Cordial Deconstruction

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Posts Tagged ‘Fringe’

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?

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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 »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 2 Season 5 In Absentia

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 5, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

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

Angels and the Devil in the Details

Speaking about the angel device Etta says,

“It stirs up and destabilizes every atom in his body.  A full charge steals around 25, 30 years.”

She also says that it is based on Observer tech designed to prepare them for time travel, but that the loyalists adapted it to use against the resistance as an interrogation/torture device.

First, let’s be clear, the device can’t be actually aging people by making time pass faster for them than the rest of the world, because the victim would die of dehydration (or boredom) after only a few days passed for them, long before they visibly aged.

Second, and I’ve dealt with this before, more than once or twice, existing hair does not turn white from age, fright, stress, etc.  Dig up a corpse that’s been dead for decades, and the hair won’t have turned white or gray.

Third, we have a word to describe what happens to  atoms when they become unstable, it’s called radioactivity and it will do worse than visibly age you; if every atom in your body were destabilized, you’d die fairly quickly.*  You could make a semi-decent argument that Etta meant chemically unstable since she referred to atoms and not nuclei, even though simple searches for the term unstable atom yield results where all the top hits are referring to radioactivity and not chemical instability.  The word she probably should have used if that’s what she meant was molecules.

Also, I’m not sure why destabilizing atoms (chemically or otherwise) would give the victim the appearance of visibly aging and shorten their remaining lifespan to correspond with their aged appearance.  The effects of aging are the result of processes that occur over time and how the body and its systems function due to those effects.  You likely wouldn’t see effects like instant white hair (already covered) or wrinkled skin; it’s unlikely any fast chemical process or damage would so closely mimic the effects of aging in such short a short time span.

The Eyes Have It

In case you were thinking that maybe the writers got it wrong and were getting retina scanning wrong and mistakenly changing it into iris scanning, iris identification is another method of biometric identification.  Though Wikipedia notes that the the iris identification article does not supply sufficient sources for the shortcomings section, that section notes that many commercial iris scanners today are able to be fooled with a high quality image in lieu of an actual eye.  If this is true, then apparently the technology does not improve enough by the year 2036 to be truly secure, at least not when Walter’s around.

Music Note

The song that was playing on Walter’s record player before it was ambered (and after it was de-ambered) was Knights in White Satin by The Moody Blues.

Gun Note

The gun Peter was carrying was an FN P90.

Footnote

*Unless Proton Decay turns out to be real, in which case every atom in the entire universe is already unstable, just with a very, very, very, very, very long half life, like 10^34+ years long.

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

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 1 Season 5 Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11

Posted by Karl Withakay on September 29, 2012

A Dreary Blue Episode

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

Scrabble Knock Off Notes

The words in Astrid’s Scrabble-like game before she attempted to play NAUGAHYDE were:

TILE

PART

DE

FLEET

HOPE

GALIUM*

And off by itself, not connected to any other word: NA

(This variation of Scrabble must have rules that allow at lest one word to be off by itself.)

Walter Has a Hard Drive in His Head?

At one point Peter said, “The plan was fragmented and hidden on Walter’s hard drive by September.”

Was Peter using hard drive as a colloquial term for brain, like noggin, or did Walter actually get a hard drive installed in his head?

Something to Think About

If Walter and September were really cunning & devious, then the plan in Walter’s head is a trap intended to lead the Observers to their own defeat, and the capture of Walter and the extraction of the plan were both intentional.

Stuff to Look Forward to in the Year 2036

Naugahyde has been out of use for so long, the word is no longer in Scrabble dictionaries.

They are still using paper money, the bills still looks like current U.S. Federal Reserve Notes, and they still haven’t gotten rid of the one dollar bill.

Inflation can’t have been a particularly out of control problem between now and 2036, as they still have a one dollar bill, and $3000 is still a lot of money.

They still have tea to drink as a beverage.

People eat eggs in the form of egg sticks.

