break, Olivia's coming into the lab with our Astrid, who's talking about some guy who's never going to call her or some such boring nonsense. Olivia sees Farnsworthbot first and says hello, and then Astrid sees her and lets out a little scream. "I always wondered why nobody does that," says Olivia.
Since Astrid and Farnsworthbot aren't saying anything -- just standing there staring at each other -- Olivia finally asks what she's doing there. Farnsworthbot says she came here to meet her. The two of them adorably clasp each other's hands. "Olivia told me about you. But it's nice to met you personally in the flesh," says Astrid. "All personal meetings are in the flesh," says Farnsworthbot, who I may just start calling Astridperger's. Everyone smiles, as Astrid agrees that she supposes that yes, all personal meetings are in the flesh.
Farnsworthbot babbles about how she thought she would come here, because she "didn't know where to go after." Everyone looks confused while she talks about how her mother might have had traditions for "such occasions" but she doesn't know because she doesn't remember her mother, who died of cancer when Farnsworthbot was a girl. "Did yours as well?" she asks a discombobulated Astrid, who says yes. Farnsworthbot continues: "At first I thought I would walk in the park. But it was so cold. And I could not stop thinking about the words Reverend Stewart said. What a leader he was, a great man, a great friend. Reverend Stewart said he would be sorely missed." She continues to describe a funeral, getting quite sad, and how she didn't know where to go afterwards. "May I ask you a question? "Yours -- did you love him?" she asks Astrid. Tears have started to run down her cheeks.
Olivia quietly asks Astrid what's going on. In a room full of scientific brainiacs, no one has figured out the obvious. "I think my f-- I think her father is dead," says Astrid. Olivia's cellphone rings like JUST GO AHEAD AND INTERRUPT THIS EMOTIONAL SCENE, OLIVIA and while she goes to answer it, Walter seizes his chance to get people on board with chowing down on some eggs with chives. Peter scolds him over how this isn't the time, but Walter says nearly all cultures react to death with food. Never mind that, though, because Olivia's back to tell them they just caught a case. "And my double's on her way here to -- sort this out," she adds. Walter spits out, "Olivia! The viper?" earning a rebuke from Astrid. Olivia suggests that someone should wait here with Farnsworthbot, but Walter says there's no need, as he and Astrid will be fine. Our Astrid