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Fringe Season 3, Episode 21

Season 3, Episode 21

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  • Courtesy of Fox
  • "THIS IS WHAT I SPENT MY LIFE PROTECTING?" Kevin Corrigan and Anna Torv

“The Last Sam Weiss,” the snappy-paced penultimate episode of “Fringe’s” third season, takes a detour into Da Vinci Code territory. Olivia and Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan) go on a kind of scavenger hunt by decoding ancient scrolls for even older and more mysterious artifacts. Right off the bat, however, the episode presents evidence of an even grander conspiracy, with hidden messages in plain sight: product placement!

Before the credits, we see a family driving along a highway, with the teenage son listening on his headphones to The Doors “Riders on the Storm” (which is appropriately moody, but a little too on-the-nose). Then — ZAP! — an electrical storm breaks out right in front of them as the latest symptom of the earth-threatening weather conditions. Behind the wheel, the Dad throws the Ford Focus into reverse — and whaddaya know, we see that the model features a little rear-view camera screen in the dashboard, so you can see where you’re going when you’re backing up, without going to the effort of turning your head! Considering that the Dad’s backing into oncoming traffic, his actions seem suicidally, even homicidally reckless.

And just to prove he’s not the brightest crayon in the box, the Dad promptly gets out of the car and goes atop a bridge — because you really want to be on the highest possible elevation during an electrical storm.