I've said enough bad things about the show in the first few weeks that I really need to tell you when I like it, and last night I liked it. Last night, I thought Fringe delivered a really solid episode. Plus, as an added bonus, I think I've identified the biggest weak points – Peter and Walter Bishop.
Last night, so many things about the show were right. There was a good story – it was nice and creepy. There was the addition of a new, weird, mysterious character – the bald, roast beef sandwich-eating guy (I don't care for his moniker on the show). Last night, even Olivia Dunham was compelling. It was all so right. I think that if they just get rid of Walter and Peter the show will be just fine.
Okay, maybe that's going too far, maybe they should just get rid of Walter. He is just plain annoying. I don't for a moment believe much of his weirdness. To me, it feels like he's playing at being foolish in order to be able to do things that he might not otherwise be allowed to do.
No, I'm not playing with you, and yes, I understand that a ton of the show is built around his character. I think John Noble is a perfectly fine actor. I think the trouble with the show has nothing to do with Noble. I think that the character, as written, is just plain annoying. Every time he does anything, whether it's milking a cow, going for a root beer float, or solving the mystery of the week, I want to climb into my TV and smack him around. It's his way of divulging (or not divulging) what he's doing. It's his incessant talking at night. It's his refusal to speak in a clear manner (and I'm convinced that's not due to his imprisonment). It's pretty much every little facet of his personality.