Remote Hoppin: A look at “Fringe”…
Well, it arrived. And it was interesting. But, is it a hit show or a one season and out? Well, J.J. Abrams has created an original show that has shades of X-Files, CSI and even that other show, Alias but with so many other diverse steps it has some of those qualities but is not hindered by them. Once again, a strong female lead sets the tone and Anna Torv delivers as Agent Olivia Dunham. Fringe opens with a frightening premise, especially in a post 9-11 world: a plane which has a diseased passenger who is rapidly infecting the passengers and crew. And we’re talking the never coming back variety disease complete with vomitting and melting flesh. The pilot hits a special auto-pilot button that has the ability to take-off and land the plane picture perfect. Too bad everyone is dead on the flight to appreciate it.
Next up are two people, our heroine and Agent John Scott portrayed by Mark Valley. The both get a call on seperate phones and off in seperate cars they go to the same destination. Mystery two hits because a van pulls up to the gate of the airport and wouldn’t you know it’s diseased guy from the airplane! Hey, how did he get here?
Continues after the jump…
Serious upgrade alert!! The incredible Lance Reddick shows up as Special Agent in Charge Phillip Broyles and after letting everyone know he’s the man, sets Scott and Dunham’s leader, Agent Charlie Francis and Agent Scott to check the plane. When Dunham protests she should be included and starts to run down her resume, Broyles tells her “I know exactly who you are.” with a growl and the audience is clued that these two have history. She introduces herself to Broyles as the Interoffice Liason (which sparks Broyles to call her “Liason” throughout the show.
After some more gruesome images from the plane, Broyles and his team set up in Boston at the Federal Building. They are getting a ton of crank calls and Charlie gets one from a guy seeing two suspicious Middle Eastern men who hand off a suitcase to a white man at a storage facility. Broyles tells Liason to check it out. Agent Scott goes with Olivia. There you find out it’s more than an occassional booty call between the two agents and it’s the love that Olivia has for John that drives her for the rest of the episode.
Once again diseased guy is there and Agent Scott gives chase. DG blows up the facility and Scott is caught in the blast while Dunkham catches the residual but was far enough away that she soon wakes up in the hospital. Agent Scott, not so lucky. He’s in an induced coma because he now has transparent skin and is not slated to live much longer. With this, Olivia does what she does best – investigate. She keeps coming up with the name Dr. Walter Bishop, a renouned scientist who specialized in tissue damage. Just one more problem – Dr. Bishop has been institutionalized in St. Claire’s Mental Hospital for 17 years and no one has access to him but immediate family. Dr. Bishop has a son, Peter, who has an IQ of 190 (a couple of steps above genius), wants nothing to do with daddy and is currently hiding out from a huge gambling debt in, of all places, Iraq. Olivia goes to get him and she basically has to threaten him to return to the states to help her get access to daddy dearest.
Joshua Jackson, most known for his role as “Pacey” in Dawson’s Creek, is perfect as Peter Bishop. A smart ass with an attitude and the genius to match, he brings the voice of reason (and probably the audience) to the show. He explains he really had no idea what Daddy did, so Olivia clues him in. Walter Bishop was working on what is named Fringe science: mind control, astral projection, teleportation, genetic mutation, reanimation and invisibility. Of course, Peter is slightly stunned and now he is more adamant about how he truly doesn’t want to see this man.
Olivia finally gets access to Walter via Peter and his first words are “I knew someone would come eventually.”
That’s it for spoilers. I’m not going to give away the rest. Lets just say science plays a major role in this show and there are many standing around and talking alot of scientific jargon intermixed with some action. Of course there is a major betrayal and we meet the big bad in Blair Brown who represents the company called Massive Dynamic who has their hands in everything that’s going on. You’ll find that Broyles is more tuned in than anyone else and there is a reason he picked Olivia Dunham. There is one other show J.J. Abrams has had a major hand in – a little show called “LOST” and many of the same elements from that show pop up in Fringe. While not nearly as breakneck as LOST can be, Fringe has it’s moments. It’s alot darker, slower and in many ways, far more terrorfying than LOST is. This could be LOST and X-Files little brother, carrying on the tradition of mysteries into the paranormal.
It’s the type of show that you have to sit down and actually watch, maybe even rewind and watch again. You will miss some things in the first viewing and you will catch something new. In that vein, it’s very much like LOST. But I while I hope it will catch fire, if some answeres aren’t forthcoming soon, I can see the audience drifting away. Fringe also is one of the more smarter shows on television today and hopefully will find a big enough audience that we will be following Dunham and her crew for quite some time.