Tuesday, May 12, 2009

REVIEW: Fringe Season Finale...


So, it's over.

The finale for the new hit television series (and my personal favorite) Fringe just ended, and instead of being annoyed by people bitching in the news, I decided to write up my thoughts on this fun, if flawed ending to the season.

Early last week it was announced that Fringe would return for the fall, as FOX sent in an order for 22 episodes for a second season. Where would this finale take the show, and would it be a direction worth heading?

(For those of you who haven't seen the show, either WATCH IT, or head over to my series overview write up I did a few days ago)

The episode starts and we are thrust into the middle of the case. Nina Sharp has been attacked, and as she recovers, it is revealed that an energy cell has been stolen from her mechanical arm by Dr. David Jones.

As I wrote on Twitter, this energy cell is Fringe's version of a passport. This allows Jones to not only see an alternate reality, as when someone has a case of deja vu, but it ultimatley allows him to cross over into the said reality, which would allow him to finally confront William Bell, who he needs to prove his worth to, or so he says.

During all of this, Peter goes on the hunt for his father, who is taken by The Observer to a beach house where he gets a device that seals the portal open by Jones' device. The two meet Olivia who is on the trail of Jones, and they intercept him in the middle of opening his portal. They use the device found by Walter, which closes the portal, slicing Jones in half, leaving a half in both dimensions.

Owning up to a deal that she and Olivia made, Nina Sharp sets up a meeting. However, she bails, and Olivia leaves. Then, as she goes down the hotel on an elevator, she exits and is rushed into an office, where she meets William Bell. The final shot is a pan out of a widow of the office, where it becomes clear that she is in one of the World Trade Centers.

This episode was a bit of a mixed bag.

The real surprise of the finale was just how clean some of the things came together. Jones' process of selecting his spots to use the energy tube brought in the apparent use of the "Golden Ratio" within the commercial break interludes, as it looks as though it played into the dispersement of his experiments. Also, the use of the alternate reality idea was really well done.

The last shot is a great example of this, but there is another, more subtle shot that really got me wondering.

During the episode, Walter mentions to Peter that, while he was young he was extremely ill and dying, he would collect coins. However, he said he may not remember that, and of course, Peter doesn't. Then, during one of the last two shots of the show, we see a note in the office written for Peter. The note says that Walter is out and Peter shouldn't worry about him. Then there is a shot of Walter placing the coin on the grave of Peter, which can be seen with both a birth and a death date.

This, along with the idea of an alternate reality, which was of course thought of by Walter leaves me with one question. Is Peter the alternate reality version of his son? Knowing that there is a second season, I sure hope that this idea is minded a bit more, as not only the idea really interesting, but this could cause some great plot movements within the relationship between Peter and his father.

Also, the last shot is quite haunting. We start the last scene by simply seeing William Bell (Leonard Nimoy, of course) in the shadows. Dunham asks where she is and who he is, and he responds:

The answer to your first question is, it's complicated, and the answer to your second question, is, I'm William Bell."

Then the camera pans out to show us that Dunham is standing in one of the towers of the World Trade Center. The shot of her in the WTC would be haunting enough, but with the fact that the season is over, leaves me wanting more. And truely, that is what the best finales do.

However, there were a few flaws.

The main problem I had during this episode wasn't really anything that bothered me during the span of the show, but it was just one moment.

There is a monolouge given by Peter (Joshua Jackson), where he describes his childhood, in hopes of sparking memories in his father. While the idea is great and all, it was given with such a weird mix of cheesiness and sincerity, that it just didn't work for me. Whereas the rest of the series showed a great relationship between the father and son, this episode just really didn't work on that level. However, that didn't effect the impact of that last shot, which I talked about above.

All in all, this was a phenominal end to a phenominal show. It's a well acted, beautifully shot, and really well scored series, that delves into things that I have been craving since the loss of The X-Files. Sure, it may not hit every note, but for something this intellectually stimulating to be really entertaining, is something to stand up and cheer.

I'll be the one in the front with the megahorn.

Go see something good!

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