Heavy Stuff (107.12)

Again, we are given a replay of the family dynamics in which Ben started the day. Through text messaging, we learn that  Grace remains supportive, but Olive appears distant — heavy stuff for Ben, a family man. Almost as heavy as “Mirror Neurons” are to Saanvi, the medical researcher.

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Ben looks at his text messages

Scene shifts to a lecture hall where Ben and Saanvi take their seats. Ben had earlier sent a text message to Grace asking her if he can go to  a poker night at the office. She texts back “Have fun!?

Ben next checks to see if Olive has responded to his earlier texts, “How was climbing?” “Break any bones?” but has received no texts in response.

Ben’s texts bring us full circle

Interestingly, Ben does not give Grace a full disclosure as to where he is, even though Grace told him about Olive going rock climbing with Danny that same morning (107.4). As far as Grace knows, Ben did not come home because of a poker game (which doesn’t happen until later). For now, he does not let on that he is with Saanvi. Although Ben and Saanvi may be “just friends” (according to a Jeff Rake tweet), and although they have the same goal of finding the missing passengers, Ben should not be keeping this from Grace. Should we be believe one critic who states, “Will we all look back on this and remember it fondly as Ben and Saanvi’s first date—everyone except Grace, that is.” Or do we take Jeff Rake at his word? After all, at least for right now, Ben and Saanvi are not looking at each other.

SOURCE: cf. Metacrone at Metawitches.com

Saanvi looks at the brochure

The brochure shows the date as 11/16/18. The time 7:00 pm. “What could be more science fiction than a plane disaster…”

SAANVI: Mirror neurons? This is heavy stuff. No one really knows the extent of how these cells operate.

Date on brochure helps keep timeline straight

Although the date on the brochure is not significant to the story, it does help in marking the timeline of the series on track. This is our third such marker. The first marker was Vance telling the passengers the date on the tarmac (101.3). The second occurred in-scene title text that the passengers were detained for 36 hours (101.5). The third marker occurred when Danny told Grace, “10 days ago, I practically lived here. We were family” (105.21). Thus, November 16, 2018 is the thirteenth day since the passengers returned.

RELATED PAGE: Ben’s Timeline | Saanvi’s Timeline

Mirror Neurons: Foundation of Empathy

Those “mirror neurons” Fiona Clarke talks about are a real thing–“a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another”–and you’ve got oodles of them in your brain.  They’re not well understood, but some researchers consider them the neurological foundation of empathy.

SOURCE: Baby M at Doux Reviews

Fiona looks at the audience

Soft music plays as Dr. Fiona Clarke walks to the podium.

FIONA CLARKE: Your beating heart. My beating heart. We’re all one.

The Heartbeat Connections

The heartbeat that appears on the screen behind Fiona, as well as her talking about beating hearts, is an obvious connection to the heartbeat calling that Michaela has in this episode. Yet this is not the only connection. There are other more subtle ones. Throughout the episode, Ben is looking at computers. In the I.T. world

  • a heartbeat network is a private network which is shared only by the cluster nodes, and is not accessible from outside the cluster. It is used by cluster nodes in order to monitor each node’s status and communicate with each other.
  • a heartbeat is also a periodic signal generated by hardware or software to indicate normal operation. The heartbeat is intended to be used to indicate the health of a machine.

Is something similar happening between Ben and Marko? Ever since Cal was sick, and a continuing threat exists to his health, the situation is all but normal (i.e. S.N.A.F.U), which hints at the episode’s title.


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