Regularly throughout the television season, fans are pushed to the side to fulfill the needs of sports geeks. This left Fringe fans hanging last week, but while many were not happy to be given a week off from the show, I was quite happy to have an extra week (and a couple of rewatches) to figure out if I liked this episode or not.
As first, I felt like “The Recordist”, the third episode in Fringe’s fifth season, made no sense at all. There were too many plot holes (why didn’t the Observers just apparate, wizard-style, in the general vicinity of the location they believed the Fringe team was, just like they did in the park?). I also did not feel like the main story advanced at all; how could the team not have gotten the quartz rock in a more timely manner and we could have gotten a little more action to boot?
I realized pretty early on that these were the thoughts of a passive aggressive fan, the consequence of pent-up frustration. You see, I am torn. When I think of what Fringe was like before, I do not like these new episodes. I understand that people change according to what they live through, and I did not expect to find gracing my screen the Olivia of five years ago. That, too, would have annoyed me to no end. But this Fringe team is just so different from the old one that despite the fact that the difference makes sense, timeline hopping and all, it’s at times just too much. I get the same feeling as when I go to a familiar restaurant to order a specific meal I love, only to find out that it is not part of the main menu anymore.
But then are the times when I just let go of my expectations and watch for the sake of enjoying the show, and that it when I remember why I liked it so much: despite the slower episodes when not that much seems to happen (like this one), so much character development happens and so many other layers are explored that I am left well satisfied. Even though the meal I end up ordering is not what I came to the restaurant for, it is still amazingly good.