44 reasons to watch Fringe

      

It’s President’s Day. To celebrate our 44 commanders in chief, I am proud to give you 44 reasons to watch Fringe, in random order.

  1. It’s critically acclaimed, if you care about those things.
  2. The tough-as-nails yet still sensitive leading lady, Olivia Dunham.
  3. The father-son bond between Walter and Peter.
  4. Walter’s affinity for psychedelic drugs.
  5. Walter’s affinity for vinyl records.
  6. Nina Sharp, the one-armed wonder of Massive Dynamic.
  7. The floating location titles. I know it’s a small thing, but I like them.
  8. Agent Broyles possesses scene-stealing strength of character in both universes.
  9. The juxtaposition of old and new technologies — a manual typewriter enables communication between universes.
  10. In the alternate universe, blimps are the predominate method of air travel, something any Akronite should appreciate.
  11. Astrid. Or is it Asterisk? Either way, you’ve got to love her ability to relate to Walter.
  12. There’s a cow in the lab.
  13. “Over There: Part Two” was the ultimate season-ending cliffhanger.
  14. The show has more emotional depth than any sci-fi show I’ve ever seen, except maybe Lost.
  15. Trent Reznor remade “Zero-Sum” for a Fringe promo, arguably the best trailer for a TV show ever made. Watch it here.
  16. You’re sharp enough to suspend disbelief and have a good time.
  17. You’re suspicious enough to believe that some of this could be true.
  18. You appreciate a good milkshake.
  19. Leonard Nimoy as William Bell, the head of Massive Dynamic, a powerful global corporation specializing in Fringe science.
  20. Anna Torv as Olivia.
  21. Anna Torv a Fauxlivia.
  22. Walter Bishop is probably the best mad scientist since Dr. Frankenstein.
  23. Yet, Walter is so fragile, so deeply aware of his flaws, that you can’t help but feel for him.
  24. There is romance for the lovers of love.
  25. But not too much romance.
  26. The special effects are top of the line. No cheesy CGI here.
  27. There are new cases almost every week, so you don’t have to know the mythology to start watching.
  28. But, the mythology is really intricate and cool, so you might want to go back and watch old episodes.
  29. It’s a serious drama.
  30. But Walter makes you laugh at least once an hour.
  31. You like blondes.
  32. You like red-heads.
  33. We’ve only just begun. Three seasons in, Fringe has barely tapped into the ethical questions raised by Walter, Massive Dynamic and the alternate universe.
  34. It’s The X-Files, on steroids.
  35. What else are you going to watch on Fridays?
  36. It’s not just for nerds.
  37. But if you are a nerd, you will appreciate the glyphs and symbolism. My favorite one being the apple with the foetus inside.
  38. It comes to us from J.J. Abrams, creative genius behind Lost.
  39. But it’s not a Lost wannabe — Fringe has its own mojo.
  40. Forget everything you know about Joshua Jackson from Dawson’s Creek.
  41. Two universes are better than one.
  42. Especially when each universe has a set of fully developed characters.
  43. The Fringe “Noir” episode, “Brown Betty.”
  44. If you don’t watch this excellent show will be canceled.

Fringe noir

I loved this week’s episode of Fringe. Granted, I am always a bit anxious for the next mythology episode, but I also really love the “monster of the week” episodes, and this one was no exception.

In case you missed it, the show was basically a film noir mystery made up by Walter to explain the sudden disappearance of Peter. His tremendous guilt really came through in the narrative, but it was also fun and lighthearted throughout. Olivia looked amazing in her ‘40s detective era clothing and makeup, and so did Peter.

I also loved Nina, Broyles and Astrid, who are normally very serious but showed a lighter side in this episode.

The brief musical interludes were also very well done, and quite revealing of the characters’ true feelings – take Olivia’s song “For Once in My Life” to Peter and Walter’s bittersweet rendition of the “The Candy Man Can” from Willy Wonka. The singing corpses were hilarious.

I also loved the ending, with Walter’s bleak and depressing finale upstaged by Olivia’s niece, and her perfectly innocent desire for a happy ending.

I’m hopeful that Olivia will find Peter next week. What about you? Did you like the look and feel of the episode?

What Would Walter Do? Just about anything for Peter….

Fringe was so great last night that it’s hard to know where to begin. Actually, on second thought, I’ll begin at the beginning – with the amazing throwback credits. The opening was so geektastic that I replayed it not once, but twice. And even mentioning it now makes me want to watch it one more time for fun.

Of course, the throwback credits were perfect for this episode, which largely took place in flashbacks to 1985, when Walter took Peter from the alternate universe. Heavy on mythology, this installment answered one of the biggest questions – why did The Pattern start happening? We now know that it started with Walter opening the first portal and thereby tipping the natural balance between the two worlds.

I am so impressed with John Noble, who plays Walter Bishop. His character is at once endearing and off-putting. He is ever the loving and devoted father, but also the mad scientist, obsessed with his work and blind to the repercussions of opening the portal. His lack of remorse for kidnapping the alternate Peter is chilling, but I found myself sympathizing with him in the end as he said, “You can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child.”

I can’t wait until next week. I really have no idea how Olivia is going to handle this new knowledge, and the anticipation is going to be pretty hard to contain for a full seven days.