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The Fringe Finale – Good and Bad

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Yes, we’re discussing a finale again, and you know what that means — spoilers.

Prior to its premiere this past fall, I was all excited for Fringe.  After the premiere I was a little distressed, and soon grew more so.  Eventually however, I started to really get into it.  I had my quibbles here and there with the series — like my dislike of Walter Bishop — but the more I watched, the more I enjoyed.  And now, last night, I think that they aired a pretty great season finale.  Don’t worry, I have quibbles still, but I definitely enjoyed it more than I didn’t.

First up, the good — over the course of the season, the show created several mysteries that were intriguing, and they actually went and answered a few of them last night.  We learned who William Bell was, we learned where he was, and we actually saw him.  For me, those were some pretty big things — the show set him up as this interesting, mysterious, character, a character we were never allowed to see but who was — maybe, possibly — pulling the strings behind oh-so-many events.  They ended a few other plotlines, including those where we might get to see Mr. Jones, and I thought that was a pretty swell ending to his storyline.

I also loved the Twin Towers thing.  The pull out showing Olivia there in one of the Towers in the alternate world was just the kind of thing that is going to upset people, but is also a pretty great image with which to leave the viewers.  I think there’s a difference between holding the Towers in high regard and remembering the importance of that day and what they represent versus deeming them unrepresentable in all forms, even alternate realities.  So, for me, the image was to show how different things are going to be and definitely for some shock value, both of which the show accomplished.

There was also the great, spectacular, excellent, Peter reveal.  Yes?  Can we at least agree that was awesome?

As for the bad, well, the worst of it was probably the Bell reveal… mostly because they revealed it in the opening credits.  I’ve railed against this sort of thing before, but I had no idea that Leonard Nimoy was going to be in the episode – mostly because I resolutely avoided reading anything about what was to come.  So, not knowing Nimoy was in the show, once I saw his name in the opening credits it was easy enough to say – “oh, hey, they’re going to reveal Bell tonight and it’s going to be Nimoy.”  I then spent the entire episode waiting for Nimoy to appear despite the fact that it was pretty obvious.  Hopefully Bell still gets to be an evilish guy just as it was insinuated all season that he was.

Anyway, despite the early reveal of Bell’s appearance,  I still liked to see Nimoy there, so that wasn’t the worst thing about the episode.  No, the worst thing about the finale was — and no, I don’t think it’s a cop out to say this — the way the whole season was aired.  I don’t mind the show disappearing for several weeks (or months) in order to never have to air repeats, but sending it away and then bringing it back and then sending it away and then… well, you get the idea, didn’t work for me.  Every single time I thought the show was putting together a string of really good episodes and I got intrigued, it disappeared for weeks on end.

Still though, summing up the season, there was more good than bad, and I’m looking forward to next season.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • Leonard Nimoy outed as Bell long ago. While this wasn’t a production person, they could have left him off the credits.
    As for Peter ‘reveal’, I got lost (and watched all season). Think Jones is dead.

  • Clare

    Thanks Josh, for some cool thoughts. I really enjoyed the finale- thought it was great, had some wonderful twists and left me wanting more. I think it’s an amazing show. When I’m watching it, I feel that in some mysterious way it applies to real life. The writers are absolutely brilliant with the character formation – I think the fans can really get a good connection.

    The finale was very deep, wonderfully connected and overlapped, (everyone, though separated on different tasks, came to the same conclusions) and gave me chills… especially the last few moments – thought the twin towers was interesting! I think the alternate universe/deja vu idea is fascinating – can’t wait to see where it’s going.

    Broyles and Nina seem to be in some sort of understanding co hoots…and I suspect it to have an evil turn. It seemed odd to see them checking up with each other again and again. As for the Peter reveal, I slowly put two and two together before it was actually shown – the illness that Peter doesn’t recall, the coins that he plays with, vaguely remembers… I thought for a moment as the final graveyard scene panned up towards the tombstone that it might have been the mother- and then realized, Oh my gosh, it’s going to be Peter! Awesomely thrilling. Interesting, too, why Peter only wiped the dust away from himself and Walter in the photograph.

    Fringe fans have all summer to speculate!