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Archive for the ‘Red Episode’ Category

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 20 Season 3, 6:01 AM EST

Posted by Karl Withakay on April 23, 2011

A Purple (Both Red and Blue) Episode

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

Genetic Noise

The need to strip out Fauxlivia’s chromosomes from her child’s genetic material was an important technical point.  If it would have worked to still have her chromosomes in the mix of the genetic sample form her son, then Walternate’s DNA would have worked just as well, since he has 23 chromosomes in common with Peter just like Peter’s son has, though likely not the exact same 23 chromosomes.  Apparently the presence of non-Peter Chromosomes is a bigger problem than having only half of Peter’s chromosomes.

It’s Electric!

The phenomenon whereby charge accumulates in certain solid materials as a result of applied mechanical strain is called piezoelectricity.   The most familiar use of piezoelectricity is in flintless cigarette lighters and gas barbecue igniters.  Quartz is a material that exhibits piezoelectricity.  Peizoelectricity does not, however, create something analogous to a battery that holds a change after the strain is relieved.  Those rocks should not have been holding a charge as they no longer had a force applied to them.  For plot convenience sake, I will have to assume that the effects of the device partially dematerialized the rocks and reassembled them such that the quartz crystals were held in strain in the matrix of the rocks.

It’s Epic!

Nina’s Sprint phone in the hit you over the head obvious product placement was the Sprint  Epic version of the Samsung Galaxy S.  It’s a pretty sweet phone, and basically the top phone out there with a physical keyboard (as of April 2011).  It is a 4G phone with slide out keyboard, front and rear facing cameras, and an LED flash, and it runs the Android OS.

The All American Sport

Ebbets Field was the home to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and apparently still is their home in the alterverse.  Also, the Montreal Expos either never moved to Washington D.C. in the alterverse, or they never changed their name to the Nationals if they did move.

Am I Missing Something Here?

I watched the episode online, and it was extremely inconvenient  to backup and replay a scene.  Fauxlivia has previously traveled to our universe and back.  While she may not have technically understood how it worked, she should remember the basics of how it was done.  I’m not sure why Fauxlivia seemd to have no inkling how inter-universe travel is done, or why her universe’s Brandon Fayett (the Chief Fringe scientist in the alterverse) would bother to pretend trans-universe travel can’t be done.  Perhaps Fauxlivia wanted to know how to bring someone back and not just how to travel between universes, but the she has accompanied someone a return trip across universes herself.

Fauxlivia:

 “Ten months ago, the secretary brough Peter Bishop back from the other side, How?”

Presumably it was similar to the way you traveled between universes, Fauxlivia.

Fauxlivia:

“I read the mission logs.  I know the secretary developed technology to cross between universes and bring back Peter Bishop.”

Uhh, she didn’t just read the logs, she met Peter Bishop when he was here, and she accompanied him back to our universe.

Better In the Dark?

So does Fauxlivia prefer to sit in the cell in the dark, or is she being punished and have no ability to turn the lights on?

Note For Saint Louis Viewers

If you missed this episode last night due to local Fox coverage of the storm that hit Saint Louis and attacked Lambert Airport, this episode will air again on Fox tonight (4-23-11) at 10:35PM .

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Product Placement, Purple Episode, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 18 Season 3, Bloodline

Posted by Karl Withakay on March 25, 2011

A Red Episode

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

Mostly For the Search Engines

I believe Viral Propagated Eclampsia (VPE) is a form of elampsia that exists only in the alterverse.  It is apparently not usually associated with women who have experienced preelampsia, like eclampsia is in our universe.  The virus that causes VPE is dormant until pregnancy and undetectable until the 10th to 11th week.  VPE is apparently nearly 100% fatal for both mother and child if the mother tries to carry the child to term and deliver.

