Get Ready: To The Fringe Finale And Beyond


I’m really excited for the season 2 finale. Personally speaking, the recent batch of episodes (and I include “Brown Betty” in that) have been satisfying and engaging. It finally feels like we have a lot more to sink our teeth’s into as we head towards, what is sure to be, a climatic end to this 2nd chapter of the show.

Below the jump are a few details on what we can expect in the finale, and where we might end up when the show returns in the fall. (it feels so good saying that).

Mild finale spoilers after the jump.

[via SciFi Wire]

Jeff Pinkner talks about where we’ll be heading in the season 2 finale, and beyond that into season 3:

“At the end of the season, I think that you’ll be [thinking], ‘Wow, now, this is a whole other world, and this is really interesting,’” Pinkner said. “Not a whole other world literally, but a whole other chapter that has been sort of talked around, but now concretely you will understand a lot more. So if we’re heading towards anything, it’s that. It really sets up a satisfying conclusion to what people have invested in this year, but also sort of opens up a whole other level of understanding that hopefully will propel us into season three and further. [There are] a lot of very exciting things that we’ve come up with that we’re really excited to tell.”

On the human aspect of our character’s journey:

“Relationships are complex and just for the very same reasons that I think that throughout the seasons, we never really want it to be easy, … that just because it’s a TV show in the United States of America, that the handsome male lead and the beautiful female lead should be together. … You have to earn those types of things, we believe,” Pinkner said. “So, when we’re playing the emotion of a betrayal like that on a level that it is, I think, that it’s all up to the human heart, which is complex.”

On Peter’s reaction:

“So Peter’s going to have a very realistic reaction to the things that he’s now aware of, and I think that that’s the first step in a journey back to some sort of common understanding of a relationship. I don’t think it’s ever going to be easy, and it should supply us with a lot of material, because it’s such an interesting dynamic. You just don’t want to just say, ‘It’s all forgiven,’ but you also want to have other flavors of the relationship, [and] not just ‘You betrayed me.’ So I think that’s where we are.”

We’ve come such a long way since Olivia came crashing through that windscreen some 19 or so episodes ago. Our patience has been tested with stand alone’s and other inconsistencies, but something changed back in the middle point of the season – the stories we’re now being told are the ones that matter, the ones worth investing in. I’ve always seen Fringe as something of a novel, and though I’m eager to jump onto the next chapter, part 2 will probably be remembered for the season where it all began to come together.

Comments

  1. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    I agree Roco, this past season has been like a good book that you just don’t want to put down. I hate to see it end but next season will be here before we know it. Some things I’d like to see resolved before S2 wraps
    - the Olivia/Newton face off. How will she respond to his challenge?
    - What is the nature of Walters deal with the Observers?
    - Astrid. Will she play a pivotal role? Is she hiding something?
    - Details behind the fates of both Elizabeths.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  2. says

    Dave, I’m with you on all of those.

    The Newton/Olivia face off (whenever it may happen) is sure to be awesome. The “now I know how weak you are” comment hasn’t been forgotten, I suspect. :)

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • jade86 says

      I don’t know if there will be a Newton/Olivia face off, but i know that in “northwest passage” we’ll see Peter vs. Newton! :D

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • Inter-dimensional Dave says

      Newton’s comment has certainly stuck with me. I wonder if Newton will use that bit of leverage to get Olivia to make the wrong move in order to prove him wrong. Olivia’s determination not to appear weak may cause her to over-react and make a sacrifice that Newton counted all along as part of his stratagem. Chess anyone?

      Like: Thumb up 0

  3. Anjali says

    I just cannot wait for the finale.. my impatience is growing! :)

    Looking forward to all the guest stars, Bell-Walter, Peter’s final choice, cliffhanger etc.

    I wish all days were Thursdays.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  4. Frobozz says

    This season has been quite a mixed bag. The first half has been really frustrating with the stand-alones, with only a few mytharc related episodes sprinkled in-between. The second half however has been excellent, and the mythalones finally hit the sweet spot. They’ve finally tuned into what made the X-Files work with those. I’m just going to ignore “Brown Betty” entirely (that’s why the “chapter select” menu was invented on my DVD player).

    That bit about a “whole new world” is interesting…could it mean we get “stuck” in the alternate reality? Or, perhaps the worlds do collide forever changing ours. Can’t wait to find out. And I sincerely hope the writers of the show steer clear of any kind of Russell T. Davies-style “gigantic reset button.”

