Tue
Mar 3 2009 4:11pm

Eleventh Hour: “Electro”

Last week, I pointed out that women on Eleventh Hour tend to literally live or die by their marital status. (Look around you; are you single? Better finish up your will!)

This week, I learn that I should be careful what I ask for.

The implausible science phenomenon this episode involves nanotechnology, lightning storms, and women with jobs. As always on Eleventh Hour, scientific phenomena are both frighteningly specific and incredibly judgmental, and our first victims are a married sleaze hitting on his coworker, and said coworker, who fries instantly. That’ll teach you to get inappropriately hit on, young lady! Also, thirty other people die, but since this guy couldn’t have hit on all of them, there’s probably some science involved.

Dr. Rufus, Agent Young, and Felix the Inexplicable Addition are on the case. This means that Felix does all the legwork and exposition, so Agent Young has even less to do than she did before. (She needs to start shooting people ASAP if she wants to keep this gig.) Meanwhile, Dr. Rufus looks through a microscope, realizes that nanofilaments in people’s bloodstreams are making them into human conductors, and discovers it’s all the fault of the jealous military-research guy with the x-ray gun. SCIENCE!

1. The married gentleman who was trying to ask his coworker out on a date does not die. He gets electrocuted, and then falls prey to nanofilamentitis, but at the end of the episode he’s grinning and holding hands with his wife. (His wife, meanwhile, spends the episode wracked with guilt that she had been growing distant from him. I like to think this is sublimely subtle social commentary. Then again, I also like to think that unicorns are real, so chances are not great.)

2. Shortly after the death of that career-driven Jezebel who dared to get skeeved on, we follow a gentleman into a strip club for some private dancin’. The fact that the dancer avoids getting fifty thousand volts is the single most surprising thing this show has ever done.

3. Felix now does all the recon and exposition work. Agent Young chases the bad guys. Dr. Rufus spends most of this episode trying to convince the wife of the philandering skeeve to be more supportive. This means that the Nobel-nominated, coldly analytical Dr. Rufus is basically the Counselor Troi of his own show.

4. Science Alert: Electron microscopes are very powerful. Dr. Rufus explains this to Agent Young in a Mister Wizard voice, for some reason, even though the power of an electron microscope seems to be pretty clearly demonstrated when they look in and watch CGI chicken wire crawling all over a matte painting of some red blood cells. Thank goodness he wasn’t stuck with the blurry-image-of-that-stupid-celery-cell-from-freshman-bio-lab microscope.

5. Doctor Elizabeth Hansen is the first unmarried, childless woman on this show in about ten episodes; I’m pretty sure the last one was the homeopath in that town where the eight-year-old son of a single mother poisoned half a dozen people. (Sigh.) This should be progress, then! She’s dedicated to her job! She doesn’t take guff!

Actual line uttered: “I’m a scientist. I understand logic!”

It would be the line of the week, except that later the military-research guy stops by with his x-ray gun and tries this subtle stratagem to see if the coast is clear: “Elizabeth? I know you’ve been working day and night…I brought chocolate…”

Suspected deleted scene: after exposing the nanovirus to radiation, he sings into the barrel of his x-ray gun, starting a girl-power montage that affects empowerment levels all along the eastern seaboard.

6. Science Alert: You can stand three feet from a lightning strike in rain an inch thick, and you will not get electrocuted, so long as no one has inappropriately hit on you. You keep it safe out there, kids.

Check out some high-quality chicken wire in the clip below:

4 comments
Phil Frederick
1. flosofl
That's strange... I never knew that electron microscopes used regular optical lenses. :)

Seriously, electron microscopes are *huge* devices (well, compared to the regular old optical 'scope). From what I remember interning in a bio-chem lab waaay back in college, the specimen is put in a hermetically sealed chamber and a vertical tube shoots an electron beam downward. You would think it wouldn't be that hard to actually, you know, look this stuff up or something.

But based on your previous, and hilariously snarky, chroniclings of this show I shouldn't be surprised. I may know science, but I obviously don't know SCIENCE!
Sean Fagan
2. sef
I keep thinking about no longer watching this show, but I just now realized that even if I did, I'd see your reviews, not believe any show could be that stupid, and then watch it.

I think I need help. Is there an Eleventh Hour Anonymous yet?
Tara Chang
3. tlchang
I think I am only continuing to watch this show so that I *can* read your reviews and more knowingly revel in the SCIENCE!snark. :-) Thanks for continuing to subject yourself so that you can do them.
some guy
4. NateTheGreat
I'd never watch this show, and I admire you for watching so you can write these snarky reviews.

Keep up the good work. The only good thing about this show is your review.

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