Walnuts are rare and extremely valuable, literally worth their weight in gold. (At least in today’s gold prices.)

Merry go rounds are distant memories.

Some time in the not too distant future, both battery and music CD &/or CD player technology are radically improved such that a dusty CD can be wiped off and played in the CD player of an abandoned cab that has been sitting idle for many years.

Amber Gypsies have some sort of camp where people can visit their loved ones encased in amber, much like visiting a cemetery, but on a pay per view basis.

For the right price, really disturbed individuals can purchase someone encased in amber to use as a coffee table.

* Gallium is apparently spelled with only one L, at least when playing Astrid’s Scrabble like game.

Posted in Dreary Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Television | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 21 Season 4 Brave New World, Part 2 of 2

Posted by Karl Withakay on May 11, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

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

Quote of the Show

William Bell:

“As scientists, we’re taught that fate is nothing more than the convergence of a series of probabilities into one potential outcome, that there’s no such thing as divine intervention.”

Forgotten Point About Last Week’s Episode

Somehow I skipped over it in my note when writing last week’s post, but since Olivia mentioned Bell’s attempt to ignite the underground oil reserve, in this episode, I’ll cover it here.  Just superheating up an oil reserve wouldn’t ignite it unless there was sufficient oxygen present to support combustion.  You can’t burn petroleum with oxygen.

Like Father, Like Son: Peter’s a Chip of the Old Block

Walter would have been proud of Peter’s reanimation of Jessica’s corpse in an attempt to extract Walter’s whereabouts.

Was that a Light Saber Needle Peter Used?

I’ve never stuck a syringe into a human skull before (I have dissected a fetal pig), but it didn’t seem to take very much effort to get that needle into Jessica’s skull.

Alacadabra!

That was a nice implementation of a classic illusion/ special effects technique of inserting and removing the telescoping probe from Olivia’s skull.  Walter even bit down on it to supposedly prevent it form collapsing since we could tell it was a telescoping probe/pointer.

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 21 Season 4 Brave New World, Part 1 of 2

Posted by Karl Withakay on May 4, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

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

Hash Tag Note

For some reason, this is the first I have noticed that the hash tag displayed on the lower right part of the screen during the episode doesn’t correspond to the episode title.  Tonight’s hash tag was #DarkestBeforeDawn

Product Placement, A Necessary Evil?

If product placements like the one for Sprint in this episode are what it takes to keep the show on the air, so be it, but can’t they find slightly more subtle ways to do it?

Throw Out Your Credit Cards

Is near field payment common in the altered timeline?  It’s certainly not common yet in my timeline, and yet Astrid tells Walter, “This is just how people pay for things now.” as if near field payment was not only common, but typical.

Is There a Negative Biosafety Level?

Just because no airborne toxins were detected doesn’t mean that the hazmat suits and safety protocols aren’t needed.  First of all, it’s possible that there is an airborne toxin, toxicant, or pathogen that the detectors are not designed to detect, unless the Fringe team has tricorders.  Second, there could be a contact poison or fomite transmitted pathogen (or nanite infestation) which would still require hazmat suits.  Additionally, even if the environment is currently clear, there’s no way of knowing what might be released by examining the bodies.  Walter was pretty lax in  inspecting the scene and handling the bodies even though he has no idea whatsoever what caused the deaths.

Green Light….Red Light!

Once Walter determined that expending energy leads to overloading the nanites, resulting in the death of the infected, wouldn’t it have made more sense to lay the people down and sedate them rather than force them to hold their poses in a  deadly game of freeze tag?  Surely the stress of maintaining their position coupled with the anxiety of their situation would cause elevated pulse, blood pressure, etc, increasing their energy levels.

Olivia Isn’t the Sharpest Tack in the Junk Drawer

Maybe Jessica might not have nearly combusted so quickly if Olivia hadn’t been engaging her in conversation, causing her to consume more energy than if she had just laid there at rest.

It’s Not Just a Suggestion, It’s the Law.