    Questions:
    - Will we find out the truth about the mysterious Sam Weiss?
    - Will we get any closure concerning the crazy general from Fracture?
    - Bell’s cortexiphan defence…will we finally see it in action (likely, given the cast for the finale!)
    - Who’s side is Nina Sharpe REALLY on?
    - Will we find out why Newton was decapitated?
    - Will we ever find out more about ZFT, the Pattern, the manifesto?
    - Will we see the beacon again (outside of a stupid joke reference)?
    - What about the circular glass chips they were finding in the hands of anyone connected with ZFT in season 1?
    - Will alter-Charlie make an appearance? (hope so…)
    - Will, at long last, Broyles get to see his office again? After a season of feeding pigeons in the park, the dude deserves a roof over his head.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  5. jade86 says

    I hope we’ll find out more about Peter’s identity and “importance”! Who the hell is this guy??? A soldier, with a precious energy in his blood or DNA (maybe linked to cortexifan too), supposed to fight for the AU? I don’t know! This guy is becoming too much mysterious! XD

    Like: Thumb up 0

  6. Elaine says

    “Our patience has been tested with stand alone’s and other inconsistencies, but something changed back in the middle point of the season – the stories we’re now being told are the ones that matter, the ones worth investing in.”

    Oh, Roco. *shakes head*

    Everyone takes something a little different from this show than the next person, which leads to many interesting perspectives and comments. Often times, it allows us the opportunity to see things we wouldn’t otherwise. It’s one of the things I love and appreciate about Fringe. For instance, I find myself more excited to read your observations of an episode than the reviews simply because you pick up on so many things that never occurred to me. Whether it’s themes or references back to previous episodes…or just speculation on the writers intentions, I walk away with a different appreciation of the episode overall.

    That being said, I must admit, I find myself bewildered when you make comments like the one above. For someone who is obviously very invested in the story the writers have given us with the effort, care and time you put into your reviews, polls, observations, etc. each and every week…to categorize a certain portion of the narrative as being what’s worthy of investing in because those episodes are the important ones as opposed to others…it comes across as contradictory—with a wee bit of entitlement-itus/hypocrisy.

    Don’t get me wrong, I realize this is all subjective…and I’ll be the first to admit, like you, I felt there were certain aspects of the writing in the earlier episodes this season that could have been handled differently in terms of the continuity, but overall…this season has been very consistent in developing the relationships between the characters—most notably Walter, Peter and Olivia. Would we be as heartbroken along with Walter, Olivia and the longs-suffering Astrid in Peter’s disappearance if we’d had less stand-alone labeled episodes as opposed to a few more mythology dense ones? Perhaps, but the narrative hasn’t been any less engaging because the writers incorporated stories along the way that dealt with the consequences of certain decisions and morally/ethically challenged choices born out of misguided love from various characters we’ve met along the way. Why? Because those choices mirrored the very one Walter made regarding Peter. A decision, we’re discovering plays a far grander role in what’s going on than first suspected.

    The writers, IMO, have given us every reason to continue to invest in the characters above and beyond the next alt/universe, Bell, shape shifter, Massive Dynamic/duplicitous Nina Sharp appearance. This show could have very easily gone the way of Lost by losing sight pretty early on with the motivation of its characters (most of them at least) to the point you stopped caring, because they stopped acting or reacting like people do especially in the implausible situation they’re in. For four seasons now, we’ve watched that show collapse under the weight of the next superficial, loose end, ultimately not relevant, WTF, isn’t this cool, and aren’t we so clever moment. Despite being a fan who will watch to the bitter end, I realize it will take a miracle for the writers to end Lost by properly complimenting the potential it held in the first season. Time will tell if Fringe falls into the same trap, but for right now…it has clearly avoided the same mistakes by allowing the characters to continue to move the plot along rather than the other way around.

    My apologies if this comes off as criticizing…I don’t intend for it to. I truly do value your opinion and thoughts on this show we both enjoy so very much. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my thoughts on the most inexplicable hot topic, IMO, regarding Fringe…because I simply can’t get my head around it.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      Elaine — It really is nice to know that I’m not the only one who stands in support of the “stand-alone” episodes in this ongoing debate.

