Cordial Deconstruction

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Archive for the ‘Blue Episode’ Category

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 11, Season 3, Reciprocity

Posted by Karl Withakay on January 29, 2011

A Blue Episode

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

Fauxlivia Official at All Levels

It’s nice that we now have confirmation that the name Fauxlivia is official on all levels in our universe now.  Sorry Bolivia fans.

Check the Horizontal Hold

Those were LCD flat panels in the hanger, not CRTs, so they should not have been affected and distorted by the magnetic field the way they were in the show.  The picture on a CRT will be affected by a magnet because the electron beam(s) are directed by magnetic deflection.  LCD flat panel displays are not distorted by magnets like that.

Strange Magnetism

So the device created a magnetic field strong enough to pull an office chair across the floor, but not strong enough to collapse the steel scaffolding which was closer?  The ceiling fans right above the device weren’t ripped form their mounting either.  I believe the force generated by magnetic attraction falls off relative the inverse square of distance such that the force exerted on the scaffolding and fans should have been much stronger than the force on the chair.

Was that a Psychic Nosebleed?

We’ll see what Scott has to say.

Mystery Force

Dr. Falcon says to Walter,

“Every human being has a unique electromagnetic signature.  We’re testing to see if it was indeed your son’s that triggered the machine.”

Walter responds,

“I have a graduate degree form MIT as well.  I don’t need a test to know how unlikely it is that this has anything to do with electromagnetics.”

Well, as unlikely as it may seem to Walter, I would still think it is more likely than any other explanation.  There are only four fundamental forces through which things can interact.  The strong and weak nuclear forces operate only over very short, sub-atomic distances, and gravity is very weak.  (Consider that you have the entire mass of the Earth pulling on you, but you are still able to lift your feet off the ground to walk.)  The only interaction left if electromagnetic.  It’s far more likely the interaction is electromagnetic than some unknown mystery force such as dark energy.

MRI, CAT Scan, Tricorder, or What?

What was that scanner-machine Dr. Falcon put peter through supposed to be anyway?  Walter says to Peter,

“Peter, do you have any idea how much radiation you’re about to be exposed to?”

I thought they were trying to determine Peter’s unique electromagnetic signature, but Walter is implying Peter is about to be exposed to dangerous levels of ionizing radiation.  Why would it require dangerous levels of radiation to measure Peter’s electromagnetic signature (if it exists)?  They way Walter describes it, it sounds like that’s a CAT scan machine, though why they need X-Ray imaging to determine Peter’s EM signature is beyond me.

Walter’s Marbles

It’s going to take more than just replacing lost brain cells/tissue for Walter to get this wits back.  Growing new brain cells won’t re-grow the pathways or regenerate the missing knowledge.  By analogy the data and the formatting of Walter’s hard drive is missing as well as part of the platter.  Just replacing the missing part of the disk won’t replace the formatting, and it won’t restore the lost data.

Did Astrid Run Over the FBI Director’s Dog?

If Astrid has these ninja like data analysis skills, why is she assigned to the Fringe division and cleaning fish tanks in Walter’s lab?

Computer Clichés

Mainframe computers aren’t particularly common these days.  The term is used whenever a writer wants to describe a really powerful computer, and they don’t think it’s impressive enough to just call it a server.  If they want to impress us, it would make more sense to call it a supercomputer rather than a mainframe.

The Death Star Plans are not in the Main Computer

Broyles,

“Shut down the mainframe; shut it down now, and from on, no one accesses that file except you.”

I’ve already covered the mainframe issue, but is all of Fauxlivia’s data really contained in a single flat file rather than in a database or series of files and databases?  Also, if the system has been compromised, shutting the system down isn’t a bad idea, but there’s a good chance it’s too late and all the data has been copied already.

Infiltrated, Hacked, or Both?

Broyles,

“Suppose Walternate knew we were close to identifying the list of shapeshifters on that drive.”

Olivia,

“How would he know that?”

Broyles,

“Because someone on our side may have told him.”

Olivia,

“We got a mole.”

It’s a little surprising that Broyles and Olivia assumed that they had a mole.  (Or maybe it’s not so surprising, considering how inept the Fringe team often is.)  While that is a likely possibility, the other possibility is that their computer systems have been hacked by someone who comes from a universe where the Motorola Razor cell phone was developed in 1985.  That person might consider cracking our most sophisticated computer security child’s play.  It seems like an equal probability to me.

Electromagnetic Blood Analysis?

