Tansy and Alisa have been raving about Fringe for I don’t know how long. I tried the first episode ages ago and wasn’t that grabbed by it, but listening to those two – and hearing them agree that it was great – piqued my interest. So I bought the boxed set.
This is not a review, just some rambling thoughts and questions about the series. It does contain spoilers. And if you comment with spoilers about the next four seasons, I will track you down and cry at you.
Characters: eeeee I love Olivia. I remember I think Alisa saying that she’s the gun-drawing violent one in comparison to Peter’s more cautious character, and there really are some nice stereotyped gender-swapped moments. But Olivia overall is awesome. I love that they give her such a good relationship with her sister and niece without it compromising her job (even though it puts the niece in danger once, which was unpleasant). I do think she accepts the weird stuff a bit faster than I would have expected… but perhaps that can be explained by her both experiencing the weird stuff first hand, and her being driven enough to use any means necessary to catch the villains. And she sometimes ties back her hair before going off to chase villains!
I love Peter. I am not coming from a Dawson’s Creek background, so there is no residual Pacey affection clouding my thoughts. But Peter – he’s marvellously complicated. I love the exploration of his relationship with Walter, I love his shady past and the way he’s really quite open about it and uses it for good. It’s a bit problematic to see just how quickly he appears to have turned to the Bright Side, but I think that can be explained by the Bright Side finally giving him enough of a challenge that he doesn’t need to evil to be amused anymore. There’s clearly a lot more to be found out about Peter’s background – I don’t think they’ve adequately resolved the whole ‘people are after him’ thing, so I expect that to keep recurring, which is so fine.
Walter is… well. Brilliantly acted. John Noble portrays driven, and confused, and childlike, and distressed magnificently. Snapping between his different mental states is done to great effect, and I love that his attitude isn’t always in keeping with everyone else’s; he’s so clearly on a completely different plane from those around him. While Olivia and Peter are great, and drive the plot forward, I don’t think the show would work without Walter. And I don’t mean because he’s the brains and clearly partly (if not mostly) the reason for the weirdness going on – I mean because his offbeat character is what makes this more than just an X Files remake.
And then there’s my one frustration: Astrid. We know a little about even Broyles’ home life, by the end of the season, but Astrid? Nada. We know she’s got a linguistics and computer science background, but only because it was relevant to the plot at one stage. If I don’t get some more background on her in the next season, I am going to be very cranky indeed. My darling is convinced she’s going to end up being evil…
The plot: I like the alternate reality thing. I still don’t really see how or why the nasty events to this point contribute to anything to do with the alternate reality – because I assume that’s what will be revealed – but I’m willing to go along with it. There were a few episodes that threatened to slide into just-another-monster-of-the-week, but mostly the writers rescued them with some line about the Pattern, or more often linking it back yet again to Massive Dynamic. I adore the fact that Massive Dynamic is slip-sliding between Good and Bad, just like William Bell and Walter himself.
Yes, I had absolutely guessed the truth about Peter before that last reveal at the end of the last episode. Walter had been dropping some pretty major hints, after all.
Questions: when will Peter find out about the truth of where he’s from? Is Nena Sharpe evil? Is Astrid evil? Did Walter write the manifesto? How bad can things get from here? Will Olivia and Peter get together? How much more Leonard Nimoy can I have?
Yeh, totally hooked.