Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fringe - Season 4 (2011-2012)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils fourth season of tv series Fringe.

Fringe  still stays unpredictable on fourth season. You will get things you don't expect with this series. Individual episodes are best tv entertainment you can get. Season wide story arc is not at same level. Continuing themes of earlier episode are often forgotten in next episode, sometimes for good, sometime show returns to them later.

Romance of Lincoln and Olivia is one of these themes. Their romance get to point where they set date. Olivia can't make it because she is drugged at her home, when she is leaving to meet Lincoln. Following episode doesn't even mention missed date. It is newer mentioned again. Romance is mentioned again later, when Peter and Olivia finds each others again. Then we see, how Lincoln still wanted to be with Olivia. He even leaves out universe to be with other universe's Olivia. There are also other shorter important themes, that are never mentioned again. That made me miss Babylon 5, where every little thing mattered and themes continued from episode to episode. But I guess this wasn't meant to be watched with couple sittings. Once a week schedule make you forget themes and you don't see, what is missing from previous episode.

Individual episodes work better. There is reoccurring theme of how much events of our life change us. There are two different universes with same, but little different people. How fast you run at one moment of your life, could make difference between respected professor and serial killer. Another reoccurring theme is monsters' wish to be normal. Season has several serial killers, who only want to live normal life, but can't do it because what they are. It is not good versus evil, it is something more complicated.

Series made genius decision to reset timelines after third season finale, where Peter is removed from time line. Everything is like he died on that lake, when he was kid. This meant dead characters are still alive and some characters were reinvented. They could also use old stories as template for new stories. Peter has disappeared, but not completely gone. He comes back after few episodes, but no-one knows who he is. He has to convince others to take him back. Later he is almost like nothing ever happened. I didn't like, when Olivia became Peter's timeline's Olivia. It didn't make much sense, since no-one else remembered anything from that time line. It felt like it was made to reanimate romance between Peter and Olivia.

Main story arc was too far fetched and timing didn't work with last episodes. Antagonist's plan was to collide two universes to create third, in which he could control everything. Only surviving spot would be at earth. How earth centric. He could have done, what he wanted without destroying two universes. Destroying one planet would have given what he wanted. On second thought, destroying universes wouldn't have given what he wanted. Final episode's timing didn't work. 19th episode was different than anything before. It showed us what fifth season will be. 20th episode was climax of season. It had most important event of this season and it had most emotional content of season. Last two episodes felt like additional content. Main story arch had to be concluded. 21st episode was like regular episode after two big episodes. Last episode couldn't rise to height of 19th or 20th episode.

Fringe is one of my favourite tv shows. This season didn't change that. It is not as perfect in every aspect as Babylon 5 was. But it is really entertaining and every time I watch episode, I feel I have to watch next episode too. As I said earlier individual episodes work perfectly. Continuity is what drops it behind of likes of Babylon 5 and first two seasons of Millennium.

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