Thursday, 26 December 2013
Fringe Season Three
I finished the third season just before christmas day and now the chaos is dying down here are a few thoughts on this season of Fringe. Well to put simply this has been the best season of the show so far and not to spoil it is the best season of the series as it brings together the two universes that Walter helped to bring into conflict so long ago. We get the transfer of characters and continued development of alternate characters which quickly become as valued as the original lineup and it has to be said that those actors playing two roles really got to go to town.
The season kicks off with the episode "Olivia" and we see both versions of Agent Dunham and how the two universes deal with them, in our Universe she is accepted without any hesitation thanks in part to Peter and Olivia's change in romantic status so things were always going to be a little different. Things are taking an unexpected turn in the alternate universe, Olivia is being treated so that she believes she belongs there and will ultimately help that universe win the ongoing war. This element of the season continues for just seven episodes and we then go deep into the "machine" story and how Peter is the key to it's use but that in itself gives the characters and the viewers many questions that need answers. One of the great things about this season is how we many of the characters are presented to the us the viewers and how the reality really unfolds, no one is simply good or evil, everyone has reasons and most of them are not operating with all the facts. Season three unfolds in such a well constructed manner it takes the viewer along without revealing anything too soon and the pay off is all the better for it.
To be honest I don't think a favourite episode list is practical, it would be a little too long but maybe one or two episodes really hit the mark for my personal taste in scifi/drama.
A flashback episode back to the days of young Olivia and the drug trials, we learnt so much about her life and when her and Peter first met, wonderfully told story, great acting and so many great moments especially the revelation of how Walternate learnt of his sons location.
The revelation of fauxlivia and the compromises made by all involved powers the episode and it's the tragedy that many of the people involved were beginning to realise nothing was as it seemed none more so than Broyles the commander of the Fringe division in the parallel universe. He ultimately acts according to his own morals and ethics and pays the price but without him things would not have turned out as they did, it isn't a surprise that Broyles is shown as honourable in both worlds.
The third season was critically acclaimed but it didn't fare well in the ratings yet it did get renewed for a fourth season, maybe overseas sales were good and other merchandising added to the overall return. It may be that someone at FOX really enjoyed the show and while it's timeslot wasn't good it also meant not a lot was expected from the show. Regardless we're rolling into the fourth season with one very big question to be answered, not where is Peter, not who is Peter just......