Fringe: A rant (and recap) part one

Life, the universe, and other less important things have put a delay on my posts. But I’m back–and will be posting again regularly (at least until January 18th). Which is the date of my DEATH (or, more accurately, the date of the two-part finale).

***Warning: While there are recaps for the last three episodes, there are also a lot of horrible analogies and metaphors, and crazy amounts of me freaking out and ranting. Also, this will be broken up into two parts, as it’s too long for one post.  Oh, Fringe. You crazy show, you.***

Fringe fans, we have been dealt an unbelievably strange hand of cards. I mean, sure, we’re still in the game. We’ve got maybe… a pair of Kings at best. Which, you know, isn’t a completely horrible hand. However, when you compare it to the freaking STRAIGHT FLUSH we had a few seasons–er, turns–ago, we’re dying. DYING. We’ve slowly been edged out, and instead leaving when we were freaking millionaires, we’re going to have to leave the table because we lost it all. Does that mean we didn’t have a few good hands? No. It just means we were broke and were kicked out and CANNOT PLAY POKER.

However, unlike poker, where things seem to be all about luck, for television shows you need things that will pull people in; things that will have them returning week after week. For me, those things are (if you are Fringe)–haha, no. But they are, mostly, consistency in a show, great plot, likeable actors (to a certain extent), and a few other things.

The biggest problem with this season is the fact that seasons 1-3 of Fringe were phenomenal. The right blend of creepy, satire, loveable characters and plot arcs to make this one hour the highlight of my week. There was nothing–I repeat, NOTHING–I would have rather done than watch Fringe, sans season four. Now I don’t really care that it’ll be three weeks until the next Fringe episode–even though FOX promised us to have the last seven episodes played consecutively! Don’t promise things you can’t keep, FOX. Jeez.

Sure, I could recap that last few episodes instead of just ranting for thousands of words. And I will. Right here, in a few paragraphs.

An Origin Story: 

Everyone is still sad that Etta is dead. Team Etta learns that they are intercepting goods from a wormhole–from future Observers. They catch an Observer and Peter tries to “break” him. Astrid decodes the Observers’ book, which details exactly when and where the next drop is coming from. They plan to throw a bomb into the wormhole, effectively destroying all the Observers (magically, and without destroying the earth!). However, they first need to learn how to open the device which triggers the Observers. Peter figures it out by seeing when the Observers’ eyes dilate. But–surprise, surprise–it doesn’t work. Peter gets very angry and says “I’d be ten times the man you were if I had your tech in my head.” Then he kills the Observer, takes a small piece of equipment (which looks like the devices the parallel universe stuck into Fauxlivia’s hands to teleport her home), and puts it in his own head. Meanwhile, Olivia is still sad, and Walter tells her she needs to watch a vhs of Etta as a child; the first step in trying to recover from Etta’s death.

Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There: 

This could have been the famed “episode 19.” Walter watches one of his several vhs videos and decides to go look for the clues by himself. He goes into a pockethole universe, where time has stopped and the laws of gravity do not exist; where you need to do a quirky little dance before entering in. Astrid, Peter, and Olivia later follow him in (but, of course, Astrid doesn’t go inside). They find a man who was blown in by a blast, and a bed where a young Observer-like boy from season one is supposed to be–but isn’t. Oh, no! And a man named Donald from Walter’s past is revealed. Windmark comes back (Whatttt–thought he was killed with Etta) and tells Peter that putting the Observer tech in his head was a grave mistake–that he didn’t know what he was doing.

Five-Twenty-Ten: 

Peter uses his new Observer-like qualities to successfully plant a bomb and kill several Observers (admittedly, the coolest, most visually intriguing part of the episode.) Team Etta is looking for Observer tech from previous seasons, which is stored in William Bell’s secret, secret storage (which is why they needed Bell’s hand). Blah, blah, blah, Nina is sad because Walter is mean to her, Walter feels bad an apologizes, and Peter reveals to Olivia that he’s becoming an Observer.

This is more painful than last season, where the first episode was interesting, but  then episodes about… oh, say, 2-15 blended together because it was without one of the main stars, Peter, and focused solely on seeing his return. Sure, it was an interesting concept. But, like Joel Wyman said, “deleting  Peter from existence” was a BAD IDEA.

Things only went downhill from there. Blah blah blah, Olivia’s still sad. Why? We don’t know. She doesn’t know. She just knows she’s an unemotional robot losing her memories, which she is completely okay with, because Peter (who has returned now) is AWESOME. But is he really that awesome? In a completely cynical and devil’s advocate role, I’d like to point out that sure, he’s great. But I mean, honestly, he left her after his daughter left. Sure, it was justified. But it completely consumed him. And let’s not even talk about what the hell he’s doing this season. Because that is one of my biggest problems so far.

And I’ve got a lot of them. Here we go.

  • What happened to my beloved characters? I know that this is an alternate reality (where technically no one is the same person, except Peter of course). But why are they so… lackluster now?
  • Why is Windmark back? Didn’t he die with Etta?
  • There is a suprising–and very annoying–lack of consistency and continuity right now. And it is making me mad and sad and hurt and betrayed and all these confusing emotions.
  • What’s up with Astrid not being used at all? She is playing at pointless character–who cares about stupid tapes stuck in amber? One of my hugest problems with this season is that it is becoming disturbingly similar to what happens when I try to write novels: sure, there are high points, but overall it’s mostly me rambling, having my characters do nothing, killing boring people off when I’m tired of them (or when they replace who I really want my protagonists to be. I know my novel-writing is abysmal at best. Which is why I primarily stick to short stories. But, really, Fringe? This is how low you have stooped?! That I compare you to an unfinished novel where I wrote more than two thousand words on the importance of making a fire correctly and how to skin a rabbit? You are breaking my heart, Fringe, and I don’t know what to do.
  • Does anyone really care about Walter’s brain? We all know he’s turning back into Walternate; but why is that? Do brain cells really take MONTHS to regenerate? Because originally it worked just fine and then something snapped in his brain (I don’t remember if this really happened or it was unexplained. Either way, I don’t care enough to look it up.) and now he’s slowly turning into Walternate again. Now I’m not saying I don’t think John Noble is doing an excellent job–to the contrary, he is doing a BRILLIANT JOB. However, why does he have to be going through this again? It’s repetitive and uninteresting.
  • What is up with the Observers’ magnetic thing in their brains? I refuse to believe the only thing that separates humans from their future selves is a little chip that takes over their brain. That is the most STUPID THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF. And it was never explained to us before. Unlike regular reveals, where it’s like “oh, all the actors knew except us,” this one is more like “You are an idiot, Peter. And if this really was possible, don’t you think someone else–in the twenty years–would have done this before? Or is it such a horrible idea that Peter is the only one that would do this?”

(Rant continued in next post.)

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2 thoughts on “Fringe: A rant (and recap) part one

  1. Jeremy says:

    I still can’t believe they killed Etta so quickly after really introducing her this season. I’m also a little shocked Peter would willingly implant the Observer chip into his neck. At this point, I just want a happy ending for the Bishop family. Hopefully Peter doesn’t completely change into an Observer.

    • Emily Morita says:

      I agree completely. While I don’t agree with a lot of the plot devices they’re using this season, as they all seem a bit contrived and used to simply pull at our heartstrings, at this point I just want to have a happy-ish ending (at the very least) for everyone.

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