"This was the first time you saw the other side. You were frightened. Started a fire with your mind. It should have worked. This is the very sort of thing that William and I were preparing for!" says Walter. I certainly hope we get back to Olivia starting fires with her mind, because that would be bad-ass. Olivia angrily says that Walter abused her and the other children, but Walter says they were trying to help: "We were trying to make you more than you were!" Olivia's not buying it: "Is that what you were doing? Or were you searching for answers to questions that you shouldn't have been asking in the first place?" Walter protests that he was a different man back then, and Olivia -- growing angrier and more disgusted by the second -- spits out that she was a defenceless child.
That's when it dawns on Walter, why the process isn't working this time around: She's not a frightened child anymore, and is in fact a kick-ass FBI agent who isn't capable of the same kind of fear that the little girl was. Eureka ... ? Walter hadn't already thought of that? "If you want to save those people, you have to find your way back to that scared little girl," says Walter. Olivia asks how they do that, but Walter doesn't know.
So there's Olivia wandering through the dark hallways of the centre. She opens a door and finds the room from the video. Blackened except for the corner where she as a young firestarter was cowering. Olivia slides into a crouching position, which is where Peter finds her. He looks around asking if this is part of Walter's test. Olivia shakes her head. He asks if she's all right, and she shakes her head again. "No. I'm not afraid of anything anymore," she says. Look at it this way: you're the obvious choice to head up the FBI's Freddy Krueger division.
We're at Massive Dynamic now, with Nina on the phone with some underling, telling them to let her know if anything changes, and then she tells Broyles, "Four tremors in the last two hours. Most recent measured two-point-six," and Broyles tells an arriving Peter and Olivia that they're increasing in frequency. Olivia seems to feel personally responsible for not being able to personally see the glimmer around a building about to be sucked into an alternate universe, and Broyles points out that she didn't send the other building over here. Plus, it's not like it's a category on her performance review chart! Peter asks about "Plan B," and Broyles says they're compiling data: "Trying to predict where the next incident will take place. Satellite images, seismic activity, weather patterns." Peter offers a fresh set of eyes, so Nina escorts him to the lab while Broyles comforts Olivia by telling her that there's still time.
And so Brandon leads the Fabulous Bishop Boys through the geologic division lab, saying that they've peen plotting the epicenter of each microquake, looking for a pattern. Peter suggests regressing the data points, which Walter grumpily decries as a waste of time: "Useless attempt to impose order on random, meaningless data," he says, adding that he tried the same thing twenty-five years ago, and there was no answer to any of the "why" questions. Except mass, points out Peter.
Brandon wants to know what they're talking about, so Peter explains about the universes being in balance, and it seems to me that this is something that ought to have been shared with the geologic division already, and Brandon understands it not because it's a simple concept but via the bag of sand vs. the idol at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
And Walter starts running with what Peter's talking about, asking for a pencil as well as satellite data and 3D cubic imagery to calculate cubic feet, and he'll also need a comprehensive list of all building materials used during construction, like YEAH, NO PROBLEM, and Brandon timidly says, "For every freestanding structure in New York City?" and Walter rules out the Empire State Building.
Olivia comes in and he says, "Good news. We have a ridiculous, completely impossible plan," although he might not have used all those words. Then Brandon says they can rule out the buildings in Tribeca for being too big. Walter asks if they're lofts. They are. Peter explains: "Lofts have no interior walls. Even though one of the buildings might be bigger, they could be the same mass." Well, then I guess Walter should also be asking for an exact headcount of everybody who's going to be in the building at the precise moment that it's yanked from the alternate universe, right? I mean, if balance is what the universe needs.
Anyway, Olivia tells them the guys "downstairs on the supercomputer" are crunching numbers on the first six buildings, but it's going to take some time. Well, if it's going to take a while to do six buildings at a time...
Speaking of time, Walter's watch beeps. "It's time. It could happen any moment now." Olivia wants to know how many buildings are left.
Cut to Nina's office, with Broyles looking at the list of 147 buildings. Oh, shit. They include three hospitals, a cancer treatment centre, a nursing home. Olivia suggests evacuation, but Broyles says evacuation would actually kill a lot of those people, as well as start a citywide panic that might kill thousands more. And because maybe he's looking to pick a fight with Olivia, he points out that the largest building on the list "has, what, five hundred people?" which allows Olivia to get her righteous indignation on and ask if he thinks they should just let the building and the people disappear. "There are times when the only choices you have left are bad ones," he says. So it's like trying to watch television on Friday nights, is what he's saying.
And Peter is working away in some server room or something when Olivia comes in, and he explains that he figured if he shut down all the non-essential functions, he could make the computers run faster, and I would kind of think that A) Massive Dynamic has people for that; 2) there's no way in hell Massive Dynamic is letting a con artist like Peter poke around its computers unsupervised like this; and D) Shut up, Peter. Olivia tells him that it's too late: "I failed. I failed, and I'm supposed to be the one who can stop things like this." Peter rushes to comfort her, telling her that he's never met anyone who can do the things she can do, and I can only suspect that he ain't seen nothing yet, and Olivia says she's scared. He caresses her cheek. "Don't be," he says, and leans in to kiss her. Olivia's into it, so here's hoping that power will still work if she's horny! She pulls away as she realizes that she's scared, and goes rushing out onto an observation deck where, after a moment, she spots a building, unnaturally bright -- not to mention shimmering -- in the night, in the distance. And then she gets excited, so the building fades. Which makes her scared again, and it shimmers again! Which makes her excited, so it fades. Etc.
So as Olivia races to the scene in her SUV, she's on the phone with the guys back in the lab, trying to figure out exactly which building it was that she saw. After tossing out some landmarks, and after Olivia sees the shimmer again in the clouds, Peter -- doing an admirable job of not being annoyed for being cockblocked by an alternate universe -- figures out it was the Brayson Place Hotel on 13th and Washington, and Broyles calls the hotel and yells that they need to evacuate the building.
But as Olivia pulls up, everyone is running out of the building anyway, because of the shaking. So maybe the Fringe team should have been monitoring emergency lines? Olivia goes racing towards the building and grabs the hotel manager or the front desk dude or the doorman or whoever and asks if everyone is out of the building. "I think so," he says, which is good enough for Olivia! They start running for the other side of the sidewalk, then stumble and fall while the shaking intensifies -- they try to hold on