The fourth episode of Invisibilia’s podcast, Entanglement, started with a lot of promise, but fell flat in the end.
It started with a brief conversation about quantum entanglement, a subject I’ve found fascinating and confusing for the past year. It’s a strange event where two atoms become linked and thus, mirrors of each other.
The show’s hosts, Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller, explain how scientists entangle two atoms in a lab and how entanglement works in and outside of the lab. The quantum talk is kept to top level ideas.
I think Miller and Spiegel limited the quantum entanglement talk for two reasons. First, scientists are still experimenting with it, thus don’t fully understand how it works. Second, they only wanted to use it to set the show’s theme.
I wish they spent more time on quantum entanglement.
The stories weren’t bad. The first, and most interesting story from this episode, focused on a woman with synesthesia, which lets her feel what others are. Synesthesia is a condition where a person’s senses are crossed. According to this fantastic Cracked article, letters, numbers or sounds can have specific colors.
It dominated the first half of the podcast. I thought Entanglement was going similar to How To Be Batman with an in depth look at one specific story.
There were two more stories. One focused on how emotions spread from person to person. The other focused on the relationship between a lady comedian and her mother, the subject of many jokes.
All the stories in Entanglement were entertaining and interesting, but other than the synesthesia bit didn’t seem strong enough. At least, I didn’t believe they were strong enough to support the show’s overarching theme.
As I listened, I thought something was missing from those two. Nothing specific leaped out at me, identifying itself as the missing element from their stories. Trust me, if I could point out specifically it was, I would.
Entanglement isn’t a bad episode for Invisibilia but it’s far from their best. This episode, along with the previous three, is full of information. But it loses itself along the way with weak stories. Past episodes have had a strong, overarching theme. This one falls apart halfway through the second half.