Cordial Deconstruction

Observations from our shared single objective reality in a materialistic, naturalistic, & effectively macro-deterministic universe.

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Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 10 Season 5 Anomaly XB-6783646

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 21, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

Though I can guarantee that there won’t be a plot synopsis of this episode over at Polite Dissent this week, there is still a remote chance of Scott eventually getting caught up on Fringe and posting.  The odds are definitely better than the odds of winning the lottery, getting hit by lightning, or being bitten by a shark.

Revisiting the Road Not Taken

The Observers’ LQ7 unit for extracting audio from the glass in Nina’s office was very reminiscent of Peter’s electron microscope/Geiger counter/mp3 player used to extract audio from a partially melted window in Episode 19 of Season 1, The Road Not Taken.  (You can read my notes on that in the comments section of Scott’s post on that episode)  It’s really no more plausible now than it was is season one.  At least in The Road Not Taken, the window was partially melted to provide a malleable medium to encode the audio waves on, while no such condition existed in Nina’s office.  On the other hand, the writers might claim some sort of temporal echoes were encoded in the glass .

Sit Ubu, Sit…

The Ministry of Science unofficially maintains a black lab for work against The Observers.  I hope it’s house trained.  Oh, wait, Nina meant a black projects laboratory.  Never Mind.  🙂

Com One, Com All…

Apparently, although the Observers do not actively monitor or log com activity, they can track down a specific com if they need to.

The Loyalist mentioned not being able to locate Nina’s com (due to the fact that she was deep underground in the black lab), which would imply that they have the ability to track a specific com even if it’s in stand-by/ not on a call, but for some reason they couldn’t determine her approximate location by determining where she was when her com last had signal.

Also, why don’t the Observers monitor and log all communications on the air waves to detect subversive activity?  (Similar to The Machine in the show Person of Interest) Surely they have the technical capability to do that in real time.

Additionally, either the Observers are just plain stupid, or they would seem to have no way of determining what com device called Nina’s com, otherwise, Olivia’s device would now be compromised.  Do they not have a Patriot Act in 2036?

What Happen to All the Wanted Notices?

Once again, our heroic trio walks around freely, in broad daylight, in public areas without detection.

Whimsical Windmark

How exactly does an Observer determine when to phase shift and when to use the elevator?  Last week, when the elevator was out, Windmark took the stairs.  This week, when the elevator was working, he phase shifts.

It’s a Good Thing The Observers Are More Incompetent than the Fringe Team Is.

Our heroic trio knows the lab has been compromised, but they return there anyway.  How did they know that there wasn’t still a team of Observers and Loyalists there investigating the lab or waiting in ambush for them?  How did they know the Observers didn’t leave a bomb behind as a trap?  How did they know the lab wasn’t being staked out?  How did they know the Observers didn’t tie into the security cameras to watch the lab?

And by the way, why didn’t The Observers do any of those things?  At the very least, they should have torn that lab apart, not only to look for the boy, but to learn as much about what The Resistance had been doing there.  It’s absurd to think they didn’t even do a halfway serious search for the boy.

A Bit More Satisfying of a Character End

At least we got to see Nina go out with her hero’s death, unlike the death of another great character, Sam Weiss.  We got to see her go, and we got to feel the loss.  I know Sam Weiss technically wasn’t a major character and was only in  a few episodes, but he was a really interesting character, and he deserved a more interesting end.

Turn Back Time

If you watched the preview for the final three episodes, you may be wondering the same thing I am:  Are they going to reset time and make the events of season five (or even the whole series) never have happened, or was that mention just put in there to make us think that’s what is going to happen?

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 9 Season 5 Black Blotter

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 14, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

I doubt that there will be ever an episode synopsis over at Polite Dissent.

Astrid Farnswoth: Not Exactly Ready for Action

Astrid does not keep her firearm loaded with a round in the chamber, at least not at night.

Magic Batteries

Assuming that the radio was on for a minimum of a few hours (say it was switched on right before everyone went to sleep), what kind of magic 9 volt battery did that radio have in it that it lasted for more than an hour or two, especially with that light up display?