What Are The Odds? Part I

No mention is made as to how the virus is contracted, nor of why having a sister that was a carrier of VPE would put you in the highest risk group of possible carriers of the VPE virus with an 80% chance of having the virus.  The virus can’t be contracted from the mother during pregnancy, as mothers with VPE can’t successfully deliver children, and no mention is made of Fauxlivia’s mother (or father) having it anyway.  So why would a having a sister being a carrier of the virus put you at an 80% risk of carrying the virus?  Is there a genetic component that makes you vulnerable to contracting the virus?  It would have to be carried on the X chromosome.  If it was a dominant gene that caused the vulnerability, and it came only from her father, her odds of being vulnerable would be 50-50.  If it was recessive and came both from her father and her mother (who did not have the problem because she carried only one copy of the recessive gene) the odds of her having the gene would be only 25%.  I don’t see how it could be genetically related and Fauxlivia’s odds of being a carrier be 80%.  Maybe if I thought about it for a while, I could come up with some complex combination of multiple genetic factors that could come out to an 80% risk for Fauxlivia when her mother did not have the problem, but nothing comes to mind off the top of my head.  I suppose it could be some environmental exposure that has to occur during childhood or puberty, such that if Rachel was exposed, the odds are 80% that Fauxlivia was exposed.

Menacing Liquids for Injection

They always seems to be strongly colored in colors other than red don’t they?  Blue, green, orange, they never seem to be red or clear or light yellow, like most of the liquids I see injected or fed into people by medical professionals in the real universe.

Take a Pill, Pretty Please With Sugar On Top

So, the abductors have state of the art medical equipment and supplies, and they expect the patient they are restraining against her will to take a pill to render her unconscious?  Is their some reason they couldn’t just inject her or use an IV to deliver the sedative?

White Rabbit/ What Kind of Pill is That Anyway?

The Nurse told Fauxlivia that she should start feeling the effects of the pill right away, but pills don’t work in a matter of seconds, and an instantly dissolving medication would make spitting the out the pill that was placed in her mouth very difficult.

Do Mentats have an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

I think it’s a really interesting attention to detail that Mentat Astrid tends to avoid eye contact with whomever she is talking to, similar to what is typical of someone with Autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

What Are The Odds? Part II

Mentat Astrid:

“I’ve reviewed the traffic for a three block radius around Agent Dunham’s residence.  There’s an anomaly.  The same commercial vehicle has cruised past her building six times in the past week.  The chances of that are 1 in 760,000.  It is a clear statistical outlier.”

Boy the Alterverse sure is a strange place, because in our universe, it’s very common for commercial vehicles to take the same route on a daily basis.  Maybe the cabbie had a regular fare that always took the same route past Fauxlivia’s building every day.  This just strikes me as a forced way to conveniently work the cabbie into the episode.

Mr. Cobblepot’s Opus

In the Alterverse, Opus is a peahen and not a penguin.

No HIPPA in the Alterverse?

I suppose it’s possible that Fauxlivia signed a release to allow the doctors to disclose her private medical information, sucha s the fact that Fauxlivia was positive for VPE to her mother.  I’ll have to ask Polite Scott if it would be OK to disclose that kind of information without a release form in that situation, if the mother had been present during the examination.

Well Secured

Fauxlia wasn’t secured to the gurney very well.  There was a lot of play in those wrist straps.  Considering that her upper body wasn’t strapped down or restrained, it looks like she should have been able to reach the wrist restraints with her teeth.  Of course, if she was properly restrained, the stage would wouldn’t be with the scalpel on the floor for her later escape.

It’s All Part of the Plan

I think it’s clear the Walternate was lying when he said the pregnancy wasn’t part of the plan for Fauxlivia’s mission.  It seems likely that the child may be a substitute for Peter in the universe destroying doomsday machine.

Someday a Real Rain Will Come and Wash all this Scum Off the Streets

Travis Bickle was the main character in the movie Taxi Driver, which in this universe, was a Martin Scorsese pictue, but in the Alterverse, it was a Francis Ford Coppola picture.  Either that or O’Charlie is worse than Lincoln at movie trivia.

More Forced Cabbie

Again the show finds a way to force the cabbie into the episode.  Of course he can get there faster, cabbies know all the shortcuts.  I really liked the cabbie character in previous episodes, but his his presence in this episode is really forced.  It seems unnatural and unnecessary.  I assume they are laying the groundwork for a later and more relevant appearance of the cabbie character.

What Are the Odds? Part III

“Accelerated pregnancy” must be not especially uncommon in the Alterverse, since everybody seems familiar with the concept, and nobody is surprised when it is mentioned.  However, how come nobody has ever stumbled across accelerated pregnancy as a solution for a pregnant woman with VPE?  Apparently something lead Walternate to think it might work.

