Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction at its Best

A superb, jolting alternate reality finale to the first season of Fringe tonight, which kicked us into all sorts of incredible things, including that we'll be seeing a second incredible season of Fringe starting this Fall.

Here's what we saw and learned -


1. Jones, the teleporting cruel scientist who dominated a lot of the action in the first part of the season, is trying to go into an alternate dimension, where he can presumably cure himself and/or confront Bell. Olivia and Walter stop that - with a device Walter has, which he had years ago, which plugs up the portal. Jones is stopped halfway into the portal. He dies, as his body is literally sawed in half between two realities...

And that's the least incredible thing we learn tonight...

2. The two realities are more or less the same, with some "minor" differences. We learn, in a powerful scene with Walter at a grave site, that his son Peter died in 1985, as a little boy. Ergo, the Peter Bishop we have come to know this season must be Peter from the alternate reality, whom Walter presumably kidnapped years ago.... leaving the other Walter bereft of a son? ... We'll no doubt learn more about this next season...

3. And the most incredible, daring part of this alternate reality of all: Olivia goes into this alternate reality to meet William Bell - played by Leonard Nimoy. That's not the incredible part - we already knew that....

But Olivia sees a newspaper - its headline says "Obamas set to move into new White House..."*

And when she looks out of the window of the skyscraper ... and the camera moves out the window and shows us where she is ... We see she is one of the World Trade Center Towers, apparently not destroyed in this reality ... (perhaps the White House was, and that's why it's being rebuilt?)

And so we're left with a brilliantly provocative ending ... Applause to Fringe for daring to do this. Science fiction at its very best. (I said in my review of Fringe's episode last week that I expected to see some glimmering connection between the finale of Fringe and the new Star Trek movie ... it's the mixing of alternate realities....)

*And here's a screen shot of that New York Post front page ... looks in the upper left corner as if JFK might not have been assassinated in this reality!

See also Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe

10-min podcast review of Fringe 1 Finale

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