No Action

Peter and Olivia sleep in separate beds while staying in the lab.  Yes, the beds appear to be individual cots, but they could probably push them together to form a makeshift double bed (that’s how the beds work in most rooms on an NCL cruise ship).  Astrid knocks before entering the room Peter and Olivia sleep in, but she does not wait for a response.  Maybe she knows that Peter and Olivia do not sleep together while staying in the lab.

The Long and the Short of It

Peter mentions that the signal could be coming from “Him [Donald] or anyone else with a shortwave radio.”  Unless the radio was disguised or modified, it was a conventional American AM radio that receives signals in the medium wave range of 540-1610kHz, and not a shortwave radio.

Broadcasting in the Clear

Just a few thoughts on the radio signal:

If it is in the American AM frequency range, then that might mean that AM broadcasting ends in the US before 2016 when the transmitter was set up, or it would probably either interfere with or be interfered with by commercial broadcast stations.  The tuning indicator was pointing just past 650 kHz on the display, which would likely subject it to interference (especially at night) from WFAN 660 out of New York, which is a Class A clear channel station.  Also, apparently the Observers do not monitor the radio waves at the frequency used by the transmitter, or they feel the strange, coded signal is not anything to be concerned about

It’s about 80 miles from Willington, Connecticut to Cambridge, Massachusetts, so that transmitter must have been putting out a pretty strong signal for a non-commercial AM transmitter.

Considering the power required for such a strong signal and the length of time the signal was being transmitted, either that vehicle had a nuclear battery in it, or there were some powerful solar cells located in the treetops, but remember, it was set up in 2016.

Fringe Continuity

Fringe has usually been pretty good about injury continuity from one episode to the next, and in this episode, both Peter and Olivia have scars left over from the last episode’s events.

Sam Weiss (Not Samwise), We Hardly Knew Ya

That was a very disappointing way to write out a very interesting character.  What a waste.

A Paper Engine?

Walter mentions his design for a “combustible engine that runs on potatoes”.  Unless the engine itself was burned to do work, I think Walter meant a combustion engine.  The writers have an easy out, and they can blame the mistake on Walter’s acid trip, but I think we know better.

The Observers, Worst Occupiers Ever?

Not only would you think that the Observers should have cameras on every street corner and eyes in the sky looking for known Resistance members, but I think that they should also put cameras in every taxi and public transport vehicle as well.

Additionally, it appears the Loyalist troops don’t bother to pay attention to the wanted postings to learn the faces of the top most wanted persons.

That Looks Safe

With Walter tripping on acid and sitting on the edge of that dinky little motor boat, I would make sure he was wearing a life Jacket.

More Evidence the Writers Are Getting a Little Lazy?


“He left a Radio for us, and this morning it started transmitting a signal that lead us here.”

No, Peter, it started receiving a signal, not transmitting one.


I loved the Terry Gilliam style animation in the scene when Walter was remembering that the code phrase was “Black Umbrella”.  That, unquestionably, was an homage, and it was brilliantly done (in my opinion).  If you don’t know what I mean by Terry Gilliam style animation, here’s some of his most well known work:


If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it was done by Gilliam himself.

It’s actually a nifty, if unintentional, play on words, since much of Gilliam’s directorial work has been on the fringe, rather than mainstream.

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 8 Season 5 The Human Kind

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 7, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

It’s looking to be incredibly unlikely that there will be ever an episode synopsis over at Polite Dissent.  I think Scott’s fallen far enough behind now that he won’t bother to catch up and complete this final season of Fringe, much like I may never get around to going back to finish covering the first season. It’s a shame, really.  I don’t have anyone left to have conversations with about Fringe episodes now.  😦

You Say Dat-uh, I Say Day-tuh

It seems to me that the Observers’ & Observer-Peter’s mannerisms & characteristics are modeled after Mr. Data from Star Trek, The Next Generation.

-No contractions

-Quick, abrupt, jerky movements

-A sense of child-like puzzlement about fundamental human behavior, like emotions

-Observers have a pale skin tone that makes them appear not quite human

It’s Almost Like the Writers Have Been Reading My Blog

-The Etta “RESIST” posters are finally being torn down.

