Late one night, a dazed woman dumped out of a van wanders into a diner. She's disoriented and possibly abused, but the police officer who tries to help her winds up bleeding from the eyes and, you know, dying. As does everyone else in the diner. The woman dies too; in fact, she gets it even worse, what with her head popping off and everything.
The Fringe investigation discovers that the dead woman had a supposedly incurable disease that had gone into remission -- and then she disappeared for a couple of weeks. Not only that, but another woman with the same disease has also disappeared, and the Fringe team needs to find her before her head goes all Scanners too. Walter pieces together the reason for the mysterious remission: medication in the bloodstream that's essentially like time-release chemotherapy, but the release of it all at once turned the woman into, essentially, a human microwave that could be used as a weapon. Since microwave technology can't even properly cook a bag of popcorn, I'm not sure why anyone thought this would work.
There's a drug company pursuing unethical treatment experimentation, but Olivia's hardass questioning gets her nothing but a rebuke from Broyles, so Peter steps in to bargain the location of the drug lab from Nina Sharp, who would love nothing more than to see one of Massive Dynamic's competitors go down the toilet. Walter synthesizes a vaccine that saves the patient's life, and Olivia manages to not get fired for very publicly taking down the head of the drug company.
Happy birthday, Olivia. Oh, by the way, she's on edge because her abusive dad disappeared from her life when she was nine, after he beat her mother particularly badly one night and Olivia unsuccessfully tried to shoot him to death. He always sends a card on her birthday, reminding her he's still out there. But she doesn't get one today! Oh, except then she totally does.
Wilford, Massachussetts. It's late at night. A white van comes careening down a deserted street and screeches to a halt. Two people in Hazmat suits get out and open the rear doors. They unceremoniously toss a woman out into the street, where she hits the pavement hard. Aw. Does anyone else miss frosh week at university?
As the van peels out, the woman struggles to get to her feet, and then staggers down the middle of the street, until she makes her way over to Holly's Diner. She wanders in, and we get our first glimpse of her in the light. She looks kind of like Eliza Dushku, only really tired and beat up. She makes her way to a seat at the counter, where a dude asks her if she wants a menu. She responds by coughing weakly.
He asks if she's OK, and seems to think whatever's wrong with her can be cured by "some wicked good vegetable soup." Heh. I love Massachusetts. Ten bucks says this guy's listed in the credits as "Sully." She nods, and the counter guy heads back to the kitchen to order the soup. The cook says, "Onion?" and Sully says, "No, vegetable. No one likes the onion." Sounds like a throwaway line, but it'll pay off later. Sully also asks the cook to call "Marty," because a woman out front might be in trouble and need some help.
The woman's fidgeting at the counter. Her hands are a mess of scars and sores. Sully comes back and drops off the soup, and then brings her some crackers, and, noticing her hands, starts rambling on about eating too many crackers when he was a kid and spoiling his appetite, and maybe he should worry about sending her completely off the deep end with this moronic story of his. He asks about her hands, and she hesitates, so he quickly says it's none of his business. "I'll leave you alone if you like," he says, but her hesitation is because she can't remember.
That's when Marty, a cop, comes in, complaining that he was "at Thurbers," which I'm going to assume is an all-night pornography store, like SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, OFFICER. Sully indicates the woman at the counter with a flick of his head, so Marty orders a soda and sits down. He asks how she's doing, if she's from the area, but her vegetable soup is much too wicked good for her to answer right away. "I know I was born in Boston," she says. He asks her where she lives now. "I don't remember," she says. "They... they did things," she adds, haltingly, and he asks who she's talking about. "I don't know," she stammers. She seems to be getting increasingly agitated, and says they gave her a red medicine. Marty asks what the red medicine was, and she, starting to sound angry, says, "I don't know. They didn't tell me," she says. There was also a blue medicine, she says, and then she babbles about how they confused her and hurt her.