Fringe Season 2 DVD Clip: For Pete’s Sake


Warner Bros has shared another clip to promote their upcoming release of Fringe Season 2 on DVD and Blu-ray. The clip is from episode 2.12 What Lies Below and features Walter trying to save a virus-ridden Peter, but not before he gets himself in a spot of bother.

You probably all remember the clip. For me, the episode represents the end of a trend. It’s not as mythalonistic as the White Tulip’s of this world, but it signified the last stand of the standalone episodes for the season (with the exception of “Gleeful Betty”). Head past the jump to feed your eyes.

[via]

It’s odd to see Broyles extend himself so compassionately to Walter, but it’s carry-over from the previous episode where he agrees to keep silent about the Edinans and their perception filter. In many ways this self-contained case brought our characters together in new and intimate ways. Perhaps the most worthy of all the season 2 standalone episodes, in that we discovered some new things about our heroes.

Walter’s response represents an interesting moment because after momentarily going ‘Walternate’ on Mr. CDC, he quickly understands that in order to save Peter he needs to work with, and listen to, other people. Precisely the opposite of what he did when he barged over to the alternate universe, ignoring the advice of Nina and Carla.

Here’s the DVD descrip:

Buy it on DVD and Blu-ray at wbshop.com! “Most exciting drama around right now. Unfailingly amazing cast and dialogue.” – Rob Sheffield, ROLLING STONE

Return to explore the boundaries of a mysterious mythology that holds millions of viewers in its hypnotic grasp. Season 2 of Fringe contains worlds (and alternate worlds) of excitement complete with shape shifters, cryonic heads, belly-dwelling beasts and people who turn to ashes before our eyes. But the overarching narrative takes three clandestine FBI agents — Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop — through a mind-bending investigation of a parallel reality that threatens to destroy ours. The impossible is here in a series that offers “the most satisfying, coherent story arc of any science-fiction-flavored primetime drama” (Mike Hale, The New York Times).

In other words: the overarching narrative and not the critter/case-of-the-week is what makes the show worth investing in week after week, season after season.

Fringe: The Complete Second Season arrives September 14 on DVD and Blu-ray, and is available for pre-order (aff link).

Comments

  1. Elaine says

    “In other words: the overarching narrative and not the critter/case-of-the-week is what makes the show worth investing in week after week, season after season.”

    Roco, you know if you keep speaking out on this point it’s going to become harder and harder to hide your prejudice on this issue. That being said, I truly hope this coming season provides the balance you’ve been so consistently vocal about because I fear for your sanity otherwise. ;-)

    With the exception of a few things I wish the writers had done differently in S2, I had no issue with the mythology-lite, stand-alone episodes, as you know. I feel both have their place, and were worthy of investing my interest in because they contributed to the narrative as a whole. We’re still going to get stand-alone episodes going foward for the simple fact that the show is structured around an investigative team, investigating the unusual and paranormal with stronge ties to our characters. Whatever direction the show takes, I’m excited to see what the writers and actors alike provide.

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    • mlj102 says

      Thanks so much for your comment, Elaine! I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate response to Roco’s comment without sounding either repetitive or unkind, and your comment was perfect!

      I understand why Roco is such a fan of the mythology. I agree that it often contains the heart and the driving force of the show. But I disagree with the constant argument that the show would be better off with less stand alone episodes, or that the stand alones don’t do anything to benefit the show. Certainly some stand alones have been more successful than others, but it could also be argued that some mythology episodes have been more successful than others.

      I will continue to maintain that the stand alone episodes provide important development and support to the story of Fringe and they help add meaning to the show as a whole. There are important details contained in the supposed “stand alone” episodes. I believe some of the stand alone episodes can be just as interesting as mythology episodes, while also keeping the show accessible for fans who are not as dedicated as we are. It’s an important, tricky balance, and I think they’ve done a great job at finding that balance. And the mythalone episodes have helped with that even more. As successful as Lost is/was, and there is a lot that Lost did right, I don’t want Fringe to become as complicated and complex and wrapped up in mythology as Lost was. And if that means having stand alone episodes added into the mix, then I am just fine with it.