-There are now large dynamic billboards with wanted notices for Walter prominently displayed in various places.

-Although we did not see wanted notices for Peter & Olivia on the billboards, perhaps they cycle notices, and we just didn’t see the billboards for long enough, since Olivia does indeed have a wanted notice out for her as well.

Classic ‘70’s Automotive Design?

It seems to me that either there are a lot more cars from the ‘70s in the year 2036 than there are now in 2012, or at some point in the future, Detroit stars making new cars that look like cars from the ‘70s, much like Checker Motors was making cars using 1950’s styling well into the 21st century.  Of course for that to be  the case, somebody would also have to revive the Pontiac name.

Plan Ahead

How did Olivia plan to transport the magnet in that ’76 Grand Prix?  The tape mentioned nothing about getting a free truck to transport the giant electro-magnet with.  It’s a shame she had to leave that sweet ride behind.

Walter’s Plan

Why hide the components of the plan separately?   Why not just assemble them as he gathered them so he had a fully assembled and ready to use weapon hidden in one place?  For that matter, once assembled, there would be no need to hide it away, just use the dang thing and be done with the Observers.  But, as my high school literature teacher used to say, without the complications, we’d have no story.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong…

Given all the things the Fringe team has seen over the years, you’d think at least one of them might have asked if it was such a good idea to insert the Observer tech device in the porcupine man’s brain.

Caterpillars Don’t’ Evolve into Butterflies

I have to disagree with Walter’s use of the term “controlled evolution”.  Evolution is a process that occurs over successive generations.  It is not something that happens to an individual organism.  What Walter was describing was more of a metamorphosis or transmogrification where an individual organism undergoes a major change in form or nature.  “Controlled evolution” would be something more akin to selective breeding or eugenics.

Didn’t See That One Coming, Did Ya?

Why was the psychic/ oracle lady surprised when Olivia panicked and drew her gun?

Quote of the Show/ Olivia the Critical Thinker & Skeptic (James Randi Would Be Proud)


“People make up explanations, assign meaning to things without knowing, because it’s reassuring; it’s comforting, but I can’t do that, because I know too much.  It’s all about numbers.  And the Invaders, as you call them, they’re just better at math than we are.  Thank you for the magnet.”

 Where’s Admiral Akbar when Olivia Needs Him”

Two cars and a pair of bodies conveniently blocking the road with the appearance of an accident, and this is what I was thinking before the trap was even sprung:


Apparently a “Truth Church” is some sort of place where for some reason, Observers either cannot or will not read people.  Was this idea just thrown out for this episode or will it come into play later in the season?

Observers Would Suck At Portal

When the elevator is out, Observers, who can phase walk/ shift from one location to another, take the stairs.

First Time Kidnappers/Bounty Hunters

The genius hijackers only tied Olivia’s hands with rope, but not feet, and left here alone, free to roam around, unwatched, in a MacGyver dreamland.  Brilliant!

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 7 Season 5 Five-Twenty-Ten

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 16, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

It is becoming a distinct possibility that an episode synopsis may not eventually be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.  I’ll have to ask Scott if the Doomsday Clock hit Daylight Saving time and skipped forward one hour.

Is That Done By Workers In a Different Union?

Is there some reason that the people who are responsible for putting up the Observers’ They Live posters don’t bother to take down all the RESIST posters?

Laser Fuel

A He-Ne laser does not use helium and neon as fuel.   It uses those gases as the gain medium, and the helium and neon are not consumed by the operation of the laser.  Walter would only need to replenish the gases if they leaked out due to poor seals, although due to the small size of the monatomic helium molecule, the helium will likely eventually diffuse out of the laser across the glass &/or seals.  The Neon should still be fine if the seals are good.

Time Keeps On Slipping Into the Future

I can understand the existance of the garbled portions of the video playback, but why do the tapes occasionally skip forward in time?  Unless a length of tape has been physically cut out and removed, there shouldn’t be any skips, as the player still has to roll through the unreadable section of tape in real time.  It’s not like a DVD where they player may just skip past the unreadable section to the next readable part of the disk, resulting in a time skip.

