Meanwhile, Hoffman gets in a lineup behind a bunch of non-white people, so I don't imagine he's too happy about that.
Walter's recovered outside, and Olivia asks him how he's feeling. "You got me out just in time," says Walter, who also would like his sweater back. Olivia wonders why Hoffman would go after Walter, and Walter theorizes that Hoffman knows his father betrayed the Nazis. Olivia, meanwhile, has gotten the picture of Hoffman to Broyles so it can be sent out, and she's also found a plastic badge cover with a faint logo of multicoloured people in a group hug. "I know that logo," says Peter.
Meanwhile, Hoffman is schlepping his box of candles through a security line, and a guard checks the Sterno cans while another passes a security wand over his body. Then he's given the go-ahead, and he takes his box downstairs into the centre, past the big banner with the coloured-people-hugging logo announcing this as the "World Tolerance Initiative"'s annual conference.
Note to Subway: I know they're healthier than regular potato chips, but when the pitchman in your commercial is Michael Phelps, is it a good idea to have the word "Baked!" in huge letters on a bag? Actually, that's a fantastic idea. Carry on.
Anyway, Olivia and Peter are en route to the Boston Center for Performing Arts while updating Broyles on the phone. Broyles wants to know if they have any idea who Hoffman is going to target, but Peter says with such a broad spectrum of genetic markers, the target group could be anybody. I'm thinking "everybody" might be more accurate. Broyles says they'll need to evacuate: "But there are any number of foreign dignitaries at that conference, so we need to follow protocol. That'll take time." Peter says they might not have the time. Really! Just say. "Your excellency, come with me," and that's it!
Back at Hoffman's place, Walter has put on a gas mask so he can go downstairs and get his sweater. He looks around and, after a moment, takes his mask off, testing the air. Satisfied that he's not going to shit out his insides any time soon, he looks around a little more and grabs some sort of device off the shelf. Then, frowning, suddenly starts moving purposefully.
While a speaker at the Arts Center drones on at the lectern about confronting discrimination, Hoffman, snazzy in wait-staff wear, puts his canisters underneath the warming dishes. I've been to conferences like this. In some cases, you're kinda hoping that some madman is planning to take out the entire hall with deadly toxins that target specific genetic traits.
Back at Hoffman's lab, Astrid has shown up, and she strolls downstairs, ready to take Walter home whenever he's ready. She's surprised to see him working away, and he tells her that he wants her to take him to the Performing Arts Center. He finishes mixing and stirring a light-blue liquid and pours it into a test tube. "I can stop this," he says.
Over at the Performing Arts Center, Olivia and Peter stride in with a group of FBI agents. Olivia tells them Hoffman could be anywhere, while Peter explains that the toxin's going to require something hot, like a candle, or a coffee urn. Everyone splits up to search.
Olivia radios Peter to note there's a candle on every table, and Peter uses his fingers to put them out as he goes, even though since there don't seem to be any victims, Hoffman must be using something more potent.
And then Walter arrives with Astrid, and opts to go upstairs instead of in the other direction to the conference: "We need to take the higher ground," he "explains" to Astrid.
While the conference speaker continues to drone on, the FBI crew keeps searching, finding nothing, and Olivia just misses spotting Hoffman as he strolls through the crowd. Peter, meanwhile, is over in the bar: "It could be anything back here. Candles, coffeepots ... it's a disaster." Then he spots something, and Olivia rushes to join him. He intercepts a waitress just as she's about to light one of the canisters. "Let's hold off on those for one second," he says, grabbing the waitress's hand. Fortunately she's a waitress who amiably listens to an order from a complete stranger instead of just doing the job she's paid to do. Peter grabs the canister and sniffs it, as Olivia arrives.
And then they hear some coughing and start racing to the conference floor, where one benefit of the coughing fit is that the speaker has stopped talking. Peter gets to the victim first: it's Hoffman, turning a greyish-blue on the floor. Peter recognizes him, and stares as Hoffman chokes out, "Bischoff! Traitor!" and dies. Peter looks up, behind him, at his dad in the balcony. Walter's standing there with smoke drifting out of that little device that he snagged from Hoffman's lab. And everyone is just standing there staring up at Walter, and nobody moves or does anything or freaks out, despite nobody having any idea what the hell's going on. They must all be numb from listening to that speaker for so long. "Hey, someone just coughed themselves to death, and yelled something about a traitor, and there's some dude up in the balcony holding some strange-looking device with smoke coming out of it, think I'LL JUST STAND RIGHT HERE AND DO NOTHING."
Afterwards, Broyles glowers at Walter: "What you did tonight--" he begins, and Walter finishes: "--was to use the killer's DNA to target him and only him using his own toxin. If you plan to press charges, then so be it. But I don't regret what I did." Broyles stares at him for a minute before sighing. "Good night, Dr. Bishop," he says, and walks away. Probably doesn't want to be Walter's NEXT VICTIM.
Walter snags Olivia so he can explain himself, sort of. "That man... he, he corrupted my father's work." Olivia says she understands. Walter says it's more than that, though: "You see, family is very important to me. There's nothing I wouldn't do." Why doesn't Walter just walk around with a sign that reads, "Someone please ask me about the time Peter died and I made a clone of him" already?
Walter scribbles notes on his desk at the end of his bed (which is, you'll remember, in the living room of the Bishop house) as Peter walks in (the thunder and Peter's soaking hair and shirt letting us know that it's raining outside) with a box of stuff that he dumps in front of his dad. "What's this?" asks Walter. "It's a present. Your father's work. I had Franko give me everything that wasn't totally destroyed." Walter goes from grumpy to giddy as he goes through the box's contents. He comes across an old photo of his father that he shows Peter. It's a yellowed photograph of a bunch of men in tuxedos, with some sort of Nazi decoration behind them. "Robert Bischoff," reads Peter, confused, and Walter explains that Peter's grandfather changed his name when he came to the States. "Your mother always said that you shared his 'noble brow.' It's a pity you never got to know him. You two would have gotten along very well, I think."
Peter smiles at his dad and stands up, and then says, like Columbo, that there's just one more thing that doesn't make sense: "If the formula for the toxin didn't come from your father's notes, how did this guy get it?" Walter figures there are some mysteries that are destined to remain unsolved. He thanks Peter for bringing them back and continues looking through them, as the camera zooms in on a sepia-toned photograph that could very well be a young John Noble as scientist Robert Bischoff. In the background is Hoffman, looking pretty much exactly the same as he does today (well, yesterday, anyway. Before he died).
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland, which is at least a half-hour ahead of the rest of North America, and almost always enjoys scenes of defenestration. Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, Dude. At least it's an ethos. Follow him on Twitter or email him at danieljdaniel[at]gmail.com.