The non-science of Fringe: The Last Sam Weiss

Fringe : Season 3 : Episode 21 : “The Last Sam Weiss”

The Last Sam and Olivia locate The Key.

The Last Sam and Olivia locate The Key.

As season three rumbles to its finale, the Fringe/Massive Dynamic teams somehow manage to move The Machine over to Liberty Island so Peter and Olivia can have a crack at switching it off. Expect a thrilling conclusion and/or whopping cliffhanger next week.

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

Random thoughts

As everybody has already pointed out, it is a terrible idea to head to higher ground during a lightning storm. Staying in the car would have been the safest thing to do, especially as the product-placed vehicle in question is probably equipped with Lightning ConductoTM technology.

Would Sam and Olivia really have been able to move the tomb lid that easily? Let’s assume that whatever it is made of has a density of 2400 kg m-3 (which is typical for concrete, and low for most natural stone), and dimensions of 2 m x 1 m x 0.1 m. That gives it a volume of 0.2 m3 and hence a mass of 480 kg (equivalent to a medium-sized polar bear). The Last Sam must have been rolling some pretty heavy bowling balls to build up such strength.

Walter’s “insulation” (rubber boots and gloves) wouldn’t necessarily have protected him from the lightning, but it was largely irrelevant anyway as he was only wearing one glove (he even waves his bare hand around after he gets zapped).

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