Why the Rube Goldberg Approach to the Plan?

At this point in the season, I’m going to ask why Walter so overcomplicated the details of the plan.  I don’t mean the details of plan’s execution; I mean the documentation of the plan.

Why use such an unreliable and volatile medium like analog encoded magnetic video tape?

Why not use some medium with some type of redundancy or multiple copies in case of damage?

Why record the plan in video at all rather than just write it out?

Why not record the whole plan on one single tape?  (Was the plan really longer than one or two hours?  If so, did it really need to be?)

If the plan is useless with any part missing, why scatter the components rather than just store everything in one secure place with the documentation?

A Bad Lie or Just Poor Writing?

Conversation between Peter and Olivia:


“I have to go meet with Anil”




“He didn’t want to say over the com, just that is was important.”

Up until now, they’ve been openly discussing resistance activity over their wireless phones without a care in the world for what they say.  Indeed, when Etta’s cover was still intact and she was not know to be resistance, they talked openly about their plans, and now Peter says Anil doesn’t want to say something over the com?  How dumb does Peter think Olivia is to fall for that story?  Wait, maybe I know the answer to that last question.

No APBs or 10 Most Wanted Lists In the Future?

Walter is known to be a very key member of the resistance, and yet he can openly walk around in public , in broad daylight, right past Loyalists, and he is not recognized and arrested.  At this point, I believe Walter, Peter, and Olivia’s faces should be on wanted posters all over the place.  I don’t think the writers have really thought out the world very well for this season.  They’re not used to the Fringe team being on the wrong side of the law.

Full of Hot Air


“The Observers created a device that dramatically alters atmospheric pressure, speeding up molecules in all the matter in a controlled area, a process called sublimation.”


“You mean converting solid matter directly into gas?”


“So all the Matter would just evaporate?”


“Essentially, yes.  They use the technology to clear large areas of land for construction, like Central Park when they were prepping it to create their air degradation machine.”

OK, let’s start at the beginning here.  First off, sublimation is indeed when a solid substance passes directly from solid phase to gas without going through a liquid phase.

However, I’m not sure how just altering atmospheric pressure is going to vaporize all that debris.  Since Nina didn’t actually specify how the device altered the pressure, I’ll cover both bases.  More atmospheric pressure would generally have the effect of keeping solid stuff in it’s current state (and even forcing gases and liquids into solid and liquid states) and raising the phase transition point.  The higher the atmospheric pressure is, the higher the boiling point of water is.  Reducing the pressure would make it easier for stuff to transition to a gaseous state; that’s why water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes and why there are special directions for baking at high altitudes.  But even in a vacuum, the concrete and steel would not sublimate away.

Second, if the molecules of the concrete and steel debris were sped up enough to vaporize it all into gas, what happens to the super heated debris vapor that must be around 5000F / ~3000C (roughly the lowest temperature that steel would exist as a gas)?

Also, If you wanted to clear out Central Park to make way for an air degradation machine, wouldn’t it be easier to kill two birds with one stone and just burn it down?


I think Joshua Jackson is doing a good job working in the Observer mannerisms as his character slowly turns into one.

They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore

The car that Peter hot-wired was a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ.  Finding a ’76 Grand Prix in 2036 is basically like finding a 1952 Pontiac Chieftain in 2012.  It’s lucky for Peter that there was a 60 year old car around to steal (and that nobody bothered to report it as stolen), since even in 2012, most cars are so computerized as to make simple hot-wiring impossible.

Monitoring Alerts


“The Observers analyze any change in the atmosphere, so once you use the technology, they will respond within minutes.”

OK, known resistance members can walk around freely in broad daylight and only very infrequently get detected by the very rare security camera, but the Observers will instantly detect extremely localized changes in the atmosphere anywhere.  Have I got this straight?

