Monday, January 19, 2009

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!

I refer, of course, to the return of Fringe to Tuesday night TV. Tomorrow at 9:00PM I will be watching the first new episode since Fringe went on its winter hiatus, and a dreary 5 weeks it has been. The last episode ended with a cliffhanger - Olivia has been captured and Mr. Jones has been sprung from Wissenschaft Prison in Germany, with the help of Walter's reconstructed "beaming" device.

I don't know about you mugs, but this will put the crown on an otherwise drab and uneventful day.

UPDATE: It was a good episode, even though I don't consider that it actually started until about 15 minutes in. The whole first section was divided into two parts: Olivia in the laboratory with her mysterious captors, which finished with a good butt-kicking fight when she escaped. Then her interview with the obnoxious Agent Harris, who has now gained supervisory power over the whole Fringe project. This devolved into a lengthy recap of the whole series to date, which got a little tedious. It's one thing to recap the last episode, so people seeing Olivia tied down on a gurney can recall how she was captured back in December. But it's a waste of time to recap the whole series at this point; anyone who hasn't seen the first episodes, introducing the main characters, isn't going to be able to follow the show from this starting point. There's just too much info to absorb, and too many sneaky subplots. They couldn't even touch on the fact that Loeb is a double agent, so what was the use of it? A person who'd start watching tonight would learn about Peter and Walter, but they'd have no idea who Loeb was or what he'd been doing in the past 4 episodes.

The "monster of the week" was pretty loathsome - a spiny slug that came out of the victims' mouths, and turned out to be a single gargantuan cell of the common cold virus. Still, I think the early episode where the woman gave birth to some...thing, without anything being visible at all, was more horrifying. They're always scarier when you can't really see them, but can imagine the worst.

There was one obvious failure of logic that stood out for me: when they took the second scientist into protective custody, he was left alone in a room. When they get back, he's got a slug crawling out of his mouth. Meanwhile, Olivia has just learned that the first scientist died because he ingested the slug virus with water, and when it hit his stomach it developed into a full-grown monster. So why wasn't the first question, "How was scientist #2 exposed to the virus?" We know, because we saw Loeb go into the room and give him a glass of water. Why didn't these smart FBI agents check the waterglass in the room for fingerprints? It's pretty obvious someone must have brought it in, and the method of administration is pretty limited.

Now the Loeb subplot has been resolved, but he's left Olivia with one little puzzle: he claims she was captured because "they" were trying to "save" her. I suspect this is going to turn out to be a variation on the 'Threshold' plot. There, aliens were genetically altering human beings in order to improve them. Of course, they were also turning them into monsters, but it was a compelling idea, that in order to fight this threat we were consciously choosing to remain weaker than our enemy. It left a nagging doubt as to whether humanity COULD win such a contest - Darwinism and all that. I suspect that the bad guys in this story are using the Fringe science to destroy or enslave humanity, with themselves exempt and immune, and thus the rulers. Olivia was going to be allowed to join the supermen, but she fought back and ruined their plans for her.

5 Comments:

Blogger Priscilla said...

We're not going to let it get us down! I'm going to a big party tomorrow. We are going to be watching a slew of old movies, since there is nothing worth watching on TV. We are going to have lots of adult bevies and highly saturated fat nibbles (while they are still legal).

4:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went shopping today! Didn't actually buy anything, just had a good look around and joined an old friend for lunch at a downtown eatery. A very pleasant day.

Ellie M.

7:26 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Unfortunately, I came down with some sort of flu bug, and spent most of the day asleep. Feeling better now, and Fringe is coming on in about 15 minutes!

8:44 pm  
Blogger Priscilla said...

I decided if YOU watched this program I would try it. I watched the first part - until that worm came out of the man - and turned it off. I'm not a fan of SiFi.
Hope you are feeling better.

5:59 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Well, it is gross, no doubt about that. That kind of grossout stuff is a very small part of the show, however - usually just a few seconds out of every hour. But you'd probably find it difficult to follow if you haven't seen the earlier episodes. I only started watching it because I like the actor John Noble, and the rest has grown on me. Kudos for giving it a try, though! It's not for everyone.

7:06 pm  

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