Wednesday, January 23, 2013

'Fringe' series finale: A fan's review


Joshua Jackson as 'Peter Bishop'

Last Friday night one of the best TV series I have ever had the pleasure to watch ended. For those of you who do not know what 'Fringe' is: it is a series created by JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the FOX network on September 9, 2008, and concluded on January 18, 2013 after five seasons and 100 episodes. The series follows Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Peter Bishop ('Dawson's Creek's' Joshua Jackson), and Walter Bishop (John Noble), members of a FBI "Fringe Division" team based in Boston, under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses 'fringe science' and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe and alternate timelines. This series is best described as a hybrid of The X-Files, the original Star Trek series episode 'Mirror, Mirror' and The Twilight Zone.

Nina Sharp

Now moving forward I'll assume if your still reading this you have some knowledge about the series. This last season took a big jump from the original format of the series and saw the 'Fringe' team in the year 2036 following the invasion of the 'Observers' from the 27th century. They had been trapped in amber for 21 years and now they are trying to execute a plan that would reset time and end the tyranny of the evil Observers. I really enjoyed this change in the series. The Observers have always fascinated me and to see them take centre stage as the 'big bad' for the final season was awesome. The character of 'Captain Windmark' has got to be one of the best bad guys ever to have been featured on television. It also opened up the show for some very dramatic moments and great acting. The death of Etta, Nina's sacrifice, the revelation of who Donald is, Peter and Walter's final moments together...absolutely phenomenal.   

Captain Windmark

The final episode did deliver. They did a great job of wrapping up a lot of plot threads. The acting was especially great, especially Joshua Jackson and John Noble. There were several moments in the finale that literally made me cry, especially a very touching scene between Jackson and Noble where Walter is essentially saying goodbye to his son. 

I've heard some negative comments about the final episode. But I really felt it was one of the best final episodes ever made for any TV series. It satisfied me as a fan of the series.

Agent Etta Bishop

Because 'Fringe' was never a ratings phenomenon with every season produced there was always the question of whether there would be a next season. The FOX executives have been reported to be fans of the series and that is why the series was able to endure for 5 seasons. In fact it was at the 2012 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, which I attended, where they announced a 5th and final season which would be 13 episodes. That being said I am grateful they were able to wrap up the series properly. I do wish they had had more episodes for the final season, but just the fact they got to have a final season was amazing. I also got to meet series stars John Noble and Jasika Nicole at the 2012 Calgary Con. They were great and wonderful to meet, they could not have been nicer. 

Chrisloc1701 with Jasika Nicole (Astrid) and John Noble (Walter) at the 2012 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo

There were a few things I wish they had addressed:

- Leonard Nimoy: I was hoping to see 'William Bell' this season as he too was trapped in the amber that preserved the rest of the team to 2036. Also at the end of the episode if time was reset will he not be alive and well in the year 2015? 

Leonard Nimoy as 'William Bell'

- What about Olivia's sister Rachel and Rachel's daughter Ella? They played significant roles in the first 2 seasons, then they were gone and briefly mentioned. I would like to have seen them again.

Rachel Dunham

- The tulip at the end of the episode that Walter sent Peter, and Peter's reaction by looking up before the end of the episode: Does Peter remember what happened in what is now a previous timeline 2036? Does he know the sacrifice Walter made? And if the tulip is a symbol of hope does it mean that Walter may return from the future? Will Peter find a way to bring his father home? Could this be the plot line for a 'Fringe' movie....featuring Leonard Nimoy? I really hope so!! William Bell could help Peter retrieve Walter from the future, or Walter could find his way home....

Anyway the series 'Fringe was a remarkable achievement for science fiction on Television and it will be missed. 

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