Elsewhere, Walternate is striding around majestic buildings somewhere when he gets the call that Olivia Dunham is gone.
Hey, here's one reason why the alternate universe might be better than ours! Over there, Penn Station is called "Springsteen Station"! Anyway, Fauxlivia's getting some coffee and leaving the change and then she's accosted by some ne'er-do-well who tells her that "some things are gonna be hard to leave behind" (meaning the coffee). Then he tells her it's time to go home.
So they head into a restroom, which doesn't exactly seem like the most secret place to prepare Fauxlivia for trans-universe travel, and the bearded agent says that he sometimes dreams about the other side. "Sadly, for my kind, coming here is a one-way ticket," he says. Fauxlivia says she thought his kind didn't care, meaning he's a shapeshifter.
He's preparing some sort of injection gun, and asks Fauxliva to give him her hand, palm up. And then after he admires himself in the mirror and admits that he seems to be a big hit with the ladies, making this his favorite of the eight identities in the last five years, he shoots her in the palm. Fauxlivia seems to find it really painful.
Striding into non-Springsteen station, Broyles gives Peter a gun and warns him not to shoot himself. Has that happened and I've forgotten about it? Or is Broyles making fun of Peter for being all grouchy and gloomy? Walter unnecessarily tells Broyles not to give him a gun, and Broyles just gives him a sarcasm-drenched "good idea."
In the washroom, Secret Agent Ladies Man now needs Fauxlivia to lift up the back of her shirt. This is confusing for her, because she assumed that jumping universes is really easy. He tells her the transfer is scheduled for four p.m., 23 minutes from now, and then prepares to shoot the injection gun in her back, which is when some woman walks in, saying she knows they're cleaning, but she's really gotta go... she clams up when she sees that whatever they're doing, it ain't cleaning. Secret Agent Ladies Man and Fauxlivia stare at her for a while.
Then the two of them stroll out of the bathroom. Peter spots them, and yells at them, prompting Fauxlivia to fire a couple of shots overhead, sending everyone scattering while the parallel-universers duck back into the bathroom. "She's in there with another guy," says Peter, sounding kinda jealous, as Broyles comes up.
Next thing you know, Fauxlivia's got the woman from the bathroom hostage with a gun to her head as she walks out of the bathroom again, ordering all the FBI agents to put their guns down or she'll kill her. Broyles eventually gives the order to lower the weapons.
Behind them, some woman starts screaming when she sees that her mother is the hostage, and needs to be restrained by a couple of agents. Peter glances at the open bathroom door, and then something occurs to him. He takes a couple of steps forward. "What's your daughter's name?" he asks, and he has to ask it again, and when there's no answer forthcoming, Peter lifts his gun and shoots her right through the forehead, splattering mercury all over the doors behind her. Jesus, good thing he was right and she wasn't just paralyzed with fear!
So as Fauxlivia is handcuffed, Peter wants to know how they get Olivia back, and Fauxlivia says she doesn't know, because it wasn't part of her assignment. They stare at each other a few moments before Fauxlivia says that she wants him to know that "this started out as an assignment, but it became..." "... something more," he finishes. He moves in close and touches her cheek and just when you think he's going in for some tonsil hockey, he tells her that it would be so much easier to believe if she weren't in handcuffs. I don't know. There's potential in handcuffs.
Anyway, after she's led away, a cop brings over a bag that he says Fauxlivia left in the bathroom. "No sign of the component she stole, but we also found the second body," he says. That's gotta suck for the daughter, huh? Oh, my god, my mom's been taken hostage! OH MY GOD, THAT FBI AGENT JUST SHOT HER IN THE HEAD! "Don't worry, that wasn't really your mom. That was a shapeshifter from a parallel universe pretending to be your mom ... who actually is really dead, sorry about that."
Anyway, Peter rifles through the bag and finds the strip of photo-booth pictures of the two of them.
Over there, Olivia and alt-Broyles arrive at Harvard and get into Walter's lab. Olivia pulls the cover sheet off the sensory-deprivation tank, which appears to be empty. Fortunately that doesn't appear to be the insurmountable obstacle it was on Liberty Island. She fills it up with a hose, making sure to include bags of rock salt, while Broyles readies a Cortexiphan injection.
But just as Broyles is helping Olivia into the tank, they hear the sound of agents storming the halls of Harvard. Olivia's all "What the!" and Broyles tells her that he's got a subcutaneous tracker -- he shows her the lump on the underside of his wrist. Yeah, NICE OF YOU TO MENTION THAT BEFORE NOW. He finishes getting her into the tank, telling her that he has to "believe in hope. Please make this worth it."
So she gets in, and the doors are closed, and we hear muffled shouting and a shout and someone shouting that Broyles is under arrest, and "she's in the tank!" etc., and all I can say is NICE SENSORY DEPRIVATION TANK, but it seems to work because Olivia closes her eyes and then she kind of jerks them open.
And then we're in our universe, with Astrid puttering around in the Harvard lab. She's shocked to see Olivia climb, dripping wet, out of the sensory deprivation tank, and she drops the beaker she's holding. And then Olivia collapses, so it's not all good news.
Over at non-Springsteen Station, Broyles is ordering up a three-car half-mile buffer zone all the way to Boston, while Fauxlivia sits in the back of a prisoner transport truck.
Meanwhile, Walter examines the little rod thingies that were in the injection gun, and says they look familiar, and the huge digital clock on the wall of non-Springsteen Station behind him changes from 3:59 to 4:00.
Inside the paddywagon, Fauxlivia's hands start to glow an orangey-red. Outside, Walter's tapping the pin on a hotdog vendor's cart and holding it to his ear. "E-minor. It's pretty," he says. I second that; I don't know why, but E-minor is my favorite guitar chord. Maybe because it's easy to play yet sounds cool? Anyway, Broyles has the not-insignificant news from Astrid that Olivia crossed over into Walter's lab, but they think she had a seizure and she's on her way to Boston General. Peter's managing not to flip out too badly, but it seems like none of this has even really registered with Walter, who's still listening to the rod.
"I remember why this is familiar. They're harmonic rods. Like Belly and I used to use to help objects cross between universes. And this was found in their Olivia's bag?" says Walter, and just as it looks like Peter is starting to figure something out -- did they forget she was going to be trying to cross back? -- the ground rumbles and shakes and the paddywagon rocks from side to side.
Peter draws his gun and approaches the back (hilariously, there's a cop extra in the background chatting away with someone like nothing just happened), and opens the door. He's shocked, and then tries to stop Broyles from seeing what's there. Broyles holds up for a moment, just long enough for me to think, "What exactly does Peter think Broyles might see that he hasn't seen as part of his work -- ohhhhh."
Broyles pushes past Peter to look in the back, and the horror registers on his face just before we see it: a mannequin that kinda looks like Broyles, scorched and missing limbs and very, very dead. O