Should I Just Leave this Comment Out?

Hey, I’m a heterosexual guy that finds Fauxlivia to be pretty hot.  I can’t help wondering if hoping that the show runners will go for realism here by making Fauxlivia’s boobs bigger due to the pregnancy.

I Don’t usually Comment On the Previews for the Next Episode, but…

I know I’m not the only one who thinks next week’s episode looks a little like a rip-off of the movie inception.

Posted in Fringe, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 13, Season 3, Immortality

Posted by Karl Withakay on February 11, 2011

A Red Episode

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

Note:  I may have the occasional error regarding this episode, and I may fail to cover something I otherwise would have, but as I am out of town on vacation, I had to watch the episode live with no ability to pause or replay any scenes, and I can only take notes so fast.  P.S. Greetings from Cape Canveral.

Something For the Search Engines:

“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” –Mark Twain

Helter Skelter Beatles?

I didn’t catch the scientific name of the beetles in the show, but I couldn’t find anything on Skelter Beetles (if that was what they were called, it took a while to get closed captioning going on the hotel TV).  I found longhorn beetles, which have nothing to do with sheep; the name is related to their long antennae.  I wonder if it is supposed to be a nod to the Beatles song Helter Skelter.

I Was Worried There For a Little While…

…that the writers were trying to set the ground work for the split between Frank and Fauxlivia with the interaction between Frank and Mentat Astrid.  While they may still intend something to develop between Frank and Mentat Astrid, I’m glad that they came up with a better (and more plot related) cause for the breakup.

Get Smart is Multi-Universal

Lincoln’s comment that he was a cone of silence when it comes to secrets indicates that the TV show Get Smart must have existed in the Alterverse as well.  It also indicates that the cone of silence in the alterverse version of the show was as equally ineffective as the one in our version of the show was.

Walternate Won’t Do What Walter Once Did.

I thought that maybe Walter and Walternate’s ethics and morals might cross paths headed in different directions, but Walternate stood firm against experimenting on children.  Good for him.

49 and Still Fine

Has Joan Chen aged at all in the last 20+ years?

What’s Your Standard for Off the Wall These Days?

Frank:

“His research reads a little off the wall.”

How does anything strike anyone in either universe with Fringe knowledge as off the wall?

Humans the Closest Living Relatives of Sheep?

It seems a little bit of a stretch to think humans were the next best hosts for the beetles.  The part about the compatibility being due the similarity of human and sheep DNA really seemed off base.  Cows, goats, gazelles, horses, deer, pigs, hippos, bats, whales, and hedgehogs are all closer relatives of sheep than humans and other primates.

Ever Heard of a Tactical Light?

I know there is some disagreement about the use of tactical lights mounted on hand guns, mostly about muzzle discipline and never pointing a gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot, but I’m still surprised that you pretty much never see them used in TV shows.  Instead, it’s always the flashlight in one hand, with the gun in the other hand, resting on the wrist of the hand with the light.  It’s not really good for controlled fire compared to a two handed grip that a tac light allows.

Did You Get the Memo?

The closed captioning referred to Fauxlivia as Bolivia.  We confirmed Fauxlivia two episodes ago.

Frank, Stanton, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist

Good job reading the sonogram, Frank.  I’ll defer to a real MD like Polite Scott, but I would think he should have been able to tell the stomach (or other part of the GI tract) from the uterus, but I’ll defer to someone with better expertise in that area.   I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that telling a 6 week embryo from a beetle larva on a sonogram might not be so simple.  According to Wikipedia, 6 weeks is indeed when a human embryo will start to move.

Not My Area, Again

I’m curios if Scott has anything to say regarding the fall and adrenaline triggering “some kind of morning sickness”.  I figured she just got sick at the thought she had a parasitic insect growing inside her.

Why Didn’t You Say So Sooner?

I’m not sure why the bad guy let everyone think Olivia was the one that was infected for so long.  I guess he was worried they might try to save him, and felt it was better to be safe than to be sorry.

Posted in Fringe, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , | 19 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 8, Season 3, Entrada

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 2, 2010

A Purple (Both Red and Blue) Episode

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

No Wonder Wikileaks Is So Successful

So the FBI, the top law enforcement agency in the USA, doesn’t have a screen saver password policy (on their MacBook laptops), especially on Fringe Division (defenders of the universe) laptops?  Sure the files were encrypted, but those were Fauxlivia’s special files, not the FBI’s.

