For those who tire of shows like Heroes and Lost where the "answers" to the mysteries proposed in the episodes often seem as though they'll never arrive, along comes Fringe, a science fiction mystery series that actually gets around to solving the mysteries presented in each episode before its conclusion... mostly.
Similar to The X-Files and the novels of Michael Crichton, Fringe deals with the fringe sciences (astral projection, teleportation, alternate universes, etc.) and demonstrates unbelievable and often quite frightening occurrences that could be explained through these kinds of unorthodox scientific theories.
Throughout the first season, someone appears to be conducting dangerous and bizarre experiments on innocent people and it's up to FBI special agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her team to solve the mysteries and try to stop them before more are harmed. She is joined by mentally unstable fringe scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, who many may recognize as having played Denethor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) and his streetwise genius son Peter (Dawson's Creek's Joshua Jackson), both of whom have a very strained relationship with the other.
I'll have to admit that watching the series unfold on television, I almost gave up on it about halfway through. At the time, each episode seemed to almost be following some sort of template: something disgusting happens before the titles, Olivia sees a vision of John, Peter gets frustrated with his father and his theories despite the fact his father's theories are always right, Walter recalls a nostalgic food memory in a bit of forced comic relief, etc. I didn't care about the lead character, Olivia, as she didn't seem to have any sort of endearing personality; she was just a character that things happened to. The violence and gore in the show was frankly shocking for a network television show and I found it awfully off-putting.
Thankfully, though, as if the show itself was a kind of experiment, Fringe went through a series of dramatic changes over the course of its first season, and ended up much better for them.
The show underwent significant changes in episode 11, "Bound." The gruesomeness of the deaths in the show had already started to wane, but it was in episode 11 that Olivia's sister and niece were introduced, finally providing a bit of relateability for the series' main character. The very next episode, the young niece becomes a potential target of the experiments and for the first time I started to feel for Olivia and care that she succeeded.