Dr. Falcon,

“…but your lab work, the EEG readings, it all looks pretty standard.  Nothing to indicate you and the machine share an electromagnetic signature.”

What does lab work have to do with looking for an electrometric signature?

It Must Work, William Bell Designed It!

Peter,

“Lie detectors are unreliable.”

Olivia,

“He’s right; people beat them all the time.”

Nina,

“Not this one.  William Bell designed it.  It measures the slightest shift in the facial muscles, which allows us a link to stress and a particular emotion.

His facial muscles tell us his stress is not connected to guilt or shame.”

Bull on numerous levels.  Bull that it’s possible to 100% reliably determine the underlying emotions behind facial expressions.  Even if it were, you better hope your suspect is not a sociopath who doesn’t feel guilt or shame for his or her actions.  Even if they’re not a sociopath (or just someone who doesn’t feel guilty or shamed by their actions), you better hope they haven’t had cosmetic surgery (or injury) to alter their facial muscles and structure to throw off your lie detector.  Lastly, these aren’t human beings here.  They’re SHAPESHIFTERS.  There’s no reason to assume they have normal emotional responses or that they’re not able to completely control their facial expressions due to any emotions they do have.  They can shift their shape, after all.

Or You Can Choose Door Number Three

Why didn’t Nina wait until after they had done the DNA analysis on the three different serums before telling Walter about them?

Basic Data Analysis

The first thing they should have done with the list of names from Fauxlivia’s data file is run a cross index again the FBI & Massive Dynamic personnel lists and red flagged any matches, but this is the Fringe team we’re talking about here.

No Comment

On Walter’s expression of chimp behavior just because he might have a few chimp cells developing in his brain.

Walter’s a PhD, Not an MD, Right?

Walter speaking about the chimp DNA in his brain,

“My immune system will recognize it as foreign and reject it.”

I’m not a doctor, but I believe it’s generally considered a bad thing when immune cells cross the blood brain barrier.  I could be wrong, but it’s my understanding that under normal circumstances, immune cells don’t cross the BBB, which is why infections of the brain are very serious, if rare.  It remains to be seen (or at least to be confirmed by someone with more medical knowledge than me) if Walter’s immune system will rid him of that chimp DNA that’s supposedly in his brain

Why No Mention Of Olivia?

The files in Peter’s room, which were presumably Fauxlivia’s files, listed the members of the Fringe team, but Olivia’s name was not listed.

Too Simple?

Did the computers fail to crack Faulivia’s simple letter substitution code because they ruled out something that was so elementary that an eight year old reader of Encyclopedia Brown stories could crack it?

You Might Want to Consider Some Chelation, Peter

Peter’s probably got some significant mercury poisoning going on.  He was covered in mercury from killing that guy.  He probably got a lot more exposure from the other killings.

Paleontology Class

Brandon Fayette to Nina,

“The planet has been spinning for five billion years.  We’ve only been around for the past 250,000.  There were six major extinction events before we even crawled out of the slime.  So who’s to say one of them didn’t wipe out a great civilization?”

First of all, everything I can find says there were only five major extinction events, not six.  Second only the first two can be considered to have occurred before our ancestors “crawled out of the slime”.  Lastly, we have fossil records of those mass extinctions, but no archeological evidence of any civilizations.  It seems unlikely any disaster would wipe out any traces of a civilization, but leave the fossil record intact, so an undeteced, previous civilization is implausible.  Also, the Earth is only about 4.5 billion years old.

Good Idea, By the Way

I’m still not sure why it makes sense to assemble the weapon intended to destroy our universe.  It seems like we’re playing right into our adversary’s plans.

Fringe Compensated for Last Week’s Show

While I enjoyed last week’s show, I didn’t find a lot to blog about.  They made up for it in spades this week.  Eleven pages of notes and 3-1/2 pages (as Word flies) of blog material.

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 10, Season 3, The Firefly

Posted by Karl Withakay on January 21, 2011

A Blue Episode

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

Paging Doctor Brown, Doctor Emmett Brown…

While Christopher Lloyd did a decent job in this episode, his being cast in this role didn’t do much for me, contrary to my expectations.

Just Something For the Search Engines

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him, is a real book written by Sheldon B. Kopp, a psychotherapist, in 1972.

The Observer (Singular)

Olivia:

“The Observer?  It’s been a while since we’ve seen Him”

That’s an interesting way to phrase it, I’m pretty sure Olivia knows there’s more than one Observer.  At the time she speaks this line, there’s really now way for them to know if this is any particular Observer.

