After the opening credits, Olivia is calling Peter to let him know that they've got to go to New York, but she has to flirt with him doing it, telling him that he's won an "all-expenses-paid trip to New York City." The joke goes on for longer than necessary, with Peter demanding to speak to Olivia's supervisor, etc., and then Peter tries to keep it going by waking up Walter and telling him, "We just won an all-expense-paid trip to New York City." Walter is delighted: "That's fantastic. I've never won anything before." He's absurdly touched. He sounds like he's about to cry.
The whole Fringe crew is driving to New York, with Broyles at the wheel. Walter expresses skepticism over the possibility of an earthquake in New York and suggests a small comet is more likely. "Witnesses outside felt the ground shake, but no one saw what happened," says Broyles.
Outside the building, Broyles tells them Emergency Services didn't find any survivors. Olivia and Walter stare up at the exterior of the building, which looks slightly askew. "It looks..." says Olivia, and Walter finishes it for her: "...rearranged. Extraordinary." They head inside.
The first thing they see is a body with its faces fused together, like conjoined twins. Conjoined fraternal twins. "Oh my god," says Olivia. There's more like that through the rubble -- hands fused to heads, stuff like that. Walter's guess is that it was a "quantum tectonic event" which he says has only ever been a theoretical phenomenon. Broyles doesn't know what Walter's talking about, so Walter explains: "Imagine a sudden momentary disturbance at a subatomic level. The energy disperses the atoms, literally tearing the very fabric of reality itself." Peter clarifies: "Meaning that all the atoms come apart, but when they reassemble, they come together all wrong." Olivia wants to know the chances of this happening naturally. I don't know how Walter's supposed to quantify that, given that up until now this has only ever been a theoretical possibility, but he figures it's possible. "But if so, God has a far more disturbed sense of humour than even I could have imagined," he says. Nice that he's able to keep cracking jokes in the chamber of horrors here.