Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 16 Season 4 Nothing As it Seems
Posted by Karl Withakay on March 31, 2012
A Gold/Yellow Episode
As always, an episode synopsis will be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent
Probably Not, But…
Would anybody else not be surprised if Olivia’s shrink turned out to be a doppelganger?
Note: Agent Must be Restricted Exclusively to Fringe Cases
Olivia’s eroding memories of her life from this timeline seriously compromise her value as an FBI agent. It’s not particularly unlikely that a defense attorney would discover her memory issues during deposition, and use her unreliable memory to get any testimony given by Olivia thrown out of court.
Plot Convenience Theater #1
Was the whole point of the birthday presents was just to give Peter an excuse to hug Walter, thus symbolically and literally embracing this timeline and its inhabitants as his own?
Quote of the Show
“I like porcupines. It [sic] shows that God has a sense of humor.”
How Many Supervisors’ Dogs Did Astra Back Over Anyway?
I have previously speculated that Astrid must have done something really bad in the past to be relegated to her current assignment, and this episode just reinforces that opinion. Astrid has several years of seniority in the Fringe division over newcomer NerdLee, but Nerdlee is given temporary lead of the team instead of Astrid while Olivia is away from the team.
Oh Yeah, by the Way, Maybe I Should Have Mentioned Before That There Might Be Another Monster Out There
Peter remembers the details of the case in his timeline down to the flight number, but doesn’t bother to mention that that Marshal had an also infected partner until they are at the TSA, wasting valuable time in tracking down the 2nd dangerous mutant-hybrid porcupine man. Did it not seem important to mention that little detail back in the lab?
NerdLee, Prototypical Perfect Fit For Fringe Division
NerdLeee waits for about five seconds after knocking on the door before deciding to break in without a warrant. How many people answer a knock on their door in less than 5 seconds? Maybe the person was asleep or in the bathroom or basement. My rec room is in the basement, and it takes me about 25 seconds to get upstairs and answer the door, and that is assuming that I instantly drop whatever I am doing to go answer the door.
Call Einstein, Somebody Broke the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy
The guy from the plane turned into a giant porcupine man in the TSA bathroom and apparently grew much physically larger in the process without consuming anything to account for the increased mass.
Onion Rings and Cheesecake?
Fat craving, infected NerdLee craves bacon, onion rings and cheesecake, but not peanut butter. Peanut butter is pretty high in fat, why is he not interested in peanut butter? If he only craved animal fat, why the desire for onion rings? Did he only want onion rings if they were fried in animal fat?
Sure Looks Strange to Me
What’s better than a killer mutant-hybrid giant porcupine man? A flying killer mutant-hybrid giant porcupine man. However, for a creature of that size and weight it would probably need much larger wings to generate enough lift to fly. It wasn’t likely built of the lightweight, hollow bone construction that birds have, so the wings would need to proportionally much larger than bird wings are.
Does Walter Still Own Massive Dynamic in this Timeline?
Because he could be rich if he isn’t already. His ability to simulate the final product of the porcupine man infection from nothing but a blood sample from NerdLee is nothing shot of miraculous.
But It All Looks Cool
The team that went after the second porcupine man was equipped with HK MP5 submachine guns equipped with Trijicon ACOG 4X scopes (which they were not using), visible laser sights, and tactical lights (which they were also not using). Although the four power magnification ACOG is an excellent combat scope and can be used in close quarters combat, it is not ideal for such short range situations, and a 1X/no magnification red dot sight is much better suited for such close ranges. Also, if the team was going in dark like they were, it would make more sense to use invisible infra red laser sights and compatible infra red night vision systems. I’ll give them a pass on the whole laser beams being visible (like a phaser beam) rather than just seeing the end point since that’s typical Hollywood. I’ll also give them a pass on using laser sights, since this context, where the darkness and wearing of the bulky night vision systems makes sighting through the weapons’ sights problematic, is one of the few situations where laser sights are actually somewhat useful.
Exclusively for the Search Engines
My Google-fu returns no hits on “sleeping Indian defense”. Admittedly, I did a simple search and didn’t spend any time on variations of the search terms.
Plot Convenience Theater #2
If you want to go in silently, then use earpieces/headsets for your radios; don’t cut yourself off from team communication. Also, if you’re really concerned about going in silently, silence your cell phone, or there’s no point in going in silently. Obviously the whole point in turning the radios off was to make it difficult for Olivia and Astrid to relay a critical piece of information to NerdLee.