Fridge / Paycheck

Fridge Brilliance

  • Jennings only escapes from FBI custody because of an extremely intense fire suppression system triggered by a cigarette smoked by an FBI agent. One would think he would be aware of that system's sensitivity. The pack is marked as "smokeless" despite being filled with normal cigarettes - he only lit up in the same room because he thought it was safe to smoke!
  • Why did Jennings allow himself to be captured by FBI in the first place? Evading them completely didn't sound like a big deal considering all the other things Mike did. Simple: first, it got him away from Rethrick at top speed instead of running back into his claws in search of his Allcom shares, and second, what better way for his amnesiac future self to realize how screwed he is than for some really pissed-off stormtroopers to explain it to him in detail?
  • The time scope prophesies are only self-fulfilling if the viewer critically fails at foresight. Of course herding the sick together causes an epidemic! Of course yanking all the money out of a bank causes it to collapse! If you go to war to prevent a war, you're still at fucking war! Gah! Now think carefully, have you ever known a politician to look further into the future than the next election, or an executive to think beyond the next shareholders' meeeting? Jennings is an engineer - so he looked closer instead of just jumping and screaming like a tazed cat.
  • Why wasn't Rethrick aware that Jennings was manipulating his own future? The prediction Rethrick found of Jennings' death was made before Jennings started screwing with his own future, upon which he put together the envelope of items and sabotaged the machine. Especially since Rethrick is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who didn't realize he was Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard. Right down to the exact circumstances of Jennings' death, which Rethrick saw on the machine even after it was repaired, which Jennings manipulated to befall Rethrick instead (see Headscratchers on that manipulation).

Fridge Logic

  • What kind of fire suppression system practically blinds everyone and makes it impossible to see the exit?
    • The kind that's badly designed and malfunctioning?
  • It is stated before his employment at Allcom that Jenning is not allowed to leave the premise or even make calls outside, and his mails are carefully screened. So, how on earth could he accomplish the following: (1) Forfeit his shares at Allcom (2) Buy TWO lottery tickets and (3) Switch the personal belongings that he receives after the memory wipe?
    • It was hinted that Rachel was somehow involved. And why on earth would they pay attention to his lottery tickets?
    • For things like signatures (which are all over the paper works) Jenning has to physically come to the bank (or whatever it is) to sign (because having someone over to his place and get his signature defeats the whole purpose of the "authentication" thing, and Allcom is unlikely to let people in anyway). So, the argument "Rachel was somehow involved" is completely moot. Also, Rachel seems as surprised as he is to see the lottery ticket, implying she's never seen it before. And were the above troper kidding with the question "why on earth would they pay attention to his lottery tickets?". Because they are making a machine that sees the future, that's why!
      • So what? It's not Rethrick's money Jennings will win in the lottery; and they're sure he's going to be dead soon anyway.
    • 1) How did he forfeit his shares? He notified the bank via Registered Mail that he wanted to; security would've screened his mail and let it through because such an order wouldn't have any bearing on their security or the contract. He probably arranged in advance for the bank to be aware that certain things had to be handled via mail.
    • 2) He bought the lottery tickets the same way he bought the motorcycle: over the Internet. Like the key to the BMW, he had the tickets mailed to him and then hid them inside the bird cage.
    • 3) He requested that the personal items he handed over to security be substituted for the new ones and mailed to the bank. Rethrick and his head of security both lampshaded that they were "every day things" that security wouldn't flag.
      • How could security allow this? I would chalk it up to Jennings following the rules of his contract to the letter and a communications breakdown between security and Rethrick as I doubt that all of his employees were in on the conspiracy to kill Jennings or even knew about the Machine.
        • That's it. As it turns out, Jennings and Wolfe weren't even aware of the envelope swap, and it can be reasonably assumed that apart from them two, Jennings, and Dekker, nobody else knew about the Machine.
    • Note that this question is dealt with in the original short story: there's a specific clause in Jennings' (and any other mechanic at Rethrick Construction) contract that allows him to substitute the money with any objects he wants. As Jennings argues, Rethrick just recognized that mechanics working on such a project would use the time mirror for their own goals anyway - and he didn't care, as long as they didn't interfere with his own objectives. Kelly states that Rethrick never said anything about the objects mechanics chose for themselves.
  • How is a passkey to Allcom considered an "innocuous item"? If Jenning no longer works for Allcom, failing to turn in the passkey is outright stealing. If Rethrick makes such a big deal of carefully watch the items Jenning checks in, then how the hell did he not notice a freaking passkey to his own top-secret lab? Also, the fact that Jenning forfeits all of his shares should not have escaped Rethrick's attention. He should know from the get go that Jenning is up to something rather than assume that the guy is "just an engineer".
    • I think Rethrick and his minions stopped to care what Jennings was doing as soon as they learnt he was "destined" to die pretty soon after quitting. That also explains why they didn't notice his tampering with the machine (and I guess he had to spend weeks looking into his future again and again to get to the final desired outcome).
    • In the original short story, Jennings says "probably the Company assumed no one would ever want to get back inside again".
  • Why does everything the politicians do with the time visor fail, while what Jennings does actually works? Because of the way they think. Politicians see what is going to happen, and immediately act to prevent it, without thinking on the consequences of their actions, while Jennings is used to reverse-engineer everything, and as such, whenever he used the machine to see his future, and saw something bad was going on, he was able to think of a way to reverse it with small changes.
    • Also, the changes caused by the politicians are at a very large scale, so they don't realize how much those changes can affect everything.
    • Not to mention that they're under the sway of lobbyists, big businesses and other powerful individuals. As well as being a Slave to PR.
  • It is really amazing that as intelligent a person as Jennings had to resort to the microfilm placed on a stamp to get to think of such a simple thing as "Whatever future this predicts, we make happen. We give over control of our lives completely." Did he think that the machine was intended to be used by Karma Houdinis like himself?
    • Not at all. He came to the conclusion that the Machine was dangerous and would easily be misused and his true endgame wasn't just to escape, but to destroy the machine and all associated materials to prevent it from being rebuilt. The microfilm was an abstract (and dramatic) way of demonstrating how dangerous the machine would be and why its destruction was important.
      • And what could prevent him from realizing the simple fact that machine was dangerous without any explicit evidence thereof? His decision to return to Allcom was already indicated by the Allcom key. It shouldn't really have taken a microfilm to deduce what he had to do there and why. In the end, I think that it is redundant from the Watsonian point of view - but rather effective from the Doylist one.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/Paycheck