      Like you, I just don’t understand why some people have such a dislike for the “stand-alone” episodes. I understand that everyone has different opinions, but I can’t see why the “stand-alones” receive such harsh criticism. I don’t think they’re nearly as bad as people make them out to be. Personally, it makes sense to me that not every single case they work on is going to have a relevance or connection to the overall story. And I truly believe that the end of this season would not have the same impact and would not be as successful as it has been if not for the things that were established and set up in the beginning of the season. I think those “stand-alone” episodes had a very important role in building towards the reveal that Peter isn’t from here, in developing the relationships between the characters, and in delivering little clues and pieces of information that will be important in the end of this season. And there are so many connections to make with the themes in the early episodes of this season, and the themes we’ve seen in the last few episodes. There will always be episodes that you like better than others, no matter what show you’re watching. But that doesn’t mean the episodes you don’t like weren’t well done or weren’t significant. For example, I wasn’t really a fan of Earthling or Snakehead. But I recognize that both episodes had some very important character development and insight, and were important for preparing for future episodes.

      I’ve said it before, but I just don’t understand why so many people seem to think that going 100% mythology would solve all the “problems” in Fringe. Take Lost, for example. While I’ve never seen it, I’m sure there are episodes that people like better than others — maybe even episodes that are considered to be completely awful and useless. But Lost is pretty much as mythology centered as it gets, so that would seem to suggest that going all mythology isn’t the perfect solution. And, as wonderful as Lost is, it sounds like a lot of people got kind of frustrated with it in Season 3 or 4 because it was essentially incorporating too much mythology and getting a bit out of control. So while there is always room for improvement for Fringe, I just don’t think all mythology is the answer that some people seem to believe it is.

      I think this is one of those topics where Roco will never change his mind. From what I understand, he thinks that all of the reasons for why stand-alones are significant can still be included in episodes that are more centered on the mythology. I understand that, but I really don’t agree that it’s necessary. I think with a show like Fringe or Lost or Heroes, it’s incredibly easy for the show to get so caught up in its own mythology and clever stories and clues, that it starts to get tied up in knots, it gets redundant, and it loses sight of what’s really important and neglects to make the characters and the emotion of the characters the focus of what’s going on. I think Fringe has done an incredible job with keeping focused on what’s important, remaining accessible, providing answers little by little, and progressing at a steady pace. I think that this season as a whole has been absolutely wonderful and that all the episodes have helped to set the stage for what is sure to be an outstanding finale.

      (Oh, and to the person who mentioned that next season will be here before we know it, I sure wish I could share in that optimism, but right now, being faced with a 4 month lowatus, it sure feels like a long, long way in the future. But hopefully you’re right and September will arrive quickly!)

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • bdp says

        I agree with you both. I too am one of those people that doesn’t dismiss every standalone just because it doesn’t revolve entirely around mythology. I think that every episode of Fringe that comes out gives us something important that will be brought up again later.

        And while, of course, everybody will like some episodes more than others, it doesn’t mean that those episodes aren’t all important in some way. A big part of this show is based on relationships and the human dynamic, as Pinkner and Wyman have said several times. And while those standalones may not focus largely on the mythology, they certainly find a way to invest us more in the “odd little family unit” we’ve come to know and love.

        I also agree, and as a Lost fan I would know, that those heaps of non-stop mythology can get overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lost, but even as a die-hard I know I’ve found myself saying on more than one occasions, “what the hell is going on?”. In my opinion Fringe does a great job creating a strong mythology but not leaving you aggravated at the lack of answers and overly confusing twists and turns.

        And just as a final aside, mlj, I couldn’t agree more with your final statement. I’ve find myself flip-flopping for weeks now, I can’t wait for the season finale since I believe it’s going to be epic but at the same time I don’t want it to come because I know once it does, the fringedrawals are going to brutal.

        Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      Elaine,

      I have to say, I don’t see a problem with my comment. The only thing I would perhaps add is the word “consistent” – to read: “we’re now being told the stories that matter on a more consistent basis”.

      I’ve always given my honest opinions on the show, and honestly, it’s hasn’t been perfect – the writers know that or they wouldn’t have changed it up. There have been parts of the story that haven’t been delivered as well – or as consistently well – as they could have. I don’t believe my saying this is being in any way hypocritical, contradictory or dismissive. Indeed, if I were to suddenly turn round and say that the stand alones and other inconsistencies were ‘great’ and ‘the best thing ever’, wouldn’t that be far more contradictory? Of course, some of the episodes like ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ (credit Page 48 for that title) or ‘The Molebaby Adventures’ might go on to increase in value due to the self referential nature of the show, but that’s not exactly what we’re talking about here.

