The science of Breaking Bad: Buried

August 24, 2013

Breaking Bad | Season 5 | Episode 10 | “Buried”

Walt surveys the location for his buried treasure.

Walt surveys the location for his buried treasure.

It’s time to choose loyalties this week, with everyone save Jesse scrambling to set themselves up for the final confrontation(s). I’m not expecting a lot of science in the latter half of this season – Walt will most likely be too busy.

This episode is reviewed at Emilia Jordan and the A.V. Club, and you can read more about it at AMC and IMDb.

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The non-science of Fringe: Forced Perspective

May 27, 2012

Fringe | Season 4 | Episode 10 | “Forced Perspective”

Walter examines the latest Fringe case, to little effect.

Walter examines the latest Fringe case, to little effect.

An apparent lull in the conflict between the Earths this week, as the entire Fringe team seems to forget about the imminent threat of shapeshifters and bioterrorists and focuses on a young clairvoyant. She isn’t even having visions of the universe being destroyed, leading me to believe that this episode is out of sequence (and possibly even out of season).

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

I am absolutely not current on FBI bomb disposal procedures, but would half of the senior management wander down to the car park to take a look at a giant bomb in a truck? Would they even send a disposal expert without sending a robot first?

“The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” Walter is quoting Blade Runner (or perhaps the book upon which it’s based, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), giving him +2 nerd cred.


The science of Breaking Bad: Salud

September 21, 2011

Breaking Bad | Season 4 | Episode 10 | “Salud”

Mike, Gus and Jesse head off to show the Cartel how it's done.

Mike, Gus and Jesse head off to show the Cartel how it's done.

Jesse’s Adventures in Mexico take a decidedly assertive turn, as he wows the Cartel with his cooking skills and then assists in their demise. Back in the USA, Saul’s instincts about Skylar’s use of the drug money prove correct. In this post, I’ll be talking briefly about the methods we see the Cartel’s cooks using.

You can read more about this episode at AMC, IMDb and the A.V. Club.

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The non-science of Fringe: The Firefly

January 22, 2011

Fringe : Season 3 : Episode 10 : “The Firefly”

Walter and the Observer.

Walter and the Observer.

Fringe restarts strong after a long break, with Walter and the Observers taking centre stage in a slowly-unravelling story featuring the butterfly effect. Also: time travel, Christopher Lloyd and lots of foreshadowing.

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

Random thoughts

In the opening scene, Walter appears to be listening to a copy of Mahna Mahna and using Vee Gee glassware. As usual, the scientific equipment is set up in a hugely complex fashion with no regard for open flames or fume cupboards.

In lab chemistry, anhydrous magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) is typically used as a dessicant to remove water from a solution before filtration.


The science of Breaking Bad: Fly

June 3, 2010

Breaking Bad : Season 3 : Episode 10 : “Fly”

Walt on a search for "contaminants".

Walt on a search for "contaminants".

Walt becomes obsessed with removing a fly from the Chemistrycave – or is it a sign of something deeper? In this post, I’ll be talking about chemical yield.

You can read more about this episode at AMC, IMDb and the A.V. Club.

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The non-science of Fringe: Grey Matters

January 16, 2010

Fringe: Season 2: Episode 10: “Grey Matters”

Olivia and this season's Big Bad.

Olivia and this season's Big Bad.

The Destroyer of Worlds finally shows up, having been revived weeks ago, and promptly gets vital information out of Walter’s not-so-secure brain. The absolute impossibility of the brain-memory-storage-retrieval strategy 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.


The science of Breaking Bad: Over

November 19, 2009

Breaking Bad : Season 2 : Episode 10: “Over”

Walt investigates the water heater.

Walt investigates the water heater.

With a little down-time, Walt embarks on some home improvement and Worst Role Model projects. In this post, I’ll be talking about safety matches.

You can read more about this episode at AMC, IMDb and the A.V. Club.

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