The non-science of Fringe: Peter

Fringe: Season 2: Episode 16: “Peter”

An increasingly desperate Walter.

An increasingly desperate Walter.

Walter’s secret is finally out, but it was revealed to be as much an act of compassion as one of selfishness. The highly speculative nature of the universe-crossing aside, this episode was refreshingly easy to watch.

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

Random thoughts

Health and safety regulations were not strongly enforced in 1985, as nobody should be wearing a short skirt in a laboratory (nor using open flames).

Walternate (I prefer Walterego) is using a fairly modern three-necked round-bottomed flask with a magnetic stirrer for his experiments. We can see that at some point the mixture requires a gas atmosphere (this usually means an oxygen- or water-sensitive reaction), but it’s currently not too reactive as he’s adding material from a separating funnel down an open neck.

The whiteboard where Walter is keeping track of Walternate’s experiments seems to contain a random assortment of pairs of elements. However, seaborgium (Sg) wasn’t an element in 1985 as its discovery wasn’t confirmed until 1993 and the argument over naming it wasn’t settled until 1997.

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