Digital Watches are Still a Pretty Neat Idea/ The Future Isn’t What it used to Be

I was hoping for something a little more impressive in 2036 than Anil’s plain Jane digital watch.  Maybe it’s a retro classic.

Who Needs Keys?

Walter can vaporize many tons of concrete and steel rubble, but he needs to use Bell’s severed hand to unlock the door to the storage unit.  Why not just vaporize the door as well?

Well Give the Man a Hand

Bell’s hand looked pretty fresh, supple, clean, and full bodied for a severed hand with no blood supply.

Finally a Dead Power Source

It’s surprisingly nice attention to detail that Walter needed to supply power to the palm scan lock on the storage unit.  Apparently they don’t use car batteries to power those things, because if they did, the battery should still be good, according to previous episodes.

Five-Twenty-Ten / 5-20-10

May 5, 2010 was the original air date of the Fringe season two finale, Over There, (Part 2).

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 6 Season 5 Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 10, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

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


Apparently the method of entering the pocket universe was developed by the Ministry of Silly Walks

Pocket Physics Science

Either the pocket universe includes a fully functional and self sustaining & maintaining power grid or generator, or the physics of the pocket universe cause light bulbs to illuminate without power.

Also, although the universe was very Escher-like, at least it wasn’t intentionally designed to be a Castrovalva-type trap.

Prop Convenience Theater?

It seems like the Observers have functioning security cameras only in locations that are convenient to advancing or complicating the plot as the writers desire.  Most times, the Fringe team can wander around in broad daylight, at will, in populated areas without any concern for being spotted, but every once in  a while, they get unlucky and get spotted & identified by one of the apparently very rare functioning Observer security cameras.  Do the Observers have budget problems that are preventing them from fully deploying or maintaining their electronic observation net?

If We Were to Go By The Book…

Assuming the rate of time flow in the pocket universe is fairly constant relative to the passage of time in the corresponding local region of our universe, then if 5 days passing for Cecil in the pocketverse equated to 20 years passing in our universe, it follows that there is roughly a 1:1461 correlation in time flow, such that every hour spent in the pocketverse should translate to about 60 days passing in our universe.  For every minute spent in the pocketverse, about 1 day passes in our universe.

Astrid mentions working with Walter the previous night , and even though Walter’s bed has not been slept in, it’s clear he did not get to the building where the portal was before daylight, and it’s also pretty clear the team went looking for him that same day, also arriving in daylight.  Thus the team couldn’t have been much more than about 10 hours behind Walter, at most.  Doing the math tells us that Walter should have only experienced the passage of, at most, about 25 seconds in time in the pocketverse before Olivia and Peter arrived there.  Walter probably would still have been in the room when Olivia and Peter arrived.

Posted in Dreary Blue Episode, Fringe, Prop Convenience Theater, Science, Television, time | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Fringe Post May Be Delayed Until Saturday

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 9, 2012

FYI:  The Deconstruction review of this week’s episode of Fringe may not be posted tonight.

If it does no get published tonight, it should be up by about 1PM CST Saturday.   Regardless, I’ll probably still beat Polite Scott to publication, seeing as he still hasn’t done last week’s episode yet.

Posted in Fringe, Television, This Blog | Leave a Comment »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 5 Season 5 An Origin Story

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 4, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

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

The Etta Cave?

Presumably that was Etta’s secret hideout apartment that Peter and Olivia were in at the beginning of the episode.  Otherwise, you’d think it wouldn’t be a safe place to be, given that the Observers know about Etta being Resistance.  Regardless, that release for the secret stash wasn’t very well hidden.  Peter wasn’t even really searching for anything, and he just stumbled across it by accident.

You Say Tomato…

I’m not sure why Astrid was pronouncing ethane eeth-uh-noll (with a long E sound) rather than eth-uh-noll (with a short e sound).    Is she British?

The Observers, All Tech & No Technique?

