After being stood up by the waitress at the hotel he's staying at, Peter sees the diner roped off as a crime scene, where he's treated as a suspect in the disappearance of Krista, since he's a suspicious-acting drifter who checks into motels under assumed names, and goes a little shifty when he sees a smirking Newton in the crowd of crime-scene looky-loos, and knows a little more than an innocent person would about the piece of brain missing from Krista's brain when she turns up dead.
After Broyles vouches for Peter's bona fides (and promises Peter he won't say anything to Walter), Peter starts helping in the investigation, telling the local sheriffs that the brain-stealers are likely after him. Then a sheriff goes missing, and his partner (played by Martha Plimpton) needs Peter's help finding him.
While Walter falls apart back home without his son, Peter's sanity is being questioned by Martha Plimpton (and himself) because of the oddness (and lack of evidence) of these supposed bad guys who shape-shift and remove frontal lobes. Olivia manages to glean from Broyles that Peter is in Washington, and she and Walter head to the airport.
But after Peter and Plimpton find the sheriff before he's killed, Peter's visited by Newton in his hotel room, who introduces him to Mr. Secretary -- Walternate, to little surprise. But it's still cool to see it actually happen.
A semi slices through the night in "Noyo County" Washington, stopping at the Hilltop Café, which not only subscribes to the rule that every roadside diner has to pretend it has a menu item that is vaguely "famous" (in this case, pies) but has actually permanently enshrined its famous item in the lighted sign. Somewhat mitigated this phenomenon is how often diners inadvertently rectify that through incorrect use of quotation marks. When you see a sign that says "Try our 'famous' ribs," is that establishment mocking itself?
ANYWAY, inside, the waitress is giving some burly bearded fellow coffee that is presumably laced with amphetamines. "Drink that. Avoid the radar. You'll be in Oakland in no time." Then she gives "Raymond" a CD that says "Raymonds music" on it, so I guess in-depth apostrophe knowledge isn't required to work at the Hilltop Café.
Then she's plopping some whipped cream on a piece of pecan pie and schlepping it over to ... Peter, who smiles at the cute, flirty waitress. Before Peter gets too excited, though, I'd like to point out that she does work for tips. "Where was I?" she asks Peter, who says, "Well, you were in the middle of telling me how you moved around a lot as a kid, but I got to tell you, now I'm hopelessly intrigued with these CDs." And it only gets worse as she says that she's known among the regulars for creating playlists based on people's "auras," which should have sent Peter running right there, but because she's cute he asks how often she thinks he'd have to come in to sleep with her, I mean, "be considered a regular." She says she thinks she can get him "on the list," but he has to tell her where he's from.
"Technically, I'm from no place you've ever heard of. But let's just say Boston," says Peter, and the waitress asks how long he's here for, and then he admits he's just passing through. "To?" she prompts. "I don't know yet," he says, and she agrees to burn him a CD. He's surprised, and asks what he did right. "It's a long road to 'I don't know yet.' I want to make sure you stay awake out there," she says, which is great, considering that she's sending out all these truckers on the highways all cranked up. And then she says she likes his eyes, and asks where he's staying. Drake's Bay Motel, says Peter, knowing that the deal has already been sealed. She promises to drop it by after her shift, and drops his bill on the table. She leaves before Peter has a chance to get pissed at having to pay $5.95 at a rinky-dink diner for a measly slice of pie. Well, they are famous. And she did dot the "I" with a heart, so that was nice.