You know what really bothers me the most about the Batman villain Mr. Freeze? Before he went all Sub-Zero he was a doctor named Victor Fries. (Free-z) So, why on earth would he choose the name Mr. Freeze? One, you’re not really hiding your identity all that well by changing the spelling of your last name, and two, why did you go down in title from Dr. to Mr.? At least take credit for all that dissertation research you did [Film Theory Intro Music] Hello Internet, Welcome to Film Theory! Where, what’s cooler than being cool? Science. I also would have accepted Ice Cold. (alright alright alright alright) Now true loyal theorists will remember that last year i was invited by Bill and Melinda Gates to make a video inspired by their annual letter. A yearly tradition of theirs is meant to outline and under-represented global crisis that needs to be addressed. Their letter’s job is to broaden awareness of the problem and call all of us to do our part making the world a better, healthier place for everyone. Last year it was a letter about superpowers for good, so I talked about Deadpool, obviously. This year’s letter is focused on providing solutions for global health issues related to women and children, and so I wanted to theme my video around Batman. Seriously. Now that might seem like an odd logical leap, but hear me out here. First, the people who are on the front lines doing work in fields like scientific research, funding, and on-the-ground treatment are THE closest things this world has to superheroes. Literally going out to save lives every day. Just like Batman. And it’s worth noting that these people aren’t even billionaire Playboys. Except, I guess for Bill Gates himself, he-he probably qualifies. Just like Batman, these people are making a difference. Since 1990, the lives of a hundred and twenty-two million children have been saved by the efforts of these everyday heroes, and it’s not just for children either. Since 2010, HIV infections are down by five percent. Back then, only 7.5 million people were getting treated. Now it’s over 17 million. Deaths from malaria are down a whopping twenty-nine percent in that same amount of time. The work of these real-life superheroes is making a difference and our support in whatever way, from monetarily, to donating our time, to just spreading awareness is taking down diseases and quite literally changing lives and making the world a better place. But seriously, what does any of this have to do with Batman? Well, old Willie Gates has challenged me to make a video on the subject of finding treatments for some of the world’s most aggressive and incurable diseases, got me thinking about Mr. Freeze. Now if there’s one villain that needs to be rebooted it’s this guy, And no I’m not just saying it because of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s endless stream of TERRIBLE ice puns from Batman and Robin. “Cool party.” “Alright everyone… chill.” “Always winterize your pipes.” Okay well, so maybe a little bit because of that, but more so because Mr. Freeze is really an antihero. He’s a scientist whose wife contracts a rare fatal disease called MacGregor’s Syndrome, so he cryogenically freezes her to keep her from dying and will now do absolutely anything to find a cure. I gotta be honest, I feel for the guy. So today let’s help him out and get to the bottom of the MacGregor’s syndrome mystery. It isn’t a real disease, but can we find a real-world version of MacGregor’s syndrome to see if this mad scientist’s plans will work or if the chances of saving his wife are at absolute zero. HA! I can make cold puns too Arnie “Very Niiiiiccceee” (ssh) But alas, just because I can, doesn’t mean that I should. SO to start, what does the Batman universe tell us and show us about MacGregor’s syndrome? The first time its alluded to is in an episode of batman the animated series from 1992, with that epic music and incredible art style, which explains how Victor Fries turns evil when he attempts to research a cure for his wife Nora’s disease, and is forcibly stopped. *crash* “NO, Nora!” The disease itself isn’t named MacGregor’s syndrome until a few years later in the film Batman and Robin. “My vines have a crush on yo-” “No! No God please no!” That film also gives us our first clues as to the nature of the illness. When Batman and Robin inspect Nora’s cryotube, you can clearly see that it has four stages. Later on in the movie we see that Mr Freeze has found the cure for the first stage, and it’s some sort of weird glowing gatorade? And that’s honestly about it because we never see Nora suffering from the disease at all. She’s frozen and lifeless throughout the movie – much like George Clooney’s