      I think I’ve been fairly consistent with my views, and I genuinely believe that the show has improved since it disbanded with the stand alones. Just like it has since it gave Astrid more to do. Just like it has since it incorporated greater continuity – not just between episodes, but between plots.

      I disagree with the notion that the stand alone path was the only way to convey the magnitude of the current story arcs. In fact, I would argue that the show would be even better had they reacted sooner. I’m not just talking mythology here, I’m talking about making the show less ‘freak of the weeky’ and more about the stories that matter – the characters and their journey.

      I find it odd that you use ‘Lost’ in such negative light, especially within the context of this debate. ‘Lost’ is the beacon which ‘Fringe’ hopes to follow. Sure, ‘Fringe’ is doing things it’s own way with its own style, but ‘Lost’ (though highly contrived in its final season) is THE genre success story of recent years. I only hope that ‘Fringe’ gets to finish it’s own story organically! I’m not saying that ‘Lost’ is perfect (although it kind of is when you think about what it has achieved), but I don’t think we (as in Fringe) should be picking battles with Big Daddy (as in Lost). Perhaps in a year or two, who knows.

      Now don’t get me wrong, during this recent batch of episodes ‘Fringe’ has started to match ‘Lost’ in terms of story, depth, philosophy, character, fan engagement, etc. But that has come during this recent batch of character driven mythology/central arc episodes. Back to back episodes of this nature is what has taken Fringe to these dizzying heights. Heights which it might well have reached sooner had the story been more emotionally engaging than it was during those eternal stand alone pursuits.

      Again, this is not to dismiss those episodes – I don’t think I’ve given many of them less than a 7/10 rating, which should convey the fact that I believe Fringe to be one of the best show’s on TV even on its worst hair day. I get the value of the stand alones, really I do. But I don’t buy the idea that they were the most effective way to tell the stories of Fringe, and I believe that the recent stretch of episodes help to validate that point.

      Now I appreciate your views and those of others who agree or disagree with me. I think it’s great that we can have these kind of debates about a TV show which the writers, producers and all involved HAVE done a great job with. If I say something that’s not totally complimentary about an aspect of the show it’s only because I know how talented these guys are and I want the best for Fringe – an intelligent story that has more potential than at times it knows. Plus, I also have a hard time buttering something up for the sake of being agreeable, but you probably know that already. :)

      So I’ll stand by my comments – I still don’t believe them to be negative. Rather they were offered in the spirit of celebration that the show is finding it’s groove.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • mlj102 says

        I agree that stand-alone episodes don’t always represent Fringe at its best, but I don’t agree that the answer to that is to go more mythology. I understand what people say that the mythology episodes are the better episodes, and for the most part I would agree with that, but I don’t think switching to all mythology would change that — there would still be episodes people love and there would still be episodes people disliked.

        I still believe that stand-alone episodes allow us to get certain development that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to see. For example, after Momentum Deferred, it was important to be able to see Olivia react to the recent events surrounding remembering her time on the other side, killing shapeshifter Charlie and learning of real Charlie’s death, and failing to prevent the shapeshifters from locating Newton. But if we’d have jumped from Momentum Deferred straight to another hardcore mythology episode, I don’t think we would have been able to see that. I think her reaction would have been largely overshadowed by whatever new developments were going on in the mythology. She would have been forced to focus on saving the world again as opposed to having some time to process everything. But Dream Logic being more of a stand-alone format allowed us to all take a step back from all the intense mythology and to see Olivia grieve and come to terms with recent events. Yes, there could have been greater continuity, like mentioning the shapeshifters and the threat they pose in some way, but I am glad they followed up that episode with a stand-alone as opposed to a full mythology episode.

        Some of my favorite episodes have been stand-alone episodes. I really love The Cure from Season 1. I thought there was some really great character development, it was an intriguing case, and the acting was wonderful. That episode is at the top of my list of favorite episodes. Yet it’s typically regarded as a wasted stand-alone. Another stand-alone that I really like is Of Human Action. Despite the fact that Tyler is quite possibly the most annoying character we’ve met so far (yes, I think he’s even worse than Rachel or Harris), it was a really great episode. For the first time, we got to see Walter (and Olivia) respond to Peter being missing and in danger. I find I often refer back to that episode regarding parallels between Walter/Peter and Dr. Carson/Tyler. It was a very enlightening episode. Yet most people dismiss it as unimportant just because it was a stand-alone.

