Tag Archives: Season 3

fringe season three: in which we meet our parallel universe

Season three brought about many changes for Fringe. As our Olivia was stuck in the parallel universe with no way to contact home for help and no one thinking to look for her, as Fauxlivia successfully replaced her. Changes outside the Fringe-world included a move halfway through the season from Thursday nights to Friday evenings at 9 p.m.–bitterly called the “Death Slot,” a sad place where FOX frequently sends amazing Sci-Fi shows to slowly die away (amazing shows have included Firefly, Wonderfalls, and Dollhouse). All this worry created a frenzy similar to avid fans bringing back Chuck  for season three with Subway’s help. Thankfully, Fringe was renewed for a fourth season, momentarily evading the cancellation which usually follows being put in the Death Slot.

As amazing as the first two seasons were, they almost felt like they were leading up to this season. And the ingenuity of the writers is clear in this season–from little, minuscule things like BIC pens to larger themes and ideas as intangible as hope, love, and forgiveness. This was definitely my favorite season of Fringe–it seemed to bring everything together in a way that satisfied even the most picky of viewers (not me. I’m already excited when the theme song begins playing. But more on the theme song later).

New Characters:

Because episodes showed an almost equal amount of the universes, many beloved characters previously killed off came back. It was fun seeing a different side of these familiar faces–a few differences are seen in the fact that Alt-Broyles has a wife and son, and Walternate is exactly what Walter feared he’d turn into. Although the Secretary of Defense, Walternate is a scheming man, and his skewed versions of justice are what push him into action.

Lincoln Lee: Played by Seth Gabel, Lincoln is the team leader of Olivia and Charlie in the other universe’s Fringe Division.  He becomes head of the entire Fringe Division partway through the season.

The Plot:

Our Olivia is trapped in the other universe, and Walternate is drugging her with Fauxlivia’s memories. Unfortunately, they are not successful in replacing her own memories. She eventually escapes, but the adrenaline she exerts forces some of Fauxlivia’s memories to replace her own. Only a select number of people know that the Olivia’s have switched places–even her mother, who did not die in this universe, and her co-workers to not realize what’s happened. Similarly, Peter has begun dating Fauxlivia in our universe–and no one suspects anything! Fauxlivia’s role in our universe revealed later in the season.

Both universes have the parts to make a “Doomsday Device,” believed to be buried by the “First People”, and was briefly shown on drawn out in the season three finale. Whichever universe successfully puts together their device can destroy the other one. Back to the parallel universe–Olivia’s memories from our universe have affected her job at work, and everyone notices these differences. Eventually Olivia remembers all of her memories and with the help of a friend, is able to briefly come back to our universe with a message to Peter before being captured. When Peter receives the message, he tests Fauxlivia–who fails his test, then drugs him before escaping. Once awake, Peter is frustrated at himself and uses his brilliance and quick thinking to capture Fauxlivia. Alt-Broyles helps Olivia cross back over to our universe, and Fauxlivia is rescued via teleportation by her universe.

Although Olivia is back in our universe, she is devastated by the fact that no one could tell the difference between Fauxlivia and herself. Fauxlivia is also affected by her time in our universe–she comes back pregnant. When Walternate finds out, he kidnaps Fauxlivia and speeds up her pregnancy, wanting Peter’s blood to try and activate the Doomsday Device. Baby Henry’s blood works; however, the Doomsday Device begins breaking apart both universes–something Walternate did not expect.

While this is happening, Olivia and Peter are tentatively beginning to rekindle their relationship in our universe. Of course, when things are going somewhat normally in the Fringe universe, that means something huge is about to occur. This is no exception. Bell–yes, the Bell that previously died!–comes back and takes possession of Olivia’s body–earning the nickname Bellivia (Bell + Olivia)–to the disgust and horror of Peter and the delight of Walter. After much confusion and hysteria, Walter tries to move Bell’s consciousness into a computer, as both Bell and Olivia’s consciousnesses cannot be in the same body,  but he is unsuccessful. At least Olivia is back!

Fauxlivia, realizing that Walternate is only furthering the deterioration of their universe, tries to cross over to beg Peter for help stopping his father. She is captured and put in jail, similar to the season two cliffhanger with our Olivia. Our universe begins deteriorating as well. To try and slow down the destruction, our machine is moved in the exact spot the other universe’s is–on Liberty Island. Sam Weiss reveals that he is the descendant of the “First People” and helps our Fringe team uncover another diagram of the Doomsday Device–one that depicts Olivia. Because Walternate activated his machine, Peter is unable to get inside ours. However, Olivia’s telekinetic powers allow Peter to step into the machine.

