Cordial Deconstruction

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Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 11, Season 2, Unearthed

Posted by Karl Withakay on January 11, 2010

Scott’s synopsis won’t be up until Tuesday night, since he will be writing his House review tonight, and he still has a day job.  Scott’s review and synopsis is now up.  It will be interesting to see how many hits I get on this Deconstruction post in the day it is up before Scott’s review is posted.  (1-12-10 Update: 79 hits prior to Scott’s post & link to me)

Clarification by Confusion

Technically this was an unaired episode from sometime during season one, and not really episode 11 of season two, which is why Charlie is still around and nobody is freaking out.

Something to Increase My Hits on the Search Engines

The number sequence that Lisa spoke was 68339 ALPHA ECHO 358 (68339AE358)

Philadelphia Experiment?

There is no ballistic missile submarine or any other current US Naval vessel named USS Glouster.  The last US ship in the US Navy to bear that name was a WWII Tacoma class frigate, USS Glouster (PF22).  All but one of the Ohio class ballistic missile submarines (the only ballistic missile submarines currently in US service) are named after states; the other is named after a US Senator.

EDIT 1-12-10:  Closed Captioning confirmed the name of the ship was USS Glouster.  In any case, there has never been a US Navy vessel named USS Gloster.

Near Death Experiences are Only That: Near Death

Quote from Walter:

“No one truly understands the nature of human consciousness, Peter.

I’ve  read documented cases of coma patients waking up and claiming that they had moved spirit-like to remote locations and witnessed events they couldn’t possibly have knowledge of.”

I’ve read documented cases of sightings of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, but that doesn’t mean I accept those documented claims.  What it sounds like Walter is really meaning to talk about here are near death experiences.  Without doing a lot of research to find good sources on near death experiences, I can point you to Dr. Steven Novella’s blog, Neurologica.  You can start on these pages, especially here, here, and here.  One point to keep in mind is that just because the heart is not beating and the lungs are not breathing, the body and brain are not actually dead.

Faith vs. Reason

Quote from Lisa’s mother regarding Olivia not being a religious woman:

“Then I imagine you sit in judgment of those of us who rely on our faith to guide our decisions about what is best for our loved ones.”

Olivia’s response was:

“No, I know what faith can mean to a person.”

My response would have been:

“I would hope that my loved ones would use the best available science and reason to decide what is best for me if I am unable to make those decisions myself, and that if they need it, faith would give them the strength to make and act on those rationally derived decisions.”

Skepticism- I Am Not sure That Word Means What You Think It Does

Quote from Peter while discussing God and religion with Olivia:

“Until I see it with my own eyes, I’m going to put my money on healthy skepticism.”

Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool.”  Skepticism is not about only believing what you see with your own eyes.  That is what many people who claim to be skeptics mistakenly think.  Per Feynman, you need to understand just how unreliable even your own powers of observation are.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Peter

Good job finding the spent 9mm shell casing, but how about you wait for the forensics team before picking it up and handling it with your ungloved hands?  They might want to photograph the casing in its original location and maybe even check it for prints.  Oh, wait, you day job is working as a consultant for the FBI, maybe you should think about quitting.

Quote of the Show

From Walter Bishop to the priest:

“Please allow me a moment to entertain my fantasies.  They often lead to a truth.”

Inhibit All You Want, But the Damage Would Already Have Been Done.

It is mentioned that Ruck was given a “highly experimental radiation inhibitor” as treatment for his radiation exposure.  Ruck’s file showed he had extreme radiation poisoning and was exposed to 600-1000 REM.  He didn’t need any kind of radiation inhibitor after the exposure, the damage would already have been done at the time of exposure, and he was no longer being exposed to any radiation to inhibit (unless he ingested a radio source).  He would need treatment to replace or repair the marrow, tissues, and cells damaged or killed by the exposure to radiation.

One of My Pet Peeves

The tranquilizer dart took Lisa down way, way too fast; it’s not a phaser set on stun.  If you’ve ever watched a nature documentary in which an animal was darted, you probably saw that the animal did not go down right away, and that it stayed awake for as long as a couple of minutes before going down.  This is because the dart is not shot directly into a vein or artery, and the tranquilizer takes time to be absorbed through the tissues the dart was shot into and take effect.  In order to take the target out anywhere near that fast with a tranq dart, the does would be dangerously close to a lethal dose once it was fully absorbed.  It must have been a very short acting tranquilizer or paralytic anyway, because Lisa was fully awake as she was wheeled out on the gurney only minutes later.  Maybe they administered an antidote or counter-agent once they secured her.

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3 Responses to “Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 11, Season 2, Unearthed”

  1. [...] Since this is not a current episode, it’s not going to affect the Doomsday clock — which is a good thing for the show. A list of all previous Fringe reviews is available here. As always, Karl has more to say. [...]

  2. FC said

    Considering that Fringe is operating on a theory of parallel universes, I would give a pass on the name of the Ship. After all how many times have you heard fake 555 numbers in TV Shows.

  3. cordialdeconstruction said

    Sure, but the main story is supposed to take place in this universe, where the World trade Center towers are not still standing. It was an interesting choice to pick a not currently used name that has actually been used for a US Naval vessel in the past, but is entirely incorrect for the name of a current ballistic missile submarine. If they wanted a name consistent with the Ohio class naming convention that was not currently in use, they could have chosen USS Montana, for example.

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