It’s no wonder the Resistance hasn’t been squashed yet, despite their frequent missteps and poor decisions.  The Observers seem to have no idea how to run a police state or an investigation.  In addition to not having observation cameras on every street corner or eyes in the sky and not monitoring all wireless communications, it apparently never occurred to them that it might be a good idea to keep their wormhole/portal locations under observation both before and after transport in case the Resistance might get curious and investigate, stake out, or attack  such locations.  If I was with the Fringe team, I would not have wanted to be so openly wandering around in broad daylight at the portal site investigating the scene.  It seems a bit brazen and likely to arose suspicion.

Tickling the Dragon’s Tail

Peter has the components of a device in the lab that he should at least suspect may be capable of destroying all of Manhattan (or more), and he plays around with it, randomly putting pieces together to see if they go together.  All of Manhattan is lucky he just got a little shock.

Number One With a Bullet

Peter said that the power coming off the device was “off the charts.”  Which charts?  He had already shocked himself with it and he wasn’t dead.  Either there wasn’t that much power in it, or he was extremely lucky to not be dead.  If it really did have “off the charts” power in it, Peter should absolutely not been tinkering with it so casually.

One One Eight Seven at Hunterwasser…

Peter’s interrogation of the Observer was even more Blade Runner-esque than the the Observer led security interview in the previous episode.  It was an outright homage or ripp-off, depending on how you look at it.

Good-Bye, Mr. Bond

Never pause to say anything to your target before you shoot them, especially if they are super-fast Observers from the future with the ability to phase jump from one location to the other.  It may not always end so well if you do.

Better Than  Nothing

Astrid’s technique of looking for patterns in the Observer text that might correspond to dates and times wasn’t a particularly bad idea.  Though I would suspect the Observers might use such an extremely complex and foreign method of representing dates an time that such a technique might not work, it was probably the best thing they had to go on.

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Television | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

This Week’s Fringe Post Delayed

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 2, 2012


I am attending a trivia event for charity Friday night, and will be seeing Wreck-It Ralph on Saturday morning with my friends and their little ones (and hanging out with my friends the rest of Saturday after the movie), so the week’s Fringe Deconstruction review likely won’t be up until Sunday, likely around noon central time.

Posted in Fringe, Television, This Blog | Leave a Comment »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 4 Season 5 The Bullet That Saved the World

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 26, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

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

Suck It

Peter probably wouldn’t have been able to siphon off gas form that car. Many, if not most cars today are designed to prevent siphoning

What’s Old is New Again.

Apparently, once the Observers took over, automobile design and style stagnated since all the vehicles look what you see driving around today in 2012. Clothing fashion hasn’t changed much either. Considering how far off the predictions of future-current style was in movies 20+ years ago, maybe it’s not worth nitpicking about. (ex: Back to the Future)

More Notes About the Future

There’s no more baseball

Twenty dollar bills from the current day seem to be valuable collector’s items with worth a significant premium over face value.

Why Aren’t We Smart Again, Walter?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to extract all the video tapes from amber right away rather than extracting one, completing the task from the tape, extract another tape, complete its task, lather, rinse, repeat, etc? If they extracted all the tapes at once, they wouldn’t have to worry as much about the lab being discovered because they wouldn’t have to abandon all the still ambered tapes. It would also allow them the possibility of completing the tapes’ tasks in a more optimized order.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Walter says:

“There was a time when we solved Fringe cases. It’s time we created a few of our own.”

WTF? That’s nothing especially new. Weren’t nearly all of the Fringe cases at least indirectly caused by Walter?

Constant as the Northern Star

It wasn’t a particularly good idea to hide the plans in the vent in the subway station. What if the station had been demolished, renovated, or had the air ducts replaced?

Quote of the Show

“Don’t you understand? This is Greek to me, except that I read Greek. This is all Aramaic to me. Not the northern dialect- I do speak a little.”

How Many Early ‘70s Vista Cruisers Are There in 2036?

If the Fringe team had any sense, it wouldn’t have mattered that the Loyalist placed a tracker on their car because they would have ditched it after fleeing the firefight. Really, there can’t be many 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruisers driving around in 2036. Once it was seen fleeing the scene, continuing to drive that car would be equivalent to towing a billboard that said, “We’re the Resistance” in flashing neon letters.

