Tag Archives: Zerstörung durch Fortschritte der Technologie

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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fringe season four: where is peter bishop?

As Fringe was on the bubble for most of Season Three, the excitement of a new season was wrought with the tension of “Where Is Peter?” which swept the planet (of Fringe fans). From fan-made videos to the season four promo banners, fans eagerly waited for the return of Fringe–which was apparent in the first episode, which had almost 3.5 million viewers, a season high. With less than five episodes left in the season, being a Fringe fan’s are on the edge of their seats–not only during the episodes, but all day, everyday. As Fringe hasn’t been renewed, fans and producers are unsure where the episodes will go. Orci and Kurtzman have stated that if this is the last season, they are ready to give Fringe a proper ending–unlike Firefly, and hopefully different than Lost!

The simple facts are that FOX isn’t making any money with Fringe anymore–which is typically what happens when you send amazing shows to the kill spot, FOX–but they’re hesitating on canceling for many reasons. The main one being J.J. Abrams’ involvement with the show. Abrams’ credibility and popularity in film and television right now reaches all audiences, and includes two new tv shows this year: Person of Interest on CBS, and Alcatraz on FOX. Alcatraz has been touted as a revamped, less-intriguing Fringe. Both Alcatraz and Fringe have yet to be renewed–or cancelled–but it would be in FOX’s best interest to keep at least one of Abrams’ shows. Plus, if Fringe is renewed, Abrams says that he will direct an episode, which will be the first Fringe episode directed by Abrams.

New Characters:

As of yet, there are no new main characters–however, characters which were previously killed or disappeared are back! These include Alt-Charlie, Alt-Broyles, and David Robert Jones. While the new timeline–as this world where Peter never existed is called–is missing a few familiar faces, Walter’s trusty steed-like animal, Gene, is one
constant in all timelines. Yay Gene!

The Plot:

Fringe season four started out quite slow, which was disappointing for many fans, but fit with the “Fringe” way of doing things. Instead of coming out and stating all the differences, both the subtle and stated changes were–and still are–being addressed. We see what everyone’s lives are like without Peter–Walter is out of the mental institution, but lives in his lab–and is afraid to leave. The Olivia we’ve come to love has regressed back to pre-Peter Olivia–an impersonal yet competent FBI agent. Even though Peter’s been erased from everyone’s memories, his actions have stayed the same–the two universes are still connected in one room, and Fauxlivia is still hated by Walter and Olivia for her deception.

It is clear that Peter is the staple holding everything together. When Walter begins hallucinating, seeing a man talking to him in his lab, he fears that he will be sent back to St. Claires. But Olivia’s been seeing the man in her dreams, so he’s not going crazy. An Observer is supposed to completely erase Peter from this timeline, but he does not. This is the reason everyone’s memories of Peter are returning. Peter eventually appears from the bottom of Reiden Lake, where he drowned as a boy, as the Observer did not save him.

Peter is ecstatic, as he’s returned home–however, no one remembers him. The next few episodes detail the pain Peter feels and his desperation to return to his home. Walter and Olivia are noticeably freaked out, as this man claims to know their secrets and details of their lives, yet they know nothing about him. Besides other things, Peter’s extensive knowledge on classified information (i.e. Walternate, the other universe, Observers, and shapeshifters) gets him into trouble with the FBI  before everyone learns to trust him.

Readers–and Peter–are unsure if he is really in an alternate timeline, or he has simply been erased from our timeline. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Olivia’s memories have inexplicably begun to fade away–and are slowly being replaced by Peter’s Olivia’s memories. Peter, unwilling to fall in love with the “wrong” Olivia again–and hurt his Olivia’s feelings–continually pushes this Olivia away. However, Peter is given the chance to go inside an Observer’s mind during episode 14 “The End of All Things,” (as amazing as it sounds!) and all the last questions are answered. He is in the right timeline, and this Olivia is his Olivia. Peter also learns about his son Henry, who was erased from time along with him.