        On the other hand, there are some mythology episodes I like less than others. For example, and I know I’m in the minority, but for some reason I didn’t love The Man from the Other Side. There were good parts to it and certainly it was a crucial episode with many big things happening, but something about it just fell a little flat for me. It didn’t bring out the same response from me that most episodes do and I wasn’t “wowed” by it. Personally, I would rank The Cure above that episode any day. Just because an episode has a lot to do with the overall story doesn’t automatically make it a “best” episode as far as I’m concerned.

        My point is that there are good and bad stand-alone episodes, as well as good and bad mythology episodes. Yes, the mythology episodes tend to be the more significant episodes that everyone loves, but I think going all mythology there would still be episodes people were disappointed with. Yes, there is room for improvement in the stand-alone episodes, but I don’t agree with the opinion that they need to simply get rid of the stand-alone episodes all together.

        I suppose what annoys me about the mythology vs. stand-alone debate is that those in favor of more mythology view having stand-alone episodes as wasted potential for Fringe. I just don’t agree with that. I really dislike the way people will automatically dismiss an episode as being “wasted” or “insignificant” based solely on the fact that it’s a stand-alone. It bothers me when we’ll get a new press release or see a new promo and people comment “It looks like another boring stand-alone. Oh well. Better luck next week.” I just don’t think that’s right. Or after an episode airs, people will say “It was a good episode, but it was just a stand-alone, so it was pointless.” Just because it doesn’t directly tie in to the other side does not make it pointless or any less enjoyable. Certainly, stand-alones have a slightly different focus than mythology episodes, but they are still important to the overall story and should not be viewed as the one thing holding Fringe back from being able to achieve greatness.

        In short, it bothers me the way people often tend to base their opinions of an episode solely on whether or not it is mythology or stand-alone episode, and I don’t agree with the way people seem to attribute all the problems in Fringe to the fact that there are stand-alone episodes. I don’t think that’s fair or accurate.

        **By way of clarification, I’m not directing this comment at anyone in particular, nor am I trying to attack anyone or change anyone’s opinions. I’m simply stating why I defend the stand-alone episodes and why I am so puzzled that many people seem to view stand-alones as the worst thing that could happen to Fringe.**

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • Elaine says

          “I suppose what annoys me about the mythology vs. stand-alone debate is that those in favor of more mythology view having stand-alone episodes as wasted potential for Fringe. I just don’t agree with that. I really dislike the way people will automatically dismiss an episode as being “wasted” or “insignificant” based solely on the fact that it’s a stand-alone. It bothers me when we’ll get a new press release or see a new promo and people comment “It looks like another boring stand-alone. Oh well. Better luck next week.” I just don’t think that’s right. Or after an episode airs, people will say “It was a good episode, but it was just a stand-alone, so it was pointless.” Just because it doesn’t directly tie in to the other side does not make it pointless or any less enjoyable. Certainly, stand-alones have a slightly different focus than mythology episodes, but they are still important to the overall story and should not be viewed as the one thing holding Fringe back from being able to achieve greatness.”

          This is essentially what I’ve been trying to say, but apparently failing at.

          That argument makes absolutely no sense to me. It screams (and I apologize in advance if I’m offending anyone) of entitlement that if the episode leans towards a mystery of the week rather than main lining into the mythological arc…then it’s a waste. Or it’s less important. I guess what I’m asking is when did we become so impatient that we’re now incabable of allowing a story to unfold with its grace notes, and it’s heavier beats without imposing specific demands on it?

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • says

            Elaine,

            “Entitlement”?

            IMO, it’s really not about that. As far as I can see we all want Fringe to do well – and we each have an idea or ten on how Fringe might best succeed.

            Surely, it’s opinion on entertainment. Not entitlement.

            Like: Thumb up 0

        • says

          mlj,

          Hmm. I don’t think anyone is suggesting “going all mythology” – although I can certainly understand increasing the mythology quota over an entire season. Personally, I’m saying that the mythology/central arc episodes are more important and essentially ‘better’ than the stand alone variety that the show preferred to deliver prior to the last 7 or so episodes.

