We open this week on a man named Chet, sitting in his doctor’s office. He’s just learned he has malignant cancer. The doctor is very optimistic, telling Chet there is a 95% survival rate. After leaving the doctor, Chet sits down at a bus stop. A stranger sits down next to him and starts telling him the radiation therapy and chemotherapy won’t work. Rather than wondering how the hell this man knows his business, Chet tells the stranger that the doctor gave him a 95% chance of survival. The stranger says he’s the other 5%. A bus pulls up, blocking our view of the bench. When it pulls away, we see Chet is alone again. He’s lying down on the bench, dead, with blood streaming from his eyes.
After the credits, Altstrid uses the bridge to cross over to our side. Oh yay, the Astrid-centric episode we were promised! Col. Broyles tells Fauxlivia and Otherlee that Altstrid’s gone off the grid. He wants to send a team after her but Fauxlivia knows Altstrid doesn’t do anything without a reason, and asks to go after her herself.
At Walter’s lab, Peter’s trying to keep him on task. Walter pouts that he prefers working with Lincoln, who’s in Hartford for his goddaughter’s birthday. Good, I was kind of getting tired of Lincoln. He was interesting at first, but he hasn’t been serving a purpose lately. Peter leaves the room and Altstrid enters, startling Walter. “You’re not you, are you?” he asks.
After the break, Olivia and Astrid enter the lab. Astrid shrieks adorably when she sees her double, which brings Peter running. Altstrid says she came to meet Astrid. Astrid clasps hands with her and greets her warmly. Astrid is awesome. We learn both Astrids lost their mothers to cancer when they were young.
It becomes clear that Altstrid’s father has recently died, and she didn’t know where else to go. Walter offers her eggs with chives; he says eating is a perfectly appropriate response to loss. Olivia gets a phone call telling her they’ve got a case, and that Fauxlivia – “the viper,” as Walter calls her – is on her way over. Olivia thinks someone should stay behind (for some reason it’s a given that Peter will be riding along), but Walter insists he and Altstrid will be just fine.
At the bus stop, Broyles brings the team up to speed. Walter, on the line with Astrid, remarks on the high survival rate of people with Chet’s cancer. Walter theorizes that the eye bleeding might be caused by organ-liquefying ebola, but a quick crotch check (of Chet, not Walter) rules that out. Walter then calls to mind a legendary “potion” called The Tears of Ra, which was used to euthanize pets in ancient Egypt before they were entombed with their masters. Altstrid notes that Walter speaks through Astrid, “as though you were one person.” He agrees that it’s pleasant.
Back at the crime scene, the body is wheeled away. One of the Observers – not the one who spoke to Olivia (who is named September, and why did I not know this) – arrives on the scene. He uses his communication thingy to report, “I think they have located it,” then literally melts back into a building. No one notices.
At the lab, Olivia goes over Chet’s file – single, no debt, “nice guy” – while Walter performs the autopsy. Walter finds chemical compounds in the body that shouldn’t work together but somehow do. He likens it to the surprising flavor of Long Island iced tea. Fauxlivia arrives, and Walter hilariously hails her as “Mata Hari.”
Altstrid blurts out “deus ex machina,” which Walter translates as “the hand of God.” Basically, whoever made the potion that poisoned Chet would somehow have to know what the chemicals would create before they combined them. Walter says the killer is someone with god-like powers. He and Altstrid go off to run more tests. Fauxlivia makes herself at home, sending Peter to rummage in the fridge for cold Chinese. Olivia keeps giving her the saddest side-eye I’ve ever seen.
Elsewhere, a woman buys a bottle of gin but throws it away in an alley almost immediately. The creepy bus stop stranger shows up and tells her she’s going to start drinking again, kill her boyfriend in a car crash, and ruin her brother’s life when he tries to help her. Rather than asking him who the hell he is. She says, “No one can see the future.” He agrees, saying, “There is no future. There’s no past. Everything happens right now.” Then he sprays her in the face with something. I don’t think it’s perfume.
In the lab, Walter returns the stuff Fauxlivia left behind. There’s a little silver box he thinks is some kind of weapon or spy tech. Fauxlivia taunts him about how much she got to him, accusing him of actually liking her. Oh dear God. Oh God, please tell me Fauxlivia didn’t use her “vagenda” on Walter since Peter didn’t exist. It’s not even the May”“December thing that bothers me, it’s just”¦ ew. No.
On a less icky note, Altstrid tells Walter that Astrid is “summoning” him from the scene of this latest death, where the victim is also bleeding from the eyes. At Walter’s directive, Peter goes to collect a DNA sample and finds bleeding in the woman’s nostrils. The team figures that’s how the poison was delivered into her system. Then Peter kind of takes over at the crime scene, prompting Altstrid to ask, “Does he always do all the jobs?” Hee, I like how Altstrid is more outspoken in this universe.
Once the woman’s body is brought to the lab, Walter gives Peter some scalpels to sharpen to keep him from taking over the autopsy. Peter stalks away like he has no idea he’s being a bogarting pain in the ass. Altstrid observes that Walter is angry with Peter; she wonders if his emotional investment is a sign that he loves Peter. Walter says Peter is a reminder of his dead son. Altstrid wonders if it wouldn’t make more sense for Walter to believe Peter is his dead son, so he could love him and be happy.
In Walter’s office, Fauxlivia observes that Peter’s cute and “seems like his dad.” Ew, ew, and ew, y’all. The Olivias are having no luck finding a link between the two victims, but our Olivia is sure one must exist, because otherwise they’ve got a random killer on their hands.
