Fringe - A Review

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I saw the show when it first started in 2008 but gave up after just a few episodes. It didn't look too bad but it wasn't "must see" television. Then I found out that an arc was developing, something about an alternate reality, so I figured I'd give it another try at some point. Now thanks to Netflix, I'm able to watch all five seasons knowing that I'll get a full story with a proper ending.

    The spoilerish rundown begins…

    Season 1

    You could say that the show is similar to The X-Files, but it isn't really. The mysteries are there and the FBI is there but it has a much lighter tone and a different character dynamic with the young FBI agent, the mad scientist brought out of the mental institution and his son to look after him. The cases are also a little more "out there" and any connection to real science or even pseudoscience is pretty thin and simplistic. This took away a lot of the dramatic weight that you'd expect from a good TV show. The first season didn't grab me but I held on and finished it. On a more postive note, Anna Torv played a competent FBI agent and yes, she's pretty. I can see why so many people had her in their avatars over the last few years. Then there was John Noble as Walter Bishop who was very Michael Cain-esque and a lot of fun to watch as he played a scientist with a few missing marbles. And finally, we had Joshua Jackson as his son. He was a decent addition to the show. He had an interesting past that could have been milked as old enemies came out of the woodwork but that looks to have been dropped pretty quickly. I also see that there's a fourth character named Astrid. Didn't know about her and she's not in the promotional material. This season, she came off more like a glorified extra than a full character like the others.

    A few more thoughts and observations…

    • "The Arrival" was the only episode this season that really captured my attention. These "observers" are truly alien and I want to know more about them.

    • Mary Beth Piel, Joshua Jackson's costar from Dawson's Creek made an appearance. I like it when shows do that.

    • Seeing Peter's grave was a surprise and I knew it had something to do with this alternate reality arc that was brewing.

    • Netflix had "Unearthed" as the last episode of the season. I thought that was odd so I did some checking and found out that it was shot this season but held over until the 10th episode of the 2nd season.

    • I knew that Leonard Nimoy would eventually appear as William Bell and I knew about the shot of the World Trade center at the end of the series finale so there was no surprise there.

    Anyone else enjoy this show? I'm not done watching, so no spoilers on how it all ends.
     
  2. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, i watched it...i won't give spoilers...but John Noble should've gotten an Emmy for his work!

    I will say this, Astrid eventual gets some moments here & there (did Astrid just kinda drop into things, with no explanation on how she is able to accept such weirdness?) Astrid's final moments on the show were great... won't say when it is, but you'll be pleased, yet sad.

    Also, loved the alternate universe...look for the details!

    Oh...and when Fox moved the show to Friday, it was considered a "death slot", and the promo commercials really played on it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  3. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A good show that got better as it progressed. Keep watching.
     
  4. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Great promo. :lol:

    I heard that it was really struggling in the ratings and I noticed that a number of people here were concerned about cancellation, yet it managed to squeeze out five seasons anyway.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Delicious, Strawberry-flavered DEATH!!!

    :guffaw::guffaw::guffaw::guffaw:
     
  6. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    People think Fringe was based on The X-Files, but it's really based on Altered States. Sure, it has some influence from that show and even references it once, but it's more about a mad scientist dealing with the consequences of his !@#$ ups, and has nothing to do (thankfully) with the diad of a believer and a skeptic. There's also some Twilight Zone and Kolchak in the mix as well. I really liked this show. It reinvented itself a little each season, and the only time I felt it was a weakness was season 4 where (no spoilers) they spend a little too much time on some stuff and not enough time on others.

    One of my favorite shows ever.
     
  7. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I'll get to your post when I'm done with season 4.

    Got some questions ahead along with a few thoughts...

    Season 2

    Production moves from New York to Vancouver and if you didn't know this, you probably wouldn't notice any real change. Plus, the episodes are about 6 or 7 minutes shorter. Storywise, it's more of the same from season 1 but about halfway through, the show finally started to grab me. I'm now fully onboard. Something just clicked. Guess I needed time to get into it.


    • The Observers are back. My best theory at this point is that they're people from a radically different and more advanced alternate Earth.

    • I watched "Unearthed" as the 10th episode of this season. Charlie Francis appears in the episode even though he was killed off at an earlier point.

    • I remember the episode "Peter" being well received when I glanced at the discussion thread a few years back. I had never seen an episode of a TV show get such universal praise, so I looked forward to watching it. When I did, I liked it. It gave us some good backstory but I can't say I was bowled over. Gotta wonder though… Both of Peter's parents had an accent, so where was his?

    • I wanted to see a budding romance between Peter and Olivia and at this point it looked like it was headed there. Then sure enough, the season ended with Olivia admitting her feelings for Peter. Total 'shipper and not afraid to admit it. Okay, maybe a little bit. :o

    • "White Tulip" was a good episode, but I was left wondering what happened to the original Dr. Peck (Peter Weller). He should still be alive since it was future Peck who went back and got killed with his wife in the car. Then I read the following, which makes sense.