          I don’t think that having 4 or 5 stand alone episodes back to back helps the show one bit. The fact that the creators seem to have changed the format by introducing more mythology along with the ‘mythalone’ compromise seems to reflect that they realised something had to change.

          You say that we got a chance to see Olivia dealing with the Evil Charlie (etc) fallout thanks to the stand alone episodes. But, I would completely disagree. I don’t think we got nearly enough character development or insight into what Olivia must (should) have been going through. Mythology and central arc episodes are – in my opinion – far more insightful in terms of telling us what is going on inside of the characters heads. Just look at “Jacksonville”, or “Peter”, or “Tulip”. “Snakehead”, by comparison, told me less about Walter’s state of mind than any of those episodes.

          I can’t speak for everyone, but I should clarify that whenever I’ve asked for more “mythology”, I don’t mean that it has to be dense mythology all of the time. :) For me, mythology/character development and central arc go hand in hand as far as the best episodes of Fringe is concerned.

          I just feel that very few of the stand alone episodes are as good as Fringe’s mythology/central arc episodes, and I think that’s another important aspect, in my view. We all want Fringe to churn out the best material possible – in this TV climate you can’t mess around with less than engaging stories or the network will bring the axe down. Fringe, in my opinion, just doesn’t suit a CSI type format – the most buzz, discussion and excitement comes from the episodes like the past 7 we have just experienced.

          Anyway, that’s my view. :) As Elaine said, this is all subjective. I would never claim to be ‘right’ – I’m just trying to explain my opinion because I was asked the question. Truth is, we’ll probably never agree, but there’s nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned.

          Like: Thumb up 0

      • Page 48 says

        “Back to back episodes of this nature is what has taken Fringe to these dizzying heights”…That’s the whole argument won right there. You could string 22 “Worminator”-type episodes back to back and all you’d have left for an audience is the family and pets (okay, maybe just the pets) of the cast and crew.

        As far as those who think “Lost” is the show that got it all wrong, I think it’s clear that “Lost”, until proven otherwise, is in a position to be remembered as a series that could eat “Fringe” for lunch (subject to change going forward, of course). You know you’re the big dog on the street when every new series wants to be the next ‘you’. I can’t think of ANY precedent for a show getting a captioned version of it’s previous episode as its own lead-in. And how many shows get to determine their own end date? ABC treats that thing and promotes it like the stud that it is, and for all the flack that “Lost” receives from the stand-alone apologizers for being heavy on the mythology, I doubt that Bad Robot would burn their bras in protest if “Fringe” was to attain a similar big dog status over at FOX.

        “Fringe” will know it’s arrived when every new series wants to be the next “Fringe”. For now, it’s still the upstart, and “Lost”, as you say, Roco, is the beacon that it needs to follow. I don’t believe that reeling off a high percentage of stand-alone episodes will ever give “Fringe” the traction it needs to achieve such a lofty status.

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • Elaine says

          Nor will mythology heavy episodes week in and week out. Any story work its salt needs space to breath and flow naturally so that it can appeal to the audience intellectually, but also impact the audience emotionally. There’s a balance to be maintained. I’m just as engaged as the next person to find out who the Secretary is, or who and what Newton is. Why Bell is over in the alt/verse. Nina Sharps and MD’s true motivations. I’m curious to see Olivia’s (as well as other Cortexiphan treated children) abilities in actions. I can’t wait to find out exactly what makes Peter so unique. However, if discovering all those things were all the show provided…with no real emotional context…or nothing to anchor why those discoveries should get me to thinking or questioning how, when, why and what impact it will have going foward…while at the same time caring about the characters involved…then that’s a story I see no reason to really invest in.

          Like: Thumb up 0

        • says

          Page – I couldn’t have put it better myself. You hit the nail on the head here:

          “I don’t believe that reeling off a high percentage of stand-alone episodes will ever give “Fringe” the traction it needs to achieve such a lofty status.”

          That word – “traction”. If Fringe can continue in its recent vein then I think it could really go to some special places on a more regular basis. Traction, momentum and consistency are needed.

