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FRINGE (Fridays @ 9:00 PM Eastern on Fox)

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FRINGE (Fridays @ 9:00 PM Eastern on Fox)

 

This summer I completed my viewing of the previous three seasons of the sci-fi drama, Fringe. It is easily the best show currently on TV (and I own them on DVD). It's awesome! It completely baffles me why everyone else with similar interests (read: "nerd" genres) aren't also raving about this fantastic show. My only guess is because you haven't seen it yet.

 

The creation of the show was primarily influenced by The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, and the movie Altered States, with a touch of the DC Comics multiverse thrown in for good measure. The writing and production of the show is superb. The characters are refreshingly original, and the story is dynamic.

 

Set in the modern world, Fringe is about investigations involving a wide-variety of Fringe Science topics. These phenomena are directly or indirectly related to the primary metaplot, which centers around a conflict between the main characters of two parallel universes for the survival of one or both of the universes, which have both been "breaking-down" due to the actions of one of the main characters in 1985. I think it is worth mentioning that the show is not really about the supernatural, at least not phenomena that doesn't have some possible scientific explaination. And the show is not about aliens. These Wiki links are pretty good articles about the show:

 

Fringe (TV series)

Mythology of Fringe

 

If you are interested in a video summary of the previous 3 season and getting a good taste of what the series has been like, Fox has released 12 short videos narrated by series star John Noble. With only 3 minutes total of commercial time, all 12 videos together add up to 51 minutes total of your time to watch. The first video is a brief overall summary of the show and the main characters, and then the next 11 videos go into details of the various aspects and plot points of the show. Just follow the link to the first video below, and the rest are playable from the same webpage. Below is the intended viewing order. These videos may also be available on YouTube, etc.

 

4:20 - Past, Present and Future (Nature doesn't regognize good and evil...)

4:30 - A Tragic Past

3:50 - A Tale Of Two Walters

3:50 - Fringe Takes Flight

4:25 - Echoes Of The Past

4:35 - The Other Side

5:00 - Over There

3:55 - A Double Agent

2:25 - The Journey Home

3:55 - Facing Destiny

2:25 - The Future Is Now

4:45 - A Different Choice

 

The above webpage also streams the last 3 entire episodes aired to view for free (links at the bottom of the page).

 

While the overall ratings of the show have been mediocre for major network broadcasting, I wanted to point out that the show's move to the so-called "Friday Night Death Slot" may have actually saved the show last season. The shows niche Nielsen viewers followed it to Friday night, and it is now the highest-rated Friday Night show that the network has ever had in that timeslot. Fringe is also critically acclaimed. As long as the show continues to perform as it has been, the president of Fox promises to not cancel it or even slash its budget.

 

The 4th season of Fringe begins September 23rd. As the previous 3 years of metaplot climaxed with a shocking left turn in the story, this new season has also been designed to be an easy launch point for new viewers of the series. Do yourselves a favor and check it out!

 

If anyone has any questions or you want to chime in here with your own opinions of Fringe, please feel free!

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End of Season 3: Peter gets into machine, then ends up what is 10 years in the future married to Olivia and at the end Walternate kills her.

 

Hype by Fox for Season 4: Back to "now" where Peter has "served his purpose" and evidently vanished from reality or whatever, and we "must never know what is happening".

 

WTH is with Fox and the Fringe writers? Big setup to jump the story 10 years and they make the commercials sound like that last episode was just "Pam wakes up to find Bobby Ewing in the shower?"

 

I may just go watch Teletubby reruns instead.

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WTH is with Fox and the Fringe writers? Big setup to jump the story 10 years and they make the commercials sound like that last episode was just "Pam wakes up to find Bobby Ewing in the shower?"

 

You missed a couple episodes dude. At the end of the last season Peter's use of the machine, among other things, erased him from existence.

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I've seen it. My wife really likes the show. I'm just ho-hum about it. Some aspects I like, others I don't. One of the biggest thing that dissuades my interest is my dislike for the character Walter.

 

Good to see that there are others that like it, though. My poison, when it comes to TV, is Castle. It used to be Human Target, but they ruined that show and then it got canned. Now it seems they might be trying to torpedo Caste...but I hope not.

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I watched most of season one until the WWE started running long and cutting off the ending of my prerecorded episodes.

So I deleted the whole batch and haven't really tried to get back in.

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Peter is the central character of the conflict between the two universes, a modern day Helen of Troy.

 

For anyone that may have missed part of the season finale or did not understand it...

 

*** SPOILER ALERT! ***

 

In last season's finale, dialogue from the future sequence (especially the last future scene) explained that Peter from the present in the machine did not actually travel to the future. Walter of the future, presumably using Peter and the machine in the future (in a scene not shown taking place after the final future scene) found a way to bring Peter's consciousness from the present into the future and temporarily merged it with future Peter, so present-day Peter could see the outcome of his present-day choice to destroy the other universe which would eventually also destroy his own. That "doom for both universes" alternate timeline was prevented because Peter in the present-day saw the future and also realized the "origin" of the machine and its other powers.

