Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fringe / Season 2

Just finished my re-watch of Fringe tonight. Just in time for the new season to start a few days from tonight. After the way season 2 ends, I'm very anxious to see where Fringe goes next. I found that season 2 was a much easier season to re-watch, probably because there was a lot less character development this season, we got all that in season 1. This season got right to the heavy mythology of Fringe. Alternate Dimensions.

The success of Fringe really weighs on whether they keep moving in a direction that is unique to this genre. The first season felt very much like a modern take on the X-Files to me, which wasn't a bad thing at the time really, but it's nice to see the show doing it's own thing now. Season 2 still had a lot of "freak of the week" type episodes, some of them enjoyable on a second viewing, some not so much really. Ugly people using a super tech'd out radio tower to make themselves look normal? Not so interesting.

Also, what the hell happened to Charlie Francis? The shape-shifter took his form in a matter of about 30 seconds, at the most. Within that time he had to kill Charlie, take off all Charlie's clothes, as well as his own, then dress himself up in those clothes. Oh wait, he also had to dress up a dead guy, can you even imagine how hard that would be? Oh, wait a tick... but when the agents arrived, we see Charlie standing over the body of the nurse. So, he somehow was able to change Charlie's appearance to that of the dead nurse, what? Okay, for the longest time I've been thinking that I'm just an idiot, but please, please! Explain to me in the comments below if anyone knows how this really went down. I really do feel like I'm missing something. I need someone to explain to me how that crazy switcharoo was even possible. Thank god the actor that portrays Agent Francis played an excellent bad guy, especially when he's mercury deprived. That certainly made it easier to watch.

Later on in the season though, things really begin to pick up. Olivia's cortexaphan abilities start to show through and they even get to meet some other kids from Dr. Bishop and Dr. Bell's child experiments. All of these people have varying abilities from being able to control thoughts and fire, to transferring diseases. Olivia though doesn't seem to do anything particularly special. Perhaps in this upcoming season 3 we'll see how special she really is. I believe Walter said that Olivia's gift was moving through the two dimensions. All I can think about is how cool it would be to see her be able to move back and forth when she pleases, perhaps even quickly. Would make for some excellent fight scenes perhaps. Maybe that would be a little too crazy, even for Fringe.

The last 4 or 5 episodes of this season were absolutely mind bending, even though I've seen it before when it first aired. My favorite is either the episode where we finally get to see Walter work on his experiments in 1985, eventually leading to the kidnapping of his alternate's son Peter, or perhaps the episode with the man that creates a time machine in his own body. The ending to the time machine episode was just awesome, if anyone doesn't really remember that episode all that well, do yourself a favor and just watch it. It's a very stand-alone episode and besides the spoilers about Peter being from another dimension, it would be an excellent episode to show somebody that might want to get into Fringe. It was a sci-fi character drama with a serious twist ending.

I will refrain from mentioning much about that dream sequence musical episode. I skipped most of it during this re-watch because there isn't anything important that happens, and I'd feel strange watching it with my brother, who was doing the re-watch with me. It was his first time viewing and so we sped through the episode a bit to make sure there wasn't anything of consequence that we'd be missing. I'm sure the actors had a great time making that episode, but I really don't enjoy watching an episode like that. I've found a lot of different shows produce similar episodes. Smallville did an episode all about Jimmy Olsen where he dreamed up himself as a super spy, the episode was all in black and white. Supernatural has had many comedy driven episodes, one of which was filmed in black and white as well. I just don't see why they need to have episodes such as these, but... I'm sure there are fans out there somewhere! I love Walter Bishop and it's a cool idea to see what's going on in his head. I just wasn't interested in seeing a children's musical story being played out by my favorite characters.

Now for the finale, which I just finished watching tonight. It had two parts and both had some intense scenes. Again, even on a second viewing, I was on the edge of my seat, quite literally. I usually lay back on my bed when watching television or playing games, but after about 10 minutes through part 1 I found myself sitting up. From the scene where the pyro-kinesis girl explodes and burns everyone around her, to the shocking switcharoo at the end. It was extremely entertaining. Television nowadays easily rivals top tier movies, at least in my experiences. Shows like Supernatural, Smallville, Breaking Bad, and of course Lost, all have years worth of excellent episodes that could have been properly made into full blown movies at times. I am at the point in my life where I definitely prefer a mythology driven, 6 year ongoing television show, to a 2 hour movie. I feel much more emotion for characters who's stories are realistically drawn out and take years to uncover truths, where movies can do all that and more within hours. There are times where a movie hits the mark though of course. Movies like the new Star Trek and Avatar are perfect examples of this.

I find myself starting to think about where Fringe will go next. It's not like I want to figure it out or anything, but any great show makes you theorize about the possibilities. Perhaps this alternate dimension stuff is the main plotline for the entire show, perhaps it's just a piece of an even bigger puzzle. Hey wait, perhaps Charlie Francis will be back next season as a series regular, just from the other dimension. Maybe our Olivia can convince him to help and he'll come back to our team...theorizing is so easy with a great show.

I always have a hard time staying up to date with Fringe when a new season starts. I find there are so many filler episodes that don't seem to even talk about the current issues that were brought up in the episode before. So far I've found it very frustrating and with so many other shows starting this fall, I may purposely start to fall behind a bit so I can watch several new episodes of Fringe in a row. Sometimes I find that way more satisfying and less frustrating. We'll see how it goes. I've already heard somewhere that the premiere sets the bar for what a television show can do, the article I read was thankfully spoiler free as well. So I'm really hyped up to see what happens next. If you love Fringe, or have something to say about any favorite episodes or characters, please write in the comments below. I always respond to everything so comment on anything you like. Thanks for reading and take care!