Fringe: Season 1 (2008 – 2009)

fringe complete season 1

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • The way the lettering is done when indicating location, etc. It just looks awesome, and it isn’t intrusive or overbearing.
  • Slowly but surely uncovering Walter Bishop. The man is an enigma, flipping from a sad, damaged figure to an absolute genius to a right asshat, so it can be quite mesmerising.
  • The way the relationship between Peter and Walter changes. Initially it is anger and resentment, then resignation, but later that changes to a frustrated kind of caring (from Peter’s side, Walter will always love Peter). Peter is quite protective of his father in some ways, and has a soft spot for him, no matter what he holds against the man.
  • The technical and pseudoscience side of the show. It is never presented in a way to lose the viewer, it is done in a technical way but ensures that the audience is not lost, without making us feel like total spazzes for not being as clued up as the writers.
  • John Noble as Walter Bishop. I cannot truly express how freaking perfect he was for this role. He is the best character and endlessly entertaining. He is so intelligent and so broken, with such a dark past, and Noble balances all these things perfectly to give us the drug-loving, Red Vine-munching genius.
  • The ability to spot an Observer in all the episodes somewhere or other, especially after you know that they are watchers. It is so much easier to spot them, but still tricky. Small detail, super awesome.
  • The supporting characters. Phillip Broyles, Astrid Farnsworth and Charlie Francis really add extra to the show. The way Astrid eventually becomes Walter’s right hand is sweet, Broyles is intimidating and badass and super professional, and Charlie? Come on, he is smart, loyal and cool.
  • The friendship between Charlie and Olivia is great – understated, but there.
  • Nina Sharp is another character I like. You never really get a complete read on her, but you know that she is a smart, strong woman, and we don’t get many of them in the show.
  • While Anna Torv had a rough start in the show, and I wasn’t a fan the first time around until a few episodes in, she gets the hang of Olivia Dunham, and eventually you can’t picture anyone researching and investigating these cases with Peter and Walter, she is just the right fit for the role.
  • The relationship that is super subtly starting to grow between Olivia and Peter. Oh, all that potential!
  • How the otherness of Peter has always been present.

fringe season 1 walter bishop lsd

What I didn’t like:

  • In the first few episodes things were a little stunted, the show was finding its feet and forgot to bring people in on a few things smoothly, sort of like the audience was just expected to know, which was a little disconcerting at times.
  • Some cases did not have certain things explained (in one episode, how was the woman picking people with special abilities to solve that formula? How did she know?) and some unexplained logic like that could sometimes become an issue.
  • The acting was a little stiff at times, but never so bad that you cringe and don’t want to keep watching.

fringe charlie

Rating:
GRADE 8I am a huge fan of this show. Truly I am. When it started, I watched it with my fiancé and the first few episodes are a little heavy to take in, there is so much going on all the time and the show immediately starts by pushing the boundaries. He called it after four episodes, he was not impressed and said he was over it. Me, on the other hand? I had started this, I was going to see at least season one through before deciding. Boy, am I glad that I did. By the time I got to season two, I told him that, no matter what, he had to just try again. Now? Biggest Fringe addicts of all time.

Walter Bishop is a scene stealer and a bundle of laughs all the time – his penchant for drugs is simply amazing. He can take you from laughing to terribly sad in moments, and his transition back into the new world was gradual. His mentality was almost that of a child at times. Then there is Peter Bishop – bright as hell, a little sketchy, definite asset to the Fringe division. Joshua Jackson gets into his role, becomes a favourite. Plus the way that man dresses… oh my gosh. Then he opens his mouth, and he is amazingly intelligent. So much hotness going on right there. WOW. Moving right along, I might get stuck in a whole Peter obsession here if I don’t.

The characters that we get are all pretty cool. Astrid is beautiful, smart and super sweet, and the way she and Walter almost become a unit is fantastic, even though he has hurt and scared her beyond anything. Charlie is also a character that I am a fan of because he is just so cool. Well dressed, private but not too much so that you worry he is a serial killer, serious but can have quite a good sense of humour at times and a great partner and agent, he’s a joy to watch. He is also so good at his job, and that is something that I will always appreciate.

Massive Dynamic is an interesting company to bring in, and William Bell is shrouded in so much mystery, too, that it is really such a gratifying experience to finally see him, and the fact that William Bell is played by Leonard Nimoy is just awesome. Trust that he would play some brilliant scientist that is missing. The supporting characters all really round this show off, and the score is so fitting, too.

The show starts off running, no slow introductions, but it is perfect for this. However, there are some gripes that I have with the first episode or two, with the way that characters were introduced and later you see they are nothing like the way they were brought in (think Broyles calling Olivia “sweetheart” in the heat of the moment). Also, some things were a little rushed to get us involved with a plot (think the relationship between Olivia and John Scott – it didn’t mean anything to me when he was killed). Other minor plots are introduced, too, and then not addressed again until much later, which just makes for some messy storytelling in places. But these things are all minor for me. I love Fringe. This show is something that needs to be appreciated for numerous reasons.

fringe season 1 olivia and peter