Wow, they sure killed off David Robert Jones quickly! Felt pretty darn anti-climactic. I did not like that Jones' plan for killing Peter was to what him with a pole. Hey, DRJ, ever hear of just busting a cap in his head? What about infecting Peter with one of the many deadly nanobots or viruses you have released over the years? That felt like bad storytelling.
And does anyone know why half of Jones' face turned to dust?
Whatever... all that really matters is that Leonard Nimoy is back! I thought he had 100% retired from acting but here he is! And it is clear he will be around for more. That was not a one-shot deal! Awesome!!! William Bell the bad guy works for me!
One more thing-- when Walter mad the lemon cake with Cortexiphan in it and we then saw the cake "heal itself" from the wound of being cut in half, I was clear at what was being foreshadowed. Olivia is going to die in the season finale -- she will be chopped in half or something like that -- but she will then come back to life when the Cotexiphan heals itself. No question that is going to happen if you ask me.
-Jason "I wonder if next week's season finale will bring us the start of the Observer war?" Evans
Speculating, I thought the reason only half of Jones's face/body turned to dust was that in the original Fringeverse, he was cut in half trying to get to the.other side. Let's see if that's right, or I'm thinking a lot deeper than the writers.
-Jason "I just wanna know how much Leonard Nimoy is going to do going forward" Evans
A couple cool videos to whet your appetite ahead of the season-finale.
First, here is a "trailer" for the finale. It has lots of stuff we have seen earlier this season, but also has some new stuff... including William Bell and Walter looking at dinosaurs! Bell really is building a whole new universe.
-Jason "have to post videos in separate posts. Sorry" Evans
Here is the next video...
Part 1 of a sit down interview with Leonary Nimoy and John Noble, talking about Bell vs. Bishop. If nothing else, Noble's accent is interesting to hear.
-Jason "the chance to see Leonary Nimoy in a juicy role... we won't get much more of this ever again!" Evans
And here is part 2...
-Jason "noting more to add at this point... except to note that folks who do not watch Fringe are really missing something" Evans
Anyone still watching Fringe? Into the last season now... Not a huge fan, to be honest. I like the idea of a bit of sci fi in the world... But this season is pure sci fi in a futuristic world. To me it is just not as interesting. Plus, there are now two very attractive blondes to distract me, which makes focusing even harder!
So yeah... So far, eh. Jason, you still watching?
Is Fringe great TV? Probably not. But, it is a lot of fun and is a show that refuses to talk down to its audience. The acting and writing have always been strong and it revels in telling quirky stories. The fact that the entire show has been transported 21 years into the future for this final season makes it almost like its own 13-episode mini-series (14 episodes, if you count the episode near the end of last season that introduced us to the future world that is run by the Observers).
I am watching and enjoying it. I am so thrilled that Fox is allowing the show to go out on its own terms. They really showed faith in it despite poor ratings. I am pleased some network executives were willing to say, "ratings be damned!" in the face of quality programming that appealed to a small, core audience.
-Jason "Etta does look freakishly like Olivia, doesn't she?" Evans
This point can hardly be over-emphasized. I'll give pretty much any science-fiction show a shot. So, I'm still waiting for that alien fleet in V, the next Flash Forward, whatever happens next in Terra Nova.
Not saying any of these shows were The West Wing. But whatever audience they had was led to believe there would be a logical ending and then were left out to dry.
So, at least Fringe has the chance to nail it all down.
In some cases, it doesn't really matter. Comedies don't really need an ongoing story that much -- they just need to make us laugh. Soap opera dramas are designed to continually put characters in desperate situations, but resolving one set of nightmares so we can go on to the next is a part of the story. Cop-driven procedurals are generally only about solving each week's crime -- missing one week often has no impact on your viewing the next week.
But sci-fi, by its nature, is generally built around the fantastic and figuring out what is going on. In that regard, it is a very poor medium for television. Sure, some sci-fi works if it goes in the procedural kind of way -- for example a show like Star Trek where each episode is a mission and few episodes tie into the next. But the more complex the sci-fi story -- like on Lost, Fringe, Revolution, Heroes, Jericho, The Event, Terra Nova, and many others -- the tougher it is to make it work on TV. The audience craves answers and understanding -- but giving it to them removes a key element that drives the story forward.
What's more, even when a show is struggling, there is rarely an opportunity for the writers and producers to give us the closure we want. They dare not resolve their story in the hope the show will be picked up for another season. In some ways, Heroes got it right as they would tell one arc over the course of a season or a half-season and then launch a brand new one -- generally with the same characters involved. But, we saw the peril in this as it allowed the audience to bail on the show once they got the resolution they wanted. Heroes was unable to sustain the momentum of its first season and did not last long as a result.
Lost got lucky in that it was able to define an end date several seasons in advance. I was certain that would give the show the time and incentive to give us a satisfying ending. Sadly, though Lost was timed perfectly, the show's writers and producers had no idea what the answers were to the questions they raised along the way. As a result, though they got a planned ending, it was one that failed to answer much of the mystery of the show and seemed dishonest to viewers who had poured over the first few seasons trying to figure out what was going on.
Most of the other shows I mentioned simply suffered the fate of cancellation not giving them time to finish their story. I often say that I root for mystery shows to get good enough ratings to keep them on the air long enough to tell a story but poor enough ratings so everyone knows they will not get picked up, allowing the show to end gracefully. Journeyman was able to do this a few years ago, and it remains one of my favorite sci-fi shows on TV of the past decade.
Bringing this back to Fringe, I want to be clear that Fringe has been just as intellectually dishonest as many of the other sci-fi that hooks us and leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth at the end. I am clear that the Fringe producers had no idea that the show would go where it is now when they were making season one -- or season two or three for that matter. Heck, I suspect they had no idea they would get a season five and had just planned to end things the way they did at the end of season four. Then, they found out there would be a season five and they were able to insert that one episode toward the end of season four that gave us a taste of where we are now (plus they inserted a scene at the end of the season finale with September talking to Walker saying "They are coming."). I have very high hopes for this season because the writers absolutely know they are wrapping things up in these 13 episodes. They have had the entire summer to plan out the story. I think it gives them the kind of freedom you almost NEVER SEE on network TV and opens up so many possibilities. They can do whatever they want -- even kill off main characters. I am really looking forward to it!
The nice part is, I am not sure you need very much background on the show to understand what is going on right now. If you are a sci-fi fan who has not watched Fringe over the years, you can probably pick it up fairly quickly this final season. If you do, you may be in for a treat.
-Jason "I am betting they get Leonard Nimoy back for some episodes... but what are they going to do with his missing hand?!?!" Evans