If Olivia can slow down molecules, the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy says that the energy has to go somewhere, so where did it go?  Maybe Olivia redirected into the power grid, and that is why the power overloaded in the lab.

Sherlock Holmes, They Are Not.

Did it really not occur to anyone on the Fringe team  that Jones might have been responsible until they saw the security footage?

Shock it to Me

Hallucinations are not a side effect of ECT, but memory loss and confusion are.  I suppose that Walter may have been confused into thinking he was visited by William Bell due to ECT (perhaps he was visited by someone else he mistook for Bell), but it would not cause him to hallucinate seeing Bell.  I guess it’s also possible some medication Walter was on could have caused such a  hallucination, but generally they medicate people with drugs intended to stop or prevent hallucinations, not cause them.

Wait, Did They Just Create a Plot Point and Corresponding Plot Hole in the Same Scene?

When Walter asks if he can borrow the log book, Dr Benlo (closed captioning’s spelling) says it’s OK since they’ve already digitized those records, but previously she had apologized for not having an up to date record keeping system, implying that the records only existed in the physical log books.  If the records had been digitized, why weren’t they doing an electronic search instead of looking at the physical log books?

Trivia For The Search Engines

Agent Astrid Farnsworth’s Agent ID Number is JH112402

Geography 101

When Olivia mentions that it seems like Jones if trying to burn a hole to China, Walter corrects Olivia by saying,

“It’s a myth.  Technically it would be India, but I doubt it.”

Seeing as the beam is clearly shown to be relatively perpendicular to the surface of the Earth, and India is in the Northern Hemisphere, just like Boston, Walter also seems to be mistaken.  From my semi-rough estimation, it looks like the opposite side of the Earth from Boston would be an area of the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.

Radio Ga-Ga

2202.518 and 2202.520 kHz are in the S band, and that band is used for satellite communications.  Specifically, those frequencies are just barely 2 kHz above frequencies assigned for space to Earth communication.

Darwinian Fail

It apparently never occurred to Olivia or Peter that the satellite dishes might be guarded and it might be a good idea to have some backup covering them while the disabled the dishes.  It really is a wonder they both weren’t offed a long time ago.

Cortexiphan, it Repels Rain, Repairs Scratches, and Adds years to the Life of Your Car’s Paint Job.

Apparently cortexiphan now also regenerates tissue and lemon cakes, plus it allows you to remote control other people.  Nifty.

Jones Wasn’t the Sharpest Tack in the Junk Drawer, Either

Jones apparently interpreted Bell’s bishop comment a little too literally, and failed to consider that he might be the chess piece Bell was sacrificing.  I thought it right away.

What Does Nimoy Think Retiring Means?

Not that I’m complaining, but Nimoy seems to have had nearly as much work since he retired than he did between Star Trek VI and retiring.

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , | 15 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 20 Season 4 Worlds Apart

Posted by Karl Withakay on April 27, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

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

Old School Walter

It makes sense that since Walter’s been institutionalized until fairly recently, he hasn’t had much opportunity to learn PowerPoint yet, and he is instead using a Kodak carousel slide projector.  For the real youngins out there, before there was PowerPoint, you used either a carousel slide projector or an overhead projector for presentations.

Brane Freeze

There’s a few issues with the concept of gravitationally collapsing the two universes into a singularity.

First, even if the two Earths were brought together, they wouldn’t have enough density or gravitational force to collapse into a singularity, and if you combined both universes, pretty much the only things that would instantly collapse into singularities would be neutron stars and certain white dwarf stars of sufficient mass.

Also, just collapsing the two universes into one (probably*) wouldn’t cause the entire resultant combined universe to collapse gravitationally into a singularity, at least not instantly, though it might make the resultant combined mass (or altered curvature) of the new universe large enough to eventually result in a Big Crunch.

What it sounds like what he is describing is more like the brane collision model of the creation of the universe which isn’t really gravitational collapse.

