Meet Joseph Meegar. He's a loser in a dead-end job to support and crabby old mother, and he's creepily obsessed with the receptionist at a firm he delivers packages to. Unlike most losers, though, when he gets upset, he seems to have an effect on electrical devices around him (you know, like Boo in Monsters, Inc. [these are the movie references available to me as the father of a two-year-old]). So this is bad news for his crush and the other people in the elevator when Bethany discovers, via his cell phone full of surreptitiously taken pictures of her, his obsession, his stress sends the elevator screaming twenty-six floors to the basement. Joseph walks away, only to get fired from his job, which is bad news for his boss, who loses his arm to a conveyor belt.
The Fringe crew is looking into it, and discover the elevator victims were electrocuted before the elevator hit the ground. In a shocking (sorry) twist, Walter once worked on a project that maybe has something to do with this.
Joseph's firing prompts some more scolding from Mama Meegar, which makes Joseph freak out, frying her pacemaker.
So how does the Fringe team track her down? Simple: helped in part by Olivia's visions of the late John Scott, they train homing pigeons to track Joseph based on his magnetic fingerprint, and find him being "adjusted" by the psycho mad scientist who screwed with his brain's wiring and turned him into Electro in the first place. Hallucinations of dead people and homing pigeons: if only all their cases were so easy to crack.
Dressed, he walks by the old lady who was barking at him earlier, and seeing him gets her croaking again, this time for him to run a comb through his hair, for god's sake. "Dara's son, he always takes care of his appearance!" He doesn't say anything, and mentally reminds himself to rent Throw Momma From the Train. Again.
At work, there's an ad clipping tucked into the magnetic mirror in his locker. I think we're supposed to notice the "UNLOCK YOUR HIDDEN POTENTIAL" ad with its 1-800 number, but I can't help but notice the ad looking for a "Sexy Pin-Up Type Wanted for Receptionist Position." "Pin-Up Type"? So the strange phenomena on this episode is going to be the ability to clip ads from newspapers in the 1950s! Awesome!
Joseph's now in his uniform, which is really just a rugby shirt with a "Bicoastal Parcel" patch on it. Despite the fact he's clearly the losingest loser who ever losered, he's smiling. He gets out his cellphone and starts looking at pictures of some dark-haired woman on a telephone.
He's interrupted by Yelly Boss, who snaps at "Meager." "It's Mee-GAR," corrects Joseph. "Late again and you're making personal calls?" says the boss, snatching Joseph's phone. He flips through the photos and asks if Joseph is stalking this girl. Joseph takes the phone back and tries to go back to work, but his electronic tablet tracker thingy starts smoking, which is apparently the second time this week. "Your sweep's leaving, Meegar. Get on it, or get another gig," says the boss, who can head right back to Douchebag Boss Central Casting for all I care. I also don't know what a "sweep" is in this context.
On the plus side, we get to listen to REO Speedwagon cheese out "Can't Fight This Feeling" as we pan around Boston. Wouldn't Boston's "More Than A Feeling" be a better choice? Well, it's Joseph's choice; that's what he's listening to as he carries a package into an office building's reception area.
He looks nervous, and it's because the object of his phone stalking is the receptionist. He starts making small talk and she does the "one moment" finger point while tilting her head to show she's in the middle of a call, because she's got one of those little headsets that make me pretend someone is a cyborg. Looking around her desk area, he spots some Girl Guide patches pinned to the wall. She wraps up the call and signs for the package, asking if he doesn't usually have a tablet thing, and he nervously laughs and manages not to say, "It went on the fritz after my boss chewed me out for looking at stalker photos of you."
Actually, he doesn't say anything at all, just stands there as she puts the package away, and then she asks if there's anything else. He stammers out something about being a Webelo, and she has no idea what he's on about, so he points out the Brownie patches on the wall. She says she found them online, calls them "kitschy," and says she's going to put them on a jacket. This marks, let me see, carry the one ... yes, it's the one millionth time a Webelo story failed to help a guy get laid.
