Anyway, Olivia gets off the phone and explains that there was strange interference with televisions in the area around the warehouse, and plays the recording for the rest of the team, showing us that people were having a grand old time watching elephants stomp around when the screen went all staticky and showed brief glimpses of other programs. Olivia asks if the shapeshifter embryo could have caused that, and Walter figures they did: "I believe that the interfering signal may have originated in the other universe. We may be getting a glimpse into the other side," says Walter, awkwardly looking like he knows more about the other side than he's really willing to get into right now. Olivia asks Astrid to turn it up because she's a super-tough FBI agent who can't work a volume button on a television her own damn self. They slow it down too, and it sounds like voices, although not necessarily human ones. Almost like whale music. "Shapeshifters are soldiers," says Peter, adding that soldiers never go anywhere without orders. Astrid offers to send it to the FBI's codebreakers to see what they can come up with, but Olivia has a better idea: to take it to the super-secretive shadowy corporation with unclear motives and goals known as Massive Dynamic.
In the lab, Brandon listens to it and says it's not language, but math: trigonometric equations, a radio frequency given off like what happens during a solar flare. Just note that I'm going to have to take his word on ALL OF THIS. He says what's interesting is that their astronomical division picked up a surge in solar activity right around that time. He presses ONE button on his computer, which is enough to bring up a split-screen of a solar-flare frequency from last night, and the interference that Peter and Olivia just brought in. But Brandon says theirs couldn't have come from the sun. (I suppose because it was dark?) He doesn't know where else it could have come from, though, so Olivia is all, "Maybe a parallel universe?" and Brandon gets all excited and says, "Yeah, yeah! Because in a parallel universe, time would be slightly out of sync!" LIKE THIS MAKES ANY SENSE. "And the waves would be too," says Peter, helpfully. Then Brandon looks at the screen and goes "Hmm," and Peter and Olivia are all "what?" and Brandon looks around the lab to see what he can use to demonstrate and, much like Nina Sharp's puzzling access to two identical snowglobes in an office that absolutely defines minimalism, Brandon handily picks up two metronomes. TWO METRONOMES. This lab, with all its technology, for some reason needs not one but TWO metronomes. And he doesn't even have to, like, look in a cabinet for them. They're just right there. "Hey, Gary, you using this metronome?" "Not right now, but I'll need it soon." "I'll just be a sec." "Hey, have you guys seen the metronomes?" "Brandon's using them."
And fortunately they're already set to slightly different tempos so he can instantly demonstrate how things that are slightly out of sync can "on rare occasions perfectly line up," and I'd like to point out that the metronomes would never actually line up, although I guess it depends on how you define it; all that would ever happen is that you'd get the occasional single beat at the exact same time. Although I suppose that's good enough to explain what's going to happen: Brandon says "according to the computer" the waves are going to sync up at 3:31 p.m. tomorrow. The computer screen displays this in a pop-up that says "wave synchronization projection" that doesn't actually show the date but does say "waveforms locked," and it's a good thing Brandon has this computer that can project when alternate universes are going to line up and he can work it all by pushing one single button.
Elsewhere, Newton is handing out the new shapeshifter assignments to Dave and Jill, who are going to be "Wu" and "McCallister" respectively. He hands over a couple of toolboxes and says everything they need is in there, and once they're done they'll reconvene at the "exchange points" at 3:20 tomorrow. Jill seems kind of surprised that they're still going through with it despite being a man down. They don't have time to handle the "Verona" assignment, and Newton doesn't have a shifting device. She thinks they should abort. Newton icily asks if she's going to be the one to tell "the Secretary" that they're aborting. He adds they won't get another chance like this for seven months, so he'll figure out how to handle Mr. Verona. "You're the boss," says Jill, who is soon going to be an old guy named McCallister, who is much, much less cute than Jill is.
After the commercial break, we're in Chestnut Hill, at the Pinewood Savings Bank, and there's McCallister now, strolling out to his car. He's approached by Jill, who asks him if he happens to know where Franklin Street is. He gives her directions that aren't really complicated, but she looks confused, so he offers to write it down for her on the piece of paper she's proffering. As he takes it, though, he sees that there's a photocopied image of his face on it. He looks at her, surprised, and she now has a sinister look on her face. Then they cut away, which is annoying, because I'd really like to know how the rest of this plays out without attracting too much undue attention, given that they're right out in public in broad daylight here.
Back at the lab, Peter walks in to see Astrid chopping ... something, and she tells him that Walter is out counting cars since he thinks it might help jog his memory, which he says human memory is often triggered when accomplishing mundane tasks, which Peter's already aware of. "Walter's convinced that Newton wants to build a door to the other side. If Walter can remember what he told Newton, we might be able to figure out what's supposed to happen at 3:31 tomorrow," she says.Peter absentmindedly flips through the papers and books that are in front of him in the lab, and he finds, tucked into a book, the same family photo that he was looking at earlier.
So Peter wanders in to see Olivia in the side office, and she tells him that Broyles sent over a list of state and local events happening tomorrow. Peter scans it and notes that there's a Star Trek convention at the Worcester Centrum: "That's not good. I told Walter I'd take him. Maybe we'll just pretend like we didn't see that," he jokes, and I don't know if this show really wants to poke fun at Star Trek fans, given the possibility for overlap in the Venn diagram with Fringe fans. Anyway, Peter says he thinks he knows why Walter has been acting so weird lately (does he have any theories on why Olivia has been acting so weird?). He tells Olivia that Walter's been carrying around a family photo from when Peter was a kid: "I think he wants to talk to me about how my mother died."
Olivia watches him closely while he explains that when he went to Europe, he got a call from St. Claire's: Walter, telling Peter that his mom died in a car crash. Only it wasn't a car crash, it was suicide, says Peter, adding that it was the only time he spoke to his dad in the seventeen years Walter was there. "He must have known the truth. I think, in his way, he was trying to protect me," he says, adding that for whatever reason, Walter wants to talk about it now. "Peter, you know that Walter loves you very much," says Olivia. Yeah, almost as much as he loves root beer floats! A quite sad-looking Peter nods, just as an excitable Walter comes rushing in, saying he thinks he knows how to figure out what their "synthetic friends" are up to. "You remember what you told Newton?" asks Olivia. No, says Walter, but, "as they say in Finland," he begins, and Astrid and Peter finish it with him: ...there's more than one way to roast a reindeer." Olivia just cocks her head at the three of them, wondering how it is that sh