When traveling a “multiverse” of your own making, one needs to remember that not all trips are created equal. When Walter Bishop began to conduct his experiments in “fringe science,” he had no way of knowing that he would achieve his greatest work through the use of LSD. Like thousands of committed doctors during the Cold War, Walter took to LSD like a proverbial duck to water and sometimes his efforts yielded not only remarkable progression in his trans-dimensional scientific adventures but a cinematically compelling compendium of images experienced by him and other characters that will remain vibrant elements of the Fringe mythology.
Here is BuddyTV’s top adventures in Walter Land.
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#10 Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Season 5, Episode 9: While searching for answers regarding the whereabouts of Donald, Walter takes some black blotter acid that he has hanging around in the studio. The ensuing mindbend gives him visual and aural access to a small green fairy (remember that Green Fairy is a term for absinthe), a small red fairy, and the most bombastic homage to the demented cartoons of Terry Gilliam that has ever been rendered since, well, Terry Gilliam made cartoons for Monty Python.
#9 Acid Flashback or Bust
Season 2, Episode 1: A former experimental subject of Walter’s, Rebecca Kibner makes an appearance in one of Walter’s fabulous videos from his past. Having allowed Walter to ply her with LSD, she is able to see shape-shifters in what she calls “another universe” and explain them to Walter. Although this is not his “trip”, it is a “trip” that results in a huge part of his scientific puzzle coming together. Rebecca shows up in a later episode as well, willing to try a modern-day experiment and having some romantic time with the troubled Walter.
#8 The Alternate World
Season 2, Episode 16: Some of Walter’s most important “trips” combine both flashbacks to earlier events which explains the trip he hopes to make in this episode. Walter has been watching the ongoing struggle in the alternate universe in which Peter’s genetic disorder worsens. Although Peter bites it in that universe, Walter decides to make a break for the Alternate world, as he had been planning to do before Peter’s death. When he hits Rieden Lake with his time-travel machine, Nina struggles to stop him and literally loses an arm from the closing portal. Walter makes the “trip”, leaving maimed Nina behind.
#7 Walter The Ape Man
Season 3, Episode 11: In an attempt to build back the brain power that he has been taken from him by William Bell, Walter, with Nina’s help, happens upon three vials of a liquid that will regenerate his grey matter. However, they are unmarked and so, gambler that he is, Walter takes one and downs it. Later in the episode, he bares his teeth and acts ‘dominant,’ realizing that he has managed to replace his missing brains with monkey brains and is now becoming an Ape Man.
#6 Pictures of Peter
Season 4, Episode 3: Although Walter’s mental state is something of a liability for the team, he has to keep the more intense hallucinations he has under wraps in order not to get thrown into a loony bin. His hallucinations of his son continue but when he tries to explain them to a young boy whose friends have died of an infection the Fringe folk are investigating, his fears seemed founded:
Aaron: How did your son die?
Walter: Peter was very sick. I tried for a long time to find a cure, but I found it too late and he died. And I discovered an alternate universe where another version of my son was dying from the same malady. So I crossed over to the other side with the intention of bringing him back to cure him. But the frozen lake where I created a portal between universes was unsound. And when we crossed back, the ice broke and Peter… the other version of him drowned. I lost him all over again.
Aaron: And you… don’t think you belong in mental institution?
#5 Where is My Mind
Season 2, Episode 10: Thomas Jerome Newton destroyed part of Walter’s brain. Newton came to him through William Bell and removed parts of Walter’s Hippocampus. He hid them so that Walter would no longer have access to the memories associated with traveling the Alternate Universe. When given a neurotoxin that could end his life, Walter ends up being saved by Olivia, thus saving her baby daddy’s baby daddy.
#4 A Stitch in Time
Season 3, Episode 14: When a dinner party gone wrong shows that there is a visible rip between the true world and the FauxUniverse, Walter cooks up not only a lab version of what the split will look like but an amber encasement that is used to repair the rip. Like some mad Project Runway contestant, Walter takes a culinary trip that shows how close cooking is to chemistry.
#3 Sometimes You Die Twice
Season 4, Episode 1: Having just been released from a mental asylum with Olivia’s help, Walter is continuously haunted by sightings of his dead boy. Walter becomes agoraphobic, is almost wiped out by September and finds TV projections of Peter truly terrifying.
#2 Back in Time
Season 1, Episode 1: When Olivia’s sidekick and partner is infected by a flesh-eating toxin, she ends up in the hands of Walter Bishop. He has her floating in a water chamber half-naked, “tripping” into her partner’s brain. As his memories come alive to her, she finds herself in a surrealistic landscape that gives her more clues to what is to come than she thinks.
#1 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Season 3, Episode 19: Using LSD, Walter and Peter enter Olivia’s mind on a race against time as they try to extract William Bell’s consciousness from Olivia’s body in order to save her soul from extinction. The animated cartoon that awaits them is just one of the strange occurrences in this episode, which includes a zeppelin voyage that simultaneously kills and saves Walter.