Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 21 Season 3, The Last Sam Weiss
Posted by Karl Withakay on April 29, 2011
A Blue Episode
As always, an episode synopsis will be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent
Blatant Product Placement
Gee, the backup camera on the cars sure was cool. If only I had a way of knowing what model car that was so I could get one…
You know, there’s a distinction between product placement and writing elements into a show just to feature products and their features. Showing that a person is driving a Ford Focus by the camera pausing on the car’s name plate is a product placement. Intentionally inserting a scene where a car backs up just so you can show the backup camera of a Ford Focus is artistic compromise.
Today’s Winner of the Darwin Award Is…
What kind of idiot gets out of his car during a freak electrical storm like the one in this episode in order to see what’s going on, even if he thinks the storm is over?
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Lightning does strike cars, and being insulated from the ground by the tires does not make much difference. Just as lightning is powerful enough to travel through the air to the car, it can also arc from the car to the ground. What keeps you safe in a car that is struck by lightning is the metal skin of the car conducting the electricity around you. (Sorry fiberglass bodied Corvette owners.) If you are in a car and lightning is striking around you, the advice is to pull over, shut the engine down, and keep your hands in you lap and wait for the storm to pass.
Wait, What Did He Just Say?
Sam Weiss (not to be confused with Samwise Gamgee):
“It’s not a doomsday device, but it’s acting like one.”
Uhh, isn’t that exactly what everybody so far has been thinking it is, a doomsday device? It does present the intriguing possibility that the devices were not designed to be doomsday devices but were intended for some other purpose. Perhaps they are really anti-doomsday devices indeed to fix problems like the ones caused by Walter, and Walternate is using his device incorrectly.
Are You Sure You Have a PhD in Physics?
“Walter this can’t possibly be safe.”
“Nonsense, I’m fully insulated.”
So were the cars, Walter. The lightning has enough current to overcome the resistance of the air, I don’t think Walter’s rubber boots and gloves are going keep him safe. Rubber tires don’t keep cars from being struck by lightning, and Walter has no metal skin to harmlessly conduct the electricity around him, though that didn’t seem to help the people at the beginning of the episode very much.
Top Notch Care
How come no alarms went off when Peter ripped off his monitors? The display went flat line, and not one alarm went off? I know the hospital was overwhelmed by the large number of lightning victims, but it sure took a long time to notice the monitors had flat lined and their patient was missing. Apparently Peter could have actually arrested and died, and nobody would have noticed for quite a while.
Are You REALLY Sure You have a PhD in Physics?
“These two magnets create a magnetic field between them. As a result, these iron filings line up in a pattern consistent with that field.”
Walter is explaining his demonstration wrongly. In Walter’s demonstration, each magnet had its own magnetic field, and the iron filings lined up with the magnetic field lines of each field. The filings would be lining up even with only one magnet. The intersection of those patterns indicates the overlap of the two magnetic fields. Also, if Walter had re-agitated the table after bringing the two magnets together, he would seen that the magnetic fields combined rather than disappeared, and the pattern would have look something, like this.
Security By Acme Solutions
Why would the alarm system be controlled by breakers in the regular breaker box? How secure would that be? I would think they would be on their own, secured bus with a battery backup system so the system could still be active in a power outage.
Secrets Of the Ancients
That paper was remarkably flexible and robust for something that was presumably thousands of years old.
What If You Believe Really Hard?
“But believing doesn’t make it true.”
Please tell that to the Birthers.
Quantum Entypement or Just Telekinetic Typing?
Just curious, how would they be able to tell the difference between Olivia controlling the typewriter in the other universe, causing the typewriter in our universe to work, and her just controlling the typewriter in our universe?
The quote in the magazine Sam was reading,
is from George Burns.
Official Personnel Only, No Exceptions
I know you’re in the loop on everything that’s going on right now, and you might prove invaluable, but I’m sorry, you aren’t an official member of the Fringe team. You aren’t allowed to come along and try to help save the universe. There’s liability concerns, after all.
Product Placement Question
Does Fox give the writers a list of things (like a Sprint tablet or Ford backup camera) that they have to figure out a way to work into the episode each week?
Are You Sure You Know What Exponential Means?
“Exponential microquakes building towards a massive event.”
If they were building exponentially, they wouldn’t remain micro for very long.
Did they Use Giant Rubber Gloves?
How did they move the device when it was protected by a force field that wouldn’t allow even a pen to touch it?
What did Peter want to show Walternate when he went to Liberty Island? Was it important or significant to the future resolution of the plot?
Why do Peter and Olivia have no memories of each other as children?