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Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 13, Season 2, The Bishop Revival

Posted by Karl Withakay on January 28, 2010

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

Intentional Play on Words?

I’ve heard of blue bloods, but never blue bloods with blue blood.

Enhance!

Another show where we create resolution out of thin air and enhance a blur into recognizable image.

Scientific Method or Bust?

Walter:

“A wedding is the perfect laboratory.  You have the target group, the Stakers, and you have the control group, everyone else.”

Olivia:

“You think this was a science experiment?”

Hardly the perfect laboratory.  The conditions are essentially uncontrolled, and confounders are innumerable.   I think Walter is not talking about a typical scientific experiment conducted in a controlled environment such as a laboratory, but is actually describing a field trial.

Later Walter says:

“A scientist always tries to recreate his results.”

Well, technically a scientist conducts an experiment to determine whether to accept or reject the null hypotheses each time they do an experiment, and I think I know what Walter means, but intentionally trying to recreate your results is likely to result in success, but not good science.  I also suppose one could argue that a scientist does not “always” try to validate his results through repeated experimentation, and that ultimately results can only be truly validated by other researchers repeating the experiment independently.

Try Rephrasing That, Peter

Peter:

“You may have to rework your hypothesis, Walter.  Maybe this toxin isn’t transmitted genetically.”

Walter’s hypothesis was that the toxin targeted victims with specific genetic traits, not that the toxin was transmitted genetically.

Wow, Nice Tinker Toy Set

That was a REALLY complicated and massive molecule Walter was displaying on the screen, as in HUNDREDS of atoms worth.  I have a hard time believing a molecule that heavy could be quickly disseminated through the air, if it could be airborne at all.

Three Chances to Get it Right, & Two Were Wrong.

It sounded like Walter said “das seepferdchen” (neutral gender), but the closed captioning said “die seepferdchen” (feminine gender).  The correct form is “der seepferdchen” (masculine gender).  And some people say English is a gender biased language.

1-29-10 NOTE:  See comments section below that corrects my mistake regarding the correct form of the article “the” in German used in this context.

Das Herrenvolk

A toxin that kills all non pure-blood, ethnic Germans (whatever a pure blood, ethnic German is supposed to be) might not have worked out to well for old Adolf.

Coincidence?

So the one guy who buys Walter’s rare German book just happens to be an artist obsessed with the Nazis?

Oh Boy, Chemistry!

The reaction for producing chromium trioxide from sulfuric acid and sodium chromate is:  H2SO4 + Na2CrO4 → CrO3 + Na2SO4 + H2O.  The other products are water and sodium sulfate.  The other toxic mentioned is good old hydrogen cyanide HCN.

Safe, I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think it Does

Listen closely to me: Just because you do not currently detect any poison gas in the air of the suspected hideout of a poison gas creator, does not mean it’s safe to take off your gas mask, OK?

1-29-10 Followup: Intentional Play on Unspoken words?

Scott pointed out that I forgot to bring up the Prussian blue blood.  I forgot to review my notes after finishing the post, because it was in there.  I don’t have time to deconstruct the absurdity of the blueness of the blood, but do have time to cover the unspoken play on words:

Prussian blue, Prussia, Germany, Nazis…Access to East Prussia was one of the pretenses for the invasion of Poland by the Nazis in 1939, get it?  Is there anyway the color was intentionally Prussian blue to make us think Germany & Nazis?

2-3-10  Update

I made a followup post to this Deconstruction: Followup Deconstruction on Fringe, Episode 13, Season 2, The Bishop Revival

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6 Responses to “Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 13, Season 2, The Bishop Revival”

  1. […] This week’s Fringe cipher was: FAHTER. A list of all previous Fringe reviews is available here. Karl has much more to say. […]

  2. Evan said

    Actually das Seepferdchen is correct. The ‘chen’ suffix is always neuter in German (such as das Mädchen, or girl).

  3. cordialdeconstruction said

    Thanks for the correction. It’s been about 20 years since I took German in high school, and nobody really speaks it on a regular basis in my family anymore. I wonder why the closed captioning used “die”.

  4. cordialdeconstruction said

    I only even addressed the article form because I had closed captioning on and I noticed it conflicted with the spoken dialog, and wanted to see which was correct, which is when I forgot my German grammar from high school.

  5. Don’t forget the Prussian blue test for cyanide, nor the fact that Prussic acid (HCN) was the toxic chemical in Zyklon B.

  6. Chops said

    For the closed caption, it’s worth mentioning that “die Seepferdchen” would be the correct plural. Also, I’m pretty sure he pronounced the vowel in “See” like English “sea,” rather than rhyming with “weigh.” It bothered me because I would think the son of a German immigrant would be able to pronounce his father’s nickname.

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