    • The alternate world was very impressive and more convincing than I expected. All they did was add a few little touches here and there but they were very effective. That, combined with the performances had me believing that I was truly watching an otherworldly alternate dimension. This alternate timeline story arc still doesn't seem like anything big though.

    • Leonard Nimoy is a total badass. He'd give Chuck Norris a run for his money. He's in pretty good shape that's for sure. A few years ago, I heard that he only agreed to do a cameo or a bit part as a favor to J.J. or something, and didn't want to stick with the show.

    Season 3

    I'd say that the show really delivered this season. After the first episode, I was afraid that they'd go back to the case-of-the-week status quo and they did but surprisingly, they did so while keeping the arc going by giving us fringe cases involving the other side. That was a great way to go about it.


    • I like the taxi driver and hope that he gets to meet back up with Olivia at some point.

    • I was happy to see Walter get Massive Dynamic and I hope he gets to keep it for good. This is one of those instances where I'd hate to see him lose it all because the writers need to shake things up.

    • I wonder what Nina Sharp got in her part of the will. They didn't say. Was it just the bell? Was there more?

    • Walter went from quirky to tragic once we found out about the operation he had on hs brain, to having that operation make sense. He would have ended up like Walternate, arrogant and out of control. And I gotta say, John Noble is indeed fantastic and Emmy worthy, the way he plays such different versions of Walter Bishop so convincingly.

    • Anna Torv is great too. I've heard people say that she's a bad actress but she did well at making Fauxlivia a different person. And the hair... What's up with the different color? If they're the same genetically, then one of them is coloring their hair. Which one is it?

    • As a Peter & Olivia 'shipper, I'm glad that they finally got it on and I especially loved that the nature of the show allowed for a scifi twist… Unbeknownst to him, he was with the alternate version of her.

    • The animated episode looked time-consuming to make. I thought it was rotoscoped but apparently they used a number of different techniques such as old-fashioned animation and computer work. It couldn't have been easy to get this done on a TV schedule. Lots of animated epsode take severla months or up to a year to make.
     
  8. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: Okay.

    They never left. The Observers are in every episode.


    Episode was shot during season one and held back for season two. It was described as "a bookkeeping thing."


    Peter's parents have been out of his life for a long time and he's been traveling the world.


    At the time I watched it, I wondered if Peter Weller killed his earlier self by jumping to where he was when his wife died. Deliberately.


    Nimoy was in and out of retirement so often I was surprised and overjoyed by his every appearance. Seeing as he was the host of In Search Of..., Fringe really was the perfect show for him to come back for.
     
  9. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Feb 24, 2005
    It's a crime that John Noble was never even nominated for an Emmy. Walter Bishop's probably one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.
     
  10. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    Dec 30, 2002
    Yes, Fauxlivia dyes her hair. When Olivia became her, there was red dye there in the apartment for her to use.
     
  11. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    I wholeheartedly agree....was there anything we could have done as fans to have made that happen? Or promote a similar "strawberry death" video for an Emmy?
     
  12. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sep 6, 2007
    I loved season 3, that's where the show peaked and I was excited when it was renewed ... then season 4 happened.:klingon: I won't say too much because of spoilers, only that I absolutely hate what they did with it.
     
  13. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Jun 20, 2001
    I was surprised when I read this a few days ago. I only noticed one instance where an observer was put in the background. It was during the first season episode where the elevator crashes, killing everyone. Someone who looked like September was near the elevator for a second or two. I thought it was a nice touch to put one of them there. Now I've missed over three seasons worth but after having read your post, I started looking out for them. They're real "blink or you'll miss them" moments. And if you didn't know about this little game, the observers could easily be dismissed as anyone on the street.

    Found a page with Observer sightings here. Yep. A lot of those are pretty obscure. Never would have noticed without a heads up. I wonder if any fans picked up on this on their own. The whole thing serves as a pretty good exercise in mindfulness and learning to pay attention.

    Season 4

    I'm not sure what they spent too much or not enough time on, but my take is that the season was a mixed bag. The altered timeline arc went from causing a lot of expectations to being surprisingly acceptable in the end, while the cases of the week were pretty good, only to get replaced by an ongoing plot that I found uninteresting.

    I didn't like the altered timeline angle at first. I wondered how they would fix it. I thought that either Peter would have to go back to his own timeline or this one would somehow have to be reset. I thought they would do that pretty quickly but they didn't. Then when Olivia started getting her memories of Peter back, I figured that the same would happen to Walter and this would "fix" the situation. There would be no going back to the old timeline or any reset since too much has happened already, so causing the people in his life to simply remember him seemed like the solution. Plus, it would have the effect of leaving Peter's past erased, giving him a clean slate. Then surprisingly, the season ended without any resolution to any of this. Life just went on as usual until I accepted that Peter is simply there to stay and this is his life now. A slow and seamless integration. Now either it'll stay this way or they'll do something next season. I wonder if there's another timeline out there though, where Walter and Olivia are missing Peter.

