In the sixth episode of the fourth season of Fringe, time begins to slip out of place and the Fringe team believes it to be Peter’s fault. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Fringe.
(Just a heads up: I’m not sure this counts as a trigger, and I want to make sure they’re used as they’re meant to be used, but I will briefly need to discuss Alzheimer’s in a personal way later in the review, so if you need to skip this, just giving you an advanced warning.)
So, this particular episode had the lowest ratings of the entire series’ run, and that terrifies me that there’s not going to be a season five, and then I hate the way the ratings system is run because it’s archaic and not at all indicative of the quality of this show or how many people are actually watching it.
REASONS FRINGE NEEDS TO STAY ON THE AIR
All Taken From Episode 4×06
- This show has managed to find a balance between story-of-the-week and overarching mythology that is pretty much unlike anything else on television right now. It’s highly serialized, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one-off stories.
- Stephen Root guest stars. That is reason enough.
- Mark Sheppard hasn’t had a guest appearance on the show yet, and no science fiction show is complete without Mark Sheppard on it.
- The actors and actresses in this show have all played multiple versions of themselves, sometimes with subtle differences between them, sometimes with gigantic variances in portrayal. The amount of talent on Fringe is exponential compared to anything else on network television right now.
- The writers are not afraid of taking their characters to increasingly uncomfortable places. In the case of Peter Bishop, “And Those We’ve Left Behind” has him facing the idea that there appear to be only two options for what’s happening to him: either he must be “corrected” in this version of the universe, or it’s the universe that must be “corrected.” By the end of the episode, he starts to realize that this entire world has been functioning without him, and while it’s not spelled out directly, I think that despair settles over him in a way because he’s seen how an entire universe can just exist without him. Yes, all of this is happening on a television show and it is goddamn beautiful.
- John Noble is on this show. Have you seen him act?
- The fandom for this show is incredible. Artistic, clever, loving, generally drama-free, and then they post shit like this: http://imalittleredtorvette.tumblr.com/post/12686575919/someone-explain-this-to-mean-cause-i-cant-what This is what Fringe fans notice in episodes, and rarely do they pick up things that don’t mean anything later. You need to watch this show because it’s still fun when the episode is long over.
- The writers routinely give us subplots, sometimes without a single main or secondary character in them, that are touching and charming, that give us insight into our own world. In this case, the story of Kate and Raymond Green, in which a husband uses his wife’s theoretical physics to build a time bubble so he can visit her four years in the past and have her complete the math needed to permanently keep that bubble open. JFC THIS SHOW.
- Walter Bishop on a swing. Sorry, your argument is invalid.
- Lincoln Lee, a character introduced in a parallel universe who has a radically different depiction in our world and wears cute-as-fuck glasses and has this incredible sense of empathy for the people around him.
- There’s a scene near the end of “And Those We’ve Left Behind” in which an underwater tunnel slowly begins to not exist, threatening to drown people trapped inside, including Lincoln. This show repeatedly gives us nightmare fuel and this is a perfect example.
- The writers are big fans of re-contextualizing things in fascinating ways. In this episode, Peter learns that Walter had visions of him, and Olivia dreamed of him before he showed up in this world. We had just assumed that Peter was doing this on purpose, but he insists he has no part in such things. So, something we’d just accepted has a new context: If Peter was not “haunting” Olivia and Walter, what was that?
- Time deplacement! It’s not secret that I love stories that fuck with the very idea of time, but this one in particular is especially bizarre. If you’re looking for plots that aren’t necessarily straight-forward or need a bit of work to decipher, Fringe is challenging to watch. At the same time, the writers are fantastic at never dropping the audience into something incoherent. Even when dealing with multiple universes, it’s always clear where we are.
- Did I mention that Fringe fans have a wonderful propensity for picking up clues and parallels and references to the past? I love this fandom. http://lovefringe.tumblr.com/post/12695912858/wrightroad-peter-yeah-i-read-that-deja-vu-is
- This show can destroy you with a single sentence. Case in point: “Well, I hope that you get back to her.” AHHHHH OH GOD BUT SHE’S RIGHT THERE. oh god this goddamn show.
- “Raymond, I love you. How you repay meâ€¦Just love me and live your life.” Destroyed forever.
- This show did not treat Alzheimer’s disease as a quirky joke or a mere pinion in the plot. My father had Alzheimer’s, and there are so many things I saw in “And Those We’ve Left Behind” that were frighteningly similar, from the vacant stares to the looks of panic when my father couldn’t exactly remember who this person was. At the same time, Raymond’s actions, while extreme, were just as familiar to me, too, especially the marked frustration with the idea of time passing. Ultimately, what made me feel good about this portrayal was that Kate was the one who got to make a choice about how she would live, even if she did have the disease.
- IS THERE A THIRD UNIVERSE. HOLY SHIT.
I know that we may soon have to get used to the idea that this might be the last season of Fringe, which is unfortunate. I am shocked that this show is not doing better in ratings because it is just so terribly wonderful. There really isn’t a single show like it on the air, and everything about it is quality. Still, we can hope, and we can put messages like this out there so that others get interested in Fringe and possibly start watching it, too.
Please don’t go away, Fringe. 🙁