performance! HEY-O! Shots fired. *improv airhorn noises* that’s my… makeshift airhorn. Instead some of our best clues come not from the movies or animated series but from season 2 of Gotham, in which we see Victor Fries… (Frie-ss) Yeah, for some reason they changed his name so now it’s pronounced like “french fries”. MUCH better for hiding your identity there Vick- actively working on the cure for a very sick but also very alive Nora. In these episodes we see her cough up blood, have difficulty breathing, and generally seem to be pretty darn frail. Still, not a whole lot to go off of, BUT when most others would walk away that’s when I get really intense. In the direct-to-video movie “Batman and Mr. Freeze Sub-Zero”, Freeze learns that Barbara Gordon has the exact same rare blood type as Nora. So, to save his wife he tries to kidnap Barbara so he can perform a fatal organ transplant and digging even deeper across the DC Universe we find that Nora isn’t the only one suffering from the disease. In the CW series the Flash, Francine West reveals that she also has MacGregor’s syndrome, AND that it’s common among ex-drug addicts. That’s a HUGE clue, but i’m still not done. THE biggest hint of all comes from Arrow, where William Tockman AKA “the Clock King” is determined to have MacGregor’s syndrome which is described in the episode as: “MacGregor’s Syndrome. It’s a genetic defect that creates fluid build up in the lungs, which leads to oxygen deprivation and multi-system organ failure.” So to recap, its genetic, attacks the lungs, has four stages, is treated with glowing goo, can hit other organs, can potentially be solved with a, transplant, and is more common among drug addicts. That’s a lot of information so maybe through the process of elimination we’ll be able to get to the bottom of Nora’s disease dilemma and SPOILER ALERT!! It’s not Lupus. Don’t worry Dr. house, I checked. So let’s start with the obvious solution: lung cancer. In Batman and Robin the main conflict of the movie is that Nora is in an advanced stage of MacGregor’s syndrome, whereas later on in the movie we learn that everyone’s favorite Butler, Alfred- except you Mr. Beauregard, you’re the best- has just been diagnosed with stage one. Now, as many people know, cancer progresses in four stages: from the first, where the cancer is small and contained only the location of the tumor, to stage four: in which the cancer has spread to many tissues in the body making it much more likely to be fatal. Combine this fact with the blood that Nora coughs up and it’s not too hard to make a strong case for lung cancer. But THAT is where the similarities stop. Riddle me this Theorists: Why would the cure be a liquid that glowwww… Wait… that’s just a reference to the radiation used during chemotherapy. Huh. Then, what about the organ transplant from sub-zero? I guess that would just be her getting a new lung to replace the one that’s too damaged from the cancer… *mumbles* Darn, this is looking a lot more open and shut that I expected… Uhhh, what about that obscure moment from the Flash?! cancer isn’t more likely to be in ex-drug addicts, sooo… Wrong. Actually, since lung cancer IS more likely in drug addicts. Former drug addicts are statistically more likely to be addicted to cigarettes. Between eighty and ninety five percent of alcoholics are found to smoke cigarettes, and a study found that those undergoing treatment for heroin addiction smoke cigarettes a staggering ninety-seven percent of the time. And yeah, even Alfred too! Early portrayals of the character showed him smoking a pipe! So him being in stage one actually makes a lot of sense. You know come to think of it, that stuff from Arrow fits too! Genetics, multi-organ failure, lungs filled with liquid. All of it comes with advanced stages of lung cancer. You know come to think of it we can also rule out other deadly lung diseases like pertussis and tuberculosis because they’re highly contagious. When Batman and Robin learn that Alfred has MacGregor’s syndrome, they don’t exactly put him into quarantine or start wearing surgical masks. They’re still in full contact with him the whole time just as Victor’s in contact with Nora throughout the Gotham episodes. Speaking of those Gotham episodes, by the way, when Victor comes home to find Nora coughing up blood, he keeps asking about a medication called Formitoral, later freezing a drugstore to harvest the entire supply of the drug. Now, Formitorol doesn’t exist, but there is a suspiciously similar sounding drug on the market called Formoteral. Formoteral is a long-acting bronchodilator that clears a person’s airway and makes it easier for them to breathe, so uh… Huh, I guess