One of the running jokes on Fringe has been the inability or unwillingness of Walter to remember the name of Agent Farnsworth - Astrid - who has been assigned to help Walter and Peter in the lab. Walter has called her "Astro", "Asteroid", and "Asterisk". She handles this with good humor, gently telling Walter what her name is.
In Snakehead, the episode that aired this past Thursday, Walter was determined to act as independently of his son as he could. He therefore took a cab to the crime scene (grousing that Peter followed him the whole time, though Peter argued he was going to the same crime scene), and determined that he would do some detective work in Chinatown alone, without Peter. Peter was a little nervous, so he sent Astrid to follow Walter.
Astrid may have a number of talents, but surveilling is clearly not one of them. Walter easily spots her, and allows her to accompany him to the next herbal store. While there, Walter inadvertently lets the owner know that he has something he shouldn't, so the owner decides to have Walter and Astrid followed. But Walter manages to give Astrid the slip, so it is Astrid who is followed back to the lab, and knocked unconscious by a bunch of goons. (I could go into the continuity error that occurred, since the goons got to the lab before Astrid, but then I would digress.)
Walter meanwhile, realizes that he has no idea how to get home, so he tries to call Peter. He forgets that he has Peter's telephone numbers written down in his wallet, so he tries a number of calls on a payphone and loses all his money.
He ends up on a bus stop, crying. A Chinese woman who doesn't speak English takes pity on him and takes him home. Together, they try all the numbers that Walter knows goes into Peter's number, and finally reach Peter (who luckily speaks Cantonese). Peter picks up Walter and hints that something happened to Astrid. Peter's distracted, however, trying to solve the mystery of the week, and doesn't supply Walter with all the information. Walter is horrified.
The payoff comes when Walter makes it back to the lab to find Astrid trying to clean the damaged lab. It's a tender scene in which Walter apologizes and Astrid (of course) forgives him. But most importantly, he gets her name right, each time he says it.
Will Walter always call Astrid by her name? Probably not. But the respect between the two of them increased, and they have a stronger friendship now. We also got to see Jasika Nicole do some real work this time - about time they let this actress and character shine.