Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 3 Season 4, Alone in the World
Posted by Karl Withakay on October 7, 2011
A Gold/Yellow Episode
As always, an episode synopsis will be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent
Return of Prop convenience Theater
It sure was handy that the doctor was using a shiny, chrome clipboard so Walter could see Peter in it, wasn’t it?
Fringe Division, Crack Biosafety Unit
Two children die within hours of exposure to an unknown contaminant, probably an unknown pathogen for which no treatment protocol exists and for which the method of transmission is unknown, and nobody examining the scene is in hazmat gear and the bodies are not handled with any precautions whatsoever and just sent to a morgue and a basement lab at Harvard? This is a textbook case for Biosfety level 4 biocontainment precautions, the highest level there is. The investigators at the scene should have been in Level A hazmat gear with self contained breathing apparatus and the bodies should have been delivered to a BSL-4 lab with showers, a vacuum room, a UV light room, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of any biohazard as well as have multiple airlocks that are secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. Additionally all air and water service going to and coming from a the lab would undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Also, that’s probably not a good time for Nerlee’s likely first biosafety situation.
You don’t Need All the Evidence, Do You?
It’s not like there was any possibility than only one of the bodies would have some important piece of evidence like the method of first transmission of the pathogen or toxin. Go ahead and save some time and money and only send one to the lab and send the other straight to the morgue.
-written in the kid’s notebook.
“I wonder if I wish my birthday would be just how I dream it”
Lambda Lambda Lambda
A lambda sensor is an actual oxygen sensor.
A Fungus Among Us
Cordyceps are very interesting fungi. They are all endoparasitoids that prey mainly on insects and arthropods. They invade and replace host tissue, and some species can even influence host behavior to spread it spores, as with zombie ants. It’s always more interesting to me when there’s some real, scientific basis for the “science” in Fringe.
But the part about the fungi forming large neuron like cells to produce a large, thinking brain was just over the top.
In addition to the fundamental absurdity of fungal cells being able to function as neurons, a human brain has about 100 billion neurons in it. If we do some back of the envelope calculations, let’s assume that “neuron” in the lab was typical and was about 4”X4” square (just to speed up and simplify calculations). If there were just 1 billion of them in Gus’s brain, that would cover approximately 2500 acres of land/surface or about 4 square miles.
All Things Being Equal
This timeline and the old timeline should be identical up to the point that Walter and Peter fell through the ice and the observer did or didn’t save Peter.
Biosafety Level Zero
At least have some Draino ready to pour down the sink if you’re not going to use a BSL-4 lab.
Holy Crap, We’re Doomed (or Doosmed)
It’s unbelievable the amount of caution our Fringe team constantly didn’t take when working around the fungi. If these people are half of all that stands between two universes and certain doom, the alterverse’s team will need to carry the full burden of saving everything by themselves.
Get A Head
Why bother wearing the fire protection suits when using flame throwers if you’re not going to wear anything on your head?
Ooh, Piece of Candy!
I love that Astrid knows Walter well enough to instantly know he wanted a Popsicle after he mentioned not turning the boy into one and then paused and said “Oh, Astrid…”
I guess it never occurred to Walter to try putting the kid in a medically induced coma or anesthetizing the relevant part of his brain before jumping straight the idea of lobotomizing him? Presumably it didn’t need to be permanent; he just needed to interrupt the link until the organism was dead. It’s a good thing he came up with a plan B in time.
Get Him a Red Uniform, Oh, Never Mind, Too Late
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who saw the death of they guy administering the toxin coming, right?
“I’ve seen the movie with the talking toys, oddly disturbing.”
Slow Down There, Let’s Not Jump to Any Conclusions
“And all this time I thought that I was loosing my mind, that he was a figment of my psychosis. I’m perfectly sane.”
Maybe he isn’t a figment of your psychosis, but I wouldn’t make any hasty conclusions about the other two parts.