For the Search Engines

Na einia kalytero anthropo apo ton patero toy  (According to the closed captioning)

Να είστε καλύτερο άτομο από τον πατέρα σας  (In Greek)

Be a better man than your father  (In English)

I Am Not A Doctor…

But shouldn’t Olivia have supplied Peter with a tourniquet to use to shoot himself up with that paralytic?

Also, if that was a paralytic drug, Peter probably had some damage to his corneas once he was able to blink again since nobody was keeping his eyes moistened.  Also, it was a bit dangerous leaving Peter unattended under the effects of a neuromuscular inhibiter, he might have experienced adverse side affects such as difficulty breathing or cardiovascular problems.  And why a paralytic drug anyway?  It seems an odd choice to be keeping around for a rainy day.  I would think a more traditional sedative would be safer.

Well, We Are All In the Fringe Unit For a Reason

“Eight weeks and none of us suspected anything.”  Fringe team is not staffed with the sharpest tacks in the junk drawer.  Peter, as an honorary member of the Fringe team fits in just fine, although it seemed at times he was more willfully ignorant than unsuspecting of Fauxlivia’s true identity.

If You’re Not Going to Use That Any More, Can I Keep Some Parts to Play With?

If it didn’t matter where the mass came from, why not just send back a sack of potatoes and keep the whole, living Olivia to experiment on and study?

Quote Of The Show

“She tricked my son with her carnal manipulations and he fell right into her vagenda”

I laughed out loud when I heard that line.

Spooky Action Across Universes

So the typewriter is a quantum entanglement telegraph?  Although it’s a bogus application of the science, I won’t call it bad science fiction unless you’re a quantum physicist, in which case you already know quantum entanglement can’t be used to transmit information.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Olivia had traveled back to our universe several times in Walternate’s Fringe Lab, and she always reverted back to the alternate universe.  What made her so sure she would be successful on the next try?

Zed’s Dead, Baby/ I Am Not a doctor Part II

Since when does adrenaline neutralize sedatives, and why the Pulp Fiction stab in the chest?  Her heart wasn’t stopped.

Nature vs. Nurture

“They’re genetically identical, so they think alike”  Not so fast their, Olivia.  Brain development is a lot more than just a result of genetics.

To quote academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, Steven Novella:

The genome provides a set of processes by which brain design unfolds – but that program is dependent upon input from the brain’s environment…

The genome provides more of a template for developing a brain rather than a blueprint for the finished product.  The development of a brain and the resultant though processes is heavily influenced by environment during development.  If you want to argue that their thought processes should be similar because their genes are the same AND their environments during development were similar, fine, but genes alone won’t cut it.

Peter Has a Brief Moment of Deductive Insight

Good work figuring out that was a shape shifter Peter.  Be careful.  If you keep showing such levels of stunning deduction, they may not let you stay with the Fringe Division.

Wow, That was Quick

So normally, you have to shoot Olivia up with a bunch of psychotropic drugs and let her cook in the sensory deprivation tanks for a while, but this time all it took was a little Cortexiphan and a couple of seconds in the tank and pow, she’s home free before she’s even had time to relax.

Are We Really Trusting the safety of Our Entire Universe to these Guys?

Did it ever occur to anyone on the Fringe team that it might be a good idea to take the owner of the typewriter shop into custody for questioning and maybe also search his shop?  It’s not like the fate of the world is at stake and he’s known to be involved or anything, is it?

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Purple Episode, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 7, Season 3, The Abducted

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 18, 2010

A Blue Episode

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

For the Search Engines

The complete prayer is as follows:

“Through suffering comes redemption.

Through sorrow comes exaltation.

Through pitch dark comes cleansing fire,

And through the fire we shall find the spring of new life.”

Is That a Good Idea For a Kid’s Game?

In Max’s bedroom , there was a copy of the other universe board game The Quarantine Zone, with the the tag line: “Can you escape before it’s too late?” on the front of the box.

And Knowing is Half the Battle

I can understand the need to conceal their identities, but why the  Destro masks?

Other Universe News

Playing on the radio:

“Polls show that most Americans oppose the proposed law to limit the number of children to two per family, however leading politicians from two of the three major parties favor the law.”