Fun Facts:

  • The amazing Anna Torv has played multiple versions of Olivia Dunhum: our Olivia, Fauxlivia, future Olivia, Bell-livia (where Torv impersonates the mannerisms and voice of Leonord Nimoy), this new timeline’s Olivia, and this new timeline’s Fauxlivia. Each version has unique characteristics and traits, showing off Torv’s wonderful acting skills.
  •  In this timeline Walternate is a good man with honorable intentions of trying to save both worlds.
  • Here’s a fun letter from Peter Bishop, clarifying that the reports of his deletion from time are “greatly exaggerated.”    Yay for Peter’s return!

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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fringe season two: the complex begins to get even more confusing

With such a large cliffhanger at the end of season one, fans were anxious to have their questions answered. But in typical Fringe fashion, it took a few episodes to answer most of them. We found out that in our universe, Olivia had been in a car accident–the same one we believed she had avoided in season one–which meant that most of her memories with Bell were vague and unreliable at best. However, with each question answered, ten more seemed to arise. Season two also began to explain why Fringe was unlike other typical “Monster of the Week” sci-fi shows.

New Characters:

Shapeshifters: Here from the parallel universe, these humanoid machines are capable of taking on the physical appearance of anyone they kill with a handy little transforming device, which looks like a three-pronged plug. It is unclear why they are in our universe–the one that Peter, Olivia and Walter are in–but their intentions to wreak havoc on our universe is clear. The only way to tell the difference between a shapeshifter and a human is the fact that shapeshifters have extra mercury in their blood, causing it to look silver.

The Observers: Their purpose becomes a bit clearer in this season. Although their background is still unknown–and their powers and gadgets are still amazingly strange–we learn that why they are here. September and August seem to be the main observers, with an entire episode revolving around August–aptly named “August.”

Thomas Jerome Newton: Leader of the shapeshifters who was reanimated in the last season. His reasons for leading the shapeshifters into battle against our universe is unclear.

Sam Weiss: Played by Kevin Corrigan–he is recruited by Nina to help Olivia get past her limp and remember her memories–both of which are caused by her car accident. His background and intentions are unclear.

The Plot:

As the season progressed, more of The Pattern’s backstory was revealed. Olivia returns “home,” having forgotten most of her conversation with Bell. Her transition back into regular life is slow, with side-effects including temporary amnesia, a limp, and–for a short while–super-sonic hearing. Olivia is also given more depth as a character–we see her struggling to overcome her trauma and meet her sister Rachel and niece Ella. Her rather cold demeanor, partly because of her partner/lover Agent Scott’s deception and death, explains her unwillingness to open up to others–in contrast to her relationship with Rachel and Ella. This aloof attitude is only furthered by the fact that a shapeshifter replaced her new partner, Charlie–and she has to kill the Charlie-shapeshifter.

Olivia is still struggling with her memories, so Nina Sharp suggests that she begin meeting with a pseudo-psychiatrist/bowling alley manager Sam Weiss. As Olivia’s memories begin to return, she remembers Bell’s warning about something he referred to as “The Storm,” a time when the two universes would collide–and only one universe would survive. Olivia’s powers–which Walter explains comes from the Cortexiphan she was tested with as a child–have grown to include semi-reliable teleportation and mind control. She also has the ability to see things from the other universe when she is afraid–something only she can do. Things from the parallel universe are described as having a glimmer.

Walter remembers that he had Bell remove parts of his brain, as he was scared with his abilities and knowledge (a problem I can relate with).Walter and Peter are seen growing closer in this season, with Peter trying to look past Walter’s past mistakes and Walter continuing to reach out to his son. Peter’s relationship with Olivia begins to become more personal, and they are about to kiss when Olivia sees him glimmer. Walter later confirms that Peter is actually not from this universe–he was taken from the other universe as a child.