 

And the season finale did bring the story back to the present before the end of the episode. Peter created a bridge between two universes and erased himself from existence, presumably in an attempt to save both universes and resolve the conflict.

 

*** END SPOILER ***

 

The Season 3 finale definitely gives some concrete answers to some of the mysteries of the past couple seasons. It plainly reveals who the "First People" were. It reveals three purposes of "the machine" (but of course the consequences and outcome of the use of the machine will be what the new season starts out to be about). If one of the universes is destroyed, the episode clearly establishes what the outcome will be for the other. (Before that, it was only conflicting theories of what might happen and beliefs of what should happen.) But like any good show of its nature, questions being answered raises more questions. Doors being closed opens new doors. The show is very intriguing that way!

 

The actor who plays Peter (Joshua Jackson) is still considered to have a starring role on the show for Season 4, so trust me, the character will definitely be back in some way.

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You missed a couple episodes dude. At the end of the last season Peter's use of the machine, among other things, erased him from existence.
well I'll go digging on the Fox site and see... all I know is what Comcast/Xfinity put up in "on-demand"

 

Done, The last episode is "Day We Died - Season Finale" at "http://www.fox.com/fringe/full-episodes/50018/the-day-we-died-season-finale" and for some reason when i watched it through "on-demand" it stopped with Olivia taking a round to the forehead. Wow that last 12 minutes or so is a big eye opener...

 

I withdraw my previous protest and now eagerly look forward to Season 4!

Edited by GamerDude

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One of the biggest thing that dissuades my interest is my dislike for the character Walter.

 

I can definitely appreciate that. Liking or disliking a main characters can make or break a show for me, regardless of what it is about. I'm a pretty big Star Trek nerd, but I can't stand Captain Janeway, so I'm just not interested in watching Voyager. Her voice and appearance are just so irritating to me. I think the concept of a female starship captain is fascinating, but I think they totally missed the boat with Janeway. She's just too "grandma" for me to enjoy her character in command of a starship. And I can't stand Sisko on Deep Space Nine either. Avery Brooks is a horrible actor IMO. His delivery is just awful. I think a lot of the actors are just as bad on that show. So there is 14 season total of Star Trek right there that I just can't bring myself to watch.

 

On Fringe, Walter is a very unorthodox character and defintely not for everyone. A half-mad scientist on psychotropic drugs, but very loving father burdened by an incredible amount of guilt for the mistakes of his past. He's on a desperate mission to save the dualverse from all the damage he caused. I enjoy him.

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...until the WWE started running long and cutting off the ending of my prerecorded episodes.

 

Wrestling entertainment preemted Fringe, causing episodes to be delayed in Season 1? That totally sucks! I didn't start watching Fringe until the final third of Season 2 and that has never happened since then.

 

I watched most of season one... and haven't really tried to get back in.

 

The show didn't reveal much backstory and start to get the metaplot really going until the end of Season 1.

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Watching the show's the new timeline without Perter Bishop is interesting, but just feels wrong. Peter Bishops' absense in the characters' lives leaves me feeling anxious. Of course, I think that was exactly the dramatic tension the show's first few episodes were intending to create, thus making his return more dramatic.

 

I feel a sense of relief from Peter's return. But everything is not all just "back to normal". It is the previous timeline's Peter that has just popped back into existence in this new timeline in which his life wasn't saved as a child in the lake by the Observer. Part of me yearns for the original timeline with Peter's history and the events of the show's first three seasons to be restored, but I trust the producers of the show to make a dramatic story that's entertaining and can't be so easily predicted.

 

Still the best show on TV!

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Reminds me of Eureka which totally mangled the show with a time travel episode which rewove their entire show history into a new timeline whose entire story of all that is now different might never actually be known.

At the beginning of Season 4 they had them all go back to 1947 and then return to the future to find stuff was not quite the same, because of events in 1947. (Kind of reminds me of "Back to the Future")

Now with season 5 just wrapped up and only 6 total episodes comprising the final season, I think the whole time travel/"shake up the box" bit in season 4 was a desperate ploy NOT to get canceled.

Still I love Eureka and I loved what I saw of Fringe which has me seriously considering getting the Fringe Season 1 set.

Mainly as I really want a collection I can refer back to when there isn't anything to see on TV, like right now where everything has wrapped up for the season leaving me with not much to currently watch...

Though those who like Fringe and X-Files and similar might want to get themselves hence to BBCA and see Bedlam -- a show about a man who sees ghosts finding that his cousin lives in an apartment complex built out of an old psychiatric hospital where a lot of horrible things occurred thus creating a lot of very powerful and angry ghosts.

Youtube has (last I knew) a promo/teaser bit for the series that looks damn exiting.

I already watched the first two episodes and loved the hell out of it.

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I have gotten Fringe Season 1 and only have about 5 episodes left to see before the big Season 1 finale.

Been great.

Ive been REALLY noticing how the "Watcher/Observer" keeps popping up all over the place -- did not notice that back when it was on television...

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I have gotten Fringe Season 1 and only have about 5 episodes left to see before the big Season 1 finale.

Been great.