So, they are working on population control and the have a three party system.

Another For the Search Engines

Apparently it took 5 years after the Peter Bishop kidnapping for the Peter Bishop Act of ’91, which states that every kidnapping must be treated as a possible Fringe event, to be enacted.

Is This the Alternate Universe in 2010 Or Ours In 1985?

So in a universe where they had the Motorola Razor super slim cell phones in 1985, they still have pagers in 2010?

One More For the Search Engines

The book in Max’s rooms was Burlap Bear Goes to the Woods, written and illustrated by Thomas Tomas Christensen.  In our universe, I could find no Burlap Bear books, and I found nothing really of note by any author named Thomas Christensen.  EDIT:  I have been informed by Scott that this Fringe Author’s books have been seen in the show before.

Some Things Are the Same

Broyles’ son was listening to the Radio drama The Shadow featuring the characters (Lamont) Cranston/ The Shadow and Margo Lane, which are the same characters that appear in our version of The Shadow.  It makes sense that a blind child might enjoy listening to radio dramas.  It’s what I did as a child when I had a cornea injury and had to basically go blindfolded for a couple of days.

Some Things Are the Same But Later

I laugh at the backwards alternate universe that has only now advanced to the point of producing Red Vines which we have had since 1952!

Which Universe Was That In?

I wonder whether Olivia was remembering a Fauxlivia or an Olivia memory about a case involving a suspect that was draining hormones from pituitary glands?

Get Your Sugars Straight

You don’t have sucrose in your blood.  Sucrose is broken down in the stomach and small intestine into its component sugars glucose and fructose before being absorbed into the bloodstream.  I would guess that you’d also be dead from hyperglycemia (diabetes) long before your blood sugar was high enough to sweat that much sugar, sucrose or not.

Do they At Least Have Universal Healthcare In the Alternate Universe?

So not only do they have a small pox epidemic in the alternate universe, they also had an epidemic of the Avian influenza H5N1 as well.

Olivia’s Retained Her Crackerjack Investigative Skills

If Olivia was a good investigator, she would have asked not only for the names and addresses of all male church members, but she would have also asked for the records going back as far as the first Candy Man kidnapping to either look for someone who has been around that long, or to look for a pattern of a new member every two years.

One in Four Chance and Olivia Hits the Jackpot

So the Fringe Teams splits the list of over 40 names, and Olivia just happens to get Wyatt Toomy, the kidnapper?

Fringe Team: Multi-Universally for Sub-Par Agents

It’s not really a good idea to question people who could potentially be kidnappers by yourself without a partner for backup in case things go bad fast, as happened to Olivia.  Also, it’s best not to let your guard down when you don’t know whether or not the suspect is still in the apartment, like Olivia did.  She must be recovering her true personality.

Peter Is Either a Moron or Fauxlivia is REALLY Good In the Sack

If I were Peter, I could buy that Olivia had not seen Casablanca, but not that she didn’t know it starred Humphrey Bogart and not Ronald Regan.  I have to conclude he is being willfully ignorant because the sex is so good and/or he just likes Fauxliva better.

Obligatory Tony Todd Reference

If Fringe Team wanted to find the Candyman, thet should have just looked into a mirror and said his name three times.

WordPress Problems

WordPress made some changes and it ended up screwing up some of the links in this post, as well as blanking out all the links in the Fringe review index page somehow including all previous revisions of that page since October.  The links should be fixed and working now.

Posted in Fringe, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 5, Season 3, Amber 31422

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 4, 2010

(A Red Episode)

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

Alternate Universe Convenience Theater

Maybe you shock a flat line in the alternate universe, but you don’t do it here.

Starring Carry Grant as Sam Spade

In our universe, the line, “the stuff dreams are made of” was spoken by Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon.  The line was likely derived from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, spoken by Prospero: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on…”

An Earth Shattering Experience

In Our universe, October 17, 1989 (the date of the first use of Amber 31422 in the alternate universe) was the date of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Miscellaneous Trivia

31422 is a zip code in Savannah Georgia.

Quote of the Show

Walternate to Broyles:

“Nature doesn’t recognize good and evil, Phillip.  Nature only recognizes balance and imbalance.  I intend to restore balance to our world, whatever it takes.”

Would You Like a Little Technobabble With That?

