Series Review

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Series Review

Postby rtterry3225 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:09 am

Fringe: A study of the effects of “love” as a universal force.


First I’d like to thank FOX Television, and Warner Bros. for allowing a show like this to flourish in the face of adversity. It is the true testament of the force of “love” over the force of reality.

I’d also like to thank JJ Abrams, Bob Orci, and Bryan Burk for their vision. To that I’d add a special thanks to Jeff Pinkner, and especially Joel Wyman for their follow-through.

I want to commend the wonderful cast for their truly efficient understanding of the characters they portrayed, and the crew for their utterly exquisite execution of the task of getting it all together for our enjoyment.

I also want to thank all of you, me fellow Fringies for the countless hours of extra-curricular enjoyment that this forum has provided. A special thanks to Dark UFO for creating this Fringe Flashsideways for all of us to come together to reflect on the show, and to be able to “move-on” in a way now that it is all over. I have a true love for this place, and all of you people who contribute to its awesomeness.


Now for my thoughts on the show as a whole:

“A Short Story about Love”

This show has proven that at its very core it is a love story. It is a family story. The love between a father and his son, that transcends universal barriers. The love of a man and his partner that holds no bounds in a universe where timelines have been rewritten. The love of a group of people tasked with the secret job of the salvation of the world in more ways than one. The love shared with and between people and their counterparts from another universe. The love imparted to beings that never should have been able to love. This is first a show about love more than anything else.

“…Sent here to Observe our Beginnings”

This show was also a statement to the old theory of quantum physics called “The Observer Effect” that states; The act of Observing a process will in and of itself result in a fundamental change of that process, thus resulting in unforeseeable consequences to the natural order of the process. By the Observers actually time-traveling to Observe us, it made changes in the probability of their possible future even actually existing anymore. This began the process of adjustment to the timeline that would result in love bonds being formed that would forever change the course of their history.


“Be a better man than your father.”

Another core theme running throughout this show was the father-child dynamic. This would reflect in Walter trying to out-do his own father, which would lead to his hubris. This hubris would be nurtured by William Bell, a man that has an agenda to become a living god. Through the goading of William Bell, and Walter’s own Hubris, Walter would eventually break the membrane between the universes to steal a son he had lost due to his own limitations. This son would grow up to be the key piece of a plan to bring about destruction. But it was the love imparted to another man, that would undo all of this. A strange man from a possible future would intervene on behalf of this man Walter. This strange man would set up circumstances that would eventually lead to Peter being brought back to Walter at a time when Walter most desperately needed his son. September would be moved by the love of Walter for his Alternate son. This would lead him to adapt feelings for his own progeny. This progeny would become important to him in much the same way that Peter was important to Walter. This Progeny would go on to be a better man than his father. This Progeny would in turn be the key to love conquering all.

“Subject 13″

I cannot write a final review on this show without including who is possibly the most tragic, and yet beautiful part of the show. Olivia Dunham, was thrown into tragedy at a very young age. After her father died, her mother remarried an abusive man, who signed her up for drug trials at the young age of 4. This very thing would lead her life path into a world of hurt and disappointment, and then eventually acceptance, and contentment. This woman would be the key to keeping our world grounded in the midst of the Bishop paradox.


“To sacrifice your Bishop”

Even though the show began with Olivia it turns out the show was really about a boy who would get displaced from his own environment, and become the crux of universe changing events. This boy would grow up as a rouge and scally-wag. Yet he would end up a great father, son, and protector. There isn't a thing this guy wouldn't do for his family to survive. Even if it meant ceasing to exist. I believe that it wan’t only Walter in whom September was impressed, but it was the selflessness of this displace boy, that impressed him the most. This would lead September to rethink the decision to erase this boy from the timeline, which would end up a crucial decision in the future when it came time for His son Michael to be protected. Peter though, as much as he went through, wasn't the only Bishop to be sacrificed. In the end it was Walter’s decision to become a living sacrifice, and to ultimately sacrifice his final years with his most special displaced boy Peter, that would ensure humanity would be able to continue to have a future.

“The Future? Whose future?”

We learned in the course of this show that the future is what you make it. Although we cannot rewrite timelines, or cross universes to do it we can adjust our own presents to shape a future that we would be proud of. Fringe gave us this lesson, but it went to huge lengths to show us what the future might look like if we don’t take hold of our present.

It was said that there are many possible futures all existing out there some where. Which one will physically come to pass is up to us in the here and now.

It was one of these possible futures that the show’s final enemy came from. The Observers would prove to be almost too much for us as humanity to handle. These strange men from a possible future were effectively wiping out our existence one era at a time. Many fans of this show would be forever perplexed about the nature of these villains. Many would want to know exactly how they seemed to continually exist despite their meddling with time-travel and even affecting change in their own pre-history. This would not be the first time I have explained this but I believe it shall be the last time.

September told Peter that He (Observer) is us (human) from one of countless possible futures (these exist in the fourth dimensional state of time known as the eternal present). HE went on to say that he has the unique ability to travel inside, and outside of time (in and out of the third and fourth dimensions). This ability is granted through the use of the tech in his brain. This tech allows him to travel from a future that isn't physically existing in the 3rd dimension yet, into our own existing physical era. This tech coupled with the high level of intellect also gives them the ability to run futures. When they run futures, they are accessing the fourth dimension. They are, in a split second, computing out several probable futures into a cohesive timeline of events. They are running all the variables to better able them to make adjustments that would fit their desires as a group, and their personal desires as well. This speaks to the theme of letting technology control our actions and thoughts and even our emotions in the future if we allow it. Luckily there would be an anomaly.

