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Minor Review of Fringe, Episode 7, Season 2, Of Human Action

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 12, 2009

As usual, an episode synopsis can be found over at Polite Dissent, assuming Scott had the intestinal fortitude to actually write one after this week’s steaming pile of fetid dingo’s kidneys

This week’s episode was bad.  It was so bad that I am anticipating Scott moving his Fringe Doomsday Clock ahead at least two minutes closer to midnight.

Call Randi; I want My Million Dollars

I take notes as I watch the show to make blogging about the episode easier.  This is an exact quote of one of the first notes I made while watching, “Prediction-  is the kid in control?”  I imagine most everyone else saw it coming from a million miles away also.

Bad Wiring?

I double checked with my day who, in addition to being an electronic engineer, was also a pretty handy home electrician, and that was the wrong slot of the outlet to stick a key in to electrocute yourself, unless the outlet was wired improperly.  Even if the clerk was grounded, that was the neutral connection that he stuck his key into, and not the hot connection and he was therefore not completing a circuit and thus could not be electrocuted, assuming the outlet was not wired backwards.

By the way, DO NOT TEST THIS OUT!!!  It was the wrong slot for the clerk to get electrocuted, but if you try it you’ll probably get electrocuted, die, and get nominated for a Darwin Award under the heading, “Some guy on the interwebz told me it was safe!”

Every house I’ve ever tested had at least one improperly wired outlet. DON’T BE STUPID

Is Randi There, I Still Want My Million Dollars

Later note from when Olivia is watching the video of the kid from the convenience store and says, “He looks so scared”, my note: “Not to me; he looks in control to me.”  Were there any viewers left yet that hadn’t figured it out yet?

Bad Science On the Brain 1 & 2 or Prop Convenience Theater?

While still on the hypnosis/ subliminal suggestion hypothesis, Walter says, “Given the extreme nature of the suggestions in the police woman’s case, I suspect there may be lesions on the brain, physical damage”  I call BS on this and suggest it is just an excuse to give Walter a reason to open the skull up and remove the brain.  No hypnotic suggestion outside of a comic book is going to cause lesions on the brain.

“Hematomas on the brain matter”, “the result of conflicting neural impulses; a conflict of mind and body”  I’m sure Scott will cover this one as well as the lesions, but I don’t think conflicting neural impulses can cause hematomas.  See BS comment above.  I won’t even start on the whole mind/brain thing the writers are implying.

It’s as Good a Guess as Anything Else Walter Might Pull Out of His Hindquarters

The whole auditory trance red herring was such blatant speculation on Walter’s part that Olivia should have approached it from a “There’s a good chance we’re wrong.” perspective instead of a “We can stake our lives on it.” angle like Olivia did, but were are talking about Olivia Dunham here, we’ve already established she’s not the brightest peg on the Lite-Brite.

Why the Womb Tunes?

Even assuming the auditory trance speculation was correct (which it turned out to not be anyway), why did they need the white noise rather than just using the hearing protection to isolate the agents from any outside noise at all, and why link back to the bear for the sound feed rather than hardwiring it into the electronic hearing protection the agents were wearing?

Somebody Call Adam Savage

Mythbusters has covered both parts of the exploding car myth presented here, both from gunshots and from crashes.  By the way, I’m pretty sure that when they show the exploded car on fire resting on its roof, you can see the flip jack used to flip the car over.

The Brain is Not Really a Computer as We Understand Computers

“The brain is a computer is a computer, doctor.  It’s an organic computer; it can be hijacked like any other.”  Sure, other than is doesn’t utilize binary logic or storage, doesn’t run off a discrete signal clock, lacks such discrete functional differentiation and lacks any input bus for direct programming or memory access, etc….so, not so much, no.  I’ll grant you that the brain is an organic thinking machine, but it’s not really what we would call a computer.

Maybe It’s True; It Nearly Crashed My Brain

“We’re going to crash his brain”  We call that a seizure, and they’re generally not good for you.

“This device will wipe his brain of all thoughts for a short amount of time.  He won’t be able to think.  He will become very disorientated; he may even vomit.”   So hopefully it only affects higher level functions so that his autonomic nervous system isn’t shut down as well, otherwise it could kill him.  I am surprised Walter didn’t say, “he might even pee himself.”.  It seems like a Walter kind of thing to say.

As Long as He Doesn’t Have Super Powers Now, What’s the Big Deal?

In answer to Walter’s question as to whether Tyler lost the mind control ability after the drugs wore off, Peter replied,

“You were right, which is a god thing, I guess.  It means he won’t do any time.  The kid goes on a killing spree and all they’re gonna do is make him talk it out with  a bunch of shrinks.”

Why, exactly does it mean he won’t do any time?  Unless one of the side effects or interactions of his medication was psychotic episodes, the kid is still a murderer, and may also be a psychopath.   The fact that he doesn’t have the power to do the same thing again is irrelevant.  That kid clearly needs to be warehoused somewhere for a long time.

It Could Have Been Worse, I Guess

At least they didn’t use the, “We only use 10% of our brains” myth the announcer did in the preview teaser for this episode.

Newspaper Headline Trivia

The headlines from the stories in the newspaper seen in this week’s episode were, “Local Resident Leads Protest Against Highway Expansion” by Tim White, Staff Writer and “Talks Stalled as Strike Looms”

Is That Light I See at the End of the Tunnel?

Next week’s episode looks more promising as I recognized Peter Woodward, son of The Equalizer, from the preview as the/one of the Observers.  He’s a damn fine actor; I just hope they give him something good to work with.  Scott’s Doomsday clock won’t have much time left on it after this week.

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2 Responses to “Minor Review of Fringe, Episode 7, Season 2, Of Human Action”

  1. […] This week’s Fringe cipher was: ARRIVE. A list of all previous Fringe reviews is available here. Karl has much more to say. […]

  2. Alexis said

    good review!

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