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      • says

        mlj,

        I don’t think that Fringe needs to be become as complicated as LOST, although I’m not convinced that LOST was exceptionally complicated. They took some missteps, as has Fringe. Where I feel Fringe excels is that they don’t create ‘mystery for mysteries sake’ and they actually do have a character show supported by the mythology. Keeping the main storyarc riding high wont do anything but enhance the show as long as all things remain equal.

        It’s not that the standalone episodes offer ‘nothing’ to the story – it’s that they are not as engaging main storyarc. Fringe needs to put its best foot forward, especially this season.

        I don’t think any of us expect there to be zero standalone episodes in S3, but I can’t see how the show can go backwards to giving us a higher proportion of ‘Snakeheads’ and ‘Critter Chronicles’ to the main-arc eps. Let’s lower the ‘Johari Window’ on episodes that do little to advance the overall plot or deepen the characters.

        In all seriousness, I’m aware that the show needs to remain accessible for new viewers continue to find it. I just don’t believe that throwing more standalone episodes into the mix is necessarily be best way to go about things. Let’s see what the ‘mythalone’ brings now that the writers have had even more time to hone this approach. I loved ‘White Tulip’.

        As for Fringe having done a “great job” at finding that balance – I agree, from around 2.13 onwards the balance has been remarkably good. Before that, not so much – otherwise the mythalone wouldn’t have been implemented in the first place.

        As for my view that the show would be better off with less standalones. Wasn’t this already validated during the second half of season 2? :) It’s really all subjective but I’m sticking to my guns.

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        • Pwnsauce says

          i agree with Roco on this one. the overarching narrative is what hooked me, not the monster of the week plots. It was sort of frustrating for the first half of Season 2 when they would have a mythology episode, which was great, then have 2-3 standalones inbetween, which didn’t address anything that came up in the mythology episodes. Sorry, mlj, but almost all of the standalone episodes they’ve done have contributed just about nothing to the main storyline. They are also weaker episodes and as Roco stated, they’re not as engaging.

          The second half of Season 2 definitely started to find balance between mythology and standalones, but the reality is, (or this reality, at least) that the Olivia switch is a plot point that basically forces them to ditch monster of the week plotlines. I will be extremely disappointed if the narrative for our universe turns into monster of the week episodes, but I just can’t see how that could be done without making all the characters completely oblivious to the Olivia switch. At least we sort of know that we’ll be getting a mythology episode every other week in the AU.

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        • mlj102 says

          “I can’t see how the show can go backwards to giving us a higher proportion of ‘Snakeheads’ and ‘Critter Chronicles’ to the main-arc eps. Let’s lower the ‘Johari Window’ on episodes that do little to advance the overall plot or deepen the characters.”

          The thing is, you’re simply looking at the case in a given stand alone. I agree that I wasn’t incredibly invested in the case of molebaby or the incredible curing power of the giant worms. But there’s more to these episodes than just the case. Each of those episodes you listed contained significant moments for the characters or other important details. Night of Desirable Objects wasn’t the most appealing case, but there was some important development for Olivia as she tried to cope with recent events. I really don’t care for Snakehead, but I can’t deny that that was a significant episode for Walter and Astrid. I love Johari Window because of the emphasis on the theme of perception. In other words, I disagree that these episodes do little do “deepen the characters.”

          Pwnsauce: “When I watched ‘Night of Desirable Objects’, all I wanted to know was more about the shapeshifters and Olivia’s meeting with William Bell, but we got nothing about that.”

