Fringe, in short, is a TV-series about a female FBI agent who finds herself working with a nutty scientist and his seriously smart but disillusioned son. They form a secret task force called Fringe Division, that gets all the strange cases of people drawing pictures of the future, a man capable of manipulating electricity, a device that allows a group of bank robbers to walk through walls, and so on. In the background lurks the mega tech corporation, Massive Dynamic.
IMDb calls it a drama. I would call it, perhaps, science fiction, but really it’s speculative more than anything. Like X-Files in a lot of ways, but more science and with cool gadgets. The show ran for five seasons from 2008 – 2013. Created by J. J. Abrams (the man who gave us Lost) and featuring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and the incomparable John Noble as the unforgettable Walter Bishop.
Let me just start by saying how much I love this show. Besides the speculative theme, which obviously is why I started watching it in the first place, the show has some of the best acting I have ever seen. Most importantly it has a lot of heart.
John Noble, who you might remember as Denethor, steward of Gondor, in The Two Towers and The Return of the King, is magnificent as Dr. Walter Bishop. Here is a clip from one of my favorite Walter moments, from season 2, episode 10. When Walter gets his brain back.
Then there’s Joshua Jackson, who plays the son, Peter Bishop. The rapport between Peter and Walter is heartachingly realistic. These two gents, in my opinion, make this show. Here is a clip from season 2, episode 19. When Peter finds out Walter’s secret. SPOILER ALERT on this clip, if you haven’t seen the show yet.
Another example of the emotional display these actors put on, is the developing relationship between Peter and Olivia. The way that he looks at her, well… I think it’s safe to say that this is exactly how most people want someone to look at them. Here is a clip from season 2, episode 15. When Peter almost kisses Olivia.
There are a lot of other fine actors and engaging moments, but you will just have to watch the show, if you haven’t already. If you have, by all means, watch it again. It’s worth it.
My only complaint is how quickly they got to the heart of the side plot. Like Fox Mulder has his alien conspiracy in the X-Files, Fringe has its Observers. I wish they would have done a lot more episodes that were just plain weird cases. I think if they had the show would have been a lot more successful.
I was also not a fan of the final season. I’m happy they got a chance to wrap the show up in a respectable way (unlike the 4400, oh man, don’t get me started), but it was a little meh in my opinion. The acting was still great, which is what saved it. But it was too far off from what Fringe is to me to really sit right. Nevertheless, this is one of my all time favorite shows. It gets an easy .