More For the Search Engines

Violet Sedan Chair, Walter’s favorite band has been mentioned before.  The fictitious band apparently has an album out.

Piano vs. Keyboard

Wouldn’t it have been easier to bring a keyboard in for Roscoe rather than wheeling in an actual piuano?

Maybe I’m Out of Practice Due to the Long Break

But that’s all I’ve got for this episode.  I’m very disappointed that I found so little to Deconstruct after the long drought.  Maybe it was the episode; maybe it was me.  Hopefully next week will prove better fodder for Deconstruction.  😦

Followup 1-27-11

Do As I Say,  Not As I Do

The Observer/ An Observer

“There things that I know, but there are things that I do not.  Various possible futures are happening simultaneously.  I can tell you all of them, but I cannot tell you which one of them will come to pass because every action causes ripples, consequences both obvious and unforeseen.”

Considering the Observer is admitting that due to the butterfly effect, even they can’t precisely determine the future, it’s interesting the degree to which they are willing to intervene in this episode, potentially upsetting the balance of the universes even further.  I would think that from their perspective, the better option would be to avoid any further invention and let the universes find a new equilibrium on their own.  Perhaps every current future without intervention they see results in the destruction of one or both universes, and they have determined the risk of intervention is warranted.

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 9, Season 3, Marionette

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 9, 2010

A Blue Episode

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

Will There Be Any More Red Episodes?

Now that Olivia is back in our universe, I’m guessing the regular alternating pattern of blue and red episodes may be over.

Not so Fringe

The use of an umbrella to deliver the drug to knock out the first victim in the show is probably based on the murder of Georgi Markov with a pellet containing ricin toxin believed to be delivered by just such an umbrella.  I really like it when Fringe uses real world concepts like this or the number stations in episode 6 of this season, 6955kHz.

I am Not A Surgeon…

So I’d have to ask someone more qualified to comment on whether or not there really would have been that much blood splattered all along the walls/ plastic drapes like that, but I do question it just a little.

I’m A Little Disappointed

It didn’t turn out to be a zombie episode; the potential certainly was there.

Just a Comment

I really like the relationship and interaction between Walter and Peter in Fringe.  It’s consistently the best written and acted part of the show, in my opinion.  The scene between Walter and Peter in the car in this episode was just such a gem.

Lady Fortuna Has Smiled Upon Us

I assume Walter is speaking of this Lady Fortuna, Roman goddess of fortune and not any relation of Bib Fortuna of Star Wars fame, but with Walter, you never know.

Is Hanging Around the Fringe Team Making Walter Dumber?

Scar tissue on the arteries indicative of heart surgery, steroids, immunosuppressants, antifungals, and antibiotics in the medicine cabinet, and nobody, not even Walter is screaming “TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT!”?  Peter was smart enough to look in the medicine cabinet, but not smart enough to put two and two together with what he found?  What  was he looking for, statins?

Paging Dr. Ross, Dr Alex Ross

I wonder if the name Alexandra Ross is supposed to be a wink of the eye to famed comic book talent, Alex Ross.  I’m sure Scott will have something to say about that.

A Bag Full of Hammers Might Make a Keener Investigative Team

Even after learning the Doctor Ross was a surgeon, the team was still surprised to learn the victim was a transplant recipient.  I think the chances of the other universe winning are better than even odds.

The Eyes Have It

As Far as I can find, eye banks do harvest whole eyes, but for cornea transplants, not whole eye transplants.  Roland would be not be putting the original eyes back in Amanda’s body, just the original corneas with somebody else’s eyes.  I’ll have to ask Scott is tissue compatibility is a two way street.  That is, would the victim’s tissues (eyes) necessarily have been a match for Amanda if Amanda’s tissues were a match for him?

Paging Dr. West, Dr. Herbert West or Again I Am Disappointed

Walter:  “…but imagine the possibilities, if this can permanently erase cell decay”

Astrid:  “Milk that doesn’t go bad.”

Walter:  “and cheese.”

…and the dead walking the Earth, killing the living, wreaking havoc, etc.  Don’t these people read H. P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelly, or watch Jeffery Combs or Boris Karloff movies?

I thought for sure Amada was going to come to life and try to kill Roland at the end.  The writers dropped the ball a second time in this episode.  Zombie fail.

Also, would that rot-proof milk and cheese still be digestible, even if it weren’t zombified?

There’s Product Placement, and There’s In-Show Advertising

Guess which I consider the Sprint video chat scene to be.