He's about to keep trying, when some suit from the office stops by the desk to ask "Bethany" if they're still on for drinks, and the two of them flirt with each other, so they're kind of like Jim and Pam from The Office, only if it didn't take them years to start dating. And Bethany is all "Don't keep me out too late again" and this douchebag is all "We'll see" and you're thinking, "God, save it for after work." Anyway, Joseph stares hard at Bethany, and her computer screen starts to go all screwy. While she admonishes her computer to not crash, but the F-bombs preferable under the circumstances are not allowed on Fox, Joseph sneaks off.
The elevator dings and -- after the creepy bald guy from last episode gets off -- Joseph gets on, only to have to hold the doors for Bethany, running to catch up. As she brushes past Joseph to push her button, he drops his cellphone, which flips open, on a picture of her, of course. She bends to get it, and then is -- naturally -- immediately creeped out. She stares at Joseph, and he stares back. No reason not to blatantly stare, really, right? He's got a look on his face like, "She's going to make a big deal about this, isn't she." Suddenly the elevator jerks and drops, giving everyone on board a little freakout. Then it does it again, and Joseph goes to help Bethany, but she's more worried about the stalker than the elevator and screams for him to get away from her, at which point the elevator screeches into freefall, plummeting all the way to the basement, where the bell dings before the impact sends dust and smoke into the parking garage.
On the bright side, for Joseph anyway, he's got his hand on Bethany's thigh. On the "minus" side of the ledger is that she appears to be dead, as does everyone else in the wreckage of the elevator, except for Joseph, who sits up and coughs. "Oh no," he says. Yeah, that's putting it very fucking mildly. He gets up and walks into the parking garage, and every car he passes starts up, headlights shining. "Stop it!" he yells, and runs through the garage, as cars rev to life. So even if the elevator fall didn't kill them, they'd soon be dead of carbon monoxide poisoning anyway. Nice one, Joseph.
Over in Boston, Olivia's walking with Charlie and explaining that since he knew about her and John and didn't say anything, she trusts him enough to tell him that she was visited by the ghost of John Scott the other night. Well, she doesn't say "ghost." She says she grabbed her gun, but then he was gone. "I know he wasn't there, obviously, but... I just..."
Charlie theorizes that she's wondering if falling in love with a guy who betrayed her and her country, died in her arms and is now showing up in her kitchen from beyond the grave means she should recuse herself. If "recuse" means "get some friggin' help," I'd say yeah. He tells her that she's indispensable because, remember, she's so amazing that she didn't let their relationship get in the way of taking John down. "The next time John shows up for a nightcap, give him one," says Charlie. He tells her that she can't expect to get over everything that happened so quickly, but it'll get easier, and she shouldn't beat herself up too much. "You're good at that. It's a character flaw," he tells her, and she continues walking down the street and he watches her for a moment.
Over at the Harvard lab, Peter's noodling around on the piano, still looking worse for wear after last episode, plus the fact he's not getting any sleep isn't helping. Walter says he's also having trouble sleeping because the guy who tortured Peter seemed very familiar to him, but he doesn't know how. Peter doesn't want to talk about it, but Walter, frustrated, says it's important: "You cannot imagine what it's like for a man like me to not have access to parts of his mind," he says. Peter, after a pause, says, "You're doing fine, Walter," which I think is the first nice thing he's said to his dad, even if his dad is kind of overdoing it with the "this is hard for me because I'm so brilliant" routine.
Of course, Broyles shows up with Olivia, and Peter cracks, "Visiting hours! Everyone put on your straitjacket," like NICE when your dad was just lamenting his time in the mental hospital. Broyles tells them about a power surge that hit an office building, causing an elevator to slam to the ground, killing eight people. Peter asks if the cable snapped, and Olivia tells him the weird thing