Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Twenty-four - Fringe: Season 4, Episode 12, "Timecop Physics, Minimal Effects Necessary"

The last episode of Fringe that I did for the blog was the pilot. Here, we skip a bit, settling in on the middle of the fourth season and a LOT of stuff has gone down between the two. Suffice it to say, you'd be doing yourself a great disservice not watching the series from beginning to end.

That said, the reason I'm doing it is because this episode is where I left off before completely shunning broadcast/satellite television in favor of internet streaming and DVDs. And boy is it a doozy of one, despite the fact that there's not a lot of progress concerning the major season and series arcs that Fringe has become known for.

That's not to say there aren't connections to said arcs, though, as the majority of the episode happens in a small town that has been cut off from the rest of the universe. Attempting to leave only results in a mobius strip-like occurrence where you wind up back at the other side of town, a la Pleasantville. Instead of quaint, 50's era Americana, though, this town is populated with residents gone insane and precious few survivors who are constantly in fear for their lives.

Enter Olivia, Peter, and Walter, who show up to town quite accidentally to investigate a suspicious fringe event just up the highway only to become trapped themselves. Of course, being who they are, they manage to survive the rampaging psychopaths and deduce the nature of the cross-dimensional event that is plaguing the town, finding a safe zone before the entire area is destroyed.

While not quite a bottle episode, I do like how close it comes, with the Fringe team caught and unable to escape, doing their best to help the trapped townsfolk while dealing with their own issues, particularly THIS universe's Olivia starting to manifest the memories of Peter's Olivia (say, Olivia-Prime?)... which causes a bit of confusion for Peter at the end of the episode when Newlivia fully slides into the persona and memories of Olivia-Prime.

It's all very sad and can be a little confusing (especially if you're skipping straight to this from the pilot some 90 episodes ago)... a lot of water under the bridge that the writers are trying to rectify, but they're doing a very interesting job of it, especially considering how brave and bold the concepts are that they're trying to explore as the series wears on. The Observers, multiple versions of the same person from different realities with startlingly different motivations, fantastic science fiction that is just too preposterous to believe outside of television, but also vaguely fun and convincing.

Definitely the spiritual successor of the X-Files, but much more liberal with the lengths it is willing to go to stretch the bounds of reality. People tend to give it a lot of crap because of how weird and obfuscating the previous JJ Abrams show, LOST, became downright silly, but I think Fringe is much more grounded... and yes, I realize that I'm typing this concerning a show about alternate universes and surviving huge cross-dimensional events.

I highly recommend Fringe, as mentioned above, from start to finish. It's compelling, dramatic, fantastic, romantic, and just plain fun. Check it. NOW!

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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