          Like: Thumb up 0

  7. says

    I’m really confused by this stand-alone love. They are terrible because they are not remotely good episodes, and the writers are capable of so much better. I didn’t come out of The Man From the Other Side feeling like I just wasted an hour of my life, but I felt that way about the spaceman episode. The stand-alones are just not engaging or entertaining the way that mythology episodes are. They don’t care if you pay attention or not.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      “The stand-alones are just not engaging or entertaining the way that mythology episodes are. They don’t care if you pay attention or not.”

      Great point, almost forgot about that one. Sure, Fringe stand alones are still laden with clues and references, but those episodes could be skipped without having a bearing on our understanding of the current arc. That tells me they matter less than the central storyline/myth-arc instalments.

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • Elaine says

      Don’t you think that’s a bit reductive to say that let’s say, “Night of Desirable Objects” since that’s an episode often referred to as stand-alone and not as liked in this debate…that the writers don’t care if we pay attention to it as opposed to say an episode like, ‘Peter’? That’s like saying the writers aren’t trying to be entertaining or interested in compiling a good story because it doesn’t really relate to the over arching mythology. If that’s the measure of what makes a good, entertaining episode then we should place ‘August’ or ‘Snakehead’ on that list, because neither really had much to do with the over-arcing mythology, despite the fact that they were episodes critics and fans by and large enjoyed immensely.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • says

        I think this is directed at Rachel, but just in case, here’s my take on this.

        I’m not saying that the ‘producers/writers’ don’t care if we pay attention to stand alones – I think it’s clear that Pinkner, Wyman and Co. are extremely passionate about the show and have a level of intent that has to be respected regardless of our thoughts on the overall stand alone situation. What I’m saying is that ‘episodes’ like ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ matter less to the overarching story than the central arc episodes and they don’t contribute to the story as much as they could. I think it’s clear that episodes like ‘Puff’ are designed, largely, for the casual viewers – so as not to confuzzle them with the mythology and story development. Therefore, by design, they matter less overall because they don’t develop the stories – the ones that matter, as much as they should.

        Personally I didn’t rate “Snakehead” nearly as highly as I did “August”, and I thought “August” had much more to do with the overarching plot than “Snakehead”, so I’m not sure how to pick the bones out of that one in relation to your comparison. :)

        I’ll just end by saying that I don’t think there’s any coincidence that the best and most successful episodes of Fringe are by far and away the ones that focus on the mythology and the central arc.

        Like: Thumb up 0

      • says

        I think the mistake here, is in assuming all shows are infallible. Every series has its highs and its lows, and where Fringe shines is in its mythology episodes. The others, well… I could take ‘em or leave ‘em.

        Like: Thumb up 0

  8. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    But overall though, what we consider “standalone” episodes are really minor events that are still related to the Pattern, aren’t they? I wouldn’t expect Fringe Division to be investigating standalone cases much, ala X-Files, that AREN’T related to the Pattern in some way because the Division’s sole purpose of existing is to investigate Pattern-related events. And in the beginning, of course they would be seen as standalone eps. So I believe that a progression to mostly myth episodes is only going to be natural.

    I mean just look at everyone’s reaction to Brown Betty, it is pretty much a ‘standalone’ episode and everyone was hating on it before it even aired. And precisely because it wasn’t a myth-related episode.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  9. Elaine says

    “Therefore, by design, they matter less overall because they don’t develop the stories – the ones that matter, as much as they should.”

    But this suggests, IMO, that there’s only one real “story” that’s being developed or that actually matters, and I think the writers have gone out of their way to make it abdundantly clear that those little moments…such as Peter’s story of wanting to go fishing with his often unavailable father as a boy. Or Peter telling Walter he was proud of him for sticking up for a group of people disfigured and shamed behind scientific/military exploits. Or the various occasions Walter’s guilt floated across his face at a comment Peter made that hit far too close to home. Or his cryptic replys when Peter was so anxious to find answers that directly tied to the secret Walter was keeping. All those little moments, woven throughout nearly every episode this season has contributed to the overall story–and are just as vital to the narrative that continues to unfold as those that are considered more central to the mythology.