* Who knows what new physics could arise from such a collapse?

How Much Does a Grain of Sand Affect a Desert?

Contrary to what ancient people may have believed, the world does not equal the universe.  The visible universe is about 46 billion light years across, which is unimaginably larger than the tiny Earth.  Amphilocite may contain a lot of energy, but come on, how can Jones collapse two entire universes just by linking/ collapsing a few points on one planet orbiting a nondescript star among over one hundred billion stars in a nondescript galaxy among over a hundred billion galaxies in the visible universe?  It’s a small wonder some other world’s version of Walter didn’t destroy the whole universe already a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Are There Roaming Charges?

Cell phones and ear cuffs from both sides have functional signal in the bridge complex.

Convincing Proof

Maye Nick would have been more likely to believe Olivia if she had brought Fauxlivia into the interrogation room to show Nick that both sides were cooperating and no longer at war.

It’s Nice Out; Why Not Walk Instead?

Having one Fringe unit standing by in one location waiting to drive vehicles to the site of the next “attack” doesn’t seem like the best way to make sure you get there in time.  How about having multiple units spread across the city waiting for Astrid to call in with the location?  How about having helicopters with assault teams circling the city waiting to swoop down on the suspect when his location was discovered?

The Fringe Division(s): Guardians & Protectors of Two Entire Universes

Even if I trusted Nick 100% (and I wouldn’t), I surely wouldn’t leave him in the custody/protection of only one lone agent.  I’d at least be concerned Jones might try to capture/kill him and would have him under the guard of at least half a dozen agents.  Also, since I wouldn’t trust him or his cortexiphan enhanced abilities, I’d have him locked up (and possibly sedated) as well.

Time Convergence of Reality and Fantasy

At 47 minutes into the episode, the countdown clock in the episode was at 47 minutes.  Nice touch.

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 18 Season 4 The Consultant

Posted by Karl Withakay on April 16, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

Sorry for the delay, I was out of town on vacation with friends this weekend.

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

I Knew it Wasn’t Mass Effect, but…

I did note that what happened to the jerk business guy looked a lot like he got hit by the slam power wielded by a biotic from Mass Effect.

Good Vibrations

I have neither the time nor patience to go into much detail regarding exactly how absurd the whole idea of everything in our universe vibrating with a C note and everything in the Alterverse vibrating with a G note was, but it was really bad in many ways.  To point out just a couple of quick points, everything in the universe doe not resonate with the same frequency, and matter is generally not vibrating with frequencies in the audible range.

Do their Planes Not Crash That Often?

I don’t see how having satellites that intercept and record all commutations to and from airplanes eliminates the usefulness of black boxes in airplanes.  The two different types of black boxes serve several important functions.  The cockpit voice recorder records everything that is said by anyone in the cockpit (what the crew are saying to each other), not just communications with the outside would.  The flight data recorder records instrument readings and control inputs of the aircraft (what’s going on with the aircraft).  Together the information from the black boxes is vitally important to be able to determine the cause of accidents and understand what was going on in the cockpit and with the craft in the time leading up to and during an accident.  I’m pretty sure that we also record all communication between aircraft and the towers, but that information is likely less useful that the black box data in most accident investigations.

Another note:  I guess if a plane in the Alterverse looses its radio before crashing, they just chalk it up to an unsolvable mystery and move on.

Nice Twist

It was a  nice twist that Colonel Broyles turned out to not be a shapeshifter and there was a different explanation for his actions.

Stranger Danger

So the wife of the head of Fringe Division just welcomes into the house any stranger who claims to be friends with her husband, and lets them hang out unsupervised with her son?  WTF?

Doing the Right Thing

I wonder, did Colonel Broyles turn himself in at least in part because when Jones ordered him to plant the device on the bridge (the device saving his world), he realized that there would be no point in saving his son’ life if his world was destroyed?

