Skip to main content

Fringe: It's Time for a New Kind of Hero

Just recently I started watching Fringe. I know, I'm behind the times, welcome to last year and all that rot, well listen, The Prisoner waited 40 years for me to watch it, and it wasn't bitter about it. In a year or two I might get around to watching Lost, and then you can all bitch about how I'm only writing about it now that it's over.

Fringe has more to do with Lost than just me being late to the party, they were both created at least in part, by JJ Abrams. Along with Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Together this trio always rebooted the long stagnant Star Trek franchise with a motion picture this last summer. One could say it's got a good pedigree, but Orci and Kurtzman also wrote the script for both Transformers movies, which no one will accuse of featuring stellar plots or dialogue. Perhaps that's not their fault though *ahem*.

Back to Fringe! Fringe kicks off with an airplane landing during a medical emergency, which it turns out was a virus intentionally let loose inside which melted everyone's internal organs and turned their skin transparent. It's a horrifically gruesome scene, and totally unlike anything else I've seen on television.

The most featured character up to this point has been FBI Agen Olivia Dunhum:

She is a tall drink of water, but not oversexualized as is the costume in most current television shows. She's thoughtful, intelligent, and determined. Everytime I see her though, I can't help but think: "How is it that an FBI field operative can get away with having hair that long? Isn't that against some kind of regulation?". Other than that, I like her, there are some quirks to her character, but nothing particularly interesting. I'm sure a lot of people would consider her the hero of the show, but I propose a different candidate.
During the course of her investigation, she discovers a tie between the virus released on the plane, and the work of a Dr. Walter Bishop from 20 years ago, turns out that the good doctor has been in a mental institution for the past two decades, the only way to get him out is to obtain the permission of, and have him supervised by, his next of kin, his son, another ultimately forgettable character.
Once Bishop is set free, now we have our "hero":

It quickly becomes evident that not only is Bishop not in full possession of his faculties, but even when he was, the work he did was hardly the sort of thing that would be accepted by the scientific community. Ladies and gentlmen: we have here a genuine mad scientist enlisted among the forces of good. It's not uncommon to have an anti-hero, a killer with a heart of good, a completely amoral blackops agent, any one of a hundred cliches, but it's not often that you get a genuine mad scientist with out the word evil thrown somewhere in his title.
I believe the them of the show is supposed to "Fringe" science. I'm going to steal a broad definition from Wikipedia: "Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Mainstream scientists typically regard fringe concepts as highly speculative or strongly refuted, as opposed to frontier science which is plausible emerging science"
So, Walter dabbles in all kinds of fields, in the show, he's basically portrayed as being the expert on any kind of science the conspiracy theorists have claimed exists. In the first episode, he puts Agent Dunhum into an isolation tank in order for her to share dreams with her terminally injured partner. Another episode had them discovering someone who was tapping into a telepathic communication network that the "Pattern" (the bad guys of the show) were using. Last episode, after discovering a man that could electrical systems with his body, he programmed homing pigeons to seek out the man's unique energy signature, and then implanted GPS chips into them in order to track him down. "Are you sure this is going to work?" "Of course not!"
The show has a very X-files-y feel to it, although it seems a lot more structured towards where it's going, as opposed to X-Files just taking a monster of the week approach until they decided to go for broke on an alien conspiracy. I'm having a lot of fun with, if just for my favorite mad scientist.


Popular posts from this blog

Naked Heat: Reviewing this book makes my brain hurt

I finished the latest book by Richard Castle a few days ago, and I've been thinking about how I want to write this review ever since. You see, Richard Castle is a rock star amongst murder mystery novelists, he struck it big with his series of Derek Storm novels, but shocked the world by killing the character at the end of the last book in the series. After that, he found inspiration in NYPD detective Kate Beckett, and based his new character, Nikki Heat, off of her. Naked Heat is the second book in the Nikki Heat series. What's so weird about that? I'm sure all three of my regular readers already know, but none of these people are real, Rick Castle and Det. Beckett are both characters on ABC's crime/drama/comedy series Castle. Haven't watched Castle? For shame, I highly recommend it, it's a perfect guilty pleasure movie, a series of one and done murder mysteries, that are fairly light hearted, with a great comedy dynamic between the characters of Castle, Becket

Final Fantasy XIII: I may not finish this

The latest installation in Square Enix's flagship series, Final Fantasy XIII does a number of really cool things. I don't want to take a lot of time going into the mechanics under the hood, but you need to get the basics in order to get a feel for the game. The battle system is real time, the battle constantly goes on even while you're deciding what to do, you're only in direct control over the party leader though, keeps you from being overwhelmed, the other two party members are only controllable only insofar as you can dictate what class they use. Class management is an important part of the battle system, only commandoes can physically attack enemies, and ravagers deal elemental damage, along with a myriad of other classes, each character starts off with access to a small selection, and by the end of the game will have extensive access to three classes, as well as marginal access to the remaining classes. Which classes you use are determined by paradigms, sort of pre

Lemme Tell You About The Transformer, Astrotrain, And Why He's My Favorite

       I am, quite obviously, a massive fan of Transformers, but I grew up in kind of a weird time for being a fan. Really, I'm just a LITTLE too young. I remember seeing my brother, who was six years older than I, get all of the coolest Transformers, and then by the time that I started being able to ask for Transformers for myself, the nature of Transformers had greatly changed. I have a great anecdotal story about him clipping Soundwave (arguably one of the coolest Transformers toys ever, which turned into a microcassette player) to his shorts and climbing a tree. He then proceeded to fall 30 feet out of that tree, and land on Soundwave, which poked him right in the kidney, and he peed blood for a week.        While I still have a great deal of fondness for them, Powermaster Optimus Prime is just not as cool of a toy as the original Optimus Prime. Notably, if you landed on Powermaster Optimus Prime, he probably wouldn't puncture your kidney, but the original Optimus Prime mig