TV Ramblings 06 – Fringe

The series called Fringe has come to a close. Though short, season 5 has been just what the series needed to offer a satisfactory end to all us fans, and it was such a fascinating ride. It could have easily continued (and nobody would have ever heard me complain about that), yet having a good wrap-up is no mean feat.  I still hope there’s a movie in our future, but I’m just glad the series did not get cut off without any tied ends. Now that pushes my buttons.

About the series -the cases the Fringe Division of FBI deals with are gross, highly dangerous, otherworldly and just so fantastical they truly deserve the moniker ‘fringe events’ since no straightforward science could ever explain the mechanics behind them. I can hardly imagine what the actors thought about the weird prosthetics, fluids and prompts.  It must have been equal parts fun and shock.

Trailer:

Some spoilers for those who had not watched the series – read at your own discretion.

I really loved the first two seasons and I marathoned them by watching 3-4 episodes a day whenever I could get away with it. The series has the right blend of mystery, bizarre, even horror and shock to keep me hooked, though not my sister, unfortunately. I’m not complaining; I’ve got to keep this one as a gem of my own. 😀

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I must admit I was so involved with the characters I got frustrated and angry that Olivia was stuck in the alternate universe when the ‘fake’ one was having a romantic relationship with Peter.  I had to put the series on a hiatus, it was just too cruel. When I got time again (and after a much needed cooling off period), I started the series once again and loved the end of the initially so disliked season 3. I soon caught up and season five was watched with only fresh weekly episodes.

Now I’m faced with the realisation that I’ll probably re-watch the show in the future, just to enjoy it once again. The mythology and cases are unique enough that I couldn’t remember all of them. And I deeply admire the actors’ skills. How they could successfully pull off so many different versions of the same persona (alternate, memory loss, future and past versions…) I can only shake my head at in wonder. For that reason alone they deserve another chance to portray the characters I’ve become so attached to.  There are several main characters, and quite a list of minor ones, but you can bet they all prove to be important in one way or the other. I’ll try to stick to the ones I’ve come to like the most or who had made a lasting impression on me. photo a_610x408_zps216ec67e.jpg

The three most important characters of the series are FBI age Olivia Dunham, former conm Peter Bishop, and his father, scienti Walter Bishop.

As much as I don’t li Walter’s questionable decisions and dangerous experiments, his scatter-brained and even childish behaviour once he’s out of the mental facility grows up on you. He can be extremely rude and socially awkward, stepping on toes with his fascination with grisly deaths, but he has many redeeming moments. I especially love the interaction he has with son Peter and the deep love he feels for him. The actor brilliantly portrays the deeply damaged scientist, his vulnerability, but also moments of ice-cold calculation when he really put chills in my spine. He can work his voice to his advantage, so when we come face to face with alternate Walter, he truly feels like a completely different persona.

Peter oves to be crucial to the series in more ways than anyone could have ever imagined. He’s not afraid to take risks, to question events and preconceptions. He’s far from perfect and has some issues of his own to deal with, but his foundation is solid. He often acts as a voice of reason to Walter’s ideas, and is not infrequently exasperated by his father’s quirks and leaps of thought. He’s intelligent, resourceful and a pragmatist, but he also has moments of utter stubbornness when curiosity gets the better of him. No wonder he clicks, if I may say so, with Olivia and one can see the potential for so much more than we are initially given. There is attraction between them, a powerful one, but they are slow to move forward. One can only admire the way a bond forms between them.

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Olivia Dunham just a marvellous character, one of my all-time favourites, though she may come off as cold and even mechanical (as some critics have claimed). Yet one can never doubt the power of her determination or compassion. We slowly see her come out of her shell as she discovers more of her past and learns to move past it. I really admire how competent she is in the wake of these dangerous and bizarre events Fringe is so known for. She’s got integrity and is one of the strongest female characters I’ve seen on TV. There is something likable in her – she gives everyone a chance, knows how to approach people so that they trust her, and always does her best to keep her word. You can depend on her – period.

Walter’s assistant and babysitt Astrid Farnsworth, also a FBI agent, compliments the team really well and I like her quiet strength. She might not wield a gun on a daily basis since she’s working a lot in the lab with Walter, but she’s one smart cookie. She’s indispensable, really, and we get to see that time and time again. I like her calm personality and her wonderful dark curls (I’m fascinated by curly hair, is all). Her alternate version was a tribute to her sister who has the Asperger syndrome. I admire that.

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Then there are other important characters; agent-in-charge of Fringe Divisi Phillip Broyles, Olivia’s partner FBI age Charles Francis, age Lincoln Lee, and Massive Dynamics Chief Operating Offic Nina Sharp. She was the perfect ambiguous character and one could not be entirely sure she’s telling the truth. I didn’t like her at first, but she grew on me, until I started to love her in seasons 4 and 5. I was also sad to see agent Francis go, and felt that agent Lee didn’t get the amount of screen-time he deserved. I liked his character and I wanted to see even more of him.

Last, but not least character I’m going to write about, is the ever enigmat Observer ll September. He was the first one we got to see and he remained a staple on the show. He was so frustratingly enigmatic and otherworldly that I never truly knew what to think about him. Only when he started to help the team did I decide he’s ok in my books, but season 5 blew me over.

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Fringe is definitely a must-see since the storyline is solid, characterisation and acting superb, and cases they deal with so bizarre you just have to find out more about them. Even if events feel like isolated cases, you can bet they are tied together in some way or another. The series is brilliant like that and it surprises you when you least expect it. I liked that I usually had no idea what was going to happen next, since predictable storylines kill all the joy for me. But never fear that here; a visit to the past, future, alternate histories and universes – all that awaits you for the ride. And what a ride it was!

Website links:

 

Images are curtesy of Google images search and Fringe Wiki

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