Ok, I want to get this off my chest. I've been a fan of "Fringe" the television show for over a year now, and after last night's episode I feel the need to talk a bit about it.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
I first discovered "Fringe" last year via my sister who had started watching it in the middle of the second season. The rest of the family got hooked on it, and we bought the first season and watched it through. Basically, this is the show's premise: an FBI agent named Olivia Dunham contacts Peter Bishop, who is a cynic largely wanting to do his own thing but has a mysterious past, in order to get his father Walter Bishop, who has been put into St. Claire's mental institution, because the quirky scientist knows how to save her boyfriend. However, it turns out that there is a much bigger threat to the world in the form of strange scientific experiments that are harming and killing people. And so Fringe division is born. The first season focused on following a group known as ZFT that is somehow connected to many of these strange cases, a drug called Cortexiphan that Olivia was treated with as a child, and mention of a parallel universe. The second season focuses more on the parallel universe, on Peter's mysterious childhood, and a bit more on Cortexiphan. The third and current season has introduced an arc focusing on interactions between the two universes and Peter's connection to a machine that can either create or destroy.
What I loved the most about "Fringe" was particularly the first season. I loved the characters and their interactions: Olivia's determination for justice, Peter's sarcastic cynicism, Walter's off-kilter behaviors, and Astrid's long-suffering attitude towards Walter. I enjoyed the plot and its various arcs, and altogether the show looked like it was destined for great things. The second season was also good, though to me it was not as good as the first. And now, I'm not very confident in this third season.
One of the reasons is the characters. Walter used to be genuinely funny, but this season John Noble's acting seems a little more forced and Walter's behavior is not as humorous as it used to be. Peter has lot his sarcastic, cynic touch, and this season he's proven to be fairly stupid with him not recognizing the truth about the Olivia/ Fauxlivia switch; it does not help either that the love triangle between Olivia, Peter, and Fauxlivia is still going on. I sympathize with Olivia because of the switch that was made, but her character seems weaker than it previously was. And poor Astrid seems to have been pushed into the background, barely appearing in the episodes anymore.
Another reason is the general plot itself. There were plenty of imaginative, interesting stories such as Peter's heritage from the Red Universe and the Cortexiphan experiments, and they made for good arcs. However, the ones for season 3 have turned a little odd, with Peter's connection to the machine and the whole Olivia- Faulivia switch and that entire mess. And, not to mention now the pregnancy story, which is unimaginative and will probably doom the show. Besides that, the cases that the Fringe team investigates are not as interesting as they used to be, and they have been replaced with more focus on the drama.
A last reason is the loose ends and inconsistencies within the whole frame of the story. Several story lines such as the man in "The Arrival" who was looking for the beacon, the empath child in "Inner Child", and who John Scott was really working for were never explained, and there has been no further mention of them; rumor has it that some aspects of season 1 will eventually be explained, but the long delay between introducing a plot line and then explaining it is a while to wait while you introduce new plot lines. Then there are some aspects of the plot that don't make sense at all, such as the recent episode "The Firefly", which seemed like a complete waste of an episode. Some of the inconsistencies are like how Olivia crossed over in season 1 finale and ended up inside her car in the season 2 premiere or how Walter talks about the car crash where he and Peter were nearly killed and how he changes the story depending on which season it is.
I used to love "Fringe", but I'm feeling underwhelmed by recent episodes. I hope it gets better or gets cancelled before it turns off too many fans.
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