Fringe
Northwest Passage

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admin: A | 1 USERS: A+
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Washington Peter and the Kingdom of Krista's Skull
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!
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.

And so after her shift, she flicks on the neon "CLOSED" sign because this place is unlike every other establishment everywhere else that just turns off its neon "OPEN" sign. And Krista uses her laptop to burn a CD for "Peter from Boston," which is what she scribbles on the CD, and here's hoping it's not just 80 minutes' worth of the Dropkick Murphys (wait, that would actually be awesome), and she uses hearts for O's in "Boston" because maybe she's actually 12 years old, and then she goes out her car, only just as she's about to get in, she's approached by a shadowy guy in a hood. We watch their interaction silently from across the highway as trucks flash by, and suddenly both Krista and the guy are gone.

Krista wakes up in what appears to be some sort of makeshift surgical lab, and she can't move, since she's secured in place. As she becomes more aware of her surroundings, the whirring of some kind of operating instrument would seem to be a concern, as are the blood-spattered gloves of whoever is in there with her. She starts pleading with Dr. Giggles, but whoever it is doesn't say anything, just jams tweezers into a hole in her head? My god, this is gross. Is that a piece of her brain? Holy shit, I think I just passed out.

And then there's Peter waking up in the lobby of the Drake's Bay motel while the sleepy front-desk clerk tells him that his room's got a bed. "What time is it?" asks Peter, ignoring the clerk blatantly cruising him. Six a.m., says the clerk, who's practically falling asleep himself. "Did a pretty girl happen to drop by here?" Peter asks the clerk, who shakes his head. Peter smirks, knowing he's been stood up. So he goes back to his room and flops down on the bed, just in time for his room phone to start ringing.

He picks up the phone, and it's nothing but static and strange noises. "Krista?" he says. There's no one there. He stares at the phone for a moment.

And then he's in the car, using the voice-recognizing GPS system to plot a route to Portland, which as far as I know is a major U.S. city except Peter thinks the GPS plotted it out too easily, whatever that's supposed to mean, so he tries "Mars" instead and grins when the computer is unable to plot the route.

While he taunts the GPS, he sees that the Hilltop Café is surrounded by police cars, police tape and onlookers (one of whom is apparently the Observer, if you have which you can see if you have super-super-super hi-def television and a willingness to make your eyes bleed), so he gets out to see what's going on. As he strolls towards some sheriffs, a woman points at Peter, so the officers walk over. "I'm Sheriff Mathis, this is Deputy Ferguson," says good ol' Martha Plimpton, and Peter introduces himself. She asks if he was a customer there last night, and he does, and yes he remembers his waitress: "Did something happen to her?"

The cops don't answer but ask Peter for identification. I thought he was in Washington, not Arizona? He smiles and supplies it, so the deputy goes over to his car to call it in, while Mathis says Krista told a coworker she was planning to meet him after her shift. "You gonna tell me what's going on here?" Peter asks, and Mathis gives him a tight-lipped smile: "You first." So Peter explains that Krista was supposed to meet him, but she never showed up, and he fell asleep in the lobby of his motel: "You can call the front desk, ask the guy there." Mathis tells him to hang tight, while she strolls away to do some investigative-type stuff in a different area of the parking lot.

Peter looks at the gawkers in the parking lot (some of whom are gawking at him) and suddenly he sees Thomas Newton. Wow, small world! Newton smirks and strolls through the crowd while Peter starts walking toward him (presumably to ask him "Hey, did you have a falling-out with your dad too?"), and then the sheriffs are back in his face wondering where he's going, and who he's looking for. Peter, seeming as shifty as all hell, says no one. Because what kind of explanation would he give? Deputy Ferguson holds up the back door of the sheriff SUV, and Peter's all "ah, hell naw!" about it, because it's so weird for the police to want to talk to someone who was supposed to see a missing woman the night she went missing. Mathis does an excellent friendly-but-firm explanation along those lines, and soon we are trundling off down the road, with Ferguson calling the motel to check out Peter's alibi. He has to spell "Bishop" for the illiterate hillbilly hotel clerk, which makes Peter sheepishly admit that he wasn't staying under the name Bishop but under the name Stewart. Mathis gives Ferguson a look while Ferguson finds out that "Stewart"'s alibi checks out.

"Why did you check into the motel under an assumed name, sir?" asks Mathis, but before Peter can come up with an explanation, the radio crackles as the dispatcher tells Mathis that the dogs have found a body in the spillway off Route 219 and mile-marker eight. Peter closes his eyes and Ferguson glances in the back. Looks like Peter's going to be sticking around for a little while, which is kind of too bad, because I was hoping the sheriffs might dump him at the outskirts of town, and then he could stroll back in and lay waste to the place like in First Blood. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch First Blood.

So the sheriff and the deputy stop off at the scene, while Peter sits and stews in the back. "Now

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