Then Charlie gets a tip about a security guard at a storage locker facility who remembers seeing "two Middle East men" handing a briefcase to a white guy. Broyles tells Olivia to look into it, and she turns up her nose. "You're telling me that's my assignment?" she says. "Yeah, honey. Would you mind?" says Broyles. Olivia stomps off.
So we drive up to U-Case Storage in Chelsea, Massachusetts. And even though this is supposed to be an obvious dead-end lead, and that's why Olivia's nose is out of joint, for some reason John has come along with her.
Even more confusing is that for some reason Olivia waited until they arrived to bitch about Broyles. She tells John that Broyles is pissed because his best friend sexually assaulted three marine privates (the privates' privates, I presume) and she put him away.
"Broyles is an idiot. You're smarter, you're stronger, you're much better looking. He's jealous," agrees John. And then the two of them, while they're supposed to be investigating, have a conversation about how he said "I love you" back at the motel and she didn't say it back, but she wanted to, and blah blah blah, and maybe you can have this conversation after YOU CATCH THE BAD GUYS, and yeah, I can't imagine why the bureau frowns on inter-office romance, and then they are kissing. "Let's go check the trash together," he says.
So we get a fancy trunk-in-Pulp-Fiction Dumpster-opening shot, and right on top are a couple of empty tanks that held, by the smell of them, ammonia. So John heads off to the nearby row of lockers and starts picking the padlock. "What are you doing?" asks Olivia. "What are you doing? I'm a federal agent," he says, which is about all the argument she needs as far as circumventing the United States' constitution. After discovering a whole lot of crap like stacked boxes and an old beater, it's dark by the time they open a locker full of caged animals and equipment.
"We need to get a chem transport team out here now," says John as they realize that the animals aren't exactly prime examples of their species. Hairless rats, for example. Olivia can't get a signal inside the locker, so she heads outside and practically walks back to the parking lot, like WHERE ARE YOU GOING, and meanwhile John opens another locker to find more of the same. He's checking it out when someone in the row of units across opens a locker from the inside. It's the guy from the van in the airport. After he gets John's flashlight in his face, he bolts, ignoring John's warnings that he'll fire.
John, while chasing the subject, manages to call Olivia on his cellphone instead of just YELLING for her, and she's on her way. Just in time to be the caboose in the chase. She and John chase Buddy a little while more until Buddy calmly stops and starts pushing buttons on his cellphone. John stops far enough away that it would be something of a challenging shot for him if he actually does have to fire. But he doesn't get the opportunity, because Buddy sets off an explosion from the row of lockers, engulfing John in flame and sending Sarah flying backwards, up against another storage container, and she falls to the ground.
She slips out of consciousness, and then seems to fade in and out as she's wheeled into a hospital, blood streaming from a nasty gash on her head. Eventually she comes to, with her massive head wound only requiring a tiny little bandage. And she does what all people do when they wake up in the hospital: she yanks out her IV lines and her various hookups to hospital machinery and starts stomping around the hospital, eventually finding a doctor who tells her that John wasn't as lucky as she was because he was exposed to a compound of the chemicals that they found in the storage lockers.
He's in an isolation unit -- the doctor tells her in a voiceover, as we watch Olivia, in scrubs, enter the unit -- even though he isn't contagious, because they don't want to introduce any new contaminants. Well, Olivia's flimsy little face mask should protect everyone, then. They have no idea what substance John's reacting to, and they've put him in a drug-induced coma so they can lower his body temperature and slow the spread.
We see John, his body all purple and black. He looks ... mouldy. Disgusting. Olivia does some eye acting underneath the facemask. A single tear rolls down her left cheek. Wow, look what mere SECONDS more exposure did to John whilst leaving Olivia completely untouched?
So Dunham joins Olivia Benson in the Law-Enforcement Olivias Who Take It Personal Department and gets to work searching FBI databases for info on dissolving skin, hardening skin. You can tell she's serious because she has glasses on and her Facebook status is set to "Olivia Dunham is searching for info on dissolving skin. Yick!"
All the articles she finds point her in the direction of Walter Bishop, and she goes hurtling up and down the stairs of Federal Building Boston, where the only person still actually working the case, despite a new major lead and an agent near death, is Broyles, who ignores Dunham, who is all, "Are you there, Broyles? It's me, Liaison."
She gets his attention with, "I found a connection between the Hamburg flight and what's happened to Agent Scott." She hands over the info on Dr. Walter Bishop -- born in '46, Harvard- Oxford- and MIT-educated. She tells him to look at the experiments Bishop was conducting in the '70s.
And man, all Broyles can do is point out that Bishop is currently in a mental hospital, which Dunham brushes off as a lab assistant being killed, and that there are rumors that Bishop was using human guinea pigs, and he was charged with manslaughter, but he was mentally unfit to stand trial. Yeah, who hasn't had that happen to them?
"Why are you so sure Bishop is worth our time?" says Broyles. "Why are you so sure he's not?" snaps Dunham. Well, Broyles didn't actually say that, Olivia, but since you asked, the whole manslaughter/mentally unfit/mental hospital thing would certainly give me pause.
But Broyles tries to say they got off on the wrong foot, with Olivia steamrolling him by suggesting that her past job as U.S. marines special investigator offends him, and he admits it does, and unfortunately chalks up his friend's behavior to "a small lapse in judgment," and Olivia haughtily snaps that the "lapse in judgment" will "haunt three women for the rest of their lives," and maybe you both could get back to finding out what the hell happened, especially given that you two seem to be the ONLY ONES still trying to find out what the hell happened.
Broyles does get back to the matter at hand and points out that the terms of Bishop's incarceration include that he's allowed no visitors other than immediate family, which she's going to need since she doesn't have enough of a lead to go down to a mental hospital and wave the Patriot Act around. Olivia tries to make it personal again (nice) and Broyles orders her to find Bishop's next of kin and get him to escort her. "Talk to Bishop. Get something substantial, and I will have your back. Until then, I am not so convinced." Olivia folds her arms and says Bishop has a son. "Is he local too?" "Not exactly."
By not exactly, Olivia means, "He's in Baghdad." And this time the floating letters are massive and blend in on Baghdad's rooftops as we fly in with some helicopters for the establishing shot. And, somewhat hilariously, we switch point-of-view to the ground and we're now looking around a giant floating B.
Dr. Bishop's son is Peter Bishop, a high school dropout misfit nomad with an IQ of 190. Can't hold a job, although he was briefly a chemistry professor at MIT because he falsified a degree and even managed to get a few papers published. Publish or perish, Olivia. That's just how it is.
We watch Joshua Jackson get out of a cab, pause, dramatically whip off his sunglasses, and then go into some hotel to wheel and deal with oil bigwigs. Peter talks a lot of blah-blah about how they need someone to oversee the construction of six-hundred miles of pipeline and he dazzles them by rattling off everything they'll need. It includes terms like "hydrodynamical" and "mixed-integer programs" and I have no idea if this is all bullshit. It's certainly not out of place on this show if it is.
Having secured a $600,000 contract, Peter jogs down the stairs to the hotel lobby, where he's pleased to