Fringe

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Parasite Eve

Down at the docks, it's about to get very Unusual Suspects up in here. Guys are finishing tying up the boat as FBI agents and SWAT teams swarm in, including Olivia and Broyles. They quickly board the boat and do a sweep, but no one's there. Olivia finds one clue in the hold: that mechanical bird the little girl was playing with earlier. Olivia picks it up as Broyles tells her there are no illicit passengers. "But there were," Olivia says. "We're just too late."

Peter pulls up outside Tzi Ma's shop, to Walter's confusion. He's in a hurry to get back to the lab and check on Astrid, but Peter assures him she's fine. As they watch, a panel truck in an alley opens up its back doors and a small crowd of immigrants streams from it to the front door of the building. Oh, very discreet. While they're watching this, Peter gets a call from Olivia telling him what they found. Peter in turn tells her what he's looking at. "We're on our way," Olivia says, and hangs up without getting the address. Seeing that the last of the people have been brought inside, Peter's about to go investigate, because waiting for backup is for chumps. Walter tries to convince him to wait, but Peter assures him with a smile that he'll be careful. "Stay in the car," Peter orders. As soon as he's gone, Walter locks both front doors, which will be handy if Peter ends up having to come out of there in a hurry.

Outside the back door, Peter produces a set of lock picks that he apparently carries around everywhere, which is a splendid plan when you spend as much time as he does around FBI agents and other law enforcement officers. He's inside momentarily. Nobody busts him, because he's starting in the empty part of the shop. But he follows some eerie noises down to the basement, keeping low and out of sight as he sneaks around the cots, to which all the people have already been strapped. Okay, I can see strapping one person down or even two, but you might think that the third through twenty-third might put up a little resistance when they see what's going on. One of them, whose dress is being cut open as we speak, spots Peter crouching among the gurneys. Peter shushes her with a finger to his lips, which seems redundant since she's gagged and all. A gag which seems counterproductive for Tzi Ma's purposes, considering where the worms come out of. Oh, I see he's just pulling out a big butcher knife to open up a downstairs exit. But before he can use it, Peter rushes up and attacks him from behind, bouncing his face off the table and dropping him to the ground. Peter assures the next victim that she'll be okay, but then is attacked from behind himself.

Outside in the car, Walter sings tunelessly to himself, something about somebody who walked into the lion's den. Whoever he's singing about, he sounds like an idiot.

By the time we return inside, Peter is strapped to a table and rotated to a 45-degree angle. As he watches, blood flowing from his nose, Tzi Ma opens up a capsule, freeing the worm larva inside. The Asian goon who clobbered Astrid earlier watches. Brandishing the larva in a pair of forceps, Tzi Ma asks Peter who knows he's there. Peter lies and says nobody else knows (which seems like the reverse of what one would normally do in this situation), and Tzi Ma isn't convinced. "Oh, that's a shame, most people find me very trustworthy," Peter says while trying to twist his face away from the oncoming bug. Tzi Ma nods at his goon, who grabs Peter's head to start forcing his mouth open. Which, again, seems like the reverse of what one would normally do.

Fortunately for Peter, here comes the cavalry, in the form of the FBI pulling up just outside. They'd better hurry, because Peter's mouth is forced open, and Tzi Ma warns him that chewing the worm will kill him, just before dropping it in so the goon can shut Peter's mouth for him. Peter struggles futilely, until the FBI bursts in. Tzi Ma draws a sidearm, which only gets him two in the chest from Olivia. Glad she finally learned how to shoot. The goon gives himself up, and Peter spits out the larva in the floor in a gobbet of bloody spit. Olivia asks if he's okay, and he says he is now. I don't know, I'd be checking that worm pretty closely to make sure it still had all its parts.

Walter lets himself into the lab and calls for Astrid, who doesn't even look like she's gotten started on the clean-up. She assures him she'll take care of it, though. "Peter said you were followed," Walter says, coming around one of the workbenches and getting a good look at her face for the first time. In addition to the blood and bruises, there are tears in her eyes. Walter is devastated, and Astrid says it isn't his fault, because I guess she's figured out that he didn't ditch her on purpose. They even hug each other, each trying not to cry for different reasons. It's a moving moment that Walter does not spoil by stabbing her in the neck with a syringe.

At the hospital, Broyles debriefs Peter and Olivia. It's too soon to know what will become of any of the Chinese, but it's looking good for Mei Lin's family. The better news is that they'll all get political asylum. Well, that was easy. Peter releases, rather belatedly if you ask me, that there must have been other patients, and Broyles says they're already questioning six others. Maybe things wouldn't have been cut so close if they'd started on them earlier, you think? Olivia asks if they've tracked down John Soo, and Broyles says there's no such person; It's only an alias. For WILLIAM BELL? No, just Tzi Ma. With that done, Olivia excuses herself, so she can visit the Lins in their hospital room and return the mechanical bird to the little girl. Who accepts it and begins playing with it without so much as a mh goi.

Chez Bishop. After his complaints about Walter not wanting to sleep in his own bedroom, Peter's sleeping on the couch again. I guess that's so we Walter can wake him without the production having to build a bedroom set for him. Peter starts awake and turns on the lamp, wondering what time it is. Instead of answering, Walter starts talking about how much he wants his independence back. "Not to have my son watching after me all the time. Not that I don't appreciate all that you do for me. That's not the way it's supposed to be." He says he's been out for a year, and is still worried about getting lost. "So I have implanted a tracking device in my neck." He turns to show Peter a bandage there on the left side. "You did what?" Peter says, as though this is surprising, and sighs in exasperation. Walter gives Peter the little remote that goes with it and leaves him to get back to sleep. As he goes, and as they exchange goodnights, a soft but rapid beeping can be heard, and it slows down as Walter moves away. Concerns about what might happen if bad guys get a hold of that transponder will have to wait for a future episode. Peter smiles to himself, because at least he's not the one who ended the episode with a foreign body inside of him.

M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at M.Giant[at]gmail.com.

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Fringe

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