The Cliffhanger:

Once inside the machine, Peter flashes forward fifteen years. The other universe–the one he was originally from–has been destroyed, but that has not solved the environmental problems or natural disasters. Walternate, who managed to escape his universe before its collapse, kills Olivia, who was Peter’s wife. Peter is understandably devastated. Together he and Walter realize that there is a wormhole in Central Park–one that goes back 250 million years. They send the Doomsday Device back in time, and Peter wakes up. He connects the two universes in a room–the room which the Doomsday Device is in. Outside, the Observers state that Peter’s purpose has been fulfilled–and because of that, it will be as if Peter “never existed.”

Wait, what? (A slow mind-exploding cliffhanger stated by the monotonous, expressionless September).

Fun Facts:

  • Although Fringe was renewed for a fourth season, the finale was seen by only 3 million viewers. Upon hearing the news that Fringe had been renewed, ecstatic fans showed their support in a very Walter-worthy way–by sending FOX boxes upon boxes of Red Vines. Aww!
  • Fringe has an amazing sound effects team–from background music, to the sound when switching between universes, these guys do it all. “The Firefly,” guest starring Christopher Lloyd, ended with an acoustic version of “If I Only Had a Brain,” sung by Jeremy Little. A touching rendition that perfectly describes Walter.
  • Besides the cool sound signaling the switch between universes, the opening theme’s colors changed for each universe they have been in. Blue for our universe, red for the parallel universe, one for the futuristic one, another for the flashback episode, and so on. As the colors change, so do the words, indicating different ideas of “fringe” science being tested.

Emily enjoys all mediums of speculative fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi–especially reading, writing, and watching them. A Fringe fanatic, she is convinced that one day she will meet her parallel self, aptly nicknamed Femily (Fake Emily), and save both worlds from their inevitable destruction.

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modern family recapping: hit and run

Phil and Claire

Remember that guy who didn’t get ice cream cake last week? Well he’s back this week, and he’s running for reelection. Though frankly, I don’t think I’d want someone who spits out perfectly good birthday cake running for my town council. But since he pissed Claire off last week when he didn’t give her the stop sign she wanted, he proves to be a good antagonist. Claire decides to run against him. Though she’s worried about who will take care of the kids, Phil valiantly steps in. Haley, meanwhile, is hitting up her siblings for $900. Alex wants to help her out, but doesn’t have the money. Luke has the money, but its all in frozen assets, which, in his mind, means its concealed in an ice cube in the freezer.

Claire goes to register for the race for town council, but gets psyched out when she runs into her opponent. Phil during his first day on the job as official caretaker for the kids, punches Luke and drugs Alex, while Claire finds out about Haley’s money issue. When Claire gets to her dad’s house, Phil is trying to hold Alex upright and Luke is telling a story about how he ran into the stairs. Claire sees right through it of course, not that Phil needed much pressure to spills the beans anyway. Haley confesses about taking money from her friends to get them all fake ids, but it was a scam and now she has to get her friends’ money back.

Mitchell and Cam are at the movies, apparently seeing something gruesome and violent, when a father walks in with his two young kids. Cam is outraged and confronts the father. He won’t let it go, despite Mitchell’s plea. Eventually, they get kicked out of the theater which was going to be showing the muppet movie, not a scary movie that was unsuitable for children. On their way home they get rear ended, can’t help but appreciate the irony in their surprise. The man in the other car goes to get his insurance information and high tails it out of there. Cam wants to chase him like a man, but Mitchell refuses, so instead he settles for running after him like a girl.

Jay is trying to sell a closet design to a young punk kid who wants to be wowed. Gloria wants to help but he cuts her off, not wanting to bother her with his problems, especially since she’s making dinner for the whole family. Manny, who is trying to do a school project on the Mafia, also refuses Gloria’s help. She’s not too happy about being left out.

Men on a Mission

When the family gets to Jay and Gloria’s house for dinner, the men are all seething from their respective problems. They decide to go after the guy who scammed Haley together. Leaving the women behind gives Gloria the chance she’s been looking for. She gets to help Claire with her decision to run for town council. Claire decides to run, despite her fear of losing. And, with all four of them working together, the men are able to take down the guy who scammed Haley and get her money back.

