This is clearly my year to overly invest in prematurely cancelled television shows because for the past month or so I’ve been watching unhealthy quantities of Fringe. This is a science fiction slash procedural that basically throws every imaginable mad science into a blender and ran five seasons before getting axed last year. If you plan on watching, be warned, the next few paragraphs are one hundred percent SPOILERS.
The first season wasn’t terrible, but neither did it hook me in. It was very much monster of the week stuff, quite incoherent plotting held together by excellent acting, and I kept watching mostly because I am the kind of person who always needs to know what happens next. Then I got hooked, because parallel universes and time travel and politics, I am in for all those things! With sciencey shapeshifters as excellent icing! Season three was JUST SO GOOD. I would have been happy to spend every second episode in the alternate world, with their Fringe Division team. We got Charlie back, and the eternally adorable Lincoln Lee, and morally questionable decisions for all!
My good feelings continued about halfway through season four, then – well, this is another show I feel the strong urge to recap, if only to accurately document my wrath about what ended up happening. Olivia rewriting her life to be with Peter, for one thing. They’re a lovely couple, I wished them all the best, but she forgot she had a nephew. The showrunners seriously couldn’t have found another way? Nina becoming William Bell’s pawn instead of a fabulous villain in her own right, for another. This is the woman who was experimenting with psychotically unstable clones and considered glittery black as everyday officewear. I had HOPES. Having fallen so hard for the parallel universe, I also felt decidedly shortchanged at the arcs of those characters – Charlie vanishing without a trace, their Lincoln getting shot and staying dead, Walternate the abductor of pregnant women retconned as a halfway decent person.
I finished watching season five on Monday and still can’t quite decide how I feel about that. My writer brain kept pointing out gaping plot holes but got distracted by all the EMOTIONS. Does the story make sense if you actually look? Not really. Did I care while September discovered fatherhood and Olivia blacked out Manhattan to get her daughter back? EMOTIONS, I tell you. We even got a glimpse of the parallel universe, where Fauxlivia seems to be running Fringe and is happily married to Lincoln (and she somehow overcame VPE to have a son? How…who cares, it’s happiness! I’ll take it!).
In short, I wanted more from Fringe, but what I got was definitely worth watching.
The past week also involved a certain package from Twelfth Planet Press and an exceptionally pretty book for my shelf. There is now an actual page on my blog you can refer to for publications like this, which I’ll update as stories get released into the wild.