The non-science of Fringe: Novation

Fringe | Season 4 | Episode 5 | “Novation”

Welcome to my lair, Fringe team. I'm impressed that you made it this far.

Welcome to my lair, Fringe team. I'm impressed that you made it this far.

The new-model shapeshifters (S-1000) outrun Fringe division yet again, while Peter languishes in a probably-illegal detention cell. Plenty of pseudo-medical chat this week, but nothing that I would call outside the realm of sci-fi (even if some of it is a little misdirected).

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

We’ve seen sodium thiopental before (One Night in October) – perhaps Olivia should be taking advantage of Walter’s truth-drugged state to ask him some pointed questions (“It was you that ate the last slice of flan!”).

It’s fairly obvious that Peter’s cell is monitored by CCTV, which is completely purposeless if you’re just going to let him re-wire any electronics within reach. What if he got the doors open, or built a coffee machine?

Tissue microarrays and blood gas analysers do actually exist, so props to the writers there. When Nadine started to rattle off a list of laboratory components, I was waiting for the not-too-distant-future technology to come out (“We also have a quantum genome polariser”).

Peter’s right – there is absolutely no way to figure out whether somebody has a large metal device implanted in them without hunting for it surgically. Nope.

Expectedly, the team fell for the Silence of the Lambs trick (known as a Fakeout Escape). As soon as Olivia got onto the roof and we saw that there was one dead agent, one live agent and no sign of the shapeshifter, everybody who has ever watched television said to themselves, “Ah, the shapeshifter killed the agents and took on the form of one of them in order to fool the other agents. I can’t believe that it’s going to work yet again.”


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