Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 15 Season 3, Subject 13
Posted by Karl Withakay on February 26, 2011
A Mostly Blue, 80’s Episode
As always, an episode synopsis will be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.
Plan Vs Improv?
Am I the only one who thinks the writers changed their minds about why Peter wasn’t returned to the Alterverse? I got the impression in episode 15 of season 2, Peter, that the reason why Peter wasn’t returned was that Walter’s wife couldn’t stand losing Peter a second time, and Walter couldn’t bear causing his wife to lose their son a second time. Now we see that they want to return Peter, but have been unable to do so. It seems like the writers decided this works better for the overall story arch. I’m not really complaining, but I’m curious if anyone else has the same impression.
The regular periodic table on the wall in the Walter’s office was wrong for the years 1985 and 1986. (I am assuming it may be 1986, since this is 6 months after the Peter episode set in 1985) The regular table went up to element 117, with the elements up to 111 having their current, official names. The circular table was also wrong, going upto elemnt 118, with elements up to 109 having their current, official names. The names for elements 104-109 were not finalized until 1997. Bohrium would not be shown as Bohrium on any periodic table in 1986, as the proposed name at the time was Neilsbohrium. The name Bohrium was not proposed until 1994. The name for the element 108 was not proposed until 1994, and element 109 was not even discovered/ synthesized until 1994, so there couldn’t have even been a proposed name for it yet. It’s not important to the plot, but it’s a glaring error by the showmakers.
A Toy Store For the Ages
The original Battlestar Galactica aired from 1978-1979 and was cancelled after one season. The Battlestar Galactica board game was put out by Parker Brothers in 1978, and it would not have been on the shelves of a toy store in our universe in 1985 or later.
The Real Ghostbusters cartoon ran from 1986-1991, so those toys are OK.
The Rubik’s Cube was introduced to the toy market in 1980. I remember it having a pretty long run at being in toy stores, but 1986 is probably a little late for it to be so prominently featured in a toy store.
The game console being played was an Atari 5200, recognized by its distinctive controller. By 1986, the video game industry was in a slump, and the 5200 had been discontinued back in May 1984, and it would not have been in toy stores in ’86.
CORRECTION PROMPTED BY COMMENT BY DeRa1s: The video game controller is for either a 2600 Junior or 7800 and not a 5200 as stated above. The game box leaning on the side of the TV was for the 2600 version of Joust, and not the 5200 or 7800 versions. The cartridges in front of the TV were 2600 cartridges, which would be consistent with either an Atari 2600 Junior or Atari 7800, as the 7800 could play 2600 cartridges. The graphics were clearly not that of the 2600 version, though. It could be either the 5200 version or the 7800 version, but Joust was not released for the 7800 until 1987. An Atari 2600 Junior or 7800 would not be anachronistic in 1986, but the version of Joust on the screen would be.
No Necessarily Anachronistic
The Betamax VCR format was introduced by Sony in 1975, and by 1980, had been completely overtaken by its rival, JVC’s VHS format, which controlled 70% of the North American market. However, Betamax retained a following as it has slightly superior picture quality and resolution compared to VHS. It’s not unlikely that someone like Walter would have continued to use Betamax in 1986, or that he would obtain a new Betamax setup in that year. It seems though, that the writers are implying Walters Betamax is new as a technology, which would be incorrect.
The readouts on the green, monochrome CRTs were way too sophisticated for 1986.
Did Peter Bring Some Board Games with Him From the Alterverse?
Quizzard was released in 1988 in our universe; Peter has a copy in our universe in 1986.
Aren’t You Supposed to Be Dead?
Strange that it never occurred to Walternate and his wife that Peter might be dead already. He was deathly ill the last time they saw him, and they knew he didn’t have long to live. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that 6 months later, he might not still be alive, regardless of who kidnapped him.
Bishop Dynamic, Home of Broken Windows and Deaf or Dead Employees
I recently took a tour of Cape Canaveral, and from what I have been told, Bishop Dynamic is way too close to the shuttle launch pad to be safe. At that distance, windows would shatter, cars would flip over, and people would probably be killed by a shuttle launch. I was at a location about twice as far away where I was told NASA had a large generator flung about 50 feet by a launch.
My parents had the same Amana Radarange microwave oven that the Bishops had in their kitchen. The thing weighed about a ton, and had more chrome than a 57 Chevy.
Why did Olivia and Peter have no recollection of each other or the events portrayed in this episode when they first met?