Carla says he can't do that, and we all know how much Walter enjoys being told what he can or can't do. "Shattering the wall between universes would rupture the fundamental constants of nature," she says, sounding just like my science teachers whenever we wanted to play god. Walter says that it's only a theory that crossing over would, you know, DESTROY THE UNIVERSE, and she says it's a good theory, which is why they've been lying to the military and saying it's impossible, and then she starts talking about how there has to be a line somewhere that they don't cross.
So he gets in a low blow about how he always considered her a scientist "despite [her] personal needs for religious claptrap" but he knows now he was wrong, and I don't think Walter is in a position to criticize someone making decisions based on "personal needs" right now.
She doesn't get mad, just quotes Oppenheimer's famous "I am become death, Destroyer of worlds" line at him, and he gets angrier, spitting about pursuing knowledge without morality and that she sounds like a "pious sanctimonious southern preacher," and she acknowledges going to church every Sunday but plays her three degrees in theoretical physics as a trump card to say he can't do this, because the amount of energy required to create a portal "will forever ruin both universes." Ruin like when you get mud on the carpet? Ruin like everyone in both universes is ripped apart molecule by molecule? She says he'll destroy the world for the sake of one life. "Some things are not ours to tamper with. Some things are God's," she says. Oh, doc. You had me, and then you lost me. Since STFU, Believers doesn't exist yet, Walter points out that his son is dying and he won't let that happen again: "There's only room for one god in this lab, and it's not yours."
He looks at the map, and points to Reiden Lake, by Albany. "It's perfect. The water will absorb the excess energy." He tells her he won't need her assistance any more today. She protests but he dismisses her with a curt "that will be all!" Hey, maybe you've still got time to catch a matinee of Back to the Future! I hear Eric Stoltz is intense.
Nope: she rats Walter out to Nina, who doesn't see what the big deal is, since Walter always goes off on "flights of fancy" but the design they'd need is decades beyond anything they could imagine. Carla tells Nina that Walter already has the design, and I'd like to point out that Carla saw an unhinged man with a contraption in the lab, which doesn't necessarily mean Walter has the design. Except of course he does, because Walter is so brilliant that he can accomplish something like traveling between universes on the first attempt with no problems, like all maiden voyages into the unknown. Anyway, Nina's concerned now, so she gets a cellphone the size of a fireplace log out of her purse and dials for Dr. Bell's room. They're too late! Walter's already at Lake Reiden with a vial of blue stuff!
After a commercial break, we watch Walter lug a sled with equipment wrapped in canvas out to the middle of the lake. "Here. It will do," he says, like WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO, WALTER, and he yanks off the canvas and sets up all his equipment, which includes hoses and tubes and a generator, and a couple of corrugated metal planks that form a kind of V-shaped gateway.
He checks his vial of cure one more time, and then spots Carla standing a little ways away, and he's glad to see that she's changed her mind. Then Nina steps out from behind Carla, because apparently the two of them decided that Carla would just STAND THERE and hope Walter spots her, whereupon Nina could step out from behind her all dramatically. Walter tells Carla that she disappoints him, and tells Nina to go home, because there's work to be done.
Nina urges him not to do it, and he cavalierly tells her he'll be there and back before she knows it. Not the point! She makes the mistake of saying "if William were here," and Walter seizes on that and asks her why William isn't here, and Nina offers up the lame "looking for funding" excuse, and Walter's all, "Oh, he's in Europe chasing funding? Too busy to come and stop me from destroying the universe?" Hee!
The point is, Walter figures (correctly) that Nina's phoned William several times today but William hasn't got back to her. Why? Because William would have applauded what Walter's doing: "You know how many times that William has encouraged me to take this very risk? To expedite our espionage program?" Nina doesn't believe him, which Walter says is because she doesn't understand William: "Like everyone else, you're blinded by the charming manner, the air of intelligence, the whole damn show."
But wait, there's more! Walter says William Bell has only ever been interested in has been adding to the power, knowledge and the legend of William Bell. Nina's a little speechless, and then gets all "irregardless!" on Walter and says she knows why he's doing this. Is it a secret? "You know how much Peter meant to me, and how difficult it will be for me to admit that he's gone," she says, adding that this isn't the answer. Walter seems to waver, but then decides "screw it" and says he won't let Peter die again. He powers up his equipment, which hums and glows impressively, and a wavering portal opens in the gateway.
Walter heads towards it, and Nina decides to try to tackle him to stop him, but he gets up and shakes her off and proceeds through, just ahead of it zapping closed. Nina starts yelling and Carla rushes to help her, but unless Carla knows what to do about an arm that was caught between universes, I think Nina's going to lose that forearm, which is blurry and wavy like a television station not tuned exactly right. So that's the origin of that!
Over in the other universe, Walter's got his own problem. What had been a vial of the cure is now an empty bottle and a blue stain on his shirt. You know, Walter, they had pocket protectors back in the '80s. Countless nerds in film and television were signified sometimes exclusively with just a single pocket protector. "Oh no," says Walter, and he runs off across the frozen lake.
Here's another difference in the alternate universe: it's Peter's mom who shows him the coin-knuckle trick, and we get the exact same scene we had with Walter and Peter, only with Peter and Elizabeth instead, right down to Peter wanting her to have his lucky silver dollar. It's the exact same conversation, only Elizabeth manages not to kill her son with a hug.
She leaves the room, and Peter closes his eyes to get some sleep, which is when Walter wanders in to sit on Peter's bed. Peter opens his eyes and sees his dad, and asks if he's all right. Walter fights back tears as he says he is, and kisses his alternate-universe son's hand.
Elizabeth comes in, wondering what all the RACKET is for crying out loud, and is surprised to see Walter, since she thou