On the machines and continuances in Fringe

Posted by CB Droege

I really do miss Fringe’s weekly episodes. Don’t get me wrong, the current storyline is very interesting.

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing where they go with this end-of-season cliff-hanger when season four starts up in the fall, but I also sometimes long for the time when each show had some discrete elements.

At one point, it seems so long ago now, the Fringe team would get called out to some crazy event, which at first seems unexplainable and is revealed through the investigations of the episode to have a perfectly reasonable explanation in the realms of fringe science, often stemming from experiments Walter once conducted, in his pre-mental ward days.

This most recent season, however, has seen very little of this. The conflict between the worlds has taken greater priority over the investigation of individual events - although those few episodes in the middle of the season, in which our Olivia was investigating fringe events in the other universe, were a nice throw-back.

I was hoping that the end of this season would create a certain ‘return to normalcy’ in the plot, so that next season we’d be able to get back to the heart of the show: the real speculative science stuff.

Instead, the conclusion of the season actually seems to have pulled us further into a yet stranger plot, which looks to make that return even less likely than it already was. This new situation in which Peter finds himself must be contended with, and any kind of investigating is falling by the wayside.

Of course, I understand that this is the natural progression for any paranormal investigation program. It happened to X-Files, it happened (really quickly) to 4400, it happened to Supernatural, it’s currently happening to Fringe, and someday (if it lasts) it will happen to Warehouse 13.

Eventually, I suppose the writers get tired of the monster-a-week episodes, and have more fun concentrating on the myth-arc. It’s fine and dandy, I suppose, and most of the time (not in the case of 4400, for example) it still makes for an interesting show if the premise was good to begin with, but it would be nice to see a show eventually stick to their format, and just give me a new sci-fi mystery each week without the myth arc. Probably a pipe-dream.

I digress. 

The last few episodes of Fringe this season were exceptional, and I’m glad, so very glad, that they didn’t overuse the baby drama. I was really worried that they were going to somehow reveal the baby to Peter, and he was going to have to renew his struggle to choose between the Olivias because of it.

When they introduced the pregnancy, I thought that was where they were going, and it made me want to give the rest of the season a miss. I was happily wrong.