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Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 4, Season 3, Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 14, 2010

(A Blue Episode)

As always, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

Sometimes It’s OK To Be a Dick

The title of this episode is a reference to the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick upon which the movie Blade Runner was based, which is arguably the greatest science fiction movie of all time.

The Writers Seem to Be Telegraphing It In For Us Lately

Peter to Fauxlivia:

“We draw our moral lines in the sand, and unless you can put yourself in another man’s shoes, I don’t think you can really judge their actions.”

Ignoring the fact that Peter is mixing genders between masculine and plural/gender neutral indefinite singular here (“another man’s shoes…judge his actions” or “another person’s shoes…judge their actions”), the entire scene seemed poorly contrived to supply us with the dialog to strongly hint that Peter will eventually come to some sort of acceptance of what Walter did.  Either that or they just want us to think Peter is an oblivious hypocrite.

Quote of the Show

“Don’t you see that the brain is consciousness?  The mind is God.”

Mad As a Hatter

Walter’s explanation for the origins of the term “mad hatter” is one of the theories behind the origins of the term, but the actual etymology is undetermined.

Did He At Least Have To Sign For Them?

Apparently Homeland Security briefings are not “Classified” or “Eyes Only” but are instead for “Official Use Only”.

Don’t Tell Lies That Can Easily Be Uncovered

When Newton calls Fauxlivia on her cell phone, she tells Peter that it is her sister Rachel calling.  Rachel visits semi-regularly, and she and Peter occasionally speak together without Olivia present.  It seems that lie could easily be accidentally exposed several different ways.  A Better lie would have been for her to say it was her cell phone company trying to sell her extra services.  I would have bought it as my cell phone company does that almost every month.

Clsd Craptioning for the hrg !pred

I’d just like to point out for everyone that doesn’t use closed captioning (I use it for Fringe to make it easier to write down quotes), that tonight’s captions appear to have been prepared by a partially deaf, arthritic person with two fingers missing on each hand on a computer with several keys missing.  Thanks, Captionmax!

Unanswered Question:

Did Newton kill the shapeshifter cop’s family after killing him?

Do They Have to Make the Product Placement So Obvious?

It sure seemed natural for the camera to pan down to and center on the Taurus badge on the trunk of Fauxlivia’s car (or is it more proper to call it Olivia’s car that Fauxlivia was driving?) before it took off in pursuit of Newton, didn’t it?  It looked like a shot right out a Ford brochure.

Protected Storage

I suppose locating the data storage unit at the base of the spine could offer it better protection from damage than locating it in the brain would.  By the way, it’s only a theory (really just a speculation) that the stegosaurus had a second brain in the hip region of its spinal cord.

Who’s In Charge of Designing the Security Protocols, anyway?

So, you have a high value, dangerous shape shifter that can somehow move between parallel universes in your custody, and you don’t have him under constant, 24 hour video and audio surveillance?  WTF?

Something Just Occurred to Me…

While watching the previews  for next week’s episode, the following thought occurred to me:  In the other universe, are they going to secretly dye Olivia’s hair in her sleep every once in a while?  Sooner or later, her blond roots are going to show, and that would likely trigger a breakdown of the imprinting of the Fauxlivia personality.  (I suppose one could also ask if the carpet matches the drapes, but that would be a little crude.)  Perhaps they have a method of permanently altering hair color in the other universe.

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6 Responses to “Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 4, Season 3, Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?”

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

  2. Josh said

    I think the assumption was that Newton killed the cop’s family before he killed him, Newton did say “I’ve taken care of them”, or something to that effect.

  3. lilacsigil said

    If Fauxlivia is a natural blonde (and if they’re genetically identical, that would be the case) that would explain why she had dye in her bathroom, and also avoid identity breakdown issues.

    But yes, that prison needed more cameras!

  4. Karl Withakay said

    The dialog went like this:
    NEWTON: “Don’t worry about them, I took care of it. We’re clean.”
    COP: “Why did you do that?”
    NEWTON: “I didn’t. I couldn’t understand your hesitation. I saw it, but I didn’t understand it. I do now. It’s…it’s them isn’t it?”

    Newton had not yet killed the family. He was lying to the cop to see what kind of a reaction he would get.

  5. Friscovi said

    I just sat and watched offthe DVR and man your right the product placement was really shabbly done. You should check out White Collar if out want to see it done slickly they do it very well.
    But I was much more interested in the Bolivia / Newton story as it seems like the writers are hedging their bets and possibly making the “machines” a third player in the war. What with some going native ( the cop ) and others ( Newton ) seeming almost ready to turn on it’s makers … It all seemed very BSG.

  6. Chase said

    My question is why didn’t they just take the data chip from the cop machine that was in the trunk of the car?

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