This week, we open at the Department of Defense in the other universe. Brandonate and one of his minions are working on the doomsday machine. Walternate comes in has the room cleared so he and Brandonate can be evil in private. They’ve extracted the baby’s DNA and even though only half of the genetic material is a match, they think it’ll be enough to power the machine. Brandonate says he’s proud to be a part of saving the world but Walter muses at what cost they’re doing so. “May God have mercy on us,” he says.
In Accord, NY (our side) a flock of sheep is going apeshit (sheepshit?). The guy tending the flock calls in for backup. While driving over there, the other herder runs into a swarm of locusts, some smashing into the windshield. At the field, the men agree that something is definitely weird and radio to call in all the hands. Then a bright light appears in the sky. That’s almost never good.
At the bowling alley where Nina sent Olivia after her first (adult) visit to the other universe, Sam Weiss notices one of the bowling balls rocking back and forth for no damn reason. He heads to a cabinet in the back and pulls out one of those kinetic motion desk toys. Sure enough, the balls on the toy start swinging on their own.
Aw, Peter and Olivia are spooning in bed. I’m only Team Peter-and-Olivia so far as it means no Team Peter-and-Fauxlivia, but it’s still cute. Olivia gets out of bed ““ and promptly runs into Walter, naked but for a pair of fuzzy slippers. She races back to bed and tells Peter it’s 6:30 in the morning and Walter is walking around buck nekkid. Peter’s like, yeah, must be Tuesday. “I could get used to this,” Olivia says and I’m guessing she means the early-morning spooning, not Walter’s weekly nude-fest. She and Peter grin dopily at each other. Olivia says it’s her favorite time of day. Then both of their phones ring.
They meet Broyles at the field in New York, where over 500 sheep and the men who were watching them went missing at 6:05 AM. There’s a strip of what looks like scorched earth in the field. Olivia goes to question the neighbor while Peter and Walter examine the ground, which has crystallized. Walter believes a vortex appeared above the field and consumed everything in its path. They wonder what could have possibly made the vortex appear.
At Massive Dynamic, Nina is dealing with something of a crisis. She calls Broyles to tell him that the doomsday machine has turned itself on, and tells him to let Walter know. Broyles passes the news on, and Walter concludes that the machine definitely caused the incident in the field. He believes it’s just the beginning.
At the lab, Walter has determined that Walternate must have turned on the machine on the other side to trigger the one over here. Astrid comes in to report freaky occurrences like bats appearing over the New Jersey turnpike. Walter says the Events will continue to occur and increase exponentially in frequency.
Over There, Fauxlivia takes her three-week-old baby out for a walk in the damn cold. She’s paged about a Fringe event on Liberty Island and leaves the baby with his nanny. She and Lincoln head out with a team to check on a Level-Ten energy surge, but Walternate calls to tell Lincoln to stand down. Over at the DOD, Brandonate and Walternate haven’t noticed any improvement since turning the machine on. Fauxlivia goes to Walter to ask why they aren’t evacuating in light of the energy surge. Walter says everything’s under control. Fauxlivia asks him point-blank if he’s activated the machine. He says it’s classified, which is answer enough. Fauxlivia is concerned about Peter but Walter says that Peter chose his allegiance. Then he dismisses Fauxlivia.
On our side, Peter wonders if they can just break the machine down. Walter says it’s too dangerous. Olivia has just received a report that an electromagnetic spike occurred about fifteen minutes before the first Event. She heads to Massive Dynamic to help Nina set up some kind of early warning system, because “¦ she’s a scientist all of a sudden? Peter stays behind so he and Walter can have a meaningful exchange. Walter suggests encasing the machine in lead but Peter wants to try deactivating it himself, since it was seemingly made for him. Well yes, let’s go with the more dangerous option first, by all means. Walter remembers when the Observer told him, “Give him the keys and save the girl.” He realizes that the Observer was trying to prepare him for this moment.
Olivia heads to Massive Dynamic, where Nina is on the phone trying to track someone down. She tells Olivia that they’ve started to set up the alarms, so it’s certainly a good thing Olivia made the trip. Olivia asks about Amber but Nina says they only have enough for a handful of Events. Nina is kind of irritated that this is going on, since she was told that if Olivia and Peter were together, everything would be okay. Olivia demands to know where she heard that and is told that it was Sam Weiss. Unfortunately, he’s shut down the bowling alley and gone missing.
Meanwhile, a teenage couple is getting friendly in a pickup truck parked somewhere. They break apart as they notice strange lights in the sky. Elsewhere, Sam is seeing the same lights, taking some sort of recordings, and working on an equation. Nice to see he’s at least keeping busy.
After the break, Fauxlivia sings baby Henry to sleep. Lincoln’s in the living room pining away at a picture of him and Fauxlivia. He says he wants to come with her, but she needs him to take Henry to her mother if she’s not back by tomorrow. Lincoln asks if she thinks Peter can really help. She feels he’s their best shot at getting Walternate to change his mind.
At the DOD, she pulls a gun on Brandonate and makes him help her. He tells her that as pissed as Walternate’s going to be, she might as well not come back. Fauxlivia takes the stuff she needs and she knocks Brandonate out. Alarms have been triggered and she’s chased and eventually cornered by guards, desperately trying to work the device that will help her cross over.
While Olivia’s in Boston, trying to track down the ever-elusive Sam Weiss (he just moved out of his apartment), Peter is getting ready to get hooked up to the machine. Walter tries to convince Broyles that Peter might be able to shut it down. Broyles asks if Walter thinks it’s a good idea “as a father,” but Walter doesn’t feel he really deserves to answer that question.
Peter suits up and tries to give Astrid a message for Olivia, but she insists he relay it himself. Aw, and then they hug, and it’s just about the sweetest thing ever. Walter says, “I was never good at letting you go,” and Peter tells him, “This time you have to.” Then they have a moment, and Peter makes his way up to the machine. He’s barely touched it when he’s pushed away by the machine and thrown to the floor.
At the hospital, they wheel an unconscious Peter off for an MRI. Olivia arrives about an hour later and Astrid catches her up. Peter is stable and there’s no apparent brain trauma, but he hasn’t woken up yet. Astrid tells Olivia that Walter is taking it about as well as can be expected.
He’s made his way to the hospital chapel. “I have no other place to turn,” he says. At times he thought he had been forgiven for his transgressions, and he was even willing to sacrifice Peter. “I’ve changed,” he says. “That should matter.” He asks God to punish him but at least spare the world.
Olivia, sitting in the hallway, sees daylight creeping across the floor. She goes outside to watch as the sun comes up. Sam Weiss comes up to her and says they don’t have a lot of time.
Over There, Walter drops in on Fauxlivia, held in an observation room. He tells her she understands sacrifice more than anyone and the two of them are more alike than she thinks. He plans to keep her there “for her own good,” until the whole universe-showdown thing is over.
Next time: Sam says things weren’t supposed to happen this way. Also, some kind of final revelation that’s supposed to blow us all away.