They arrive home triumphant, giving Haley her money as she tries to wiggle out of being punished by claiming remorse. Phil sees right through it and punishes her anyway. Claire knows that Phil can handle the kids without her. Mitchell realizes that occasionally taking action is the right route, and people shouldn’t always just remain inactive. Claire urges Jay to let Gloria help him, because she’s a huge asset. Jay sees Claire’s point and he has Gloria present the closet idea to his young punk client, wowing him with her huge assets in full view.

Best Quotes of the Night:

Gloria: “Really Manny, you want me to learn you English?”

Gloria: “I have all the answers!”

Phil: “If you wanna fly I’m not gonna hold your feet to the ground, I’m gonna be the one to push you off the cliff.”

Phil: “I admit it, I’m turned on by powerful women, Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Serena Williams…wait a minute.”

Luke: “It’s in a block of ice. I got the idea when I heard a bunch of rich guys talking about their frozen assets. Haha assets.”

Cam: “He wasn’t armed he had a Hilary sticker”

Cam: (on his way to the car)“Shotgun!”
Mitchell: “No, no weapons!”

Mitchell: “Fine,I’ll see you in jail. It will be a big adjustment for two of you.”

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glee recapping: i am unicorn

The Story

The episode starts with Brittany asking to run Kurt’s campaign to become Senior Class President. She thinks he is a special “unicorn” and has what it takes to lead. She goes all out with the unicorn idea and turns Kurt’s campaign into a celebration of his “magical” homosexuality. Kurt doesn’t like the bold movement and decides he wants a more classic appeal inspired by Judy Garland and the  “black glam of fur coat ads”…not gay at all.

Mr. Shuester informs Glee Club that he can’t direct the upcoming school play, West Side Story, because he has to focus on making the adjustments so they can win nationals. Coach Beiste, Ms. Pillsbury and Artie take up the reigns instead.  Shuester thinks some of the club members need dance lessons so he and Mike Chang start up “Booty Camp” – not at all sure what that title has to do with dancing – to help the rhythmically challenged (Finn, Puck, Kurt, Mercedes. Blaine volunteered) . I love the fact that the producers of the show are self-aware and can use it to carry the plot along. Besides, Finn needs help!

Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel) is back as a part-time teacher for a second glee club at McKinley funded by Suger Motta’s father Al. She tells Shuester that she doesn’t wat to run away from her past anymore and she plans to be more involved in Rachel’s life as well as letting Puck and Quinn be more involved with their biological child, Beth, whom Shleby adopted. Puck gets Quinn to talk to Shelby about arranging to see Beth and Shelby tells her that she is willing to let them interact with their child but Quinn has to change the way she is carrying herself. I know caring and being emotional has never been a serious issue with Puck – the relationship with Lauren was a laughable affair in its entirety – but I believe that he actually wants to be in his child’s life.

Sue recruits Quinn to do a piece for her political campaign to show how “the arts” ruined her life and turned her into the “skank” she is. She agrees. When Quinn goes to confront Mr. Shuester, with Sue and Becky in tow, about how Glee club ruined her life he is livid. Telling her that the club that she kept trying to sabotage was there for her during the most difficult times of her life so far and she is foolish for thinking otherwise. Quinn is clearly surprised by Shuester’s reaction but we can tell she knows he was telling the truth.

Kurt tries to convince the directors of the school play that he is masculine enough to play the role of Tony in West Side Story with an awkward rendition of a scene from Romeo and Juliet with Rachel. The judges don’t buy it one bit. In fact, he gets laughed off the stage. Kurt goes to his father Burt for advice about the situation. Burt tells Kurt that he has to “write his own story” if being gay is stopping him from getting the roles he wants. It’s sweet to see that Burt is getting better at understanding his son and the situation he is in. Sometimes he seems like he knows more about being gay than his son does.

Back in Booty Camp – I just had to – Finn is hesitant when trying to keep up with a routine that Mike and Shuester perform. After a pep talk from Shuester, Finn tries it one more time and nails it. Hopefully he can retain his new found footwork and we won’t have to witness him blending in with the background when the intermediate choreography comes into play. Quinn, blond hair and all, comes back to Glee club and tells her main intent is just to, seemingly, conform to get custody of her child back.

Blaine closes the show with an amazing performance of Something’s Coming and the directors ask him to audition for the lead male role of Tony. A role he didn’t want to audition for because he knew Kurt wanted it.  The cliffhanger ending comes before Blaine can make that decision.

The Music

 I’m sensing a trend here: less music and more story. I think this is what Glee needed to ensure that they make it to a fourth and fifth season, smoothly. As of now, I do miss the huge musical numbers and Britney Spears-themed episodes of yesteryear, but if this means that the writers are keeping things fresh then I am all for it.

 Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us) – Rachel and Shelby (aka the bio-mom)

I used Poker Face as the standard for this duet. This time around, the duo had just a touch more heart and the performance was a substantially better. Rachel and Shelby have a really great chemistry and anything Streisand related is guaranteed to be a-may-zing when Rachel is involved. I especially like the diva-esque disappearing act with bio-mommy at the end. I don’t want any overkill, but I could go for another one of these before season’s end.

Solid A rating….I’ll admit, the A is mainly due to my joy for watching Shelby and Rachel together.

I’m the Greatest Star – Kurt

 I don’t love Kurt’s voice in large dosages so I cringed when the song started and I realized he wasn’t going to be joined by Blaine. However, the showmanship alone won me over. It was during his twirling of the knives (swords…whatever they were) that I realized Kurt’s performance is enhanced when he’s not being annoying like he was for the majority of last season.

Solid B rating….what a difference a season makes.

Something’s Coming – Blaine

Similar to Artie, Beiste and Emma I SWOONED watching this performance. I gave him the standing ovation that Artie could not and I think I fell a little more in love with him post-performance. He does every song so effortlessly and I think we all knew he would be Tony for all the reasons Kurt will not. He has the leading man charm that no one in the New Directions ever quite grasped.

Solid A+ rating….I love Blaine, period.

Quotes

Dude you’re gay. And not like Rock Hudson gay. Really gay. You sing like Diana Ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory.” -Burt Hummel (to Kurt)

It’s Rachel Berry. She’s got the eye of the tiger. Which I like. She’s Jewish, but I think that helps with the whole Puerto Rican thing.” -Coach Beiste

I wanted something toned down!” -Kurt (to Brittany about his campaign posters)
This is toned down. In the original one the unicorn was riding you.” -Santana

You look like a real housewife of Reno.” -Puck (to “Skank” Quinn)

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it takes a community…

I don’t know what I miss most about Greendale Community College. Could it be the the sheer joy of finding a magical trampoline? Building and organizing a dorm-wide “Blanket-Fort City” – a la EVERY awesome sleepover EVER?! Or maybe it was the school-wide paintball tournament? Either way, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to witness a group of people stay in school WAY longer than necessary like I have for the study group in Community.

I hope you see that scarf!

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), the self-absorbed, faux-apathetic douche with all the witty “complisults” (compliment + insult). Jeff is always at the ready to tell the study group that he doesn’t care to deal with their shenanigans and always finds himself directly in the middle of the action and sometimes even spearheading the charge. Even though I feel this great ensemble cast doesn’t have a “lead character” Jeff has all the qualities to fit the bill.

 

Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), resident rebel with an adopted cause, is everything that Jeff is not but he just can’t get enough of. These two usually get tied together as the most polarizing forces in the study group. Britta has the ability to undercut any grandstanding with the surgeon-like precision of a veteran “Mean Girl”.

Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) is the epitome of what it means to be politically incorrect. Racial slurs? Sexism? General Jackassery? Pierce has more than enough to share with the class. Usually pegged as the antagonist of the study group – a role he fits perfectly – I’m actually starting to like his character more with each verbal/visual beating he gives me – because that’s healthy, right?

Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) is filled with a childlike exuberance – if you couldn’t tell by the picture – that is never annoying and always accepted. Whether he is making “dumb-blonde” statements or even a subtle facial expression, Troy takes advantage of all his screen time. Also, when you can throw this epic of a tantrum as a grown man you deserve some credit.

Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) is the socially awkward and pop-culture poignant “android” character that spews information with no filter. He does a great job keeping characters in check because he only tells what he sees and doesn’t let characters build their ego too high before he makes them realize how blatantly mediocre they really are. Abed and Troy are one of the best “buddy” duos on television right now, and they even come equipped with their own handshake! Jealous yet?

Annie Edison (Alison Brie) is the young, straight-laced, naive beauty who usually has the best interest of the whole group in mind when she sets out. But this may change things a bit for the upcoming season. I actually like Annie’s character, maybe more than I should, and it’s not just because she is HAWT! She may feign oblivious to most her surroundings but she knows exactly what she wants and usually gets me it.

If Samuel L. Jackson's Pulp Fiction and Whoopi Goldberg's Sister Act had a baby...

Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown) is the religious, sometimes single mother that is never opposed to gossip. She finds a way to know everyone’s business without shedding light on her own and passive-aggressively pits characters against each other. I like Shirley’s instigating methods because she can add a new twist to any episode with one line.

Get your #2 pencils ready class. School is back is session September 22nd on NBC.

 

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