Alternative Football League Notes

In the Alterverse, the New York Jets NFL football team are still called the New York Titans, which means that there can’t be a Tennessee Titans NFL team.  If the Houston Oilers did move to Tennessee, either they retained their name, or they chose one of the other names they considered using: Bobcats, Stallions, Toros, and Apollos.  If the Oilers did not move to Tennessee in the Alterverse, then perhaps a different city (Los Angeles or Toronto) got an NFL expansion team in 2002.

Oops, It probably Won’t Matter, but…

Fauxlivia forgot to turn the camera back on in Meana’s cell

Now With More Drama!

Instead of immediately putting out a warrant for Colonel Broyle’s arrest and flagging his Show Me, the Fringe team takes the time to travel to Liberty island to apprehend Colonel Broyles in person, why?

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 17 Season 4 Everything In its Right Place

Posted by Karl Withakay on April 7, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

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

What’s With the Cow Clothes?

What was the deal with cow wearing boots and cow sized FBI jacket and ball cap?  At first, I though maybe NerdLee was having a weird dream.

How Badly Did Astrid Screw Up in the Past?

Broyles:

“Not to diminish Agent Farnsworth’s assignment, but liaison duty is more of a formality, part of our mutual cooperation agreement.”

and also Broyles in response to NerdLee after NerdLee explains why he thinks it’s useful for him to do the job:

“You’re more important to me here on this side.”

Here we have more evidence that Astrid is assigned menial and unimportant duties not considered worthy of even relative newcomer agents.

Absolutely No Texting While Driving

…But video playback on the driver’s information console is just fine.

Universal Differences

In the Alterverse, the fictional Gotham City billionaire playboy turned superhero is Mantis instead of Batman.  Does that mean that Mantis exists as some alternate character in the Alterverse?

Also in the Alterverse, it seems that Millard Fillmore is on a fairly high denomination of currency.  Considering that we have already seen that Newt Gingrich is on the hundred, Fillmore seems likely to be on the fifty or perhaps they still issue five hundred dollar bill in the Alterverse.

Foreshadowing or Telegraphing?

I’m not sure how the writers could have made it any more obvious that Captain Lee was going to die and be quasi-replaced by NerdLee (who will probably end up in a relationship with Fauxlivia).  If you hadn’t already figured it out before the conversation between Lee and NerdLee about how irreplaceable Lee was, that conversation should have sealed the deal for you.

Gun Notes

With all the differences between the universes, it’s interesting to note that the tactical team in this episode was carrying the exact same HK MP5 submachine guns equipped with ACOG scopes, tactical lights, and laser sights that the team in our universe used in last week’s episode.  Fauxlivia used some variant of Kalashnikov type rifle to take out the sniper.  Based on the size and shape of the magazine, it was likely chambered in 7.62X51mm /.308 Winchester.

It Didn’t Go Wrong This Time, but…

Isn’t it about time both Fringe teams got together and hammered out a shapeshifter protocol?  You know, with obvious things like never leave a wingman/ team mate, and if a team mate is ever out of sight of another team member, they need to be examined to be sure they weren’t replaced.

Minor Computer Pet Peeve

“If we can hack this mainframe…” Not all big, important , or powerful computers are mainframes.  Mainframe computers are mostly used in large scale business applications, and they aren’t nearly as widely used as they once used to be.

Where is Mentat Astrid’s Mojo?

Shouldn’t Menat Astrid have been able to put together all the pieces and figure out that Colonel Broyles is a shapeshifter by now?

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 16 Season 4 Nothing As it Seems

Posted by Karl Withakay on March 31, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

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

Probably Not, But…

Would anybody else not be surprised if Olivia’s shrink turned out to be a doppelganger?

Note: Agent Must be Restricted Exclusively to Fringe Cases

Olivia’s eroding memories of her life from this timeline seriously compromise her value as an FBI agent.  It’s not particularly unlikely that a defense attorney would discover her memory issues during deposition, and use her unreliable memory to get any testimony given by Olivia thrown out of court.