          I disagree that Night of Desirable Objects did nothing to further these plots. No, we didn’t get any direct answers on the shapeshifters or what happened when Olivia met William Bell. But the story continued. We got hints of shapeshifter Charlie following Olivia and no longer being the person she should trust. We also saw Olivia getting back to work and adjusting to life even though she couldn’t remember what happened to her, she was injured, and she had the random side effect of superhearing. I know a lot of people complained that it took four episodes to finally figure out what happened with William Bell, but I am of the opposite opinion because I loved the journey that lead to Olivia remembering what happened. I loved watching her struggle to figure out what happened and to put the pieces together. I thought that particular story deepened her character and was far more rewarding than if they revealed what happened between Olivia and Bell in the premiere or the second episode. Besides, it’s more realistic that it would take time for something like that to be resolved and to sort itself out.

          However, I agree that there was room for improvement. I was quite disappointed that they didn’t make more out of the Charlie switch, as I felt that had a lot of potential, but instead, they put it in the background. I also agree that they could have looked into the shapeshifters more. But those kind of little annoyances are always going to be present to some extent or another. I think too many people look at those things and at the cases and they automatically conclude the episode was wasted and was unimportant, and in the process, they’re overlooking some really great things that happened. I’m not saying standalones are perfect and represent the way Fringe should be done. But I don’t think the standalones deserve the large amounts of criticism they receive, either. Standalones are significant and they do contain a lot of significant detail.

          For Roco, Pwnsauce, and anyone else who feels like commenting, I’m curious as to how exactly you define a mythology episode. What classifies as a mythology episode? Because I find that I struggle to define it and put together any sort of criteria. Certainly, I understand that there’s a difference between Momentum Deferred and Night of Desirable Objects. But it’s a lot fuzzier to me when you start to consider episodes like Ghost Network, Equation, Safe, Midnight, Of Human Action, August, Bishop Revival, Olivia in the lab, etc.

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          • says

            “The thing is, you’re simply looking at the case in a given stand alone. I agree that I wasn’t incredibly invested in the case of molebaby or the incredible curing power of the giant worms. But there’s more to these episodes than just the case. Each of those episodes you listed contained significant moments for the characters or other important details. Night of Desirable Objects wasn’t the most appealing case, but there was some important development for Olivia as she tried to cope with recent events. I really don’t care for Snakehead, but I can’t deny that that was a significant episode for Walter and Astrid. I love Johari Window because of the emphasis on the theme of perception. In other words, I disagree that these episodes do little do “deepen the characters.””

            That’s not true. I’m aware that each standalone episode contains breadcrumbs and elements of shading. Trust me, I am looking at this globally. I don’t think I’d be able to put together the Fringe Observations if I was being blinkered as to the positive aspects of the standalone episodes.

            However, I just don’t buy the idea that these episodes are ‘paramount’ to developing the characters, etc, in the way that you claim. To me, that’s like saying a mouthful food is more important than an entire meal! :)

            To clarify my point a little – I don’t believe that the standalone episodes develop the characters (which is what you’ve pointed to in your argument) better, or more satisfyingly, than the overarching episodes (call them serialized or ‘mythological’ if you want).

            The standalones perform a role, but when you have the kind of story that Fringe has, with these characters and themes, you just can’t prioritize standalone episodes over the far more natural and engaging overarching episodes, IMO. This goes back to what I’ve said about the show finding its identity. Not every story is best suited to the procedural, and the more standalone episodes that Fringe has, the more it holds itself back. Obviously this is just my opinion, but I think that there’s enough evidence to support this claim.

            As for what qualifies as a “mythology episode”. There are various definitions we could use, but essentially, it’s an episode that focuses on the main idea, themes and mechanics of the story – i.e. the mythology. For instance, Cortexiphan is mythology. The alternate universe is mythology. The shapeshifters are mythology. Typically, the themes addressed in these episodes overlap or span several episodes or seasons, if not the entire series. In other words, mythology episodes are integral to the central ideas (premise) of the show. They cultivate the ‘reality’ of the show.

            Whereas a procedural, or standalone, episode is more open-shut. The plot of this type of episode is usually neatly tucked into bed with a bottle of warm milk by the time the episode is over. Such an episode might touch on overarching themes, but there’s little, if any, carry over in the following episode.