 

Awesome! Glad you're enjoying it.

 

Ive been REALLY noticing how the "Watcher/Observer" keeps popping up all over the place -- did not notice that back when it was on television...

 

I haven't really watched for the Observers appearences, but I read that at least one Observer appears somewhere in every single episode. They may walk by in the background or are just in the corner of the screen during a scene. Then there are some appearences that are obvious. (And there are a few episodes that Observers actually have lines and are a more active part of the story. And there are also a few episodes with multiple Observers in them - they actually each have names that are the months of the year.) I haven't bothered to see all the Observer appearences, but there are websites that have screencaps of the Observer appearence of every episode if miss one and are interested in seeing where it was.

 

Also, it may interest you to know that the symbols they show right before the episode pauses for where the commercial break would be when televised are actually glypghs that refer to the alphabet and the total of the glyphs spell out a word that in somehow related to the plot of that episode or the metaplot. For the crytologically-lazy fans like mysef, there are Fringe Wikis out there that just tell you the glyph-word for each episode. :cool:

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Watched all of season 2 and 3 as well as what exists of season 4 and I think my fave season is #3.

Season 4 is just not grabbing me yet, mostly as the Time Paradox aspect surrounding Peter Bishop just isn't really feeling properly dramatic rather than strangely anxious.

Nina Sharp seemed to gain a slightly more sinister cast in this version of history right at the very end.

I'm now properly caught up and awaiting January 13.

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So the new "amber" timeline of Fringe Season 4 (and 5) was not temporary as I had previously expected. In retrospect I can see that the show's primary original metaplot (the war between universes) really was resolved at the end of Season 3 with the creation of the duoversal bridge and the new timeline. The character development of the original three seasons had also reached a satisfying point. It is unfortunate that the uncertainty of whether a series will be renewed or not effects the story, but that's show business. I suspect that the conclusion of Season 3 was designed so that it could be tweaked to become a series finale if needed.

 

The series' renewal for a 4th season then required something new, and a new timeline really is very apropos for this show. Seasons 4 and 5 are not only sequel to first three seasons of the show, but it also serves as a semi-reboot of sorts, which changed the characters a bit and put them in new situations. I liked Season 4, but I suspect I would have enjoyed it more at the time if I had realized the new timeline was permanent back when it was created in the Season 3 finale. It now helps me to think of Seasons 4 and 5 as "Fringe 2.0".

 

Not only did the continuity of the first three season lead to the event which created the new timeline, but the series' original timeline is also still present in the "background" of the new one. Season 4 has suggested that the amber timeline is like new video recorded over the previously recorded video of an old VHS tape. Some of the original recording still bleeds through to the new video. Not only do we have the original timeline's Peter paradoxically existing in a new timeline in which he died as a child, but also the new timeline Olivia's use of the drug cortexifan has caused memories of the original timeline's Olivia to bleed through to hers.

 

I really like how the new timeline allowed Season 4 to reintroduce a few elements of the series' original timeline in intriguing new ways. With the red universe being more benevolent in the new timeline (which was necessary for the two sides to be able to work together), I was actually happy to see the bridge severed and to say goodbye to the red universe for good. And I love that Leonard Nimoy's character was revealed to be the master villain at the end of the season (and that they seduced Nimoy out of retirement for show once again). The Season 4 finale was a very epic and satisfying conclusion to the season - The protagonists saved two universes from destruction (I again suspect that it was designed so that it could have been tweaked to be a series finale if it had to be).

 

You can watch the last three (chronological) episodes from Season 4 legally on Fox.com at the link below:

 

(2012) 1. Brave New World, Part 1

(2012) 2. Brave New World, Part 2

(2036) 3. Letters of Transit

 

http://www.fox.com/fringe/

 

Those are the three most important episodes of the series to set-up Season 5...

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Season 4 also revealed that the Observers are transhuman time-travellers from the 27th century, so their part in the series metaplot was far from resolved. Thankfully Fringe did get renewed for a 5th season, but this time with only 13 episodes and the absolute certainty that this will definitely be the conclusion of the series. As shown in last season's episode "Letters of Transit" (the backdoor pilot for Fringe Season 5), the final season takes the series into the future, setting it in a distopian 2036 where Earth is ruled by the Observers' species that have travelled to their past after completely ruining the planet in the 27th century. The former Fringe team become freedom fighters. And with only a partial season, Season 5 will have no fluff/stand-alone/monster-of-the-week episodes. It is all series mythology/metaplot episodes advancing the story towards an ultimate conclusion. The following link goes to 51-second preview of Season 5:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y67n72HOl_4

 

Fringe Season 5 begins Friday (9/28) at 9:00 pm Eastern.

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...The former Fringe team become freedom fighters. And with only a partial season, Season 5 will have no fluff/stand-alone/monster-of-the-week episodes. It is all series mythology/metaplot episodes advancing the story towards an ultimate conclusion...

 

I have been loving Fringe this season, definitely better than last season. Hard to believe that the final season is half-way over (tonight is Episode 7 out of 13). The last two episodes have been totally awsome, two of the best in the series.

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