Marionette Voodoo

Creepy Roland’s marionette rig wasn’t complex enough to produce the amount of articulation that Amanda’s  inert body demonstrated, such as the pointing of the toes during the ballet.  And why make the rig at all if he’s going to bring her back to life, and she’ll be able to dance on her own?  Really creepy.

ALWAYS Look In the Basement For the Mad Scientist’s Lab!

Come on people, it’s so simple.  Perhaps you need a refresher course!

Did I Miss Something?

Or did the show not really clarify how Amanda re-died?  Was Roland’s experiment a failure?  Did he choose not to finish it when he decided it wasn’t really Amanda?  Did she kill herself again?  Is she really still reanimated but just non-responsive?

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Product Placement, Science, Television | Tagged: , , | 13 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 6, Season 3, 6955 kHz

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 11, 2010

A Blue Episode

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

Science Fiction is Often Cooler When Derived From Reality

Number stations are a real phenomenon that I’d heard of before this episode, but I don’t remember where from; maybe I don’t remember because I listened to one.  The stations are pretty much exactly as portrayed in the episode, minus the multiplexed memory wiping signal, and they are reported to have been around since WWI.  They broadcast a series of numbers, words, or letters in a artificially generated voice, tunes or Morse code.  It is generally believed that the transmissions are used to send messages to spies.  It’s a fascinating subject, and is also an excellent basis for a Fringe episode.

Magic Maglev

Broyles describing the floating mystery box:

“It’s not floating, exactly.  Apparently it’s got some sort of magnetics inside.”

OK, but unless the rack also had “magnetics inside”, that doesn’t explain how the box was able to float

Maybe He’s Thinking of Using an iPad?

I don’t know where Peter gets “It’s impossible to do microelectronics with gloves on.” from.  I found links for selling gloves “ideal for use in microelectronics”, links about latex glove allergies in microelectronics applications,  links selling gloveboxes for microelectronics, and a nifty picture of someone wearing gloves while handling a silicon wafer of integrated circuits, and that only took me a few seconds to find.

Analog Demodulation

Considering that Walter didn’t know what about the signal was responsible for the amnesia, he shouldn’t have been so sure that his wa-wa peddle would alter the signal enough to make it safe to listen to.  I would have patched it directly into a computer (without any speaker output), run the audio through a speech to text application to get the numbers, and used an audio program to analyze the waveform to see if there was a multiplexed signal.

Physical Abnormality Almost Always = Evil (In Pop Entertainment)

As soon as I saw the different color eyes, I thought, “There’s no way this guy isn’t evil.”  At Least he didn’t have a humpback.  The real question is, since he turned out to be a shape shifter, did the original person he copied have different colored eyes, and was he therefore also evil?

Bad Planning or Bad Transistor?

So did he not check the device until he got on site, or did the transistor go bad while he was setting the device up?  Rather than having a spare of every individual transistor and integrated circuit that might go bad to do a field repair with, wouldn’t it have made more sense to carry a spare finished, complete board or better yet, a spare device?  By the way, why didn’t he get the spare transistor from the same place he got all the other apparently untraceable parts?  He didn’t buy the transistor after he discovered the bad one; he already had it with him.  Are the writers trying to get me to believe that the only traceable part in either of the two devices was the one replacement transistor?

Wait A Minute…

Uh, how did the bad guy know what frequency the pilot would tune to when trying to re-establish contact with the tower?  (Why was the pilot communicating with the tower over the amateur frequency of 4029kHz before switching to 6880kHz, which is just past the amateur, aeronautical mobile range when neither frequency is used for air traffic control?)

Quotes of the Show: Amusing Dialog

Walter while unpacking another of the devices he can’t figure out:

“Fantastic, now I have bookends.”

Walter to Nina:

“Nina, if I’d have known you were coming, I’d have baked a cake.”

Astrid to Nina:

“He means that…literally.”

For the search Engines

The complete number sequence from the 3rd ring of the calendar was as follows:

8, 21, 16, 7, 11, 8, 10, 13, 12, 34, 17, 9, 15, 8, 42, 40, 27, 11, 9, 21, 18, 12

The 2nd ring had the following text:

Light Meets Dark, Period of Darkness, Dark Meets Light, Period of Light

The Inner ring was numbered 1 through 6, and the outer ring was marked 10- 360 degrees by 10’s.

Walter Is Not an Evolutionary Biologist, and it Shows.

