While a construction worker is sucked into a Pennsylvania field -- or actually, under it -- and attacked by a subterranean beastie, Olivia is trying to get back into the daily routine. She does this by going along on a multiple missing-persons case that Peter found on his own, of whom our Pennsylvania worker is only the most recent. After Walter concludes in the lab that a contact paralytic was used in the apparent abductions, Peter and Olivia head out to brace an ex-doctor named Hughes who visited the families of the disappeared. All that happens there is that Olivia's new super-hearing nearly makes her shoot Peter in the face (good thing she's still a lousy shot). The ex-doc turns out to have lost his wife in childbirth 17 years back, so it's no surprise when his supposedly stillborn son becomes a prime suspect, what with the child's coffin turning up empty and a tunnel leading down from the bottom of the grave. But it's not like Hughes is about to explain, having hung himself in custody. It's left to the Fringe team to figure out on their own that the late Mrs. Hughes had lupus, which is why Hughes had to alter the baby in utero with scorpion and mole rat DNA to help it survive its mom's overactive immune system. As you do. Olivia and Peter end up tangling with the horrid teenaged critter underground, to its detriment. Having been referred by Nina Sharp to a guy named Sam Weiss, Olivia finds him in a bowling alley, in what promises to become a beautiful guru-protégé friendship. And Peter and Walter are going to go fishing together. Meanwhile, Faux Charlie continues to cultivate Olivia's trust and promises to help her remember her recent adventures, while the Typewriter From Hell tells him to jog Olivia's memory. Somehow it's spookier coming from a typewriter.
Oh, shit! We've somehow traveled into a parallel universe where I'm the recapper for Fringe! Despite my never having seen a single episode before now! And God only knows what Daniel is up to in this reality. Well, there's nothing we can do but make the best of it, and try to get through this together. Something tells me we'll all be safely back home by January.
We open on a rural field, where in the midst of some kind of vegetable, some enterprising farmer has succeeded in raising a bumper crop of giant white letters that read "Lansdale Pennsylvania." There's some construction happening to the road running alongside the edge of the field, but it appears to be wrapping up for the day. As a couple of workers get set to climb in a pickup to leave -- the pickup's radio muttering softly about six recent local disappearances in what I'm sure is a totally extraneous detail -- one of them returns to the field to pick up some stuff he forgot, despite his coworker fretting about missing an impending kickoff. The worker takes his time, though, pausing to regard the ominous scarecrow looming over the field. Well, at least it's supposed to look ominous, but the noisy crow perched on its shoulder seems pretty unintimidated. Probably because it flew right out of The Stand. In fact, the worker comes over all curious about what the crow could be trying to tell him. As the truck's radio, apropos of nothing, plays "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson, the worker ventures into the field to see what's what. There appears to be a small puddle of some blue fluid on the ground. A hand-shaped puddle, although it's hard to get a good look at it with all the leaves in the way. So as the signal bell at the nearby train crossing starts ringing, the worker squats down for a closer look. What an extraordinarily awful idea; it's bad enough to find oneself in a Fringe teaser in the first place without compounding your doom by ignoring an actual, literal alarm. Sure enough, the hand-shaped blob suddenly grabs the worker's hand and drags him bodily head-first right into the ground in less time than it takes to read this sentence. Even if you're a speed-reader. His coworker, who wouldn't have been able to see any of this through the thick crop, is left calling, "Raymond!" to an empty field, save for the impassive scarecrow and the Walkin' Dude on its shoulder. Neither of them seem to care that he's going to miss the kickoff after all.
After the titles, we're in New York City. Specifically, Olivia's soon-to-be-former hospital room. The cuts on her face are healing normally, looks like. She's dressed to leave, and a health care professional snips off her wristband. Olivia stretches her newly freed hand -- which shakes only briefly -- as Peter looks over at her with concern. Before handing Olivia her new cane, he jokes that he's checking it for a hidden ninja sword. One would expect him to know that samurai swords are much sharper. Olivia's just glad to be leaving the hospital. "I'm no good at sitting around," she says, already limping House-style to the door. "You're also no good at letting people help you," Peter remarks. That just gets him drafted into carrying her suitcase. He shakes his head, either in regret that he couldn't keep his mouth shut or in disgust that Olivia doesn't have a rolling suitcase like everyone else.