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Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 15 Season 4, A Short Story About Love

Posted by Karl Withakay on March 23, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

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

Down the Rabbit Hole or Not?

Interesting that at the start of the episode where we later learn (or confirm) that this is Peter’s native world, the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane was playing in Walter’s lab.

Someone Read an News Article They Didn’t Really Understand

While researchers at MIT have been able to create a one trillion frame per second video that allows them to capture the motion of a light pulse, it is not a device that can be used to slow down existing video from other sources, nor can it see individual light particles as Walter described.  Half of slow motion video is playing back the video at a slower frame rate than it was recorded at, but the other half is that the slow motion/ high speed video is recorded at a much higher frame rate than normal video, in order to capture motion that would not be recordable at the regular frame rate.  It’s not at all difficult to play back video as slowly as you want; the problem is recording the video fast enough in the first place.

Look at it this way, the video from that nanny-cam bear would have been recorded at a standard frame rate, likely no more than 60 frames per second, and so a frame of video would be captured every 1/60th of a second.  If an observer moved rapidly across the picture in less than 1/60th of a second, he either wouldn’t even be in the picture, or would just be a blur across the frame, no matter how slowly you played the video back.

Also, even if Walter had a one trillion frame per second video recording from the bear, if he slowed it down to play back at 60 frames per second, it would take 528 years for Walter to watch just one second of video, and he would need a the same amount of memory in the bear as would be required to store 528 years of video recorded at regular speed.  The video of the light pulse recorded by the MIT researchers represents just a miniscule fraction of a second of real time action.

WTF?

After Walter removes the message lens (for lack of a better description) form Peter’s eye and analyzing it, the following conversation takes place:

Walter:

“I suspect that this message, if left alone to run its course, would have fully dissolved, taking its place firmly in your mind’s eye.”

Peter:

“You think this would have etched itself into my brain?”

Walter:

“Organic ocular suggestion.  You wouldn’t be aware, but you be irritably compelled to visit.”

On one hand, it seems like the idea behind the message lens was that being overlaid over his eye, it would present the address as a subliminal message.  His conscious mind would not notice the address, but his subconscious mind would see it.  This idea is fairly implausible as the address would be way too close to his eye to be in resolvable focus, but this is science fiction after all, and though it’s pretty outlandish, it’s not that bad of a science fiction element.  But from what Walter says, it sounds like he is saying that the process of the message lens dissolving is what would cause it to be absorbed into Peter’s “mind’s eye”, which might be worse than the time Walter captured the last image seen by a murder victim.

Pull My Finger

I’ll just quote Wikipedia here, “…no pheromonal substance has ever been demonstrated to directly influence human behavior in a peer reviewed study.”  There is as yet, no conclusive support for the existence of human pheromones.

Extra, Extra, Read All About it!

Some of the headlines on the newspapers on the wall in September’s apartment were:

MEN WALK ON MOON

LAST U.S. MARINE AIRLIFTED FORM EMBASSY IN VIETNAM

PRESIDENT KENNEDY KILLED

GREAT EARTHQUAKE

Home Sweet Home

As many of us have suspected, this is indeed Peter’s world, and this is his Olivia.  It remains to be seen how or if it will all be reconciled.  Will Walter forever be without the last four years he and Peter shared together?  Will Olivia loose her memories of her relationship with Nina?  How will the Alterverse come into play for all this?  Will there be a season five?

Not E’l Nina

Blair Brown herself has dubbed the evil Nina “Meana”, so when she appears in future episodes, I will use that moniker to refer to her.

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4 Responses to “Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 15 Season 4, A Short Story About Love”

  1. Oliver said

    Also, in the ultra slowed down video, you see the tray fall over in “observer time” while we saw it fall down in “our time”. If it fell down in “observer time”, we should have seen it move from upright to lying down just as fast as the observer disappeared.

  2. […] cipher was: QUILL. A list of all previous Fringe reviews is available here. As always, Karl has more to say over at his […]

  3. Reyes said

    Must have been one of those Massive Dynamics cameras that can record forever at a trillion frames per second. Of course, it uses a client-server setup and the server occupies 8 floors of the Massive dynamics HQ. It also has one heck of a wireless bandwidth. Of course the observers have a totally self-contained one and smaller too.

  4. […] episode is debunked at Polite Dissent and Cordial Deconstruction, and you can read more about it at Fox, IMDb and the A.V. […]

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