Walter in response to Astrid considering the concept of ancient people who evolved before the dinosaurs absurd:

“Why should we be so arrogant as to assume we’re the first Homo Sapiens who walked the Earth?

Hey, if Walter wants to postulate that we are not the first intelligent species to walk the Earth, fine.  If he wants to postulate that we may not be the first bipedal intelligent species to evolve, fine.  But for Walter to suggest that the species Home Sapiens could have evolved before the first true mammals existed and then later evolved again into the same species displays a total lack of understanding of evolution, common descent, genetics, and the concept of a species.

Neither Verified Nor a Theory

Walter really shouldn’t think that a random work of fiction “verfiies” any of the speculations or conjectures that he liberally calls “theories”.  It correlates with his ideas, and may even support them, but it certainly doesn’t verify anything.

Walter Is Also Not An Astrophysicist or Cosmologist

“The Big Bang and its counterpart, the Big Crunch.  The universe expanding and contracting and expanding.  And endless cycle of creation and destruction.”

This one’s a little more of a nit pick, but Walter’s a little out of date on the Big Crunch.  The expansion of the universe is in fact accelerating and not slowing down, and therefore unlikely to end in a big crunch.

Is Peter an Expert on Eastern European Military Grade Electronics?

What makes a transistor military grade, anyway?  Why would they need to be licensed?  We’re not talking about integrated circuits here.  It’s a simple transistor.  Maybe it’s manufactured to very precise standards, and is very reliable (but not so reliable one didn’t go bad), but what could require it to be licensed?  I suppose it might have been radiation hardened, and maybe the government wants to know who’s using hardened components.  That might make sense since such components might be used in a nuclear weapon.  I still want to know how Peter is such an expert on military grade Polish components.

Tom Cruise’s War of The Worlds Plausibility Problem Resurfaces

How deep are these weapon components buried (seemingly buried for many years) such that nobody has ever accidentally dug one up before, and yet they can be unearthed with conventional construction equipment in an evening?

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Space, Television | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 4, Season 3, Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 14, 2010

(A Blue Episode)

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

Sometimes It’s OK To Be a Dick

The title of this episode is a reference to the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick upon which the movie Blade Runner was based, which is arguably the greatest science fiction movie of all time.

The Writers Seem to Be Telegraphing It In For Us Lately

Peter to Fauxlivia:

“We draw our moral lines in the sand, and unless you can put yourself in another man’s shoes, I don’t think you can really judge their actions.”

Ignoring the fact that Peter is mixing genders between masculine and plural/gender neutral indefinite singular here (“another man’s shoes…judge his actions” or “another person’s shoes…judge their actions”), the entire scene seemed poorly contrived to supply us with the dialog to strongly hint that Peter will eventually come to some sort of acceptance of what Walter did.  Either that or they just want us to think Peter is an oblivious hypocrite.

Quote of the Show

“Don’t you see that the brain is consciousness?  The mind is God.”

Mad As a Hatter

Walter’s explanation for the origins of the term “mad hatter” is one of the theories behind the origins of the term, but the actual etymology is undetermined.

Did He At Least Have To Sign For Them?

Apparently Homeland Security briefings are not “Classified” or “Eyes Only” but are instead for “Official Use Only”.

Don’t Tell Lies That Can Easily Be Uncovered

When Newton calls Fauxlivia on her cell phone, she tells Peter that it is her sister Rachel calling.  Rachel visits semi-regularly, and she and Peter occasionally speak together without Olivia present.  It seems that lie could easily be accidentally exposed several different ways.  A Better lie would have been for her to say it was her cell phone company trying to sell her extra services.  I would have bought it as my cell phone company does that almost every month.

Clsd Craptioning for the hrg !pred

I’d just like to point out for everyone that doesn’t use closed captioning (I use it for Fringe to make it easier to write down quotes), that tonight’s captions appear to have been prepared by a partially deaf, arthritic person with two fingers missing on each hand on a computer with several keys missing.  Thanks, Captionmax!

Unanswered Question:

Did Newton kill the shapeshifter cop’s family after killing him?

Do They Have to Make the Product Placement So Obvious?

It sure seemed natural for the camera to pan down to and center on the Taurus badge on the trunk of Fauxlivia’s car (or is it more proper to call it Olivia’s car that Fauxlivia was driving?) before it took off in pursuit of Newton, didn’t it?  It looked like a shot right out a Ford brochure.

Protected Storage

I suppose locating the data storage unit at the base of the spine could offer it better protection from damage than locating it in the brain would.  By the way, it’s only a theory (really just a speculation) that the stegosaurus had a second brain in the hip region of its spinal cord.