Plot Convenience Theater #1

Was the whole point of the birthday presents was just to give Peter an excuse to hug Walter, thus symbolically and literally embracing this timeline and its inhabitants as his own?

Quote of the Show

Walter:

“I like porcupines.  It [sic] shows that God has a sense of humor.”

How Many Supervisors’ Dogs Did Astra Back Over Anyway?

I have previously speculated that Astrid must have done something really bad in the past to be relegated to her current assignment, and this episode just reinforces that opinion.  Astrid has several years of seniority in the Fringe division over newcomer NerdLee, but Nerdlee is given temporary lead of the team instead of Astrid while Olivia is away from the team.

Oh Yeah, by the Way, Maybe I Should Have Mentioned Before That There Might Be Another Monster Out There

Peter remembers the details of the case in his timeline down to the flight number, but doesn’t bother to mention that that Marshal had an also infected partner until they are at the TSA, wasting valuable time in tracking down the 2nd dangerous mutant-hybrid porcupine man.  Did it not seem important to mention that little detail back in the lab?

NerdLee, Prototypical Perfect Fit For Fringe Division

NerdLeee waits for about five seconds after knocking on the door before deciding to break in without a warrant.  How many people answer a knock on their door in less than 5 seconds?  Maybe the person was asleep or in the bathroom or basement.  My rec room is in the basement, and it takes me about 25 seconds to get upstairs and answer the door, and that is assuming that I instantly drop whatever I am doing to go answer the door.

Call Einstein, Somebody Broke the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy

The guy from the plane turned into a giant porcupine man in the TSA bathroom and apparently grew much physically larger in the process without consuming anything to account for the increased mass.

Onion Rings and Cheesecake?

Fat craving, infected NerdLee craves bacon, onion rings and cheesecake, but not peanut butter.  Peanut butter is pretty high in fat, why is he not interested in peanut butter?  If he only craved animal fat, why the desire for onion rings?  Did he only want onion rings if they were fried in animal fat?

Sure Looks Strange to Me

What’s better than a killer mutant-hybrid giant porcupine man?  A flying killer mutant-hybrid giant porcupine man.  However, for a creature of that size and weight it would probably need much larger wings to generate enough lift to fly.  It wasn’t likely built of the lightweight, hollow bone construction that birds have, so the wings would need to proportionally much larger than bird wings are.

Does Walter Still Own Massive Dynamic in this Timeline?

Because he could be rich if he isn’t already.  His ability to simulate the final product of the porcupine man infection from nothing but a blood sample from NerdLee is nothing shot of miraculous.

But It All Looks Cool

The team that went after the second porcupine man was equipped with HK MP5 submachine guns equipped with Trijicon ACOG 4X scopes (which they were not using), visible laser sights, and tactical lights (which they were also not using).  Although the four power magnification ACOG is an excellent combat scope and can be used in close quarters combat, it is not ideal for such short range situations, and a 1X/no magnification red dot sight is much better suited for such close ranges.  Also, if the team was going in dark like they were, it would make more sense to use invisible infra red laser sights and compatible infra red night vision systems.  I’ll give them a pass on the whole laser beams being visible (like a phaser beam) rather than just seeing the end point since that’s typical Hollywood.  I’ll also give them a pass on using laser sights, since this context, where the darkness and wearing of the bulky night vision systems makes sighting through the weapons’ sights problematic, is one of the few situations where laser sights are actually somewhat useful.

Exclusively for the Search Engines

My Google-fu returns no hits on “sleeping Indian defense”.  Admittedly, I did a simple search and didn’t spend any time on variations of the search terms.

Plot Convenience Theater #2

If you want to go in silently, then use earpieces/headsets for your radios; don’t cut yourself off from team communication.  Also, if you’re really concerned about going in silently, silence your cell phone, or there’s no point in going in silently.  Obviously the whole point in turning the radios off was to make it difficult for Olivia and Astrid to relay a critical piece of information to NerdLee.

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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