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View Poll Results: Grading
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Old November 5 2010, 09:29 PM   #46
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

For me this was a strong episode, thought not quite on par with the first couple. Still, this is clearly the best Sci-Fi on the air right now and as such, I'm grateful when there's such a drought of quality Sci-Fi programming.

While Noble continues to impress me every week with his acting abilities (that goes far beyond the abilities of any actor from the 9 years I followed the X-Files, btw) it's really been Torv who's convinced me that it's just her "real" earth character that's so plain/subdued. She's really doing a great job selling the stories that her characters on both sides of the fence and both are very real, believable characters so kudos to her.

The amber storyline was pretty interesting and raises some meaty issues to deal with, though nothing to original as casualties of war are a pretty common theme. As Fringe does often though, it takes this theme and spins it on it's side so that the "causalties" aren't dead, but stuck in a perpetual stasis where they are somewhat cognizant of what's going on around them. Of course, that's horrific but the alternative is the destruction of their world so it's pretty clear the stakes are pretty high on that side so it's not too difficult to empathize with their plight.....something not all that easy to get an audience to do I might add.

In any case, I'm ready for Olivia to get back and confront fauxlivia any time now and start building towards the ultimate confrontation between the two universes that I'm sure will probably serve as the climax.

Big question is where do the observers fit in? Probably not from either reality so where's their place?
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Old November 5 2010, 09:30 PM   #47
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Hopefully they've got a big Observer episode planned soon.
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Old November 5 2010, 09:44 PM   #48
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Excellent episode. I like how every "case of the week" is somehow connected to the main storyline this season. Olivia finally realized who she is and, more importantly, where she is from. I knew her Cortexiphan-enhanced perception wouldn't fail her. I can't wait to see Olivia in full control of her abilities kicking ass. I think Alt-Broyles is starting to suspect something is wrong with Secretary Bishop and his take on the blue universe.
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Old November 6 2010, 12:30 AM   #49
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

propita wrote: View Post
The tie-in with the phasing tech we saw before in our universe and the holes itís causing in B-universe was interesting.

Is this amber any relation to the stuff on the bus in an early episode? I donít remember enough.
Forbin wrote: View Post
Yes, the amber was the same on the bus.
Hyperspace05 wrote: View Post
Yeah lots of call back to early Fringe tech here.... The 'amber' and phasing technology seen in S1 clearly originate in the alternate universe. I'm sure we will see more.

Which means that the people on the bus could be resuscitated, too? They were cut out and checked (I thought), so itís a shame no one evidently tried.
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Old November 6 2010, 01:03 AM   #50
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Hopefully they've got a big Observer episode planned soon.

I thought I read, on here even, that one is being planned for this month, it's ratings month after all.
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Old November 6 2010, 01:20 AM   #51
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
It's just getting old to come in and bitch about the same television shows week after week.
Then use the Ignore feature. I always know when an episode or series isn't working is that I find myself getting more pleasure from criticizing it.
If you don't like it that much, don't watch it.
I'm interested in the mythology.
Go pull out some Star Trek: TNG DVDs
I have been watching them as a matter of fact and the more I watch those old TNG episodes I've seen dozens of times just reminds me of what quality television, especially sff, was like even moreso watching it alongside all the contemporary shows--TNG was far more consistent in terms of episode quality, the characters were ones you could invest in and TNG showed you could do original interesting standalone sci-fi stories with no arc at all. I have no issue with standalones but they need to be entertaining. Give me "Cause and Effect", "Remember Me", "Future Imperfect", "Night Terrors", "Clues", "The Minds Eye", "Timescape", "Disaster", "The Survivors", "The Bonding", "The Enemy", "Conundrum", "Power Play", "The Next Phase" etc over *any" Fringe standalone.

Actually there isn't anything wrong with standalone plots. I said this same thing when Enterprise was on--the problem with both ENT and Fringe is that they just tell old tired predictable bland underwhelming standalone stories that have no energy or spark to them. But if you can't be inspired telling standalones then do arcs since seemingly both ENT and Fringe's writing took a significant upswing when they couldn't just pull out an old story and make a few tweaks to turn it into a Fringe or ENT episode.
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Old November 6 2010, 01:29 AM   #52
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

A strong ep. Love that Peter is the voice of reason in Olivia. Love that she got back and managed to call her neice.

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Old November 6 2010, 01:42 AM   #53
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
I have been watching them as a matter of fact and the more I watch those old TNG episodes I've seen dozens of times just reminds me of what quality television, especially sff, was like even moreso watching it alongside all the contemporary shows--TNG was far more consistent in terms of episode quality, the characters were ones you could invest in and TNG showed you could do original interesting standalone sci-fi stories with no arc at all. I have no issue with standalones but they need to be entertaining. Give me "Cause and Effect", "Remember Me", "Future Imperfect", "Night Terrors", "Clues", "The Minds Eye", "Timescape", "Disaster", "The Survivors", "The Bonding", "The Enemy", "Conundrum", "Power Play", "The Next Phase" etc over *any" Fringe standalone.

Actually there isn't anything wrong with standalone plots ... But if you can't be inspired telling standalones then do arcs
I'll grant you that Fringe's standalone episodes can't hold a candle to TNG. They (the Fringe standalones) just aren't very good. But it's been a long while since Fringe told a purely standalone story -- episode 2.14 "The Bishop Revival," to be exact (I suppose one could argue 2.17 "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver" was also a standalone, but it did have elements that tied in to the overall arc).