Who’s In Charge of Designing the Security Protocols, anyway?

So, you have a high value, dangerous shape shifter that can somehow move between parallel universes in your custody, and you don’t have him under constant, 24 hour video and audio surveillance?  WTF?

Something Just Occurred to Me…

While watching the previews  for next week’s episode, the following thought occurred to me:  In the other universe, are they going to secretly dye Olivia’s hair in her sleep every once in a while?  Sooner or later, her blond roots are going to show, and that would likely trigger a breakdown of the imprinting of the Fauxlivia personality.  (I suppose one could also ask if the carpet matches the drapes, but that would be a little crude.)  Perhaps they have a method of permanently altering hair color in the other universe.

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 2, Season 3, The Box

Posted by Karl Withakay on September 30, 2010

(A Blue Episode)

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

Blog Fodder For Scott

The weren’t exactly psychic nosebleeds, but I’m sure Scott will mention them.

I Have No Sarcastic Heading For This One, But The Numbers Are Off…

Walter said about Oppenheiner,

“And how do you think he slept, after his little invention had killed hundreds of thousands in a fraction of a second?’

The little boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed about 66,000 as a direct result of the blast, and the fat man bomb killed about 39,000 in Nagasaki as a direct result of its blast.  Also, although the actual nuclear detonation took fractions of a second,  it took one second for the little boy fireball to grow to its maximum height of 280m, and although it traveled faster than the speed of sound, the blast wave also took longer than a fraction of a second to propagate.

Any Chance Fauxlivia Will Change Her Mind?

“I’ve been noticing a lot of things since we’ve been back.”

You don’t think there could be any subtle foreshadowing there that Fauxlivia will eventually decide she likes our world better, do you?

They Got Me

I’ll admit it, they got me with the raspberry jam on the tie.

From My Notes I

“Does Bell leave Massive Dynamic to Walter???”

Good Job at Not Arousing Suspicion Fauxlivia

Peter should already be suspicious of her out of character behavior, recent events be damned.  Maybe Fauxlivia’s not any brighter than our Olivia.  Maybe Peter’s not that bright, either.

Good Cover, But I Still Question…

They did a good job of explaining how Fauxlivia is going to be able to maintain her cover, but I still don’t see how those closest to Olivia aren’t going to catch her slipping up on something she should know sooner or later.

From My Notes II

“Must have read her lips to get her name- DEAF???  Deaf=Immune to device???”

I’m Not A Neurologist, but…

That whole deal about harmonic music reducing neural activity, and that being why we think more clearly when we listen to that type of music didn’t quite ring true to me.  Don’t we need neural activity to think?  Even if that were so, Walter’s “neural activity” was flat lining while the music was playing, but he was also talking at the same time.  I’m interested to see Polite Scott’s take on this.  (I’m being very reserved in my questioning here because i don’t know and don’t feel like taking the time to do the research right now.)

Size Does Matter

That silencer (more properly called a suppressor) was too small to be effective.  You need room for the muzzle gasses to expand and slow down.  Suppressors are basically mufflers for guns, and little mufflers don’t work very well.  Also, if she wasn’t using subsonic ammo, there would still be a load crack (mini sonic boom) from the bullet traveling faster than the speed of sound.

Perhaps The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Seen On Fringe

Shooting a gun that close to a person’s ears is almost guaranteed to produce at least some permanent hearing loss and probably a lot more pain then Peter exhibited.  130dB is about the threshold of pain, and typical service handgun comes in at about 160dB at the muzzle.

Did She Use Blanks?

Nobody seemed particularly concerned about ricochet potential in an area with lots of hard surfaces like the subway station, did they?

Is There a Reason To Think It Would Be Booby-Trapped?

Just cut all the wires, Peter.  The device is a weapon component, and likely was not designed to prevent disabling.  Nuclear weapons, for example, are not designed to prevent them form being disabled.  In fact, they are designed to be rendered relatively inert when tampered with.

You Better Sign For That

Sure, Peter, you can take the ultrasonic death component for the ultimate weapon of mass destruction back to your father’s unsecured lab to tinker with on your own.  Why bother with security or safety measures?  It’s not like the lab has ever been broken into before by armed criminals, other than that one time, of course.

Bearer Shares

Massive Dynamic must be the only company in the world that issues stock in bearer shares such that whoever posses the physical documents is the owner of the company.  No wonder Bell kept them in a safety deposit box.

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Television | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

 
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