Samuel Walters wrote:
But it's been a long while since Fringe told a purely standalone story -- episode 2.14 "The Bishop Revival," to be exact.
True they haven't been purely standalone--meaning no connection at all to the arc--however a lot of those episodes are mostly the standalone plot of the week with a few tiny mythology seeds planted as a footnote here and there or the arc is a backdrop framing the story not present in central way. Like a lot of shows these days instead of telling just one main story, or following several individual arc threads, Fringe's episodes have been a hodge-podge--doing a little of this and a little of that leading--maybe even too much has been crammed into episodes--I'd much prefer them focusing on less and developing those stories better than seeing how many balls they can juggle merely adequately. So it comes out as a very mixed bag.
Some shows can do episodic stuff well--Fringe is not one of them. It would benefit greatly in my opinion by doinf full-on serialization and give us episodes crafted like "Grey Matters", "August" etc.