Since then, every episode has, in some way, tied in to the overall arc of the series. Even the utterly ridiculous "Brown Betty" was fundamentally a character piece. "Northwest Passage" was very close to a standalone, but even its story deliberately fit into Peter's arc. And every episode this season has, essentially, been linked to the main series arc.

So Fringe has been doing exactly as you suggest and the results this season are very much improved over this many episodes last season. I'd even go so far as to say that the strength of Fringe *is* its characters. Walter has always been the main attraction, but Olivia and Peter have been given solid development since mid-Season 2. And the chemistry between them has been a real strength (which is why they need to get Olivia home before too long).
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Old November 6 2010, 01:44 AM   #54
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

The twins story was good. The time spent on Olivia angst weakened it. It would have been much more interesting to spend that time on Danielle's and Joshua's relationship. Truncating the interesting story so they could fool around with Olivia to-ing and fro-ing weakened it even more. But at least there was something good about the episode. Up to average, at last.
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Old November 6 2010, 01:51 AM   #55
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
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.
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Old November 6 2010, 01:58 AM   #56
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Perhaps I'm not fully understanding your objections to the current approach from Fringe. This week's episode, for example, features a central story (the twins) which literally serves as the engine for exploring Olivia's character and the alt-verse. Instead of the characters serving the mystery, the mystery is serving the characters and the series arc. Everything that transpires, even the conflict with the twins, in some way informs us about the bigger story ideas in the series. How is that not full-on serialization?

Like I said, it just might be a matter of me not quite understanding what you're trying to say. But to me, at least, it seems like Fringe has deliberately made every episode this season about its primary arc.
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Old November 6 2010, 03:17 AM   #57
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Great catch about the amber on the bus, propita. I had completely forgotten about that episode (I saw it for the first time only a month ago). I love call backs and set ups like that (just like LOST).
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Old November 6 2010, 04:10 AM   #58
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
Perhaps I'm not fully understanding your objections to the current approach from Fringe.
My issues this season are mainly with the alternate universe episodes. The other episodes have been very good.

The issues I have been having with these episodes:
-the alternate universe characters aren't that interesting including our Olivia as their Olivia. I could care less about her doctor boyfriend or their relationship.
-a lot of the actors just aren't bringing it mainly on the alternate Fringe team.
-the show isn't taking the time to really develop their storylines to cause me to invest in them--they are basically quick plot points that quickly flash in the episode.
-I could really care less about Olivia's plight in their universe.
-the standalone plot might be propelled by a mythological element like the amber but the story itself is just not that interesting whether the twins plight or the guy from "The Plateau". It is that simple. Sure the story spawns some plot advancement in minor ways in terms of the Big Picture but the story itself just fails and comes across as a means to an end rather than a worthwhile tale to sit through.
-The artificial jeopardy in the final act when you know Olivia is going to be okay so it lacks any excitement or suspense.

Full on serialization to me is LOST mid S3-S5 or Season one of Heroes. Fringe is more like a lite arc i.e. ENT's third season Xindi arc in episodes like Chosen Realm, Harbinger etc. They offer up their individual pieces but only in a peripheral manner. Like I said, Fringe's format isn't the only thing I have an issue with.
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Old November 6 2010, 04:20 AM   #59
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

I do have a problem with the Olivia-drugged-as-Fauxlivia plot. I don't really buy the reasoning behind their doing it or the technobabble (or lack thereof; they really didn't go into it as they have some of the other Fringe science on this show), it seems a little much to dump on Olivia, and I kind of miss Olivia. Thankfully, it seems to be over now.

Other than that, my love for Fringe has only increased with time. I enjoy its plots. I love the alternate universe and its characters are just as interesting to me as this universe's.
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Old November 6 2010, 04:22 AM   #60
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Re: Fringe: "Amber 31422" - Nov. 4 - Grading & Discussion

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
Perhaps I'm not fully understanding your objections to the current approach from Fringe.
My issues this season are mainly with the alternate universe episodes. The other episodes have been very good.

The issues I have been having with these episodes:
-the alternate universe characters aren't that interesting including our Olivia as their Olivia. I could care less about her doctor boyfriend or their relationship.
-a lot of the actors just aren't bringing it mainly on the alternate Fringe team.
-the show isn't taking the time to really develop their storylines to cause me to invest in them--they are basically quick plot points that quickly flash in the episode.
-I could really care less about Olivia's plight in their universe.
-the standalone plot might be propelled by a mythological element like the amber but the story itself is just not that interesting whether the twins plight or the guy from "The Plateau". It is that simple. Sure the story spawns some plot advancement in minor ways in terms of the Big Picture but the story itself just fails and comes across as a means to an end rather than a worthwhile tale to sit through.
-The artificial jeopardy in the final act when you know Olivia is going to be okay so it lacks any excitement or suspense.

Full on serialization to me is LOST mid S3-S5 or Season one of Heroes. Fringe is more like a lite arc i.e. ENT's third season Xindi arc in episodes like Chosen Realm, Harbinger etc. They offer up their individual pieces but only in a peripheral manner. Like I said, Fringe's format isn't the only thing I have an issue with.

Ah. That sums it up pretty well. Thanks for clearing that up. I disagree with some of your issues, particularly in terms of the acting and the alt-verse episodes. But your criticisms are certainly valid.

As far as the level "serialization" goes, I suppose it's a matter of taste, but I like the approach Fringe is taking this season, balancing its serialization with stories that, while they are contained within each episode, also manage to provide depth to the story and characters.
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