            Fringe might confuse people in this respect, because it struggled to lock down what it wanted to be. It wanted to ‘reap the rewards’ of being a procedural, while dabbling with serialized themes. Until TPTB realized that, actually, the show functioned better the other way around (although I sense they knew this all along but wanted to make the ‘hybrid’ work). They were no doubt well intentioned – they wanted to keep the show on the air and opted for this hybrid cocktail of standalone and mythology/serialization. Something they probably wanted to test out because of the general (and not necessarily accurate) consensus that serialized and mythology television was too confusing for viewing audiences.

            But the mythology/serialized aspects (in Fringe) were not strong enough – they were fascinating, but not as rewarding as they should have been because of the higher focus on the procedural elements. In truth, Fringe always a had a ‘mythalone’ narrative style, but it was a faux-mythalone because of the reasons I’ve just touched on.

            In the second-half of S2, we saw a much slicker style of mythalone. One that resonated on so many levels because these episodes were more serialized in tone. They directly addressed the overarching mythology. No open-shut trips to Molebaby Land here, these were serialized episodes that casual viewers could tune into at any point and still enjoy their socks off. Importantly, these episodes still deepened the characters, advanced the mythology, and reverberated over to future episodes. (for example, the 2.16 Cortexiphan story having a direct bearing on the season finale).

            You wont find this level of ‘relevance’ in a Snakehead or Unleashed (although the writers do clever things like the alternate Charlie arachnid situation and plant various clues and references). The difference with the mythology and mythalone episodes, in comparison to the standalone episodes, is that they have a higher degree of significance to what this show is all about.

            As you suggest, the standalone eps offer meaning and clues – but these things are part of the Fringe DNA. But the procedural approach, in my view, doesn’t marinate as well as you seem to think it does. I’m not saying you’re wrong – I don’t think anyone can claim to be 100% right. But I would say that the evidence is overwhelmingly against the ‘standalone’ argument. Just my opinion, but I’m standing by it, unlike a standalone, which..stands alone. ;)

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  2. Elaine says

    “They are also weaker episodes and as Roco stated, they’re not as engaging.”

    Do/did you see them as weaker episodes because they weren’t mythology related, or because you didn’t care for the particular plot for that episode?

    I ask because there seems to be a very thin line between not finding an episode engaging, interesting or contributing because it didn’t directly address the over arcing storyline and it simply not being an episode one liked due to the storyline in general.

    My only true issue with the first half of the season post ‘MD’ was Olivia’s lack of curiousity when it came to her abilities. That made no sense to me. They properly addressed her grief over Charlie, but not the memories she regained in the process of taking down the shapeshifter masquerading as Charlie. I know she went to Walter at the end of ‘TRNT’, confronting him about what he and Bell did to her, but don’t you have to revisit that well again after being told you’re just coming in to your drug enhanced abilities by a man she has no memory of, then propelled (through two glass windows) back from another universe? If there was a let down in the writing before the Winter break, that was it. IMO, of course.

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  3. Pwnsauce says

    “Do/did you see them as weaker episodes because they weren’t mythology related, or because you didn’t care for the particular plot for that episode? ”

    I guess it would be a combination of the two. The mythology is what drives the show, at least to me, so maybe it’s that I am drawing a comparison between the two. For instance, the shapeshifter storyline from ‘New Day’ is extremely intriguing, yet they followed it up directly with a completely unrelated topic of a molebaby. Since ‘New Day’ left us with a cliffhanger ending, one would expect that the shapeshifter storyline was going to be continued. It’s hard to not compare episodes that directly follow one another. When I watched ‘Night of Desirable Objects’, all I wanted to know was more about the shapeshifters and Olivia’s meeting with William Bell, but we got nothing about that. I can’t think of a mythology related episode that I didn’t like, though, while I can think of multiple standalones that I didn’t really enjoy too much.

    I guess my problem is that the standalone episodes just act like there is no mythology at all. It makes the Fringe team seem way too passive, like they’re just going to solve this mystery, but not pursue any other interest in it. In ‘Night of Desirable Objects’, they just pretend like there are no shapeshifters. Really, though, if that technology is from another universe, why wouldn’t they want to find out more? This is why Fringe needs to adopt the mythalones strategy.

