Friday, September 25, 2009

TV: Fringe --"Night of Desirable Objects"--

Before I get into this recap/review, one needs to know a bit of philosophy/backstory to really get the main question this show is wanting the viewers to ask. Here, let Slackers enlighten you:

This is basically the premise of what the second season of Fringe will follow. Agent Dunham has returned from a special trip to an alternate reality where Leonard Nimoy is some random ass businessman. Now, onto the review/recap:

Leaving off with one of the most iconic last shots, and finales for that matter, of last fall season, Fringe is back, and it couldn't be at a better time. TV is lacking, stuck in the mud filled with an office of losers, a hospital of sex starved doctors, and a bunch of other random crews, Fringe is a welcome return to sci-fi thrillers, in the same vein as The X-Files.

Season 2 kicked off last week, but was a bit of a let down. Sure, it was a fine premiere, but it left the ONE overarching question of the show, hanging out on a limb. What happened to Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) when she traveled to an alternate universe? What does that reality represent for her and the rest of the show's participants? And what's up with Massive Dynamic founder William Bell (Leonard Nimoy)? All of these questions were unsolved at the opening of the first episode, and left open, if not more so, at the end. Hell, as I will get to at the end, the episode may have opened up even MORE questions.

What is even more sad, the second episode, "Night of Desirable Objects", does little to close any of those open doors. Instead of sticking to it's overarching themes and questions, it reverts back to it's concept of being a show full of one-offs. While you DO need to have seen previous episodes to fully get these episodes, they aren't a necessity. This episode does that exact thing, and while it's really entertaining, I know the show can do better.

This episode pits our heroes, Agent Dunham, Peter and Walter Bishop (Josh Jackson and John Noble, with the new FBI Agent mysteriously missing from much of this episode), against some sort of tunnel-burrowing monster. While this may sound interesting, it is nothing compared to the truly intriguing aspect of the show, in the deterioration of Dunham, in her psyche, skills, and emotions.

Still recovering from her trip to some sort of unexplained alternate universe (it even SEEMS like they are intentionally toying with us, as Walter begins to explain about alternate universes, but then is interrupted.), and is beginning to hear things. Is this due to her trip? Or is this due to her previously discussed "super powers"? Who knows, as it seems as though the people behind the show really may just be going along with it as well. That said, I have total faith in the creators, that SOMEONE knows what is going on, and these questions are what keeps me coming back. I WISH more shows left me with a single question, let alone a billion, as this rather stellar show does.

Also, there is a really interesting subplot with Agent Francis, Charlie, who is now a monster in human flesh. The premiere's villain is still alive, and in the body of one of the closest people to our main lead. This is definitely one of the stories to watch, as there is something about ready to explode inside this shape shifter.

All in all this is more of a recap than a review, because it would be me simply praising how amazing this show is. It's fun, interesting, visually stunning, and really well acted. This IS the show that you should be watching on Thursday nights, I only wish that it would get back to being Fringe, instead of being the best episodes of the X-Files.

FRINGE //"Night of Desirable Objects"// -- A-

Go see something good!

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