Broyles, Continuing the Fringe Tradition of Excellence

Broyles didn’t want Etta to tell Olivia, Peter, and Walter about him in case they were read by Observers so he wouldn’t be outed as Resistance. Why isn’t that a concern anymore? None of then has yet learned how to effectively block the Observers, and Walter’s already been captured and read once. Any one of them could still be caught and read. Good move, Colonel Broyles.

Return of Prop Convenience Theater

That 4th generation, delayed fuse anti-matter baton with a 100m blast radius that can’t be deactivated once armed sure came in handy, didn’t it? It likely wouldn’t have much antimatter in it since just ½ milligram of antimatter reacting with ½ milligram of matter would have an explosive yield of 21.5 tons of TNT.

Big Brother, They Are Not

I am constantly baffled by the Observers techniques for observing. They occasionally have holographic footage of suspects at large, and yet whatever captures this holographic footage appears to not be particularly ubiquitous as they really see very little of what’s going on. You’d think they would have cameras, spy drones, and satellites all over the place recording everything that goes on, at least in populated areas. You’d also think they would be constantly monitoring all communications in real time, but apparently you’d be wrong.

Why No Female Observers?

No further comment at this time.

I wonder What’s Going On In the Alterverse

Were they also taken over by Observers?

Posted in Dreary Blue Episode, Fringe, Prop Convenience Theater, Quotes, Television | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 3 Season 5 The Recordist

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 12, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

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

Where’s the Black Guardian?

In this episode of (original) Doctor Who, The Ribos Operation, the Doctor and Romana seek out the first segment of the Key to Time (needed to set the universe right), which is disguised as a lump of jethrik, a rare and powerful mineral, from the rural planet of Ribos where it supposedly came from a local mine.

Scratch that, wrong show.  What I meant to say is:

In this episode of Fringe, The Recordist, the Fringe team seeks out the first component for Walter’s plan to defeat the Observers and set the world right, which is a rare and powerful mineral, from a mine in rural Pennsylvania.

Can You Hear Me Now?

I would think that the Observers are intercepting and monitoring all communications, including wireless communications, and that they have the processing power to analyze it all in real time, such that if someone were calling the Fringe team to warn them the observers were tracking them, the Observers would know about it.  If the Fringe team is using some sort of advanced encryption tech that even the Observers can’t decipher, the Observers should at least be able to detect that signal, and any such encrypted signal should be a massive red flag for resistance activity, right?  For plot convenience sake, we’ll have to assume some sort of special transmission technology/ technique that goes unnoticed by the Observers.

Old School/New School

What detected the Fringe team’s van on the roadside in rural Pennsylvania, and why couldn’t whatever it was be used to search for the van’s current location?  Why did the Loyalists need to conduct a search using ground vehicles?  Are there no air vehicles or spy satellites with infra-red imaging in the future?

In The Year 2036/ Oh My Aching Button Finger…

Apples are available in pill form, much like in The Jetsons.  It seems like either those pills must have some sort of apatite suppressant in them, or they somehow expand to fill the stomach a bit, otherwise although they might be able to provide nutrition, they couldn’t satisfy hunger very well.

Time to Bug Out

“You’ve got what you came here for.  Now leave before the Invaders find you here.”

The Recordists want the Fringe team to leave to prevent the Loyalists/Observers from finding their settlement, but regardless of whether or not the Fringe team leads the baddies away from the settlement, they already know that the team has been in the general area.  It seems likely the hostiles would want to search the area to find out what the Fringe team was doing there.  I think it’s not safe to stay in the settlement anymore; it’s going to be found.

In Two Weeks:

I can’t wait two weeks to cover the line spoken by Walter in the preview for the next episode.  Walter says:

“There was a time when we solved Fringe cases.  It’s time we created a few of our own.”

WTF?  That’s nothing especially new.  Weren’t nearly all of the Fringe cases at least indirectly caused by Walter?

Very Minor Trivia Note

The first three episodes of this season all feature words in the episode titles not found in my spell checker:  Transilience, Absentia, and Recordist.

Posted in Dreary Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

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