F is for Fabulous “Fringe” May 21, 2010Posted by Skippy in Popular Culture, Science Ficton.
The idiots over on “V” should be ashamed of themselves. They have a wonderful premise and have squandered it. However, the writers and actors of “Fringe” have taken the ball and run with it. When Fringe premiered, I pretty much wrote it off as an “X-Files” ripoff. I at first found Walter irritating and Olivia boring. I was an idiot.
Anyway, this show has really taken the concept of parallel universes (and our alternates) and turned it into a very compelling story arc. Plus, the season finale left me with a feeling I’ve not felt since…
If you haven’t seen the season finale of Fringe, then get thee to Hulu now! Oh, and don’t read the rest of this blog entry, because spoilers are below!
Ok, ready? All righty then.
In the previous episodes, Peter found out that Walter had taken him from an alternate reality and brought him to this reality. While that action saved his life (both Peters had some kind of fatal illness), Peter got very, very angry with Walter. However, the Walter from the alternate universe (Walternate) came over to this side and took Peter back.
Walternate is not like our Walter. While our Walter is somewhat absentminded and the very picture of the “mad scientist,” Walternate is cold. Calculating. Evil. John Noble deserves an Emmy for his acting in this show.
In fact, the show deserves an Emmy for world building. I loved how the episodes that have dealt with Alt-Earth have shown just how different our universes are. As a sci-fi geek, I have a special place in my geeky heart for seeing alternate worlds. When I was a kid, the Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror” blew my little geeky mind. An Empire instead of a Federation? An I.S.S. Enterprise instead of a U.S.S. Enterprise? Spock with a beard? Anyway, Fringe did some Alt-Earth world building that just blew my mind. First, Alt-NYC had the Twin Towers. They’d never fallen. But the rest of the NYC skyline is even grander–a Grand Hotel stands proud, as does a building that looks just like the Transamerica Pyramid. Instead of cash and debit cards, everyone carries a “Show Me” card that has some kind of debit chip embedded in it. There is still cash money–MLK, Jr. is on the twenty dollar bill. Walternate is the Secretary of Defense…and is housed at Liberty Island (oh, and the Statue of Liberty is its original copper color). And look at this map of the United States!
When Peter was shown his new apartment, there was an Easter egg that made my geeky little heart sing:
Fig. 1: OMG! Alternate universe DC Comics!!
I was so jonesing for a closer look at those covers. Newsarama was kind enough to upload the AltDC Comics covers. You know what? I want DC to go ahead and produce a series of Fringe-verse DC comics.
Anyway, our Walter and Olivia must go to the Altverse to get Peter back, because Walternate wants to use Peter to power some sort of universe-destroying device. Along the way, they get help from William Bell (Leonard Nimoy). There is a tense, but emotional scene between the two Olivias. Besides the kick-ass fight scene, I loved the subtle yet powerful differences between them. Our Olivia is rather cold, reserved. AltOlivia seems quite outgoing–heck, she’s married. While AltOlivia’s sister died in childbirth, Our Olivia’s mother is dead, but her sister and niece are living.
This being a season finale, I was wondering what kind of cliffhanger we’d be left with. Well, children, let me tell you. In short, there was a serious switcharoo. Our Olivia is stuck in the AltEarth…and is imprisoned by Walternate. AltOlivia is here, posing as Our Olivia. Holy fuckballs.
Bring on Season Three!