At the airport, Creepy Stranger is wearing a TSA uniform and working the metal detector. After a man goes through the metal detector, Creepy Stranger writes down his name: Jared Colin. Later, Jared enters a Boston parking garage, having missed his flight. He argues on the phone with someone and hangs up. He’s about to make another call, when Creepy Stranger appears in his civvies. An Observer is also lurking about, watching. Creepy Stranger tells Jared the call he’s about to make will destroy his life. Distracted, he will flip his car, crush his spine, end up a paraplegic, and die alone in a group home, his body discovered hours after his death. “No one mourns,” Creepy Stranger says. He says he’s going to give Jared a painless death instead and goes to spray him in the face. Jared attacks him and runs away, but gets hit by an oncoming car.
Since Jared mentioned his attacker had an atomizer, Olivia and Peter pay him a visit at Boston Medical Center. His spinal cord has been severed. Jared tells them he was about to sell his business to his partner and start a new life, but after being detained by the TSA for having a water bottle, he missed his flight. Olivia shows him pictures of the other victims, but he doesn’t recognize them. He says the stranger predicted what would happen (more or less) and promised to spare him. Now he wishes he had.
At the lab, the Astrids look over the evidence but can’t find anything significant. Astrid offers coffee, which Altstrid has never had before since it’s rare and expensive in the other universe. Meanwhile, Walter blames Fauxlivia for breaking his concentration. He muses that they’re dealing with a compassionate killer. Fauxlivia seems unfamiliar with the concept. “Some suffering is worse than death,” Walter tells her.
Altstrid finally realizes that all the victims travelled through Logan International Airport at different times, heading different places, but all were screened by TSA Agent 0047. Olivia and Peter try to catch 0047 while he’s working at the airport, but he spots them and escapes. They head to MIT, where Neil (aka 0047) formerly worked as an advanced math professor.
Neil’s colleague says Neil found something at his lake house one summer and started trying to solve equations he believed would “flatten” time and space and allow him to see past, present and future simultaneously. He became obsessed and left his job, apparently for the lake house. The lake house was, of course, on Reiden Lake. Olivia assumes Peter knows what’s going on, since that’s where he (re)appeared. Peter points out that Neil’s goal is also how the Observers experience time, and tells her that one saved his life at Reiden Lake when he was a child. Olivia wonders if an Observer might be using Neil.
At the lab, Altstrid observes that Astrid cares for Walter, rather like a father. Altstrid can’t stop thinking about how she couldn’t give her father what he wanted because of the way she is. She asks if he might have loved her more if she were “normal” and more like Astrid. Don’t get me wrong, I love that they’re focusing on Astrid, but this storyline seems kind of shoehorned in here.
Peter and Olivia reach the lake house. I’m surprised Fauxlivia didn’t invite herself along. Anyway, Olivia tries to break the lock but finds it’s not engaged. The place is empty, but there are equations taped to the walls, along with a convenient press clipping revealing that Neil lost his twin brother and his father in a car accident. Neil’s also taped up pictures of “saviors” like Gandhi and Joan of Arc. Olivia finds a picture of Neil with an older woman, presumably his mother.
Indeed, Neil’s visiting his mother. He puts his atomizer in a safe and pulls out a gun, placing it at the small of his back. His mother wants to know what he means by saying he’s there to say goodbye. She asks if he was fired again. He reminds her that he left, and she asks why. He tells her he overheard her saying “God took the wrong one” when his brother Alex died. Wow, that is shitty. Neil says God let him live so he could see the future, and let him see the future so he could give people mercy.
Neil’s mom says she’s sorry, but it seems like she’s mostly sorry Neil heard her harsh words that night. Neil tells her God took notice of him because of what she said. He looks out the window and sees Olivia’s car pull up outside. Neil says Jesus knew the Romans were coming for him but chose not to avoid them. Neil pulls out the gun and says he understands God’s plan and is ready to go.
Olivia starts banging on the door and yelling for Neil to open it, then bursts in when she realizes it’s unlocked. Neil reminds his mother that the priests said of Alex that “angels don’t belong on Earth.” He turns and fires in Olivia’s general direction and she fires back, killing him. Nice work, Neil’s mom. Now both your sons are dead.
As Neil’s body is wheeled out, Olivia muses on his intentionally crappy aim. She tells Peter that he makes a good partner. Me, I’d want my partner to have a gun, but whatever floats your boat, lady. Peter smiles and thanks her.
At the lab, Altstrid says goodbye to Walter. She goes to shake his hand, but he hugs her instead. I could do with more scenes with these two. Fauxlivia shows him her little metal cube, which turns out to be some kind of mint tin (they’re called bobbins on the Other Side). Walter concedes that maybe she’s not all bad (eh, I don’t know about that), and lets her have a piece of his red licorice. She leaves the mint tin with him.
Astrid tells Altstrid that she and her father aren’t very close either. “It wasn’t you,” she says. Altstrid thanks her. Later, Astrid arrives home (or maybe it’s her father’s house? It’s not real clear since we still don’t know much about Astrid). She wants to tell her father about the day she’s had, but of course she can’t. He offers her food and a hug, and they exchange I-love-yous. Aw, she lied to poor Altstrid.
Neil’s mother is sitting in her living room, apparently asleep. Two Observers enter and retrieve the atomizer from the safe. They agree it must belong to September, who lost it “the night he didn’t save the boy.” One Observer tells the other that September didn’t follow his instructions, and “Peter Bishop has returned.” Wait a sec. They’re all-knowing and all-seeing, and this shit is just now getting out? Shenanigans.