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  4. charliefan19 says

    I think I’m somewhere in between. The stand a lones don’t bother me as much as Roco, but I’m less inclined to watch them than others… I remember when the Molebaby episode came on last year, and I was like, “Ooooh, cool! A monster of the week thing, just like last year! I love Fringe!”

    But I think now Fringe has taken such a huge step…with the AU and the coming war, blah blah blah…that the show really can’t afford to “waste its time” with as many standalones as they did in Season 2. I liked season 2, I like how pretty much everything played out, but found myself really frustrated with some eps where there was nothing mythological going on. I don’t think there’s any turning back for Fringe. fringe is bigger than Molebabies now.

    Just my two cents before I head to work. :) Have a wonderful day. Four weeks from tomorrow…yayay!!!

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  5. Elisa says

    Talking about dvd, I’d like to ask a question to everyone that actually bought first season box with this cover. –>http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/15012794/Fringe-Season-1/Product.html
    I’m really sorry for being OT, but I wasn’t able to find the right place on forum to post my question, it’s just HUGE! o_o
    I’d like to buy this box because on play.com the price is really good, but on features it says no english subs are available. I really need english subs, because I’m not a native English speaker and Fringe dialogues are not always simple to understand.
    But on Amazon the same box has english subs –>http://www.amazon.com/Fringe-Complete-Season-Anna-Torv/dp/B001C4CI8U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1282747890&sr=8-3
    Can please someone let me know if these damn english subs are actually available or not checking on his/her box’s dvds?
    Thanks so much to everyone wants to help a poor fringe fan in trouble!

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  6. SF says

    I think Fringe is at an interesting place. The stand-alone episodes are the strange and terrifying ‘events’ that showed the universes were coming together (or the barrier was breaking between them), according to our universes’ ZFT manual. If the strange, bizarre cases are a result of this, then once the universe is mended (or both or one destroyed), there won’t be a need for Fringe Division to exist.

    I know the debate here has been about whether the stand-alone episodes are as good as the myth episodes. I thought I’d point out that I think it’s moot because even if there are going to be some stand-alone episodes in S3 (and universe/PTB willing, S4 etc), there are either going to be freaky episodes that tie in somehow to the two universes, or we’re going to see cases that are one way in our world, and another version in the AU, like Charlnate with his arachnids.

    Personally, I don’t mind. Part of the thrill of Fringe for me has the been the creepy and the terrifying in the standalone episodes, which have been made the more terrifying because they were all the results of science gone mad somehow. They may not have the resonance of the myth episodes, and they may not always push the plot forward. Some are downright weird, and some get better with repeated viewings. I think that they lay the context in which we can accept the cortexiphan story better; that Walter isn’t completely crazy and is believable because we have seen other weird drugs and scientists to compare them to. I think the standalone episodes give us the ground from which we can allow the myth episodes to leap. I think that if we had just myth episodes, the story of Fringe would be told too quickly, for one, and it would be less resonant. I think the multi-level storytelling takes Fringe to a deeper level than it would be otherwise.

    Now, some of the standalones don’t work, I think that is fair to say! And I really think the myth-arc stories are the best part of Fringe. They are where I am deeply invested, where I care. I also understand what you mean, Roco, when you say that from Ep 17 onward of S2, “the difference with the mythology and mythalone episodes, in comparison to the standalone episodes, is that they have a higher degree of significance to what this show is all about.” You’re right, Roco. Absolutely. However, I still think Fringe needs the standalone episodes though, at least until the universes are saved, just to keep up with the theme of the strange incidences and patterns as the hole in the universe barrier grows larger. I don’t want to see Fringe leave this as a loose thread, like the ZFT group in our universe have been ignored in S2. We don’t need another Snakehead, but we sure could use another White Tulip, don’t you think? Or another What Lies Below? Or, The Cure?

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