… Fringe: Walter and Peter.
Walter is a mad scientist. He punches holes in universes. He talks to the dead after electrocuting them, and creates machines that resonate with all creation. He makes psychics out of children without their parents’ consent. He knows about other realities, and people from the future, and, when properly motivated, can even navigate the inner workings of his own chemically-altered brain to find the secrets to salvation. There isn’t a case he won’t handle with arrogant authority. There isn’t a person he won’t dismiss as an ignorant waste of his time. He moves through solid objects. He walks across dimensions. He leaves himself clues in history. He travels through time. He … knows … everything.
But he doesn’t know how to reach his own son.
With Peter he faces the same problems as every other parent – plus a few extra problems of his own devising. Walter can’t know if Peter will love him or like him or understand him. He can’t know if he’s being a good father or a bad father or if Peter is just humouring him. When things go wrong, he can’t control how Peter will react, or if he will forgive him, or stay with him. He can control the workings of the universe (or at least he believes he can), but he can’t control the one thing that matters more to him than anything else. He can do many, many extraordinary things … but he can’t guarantee Peter’s safety or his love. He just has to do his best, and hope for the best, and see how it goes.
Of course, that’s all Peter can do too.
That’s all any of us can do, no matter what kind of mad scientists we are.