The non-science of Fringe: Bad Dreams

Fringe: Season 1: Episode 17: “Bad Dreams”

Olivia chases down her co-subject.

Olivia chases down her co-subject.

The impossibility of being able to infect people with your emotions aside, this episode was refreshingly easy to watch.

This episode is debunked at Popular Mechanics and Polite Dissent, and you can read more about it at Fox, IMDb and the A.V. Club.

Random thoughts

I like Walter’s old-school Geiger counter (he’s using a pancake probe), but I think they usually either click or beep, not both. There must be quite a lot of background radiation in the lab (or radon gas) for it to make so much noise, which makes Walter’s “not a rad” statement in need of an “above the background reading” qualifier. A rad is an old unit measuring how much radiation one had absorbed; it was superseded by the gray, and for Walter to get a reading in rads he would need to know Olivia’s weight. Geiger counters typically give readings in clicks (or counts) per minute, which can then be converted into energies and absorbed doses.

In the video at the end, did Olivia cause the fire that put Walter in the asylum? If so, it’s appropriate that she should be the one to bring him out.


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