    Again, it’s all a matter of perspective as I mentioned earlier, and (in reply to your reply to my initial post) I have no ambitions of changing your mind…nor did I mean to belittle your opinions. As I said, I value them a lot. You have been consistent in your feelings about the show and what you consider episodes of greater quality, and I completely agree with several of your points on there being better ways the writers could have used in fowarding the characters stories as well as the plot along. No show, no matter how well written, acted, directed it is is perfect. However, I contend that what we did get wasn’t terrible, bad or not good simply because they incorporated more obscure cases than what we saw in S1. The different tone of some of the earlier episodes did not and never will automatically equate to them bad or poorly written. Nearly all, with the exception of ‘Dream Logic’, IMO, involved some sort of personal tragedy–consequences others suffered behind poor choices made by someone else. That’s a theme that’s ran throughout the entires series.

    And yes, I feel ‘Lost’ is a perfect comparison…just as ‘X-Files’ is when you consider that a story either goes on too long, or becomes so convoluted…it begins to fold in on itself. As you said, the contrivance of this season of Lost (heck, the past three seasons on several storylines) is the reason I feel that while it is certainly a phenomenon in it’s own right, it hasn’t, and likely won’t live up to its initial potential. Narratively speaking. It’s too bad really, because with the talent of the original cast and those who came along throughout the seasons…there was nothing that should have prevented the writers from continuing to enrich the characters stories and their relationships with one another every season. Sadly, they allowed the plot to dictate the pace rather than character development progress the story along. That being said, I hope the beacon Fringe will choose to follow (again, narratively speaking) will be ‘Battlestar Galactica’. If you haven’t seen it…then I advise you do…and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

    I’m sure we’ll revisit this subject again, later rather than sooner–at least I hope so. ;-) In the meanwhile…I look foward to us all enjoying whatever the writers have in store in the final three episodes for the season.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  10. LMH says

    I know this is VERY off topic and I’m sorry to distract, but I wanted to share this and don’t know where else to do so.

    I am watching the History Channel show “The Universe” right now and it’s an episode on Parallel Universes/Multiverse. It is much better than most of the ones on parallel u’s I’ve seen recently. It summarizes the several popular theories of the nature of the multiverse, and I think Fringe fans who also like theoretical physics would really enjoy it.

    Titled “Parallel Universes” it is reairing next on Wed, May 5th 2:00am EST (dvr time I know)
    http://www.history.com/shows/the-universe/episodes/season-3#slide-

    I’m sure they will play it again and it will be listed when the schedule expands.
    Or those of you who can might download it. Unfortunately, Hulu only has a few episodes from season one and this is in season 3.

    There is also a program on the Science Channel called “Sci Fi Science” and they created a theoretical model to travel between alternate universes. It was awesome. I meant to post it here but forgot.

    http://science.discovery.com/videos/sci-fi-science-videos/ (scroll down for clip of that one)

    This one was really amazing as he went through all of the immense problems inherent in attempting to travel to a parallel world. It was absolutely fascinating, though I’m glad Walter simplified it lol.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  11. says

    Roco — “I find it odd that you use ‘Lost’ in such negative light, especially within the context of this debate. ‘Lost’ is the beacon which ‘Fringe’ hopes to follow. Sure, ‘Fringe’ is doing things it’s own way with its own style, but ‘Lost’ (though highly contrived in its final season) is THE genre success story of recent years. I only hope that ‘Fringe’ gets to finish it’s own story organically! I’m not saying that ‘Lost’ is perfect (although it kind of is when you think about what it has achieved), but I don’t think we (as in Fringe) should be picking battles with Big Daddy (as in Lost). Perhaps in a year or two, who knows.”

    Roco, I agree with Elaine. “Lost” lost me b/c of it’s “convulated” myth, or rather throwing off the myth to go in new directions that didn’t really make sense in what the overall “mythos” of the story started out to be.

    Case in point — they took Walter “away” because in reality he grew. But, instead of bringing him back, they just left him written out of the show. The polar bears and other things related to Walter’s comics just went out too.

    The one thing that caused so much mystery — the bunker that had a whole living facility in it — because you had to have two people, originally, to push this button every 108 minutes. Also, when this button had a “hiccup” it displayed Egyptian hieroglyphs. But, just like that, we learned the cause of the crash in a throw-away piece and the bunker blowing up. Nothing more was ever made of it.

    Oh sure, they went the way that they did b/c of Benjamin Linus’ character, which I thought was a great addition, but they moved on like the bunker was no big deal.

    So, you had two major plot points that came to nothing, absolutely nothing.

    “Fringe” had to put episodes in that weren’t “mythology-laden” because Fox didn’t trust J.J. Abrams beyond a certain point. That’s the fact.

    Like: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>