Fringe
The No-Brainer

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Daniel: A- | 1 USERS: A+
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Mind Over Splatter
he and Greg "stayed friends." That naturally raises a red flag for anyone watching, but not Olivia, who asks if anyone had a grudge against Greg or may have wanted to hurt him. "You think maybe somebody killed him?" asks Luke. "Do you?" asks Olivia. Luke thinks about it, but if he gives any kind of answer, we don't see it.

Olivia's heading out of the garage when her cellphone rings. It's Peter, telling her there's another body.

Broyles is waiting for her at a car dealership, and he tells her the owner was found dead by an employee. Inside, there's a guy lying on his back. It looks more like he puked and choked on his own vomit, if anything. Walter, examining him says he appears to have died of the same thing as the boy, and he asks Peter to prepare six vials. "Yes, sir," says Peter, all crabby.

Olivia goes to talk to the employee who found him, who says "Anton" was a nice man with a family. Olivia asks when he saw Anton last. Well, that would be last night at the strip club they sometimes go to. "My wife doesn't know, just ... please don't judge me," says the salesman. Olivia grins. "I'm not judging you," she says, angelically.

Meanwhile, Walter is rather forcefully shoving some kind of swab up Anton's nasal cavity, much to Peter's disgust, even though, as Walter points out, the guy can't feel it. "I wonder if they sell cars here with the seats that warm your ass," wonders Walter as he swabs up brain vomit. Heh. I think Walter's a booty man.

Meanwhile, the salesman, having been unable to think of anyone who might want to hurt Anton, gives Olivia his card in case she has any more questions. Or if she needs a new car. "We have next year's models in, so, uh..." He trails off, noticing Olivia staring at him. "Now you are judging me," he says. Poor guy. He was better off confessing his strip-club visitation to the pretty lady!

Back at the Fringe lab, Astrid is showing Olivia how the platters on Anton's computer were fried just like Greg's. That can't be a coincidence, figures Olivia, with Astrid pointing out that even a speck of dust is enough to make the sensitive platters unstable, but these look like they'd had a blowtorch taken to them. Also, both computers downloaded a big file -- 657 megabytes -- right before they crashed. Peter asks where the file came from, and Astrid says that'll take her a couple more days to suss out. "That's time we don't have," says Olivia. Going somewhere?

Then a phone starts ringing. Not the trill of a cellphone or the electronic tones of those phones in the old CTU on 24, but an old-time brrrring-brrringgg clang of a black phone mounted on the wall. You'd think it was a teletype suddenly coming to life from the way everyone reacts, other than Walter, who marvels that he hasn't heard that sound in ages. Astrid says the number must still be in Harvard's directory.

Peter answers it all cheerful, and then instantly looks all grouchy when he says "There's no one here by that name," and then says that's he's sure, and hangs up. So I'm not sure why he thinks anyone ought to believe him when he says it was a student looking for financial aid, and from the look on Astrid's face, she clearly doesn't believe him.

Anyway, Peter just starts unhooking a hard drive, saying he's got a guy he thinks can help. Olivia asks who. "You really want to know?" "Good point," says Olivia. No, the correct answer is "yes." I mean, this is a unit that speaks to DEAD PEOPLE for god's sake. I'm sure Olivia can handle a slightly shady associate. Anyway, Olivia lamely tells Peter to be careful with the hard drive because it's evidence, and he flips it over his shoulder. Yeah, this is going to go well.

Olivia tells Astrid that she's going to go talk to Greg's friend Luke Dempsey (again), but Astrid stops her by saying she thinks she knows who was on the phone. She pulls a piece of paper out of her pocket and gives it to Olivia, who reads it, and then looks at her.

Peter strolls across the street to the old-school style of the Fort Knox Five. Sweet. Walk a little longer, Peter! Anyway, I take it by the hip-hop that we are supposed to know that we are in the gritty streetwise part of town. He walks into what appears to be some kind of computer or electronics shop and greets "Akim," who's fiddling with some machinery on the counter. "Peter Bishop. Long time. Not long enough," says Akim.

Peter flashes some kind of ... I don't know, gold doubloon? Akim's eyes go wide. "I can't believe you kept it," he says, adding he could have sold it for a fortune, and Peter, rolling the coin along his knuckles, says he kept it to remind him not to gamble more than ... no, wait. Always gamble more than ... no, that's not it. Some platitude about gambling, anyway. Akim says, "I can have it back?" and Peter says "sure" and goes to put the coin in Akim's palm, but he's made it disappear and then he pulls it out of his sleeve, like maybe he thinks Akim is six years old or something.

Anyway, they go into that back room that computer guys always have, the one where they do the illegal stuff, and there's always wires everywhere and it's always dark ... Peter gives Akim the drives and says both of them downloaded a big file before they fried. "What are we looking for?" asks Akim. "I wanna know what it is and where it came from," says Peter, so Akim says, "Just hold on a second while my computer rapidly brings up multiple windows of streaming data that we can pretend to understand at a glance."

So Olivia's now at the federal building, where she is accosted by Sanford Harass, who says he understands that she's investigating the Bridgepoint Automotive death, and he asks her what she's looking for, and Olivia says some stuff about databases and cross-referencing and whatever, looking for a connection between the car salesman and Greg. He starts badgering her on how this is clearly a case for the CDC who handle stuff like this all the time, and Olivia in an amazing coincidence has a contact at the CDC who told her they've never seen anything like this (which, it should be pointed out, doesn't make it not a case for the CDC), and she shows Harass the pictures of the dudes with their brains running out of their noses and asks if he knows of any flu that does that. She should be asking him why this isn't a conversation Harass is having with Broyles, who is, after all, in charge of the unit.

He shuts the door and says the case looks like another excuse to justify the allocation of funds to a "rogue division" that is operating if not completely autonomously, then "well outside the standard regulatory purview." Gasp! Whoa, whoa, whoa! "Well outside the standard regulatory purview"? Let's not say anything we can't take back! Harass assures Olivia that he's here to "remedy" that. Olivia nods, completely transfixed by the light bouncing off of Harass's skull. He gives her twelve hours, after which he's shutting the case down and putting it in what he believes will be "considerably more capable hands." He stomps out.

Back at the computer geek's illegal hackery lair, Akim studies all the numbers whizzing by and says the file must have been incredibly complex, with its integrated audio and video. Isn't that just, you know, a movie? "I mean, some of this isn't even computer code!" "Is that even possible?" says Peter. Yes, on this show it is. Akim says some computer terms, and then we look at a little map that has all kinds of lines indicating where the program was routed and rerouted from. Akim says whoever sent the thing was trying very hard to cover their tracks.

Back at the federal building, Olivia logs in to the FBI database and manages to find something on "brain liquefaction." And back in the hackery lair, Akim says, "Hold on while I pretend to type some things, which makes things happen on my screens." He says he can't find out where the thing is coming from, but he does have a destination. There are some concentric circles emanating from a point on the eastern seaboard. "Then that's the next target," says Peter. Akim zooms in on the map of Bos

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