Ferrocene is a real compound, but I found no indications of any application for use in negative matter rings.

Fringeternate Team Standards Equally Low

It didn’t strike any of the Fringeternate team members as odd that the suspect’s brother Matthew reacted so nonchalantly to the possibility that his brother might not be trapped in amber, or that he didn’t ask how they could have been previously mistaken about him being encased in amber?  They appear to have FBI academy reject investigators assigned to the Fringe team in the alternate universe too.

Drug Trivia

According to PubMed, Neurontin (Gabapentin) is:

“used to help control certain types of seizures in patients who have epilepsy. Gabapentin is also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain.”

Neurontin has numerous uses, some of which are disputed.

Elavil (AKA, Amitriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant with various off label uses, and is not a particularly noteable drug.

Those were, however, some very high doses for both drugs, on which I’m sure Scott will comment.

It Must Have Been Under Her Gown

How did Olivia maintain neutral buoyancy and avoid floating to the top of the tank without a weight belt?  People can’t normally hover in the water like that, which is why divers wear weight belts to reduce their buoyancy to keep from floating to the surface.  Also, you’d think they would have made sure to secure the regulator (air supply) to he mouth in some way.  I would think a semi-conscious person hopped up on drugs might accidentally spit it out and drown.

Too Brief a Scene

Unfortunately we were only treated to a few seconds of Olivia wearing those hotty glasses.  I hope we see them again; they go well with the darker hair.

Animated Suspension?

I don’t see how Matthew could have been conscious while suspended in the amber.  To have any sense of consciousness, you need brain activity.  You can’t have brain activity without oxygen, which means you need breathing and blood circulation, neither of which seem to be present for a person trapped in amber.  Without metabolic activity, there is no brain activity, which means no consciousness or perception of the passage of time.

Fringe Unit Really is for Fringe Agents in Both Universes/ Just Flip a Coin

Let me get this straight, Mentat Astrid put a 50% probability on the possibility that it was the other brother trapped in the amber, and she didn’t bother to run the equally likely scenario for potential outcomes?  She assumed a 50% probability as the most likely scenario!

Petergheist

Does anyone else think the Petergheist is a bit of a lame plot contrivance designed to provide us with overt, explicit narration of Olivia’s inner thoughts?  Couldn’t the writers give the audience a little credit and find a little more subtle way of hinting of what’s going on in her head?

Minor Note on These Posts

FYI:  I usually spend about 20 or 30 minutes after posting going over the post proofreading and making tweaks.  If you are one of the few people who read it immediately after posting, you might want to check back the next day for edits or changes.

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 3, Season 3, The Plateau

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 7, 2010

(A Red Episode)

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

But Does the Drink Have Different Ingredients in the Other Universe?

It would seem the spelling of Manhaten with one T in the previous red episode was either intentional, or the writers are doing a good job of covering their mistake.  The newspaper vending machine was for the “Manhaten Courier”

Did We go to War With the Netherlands?

The beggar’s sign read;

ARUBA WAR VET

PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN!”

Nagging, Unanswered Question

If they want Olivia for her ability to travel freely between universes without dangerous consequences, how did Fauxlivia (and the rest of our world’s Fringe team) travel to our universe again?  Will the writers address this question eventually and put in some sort of dangerous consequences at some point?

Decades Beyond Ball Point Pens?

I would guess that ball point pens will be around in this universe for a long time still, despite the iPad.  After all, we still have wooden pencils and AM radio, don’t we?

Small Pox Outbreak in Texas

So, did they not eradicate small pox in the other universe, or was it reintroduced, perhaps by a Fringe event?

Interesting Standard of Ethics for Human Research

I’m not sure why they would need to revert the subject back to their original state to determine whether there were any permanent adverse side effects from the nootropic drug; the researcher described that as a necessary part of human drug trials.  Unless the subject was already experiencing adverse side effect that they wanted to find out whether they were permanent or not (in which case they would be discontinuing the trial due to the already known adverse side effects), they best way to look for adverse side effects would be continue the phase II trial he was participating in.  They should have already discovered any obvious problems in the phase I trial.  I suppose they could have wanted to determine whether there were any side effects from discontinuing the drug after being on it for as long as Milo had been on it.