it’s lung cancer? I expected to be a bit tougher than that. I mean I guess you could say that lung cancer isn’t rare but there are plenty of weird unique strains of cancer out there so… damn. I thought we would pull some really obscure rare lung thing… had this whole episode planned eliminating things one at a time building to the big final twist but, uh. Huh, not… really used to this. My 7 paragraph structure is just THROWN out the window. I don’t know I guess I could just end the episode now? But hey, THAT’S NO! Wait. What’s interesting about Mr. Freeze’s situation isn’t the disease itself, it’s the cure. You see this woman? Nora Fries? Tube girl? yeah, her. Mr. Freeze FROZE her to stall for time until he discovered a cure, except here’s the thing. This girl right here in the tube? SHE’S ALREADY CURED! That person that you’re seeing suspended in this tube, right now, in that present moment, she is cancer-free. MacGregor’s. Syndrome. Free. No joke! Mr. Freeze has cured her. And here’s how: it’s a treatment called cryosurgery, and it literally means curing cancer by freezing the cancer cells directly. Specialized surgeons use super targeted cold rays in a cryoprobe. Just think Mr. Freeze’s cold ray, just micro-sized and freeze the cancer cells to death. I mean think about it, cancer is just a bunch of out-of-control cells and freezing them does basically the same thing that it does to that bunch of lettuce that accidentally got frozen in your fridge. When it thaws, it’s limp and dead, because all the cells have broken down. The same thing happened to the cells in your body after they’ve been frozen with liquid nitrogen. So, Mr. Freeze, in deep chilling Nora, has actually killed all the cancer cells in her body! She’s officially cured. HUZZAH!! Exceeept, there’s a catch. Of course. Doctors performing cryosurgery target the cells they’re looking to kill with these icy cold blasts by using very tiny cryo probes. Mr. Freeze just incased Nora in ice… like her whole body. According to those episodes of Gotham, Mr. Waffle Fries is using liquid helium to freeze his wife, and liquid helium is like, THE COLDEST OF COLD substances that humanity can create. At a temperature of minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, the liquid nitrogen doctors use a balmy negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit, a full hundred and thirty degrees hotter! If you can consider hotter and colder when you’re talking about negative hundreds of degrees so yeah, he not only killed all the cancer cells, he also killed all “Nora” cells in the process, and if you think curing cancer is hard, curing ‘I-just- made-my-wife-into-a-human-Fudgsicle’ is WAY harder. When asked about it, biology professor Michael Hendricks at McGill University stated that the technology required to bring someone back from a completely frozen state, quote: “Does not yet exist even in principle”. It’s also something we’ve covered here on Game Theory. Ya can’t just freeze people and bring them back to life. So the worst part here, is that Mr. Freeze HAD THE CURE, or at least a pretty solid treatment, THE ENTIRE TIME! If he had been a bit more precise with that freezing gun of his, he could of helped treat Nora’s lung cancer himself. But his hasty solution has actually doomed his wife to death. Man, irony is COLD. BUT HEY, THATS JUST A THEORY. A FILM THEORY. AAANNNNDDD before I wrap things up one final big thank you to Bill and Melinda Gates for not only asking me to once again join their campaign for spreading awareness of global health issues, but for the good work that they’re doing in the world through things like their annual letter. It’d be easy to sit on your throne of 84 billion dollars and just, I don’t know, do whatever things super rich people do. Live in a gold-plated house or fly in your gold-plated plane or whatever else you might want to gold plate since that’s what I assume rich people do all the time. But actually going out and doing something positive for the world is just AWESOME. So before you leave this video to watch whatever let’s play is on next or fail clip compilation that may be waiting in your playlist, do THE WORLD a favor by clicking the link in the description to read the Gates’ annual letter. If nothing else, it’ll get you to think about the challenges people in less fortunate parts of the world have to live through. So, educate yourself and be a force for good by clicking that link. Because, if i can get really real here for a second, true success in life isn’t defined by how much you earn, but rather by how you leave the world a slightly better place than when you first enter it. Thanks guys, and I’ll see you all, next week.