Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On the FRINGE of Imagination

I told someone recently that J.J. Abrams must be a modern day King Midas, because anything he touches turns to gold. Case in point: his new TV show, FRINGE.

I mentioned FRINGE at the beginning of the season and haven't really blogged about it since, mainly because of life in general. I haven't been able to blog consistently and any free time was spent on the LOST posts. So why am I mentioning it now? Because the amazing season finale to FRINGE aired tonight. The first season is now done. So if you missed out, now is the time to catch up with the show either on Hulu or wait for the DVD release.

I mean, where else can you get a strong, non-girlie girl, female lead character, in an FBI procedural, with interesting and wacky supporting characters that you absolutely root for, along with crime scenes that include such things as spontaneous combustion, ghosts, teleportation, reanimation, telepathy, alternate realities and cybergenetics... just to name a few. It's like LOST, the X-Files and Twilight Zone all rolled into one. (Only it doesn't require as much mental heavy lifting as LOST does.)

Okay, maaaaybe that's not the best description of the show. Let's try that again.

The FRINGE story centers around FBI Liaison Olivia Dunham who investigates strange cases for Homeland Security Special Agent Phillip Broyles. Dunham was brought onto Broyles elite special team when she discovered her former agent was a traitor. Also on the team is Dr. Walter Bishop, formerly sprung from the psych ward. Dr. Bishop worked extensively in "fringe science" in the 70's and his expertise comes in handy with the strange cases they investigate. The good doctor couldn't be released unless he was under the care of a family member, which leads us to Peter Bishop, habitual gambler, high-IQ, and witty. Each week, the threesome solves a strange case, usually caused by some type of fringe science (telekenesis, re-animation, mental transference, etc.)

Each episode stands on it's own, yet there is an overarching plotline, that deals with "the pattern". Broyles tells Olivia that these strange experiments or incidents are part of a much bigger "pattern" that they have been following and documenting for years. He says it's as if someone is using the whole world as one giant experiment. This is the bigger goal of the show - to uncover what is behind the pattern.

Sounds like fun, huh? If you've already been watching, then I'd love to chat about the show with you, especially tonight's season finale. For almost the whole season I've had an interesting theory about Peter, that I'm pretty sure was confirmed tonight. I'll post it in the comments, to try and avoid spoilers here. Also, for those of you who haven't discovered it yet, there's a Fringepedia with lots of great trivia. Did you know the glyphs actually spell out words in each episode? Have you spotted the Observer in every episode? I just love this clever, imaginative and entertaining show!


D.L. White said...

Okay, here's my theory about Peter. I think it was the episode where the baby grew into a full man in less than a couple hours, and they talked about genetically engineering and growing soldiers. Walter made a few strange comments about Peter (and I think his eye color?) which made me think "Oh, wow. Peter wasn't born. Walter 'made' him!" I knew something wasn't right there. There have been other comments too, about Peter being special.

Well, tonight we had our answer, and I wasn't quite on target, but I wasn't far off. As soon as Walter started talking about the coin, I knew. His real son, Peter, died from an illness when he was 10. Driven by his grief, Walter found a way into a parallel universe and brought the "other" Peter back to replace the one he'd lost. That's why Peter didn't remember the coins. That also explains the headstone.

Additionally - do you remember Walter's story about the first time he met the Observer? Walter said the Observer "saved them from the ice after a car accident." I'm thinking that's partially true. Since we know the portal was above that lake, I wonder if the lake was iced over, and when Walter came back with Peter, the ice gave way and the Observer saved them. He was probably watching what Walter was up to anyway, since he was ripping a hole in reality.

Laura said...

I figured out that Peter was from the alternate "universe" pretty early on too. Good point about the Observer, that seems quite plausible unless they pull a LOST and do something really screwy with the plot.

I called the World Trade Center as William Bell's office before the reveal at the end too. That was pretty cool. Did you notice the headline on the newspaper in Bell's office, "Obama set to move into NEW White House"? I'd be willing to bet the 9/11 attacks in THAT universe hit the White House instead of the WTC. Interesting...

D.L. White said...

Speaking of LOST - last night when they were discussing the portal and where it leads to, Shawn said, "Or WHEN does it lead to..." And I put my hands over my ears and said, "no no no - only one show can mess with my head with time travel!!!" LOL

Great catch about the newspaper and the new White House. I totally didn't see that! And I bet you're right about the plane hitting there instead of the twin towers.

I'm so glad this show has been renewed for another season! :) There's so many interesting things left to be discovered (and the questions aren't nearly as nagging as LOST for some reason, so I can watch this show and actually sleep at night! ha ha)

Laura said...

When Walter was discussing Deja Vu, Dan and I both said we are expecting a LOST cross-over show soon! :P