Boatloads of unwitting Chinese drug mules are coming ashore in Boston, but instead of drugs they're carrying an exotic medicine, and instead of carrying it in balloons they're carrying it in giant, scary, appropriately Fringey hookworms. One boat has already run aground, killing most of the illicit passengers, but a second is due shortly and the Fringe team is in a race against time. Olivia and Peter follow a trail from a captured Triad member to an immune-disorder patient. Meanwhile Walter, who's been feeling more independent anyway, gets enough of a boost from a hookworm bite to venture out on his own. But he ends up first tipping off the herbalist who's trafficking the medicinal worm glands (who then sends goons to repossess a worm specimen from the lab and clobber Astrid), and then getting confused and stranded in Chinatown so that Peter has to come get him. As for the second boatload of mules, the FBI finds it empty while Peter and Walter backtrack to the herbalist shop just in time to see the hapless human deliveries arrive. Rather than waiting for backup, Peter busts in during the harvest, getting himself nabbed and then nearly fed a worm of his own. But of course he's saved at the last moment, ironically enough, by the Feds. And Walter learned something from his foray into self-actualization: someone ought to LoJack him or something. Which he does himself, implanting a locator chip in his own neck and giving Peter the transponder. It's the kind of gesture of humility and trust that only Walter Bishop could pull off.
Even though it's nighttime and there's no traffic, someone should really move those floaty letters reading "BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS" out of the middle of the street before a car runs into them and riddles the numerous pedestrians with floaty shrapnel. The floaty letters also do not specify that this is Boston's Chinatown. For that, we have to look at all the street vendors with steam rising from their kiosks and the fact that all of the people on the sidewalk look as homogenously Asian as an episode of Most Extreme Elimination.. One of these, a man who is looking quite desperate on top of being the only person in sight who's soaking wet, is drawing further attention to himself with his uneven gait and a Chinese phrase he keeps muttering to himself. He waylays a passing woman and repeats the phrase. Finally the subtitles, which apparently slept in a little late, let us know that he's looking for Ping-On Street. He begs the woman to take him there, but she nervously (and wisely) declines to do more than point him in the right direction.
He seems to find the right place, and buzzes a security intercom. The subtitles slack off again as he speaks into it, but whoever is inside doesn't need them, because he gets buzzed in. A moment later, he's in the parlor of a man played by Tzi Ma, the Chinese Consulate Cop who made a full-time career out of Jack Bauer in seasons four through six of 24. "Did any of the others make it?" the sick man asks from the depths of the blanket Tzi Ma has wrapped him in. "You are the first," Tzi Ma informs him. The man worries that everyone else is dead, but Tzi Ma kindly advises him to have hope and invites him to spend the night here. A moment later, he's helping him down into what looks like a cavernous basement kitchen, only this one seems to be equipped with a lot of cots. Tzi Ma points out all the amenities, but all his visitor can do is complain about pain in his stomach. Tzi Ma invites him to lie down and rest. The man's panic increases as he wonders what's happening to him, but he just lies there screaming while blood starts coming out of his nose. Blood, and a pointy little tentacle that comes out and waves around before withdrawing again. His mind is not eased by the sight of Tzi Ma donning a large rubber gauntlet and unrolling a "surgical kit" that looks about as clean as my barbecue utensils in September. He cuts open the man's shirt, revealing a chest that's undulating in waves, like he ate some of my barbecue in April. But just when we're expecting something to come Aliening out through his rib cage, suddenly his mouth is obscured by a mass of Lovecraftian tentacles emerging into the open from his throat. Tzi Ma seizes it and holds on. Fringey!