The episode entitled “Peter,” flashes back to 1985–the year that our Peter died. Walter had invented a “window” into the other universe, and saw the other Walter–termed Walternate (Walter+Alternate)–find the cure to save Peter, which our Walter was unable to do. However, an Observer walked into Walternate’s lab, distracting Walternate, which meant that Walternate was unaware that he had found the cure. Despondent with grief that the other Peter would die, Walter determines to cross over to the other universe, give Peter the correct dosage, and return home. However, things do not go as planned; Nina tries to stop Walter from crossing over, which is how she loses part of her arm. Walter lands on his medicine, breaking the bottle. Walter is still adamant that he can save Peter, so he takes him and crosses back into our universe with the intention of returning him once he was well. Walter crossed over on frozen Reiden Lake, as the water would absorb the energy emitted. But when they cross back to our universe, they fall through the ice, and almost drown. September saves them just in time. It is implied that after saving Peter, both Walter and Elizabeth, Peter’s mom, cannot bring themselves to let Peter go–although they know that it is not really their son.

Olivia wants to tell Peter as soon as she finds out, but Walter begs her not to. Despite this, Peter finds out while working a case and is furious. He runs away, leaving Walter heartbroken. When he is gone, he is tracked down by Newton, who has helped Walternate cross over. Walternate convinces Peter to come back home–to their universe.

The Cliffhanger:

This two-part finale was definitely some of my favorite episodes. Walter and Olivia find out that Peter has returned home to his universe; an Observer tells gives them a paper which shows Peter’s body as the key to saving–or destroying–universes. Determined to save Peter, Olivia and Walter decide to cross over as well. With the help of Nick and Sally, two others with Cortexiphan-driven powers, all four are able to cross to the parallel universe. Bell gives them coordinates to meet at Central Park, but they are unaware that the parallel universe has no Central Park in New York. Sally and Nick are killed, Walter is injured and taken to the hospital, where Bell comes to rescue them. Their parallel universe is much more high-tech than our universe–they had cell phones back in 1985–and Walternate is the Secretary of Defense.

Peter, unaware that Walternate is using him for his body (in an I-want-to-destroy-the-other-universe-with-your-body kind of way), is amazed by the differences and similarities between the two universes. He is reconnected with his real mother–our Elizabeth committed suicide while Walter was in a mental hospital–and meets their Olivia, dubbed Fauxlivia. Olivia and Fauxlivia go head-to-head in a fist fight before Olivia knocks Fauxlivia unconscious. Disguised as Fauxlivia, she tricks Alt-Charlie and manages to get to Peter, who has realized Walternates less-than-welcoming welcome home plans for his son. Olivia reveals her true self and her true feelings fo Peter, causing him to choose to return to our universe. On the way back to their rendezvous point–where Bell and Walter are waiting–they are ambushed by Walternate. With all the chaos, there is no time to set up a stable door for them to return home, so Bell sacrifices his body as the stabilizing device. All is well, and Peter grudgingly tells Walter that if he was willing to cross universes twice to save him, that must count for something. The last scene is of the parallel universe. A blonde Olivia–our Olivia–is seen in a holding cell, begging Walternate to let her out.

Mindblown AGAIN. I love you, Fringe. 

Fun Facts:

  • In an effort to help promote Fringe, whose ratings had steadily dropped from 9 million season one to a heartbreaking 5.6 million, The Observer was not only spotted in every episode, but on other FOX shows as well–including American Idol (And yes, he looks as out of place as it sounds).
  • Some differences between the two universes:  The alternate universe’s Statue of Liberty is bronze, The Empire State Building is used as a Zeppelin dock, and the Twenty dollar bill, which has Martin Luther King, Jr. on it.
  • Don’t forget to check out my favorite Fringe episode ever, White Tulip. Besides the white tulips being a recurring theme, it was a touchingly poignant and all-around wonderful episode.

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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fringe season one: the beginning of awesomeness

Fringe‘s first season premiered in September 2008, created by masterminds J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. Often compared to The X-Files, Altered States, and The Twilight Zone, this sci-fi semi-procedural drama managed to combine great acting, lovable characters, and a plot that manages to be easy enough for avid fans to follow, yet complex enough to blow those same fans’ minds.

