Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 14 Season 4, The End of All Things
Posted by Karl Withakay on February 24, 2012
A Gold/Yellow Episode
As always, an episode synopsis will be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent
Dumbest Quote of the Show
“You know that’s impossible”
Why would anybody that has seen even a small fraction of the things the Fringe team has dealt with ever say that anything was impossible?
Now We Need a Name for Evil Nina
It seems that this is the Nina from the Alterverse and not a shape shifter, though it’s still possible that it is a shape shifter that has replaced the alternate Nina. Until someone comes up with something better, I will call her E’l Nina for Evil Nina.
Can You Lend Me a Hand?
Did Jones replace E’l Nina’s hand with a robotic prosthetic just to make her match Nina? How devoted a follower is E’l Nina? Are we sure she’s not a shape shifter?
Storage Terminology Nitpick
Did You Wipe When You Were Done?
There’s a problem or two with Peter’s recovery of older images form the flash drive. The first is that flash memory is different from magnetic disks. If you completely over-write a magnetic disk, it is can still be possible to recover the old data because there may be a residual magnetic signature of the old data left behind, much like with a palimpsest as Walter mentioned. This is why a “government level wipe” requires multiple passes of over-writing every bit of data on the drive, although now even that is considered insufficient and it is recommended to degauss the hard drive, effectively destroying it. (Note: Some maintain that one pass is sufficient with modern drives.)
However, a flash drive is a bit different, and I don’t know if transistor based flash memory can have residual traces of over-written data like magnetic disks can if you completely wipe and over-write the entire drive even one time.
Even if you could recover residual data from a flash drive like you can with a magnetic drive, Peter stated that the drive recorded in 60 minute loops*, and this is the second problem. If we assume that 60 minutes was all the flash card had room to hold and not that it had room for hundreds of hours of video, but for some reason was configured to only buffer 60 minutes, then every hour, the entire data set would be over-written. The drive would receive the equivalent of 24 full pass wipes every day, and it would be essentially impossible to recover any data more than a few hours old.
* I’m guessing that the purpose of the local storage of the video loop was to buffer the recording in case the connection to wherever the camera was sending its data was temporarily interrupted so that no data would be lost.
Mama Said Knock You Out
Another minor nitpick: Did you ever notice that nobody ever seems to suffer from post concussion syndrome (other than maybe a headache immediately after regaining consciousness) after being knocked unconscious in the movies or on TV?
Clear As Mud
It seems the show is being deliberately vague and ambiguous as to whether this is or isn’t Peter’s Olivia. Peter seems to again believe it is not, but September never stated that it was not Peter’s Olivia or that this wasn’t Peter’s native/proper multiverse.