Of course, you have to question whether it would be ethical to discontinue the treatment once the obvious benefit to the subject had been demonstrated.  Not being a researcher. I’m not sure how or if the Declaration of Helsinki applies in such a circumstance.

I’m Not Sure the writers Know What Exponential Means

I don’t think the human brain has enough cells to increase intelligence exponentially five times, but I could be wrong.

Anybody Got a Cat, a Radioactive Substance, Some Poison, and a Box?

Assuming quantum events like radioactive decay are really non-deterministic,  the best way to defeat a super mentat like Milo would be to use a random, unpredictable event like the radioactive decay of a particle to choose your strategy.  Since such an event is not precisely predictable, Milo would never see you coming until it was too late.

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | 3 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 1, Season 3, Olivia

Posted by Karl Withakay on September 23, 2010

(A Red Episode)

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

It seemed to me there was less to Deconstruct in this episode as it didn’t involve a Fringe incident and dealt mostly with the drama of Olivia in the alternate universe, but after finishing this post, maybe I was mistaken.

Ultra Low Security Establishment

OK, first they escort a potentially dangerous, combat trained prisoner using only one guard and no restraints.  Then they have no guard(s) posted outside the room during the treatment, and the guards on patrol in the hallways are best suited to be a mall cops rather than guards at a secure government installation.  (No offense intended to mall cops.)  Next they release her from her restraints when she starts having breathing problems so they can sit her up rather than say, bag her while she is still restrained.  (They’re conducting medical experiments on her, they have to have the  equipment and trained personnel to deal with medical emergencies, right?)  Finally the doors are locked only with a key code and no swipe card, they allow the prisoner to observe the code being entered, and all the doors internal and external have the same code.  If I ever get locked up in a super secret, government facility, this is the one I want to be locked up in.

Magic “Memory” White Blood Cells

I think the writers are confused about what is meant by the term “memory B Cells” and “memory T cells” in regards to B cell lymphocytes and T Cell lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) in the immune system.  The term does not refer to memory in regards to the ability to consciously recollect things; it is an anthropomorphic characterization of the T & B Cell’s ability to chemically “recognize” antigens from pathogens the immune system has “seen” before.  In no way do these cells have anything to do with memories stored in the brain.

Alternate Universe Presidential Trivia

In case you couldn’t make out what was being said on the radio:

In the alternate universe, not only is former president Kennedy still alive, but he is still actively involved in government service.  He is currently stepping down from his role as UN ambassador to head the agency in charge of slowing down ecological breakdown.

Cab Driver AND Women’s Clothes Buyer

How did the cab driver know what size clothes to buy Olivia?  She didn’t tell him her size.  Was she about the same size as his wife, or does he have a lot of experience in buying clothes for women of different sizes?

Alternate Universe Advertising Trivia

GlatterFlug (German for “smooth flight”) offers daily flights to the moon. “Don’t give her diamonds, give her the moon.”

Magic High Explosive Incendiary 5.7X28mm Ammo, Standard Issue

One shot from Olivia’s gun and the propane tanks explodes in a massive fireball.  It looks good on TV, but the Mythbusters can tell you it doesn’t happen like that.

Olivia was using a FN Five Seven pistol that could have been using SS190 copper jacketed rounds that do contain a steel penetrator, so a spark is not completely out of the question, but I’m still comfortable saying the explosion wouldn’t happen.

Adrenaline Carries Blood Cells Across the Blood Brain Barrier?

Scott will probably have more to say on this, but that’s the kind of thing the blood brain barrier prevents.  It’s generally not a good thing when things that normally don’t cross the BBB manage to do so.

Question To Be Answered:

Will we see the cabbie again?

Is Olivia truly converted into Bolivia II, or is she faking?

Identity Assumption Plausibility Problem

How can Bolivia I effectively pass herself off as Olivia in our universe without any of Olivia’s memories?  I would think her complete lack of knowledge of Olivia’s past has to catch up with her pretty soon.  “Geez Olivia, don’t you remember anything from before you returned from the alternate universe?  Wait a minute…travel between universes must give long haired, female FIB agents amnesia.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

UPDATE:  From My Notes

I had a couple of things in my notes, but forgot to mention them in my post.

Apparently in the alternate universe Manhattan is spelled with one t, and there is a vaccination for typhus, neither of which is true in this universe.  :)

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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