“Anomaly XB-6783746″

He would be shown to us early in the history of the series, but he would disappear and make a triumphant return at the end. We didn't know much about this child, except that he wasn't technically a child anyway. All else we knew was solely from what was told us. It was said that he was a genetic anomaly scheduled to be destroyed along with all the other genetic anomalies. This anomaly would eventually be given the name Michael. A name that holds very interesting meaning to me.

“Making Angels”

“Micha El” means “Who is like God”. It was the name given to the chief and first among Angels in Heaven after the fall of Lucifer. Michael the archangel was said to be the one that would drive Lucifer out of heaven and down to earth. He would become the leader of the angels and a prototype for how Angels are said to behave. Michael on Fringe shares parallels with Michael the Archangel. It would be Michael who would eventually cause Windmark (Fringe’s Lucifer) to be driven out of the picture. It would be Michael that would usher in a new type of Angelic Observer that would replace the ones we have come to know. Michael also interestingly enough shared parallels with Christ, in that he was a special child that would bring salvation to the world.

We don’t know the extent of Michaels abilities, but it was hinted at that he is so far outside the realm of Observer intellect and ability that even they don’t know what to make of him. Michael would be taken into the possible future of 2167, which is the would be original point of the Observers as we know them. He would be the cornerstone that a new and enlightened race of post modern humans would be patterned after. It is my belief that Michael being the clone of September will eventually beget a new and improved September.

“A New Day in the Old town”

Finally after all was said and done, Walter was able to take Michael by the hand and bring him into the future. After this we see the result of a timeline reset. We see this new timeline only after many years of rewritten history. One would have to assume that many of the events that we know to have happened, didn't happen in this timeline. The beauty of it all though is, that despite that assumption, we still see that Peter and Olivia are happy and married with their little girl Etta. We wonder just how this might have happened since time was effectively reset all the way to the big bang with no Observer intervention. The short answer to this perplexity is LOVE. This leads us to the final scene of the show.

“The White Tulip”

Besides just a symbol of hope, and a sign from God, the White Tulip has become the symbol of love. It represents not only the Love between Walter and Peter, but it has become a symbol for the love between Peter and Olivia, and their daughter Etta. It also acts as a symbol of the love between the Fans and Fringe as a show, thanks to its use at Comic-Con this past year.

In the final seconds of the show we see Peter opening the mail to find an envelope. This envelope was addressed to Peter himself, the return address was from Walter. Peter opens the envelope to find the White Tulip. When he looks at this tulip he has a look of wonder, then of recall, then he looks dead in the camera with the look of sudden realization. It’s as if he is saying to us that he gets it.

To me the White Tulip says that Peter is on path with his perfect Destiny. In the episode “The White Tulip” Peter mentioned to Olivia when she was having Deja-Vu, that this meant she was in line with her destiny. He went on to say that he never experiences Deja-vu, which was funny in context to the previous episode “Peter” where we learned that Peter was in fact from the Alternate universe. This would suggest to us at the time, why he was not in line with his destiny, and thus never got deja vu. So the purpose of the White Tulip for Peter was it gave him a sense of Deja Vu for the first time ever, thus making him realize that he is in line with his destiny.

To sum this all up, I will say that it doesn't really matter how we got to where we got at the end of the show, because there are infinite possibilities to answer that. Without knowing what happens to Michael and Walter in the future, and without knowing the true scope of his potential, we can only speculate to no end about that. What matters in the end is that we got there, and it is not impossible.

The fun part is now in our hands. We now hold the lives of these characters solely in our hands, as we embark on the unlimited journey of filling in the blanks.

As the show always said; “Imagine the Impossibilities”, and that is exactly what Wyman left for us to do.

Let’s begin the new chapter now.
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Re: Series Review

Postby DarthLocke on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:35 am

Very Nice Review, Rick. :thumbup: I agree with you on most points, but I feel that Peter's response is actually left to the viewers interpretation, since we have no visual (memory flashbacks) or vocal recognition of "awareness" to anything that ever happened..."if" Walter's plan was accurate, Peter goes to the lab and find's the tape, because the letter (tulip) startles him, and then he would know where Walter is, but that really is the extent of what is given.

In some ways I agree there is beauty in having to create your own conclusion, but if I am honest with myself, I know I can't do that with out proof to lead me in some kind of a direction, because this story wasn't suppose to be about "me", it was suppose to be about them. And without that proof, I'm left lost in translation with the white tulip philosophy, because simply, again going with Peter's favorite novel that goes hand in hand with these ideas, I can't take everyone else's word for it, and with out it, the sacrifice looses it's meaning, because they weren't bold enough to give me a future or futures to prove to me that it was worth something positive. The dog isn't thrown a bone. Instead the dog has to imagine being thrown a bone...

As much as I want and hope for Angels to be made, I can't prove that they are. I'm left with uncertainty, rather than resolve.
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Yet for all their evolution, they form no bonds.
Love does not exist for them. They are incapable of dreaming,
Of contemplating beauty, Of knowing something greater than themselves.
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Re: Series Review

Postby DarkUFO on Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:18 pm

Thanks Ricky, I've just tweeted this out :)
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