Shout-out to M. Giant for doing a M. Arvellous job of covering for me while I moved to the East Coast.
I guess there's not much point in showing "Previously on Fringe" scenes this time out, given that this is an orphan episode from last season. Some explanation, however, might have been appreciated, for anyone who might understandably be wondering why Charlie appears to be alive. Why bother showing this at all? Isn't this the kind of thing that gets dumped on a DVD? These are not the actions of a network that gives a crap about a show.
Anyway, we start in a hospital, where a tearful woman prays, rosary in hand, while a priest administers the last rites to a young woman, eyes closed, hooked up to various apparati. A doctor leans in and asks the crying woman if she's ready. The woman nods, and the doctor nods at an orderly, who turns off the life-support system. The young woman flat-lines in just a few seconds, and the doctor calls the time of death at 5:21 a.m., which at least means everybody should be able to get home in time to catch Good Morning America.
Scratch that! There's no time to waste, because they have a team assembled and waiting, says the doctor: "Ms. Donovan, I'm afraid we need to begin the procedures right away," and is it too much to hope that the procedure involves some sort of bionic something? No, probably just an organ donation. Ms. Donovan leans in, kisses the girl and says, "I love you."
Ewww! Gratuitous surgery shots! The surgeon tells the team that he's going to "begin with the kidneys" and jams his hand into the incision in the girl's torso -- at which points she sits up a little and grabs the doctor by the throat. "Oh my god, she's alive!" yells one of the nurses, who fortunately minored in Explaining Things You Observe at her nursing school. The girl starts yelling "Six-eight-three-three-nine-alpha-echo-three-five-eight!" At that very moment, an obese dude in California is using those numbers to win the lottery.
After the credits, we learn we're at Boston General Hospital, and Broyles is filling in the Fringe team on the weird case of Lisa Donovan, a high school junior who collapsed during gym class last week and slipped into a coma with a cerebral aneurysm. On the plus side, if your classmate collapses in gym class and goes into a coma, you automatically get straight A's, so that's something.
Broyles says Lisa's mother made the decision to take her off life support. "And then she woke up from the dead screaming random numbers," finishes Olivia, like let Broyles finish briefing you before you jump to conclusions already, and Broyles says the numbers weren't random (he introduces a Navy officer standing in the hallway in uniform as Lt.-Cmdr. Turlough) but were an alphanumeric code. The lead surgeon recognized the pattern as identification for sailors in the U.S. because he did two tours on an aircraft carrier. Well, of course he did. "That's when I got the call," says Turlough, all eager to jump in. He explains that the first half of the sequence is ID information for a petty officer named Andrew Rusk -- Turlough has a file and everything -- and the second half are launch codes for ICBM missiles on a nuclear submarine Rusk was stationed on, the U.S.S. Gloucester. Olivia asks how classified launch codes got into the hands of a 17-year-old girl, and Peter at least wants to dismiss the obvious right off by asking if there's some sort of relationship between Rusk and Lisa. "As far as we can tell, there's never been any contact between Lisa Donovan and Andrew Rusk," says Turlough. "I suppose that's where we come in," says Walter.