    I liked a lot of the standalone cases we got early on. For whatever reason, I found them more interesting than usual. I don't know if it was because they were better or if it was because I was simply more attached to the show at that point. That didn't last though. As the season progressed, it became more serialized and I didn't much care for what Jones was up to.

    As for the show reinventing itself, I'd say it evolved similar to the way Lost did. The convoluted, or should I say complex arc involving the timeline made this show something that could only be appreciated if you had been watching from the beginning, a show that would confuse the casual viewer just tuning in. Maybe this will be a habit for J.J. Abrams shows.

    That breakdown in the grocery store was another testament to Noble's talent. And speaking of strawberries, I've got to get that strawberry milkshake recipe. But yeast? And what's with the strawberry references anyway? Is Walter an alien? It's a well known fact that they like strawberry ice cream. :p

    More thoughts and observations…

    • "Making Angels" was a fascinating episode. I was intrigued by the math stuff and the guy's attempt to form a system that could predict the future. It looks like he tapped into whatever the observers use to monitor time. I wondered if there was a connection, then I saw the episode where it was revlealed that they were from the future. I'm guessing that they've made use of his work.

    • The issue of consequences has been a big theme throughout the show. We're supposed to see the consequences of science gone too far but those consequences are too made-up or contrived and often times are only there to drive home the issue or advance the plot. The show remains oddly fun though.

    • I didn't know that alternate Astrid was mentally handicapped. What was her story? I also see that our Astro is finally getting some depth.

    • Episode 4x16 confused me when it started. I thought that Netflix had accidentally put an episode from the first season in its place because it started off the same way with the guy in the plane's washroom. I actually had to stop the episode to see what was going on.

    • I liked the episode that took place in 2036. It also had my favorite intro to date. My only disappointment was that William Bell wasn't revived and that Walter took his hand. I hope they rectify this when the story inevitably continues in season 5.

    • I have to confess... I never really liked Fauxlivia and the folks from the other side. I liked that the show went where it did last season but I didn't like them. They were too cocky, and with what they tried to do to Olivia it made them unlikeable. Sure, we came to understand that a lot of their attitude was due to Walternate's propaganda and having to watch their world in peril, but that didn't do much to make me warm up to them.

    • John Noble's hot supermodel daughter made an appearance.

    • Alternate New York has mountains in the background, just like Rumble in the Bronx.

    • I knew that Olivia was pregnant before she said it.

    • Despite this season being a mixed bag, things have gotten exciting because I don't know how season 5 will play out. There's still Fauxlivia and the baby and I have no idea how they'll work that in, assuming it's not dropped.
     
  14. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnEjjYhAtps[/yt]

    It's a pretty fun Q&A session. Check it out.

    • I've yet to mention Lance Reddick. He was agreat addition to the show. Before I started watching, I knew he was there but I didn't know that he would be a regular throughout. I thought he'd just be a guest for the first few episodes or so. And he's a pretty easygoing guy, very unlike his character who could make Nick Fury pee his pants.

    • I didn't know that Jasika Nicole drew comics. Here's her website.

    • When Anna Torv was asked… What was the greatest lesson that Olivia has taught you, she started giving an answer and once it registered what she said, the panel started laughing and so did the audience. If you watch nothing else in the clip, watch this. :guffaw:

    • John Noble mentioned the possibility of a movie.
     
  15. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I hate to be the one to break this to you, but the show "Fringe" was never actually greenlighted by any studio or aired by any network. What you are reacting to are afterimages from either an alternate universe or timeline where the show did air, and those images should fade in your memory unless they create some kind of fracture in our reality. I also must ask, have you been doing any psychedelic drugs or imbibed in an unusual number of high-fat milkshakes?
     
  16. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They spent like five episodes establishing a Peter-less universe which was rather slow moving (I honestly think they could have done that effectively in one episode). When they did indeed get the season arc underway, it felt rather rushed to me. When season four aired, a great many of the commentary threads were full of regular viewers announcing they were jumping ship. I'm glad I stuck with it, because the last episode wasn't just the resolution of the season, but also of plot threads that seemed to get dropped in season one.

    Lost is a good comparison. Each season had a unified arc, and the next went in a different direction. Lost had a time travel season, Fringe had a season where every other episode was from the point of view of the AU "bad guys."
     
  17. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  18. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Bob persuaded me to watch the season with the Olivias switched and I have to say he was right. It was worth persevering with it. My only other comment that any French person on the board could tell you that 'faux' is masculine. Unless you're making knowing in-jokes about Olivia, in which case as you were.
     
  19. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Faux as a term is commonly used in arts and crafts in the US, and Fauxlivia is pretty commonly used amongst fans even if it is technically wrong (I am reminded of an old B movie called The Were Woman). People working on the show called the character Bolivia (B Universe Olivia), while I always preferred Evilivia.
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Bolivia makes more sense and is less offensive. She wasn't evil. She was just committed to preserving her world. I like The Were Woman though. It shows a perfect disconnect of the film men to the idea that it shows they think women are a different species from men.
     

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