Fringe
Welcome to Westfield

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Darkness in the Center of Town

Outside, Olivia passes by a car that's running but empty, with the driver's side door unlocked. She looks inside, curious. She can't get a dial tone on the payphone either, which is perplexing. Also perplexing: Peter finishes up in the bathroom, and steps out, but then hears groaning coming from somewhere in the back.

Out front in the diner, the owner seems to have forgotten he and Walter have already met. He says it looks like June got him coffee, and asks an extremely confused Walter what he'd like to order. "But I ordered a moment ago," says Walter. The owner tells him it's his busiest shift, and asks if Walter wants to order or not. Walter -- stealing a glance around the empty diner -- says he ordered rhubarb pie, which was offered free of charge. The owner leans in, good humor gone. "Are you trying to steal food?" he says. Walter, a little scared, says he's not. "Nobody steals from me. Not you, not Cliff, nobody. You hear me, old man?" says the cook. Walter hears him and doesn't protest the "old man" part. He's frightened. There's something off about the owner's eyes -- they seem unusually large and dark. But he blinks and he's friendly again. "Oh! Still got to get you that pie. Must've forgot. I'm sorry about that," he says, straightening up. Walter has the good sense not to remind the owner this time that it's supposed to be on the house.

In the back, Peter opens the door to some sort of stockroom, where he finds a man, bloodied, lying on the floor. There's also something hanging from the ceiling that I thought was another body wrapped in plastic, but that doesn't appear to turn out to be the case. It's not a refrigerated room, so it's probably not a side of beef, because my other fallback explanation was that the cook has a Rocky fixation.

While Peter goes to help -- oh, let's call him "Cliff" -- the owner's serving up the rhubarb pie to Walter (and the camera angle lets us see there's another body behind the counter, which Walter can't see) and asking if Walter needs anything else. Walter says he doesn't -- he's still staring at the owner's extra-large, notched irises -- and something clearly seems off so it means Walter's at least on alert when the owner picks up the large knife from the counter and swings it at Walter. Walter jumps back and then has to fend the owner off. He yells for Peter, who comes running, tackling the owner, who then kicks Peter off and lunges for him, only to be dropped by a single shot from Olivia, who has returned like a ninja.

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