The Main Characters

Olivia Dunham: played by the amazing Anna Torv, is an FBI agent who takes it upon herself to help discover the cause for the unknown, oftentimes freaky and disturbing occurrences, fondly referred to as The Pattern.

Walter Bishop: award-winning John Noble takes on the formidable task of playing a genius who has spent the last 17 years of his life in a mental institution. His brilliance is often overshadowed by his scattered memories, quirky habits, including cravings for strawberry milkshakes, rhubarb pie, and redvines at the most inopportune times (often in the middle of examining a corpse). It is believed that some his past experiments with partner William Bell at their Harvard University Lab have been expanded and adapted by those behind The Pattern.

Peter Bishop: charming Joshua Jackson portrays Walter Bishop’s rogue son.  With an IQ level of 190, Peter has spent most of his life conning people with his charm and brilliance, including forging an M.I.T degree in chemistry, after which he published several papers before being caught. His relationship with Walter can be considered tenuous at best.

The Observers: mysterious men who have appeared at important events in Earth’s history. They appear to have the power of telepathy. Not much is known about these fedora-wearing, hairless men.

The Plot

Most of season one is filled with “monsters of the week.” Sightings of an unidentifiable animal or human with supernatural powers–often due to intentional DNA alteration–means a call to Olivia and her partner–first John Scott, then Charlie Francis–Walter, Peter, and Astrid, an FBI agent who acts as Walter’s lab assistant. It soon becomes clear that these monsters are not freak accidents, as they originally thought–someone is behind all of these attacks. However, altering DNA is nothing compared to what Walter is capable of doing. From “talking” to the dead, to shared dreams, this man can do it all. Except make the perfect strawberry milkshake.

The Pattern can often be traced back to Walter’s old lab partner, William Bell. Bell owns Massive Dynamic, the largest and most advanced biotechnology company ever (Imagine Apple, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds as one company… then multiply their power times a billion). As Bell is often out of the country, Massive Dynamic is run by his right-hand woman, Nina Sharp, played by Blair Brown.

Eventually, The Pattern leads them to David Robert Jones, a biochemist stuck in a German jail. He teleports his way out–with the help of his followers–and discovers the adverse side-effects to rearranging one’s cells. Desperate for help, he goes to The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, led by Agent Phillip Broyles–Olivia’s boss. At the same time, the Fringe team finds a manuscript believed to Jones’ “Bible.” Called ZFT (Zerstörung durch Fortschritte der Technologie), or the Destruction by Advancement of Technology in English, it speaks of a parallel universe–a world exactly like ours, but a little bit different–and the conflict between the two universes.

Jones claims that Olivia has the power of teleportation, which he proves by setting off a bomb which she must disable with her mind. It is later discovered that Olivia has these powers because she was drugged with Cortexiphan a child. Others who were part of the same drug tests as Olivia are soon discovered–among them siblings with pyrokinetic powers and Nick, a young man who can control other’s emotions.  Walter finds a tape of himself and Bell with Olivia as a child, implying that he and Bell were the ones who had given them Cortexiphan. Walter also remembers that Bell wrote the ZFT.

The Cliffhanger

Fringe fans eagerly anticipate–and dread–Fringe‘s season finale cliffhangers, as they are always big, unexpected, and tease enough information that we will be thinking about for months. Season one is no exception. Jones has stolen an energy cell, which he believes can open the doorway to the parallel universe. He succeeds in doing so–however, Peter manages to close the doorway with Jones halfway through, cutting him in half. Walter is seen tearfully visiting Peter’s grave, which states that he died as a child in 1985.

And after months of trying to get ahold of Bell, Olivia finally receives a call from Nina. She is to meet Bell in Manhattan. One her drive there, she is in an accident, but is uninjured. Bell welcomes Olivia into his office, where she reads the New York Times’ headline news: that Obama’s family is moving into the “New Whitehouse.” Bell then tells her to look outside his window. The camera pans out and…they’re standing in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

MIND BLOWN.

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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